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Old 02-17-2014, 09:54 AM   #201
Dubnjoy000
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

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Originally Posted by DiggertheDog View Post
Your assumption was right. I have not heard of any of those texts. I will choose one or two of them and see if I can get a hold of them locally or I will have to resort to the beast that is Amazon.

Are you bilingual?

Do you think that your University's attitude towards the 'canon' may have been informed by Quebec specific attitudes to language and culture or is it a wider tradition than that?
Yes I am bilingual, and also have a solid base in Spanish, after working for a few months as a chef in Guatemuela.

As far as the University goes, I believe it reflects a tendency in Montreal to discover and borrow from world culture. As an example, Montreal was a jazzy city in the 90s ; you would walk into a random bar, and a great live jazz band was jamming. In the 2000s, it became a world music city, where all the French music coming out of the province would have some different world rhythm blended into their music, like salsa, hip hop, flamenco, reggae, jazz, African beats etc. from one song to another, making it impossible to label the band anything outside of "World Music".

That being said, it is the only University in the province to offer such a course, and the other French University in the city, University of Montreal, offers a classical French lit course (like McGill will offer a classical English lit program).
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:24 PM   #202
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

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My Latin American literature course was quite a few years ago, so a few of the titles escape me, but let me give it a go.

- The Old Gringo, by Carlos Fuentes, depicting the Mexican Revolution. Solid book, kinda of a fantasy western if you will, with a melancholic hero. ...
I loved The Death of Artemio Cruz and was also very taken with his Where the Air Is Clear. I haven't read The Old Gringo but I have now added it my own lists.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:05 PM   #203
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

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I loved The Death of Artemio Cruz and was also very taken with his Where the Air Is Clear. I haven't read The Old Gringo but I have now added it my own lists.
Cool. Curious to what you will think of it...

but speaking of latino lit, it would be a sin not to mention Borges as his writing is quite unique, to say the least. Twisted/sick writer. Like hitting a runner runner perfect.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:09 PM   #204
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

what borges would you guys recommend starting with?
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:36 PM   #205
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Intertextuality and Art

As interpreters, we are constantly provoked into intertextual associations between different artistic texts. Sometimes, it is very explicit - Michelangelo's sculpture of David is the embodiment of a textual character in King David. Given that we do not have any images of this Biblical figure, unambigiously Michelangelo is representing a textual and cultural figure as opposed to a recapturing of an historical moment.


David

Sometimes you will hear, 'oh but you cannot know what Michelangelo meant' - and, in so doing, the objector is attempting to set boundaries around what is being signified and the context of its interpretation through having authorial intent as a device of authentification.
On the other hand, that is not to say all interpretation should be viewed as equal or valid. Some interpretations are more valuable than others.
But how can you say that? You might ask.
An interpretation is always within a social context. And the signs we use are constructed out of past social contexts and utilised within present contexts. You cannot decontextualise the interpretation just as you cannot decontextualise the Art.
There are two metrics of value within our social context - the capacity of the sign to generate more signs - the discursive capacity of the Art or an Interpretation. How connected the Art is to other generative centres of discursive production - often gets translated into as being valued. The second metric is how well that representation does in functioning to reinforces the most important signifiers of that social context.

High-culture are 'high' because they service both of these sources of 'value' in our social context.
An Oxford Professor of English Literature - has many signifiers of discursive production and of the most 'important' signifiers of the social context of interpretation. Which is why - our society will place more value on his interpretation than mine.

The role of Intertextuality....

Oh, lucky Jim,
How I envy him.
Oh, lucky Jim,
How I envy him.


OLD SONG


Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:46 PM   #206
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

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what borges would you guys recommend starting with?
Ficciones is definitely the book to start with.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:09 PM   #207
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Which Social Context?

A work of Art within a specific historical context?


The Artist's Studio, Jan Vermeer Van Delft, (1665) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

A work of Art within a genre of Art?

Las Meninas. After Velázquez Pablo Picasso

http://pollocksthebollocks.wordpress...ter-velazquez/

A work of Art with a biography of an Artist?

Triple Self Portrait, Norman Rockwell, 1960



All of these in a discourse with Velazquez.

OR

1.The object: The symbol being represented.
2.Manner: The way the symbol is represented.
3.Means: The material that is used to represent it.


Aristotle, The Louvre.

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Old 02-18-2014, 02:43 AM   #208
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (1954)

Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE (16 April 1922 – 22 October 1995) was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. He wrote more than 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, various short stories, radio and television scripts, along with works of social and literary criticism. According to his biographer, Zachary Leader, Amis was "the finest English comic novelist of the second half of the twentieth century." He was the father of British novelist Martin Amis.[1]

In 2008, The Times ranked Kingsley Amis ninth on their list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.




