John Donne “An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary” (ctd.)

Donne gets now in the moaning mode, based mostly on the assumption (widespread in his times) that in the olden times people used to be much bigger and, according to the literal reading of Genesis, they lived hundreds of years. Now we are all small and shrunken and there is no such thing as good health – at best we can expect some kind of neutral state. Our fallen nature is signified by our being born head first, as if we threw ourselves headlong into the abyss of the world. (Really, JD, breech birth carries always a risk and I suppose in the seventeenth century it was even more risky, so I would rather give birth nature intended, even if it’s displeasing from a symbolical point of view.) And women, who were meant to be men’s helpers, brought and are still bringing their destruction – first because of Eve, and then because they continue having sex with them. Another assumption in Donne’s times was that a man has a defined number of orgasms in his life and each of them brings him closer to death. JD, you do realize that it can happen to you every without woman’s participation? And our physical shrinking does not mean that our virtue became more concentrated; on the contrary,


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