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Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 106, May - June 2016

"Cupid and Psyche"

Francois Gérard, (1770-1837) Gérard is best remembered for his portraits; the color of his paintings has suffered, but his drawings show in uninjured delicacy the purity of his line; and those of women are specially remarkable for a virginal simplicity and frankness of expression. He was a baron of France and painted portraits of French royalty, from the king on down.

Cupid and Psyche is a story originally from Metamorphoses (also called The Golden Ass), written in the 2nd century AD by Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis (or Platonicus). It concerns the overcoming of obstacles to the love between Psyche (Greek "Soul" or "Breath of Life") and Cupid (Latin Cupido, "Desire") or Amor/love, and their ultimate union in a sacred marriage. Although the only extended narrative from antiquity is that of Apuleius, Eros and Psyche appear in Greek art as early as the 4th century BC. The story's Neoplatonic elements and allusions to mystery religions accommodate multiple interpretations, and it has been analyzed as an allegory and in light of folktale, and myth. Note the butterfly - "psyche" in Greek.



Click on the donkey's tail to browse in the SCR E-book Library


Editor's Page

Moral Socialism
by Frank Thomas Smith

 
The name of Socialism has become a dirty word. The fault lies with its extreme incarnation, Communism, as practiced by the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and several wannabes in Africa and Latin America. Here we will attempt to reconstruct socialism either in its original meaning or by giving it a new meaning: Since socialism entered English around 1830, it has acquired several different meanings. It refers to a system of social organization in which private property and the distribution of income are subject to social control, but the conception of that control has varied, and the term has been interpreted in widely diverging ways, ranging from statist to libertarian, from Marxist to liberal... Continue reading


Features

On Life and Death
by Jorge Luis Borges

  
I met Jorge Luis Borges in 1981, when I returned to Buenos Aires from a job at the BBC in London and began working for La Prensa [Buenos Aires]. He received me very kindly, remembering that during the 1920's, when he was not well known, La Prensa had been the first newspaper to publish him. Later I returned to see him frequently. Sometimes he would dictate a poem that he had been composing during a long night of insomnia. After typing it, I would put it in his desk near his collection of Icelandic sagas, a precious gift from his father. Sometimes we would walk to a nearby restaurant, where he would eat something very simple. Or we would go to a bookstore, searching for yet another book by Kipling or Conrad in an English edition for friends to read to him. People would stop to greet him, and he would jokingly tell me they must have mistaken him for someone else. His fame as a writer seemed to burden him, and he often regretted that he had to go on living so that Borges the writer could weave his literary fantasies. Continue reading


A Dictionary of Euphemisms for Imperial Decline
by William J. Astore

  
The dishonesty of words illustrates the dishonesty of America’s wars. Since 9/11, can there be any doubt that the public has become numb to the euphemisms that regularly accompany U.S. troops, drones, and CIA operatives into Washington’s imperial conflicts across the Greater Middle East and Africa?  Such euphemisms are meant to take the sting out of America’s wars back home.  Many of these words and phrases are already so well known and well worn that no one thinks twice about them anymore.Here are just a few: collateral damage for killed and wounded civilians (a term used regularly since the First Gulf War of 1990-1991).   Enhanced interrogation techniques for torture, a term adopted with vigor by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of their administration (“techniques” that were actually demonstrated in the White House). Continue reading


The Kindertransport - a desparate attempt to save children from the holocaust
by Alex Q. Arbuckle

  
On the night of Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, across Germany and Austria, thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses were burned or ransacked by Nazi stormtroopers and civilians in a pogrom known as Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Glass. At least 91 Jews were murdered, and tens of thousands were arrested and taken to concentration camps, marking the beginning of the Holocaust. In response, British Jews and Quakers made an emergency appeal to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, asking for the government to allow the admission of unaccompanied child refugees. A bill was quickly passed by the government. Within days, the Refugee Children’s Movement and other groups sent representatives to Germany and Austria to organize the relocation of the children most at risk of persecution. The effort was informally dubbed the Kindertransport. The BBC broadcast a call for foster homes...
Continue reading

The Fiction Writer and the Biographer
by Gaither Stewart

  
I just read the novel, Euphoria, by the young American writer, Lily King, a Top Ten Book of the Year in 2014, published by Grove Press, New York. Readers of this article do not have to worry; this is not to be a dry book review. Instead, I have permitted myself to examine some of the ideas of this thought-provoking intellectual novel, loosely based on the life of famed anthropologist, Margaret Mead (1901-1978). I emphasize “loosely” because novelist Lily King agrees that you can’t feel like you really know someone from a biography as you can characters in fiction.
Biographers can never know the person they write about in the way fictional writers write about their characters they create...
Continue reading