Kingsley Amis. by Gordon Stuart oil on canvasboard, 1953, National Portrait Gallery, London.

Gordon Stuart (1924 - ) British Artist.


I am wondering if I am missing the comic side of the start of Lucky Jim. There are sharp observations and interesting dialogic exchanges which I can see someone who is slightly more familiar with the particulars of the social context finding funny - but the impression being left on me is melacholic. Jim Dixon seems to be a very unhappy man.

About 50 pages in...

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Old 02-18-2014, 04:56 AM   #209
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

The Voice of Authority: A Language Game

Do this. Don't move. O'Grady says do this,
You get a move on, see, do what I say.
Look lively when I say O'Grady says.

Say this. Shut up. O'Grady says say this,
You talk fast without thinking what to say.
What goes is what I say O'Grady says.

Or rather let me put the point like this:
O'Grady says what goes is what I say
O'Grady says; that's what O'Grady says.

By substituting you can shorten this,
Since any god you like will do to say
The things you like, that's what O'Grady says.

The harm lies not in that, but in that this
Progression's first and last terms are I say
O'Grady says, not just O'Grady says.

Yet it's O'Grady must be out of this
Before what we say goes, not what we say
O'Grady says. Or so O'Grady says.


Kingsley Amis


1950s Britain vs Now



Daily Mail - questionable source?
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/n...ppier-now.html
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:25 AM   #210
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Somewhat notoriously, Kingsley Amis was a Communist. He is often cited as stating, that at the time he was there it was not unusual to be a Communist. It appears that the differences between the Labour Club and the Communists dissolved in 1935. In what was euphemistically known as a "popular front" - this popularity was approximately 1200 of the 5200 students at Oxford before the War, of which 200 were "communists".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_...ty_Labour_Club

Some of the causes to stimulate this surge was, of course, the rise of Fascism in Germany and Italy as well as having a sovereign state such as the Soviet Union as a patron. But, perhaps it was the visit of the odious Will Joyce in 1934, that helped the two groups of students to mobilise and merge.

William Joyce a.k.a Lord Haw Haw.

Lord Haw-Haw was the nickname of several announcers on the English-language propaganda radio programme Germany Calling, broadcast by Nazi German radio to audiences in Great Britain on the medium wave station Reichssender Hamburg and by shortwave to the United States. The programme started on 18 September 1939 and continued until 30 April 1945, when Hamburg was overrun by the British Army. This nickname, Lord Haw-Haw, generally refers to William Joyce, who was German radio's most prominent English-language speaker and to whom it gradually came to be exclusively applied.[1] However, it was also applied to other broadcasters, mostly in the early stages of the war.

William Joyce's Capture and Execution
At the end of the war, Joyce was captured by British forces at Flensburg, near the German border with Denmark. Spotting a dishevelled figure while resting from gathering firewood, intelligence soldiers – including a Jewish German, Geoffrey Perry (born Horst Pinschewer), who had left Germany before the war – engaged him in conversation in French and English. After they asked if he was Joyce, he reached for his pocket (actually reaching for a false passport); believing he was armed, they shot him through the buttocks, leaving four wounds.
Convicted of High Treason.
His conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 1 November 1945, and by the House of Lords (on a 4–1 vote) on 13 December 1945.

In the appeal, Joyce argued that possession of a passport did not entitle him to the protection of the Crown, and therefore did not perpetuate his duty of allegiance once he left the country, but the House rejected this argument. Lord Porter's dissenting opinion was based on his belief that whether Joyce's duty of allegiance had terminated or not was a question of fact for the jury to decide, rather than a purely legal question for the judge.

Joyce also argued that jurisdiction had been wrongly assumed by the court in electing to try an alien for offences committed in a foreign country. This argument was also rejected, on the basis that a state may exercise such jurisdiction in the interests of its own security.

It is alleged that Joyce made a deal with his prosecutors not to reveal his links to MI5. In return, his wife Margaret, known to radio listeners as "Lady Haw-Haw", was spared prosecution for high treason.

Joyce was executed on 3 January 1946 at Wandsworth Prison, aged 39. He was the penultimate person to be hanged for a crime other than murder in the United Kingdom. The last was Theodore Schurch, executed for treachery the following day at Pentonville.[citation needed] In both cases the hangman was Albert Pierrepoint. Joyce died "an Anglican, like his mother, despite a long and friendly correspondence with a Roman Catholic priest who fought hard for William's soul".[28]

It is said that the scar on Joyce's face split wide open because of the pressure applied to his head upon his drop from the gallows.[29]

As was customary for executed criminals, Joyce's remains were buried in an unmarked grave within the walls of HMP Wandsworth. In 1976 they were exhumed and reinterred in the Protestant section of the New Cemetery in Bohermore in County Galway, Ireland. A Roman Catholic Tridentine Mass (in Latin) was celebrated at his reburial.


For some upper and middle-class Britons in the middle of Depression and War - it may very well have seemed that it was a choice between Communism and Fascism. It may seem a Devil's Dilemma now, but did it then?

In retrospect it would appear that the traitorous communists were from the other centre of high culture, Cambridge.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Five



p.s. Joyce also argued that jurisdiction had been wrongly assumed by the court in electing to try an alien for offences committed in a foreign country. This argument was also rejected, on the basis that a state may exercise such jurisdiction in the interests of its own security.
Does this argument sound familiar to you too?
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:23 AM   #211
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Class seems to be a very affective and generative idea within British culture. I would posit alot more so than say Australia or United States. Is it because Britain does not share the colonial sensibilities or other 'competing' ideas of itself than those other parts of the Anglosphere?

Race, migration and colonial legacies , with varied intensity, appear to be more prominent in Australian and American discourse.

I sense a thematic critique by Amis bubbling underneath the first part of Lucky Jim.
It is perhaps the sense of 'alienation' a concept fondly embraced by modernist critique's of the contemporary West's culture that I am picking up in Amis. It was certainly present in Steinbeck's The Pearl but race was also overlayered there.


hmmm

Marxist and structuralist critiques always struck me as too artificial, too heavily reliant on economics and definitely too deterministic. Although I did think that Bourdieu's ideas on schools being agents of social reproduction as having explanatory merit.


Lucky Jim observations
I think this is right....there is a scene of a gathering of academic associates of Jim Dixon a medievalist academic of moderate ability at a 'mediocre' university, who hates medieval history and is trying to secure his tenure, at a gathering of academics and artistic types in provincial England. They are I think singing this song - Dixon very poorly...



Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!
Refrain:
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.

2. At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
(Refrain)

3. Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
(Refrain)

4. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.
(Refrain)

5. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
this through countless ages men and angels sing.
(Refrain)

Maybe I have the song wrong...I need to check - it was not the only one. But it struck me as bizarre or very foreign to be going to a gathering and singing such a song.

Warning: there are images of the Crusader Knights - that strikes me the wrong way. So perhaps avoid watching the images if you want to just get a sense of the dissonance I got when reading this scene.

Which got me thinking - is this an anthem of Empire as well as Christianity, that Britains of a certain world view held too?

Dixon does not buy into upper-class political views yet he seems unable to not join in the ritual and still seeks the prestige and security offered by his patron within the Department.

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Old 02-19-2014, 02:07 AM   #212
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Mea Culpa: OnWard Christian Soldier is mentioned at the start of Chapter 4 of Lucky Jim but the madrigal is a very different beast to a Christian hymn.
Obviously, the more scholarly reader was too polite to point this out, so at least I have the opportunity to make amends and face save.

A madrigal is a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, polyphonic madrigals are unaccompanied; the number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six. It is quite distinct from the Italian Trecento madrigal of the late 13th and 14th centuries, with which it shares only the name.

Portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo, Titian (1540).

Pietro Bembo, O.S.I.H. (20 May 1470 – either 11 January[1] or 18 January,[2] 1547) was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, member of the Knights Hospitaller and a cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, codifying the language for standard modern usage. His writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch. Bembo's ideas were also decisive in the formation of the most important secular musical form of the 16th century, the madrigal.

So the particular langauge can influence the potentiality of performance or iteration of an Art form. Here we see a specific instance where a historical figure within a high culture identifying and endorsing a transition from Latin - a language of religiousity and its musical Art forms - toward vernacular Italian through his exposure to Petrarch. I recall Clive James discussing that the poetic beauty of the Italian language and its potentiality to be sung lay in its rhyming suffixes.

Claudio Monteverdi, Bernardo Strozzi (1581–1644), c1630



Altri canti d'amor, tenero arciero (Let others sing of Love, the tender archer)

Altri canti d'Amor, tenero arciero,
i dolci vezzi, e i sospirati baci;
narri gli sdegni e le bramate paci
quand'unisce due alme un sol pensiero.

Di Marte io canto, furibondo e fiero,
iduri incontri, e le battaglie audaci;
strider le spade, e bombeggiar le faci,
fo nel mio canto bellicoso e fiero.

