All peoples are seen as the creatures of the sun-god, who has made them diverse in skin colour, speech and character. Giving him all that he needs, His measure of food and his measure of days. Their tongues are diverse in speech, Their forms are diverse and their skins, For Thou, divider, hast divided the peoples.
Merezhkovsky The sentiment expressed here would have found sympathy with Hyde, whose idea of global community can be gleaned from the well-known passage from A Home in This World , in which the speaker desires an ideal home that is a state of mind and a way of living, rather than a physical construction:. As often as not […] four walls and a roof get in the way, are the very point where one is fatally side-tracked from ever having a home in this world. I want a sort of natural order and containment, a centre of equipoise, an idea — […] a place from which one can advance: a place from which I can stretch out shadowy hands, and make a road between two obscure villages in China, teach the Arab and the Jew how to live together in Palestine, tidy up the shack dwellings and shack destinies of our own thin Maoris.
Conventional utopianism often attempts to reconstruct society through a revolution in the physical manifestation of society, focussing on the impact of architecture on lifestyle.
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This was what the historical Akhnaton tried to do by creating Akhetaton city, the layout of which was dictated by the strictures of Aton-worship Reeves Akhenaten But Hyde recognised that society was comprised of discrete beings and that the idea of social utopia can only be achieved if the internal space, the mind of the individual, is revolutionised. Although Hyde used a dwelling-place to site utopia in Nadath , her House of Woman is a metaphor for a utopian state of mind. It stands beside the sea, which represents a point of departure and return, an invitation to journey and adventure, but which, importantly, is subject to tidal flow, in turn ruled by the moon.
Here, the symbolic female flip-side of Aton-worship is exposed, in the lunar influence on natural cycles and rhythms. When thou settest in the west Men lie in the darkness like the dead. Their heads are wrapped up, their nostrils stopped Stolen are all their things that are under their heads While they know it not. Lions come forth from their dens, Serpents creep from out their holes: The Creator has gone to rest and the world is dumb.
Thou risest and bright is the earth Thou sendest forth thy rays and the darkness flees. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep [forth]. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
Psalms Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
Quiet-Heart is Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, who was resurrected after death and is the form into which Egyptians believed they would be reborn Steindorff The contrast may be superficial, since any old wooden settler dwelling in New Zealand is likely to have an iron roof and glass windows. In the early twentieth century, the British popularly conceived Akhetaton as a garden city, likening it to the idealistic garden suburbs, created in Britain as an antidote to squalid urbanisation Montserrat White houses were scattered among them like dice and a huge white temple towered above them.
In doing so, she suggested that all creeds are mythological, thereby unmasking dogmatic religions, eschewing transcendental orthodoxy as an ideological construct, and, like Merezhkovsky, conflating all beliefs that depend on the triad.
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By rejecting the transcendental in favour of an earthly basis to belief systems, Nadath , like Merezhkovsky and his Third Testament, is driving towards heaven on earth, that is, utopia in the here and now. Hyde opposed isolationism, seeing New Zealand in an international context, both in terms of its internal post-colonial situation and its foreign relations.
And the grasses waved down the fields, the yellow flowers sprang up. The wheels were broken in the great cities: they fell asunder and were broken: their sides were given to rust. The poem intimates that the cycle of violence is broken at the end of Nadath , but the significance of the sacrifice is unclear. But what of the divine element in the master of wheels? Was this crucifixion necessary to break the iron wheels? Divinity here acquires an Old Testament characteristic and it seems that this is what Nadath rejects. The third heart is iron.
Hear it clang, pulsating today in the shipyards where work has begun again, in the great armament factories. Steel is steady … steel is up…. Hear its beat flicker and stir in dead Jarrow […]. A dead man up and walking, revived by the adrenalin of threatened war. Lewes It believed in Progress and Art and in no way doubted the benignity even of technology. In Nadath , Hyde managed to transcend this prevailing mood of pessimism and conservatism, acknowledging the existence of social dystopia, but fixing on a drive towards a feminist and communal ideal.
Hyde spoke to her era through the trope of the iron child, but her metaphor also transcends the s, because of the ancient roots of the literary metaphor on which she leaned, that of an iron age. In Works and Days , the Greek poet, Hesiod c. Last comes the Age of Iron.
And the day of Evil dawns. Modesty, Loyalty, Truth, Go up like a mist — a morning sigh off a graveyard. So now iron comes With its cruel ideas. And gold With crueller. Combined, they bring war — War, insatiable for the one, With bloody hands employing the other. Now man lives only by plunder. Brothers Who ought to love each other Prefer to loathe.
Full text of "Akhenaten History, Fantasy And Ancient Egypt"
Hughes The mode of operation of such schema is one of chronological decay and concomitant nostalgia. As the world becomes increasingly dissolute, humankind longs for the preceding ages; the further back, the more desirable. The energy of desire for golden times is redirected into an apocalyptic urge to sweep the world clean and start again.
