By the Waters of Babylon

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Benét, Stephen Vincent. "By the Waters of Babylon" (vt "The Place of the Gods"). Saturday Evening Post July 1937. Frequently rpt., including Cities of Wonder, q.v. under Anthologies and Collections; see Contento Index for other rpts.

Long after the "Great Burning," a young priest goes to one of the "Dead Places," a "great Place of the Gods," which turns out to be what's left of New York (Cities of Wonder 224). What was to become a cliché as the century wore on, in "BWB" is a beautiful presentation of a double-vision of technology as both dangerous and desirable, with rebuilding the city a worthy human task. Cf. MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME (listed under Drama).[