Tu cui tessuta han di cesareo alloro
la corona immortal Marte e Bellona,
gradisci il verde ancor novo lavoro,

che mentre guerre canta e guerre sona,
oh gran Fernando, l'orgoglioso choro,
del tuo sommo valor canta e ragiona.


Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (Italian: [ˈklaudjo monteˈverdi]; 15 May 1567 (baptized) – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, singer and Roman Catholic priest.

Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period.[1] He developed two individual styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque.[2] Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, an innovative work that is the earliest surviving opera that is still regularly performed. He was recognized as an innovative composer and enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.


I presume in Lucky Jim - it is a more recent madrigal and an English one at that. But I thought you would want to hear one from the Italian maestro and composer of the early form of Operas in Monteverdi instead.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:34 AM   #213
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

Cardinal Bembo was obviously a very influential figure but it is only through his translation of a giant of European high-culture that his influence is truly felt.

(unknown)

Francesco Petrarca (July 20, 1304 – July 19, 1374), commonly anglicized as Petrarch (/ˈpiːtrɑrk/, /ˈpɛtrɑrk/), was an Italian scholar and poet in Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism".[1] In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Giovanni Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante Alighieri.[2] Petrarch would be later endorsed as a model for Italian style by the Accademia della Crusca. Petrarch's sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe during the Renaissance and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is also known for being the first to develop the concept of the "Dark Ages".[3]


An ephiphany on Mount Verdux, Petrarch reading St Augustine's Confessions..

And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars, but themselves they consider not.

The quote and sonnet are not to be read as connected.


Sonnet 227
Breeze, blowing that blonde curling hair,
stirring it, and being softly stirred in turn,
scattering that sweet gold about, then
gathering it, in a lovely knot of curls again,

you linger around bright eyes whose loving sting
pierces me so, till I feel it and weep,
and I wander searching for my treasure,
like a creature that often shies and kicks:

now I seem to find her, now I realise
she’s far away, now I’m comforted, now despair,
now longing for her, now truly seeing her.

Happy air, remain here with your
living rays: and you, clear running stream,
why can’t I exchange my path for yours?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrarch


While the early sonneteers experimented with patterns, Francesco Petrarch was one of the first to significantly solidify sonnet structure. The Italian or Petrarchan sonnet consists of two parts; an octave and a sestet. The octave can be broken down into two quatrains; likewise, the sestet is made up of two tercets. The octave presents an idea to be contrasted by the ending sestet. The particular quatrains and tercets are divided by change in rhyme. Petrarch typically used an ABBA ABBA pattern for the octave, followed by either CDE CDE or CDC DCD rhymes in the sestet. The rhyme scheme and structure work together to emphasize the idea of the poem: the first quatrain presents the theme and the second expands on it. The repeated rhyme scheme within the octave strengthens the idea. The sestet, with either two or three different rhymes, uses its first tercet to reflect on the theme and the last to conclude.

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Old 02-19-2014, 05:01 AM   #214
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

My current understanding of my encounter with being-in-the-world - that meaning is generated socially and discursively. Each time I read something - whether a complex sign e.g. a work of Art or a simple sign like seeing a tree - I think of all of the connections that has with language and other texts.

I can genuinely say my book order is somewhat random - yet when I background a small thing like a madrigal I get drawn down these intertextual threads to huge generative figures.

Marcus Aurelius ---Stoicism --- seems unconnected to a scene of a Madrigal in Lucky Jim but I research Madrigal I come across Cardinal Bembo who translated Petrarch who in turn translates as Cicero Letters, cited as a seminal moment in the beginning of the Renaissance. When I research Cicero - the Letter which was most important and influenced the St Augustine, Erasmus, Petrarch, Luther, Locke amongst others was the second book ever printed after the Gutenburg Bible....



De Officiis, Marcus Tullius Cicero ,Christopher Froschouer - 1560
wiki:

De Officiis was written in October–November 44 BC, in under four weeks.[1] This was Cicero's last year alive, and he was 62 years of age. Cicero was at this time still active in politics, trying to stop revolutionary forces from taking control of the Roman Republic. Despite his efforts, the republican system failed to revive even upon the assassination of Caesar, and Cicero was himself assassinated shortly thereafter.

The essay was written in the form of a letter to his son with the same name, who studied philosophy in Athens. Judging from its form, it is nonetheless likely that Cicero wrote with a broader audience in mind. The essay was published posthumously.

