Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Riddle

Robert Herrick: “By day we live as one; by night we’re hurled, In dreams, each one, into a several world.” So Herrick believes, or poetically asserts, that our dream lives are particularly and absolutely individual, that, despite the presence, in … Continue reading

Posted in Stuff | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

President Oidipous

My children, last in the long line of Kadmos’ descendants, Why have you gathered here before me? What help do you want? The whole city stinks of incense; The whole city rings with chants and prayers. So, my children, I, … Continue reading

Posted in Poem, Translation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“A Time for Silence” by Patrick Leigh Fermor

A careful and honest writer, Leigh Fermor has above all a serious concern to communicate the truth both of what he observes and of his reactions to it. He’s most interesting and important when describing his first Benedictine experience – … Continue reading

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“The Death of Socrates” by Emily Wilson

Thoughts ad loc.: 29 Protagoras began a book with “I have no way of knowing either that the gods exist, or that they do not exist” 30f αθεος normally meant ‘hated by the gods’ 48 The idea that all virtue … Continue reading

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ”, by Philip Pullman

A bit of a surprise. Some disappointingnesses: why does Pullman “explain” the miracles (e.g. the Feeding of the Five Thousand a result of sudden sharing, and the Resurrection… Well, I’ll try and get on to that later)? I did Scripture … Continue reading

Posted in Novel, Reading | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Superstition and Nihilism

Superstition implies a belief that the physical world has meaning: something knows you chose not to carry a brolly, and decided for that reason to make it rain. The levers of the cosmos respond to the light touch of your … Continue reading

Posted in Stuff | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Of Truth” by Francis Bacon

A brief essay on the importance of truth to man, religiously and philosophically. One of the Fathers called Poesy: “vinum daemonum, because it filleth the imagination”. Replacing contemplation of the Divine, presumably. Montaigne: “to say that a man lieth, is … Continue reading

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment