- Langston Hughes, "Harlem"
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
This, then, is the formula provided: "So that each thing that obeys law may have the glory and isolation of the anarchist." So that Law is the greatest transgression, the defender of the Law the greatest rebel. However, where is the limit of this dialectic? DOES IT HOLD ALSO FOR GOD HIMSELF? Is He, the embodiment of cosmic order and harmony, ALSO the ultimate rebel, or is He a benign authority observing from a peaceful Above with bemused wisdom the follies of mortal men struggling each other? Here is the reply of God when Syme turns to him and asks him: "Have you ever suffered?"-Slavoj Zizek, "Hegel - Chesterton: German Idealism and Christianity"
As /Syme/ gazed, the great face grew to an awful size, grew larger than the colossal mask of Memnon, which had made him scream as a child. It grew larger and larger, filling the whole sky; then everything went black. Only in the blackness before it entirely destroyed his brain he seemed to hear a distant voice saying a commonplace text that he had heard somewhere, 'Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?'
This final revelation - that God Himself suffers even more than us, mortals, brings us to the fundamental insight of Orthodoxy, Chesterton's theological masterpiece (which belongs to the same period: he published it a year later than Thursday), not only the insight into how orthodoxy is the greatest transgression, the most rebellious and adventurous thing, but a much darker insight into the central mystery of Christianity:
When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.