I don’t know about you, but increasingly I find myself compelled to cast anathemas, often at bus stops, supermarkets, and other sites of close contact with one’s fellow citizens. But getting the tone right can be the devil of a job. One wishes the curse to come across as neither deranged nor weedy, but rather as a considered, cogent, rational, searing, and – above all – unarguable response to the situation.
How pleased I am, then, to have discovered this splendid outburst from Austin Osman Spare:
“Your theology is a slime pit of gibberish become ethics. In your world where ignorance and deceit constitute felicity, everything ends miserably, besmirched with fratricidal blood.”
It is from his book Anathema Of Zos, A Sermon To The Hypocrites (1927) which I am clearly going to have to read, possibly even learn by heart. Further reading here and, enticingly, the opportunity in a couple of months’ time to see an exhibition of Spare’s work.
I wish you luck.
It’ll be a hard stunt to pull off without appearing to be completely Dagenham.
OSM : I’ll have you know I was born in Dagenham… in Barking Hospital, to be precise.