Instructivo programa, si bien pasa de puntillas, de modo bastante tendencioso, por un momento crucial de la historia de la Falange: cuando se convierte en una fuerza criminal para organizar asesinatos masivos de personas asociadas al bando republicano, especialmente durante los primeros meses de la guerra civil. Pequeño detalle, con miles y miles de muertos que no constan en el currículum de los falangistas, porque se aplicó allí la desmemoria interesada hasta extremos épicos. Y sigue aplicándose, como se ve.
Joseph C. Carroll firstname.lastname@example.org Adam Miklosei email@example.com , Alice Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org , Ana Sobral Ana.Sobral@uni-konstanz.de , Andy Thomson email@example.com , Anja Mueller-Wood 'firstname.lastname@example.org' , Apurva Narechania email@example.com , Kevin S Baldwin KBALDWIN@monm.edu , Barbara Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org , Bill Zimmerman email@example.com , "firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com , Blakey Vermeule firstname.lastname@example.org , Bob Storey email@example.com , Bret Rappaport BRappaport@hardtstern.com , Brett Cooke firstname.lastname@example.org , Brian Boyd email@example.com , Candace Alcorta firstname.lastname@example.org , Carl Degler email@example.com , Carsten Koenneker Koenneker@spektrum.com , Charles Duncan firstname.lastname@example.org , Cheryle Jaworski email@example.com , Clinton Machann firstname.lastname@example.org , Dan Kruger email@example.com , Daniel Barratt firstname.lastname@example.org , Daniel Nettle email@example.com , Daniel Tanaka firstname.lastname@example.org , Dave Evans email@example.com , David Barash firstname.lastname@example.org , David Buss email@example.com , David Livingstone Smith firstname.lastname@example.org , David Miall David.Miall@ualberta.ca , David Michelson email@example.com , David Sloan Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org , Denis Dutton email@example.com , Dirk Vanderbeke firstname.lastname@example.org , D. L. DiSalvo email@example.com , Don Brown firstname.lastname@example.org , Don Mahan email@example.com , Michael Shermer DrMichaelShermer@aol.com , Dylan Evans firstname.lastname@example.org , Edward Slingerland email@example.com , Eileen A. Joy firstname.lastname@example.org , Ellen Dissanayake email@example.com , Ervin Nieves Ervin_Nieves@hotmail.com , Fotis Jannidis firstname.lastname@example.org , Frances Widdowson email@example.com , Francis F. Steen firstname.lastname@example.org , Frank Miele FMieleX@aol.com , Frank Salter FSSalter@aol.com , Gad Saad GadSaad@jmsb.concordia.ca , Geoffrey Harpham email@example.com , Gerhard Lauer firstname.lastname@example.org , Glen Love email@example.com , Gordon M. Burghardt firstname.lastname@example.org , Griet Vandermassen Griet.Vandermassen@UGent.be , Hans Foerstl Hans.Foerstl@lrz.tu-muenchen.de , Harold Fromm email@example.com , "Horvathon@aol.com" Horvathon@aol.com , Ian Duncan firstname.lastname@example.org , Jay R. Feierman email@example.com , "firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com , Jeremy Hsu firstname.lastname@example.org , jerry hoeg email@example.com , Jessica Drew firstname.lastname@example.org , John Johnson email@example.com , John Knapp firstname.lastname@example.org , John Tooby email@example.com , John van Wyhe firstname.lastname@example.org , John Whitfield email@example.com , Jon Hodgson firstname.lastname@example.org , Jose Garcia Landa email@example.com , Joseph Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org , Judith Saunders Judith.Saunders@marist.edu , Karl Eibl Karl.Eibl@gmx.net , Karl Sigmund email@example.com , Kathryn Coe KCoe@azcc.arizona.edu , Katja Mellmann firstname.lastname@example.org , Ken Womack email@example.com , Kevin Baldeosingh firstname.lastname@example.org , Kevin Cullen email@example.com , L. Eslinger firstname.lastname@example.org , Larry Arnhart TI0LEA1@wpo.cso.niu.edu , Lauri Jang email@example.com , Leslie Heywood firstname.lastname@example.org , Linda Carroll email@example.com , Lionel Tiger firstname.lastname@example.org , M. S. Smith M.S.Smith@kent.ac.uk , Marcus Nordlund email@example.com , Maria Bachman firstname.lastname@example.org , Martin Bruene email@example.com , Mathias F. Clasen firstname.lastname@example.org , Max Oelschlaeger Oelsch@prodigy.net , Maya Lessov email@example.com , Michael Austin firstname.lastname@example.org , Michelle Scalise Sugiyama email@example.com , Miguel Conde firstname.lastname@example.org , Mike Fonte email@example.com , Mogens Olesen firstname.lastname@example.org , Nadia Zaboura email@example.com , Nancy Aiken firstname.lastname@example.org , Nancy Easterlin email@example.com , Gaspar Nemes firstname.lastname@example.org , Nicholas F. Pici email@example.com , Nick Cavallo firstname.lastname@example.org , Nick Gillespie email@example.com , P.M. Hejl firstname.lastname@example.org , Craig T. Palmer email@example.com , Priyanka Pathak P.Pathak@Palgrave.com , Pauline Uchmanowicz firstname.lastname@example.org , Pete Swirski email@example.com , Peter Bikoulis firstname.lastname@example.org , Robert Funk email@example.com , Robert Perchan firstname.lastname@example.org , robin dunbar email@example.com , Robin Fox firstname.lastname@example.org , Robin Headlam Wells R.Headlam_Wells@roehampton.ac.uk , Rudiger Vaas email@example.com , Ruth Berger firstname.lastname@example.org , Catherine Salmon Catherine_Salmon@redlands.edu , Priya Shetty email@example.com , Simone Winko firstname.lastname@example.org , Stephen Davies email@example.com , Steven Brown firstname.lastname@example.org, Steven Pinker email@example.com, Tamas Bereczkei firstname.lastname@example.org, Todd Williams email@example.com, Tom Dolack firstname.lastname@example.org, Torben Grodal email@example.com, Ursula Goodenough firstname.lastname@example.org, Wayne Hall HALLWE@ucmail.uc.edu, William Irons email@example.com, Wulf Schiefenhoevel firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
Much Ado about Nothing, a comedy by *Shakespeare, written probably 1598-9, first printed 1600. Its chief sources are a novella by *Bandello and an episode in Ariosto's *Orlando Furioso. The play has always been a popular one in performance.
Ths prince of Arragon, with Claudio and Benedick in his suite, visits Leonato, duke of Messina, father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice. The sprightly Beatrice has a teasing relationship with the sworn bachelor Benedick. Beatrice and Benedick are both tricked into believing the other in love, and this brings about a genuine sympathy between them. Meanwhile Don John, the malcontented brother of the prince, thwarts Claudio's marriage by arranging for him to see Hero apparently wooed by his friend Borachio on her balcony—it is really her maidservant Margaret in disguise. Hero is publicly denounced by Claudio on her wedding day, falls into a swoon, and apparently dies. Benedick proves his love for Beatrice by challenging Claudio to a duel. The plot by Don John and Borachio is unmasked by the 'shallow fools' Dogberry and Verges, the local constables. Claudio promises to make Leonato amends. Claudio promises to make Leonato amends for his daughter's death, and is asked to marry a cousin of Hero's; the veiled lady turns out to be Hero herself. Benedick asks to be married at the same time; Beatric, 'upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption', agrees, and the play ends with a dance.
From the Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare, by Stanley Wells:
Much Ado about Nothing. Shakespeare's comedy ws first printed in *quarto in 1600, probably from the author's manuscript. This edition was reprinted in the First *Folio (1623). The play was not mentioned by *Meres in 1598, and is usually dated 1598-1600. It is based on a traditional story which had been told by Ariosto in his Orlando Furioso (1516, translated 1591), and by Bandello, translated into French by *Belleforest. It was played at Court in 1613, and a poem by Leonard *Digges printed in 1640 suggests that it remained popular. William *Davenant adapted it as The Law Against Lovers (1662), with little success.
