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For these madmen, Foscolo was now an untarnishable myth, a warrior poet, the first incarnation in the contemporary era of the ideal union of thought and action.
Finally, how to explain to them that for lapsed Catholics and evangelical Christians, this celluloid "Passion" captures the one unchangeable, untarnishable thing about Christianity--Jesus himself.
In Burning the Days Salter recalls a beloved figure from West Point who fell in the war: "He had fallen and in that act been preserved, made untarnishable.
That is a completely fair and honest assessment, but I'd rather say that now that we can see the entire output of his poetry, the failures recede and the freshness of much of the work like that "First Fall of Snow," coming as it does from his purest creative self, is untarnishable, quite admirable, and offers immense pleasure.
In my opinion by far the most important and cogent criticisms of Churchill's career, and the ones most capable of scratching what I nevertheless still consider to be his by now untarnishable reputation, come from Dr John Charmley and the Tory nationalist critique.