De Officiis has been characterized as an attempt to define ideals of public behavior.[2] It criticizes the recently overthrown dictator Julius Caesar in several places, and his dictatorship as a whole.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Officiis


I knew Cicero was a giant of Ancient Rome, and I wondered why Marcus Aurielus 'Stoicism' was not more influential, little did I know that Stoicism was bridged from Antiquity into the Renaissance through the works of Cicero.



Bust of Cicero. Musei Capitolini, Roma (Italy). Photo Marco Prins.
wiki:

Marcus Tullius Cicero (/ˈsɪsɨroʊ/; Classical Latin: [markʊs tul.ljʊs ˈkɪkɛroː]; Ancient Greek: Κικέρων Kikerōn; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC; sometimes anglicized as Tully[1] /ˈtʌli/), was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.[2][3]

His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose in not only Latin but European languages up to the 19th century was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style.[4] According to Michael Grant, "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language".[5] Cicero introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary (with neologisms such as humanitas, qualitas, quantitas, and essentia)[6] distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.

Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance in public affairs, humanism, and classical Roman culture.[7] According to Polish historian Tadeusz Zieliński, "Renaissance was above all things a revival of Cicero, and only after him and through him of the rest of Classical antiquity."[8] The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment,[9] and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial.[10] His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history, especially the last days of the Roman Republic.


Stoicism --> Aurelius ---> Amis---> Madrigal ---> Bembo ---> Petrarch ---> Cicero ---> Stoicism


“[I]Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;

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Old 02-19-2014, 05:52 AM   #215
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

OOPS - time ran out on the edit.
Bad edit
Cicero - Images from Renaissance and Enlightenment + Quote.

#214 cont'd
"Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”


Cicero


Renaissance depiction of Cicero - I find this piece appealing because it is of a young Cicero reading....and my subject was intertextuality.

Vincenzo Foppa, 1463-4?, The Young Cicero Reading, Fresco

About the piece and its near death in the 19th century - clink the link.
http://www.wallacecollection.org/whatson/treasure/116

Vincenzo Foppa (c. 1430 – c. 1515) was a Northern-Italian Renaissance painter.

He was an elderly contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci. Born at Bagnolo Mella, near Brescia in the Republic of Venice, he settled in Pavia around 1456, serving the dukes of Milan and emerging as one of the most prominent Lombard painters. Foppa returned to Brescia in 1489. His style shows affinities to Andrea del Castagno and Carlo Crivelli. Vasari claimed he had trained in Padua, where he may have been strongly influenced by Mantegna.


West, Benjamin - Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes 1797

Benjamin West, PRA (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. He was offered a knighthood by the British Crown, but declined it, believing that he should instead be made a peer.



Common elements
A young Cicero is reading and 'discovering' new ideas as he is reading a book without guidance in the Renaissance fresco.
A mature Cicero is discovering the tomb of another Classical great Archimedes of the Hellenistic Age - Cicero is the gatekeeper to the Classical world for the Enlightment.

I wonder is that Mt Versuvius in the background of the West painting....because it would make sense, not that Mt V is anywhere near Archimedes tomb, but that Pompeii and Archaelogy(sp) was in full swing during this period of the early 19th century ---> the actual uncovering of a 'Classical tomb' by the Enlightenment.

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Old 02-19-2014, 06:25 AM   #216
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

*note the Volcano is probably Mt Etna as Cicero is said to have actually visited the tomb when he was quaestor in Sicily c 75 BCE.

Enough fossicking around the internet for tonight.

I might return later to Archimedes and bridges between Rome and Greece - hopefully to entice me to take on Virgil soon - but that is for another day...off to read some more of Amis.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:33 PM   #217
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

10. A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens
11. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
12. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
13. In the Winter's Dark by Tim Winton
14. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
15. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (non fiction)
16. Lucky Jim Kingsley Amis


My second authorial repeat:

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

I finished Lucky Jim late last night....write-up will be up within 24 hours.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:04 AM   #218
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I heard, somewhere in the ether of popular media, that most people (70%) of people lie about the extent of their readings. 95% of my meagre 'library' on display has been read, at least once, and I have confessed that there are a few that have stared me down and have evaded my critical gaze. Whilst I have almost completely unburdened my conceit with respect to readings that I might have, under other circumstances, lied to say I have read - within this blog - I have only taken on Swift so far.
I looked across at my 'to do' reading pile and thought I will read Cat's Cradle but Seven Pillars of Wisdom, perhaps the most stubborn of all of the conceits, stood proudly defiant in my gaze. As such, I am taking up the challenge.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence.