The original play was performed in 1721, and there were further revivals in 1739 and 1746, but it did not fully regain its popularity until David *Garrick first played Benedick, in 1748, after which he revived it regularly until he retired in 1776. His first, and greatest, Beatrice was Mrs. *Pritchard.
During the later part of the century Frances Abington and Elizabeth Farren shone as Beatrice. Charles *Kemble succeeded as Benedick from 1803, and the play's popularity during the nineteenth century culminated in Henry Irving's *Lyceum revival of 1882, in which Ellen *Terry gave her legendary Beatrice, which she went on playing for a quarter of a century.
The most famous twentieth-century production is John *Gielgud's at Stratford-upon-Avon, first given in 1949, when he did not appear in it, but revived in 1950 with himself as Benedick and Peggy *Ashcroft as Beatrice, and repeated several times during the 1950s.
Much Ado about Nothing has proved to be one of Shakespeare's most resilient plays. Twentieth-century productions have frequently updated the action. Hugh Hunt directed it in modern dress in 1947. Douglas Seale, at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1958, in costumes of about 1851, Franco *Zeffirelli, at the *Old Vic in 1965 in a farcical version set in late nineteenth-century Sicily, John *Barton at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1976 in a setting of nineteenth-century British india with Judi *Dench an unusually serious, and wholly credible, Beatrice, and Terry *Hands, also at Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1982. Susan Fleetwood and Roger Allam played Beatrice and Benedick in Bill *Alexander's production (Stratford, 1990) and Kenneth *Branagh directed a lively and successful film in 1993, playing opposite Emma Thompson as Beatrice. The play was enjoyable in all these varied interpretations. Critics have been troubled by the moral ambiguities of the Hero-Claudio plot, but theatrically the sub-plot characters of Beatrice and Benedick, along with Dogberry and the Watch, have always carried the play to success.
Come sono belle queste maschere Come sono brutte queste maschere Si sono io le faccio io Mi chiamano mascheraio Metto pezzettini di carta Comencio dal bordo Dopo le sopracciglia, poi il naso e la bocca
Un giorno faccio una maschera che ride Un giorno faccio una maschera che piange Un giorno faccio una maschera bella Un giorno faccio una maschera brutta
Come facile fare una maschera con diverse espressioni Ma che peccato che non hanno il cuore Che non hanno la circolazione del sangue Che non sentono né fredo né caldo Che non possono dire perché piangono o ridono
Ma con me sono diverse Quando metto pezzettini di carta sugli occhi mi guardano e mi danno i loro sentimenti Quando metto pezzettini di carta sulla bocca mi parlano e mi dicono tante cose Quando metto pezzettini di carta sul naso vedo che respirano che sono vive
Ma allora, forse loro sono vere e noi siamo maschere
Saliendo de la trilogía: El final de 'The Unnamable'
Saliendo de la trilogía: El final de The Unnamable (Samuel Beckett y la narración reflexiva, 8)
Seguimos subiendo capítulo a capítulo el libro sobre Beckett:
Samuel Beckett y la Narración Reflexiva es un estudio en profundidad de la escritura experimental de Beckett, en especial de la trilogía novelística Molloy, Malone Dies, y The Unnamable, desde la perspectiva de la narratología estructuralista y las teorías estructuralistas sobre la enunciación. Resulta de allí no sólo una mejor comprensión de la técnica utilizada por Beckett para transmitir su peculiar visión de la realidad, sino también toda una nueva gama de significaciones en estos textos. En este capítulo examinamos la clausura de The Unnamable (El Innombrable) entendida como un experimento de representación metalingüística aplicado a la función misma de la clasura narrativa.
