Monday, February 01, 2016

We Know Little of Nosing ...

Even front haulted door of agrees with MEdia Dragon How little we know about  Shamelessly Strong Door In Martin Inc or even Iggy Pop, né James Newell Osterberg, Jr. I say “apparently” because fraud is legal tender on the internet. Pop recounts his reading of Edward Gibbons’ The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, first in an abridged edition and later the full six volumes. Pop lists five benefits from reading Gibbon’s masterwork, the most admirable being No. 4: “I find out how little I know.” That’s precisely the reason ambitious readers read -- less to learn than to be reminded how small and inadequate is the knowledge we already possess. I hope Pop has gone on to read the volume often lost in the shadow cast by Gibbon’s History,his Memoirs with their beguiling introduction: 

“In the fifty-second year of my age, after the completion of an arduous and successful work, I now propose to employ some moments of my leisure in reviewing the simple transactions of a private and literary life. Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of more serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative. The style shall be simple and familiar: but style is the image of character; and the habits of correct writing may produce, without labour or design, the appearance of art and study.” 

[See Joseph Epstein’s recent essay devoted to Gibbon: “The true subject ofThe History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is human nature, and, in Gibbon’s recounting, it’s a far from pretty picture.”]

Reading between graveyards of Vrbov and Vienna and Villawood  

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought  (London: John Murray, 1883), p. 58:

Alas! alas! for the mere trifle that threw us in the way of our misfortune! How ineffably small a change would have saved us! It cuts us to the heart to think that a friend's call, a word lightly spoken, a chance meeting, gave us the petty shove into the bottomless abyss!

In each separate case this is so. And yet there is a want of manly good sense in this lamentation. For are we to expect no calamities ? And if they are to come, the chain that ends with them is sure to have links as feeble as those we are bewailing. Our regret is, practically, a regret not for the smallness of the cause that brought this evil upon us, but for the existence of evil itself.

Moreover, 'tis as broad as it is long. If our misfortunes were tumbled upon our heads by trifles so too were our fortunes. You may trace your present happiness, not less than your unhappiness, along a line of incidents, which, at some points, a fly's weight would have snapped asunder.

James Huneker, Egoists (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1909), p. 179:
Huysmans never betrayed the slightest interest in doctrines of equality; for him, as for Baudelaire, socialism, the education of the masses, or democratic prophylactics were hateful.... Nothing was more horrible to him than the idea of universal religion, universal speech, universal government, with their concomitant universal monotony. The world is ugly enough without the ugliness of universal sameness. Variety alone makes this globe bearable. He did not believe in art for the multitude, and the tableau of a billion humans bellowing to the moon the hymn of universal brotherhood made him shiver — as well it might. [ imagine if we all behaved like CJ or NO]

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn Of Day  (§163), tr. J. M. Kennedy (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1924), p. 167:
Against Rousseau. If it is true that there is something contemptible about our civilisation, we have two alternatives: of concluding with Rousseau that, "This despicable civilisation is to blame for our bad morality," or to infer, contrary to Rousseau's view, that "Our good morality is to blame for this contemptible civilisation. Our social conceptions of good and evil, weak and effeminate as they are, and their enormous influence over both body and soul, have had the effect of weakening all bodies and souls and of crushing all unprejudiced, independent, and self-reliant men, the real pillars of a strong civilisation: wherever we still find the evil morality to-day, we see the last crumbling ruins of these pillars." Thus let paradox be opposed by paradox! It is quite impossible for the truth to lie with both sides: and can we say, indeed, that it lies with either? Decide for yourself. 

Friedrich Nietzsche, Morgenröthe, inGesammelte Werke, Vol. 10 (München: Musarion Verlag, 1920), p. 152 ...