Inception: Dream of the Arab

Wordsworth and Coleridge aren’t saying that the apocalypse will come in the form of a flood. As that is indeed contradictory to the scripture which states, that God will not destroy the world again with water. They instead imply that the nature of the apocalypse or that the apocalypse itself will come in the way a great flood comes upon the landscape. This can be observed from the parallel imagery present in both book five of the Prelude and Kubla Khan. In “Kubla Khan” the apocalypse is characterized by, “A mighty fountain momently was force:/ swift half-intermitted burst/Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail” it is only after this initial eruption the river of alph(a) flows smoothly toward omega. Likewise, in the Prelude the apocalypse is comparable blast of harmony which tells now that the time of destruction was at hand.

In observing parallels, I found that The Arab and Kubla Khan share similar roles. So the stately pleasure-dome is similar to the Arab’s action of burying the books as he states one of the books, “was a god, yea many god, (which)/Had voices more than all the winds/ and was a joy.” (107-109). And in “Kubla Khan” the ancestral voices prophesying of the “miracle of rare device,/ A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice” The dome was not compromised by the waves yet floated above it surviving the flood. The sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice preserves the sublime essence of the books. The, “loud prophetic blast of harmony/ and ode in passion uttered” (96-97) is key because it is tied into the notion of the cycle of alpha and omega where It states in “Kubla Khan” that “mid this tumult Kubla heard from far/ Ancestral voices prophesying war!”  The prophecy denotes the nature of the apocalypse in a never ending cycle. So thus the river of alph bursts out and flows to the sea of omega, yet since the alpha and the omega rest as blossoms on the same tree. The omega can be seen in the alpha as it flows, which is why Kubla Khan can hear the sound of the prophecy and the apocalypse simultaneously as they are parts of the same song. This idea shares characteristics with the attached song by Romantic composer, Edvard Grieg. Note the harmonic blasts followed by the smooth flow of notes.

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~ by bobcat101 on September 13, 2012.

One Response to “Inception: Dream of the Arab”

  1. This was an interesting post. I’d be interested to hear more about how you think the functions of Kubla’s pleasure dome and the Arab’s burying of the books are connected. What do each of these actions accomplish or represent? How do you think they are related to the apocalypse?

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