Leaving the Trilogy: The Ending of The Unnamable (Samuel Beckett and Reflexive Narrative, 8)
Samuel Beckett and Reflexive Narrative is an in-depth study of Beckett's experimental writing, more specifically of the novelistic trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, from the standpoint of structuralist theories of narrative and of enunciation. An increased insight is thereby obtained into the technique used by Beckett to articulate his peculiar view of reality, and a new dimension of signification of these texts emerges. This chapter examines the ending of The Unnamable understood as an experiment in metalinguistic representation applied to the notion of narrative closure itself.
Reference Info: Samuel Beckett y la narración reflexiva. Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 1992.
eJournal Classifications - Date posted:November 21, 2014
from the Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
Twelfth Night,or What You Will, a comedy by *Shakespeare probably written 1601. John *Manningham saw a performance of it in the Middle Temple in February 1602; it was frist printed in the *Folio of 1623. Shakespeare's immediate source for the main plot was 'The History of Apolonius and Silla' in Barnabe *Rich's Riche His Farewell to Militarie Profession (1581). This is derived from Belleforest's version, which by way of *Bandello can be traced back to a Sienese comedy Gl'Ingannati (The Deceived), written and performed 1531.
Sebastian and Viola, twin brother and sister and closely resembling one another, are separated in a shipwreck off the coast of Illyria. Viola, brought to shore in a boat, disguises herself a youth, Cesario, and takes service as page with Duke Orsino, who is in love with the lady Olivia. She rejects the duke's suit and will not meet him. Orsino makes a confidant of Cesario and sends her to press his suit on Olivia, much to the distress of Cesario, who has fallen in love with Orsino. Olivia in turn falls in love with Cesario. Sebastian and Antonio, captain of the ship that had rescued Sebastian, now arrive in Illyria. Cesario, challenged to a duel by Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a rejected suitor of Olivia, is rescued from her predicament by Antonio, who takes her for Sebastian. Antonio, being arrested at that moment for an old offence, claims from Cesario a purse that he had entrusted to Sebastian, is denied it, and hauled off to prison. Olivia coming upon the true Sebastian, takes him for Cesario, invites him to her house, and marries him out of hand. Orsino comes to visit Olivia. Antonio, brought before him, claims Cesario as the youth he has rescued from the sea; while Olivia claims Cesario as her husband. The duke, deeply wounded, is bidding farewell to Olivia and the 'dissembling cub' Cesario, when the arrival of the true Sebastian clears up the confusion. The duke, having lost Olivia, and becoming conscious of the love that Viola has betrayed, turns his affection to her, and they are married.
Much of the play's comedy comes from the sub-plot dealing with the members of Olivia's household: Sir Toby Belch, her uncle, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, his friend, Malvolio, her pompous steward, Maria, her waiting-gentlewoman, and her clown Feste. Exasperated by Malvolio's officiousness, the other members of the house make him believe that Olivia is in love with him and that he must return her affection. In courting her he behaves so outrageously that he is imprisoned as a madman. Olivia has him released and the joke against him is explained, but he is not amused by it, threatening, 'I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you.'
The play's gentle melancholy and lyrical atmosphere is captured in two of Feste's beautiful songs, 'Come away, come away, death' and 'When that I was and a little tiny boy, / With hey, ho, the wind and the rain'.
Por cierto, que nada más este listado ya tiene más de 7.000 visitas que supongo habría que sumar a las de mi bibliografía. Por eso me gusta pensar que, aunque la página principal de la bibliografía tenga menos visitas que antes y rara vez llegan a cincuenta diarieas, en realidad recibe una cantidad innumerable de visitas. Literalmente innumerable, o incalculable, si se prefiere—pues está desperdigada en centenares o miles de documentos que o bien tienen su propio contador independiente, como es el caso aquí, o sencillamente no tienen contador.
