A little over a month ago, I had a delightful conversation with an author, a new acquaintance (and, hopefully a friend) who mentioned one of his books and how he thought he might be uncovering some new ground with the book's concept. Then he looked at me and said, "You know, there really aren't any new ideas out there."
He's right. A while back I became enamoured of the concept of The Dance to describe how men and women are to relate, especially in marriage. I don't know why or how the image first occurred to me, but it began to grow in meaning and importance and I still love it. Of course, I'm not the only one. Now, in the last half of Thomas Howard's Chance or the Dance?, I continue to be amazed at how much I'd want to be underlining, marking and otherwise highlighting if this copy belonged to me and not the University of Denver's library (as an aside, isn't inter library loan a grand thing?). I shall have to get my own copy soon.
Here is a passage I found particularly startling because it voices, in pitch-perfect fashion, what our nouveau sages (aka Egalitarians) think and often say about women of a more, ahem, traditional bent:
"We would all rather not be forced into fealty. And, under the new myth, fealty itself is a grating idea that drags up specters either of sycophantic courtiers bobbing about the throne, or of humpbacked clouts flogged into animal servitude by draconian overseers. It is natural that, with the disappearance of divine sanctions for authority, the notion of authority itself should come under surveillance, since the question of an origin for authority is thrown open. It was possible for a while, of course, to supplant the god with the idea of tradition, or history or consensus, as sources of authority, but the very nature of the new myth, since it arises from the notion of autonomy, is to tend toward the idea of autonomy in all regions. . .The gods are certainly dead -- that part at least is settled; and tradition is a gorgon that must be slain; and history has been so botched that it must be begun anew by a generation that has been delivered from the sins and mistakes of its fathers; and consensus is only bourgeois tergiversation for power politics."
-- Chance or the Dance? p. 95