He receives no sustenance from religion and appears to be almost a nihilist. Tammuzadad dies on Crete, but Dio survives until Tutankhamun rebels against Akhnaton. In Revelation, it is only in the last two chapters that utopia is established, sin has been eradicated, and Jesus can relinquish the rod of iron Stedman. Nadath presents a population suffering under the iron yoke of capitalism, of materialism and of brutality. Parallels can be drawn between the tropes in Nadath and the modes of suffering and survival exhibited by the community condemned to the iron yoke in Akhnaton.
An emaciated dog, with ribs that stood out under the skin…. But a still greater envy glittered in the eyes of a starving beggar woman… Merezhkovsky She put her wrinkled, black, charred-looking breast to the lips of the baby perched in a wicker basket behind her.
It was biting and chewing it furiously with its toothless gums but could not suck out a single drop of milk, and, no longer able to cry, it only moaned. He got up and walked on. The woman followed him at a distance as a stray dog follows a passer-by with a kind face. Yubra finds a multi-national community in the tavern where he meets his fisherman friend.
Such an image of community also appears in Nadath :. And in the eating-houses, men huddled closely for warmth, and sought the smell of their kind, and out of the taverns they came, laughing and singing, and the young girls walked before them, like flowers strewn in the gutters. The transcendent divine is not the solution.
The Ghost of Akhenaten
Here Hyde evokes a figure who is very much in accord with positive literary constructions of Akhnaton as the divine poet-prophet shining out of a past so ancient that it appears pre-lapsarian. Contemporary archaeological constructions of the historical Akhnaton enabled Merezhkovsky to read into the figure of the pharaoh just that androgyny which the Russian believed was necessary for utopia to be realised. Merezhkovsky drew on archaeological interpretations of art found at Akhetaton, which suggested to some in the early twentieth century that Akhnaton might have been either hermaphrodite or a woman.
That he was a woman has since been discounted, since he was most definitely a father, and those royal statues without male genitalia are now thought to represent Queen Nefertiti Reeves Akhenaten ; Who was it? What was it? A human being? No, it was some unearthly creature in human form. Neither a man nor a woman, neither an old man nor a child; a eunuch, a decrepit still-born baby. The arms and legs were so thin that they seemed to be nothing but bone; narrow childish shoulders and wide, well-covered hips; a big belly; a huge head shaped like a vegetable-marrow, bent down under its own weight on a long thin neck, flexible like the stem of a flower; a receding forehead, a drooping chin, a fixed stare and the smile of a madman.
Montserrat argues that such realist interpretations of Ancient Egyptian representation are contemporary misunderstandings by Western art theorists. Most of the main male and female characters in Akhnaton fall in love with Dio, though the novel only explicitly describes heterosexual desire. Dio becomes the helpmate and companion of Akhnaton with the approval of Queen Nefertiti. Those lovers in Akhnaton who are not siblings are still described as brother and sister, including Dio and the king. Dio and Akhnaton declare their love, though it is not apparent that they consummate their relationship, despite the following passage, which describes their final embrace as they are burnt to death:.
With furious roaring laughter red tongues of flame shot up on all sides through the white coils of smoke, as though the hell let loose had leapt up to heaven. Dio rushed to the king, looked into his face that was like the sun and recognized Him Who was to come.
He embraced her as a bridegroom embraces a bride and in a fiery storm of love raised her to the father. Thus, Dio and Akhnaton realise the triad with God the father, in which Akhnaton represents the son, the spirit, and Dio the female principle of the Eternal Woman and Mother. Shortly before they die, Akhnaton recognises the mother-spirit in Dio, when, putting his cheek against hers, he says:. Veneration of the mother principle would have had strong appeal to Hyde. Nadath reiterates throughout the centrality of the relationship between mother and, particularly, son, as a force that should be used for good, primarily against the system of the iron child.
Hyde herself had a complex history of motherhood. Lee, dated October Docherty But it is not conventional legitimate motherhood towards which Hyde yearns, as perhaps is exemplified by her protagonist, Wednesday Gilfillan. Lee, the retired politician Downie Stewart and the journalist Pat Lawlor.
I want to argue that Hyde was in a sense a third party in these relationships, and that, like Merezhkovsky, she appreciated the value of unconventional and non-sexual connections. On 16 March , around the time she was writing Nadath , she wrote to her friend, the owner of Griffin Press, Ronald Holloway:. The episode also has echoes of Akhnaton Part II Chapter X, when Dio journeys with Akhnaton to talk near the royal tombs and the desert cliffs to the west of Akhetaton city.
The confusion here is grammatical and on two counts. Firstly, it is difficult to interpret the shadow sequence. Secondly, how many people, or shadows, are present? Or does the poet slip her mask and reveal herself to be Nadath? Other biblical female prophets are Miriam Exo and Huldah 2Ki In other words, he has physical and intellectual freedom.