Sunday, September 10, 2006

Nostradamus and 9-11

Richard Smoley, the former editor of Gnosis, was desperate enought to publish a few of my articles during the journal's existence.

He has continued writing and editing elsewhere, and his most recent book was The Essential Nostradamus.

The five-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack by Muslim fanatics on the United States has some people saying, "Nostradamus predicted that the Twin Towers would fall."

Not so, says Smoley, in this online interview.

His assessment of the French prophet: By the way, when Nostradamus did try to forecast something specifically, he was usually wrong. . . .

The cause of his perennial popularity is that, although he was apparently of middling ability in most of the areas he worked—his astrological contemporaries said he didn’t know how to cast a chart—in his way he was a superb surrealist poet. There is something haunting and evocative in his verses, a continuation of the great apocalyptic tradition of Christianity and, before it, Judaism. These traditions are powerful, not as actual prophecies, but as glimpses into the collective storehouse of images, in which all of us, like it or not, share.

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