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"Art's magic bond of light, and beauty's bloodless stain."

The Tribune ran a nice piece yesterday on the Cliff Dwellers, the social club - founded by author Hamlin Garland and named after the once-famous novel by Henry Blake Fuller - which is celebrating its hundredth anniversary. The club's commitment to the arts and intellectual discourse is quite refreshing (I like the quote from the UIC professor who said "I've had more intellectual conversations here than at a university") and in sharp contrast to the other downtown clubs and their profit-is-holy ethos; if I were to join one of the clubs, which admittedly is very unlikely, I'd opt for the Cliff Dwellers. The Trib quotes from verses penned by Garland:

Garland, its founding president, once took poetic notice of what the club was about:

"Down in the city's deeps we meet in savage fashion,
And play as best we may the selfish, sordid game,"

But after hours and up in the Cliff Dwellers:

"Man greets his fellow man, and only then remembers,
Art's magic bond of light, and beauty's bloodless stain."

As an aside, you might think from all the Hamlin Garland references I make, that I've actually read some of his work. Which is not the case, at least not yet. Soon, he insists, soon.

November 26, 2007 in Chicago Observations | Permalink

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