Friday, October 26, 2012

P mesle Pelican

An old hermit lives in a slum and wants to teach the alphabet to the children who regularly go there to play. What makes the hermit happiest however, is when he comes to the letter P (for "Pedarsag", or "Puppy"). When a child proposes he use the word "Pelican" instead, the hermit goes to the nearby park looking for this animal he has never heard of. (Parviz Kimiavi, 1972) || Momigliano speculates that a new attitude toward documents appeared during the Late Empire and that it heralded the future method of scientifically directed history; the Augustan History and especially Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History display evidence of a "new value attached to documents." I confess that these works have left me with a rather different impression. (Paul Veyne, Did the Greeks believe in their myths? (1988: pp.12-3)) || Auch fällt es dem Menschen durchaus nicht schwer, an Wunder einer früheren Zeit zu glauben; allein einem Wunder, das heute geschieht, eine Art von Realität zu geben und es neben dem sichtbar Wirklichen als eine höhere Wirklichkeit zu verehren, dieses scheint nicht mehr im Menschen zu liegen, oder wenn es in ihm liegt, durch Erziehung ausgetrieben zu werden. Unser Jahrhundert wird daher auch immer prosaischer werden, und es wird, mit der Abnahme des Verkehrs und Glaubens an das Übersinnliche alle Poesie auch immer mehr verschwinden. - There is no difficulty for humans to believe in miracles of an earlier time; yet, to admit the reality of a miracle taking place today, and to revere it as a higher reality residing beside the visibly real, this appears no longer within the grasp of humans, or if it is within their grasp it is driven out of them by education. Our century will thus become ever more prosaic, and with the decline in conversation about and belief in the metaphysical all poetry is bound to vanish. (JP Eckermann, Gespräche mit Goethe, Reclam, 1994, p.495, transl. mine) || "For centuries past," says Herodotus, "the Greeks have distinguished themselves from less civilized peoples by their greater awareness and lack of foolish credulity." (Veyne, p.31) || Selbst der radikale Regisseur, der entscheidende wirtschaftliche Vorgänge wie etwa die Fusion zweier Industriekonzerne darstellen wollte, könnte das nicht anders, als indem er die maßgebenden Herren im Büro, am Konferenztisch und in der Villa vorführe. Auch wenn er sie dabei als Bestien demaskierte, bliebe ihre Bestialität noch sanktioniert als die von Individuen und würde tendenziell die Bestialität des Systems entlasten, als deren Henkersknechte sie operieren. - Even a radical film director who wants to portray crucially important economic processes like the merger of two industrial concerns could only do so by showing us the dominant gentlemen in the office, at the conference table or in their mansions. Even if they were thereby revealed as savage beasts, their savagery would still be sanctioned as a quality of individual human beings in a way that would tend to obscure the savagery of the system on the behalf of which they act as murderous lackeys. (T.W. Adorno, Die Dialektik der Aufklärung, transl. mine) || ...the Greek aristocracy wavered between two attitudes toward legend: to be pragmatic and participate in popular credulity, for the people believe as docilely as they obey; or else to refuse, on their own account, a humiliating submission, which was perceived as a result of naiveté. Understanding is the first of privileges. (Veyne, p.31)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

umbre des escholes

Er unterschätzte die Gefahren romantischer Naturbetrachtung - He had underestimated the dangers of the romantic contemplation of nature (Die Katarakte) || Pausanias finally writes, "When I began to write my history, I was inclined to count these legends as foolishness; but on getting as far as Arcadia I grew to hold a more thoughtful view of them, which is this: in the days of old, those Greeks who were considered wise spoke their sayings not straight out but in riddles, and so the legends about Cronos I conjectured to be one sort of Greek wisdom." (Paul Veyne, Did the Greeks believe in their myths? Chicago: 1988, p.11) || Filicide, the violent bodily climax of paternal power which Freud has hidden from view in the three-card monte of the Oedipus complex, occurs in the climactic final scenes of The Earthquake of Chili, The Foundling, and, twice, in Die Familie Schroffenstein. (Silke-Maria Weineck, "Kleist and the Resurrection of the Father" in Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2003 (37:1), p.71) || When the present Duchess of Sutherland entertained Mrs. Beecher Stowe, authoress of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” with great magnificence in London to show her sympathy for the Negro slaves of the American republic — a sympathy that she prudently forgot, with her fellow-aristocrats, during the civil war, in which every “noble” English heart beat for the slave-owner — I gave in the New York Tribune the facts about the Sutherland slaves. (Epitomised in part by Carey in “The Slave Trade.” Philadelphia, 1853, pp. 203, 204.) My article was reprinted in a Scotch newspaper, and led to a pretty polemic between the latter and the sycophants of the Sutherlands. (K. Marx, Capital, Vol.1: Chapter Twenty-Seven: Expropriation of the Agricultural Population from the Land) || ...let us note only the great half-anthropological, half-cosmological analyses of Heinroth, which interpret madness as the manifestation in man of an obscure and aquatic element, a dark disorder, a moving chaos, the seed and death of all things [...] (M. Foucault, Madness and Civlization, Routledge, 1993, p.13) || Keyhole, it emerges, was made as a result of "a bunch of dreams I was having that have really been haunting me". "Melancholy dreams," he says, "where I revisit my past: dead relatives and homes that have meant a lot to me, particularly my childhood home. I can remember them far better in the dream than I can in waking hours." [...] For the past year or so, Maddin has been working on a film "seance" project called Hauntings (or Spiritismes, when it fetched up at the Pompidou in Paris earlier this year). The idea is that Maddin and his cohorts would "contact" the ghost of a lost film – William Wellman's Ladies of the Mob, for example, or Mikio Naruse's The Strength of a Moustache – and then recreate/reimagine it as if under the influence of the cosmic ectoplasm. (The Guardian) || Their most frequent reproach concerned Pasquier's habit of giving too many references to the sources he cited. This procedure, they told him, cast a "scholastic pall" ("umbre des escholes") on the book and was unbecoming in a work of history. (P. Veyne, Did the Greeks believe in their myths? Chicago: 1988, pp.5-6)