Lafcadio Hearn In The Days Of The Machine

by John Holbo on October 20, 2017

A few months ago I read Flaubert’s Temptations of St. Anthony, translated by Lafcadio Hearn. At the time there was a niggling, nagging thing in my brain. I knew I had read some philosopher/intellectual discussing – pontificating about – the thought of Lafcadio Hearn. But where would I have been reading about that? ‘Lafcadio’ is, of course, an unusual name, mostly associated with lions that shoot back, so ‘Lafcadio Hearn’ is a name to conjure with. But conjure what, and when, where? But this week I solved the riddle. Here is my favorite passage from E.M. Forster, “The Machine Stops” (1909): [click to continue…]