"My old teacher [Albrecht] Ritschl once said that I drafted even my philology articles like a Parisian novelist - absurdly gripping." - F. Nietzsche, "Why I Write Such Good Books", Ecce Homo: How to Become What You Are (1888)
Am I seeing things? 1595 engraving of Lucifer in an edition of Dante's Inferno; 1651 title page of Hobbes's Leviathan.
"It's amazing what those that can do anything can't do." - Victor Hugo, via Paul Virilio, The Original Accident (2007), 32
"You know better than me the unfortunate fate of this word 'normalization'. What is not normalization? I normalize, you normalize, and so on." Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, Collège de France, 25 January 1978
I have an essay on Nietzsche, Socrates and Jesus – with a glance at Dostoevsky – on pages 8-9 of La Lettura (no. 451) in today's Corriere della Sera (19 July 2020). Translated by a brilliant young scholar, Matteo Stettler.
"That which we see today is the sign of the past." - Basil of Caesarea, Homilies on the Hexaemeron 7, 1
"At a time when people were generally decrying the Japanese bombardment of Shanghai, I met Karl Kraus struggling over one of his famous comma problems. He said something like: 'I know that everything is futile when the house is burning. But I have to do this, as long as it is at all possible; for… Continue reading Geo-politics & the placement of commas: Karl Kraus
"By the time we are old we have undergone a great many murderous fashions, all those murderous fashions in art and in philosophy and in consumer goods." In a passage on Martin Heidegger - Thomas Bernhard, Old Masters: A Comedy, 1985
"Clement of Alexandria was but one major Christian author who showed a strong interest in Indian and Egyptian wisdom traditions. Clement is the first Greek author to mention the Buddha and Buddhism." - G. G. Stroumsa, The Scriptural Universe of Ancient Christianity (Cambridge, Mass., 2016), 104 Reijer Stolk, 1943 (Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)
He may have been human, after all: "We are reliably informed ... that Descartes owned a little dog - Monsieur Grat - upon whom he lavished much affection, and who used to accompany him on his walks." - P. Harrison, "Descartes on Animals", The Philosophical Quarterly 42 (1992), 219-27, here 220