2.26.2016

Maravilhas de um persista amador

بهتر (behtar) == better
دختر (dokhtar) == daughter
برادر (brâdar) == brother
بد (bad) == bad

Depois de tantos anos a amaldiçoar o Indo-europeu, isto agora só pode ser νέμεσις.

2.17.2016

Encomia Philologiæ

§1
As a humanist whose field is literature, I am old enough to have been trained forty years ago in the field of comparative literature, whose leading ideas go back to Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Before that I must mention the supremely creative contribution of Giambattista Vico, the Neopolitan philosopher and philologist whose ideas anticipate and later infiltrate the line of German thinkers am about to cite. They belong to the era of Herder and Wolf, later to be followed by Goethe, Humboldt, Dilthey, Nietzsche, Gadamer, and finally the great Twentieth Century Romance philologists Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer and Ernst Robert Curtius. To young people of the current generation the very idea of philology suggests something impossibly antiquarian and musty, but philology in fact is the most basic and creative of the interpretive arts. It is exemplified for me most admirably in Goethe's interest in Islam generally, and Hafiz in particular, a consuming passion which led to the compositio n of the West-Ostlicher Diwan, and it inflected Goethe's later ideas about Weltliteratur, the study of all the literatures of the world as a symphonic whole which could be apprehended theoretically as having preserved the individuality of each work without losing sight of the whole. 
There is a considerable irony to the realization, then, that, as today' s globalized world draws together in some of the lamentable ways I have been talking about here, we may be approaching the kind of standardization and homogeneity that Goethe' s ideas were specifically formulated to prevent. In an essay published in 1951 entitled "Philologie der Weltliteratur", Erich Auerbach made exactly that point at the outset of the postwar period, which was also the beginning of the Cold War. His great book Mimesis, published in Berne in 1946 but written while Auerbach was a wartime exile teaching Romance languages in Istanbul, was meant to be a testament to the diversity and concreteness of the reality represented in Western literature from Homer to Virginia Woolf; but reading the 1951 essay one senses that for Auerbach the great book he wrote was an elegy for a period when people could interpret texts philologically, concretely, sensitively and intuitively, using erudition and an excellent command of several languages to support the kind of understanding that Goethe advocated for his understanding of Islamic literature. 
Positive knowledge of languages and history was necessary, but it was never enough, any more than the mechanical gathering of facts would constitute an adequate method of grasping what an author like Dante, for example, was all about. The main requirement for the kind of philological understanding Auerbach and his predecessors were talking about and tried to practice was one that sympathetically and subjectively entered into the life of a written text as seen from the perspective of its time and its author (eingefühling). Rather than alienation and hostility to another time and different culture, philology as applied to Weltliteratur involved a profound humanistic spirit deployed with generosity and, if I may use the word, hospitality. Thus the interpreter's mind actively make s a place in it for a foreign Other. And this creative making of a place fo r works that are otherwise alien and distant is the most important facet of the interpreter's philological mission. 
All this was obviously undermined and destroyed in Germany by National Socialism. After the war, Auerbach notes mournfully, the standardization of ideas, and greater and greater specialization of knowledge, gradually narrowed the opportunities for the kind of investigative and everlastingly inquiring kind of philological work that he had represented, and, alas, it's an even more depressing fact that since Auerbach's death in 1957 both the idea and practice of humanistic research have shrunk in scope as well as in centrality. The book culture based on archival research as well as general principles of mind that once sustained humanism as a historical discipline have almost disappeared. Instead of reading in the real sense of the word, our students today are often distracted by the fragmented knowledge available on the internet and in the mass media.
Edward Said. in Orientalism (2003 Preface).




§2

Etwa füng Jahrhunderte ist es her, seit die europäischen Nationalliteraturen Vorrang vor dem Lateinischen und Selbstbewußtsein gewannen; kaum zwei, daß der geschichtlich-perspektivische Sinn erwachte, der es gestattete, einen Begriff wie den der Weltliterature zu bilden. Zur Bildung des historisch-perspektivischen Sinnes und zu der philologischen Forschungstätigkeit, die aus ihm entsprang, hat Goethe selbst, der vor 120 Jahren starb, durch Tätigkeit und Anregung entscheident beigetragen. Und schon sehen wir eine Welt entstehen, für die dieser Sinn nicht mehr viel praktische Bedeutung haben dürfte.
Erich Auerbach. Philologie der Weltliteratur. (1952)




§3



كُلُّ لِسَانٍ فِي آلْحَقِيقَةِ إِنْسَانٌ
Cada língua é um ser humano.






2.15.2016

não digas nada, nos disse
o Persa em árabe incerto,
mantém-te na estrada
Amorosa onde igual
é a noite e o dia,
fiel e pagão,
e ond' das alturas, das
encruzilhadas, o Deus
se curva e te toca
na alma co queixo

2.14.2016

Boopis Khristos


Entrada de Cristo em Jerusalém acompanhado por anjos. Egipto. (c.500 AD)

@ Berlim (?) Colecção desconhecida

2.10.2016

Sobre o mal

"Bad" (Inglês) e "بد [bad]" (Persa) significam exactamente a mesma coisa.

Os linguistas dizem que não há relação.

[/teoria da conspiração]

Genuine fidelity to a tradition

Genuine fidelity to a tradition is not the same as literalist traditionalism and is in fact incompatible with it. It consists in preserving not simply the tradition but the continuity of the tradition. As fidelity to a living and hence changing tradition, it requires that one distinguish between the living and the dead, the flame and the ashes, the gold and the dross […] Within a living tradition, the new is not the opposite of the old, but its deepening: one does not understand the old in its depth unless one understands it in the light of such deepening; the new does not emerge through the rejection or annihilation of the old, but through its metamorphosis or reshaping. "And it is a question whether such reshaping is not the best form of annihilation." This is indeed the question: whether the loyal and loving reshaping or reinterpretation of the inherited, or the pitiless burning of the hitherto worshiped, is the best form of annihilation of the antiquated, i.e., of the untrue or bad.
Leo Strauss. in "Preface to Spinoza's Critique of Religion"

2.07.2016

Solet plerumque

Solet plerumque contingere ut, autumnali torrido facessente caumate, brumali sevientium ventorum flabra reciprocis alternnatim ursibus succedant; quibus procellosa pelagi cærula enormesque oceani gurgites hinc atque illincquatiuntur, quatinus navigero tramite nullus absque discrimine nagivans, furibundo flamine carbasa rumpente, transfretet. Ita nimirum prostrata mundi pompulenta gloria, jamque appropinquante ejusdem termino, fluctuantes sæculi turbines incumbere experimento evidenti videntur, ut revera et absque ullo ancipiti scrupulo, illa domini præsagmina nostris tandem temporibus comprobentur impleri, quibus ita cœlesti oraculo effatus est: "Videte ficulneam et omnes arbores," et cætera. Porro inter has turbulentas sæculi tempestates scripturaram flectenda sunt gubernacula, totiusque navigii armatura atque instrumenta paranda; quatinus garrulo sirenarum carmine spreto, ratis recto cursu ad portum patriæ prospere perducatur.
in Cartillario Saxonico §37, a Leuthero Occidentalium Saxonum episcopo ad Aldhelmum presbiterum. 26º Augusto A.D. 675