To rid myself of one of the vestiges of my conceit. Into the desert I ride. (Although as I write this I have jumped the gun and just returned from having read the first 30-40 pages)

Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888[5] – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title which was used for the 1962 film based on his World War I activities.




An Image of one of the many Maps within the text of the 'Arab World'.

It would appear that my edition has been sitting proudly defiant for ~16-17 years as it is a 1997 edition. Wordsworth Classic, General Ed T. Griffiths MA MPhil with Introduction by Angus Calder. The aforementioned boldly claims: Seven Pillars of Wisdom is no Boys Own Paper tale of Imperial triumph, but a complex work of high literary aspiration which stands in the tradition of Melville And Dostoyevsky, and alongside the writings of Yeats, Eliot and Joyce.


I wonder what Marcus Aurelius would have to say if I said to him - that my motivations for reading this was to rid myself of the past conceits I have had about my literary consumption and partly guilt that having read some pretty slim novellas this month that I wanted something 'epic' to make up for that.

He would probably observe that I have a long path ahead of me before I reach any sort of wisdom.

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Old 02-20-2014, 02:43 AM   #219
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

manticratic
[fr. Gk mantisi, prophet + -cratic] (found only in Lawrence)
of the rule by the prophet's family or clan

The Sharif of Mecca (Arabic: شريف مكة‎, Sharīf Makkah) or Hejaz (Arabic: شريف الحجاز‎, Sharīf al-Ḥiǧāz) was the title of the leader of the Sharifate of Mecca, traditional steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The term sharif means "noble" in Arabic and is used to describe the descendants of Muhammad's grandson al-Hassan ibn Ali.

The Sharif was charged with protecting the cities and their environs and ensuring the safety of pilgrims performing the Hajj. The title is sometimes spelled Sheriff or Sherif, with the latter variant used, for example, by T. E. Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The common-law political and legal office of sheriff found in some anglophone countries is unrelated.

The office of the Sharifate of Mecca dates back to the late Abbasid era. Since 1201, the Sharifate was held by a member of the Hawashim clan[citation needed], not to be confused with the larger clan of Banu Hashim to which all Sharifs claim descent. Descendants of this family continued to hold the position until the Twentieth Century on behalf of various Muslim powers including the Ayyubids and the Mamelukes. In 1517, the Sharif acknowledged the supremacy of the Ottoman Caliph, but maintained a great degree of local autonomy. During the Ottoman era, the Sharifate expanded its authority northwards to include Medina, and southwards to the frontiers of 'Asir, and regularly raided Nejd.

The Sharifate came to an end shortly after the reign of Hussein bin Ali, ruled from 1908, who rebelled against the Ottoman rule during the Arab Revolt of 1916. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and its subsequent dissolution in 1923, Hussein declared himself Caliph. The British granted control over the newly formed states of Iraq and Transjordan to his sons Faisal and Abdullah. In 1924, however, in the face of increasing attacks by Ibn Saud, Hussein abdicated his secular titles to his eldest son, Ali bin Hussein, who was to become the last Grand Sharif. At the end of 1925, Ibn Saud conquered the Hejaz and expelled the Hashemites. The House of Saud has ruled the holy cities and the Hajj since that time.


c1900 - the lines represent the divisions of the Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 20th century. Known as Vilayet - the red one was the Vilayet of Hejaz - which covered the two holy cities of Islam on the Arabian peninsula of Medina and Mecca.
The Saud tribe covered the modern capital of Saudi Arabia Riyadh north-east toward the Persian Gulf and only conquered the Hejaz traditional areas in 1925.


The Sharif of Mecca drew his manticratic authority through:

Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (Arabic: الحسن بن علي بن أبي طالب‎) (born March 4, 625 CE (Ramadhān 15th, 3 AH) – died March 9 or 30, 670 CE (Safar 7th[7] or 28th, 50 AH) aged 47)[8] is an important figure in Islam. He is the son of Ali and Fatimah. The latter is the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. After his father's death, he briefly succeeded him as the righteous Caliph (head of state), before retiring to Madinah and entering into an agreement with the first Umayyad ruler, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, who assumed the Caliphate. Both Sunni and Shia Muslims regard Hasan as a martyr.[citation needed] Hasan is one of the five people of the Ahl al-Kisa, as well as a member of the Ahl al-Bayt. Hasan ibn Ali is 2nd Imam of Shia Islam. Hasan is also highly respected by the Sunni as the grandson of Muhammad.

According to Islamic lore, The Archangel Gabriel told the Prophet Muhammed to name his grandson - Hasan - a name not used in pre-Islamic culture.
It means "the good", "the benefactor".

