Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Merry Christmas Card from Terrance Lindall

'Falling for Christmas'
Terrance Lindall
(Image from Xmas Greetings 2010)

That contemporary Hieronymos Bosch, the absurdist-surrealist artist Terrance Lindall, recently sent out a Christmas card to various friends and acquaintances, and since I also received one, I thought that I'd share his Miltonic holiday wishes with Gypsy Scholar readers:
Dear Friends,

It must be remembered on Christmas that we would not be celebrating that day had not our parents in that happy state of Eden eaten of the tree of knowledge necessitating the birth of Christ to redeem us from that original sin and take that sin upon Himself. Herewith a Christmas card, not to celebrate, but to commemorate that fateful day that assured Christ's coming and made it possible for John Milton to write that greatest of all poems PARADISE LOST, for if no loss of Eden, no poem. Ironic is it not, such beauty coming from such origins.

BOOKS 9, 10, John Milton's Paradise Lost

As with new Wine intoxicated both
They swim in mirth, and fansie that they feel
Divinitie within them breeding wings
herewith to scorn the Earth: but that false Fruit
Farr other operation first displaid,
Carnal desire enflaming, hee on EVE
Began to cast lascivious Eyes, she him
As wantonly repaid; in Lust they burne:
Till ADAM thus 'gan EVE to dalliance move. (PL 9.1008-16)

Eternal Father from his secret Cloud,
Amidst in Thunder utter'd thus his voice.
"Assembl'd Angels, and ye Powers return'd
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid,
Nor troubl'd at these tidings from the Earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent . . ." (PL 10.32-7)
With his reference to the Fall, "that fateful day" that the angels "could not prevent," thereby "necessitating the birth of Christ" and making "possible for John Milton to write that greatest of all poems PARADISE LOST, for if no loss of Eden, no poem," which is perhaps a happy outcome, Mr. Lindall seems to be affirming a variant on the theology of felix culpa, the "fortunate fall" (and perhaps also pictorially punning on "tree of knowledge" and "carnal knowledge"), which might not accord with everyone's Christian views, but Christmas is a time for generosity of spirit, so I hope that all readers will accept his holiday greetings.

Moreover, as Christmas draws near, friends of art and artists might draw even more deeply on that same spirit of generosity to contribute here to the support of Mr. Lindall's Paradise Lost Project, which includes the production of his Elephant Folio edition of Paradise Lost. If you want to know more the project, go to Mr. Lindall's website and click around.

I should perhaps also note that I am a member of Mr. Lindall's Paradise Lost Committee, but I make no money out of promoting his art. Nor, I might add, does he personally benefit financially, for all contributions go to the Yuko Nii Foundation for the support of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center.

Labels: , , , ,


At 5:38 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Am I correct in assuming that the eyeball-horsie is God, with the eye representing awareness?

I like how the serpent is rendered, by the way. Its posture is almost humorous: Adam and Eve are cranking away, and the snake, who's making his exit, looks almost as if he's saying, "Hee hee! My job here is done! You're too late, Divine One!"


At 6:12 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

Terrance's card (and PL in general) is great art, and I like to repeat it here, after doing so to him personally.

Lindall seems to be affirming a variant on the theology of felix culpa

He surely does. The phrase "felix culpa" was first used by St. Thomas Aquinas, in a hymn to be sung in the churches on Easter Eve --- it already is, indeed! Tho' it sounds quite strange nowadays. Medieval theologians were by far more clever than their current colleagues (in the Catholic Church).

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Or perhaps it's 'knowledge' coming full gallop -- the awareness that's about to hit them?

The serpent is looking back in humor, I agree. Malicious humor, of course, but humor.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 6:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dario, do you have a link to Aquinas's use of the term felix culpa?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

See the usual, by now quite boring, Wikipedia:


The whole hymn can be read, both in Latin and translated into English, at:


Look like I was wrong, however, in indicating St. Thomas as the author: he did write other hymns, and he inspired this one, but it was more ancient.

At 6:51 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

Thomas & Felix, see:


At 6:55 AM, Anonymous dhr said...

W-w-w-what???!!! A previous post by me has been deleted even if it had NO external links! I had simply written that you could see in Wikipedia, "Exsultet" (the whole hymn in Latin and in English).

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seem to be getting yourself into stuff where y'ain't gettin' remunerated properly Jeffery.

Might need to call Cran up and remind him he's got a nephew in Korea where they celebrate Christmas too.


At 7:49 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks for the links, Dario. As you see, I've retrieved your comment from the spam folder.

If this happens again, just ignore it. I'll retrieve the comment.

By the way, go ahead and make hot links.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I can always use money, JK.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

Thanks, Jeffery.

Well, by retrieving it, you just spoiled the work of the God of Fools who succeeded in having it deleted: I wrote that the hymn was written before St. Thomas... and was inspired by him.

Unless, as Salvador Dali wished, we can "remember about future".

"Hot links"? Don't write this in the Milton List :-)

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I wondered how Aquinas had been so preternaturally precocious.

Hot link are sausages strung along together, so Christians on the list will surely have no objections . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

I wondered how Aquinas had been so preternaturally precocious

So, I am contagious. The precocious one should have been the author of the hymn, forecasting Thomas' doctrines.


most proper Word Verification: "hot halit"

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Better than "hot halitosis" . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home