Freud’s theory of the death drive also gives us a way to think about gender.
Walter Benjamin remarked of the people who experienced the First World War:
A generation that had gone to school in horse-drawn streetcars now stood in the open air, amid a landscape in which nothing was the same except the clouds, and at its center, in a forcefield of destructive torrents and explosions, a tiny fragile human body.
I sometimes wish I could find Cindy to thank her for agreeing with my fine idea that we sneak into the university chapel late one night in 1983 to make love. I don’t just want to thank her for giving me the trump card — “house of worship”— I hold in every stupid party game that begins, “Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever … ?” No, I want to thank her for the truth of it. For knowing that the heart is holy even when our own hearts were so frail and callow. Truth: it was 1983; we were nineteen years old; we lay below the altar and preached a quiet sermon not just on the divinity of skin, but on the grace of the heart beneath. It was the only homily we knew, and our souls were beatified. And if you say sentiment and cliché, then that is what you say. What I know is what is sacred. Lord of this other world, let me recall that night. Let me again hear how our whispered exclamations near the end seemed like rising hymnal rhythm, and let me feel how those forgotten words came from somewhere else and meant something. Something, if only to the single moth that, in the darkened air of that chapel, fluttered its dusty wings around our heads.
"In our first mini-interview episode Massimo sits down to chat with his colleague Maarten Boudry, a philosopher of science from the University of Ghent in Belgium. Maarten recently co-edited the volume on The Philosophy of Pseudoscience (Chicago Press) with Massimo, and the two chat about the difference between science and pseudoscience and why it is an important topic not just in philosophy circles, but in the broader public arena as well."
In what is perhaps the first literary spat between a living and dead author, Will Self has infuriated the followers of George Orwell by describing the writer of the political classics Animal Farm and 1984 as a “supreme mediocrity”.
I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb”—widely regarded as one of Larkin’s finest poems—and contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”
The original manuscript of Mirza Ghalib’s verses, penned in 1821, has miraculously survived after being reported missing and presumed destroyed almost 50 years ago.
In a thrilling discovery for all lovers of Urdu poetry, the original manuscript of Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib’s ‘Nuskha-e-Hameediya’ may have survived after being reported missing during the India – Pakistan war during the 1940s. The manuscript, dated 1821, was commissioned by Nawab Faujdar Mohammed Khan and penned by the hand of calligrapher Hafiz Mueenuddin, and features some of the most authentic and beautiful Urdu poetry ever written.
An online art gallery and museum named Husaini Arts were the ones to uncover this miraculous discovery. A spokesman for the venture says, “It’s truly an incredible find and we’re thrilled that we may yet get to read the original manuscript, which is now almost 200 years old. Urdu poetry lovers everywhere will be rejoicing at this news – that the original text can now be added to the canon of work Ghalib worked on.”
He adds, “After many years of believing that the manuscript was missing and accepting doctored and amended versions of this work as ‘authentic’, we can now finally see the genius of Ghalib as it was originally intended.”
The manuscript was the first of the nine known manuscripts of the Divans of Ghalib – commissioned when Ghalib was just 24 years of age. Accounts from scholars and publishers say the original manuscript contained almost 1,800 verses – nearly twice the number of verses that were published in the ‘authorized’ version in 1941. The discovery of these extra verses is very important – fifty years after the death of Ghalib, finding a manuscript with many unknown verses was a huge discovery for the poetry community. Ghalib did not find the omitted verses ‘fit for publication’, but true poetry lovers were keen to read the missing text.
Later, in 1969, Professor Hamid Ahmed Khan wrote that he examined the manuscript in 1938, but did not keep extensive notes on his thoughts regarding the omitted piece, later going on to publish a ‘corrected’ version of the poems. By the time the ‘corrected’ version of the poems had been released, the actual manuscript had disappeared, presumed missing or possibly destroyed during the India – Pakistan division back in 1947. With no original text as evidence, readers had to accept that Professor Khan’s version was authentic – until now.
The original Nuskha-e-Hameediya is about to be brought to light, and all those who love Urdu poetry are about to see the true, authentic text that Ghalib first intended to be read by the elite in the 19thcentury. The discovery of the original manuscript has sparked celebrations in the creative community, especially the researchers on the works of Mirza Ghailb, many of whom are thrilled that the doctored and amended texts will not go down in history as the definitive poems.
Sometimes when she would talk about herself my mother would say: My life was sad and quiet, I always walked on tip-toe. But if I got a little angry and stamped my foot the cups, which had been my mother’s, would tinkle on the dresser and make me laugh.
At the moment of my birth, so I am told, a butterfly flew in by the window and settled on my mother’s bed, but that same moment a dog howled in the yard. My mother thought it a bad omen.
My life of course has not been quite as peaceful as hers. But even when I gaze upon our present days with wistfulness as if at empty picture frames and all I see is a dusty wall, still it has been so beautiful.
There are many moments I cannot forget, moments like radiant flowers in all possible colours and hues, evenings filled with fragrance like purple grapes hidden in the leaves of darkness.
With passion I read poetry and loved music and blundered, ever surprised, from beauty to beauty. But when I first saw the picture of a woman nude I began to believe in miracles.
My life unrolled swiftly. It was too short for my vast longings, which had no bounds. Before I knew it my life’s end was drawing near.
Death soon will kick open my door and enter. With startled terror I’ll catch my breath and forget to breathe again.
May I not be denied the time once more to kiss the hands of the one who patiently and in step with me walked on and on and on and who loved most of all.
“Autobiography" from The Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert Translated from the Czech by Ewald Osers
In placid hours well-pleased we dream Of many a brave unbodied scheme. But form to lend, pulsed life create, What unlike things must meet and mate: A flame to melt—a wind to freeze; Sad patience—joyous energies; Humility—yet pride and scorn; Instinct and study; love and hate; Audacity—reverence. These must mate, And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart, To wrestle with the angel—Art.
Carp ascending a waterfall
ca. 1926 Ohara Koson, (Japanese, 1877 - 1945) Taisho or Showa era
It has become fashionable to say that people have no free will. Many scientists cannot imagine how the idea of free will could be reconciled with the laws of physics and chemistry. Brain researchers say that the brain is just a bunch of nerve cells that fire as a direct…
A leading neuroscientist who has spent decades studying creativity shares her research on where genius comes from, whether it is dependent on high IQ—and why it is so often accompanied by mental illness.
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Bernard Williams had a very large mind. To read these three posthumously published collections of essays (there will be a fourth, on opera) is an overwhelming reminder of his incandescent and all-consuming intelligence. He brought philosophical reflection to an opulent array of subjects, . . .