I have an essay in this week's TLS on the Passion poems of George & Zbigniew Herbert. "In 1984, the Manhattan Review published a translation of Zbigniew Herbert’s poem, 'In the Margin of a Trial'. The trial in question was Jesus’s, and what Herbert sketched in its margin was a muted condemnation of the late-Soviet machinery of justice.… Continue reading “Unfortunate Galilean” in the TLS
His politics were abhorrent, but this is prescient: "The scholar disappears. He is succeeded by the research man who is engaged in research projects ... The research man no longer needs a library at home. Moreover, he is constantly on the move. He negotiates at meetings and collects information at congresses ... The research worker… Continue reading “The scholar disappears” – Heidegger
Cyprian of Carthage, Tyconius of Carthage, Augustine of Hippo ("the bread of Africa", panem Afer), and Pope Gelasius I ("African by birth", natione Afer): I am beginning to think that the strong distinction between sacred authority & secular power is a thoroughly African affair in the beginning ...
Epictetus, Discourses I 28.19: "Seek and you will find" (zetei kai heuresis). Jesus, Luke 11.9: "Seek and you will find" (zeteite kai heuresete). Note - as Thorsteinsson does not - that Jesus died roughly thirty years before Epictetus was born: R. M. Thorsteinsson, Jesus as Philosopher (Oxford, 2018), 159.
Stoic philosophers in antiquity held that ‘the world … is like a city and a polity’, and that the nature of humankind is like ‘a code of civil law’ (Cicero, De Finibus III 62–67). In his late-antique text, De Natura Hominis (ca. 390 A.D.), Nemesius of Emesa rejects a number of Stoic tenets. His world… Continue reading “The World City” – a forthcoming article on Nemesius of Emesa
Delighted to be giving a lecture this evening at Loyola University Maryland - on Sherlock Holmes & the cult of data, Sigmund Freud & "the rubbish-heap of observations", Winwood Reade & Victorian trans-humanism - & how it all relates to machine intelligence & the dawn of "ubiquitous capture" in 21st-century cities. Note – due to… Continue reading History of ideas Baltimore
“I am aware that these truths are scarcely welcome, but what truth is?” - Harold Bloom, Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine (New York, 2005), p. 112
Francis Bacon reminds us that modernity is the real antiquity: "True", Bacon says, 'antiquity' is "ancient and older in relation to us, but with respect to the world itself, it was newer & younger. ... Our age is the older of the world, enriched & stocked with countless experiences & observations." - The New Organon,… Continue reading Modernity is the real antiquity
and only we against whom the Church Fathers would have written pamphlets contra academicos only we will meet with a terrible fate flames and lamentation for having received a baptism of earth we were too valiant in our uncertainty - Zbigniew Herbert, "Baptism", 1957 Z. Herbert, The Collected Poems: 1956-1998, ed. and tr. A. Valles… Continue reading “contra Academicos”
"How I wish", said the Emperor Domitian, "that I were as fine-looking as Maecius thinks he is." - Suetonius, Domitian 20