About Visions Before Midnight
"Dreams out of the ivory gate, and visions before midnight"
My purpose is to post my own thoughts and others' articles, quotations and miscellany that resonate.
The title's been used: by Clive James in an early, badly received novel and by J.B. Priestly in a long forgotten one. James was grabbed by the comma separating the phrases. I was grabbed by the music of the words.
The line is by Thomas Browne, 1605-1682, a minor English poet who came in our time to be valued for the compression and clarity of his language and who is the subject of a fine essay by Clive James in his quite wonderful (and much underlined and dog-eared by me) book of biographical essays, "Cultural Amnesia".
It's sandwiched between an essay on Robert Braisillach, who perverted language in the service of violence and murder while keeping his hands clean, and a different sort of essay on Albert Camus, for whom language was the hand-maiden of conscience.