Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Lazarus has a profound effect on the world of literature and art, in several different ways depending on the interpretation of the writer or the artist. The Lazarus symbol is taken in light of the personal meaning of the Lazarus figure to the writer or artist. Several examples of the use of Lazarus in the world of literature and art are given below. These represent the different arts and the different interpretations of Lazarus as a motif in these different styles of the different universal arts.
Lazarus can be seen as a symbol in several literary works. T. S. Eliot writes of the Lazarus symbol in two of his poems, at least. In the one where he mentions Lazarus’ name, he mistakes the Lazarus that was raised for the Lazarus in Jesus’ parable. Arthur Rimbaud echoes the Lazarus theme in the lines: “...Soldiers whom Death, unflinching Lover, has sown/In our wasted furrows, to flourish again...”# In this passage, the resurrection comes to mind in the line about flourishing again. Poe, most likely dealt with the Lazarus motif, no doubt because the Gothic Romantics were obsessed with the idea of death and the concept of dying. ‘Annabel Lee’ is an example of where this can be found, only she doesn’t come back. She is dead for good. Other literary figures have dealt with the theme of Lazarus, but for sake of time and space, these few examples will have to do. (Side-Note: Nick Drake was a folk-singer from the late 60s to the early 70s who seems to have been influenced by Gothicism and Romanticism, because he has a grim view of life and death).
# - Rimbaud, 40.

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