The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

More specifically concerning: truth

Compendium academicorum

27 November 2002, around 16.42.

Within this field, which no single scholar can create but which each scholar receives and in which he then finds a place for himself, the individual researcher makes his contribution. Such contributions, even for the exceptional genius, are strategies of redisposing material within the field. Even the scholar who unearths a once-lost manuscript produces the […]

errare humanum est

3 June 2003, around 8.10.

I picked up a copy of the book by chance the other day, and started reading it last night. Not that I’ve gotten very far enough to say anything about it, save that it is provoking: Being wrong is also about being displaced, about wandering, dissenting, emigrating, and alienating. The professionalization of the scholar, and, […]

pseudaphoristica (1)

6 June 2003, around 8.26.

darkness.

Report from the Jungle

2 September 2003, around 17.25.

It was a war of each against all, and the devil take the hindmost. You did not give feasts to other people, you waited for them to give feasts to you. You went about with your soul full of suspicion and hatred; you understood that you were environed by hostile powers that were trying to […]

inscriptiones graecae

1 November 2003, around 9.02.

Tangier has been mentioned in history for three thousand years. And it was a town, though a queer one, when Hercules, clad in his lion skin, landed here, four thousand years ago. In these streets he met Anitus, the king of the country, and brained him with his club, which was the fashion among gentlemen […]

hermetically

12 February 2004, around 16.46.

8. Philaletheia, the disinterested love of scholarly truth, can lead one into some strange places. The connection of the two marginalia is the urge to recover the sense of an ancient text in full and accurately; to probe past the obscurity of poet and translator alike, to what Lycophron’s persona thought was to happen in […]

Montaigne 1.31

14 August 2015, around 19.38.

America (1580), by by Theodor Galle after Jan van der Straet …but hold! they don’t wear trousers (215). Montaigne’s essay ‘Of Cannibals’ covers a great deal of ground and, if it does not reach the heights of ‘Of Moderation’, nonetheless typifies his style. In the course of the essay he considers bravery, relative morality, difference […]

the art of ‘truthiness’

21 October 2015, around 19.12.

Well, if I forked over the cover price for nonfiction, I consider it my business. While it’s great she [Vivian Gornick] owned up to her deceits, it’s hard to lend credence to any after-the-fact confession, especially one as vague or self-justifying as this one. It’s as if after lunch the deli guy quipped, ‘I put […]

lying-before-us

10 January 2020, around 8.57.

William Orpen, ‘Group associated with the New English Art Club’ What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. —Francis Bacon, ‘Of Truth’ There was an odd passage in a woodworking memoir I read because I was taking the long way ’round in trying to think about craftsmanship. The woodworker had […]

Citation (64)

7 September 2020, around 12.22.

memory, the field of vision, consciousness, a spark.

new frontiers

23 November 2020, around 11.06.

It was around the time I was reading the first or second of a series of translations of Beowulf and I mentioned it in passing in an email. My correspondent replied that they thought they should probably read more fiction, but it was hard to find the time. This response surprised, not because I thought […]

untold runes

1 June 2021, around 14.05.

The conversion of nothing into something is the task of criticism. Literature is the storehouse of these rescued somethings. In discussing literature one has to use, unfortunately, the same language that one uses in discussing experience. But even so, literature is preferable to experience, since it is for the most part the closest one can […]

daybreak

21 July 2022, around 9.07.

Philalethes. What is the use of grounds of consolation and peacefulness over which is constantly hanging the Damocles-sword of deception? Truth, my friend, truth alone holds firm, endures and stays steadfast: truth’s consolation is the only solid consolation: it is the indestructible diamond. Demopheles. Yes, if you had truth in your pocket to favour us […]

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