Fiction

Paternostro's Promise
by Frank Thomas Smith

  
The sky in the east is tinged with orange as the sun prepares to rise over the Argentine Pampa. Patches of light reach into a beehive set in the garden of an affluent suburban Buenos Aires home, signaling the start of another furiously active day. The first hunters step out onto the hive's porch and soar off in search of the blossoms opening to receive them. Birds begin to sing softly outside the bedroom window. A shrill scream wrenches Miguel and Alicia Paternostro from sleep - a persisting cry of rage and pain. Miguel buries his head in the pillow as Alicia wearily puts her legs over the side of the bed and pulls herself erect. She looks at the clock on her night table. God, she murmurs, we've only slept for two hours. She walks into the adjoining room and picks an infant out of its crib. Its face is red with exertion and its tiny fingers are closed in tight fists. In response to Alicia's soothing it reduces its cries to gasping whimpers. But as soon as it gets a second wind the fury breaks loose again and Alicia puts her son down in desperation... Continue reading


The Slaughterer
by Isaac Bashevis Singer

  
Yoineh Meir should have become the Kolomer rabbi. His father and his grandfather had both sat in the rabbinical chair in Kolomir. However, the followers of the Kuzmir court had set up a stubborn opposition: this time they would not allow a Hasid from Trisk to become the town's rabbi. They bribed the district official and sent a petition to the governor. After long wrangling, the Kuzmir Hasidim finally had their way and installed a rabbi of their own. In order not to leave Yoineh Meir without a source of earnings, they appointed him the town's ritual slaughterer. When Yoineh Meir heard of this, he turned even paler than usual. He protested that slaughtering was not for him. He was softhearted; he could not bear the sight of blood... Continue reading


Trastevere: Piera, Paola, Priscilla and a Poet
by Gaither Stewart

  
Her two roommates, Piera and Paola, reconstructed that Priscilla had been missing since noon on December 31. Twenty-four hours did not sound like a long absence to the police agents but for Piera and Paola it was a lifetime. Smirking and winking at each other, agents in their district police-station, asked about Priscilla’s love life.“Turbulent?” one asked, grinning at both the girls and his colleagues."Normal, I would say,” answered Piera. “Don’t worry about her love life and find her,” Paola barked in her biting manner... Continue reading


Anthroposophy

Butterflies - Their Unrecognised Paranormality
by Stanley Messenger

 
 
When John asked me do a piece on butterflies I was very pleased, much more so than if he had suggested I do one on crop-circles. It is not that I think that crop-circles are getting too much attention, far from it. I think it is vital that paranormal matters get as much airing as possible now that paranormal experiences are conspicuously on the increase. However, it is painfully apparent that some aspects of natural observation have suffered through this change. It would be a good starting point to enquire why this should be so, especially in a field of observation like the world of butterflies, an area which remarkably few people are moved to enter... Continue reading


"Apologia" concerning the publication of the the First Class Lessons: Apologia

Nine Lectures on Bees - Lecture Seven
by Rudolf Steiner

   
(Questions were asked as to the affinity between bees and flowers; also, what honey should be, and is. The question of the laying of eggs when the Queen is not fecundated was again raised, as in a normal hive there are three kinds of eggs: queen-eggs, worker-eggs and drone-eggs).DR. STEINER: Very well, we will discuss these things once more in today's lecture. It is like this: we have first the fertilisation of the Queen during the nuptial flight. The Queen is then fecundated. Then we have to consider the time which elapses between the laying of the eggs until the insect is completely matured. With the Queen this period is sixteen days, with the worker-bee twenty-one to twenty-two days, and in the case of the drone twenty-two to twenty-four days. We have then these three types; they differ from one another in so far as they mature during differing periods of time. What lies at the root of this? Continue reading

Karmic Relations, Volume III, Lecture Ten
by Rudolf Steiner

 
The fundamental feeling which I have wanted to call forth is this: The individual who finds himself within the Anthroposophical Movement should begin to feel something of the peculiar karmic position which the impulse to Anthroposophy gives to a person. We cannot but confess that in the ordinary course of life man feels very little of his karma. He confronts his life as though the things that become his life's experience happened by fortuitous concatenations of circumstance. He pays little heed to the fact that the things that meet him in earthly life from birth till death contain the inner, karmic relationships of destiny. Or, if he does not consider this, he is all too prone to believe that a kind of fatalism is herein expressed, and that human freedom is thereby called into question, ... Continue reading


Poetry

The Southern Cross & Parting on 185th Street
by Frank Thomas Smith

   
Gracefully the gaucho gallops through
The pampa's waving windswept grasses;
From time to time he strokes his beard,
Black as the eyes of the country's lasses.

Orion patiently makes its rounds,
Dripping dust in the River Plate,
While over the rancho, his destination,
The Southern Cross guards the gate... Continue reading

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost

   
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year. Continue reading



You can find us under the Southern Cross constellation in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.

Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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