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Re: [mythsoc] Roy Campbell on the Toledo Martyrs: A Query.

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  • John D Rateliff
    Dear S.J.S.: I don t own any of Roy Campbell s work, but if the poem you mean is The Carmelites of Toledo , then thirteen lines from it are quoted in Joseph
    Message 1 of 2 , May 13, 2007
      Dear S.J.S.:

      I don't own any of Roy Campbell's work, but if the poem you mean
      is "The Carmelites of Toledo", then thirteen lines from it are quoted
      in Joseph Pearce's book on Campbell (BLOOMSBURY AND BEYOND: THE
      FRIENDS AND ENEMIES OF ROY CAMPBELL, page 187); if that would help,
      let me know and I'll send you the excerpt. If you need the whole
      thing, I'm sure it's in one of the collections of Campbell's poems at
      the university library, but I'm not going to have a chance to go down
      there before the end of the month, so that'd depend on how soon you
      needed it.

      However, I should point out that while the monks were indeed
      martyred, they were NOT dragged out of the Campbell's house, nor did
      Campbell himself "tr[y] to follow them to death"; indeed, he and his
      wife hid all the crucifixes in their house to try and hide the fact
      that they were Catholics. In general, it's best to be wary of
      Campbell's accounts; he was a pathological liar who recast events
      after the fact in order to paint himself in a more favorable light.
      Nor was Campbell a friend of JRRT, although Tolkien admired his
      persona; they only seem to have met twice, once when Campbell crashed
      a Bird & Baby session and once at an evening Inklings. Lewis disliked
      him with some intensity ("I loathed and loathe Roy Campbell's
      particular blend of Catholicism and Fascism, and told him so" --CSL,

      Is it a good poem?


      On May 11, 2007, at 10:03 AM, +Seraphim Joseph Sigrist wrote:
      > Friends, this is perhaps peripheral but
      > Roy Campbell was a friend of Tolkien dont know
      > how he hit it off with CSW, Lewis didnt like him
      > much we are told. well but query
      > Has anyone a copy that they could scan for me
      > of the poem by the South African poet and
      > adventurer Roy Campbell about the martyrdom of the
      > Toledo Carmelites who had taken refuge in the Campbells
      > house in March 1936 (while bringing him st John of
      > the Cross to translate)
      > they were taken out by the Reds and left dead
      > in the street under a tarpaulin with the words
      > inscribed "This is a deed of the Cheka"(red secret
      > police)
      > Campbell tried to follow them to death but says
      > a rifle butt struck him down and the others
      > entered glory and he "rebuffed for a harlequin."
      > (as I recall)
      > the poem compares the martyrs to toreros(Campbell
      > also translated Lorca tangentially ...)
      > It is among other places no doubt included in
      > the introduction to the penguin edition of the
      > Poems of St John of the Cross. which I left behind
      > in some move keeping only another translation but
      > then losing this poem
      > Thank you so much!
      > +Seraphim Joseph Sigrist
      > ssigrist@...
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
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