He was buried here:
It was destroyed in 1925 - this tome was located in Medina opposite one of the most holy mosques of Islam - Masjid al-Nabawi (The Prophet's Mosque) which also now incorporates the final resting place of The Prophet.


Whenever I hence forth use the designate "The Prophet" - you should know that I am referring to Muhammed.

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Old 02-20-2014, 05:04 AM   #220
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words



Jidda, Jeddah - a town visited by Lawrence when an operative for the Arab Bureau in Seven Pillars..approximately 50 miles inland directly east is Mecca.

Jeddah c 1920s

The Tomb of Eve, also known as Eve's Grave and Eve's Tomb, is an archeological site located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (

21°29′31″N 39°11′24″E).[1] It is considered by some Muslims to be the burial place of Eve. In 1975, the site was sealed with concrete by religious authorities, who abhor pilgrims praying at tombs.



Image of the Tomb of Eve.

Control of strategic trade bottlenecks was key to British global domination in the 19th Century. Gibraltar, Cairo and the Suez, Cape Colony in South Africa, Singapore and the Malacca Straits.
Jeddah as a sea port on the Red Sea and at the far end of the Ottoman Empire would have been very hard for the Turks to hold against British naval dominance.

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Old 02-20-2014, 05:21 AM   #221
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

The AdHan(Azan, Azaan)

The adhan is one of the most lyrical, inspiring prayers for Muslims. A hadith recounts that the Prophet’s companions one day were discussing how to gather everyone for prayer. Some suggested using a bell as Christians do, and others advised using a ram's horn, following an ancient Jewish practice. Then Umar, one of the Prophet's companions, suggested having one person call others to prayer. The Prophet agreed, calling his ex-slave, Bilal, to recite the adhan, according to a hadith from the collection of al Bukhari.

Lyrics commonly heard

Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah.
Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah.
Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah.
Hayya 'alas-Salah. Hayya 'alas-Salah.
Hayya 'alal-falah. Hayya 'alal-falah.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
La ilaha ill-Allah.

Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.
Come to prayer. Come to prayer.
Come to Success. Come to Success.
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
There is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.


Adhan from Mecca recent.

wiki:
Adhan is called out by a muezzin from the mosque five times a day, traditionally from the minaret, summoning Muslims for mandatory (fard) worship (salat). A second call, known as iqama, (set up) then summons Muslims to line up for the beginning of the prayers. The main purpose behind the multiple loud pronouncements of adhan in every mosque is to make available to everyone an easily intelligible summary of Islamic belief. It is intended to bring to the mind of every believer and non-believer the substance of Islamic beliefs, or its spiritual ideology. In modern times, loudspeakers have been installed on minarets for this purpose.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:01 AM   #222
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

A taste of the narrative voice in Book I of Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Lawrence is on a not oft-used trail - on a secret mssion - ruminating on the road of a pilgrim (p63).

My thoughts as we went were how this was the pilgrim road, down which, for uncounted generations, the people of the north had come to visit the Holy City (Mecca), bearing with them gifts of faith for the shrine; and it seemed that the Arab revolt might be in a sense a return of pilgrimage, to take back to the north, to Syria, an ideal for an ideal, a belief in liberty for thier past belief in a revelation.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:02 AM   #223
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Prophetic words
Book I p85 Feisal - leader of the Arab Revolt

Musing on disproportionate allies:

Feisal mused a little and said, 'I am not a Hejazi by upbringing; and yet, by God, I am jealous for it. And though I know the British do not want it, yet what can I say, when they took the Sudan, also not wanting it? They hunger for desolate lands, to build them up; and so, perhaps one day Arabia will seem to them precious. Your good and my good, perhaps they are different, and either good or forced evil will make a people cry with pain. Does the ore admire the flame which transforms it? There is no reason for offence, but a people too weak are clamant over their little own. Our race will have a cripple's temper till it has found its feet.'


Astonishing, I am speechless.

The review of Lucky Jim shall have to wait for another time.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:13 AM   #224
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Re: Digger's Blog on Words, Words and More Words

WWI Context and Seven Pillars of Wisdom

The Balance of Power
The Allies
The British Empire
France
Tsarist Russia
Later
United States (1917)

The Central Powers
Germany
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Italy (early parts)
Turkey

The British dominate transcontinental trade - in particular UK/US trade routes, UK-India and Far East trade. She has done so - since her decisive victories in the Napoleonic wars - by maintaining a huge advantage in naval superiority, and the occupation of strategic bottlenecks that I mentioned earlier.
During the 19th Century - we see the Unification of Germany and the rise of the economic power of German through her rapid industrialisation and the liberalisation of medieval trade barriers in Central Europe. Germany begins her rise to dominate European trade and surpasses the economic power of France by 1900.
Whilst Anglo-accounts of the WWI focus on the German aspiration for 'A Place in the Sun' particularly given her frustration in not particpating in the great Imperial carve up of Africa in the late 19th C, one of the key frustrations for the German ruling elite was an unencumbered access to global trade. She builds up her naval fleet - so to challenge and protect her rising trade fleet - which sparks the great military arms race in the lead up to hostilities in 1914.

So why were the British fighting the Turks on the Western edge of the Arabian peninsula during the First WW1?

It is not about oil - industrial economies were not nearly as dependent upon oil in 1910 as they are in 1945. Additionally, at this time, the US is the great oil power of the world, with the Persian oilfields of Baku only being newly developed and the Great Saud Fields of the 20th century only a dream.

The British had two connected strategic imperatives, to keep Russia in the War and to maintain stategic equality (at a minimum) on the Western Front or not allow the fall of France. The First World War is causing heavy losses for the Russian Empire - it is ceding ground and increasing amounts of national resources are need to stop military capitulation.
The British are hamstrung in supplying resources to help the Russians - given that the Baltic Sea is controlled by the Germans, trade to Archangel is perilious and seasonal, the Turks control Constantinople the gateway to the Black Sea and are one of Russia's longest and fiercest geo-political rivals.

So the British believe that by using a Southern strategy of attackin the Turks they can forward a number of objectives simultaneously.
1) They can increase the reliability of a permanent supply line through to Russia via the Black Sea
2) Divert Turkish resources from attacking Russia or helping Germany

Which should tie German forces from concentrating their forces on the Western Front by needing to keep more forces on the Eastern Front.

But the technological impasse on the Western Front and its massive scale - draws the resources of the British to an extreme - a century worth of accumulated dominance is being used up through this struggle.

In 1915 - the British launch a spectacularly unsuccessful campaign in the Dardenelles (the straits at the opening of the Black Sea.)
The British Imperial fighting forces used for this campaign are being switched for the great horrific stalemate campaigns of the Somme in 1916 on the Western Front.
Such that British war and foreign policy saw a need to keep pressure on the Turks through engaging further allies in the "Middle East".

Book I - accounts for some of the tactical considerations that the British in Cairo were facing. It gives biographical detail of the 'Arab' resistance within Ottoman Turkey - in Baghdad, Damascus and the Arabian Peninsula. It highlights the strategic weaknesses of Ottoman Turkey particularly with respect to the Western Arabian peninsula.

So amongst all the great detail you get of the participants both within the British Command structure in Cairo and the various Arab players - with a bit of the WWI context ---> you see how and why the campaign was being supported by the British and why it was being so poorly supported by the British. Which leads to the 'action of BOOK II.

Book II - describes the strategic balance that is present along the eastern coastline of the Red Sea on the Arabian peninsula. Feisal and the Arab tribes are running an insurgency war during 1915-1916 harrassing Turkish forces and attempting to stop the Turkish forces from consolidating control in a more comprehensive fashion. The Turks face supply problems for their positions at Wejh, Akaba, Medina and Mecca - but they are entrench, garrisoned and have technological superiority in armaments (german Supplied.)
The Arabs control the pan peninsula trade routes from Kuwait through Faisal's son holding of a bottleneck, The British control the Red Sea.

Book II sees the consolidation and training of Arab forces under Sharif Feisal and the increased intergrated support by British Cairo culminating in the attack on the Wejh. You get to see the tactical difficulties for the Hejaz leadership in the lead up to the battle to take Wejh - as they do not actually have the forces to hold their own position at Yenbo and lead an attack on Wejh. They gamble and I am about to see if and how they triumph.

~130pg.

Image of Arabs under the flag of the 'Arab Revolt'

When all is said and done...



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Old 02-21-2014, 02:23 AM   #225
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If you are very particular, you might have understood that there is a bottleneck near Djibouti at the mouth of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Djibouti was allied with the French....The British held what was known as the Aden Protectorate on the south-western edge of the Arabian peninsula. What is now known as Southern Yemen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aden_Protectorate



Alongside Colombo, Cairo, Malta and Gibraltar ---> the fuelling stations and strategic stations for Anglo-Indian trade and servicing of the British navy. The fuel was coal and it is not until the great oil discovery in Persia through the port of Basra and its surrounds in 1908 - which forms BP that the conversion of coal to oil is made in the British Navy.

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