Voy recopilando las referencias de trabajos académicos que me citan, a veces siguiendo los enlaces de Google Scholar. Al menos cuando me consta que en efecto me citan, porque a veces parece que sólo ponga esas referencias para alegrarme la vida, y luego no me encuentro en ellas. O son de pago, con lo cual siguen veladas en el misterio—porque no será el año que viene, sino quizá el siguiente, cuando pague yo por ver qué dicen de mí. En fin, en tiempo siempre las pagamos, estas aficiones. Hoy, al margen de algunas citas en revistas religiosas y teológicas, y sitios paranormales, he encontrado esta referencia de un colega que cita un estudio mío sobre Enrique V de Shakespeare.
Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Shakespeare, William | Spain | Translations | Criticism | Productions
Área/s de conocimiento:
Fecha de publicación:
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
GONZÁLEZ, José Manuel. “Nothing like the Sun: Shakespeare in Spain Today”. Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance. Vol. 9, No. 24 (2012). ISSN 2083-8530, pp. 34-52
Today Shakespeare is more present in Spain than ever as a result of the critical interest and spectacular growth of his popularity among Spaniards who recognise him as the embodiment of cultural and literary values. Since the celebration of the Seventh World Shakespeare Congress in Valencia in April 2001, Shakespearean scholarship in Spain has provided new ways of understanding the playwright. It has opened up debates on issues which have made possible new scholarly studies, translations and performances that have proved more active and vigorous than ever, and whose effects can be seen in different facets of Spanish culture and life.
Tenemos a jueces en los puestos de más alta responsabilidad que literalmente pierden el culo por sacar de la cárcel a los asesinos más sanguinarios, en especial si son etarras. El olor a tigre les puede y les derrite, a estos felones con puñetas. Lástima no los encierren a todos juntos en la misma celda, etarras y jueces, que es lo que merecen, y así disfrutarían—al menos los jueces. Hatajo de criminales, con y sin togas...
Las indicaciones y apaños de los gobiernos de Zapatero y de Rajoy, indignos y traidores, son las que posibilitan que sucedan estas cosas: crean la atmósfera adecuada, y las leyes que lo permiten. Y la gente (quizá incluso vosotros) ahí votándoles. Luego no os quejéis.
Iba a titularlo "tocando techo", pero quién sabe, ya no digo nada. Lo cierto es que termino este año con mis mejores resultados hasta la fecha desde que se uso el SSRN. El Social Science Research Network, aclaro, es uno de los principales repositorios académicos del mundo—el primero del mundo habitualmente, y siempre el primero para las ciencias sociales y humanidades, según la Ranking Web of Repositories. La sección de humanidades se abrió en 2007 y empecé a utilizarla inmediatamente. Y he ido mejorando los resultados constantemente, en visitas y en número de artículos—quiero decir en sentido tanto absoluto como relativo. No sólo tengo más visitas y artículos (raro sería que tuviese menos) sino que subo en proporción a otros usuarios, al menos en algunos parámetros. No destaco ni en citas ni en el Eigenfaktor ése que utilizan como un (atípico) índice de clasificación. Pero sí estoy bien posicionado por ejemplo en número de descargas recientes, quizá el principal parámetro que utilizan. Allí estoy en el puesto 729 (de entre 270.000 autores—lo cual viene a ser en el 0,27 % superior—puntuándome sobre 10, una nota de 9,9. Si sólo contamos como indicativos los 30.000 autores más activos, allí salgo con un 9,6 más o menos. Resultados excelentes, internacionales y objetivos, qué les voy a decir.
Son resultados que no tienen nada que ver con las puntuaciones que me han dado estos últimos años aquí, close to home, las corruptas comisiones de evaluación dirigidas por nuestros catedráticos. A ellos, por cierto, no los busquen por aquí.
De posicionamiento general aquí aparece una cifra que es el 2230, y que es el índice de más autoridad. Según él estoy bien de lleno en el 1% superior en descargas totales. Alrededor del 0,8 % más bien. (Hay que decir que en Academia, otro repositorio multimillonario en número de usuarios, también estoy en el 1 por MIL superior). Este índice va actualizándose y es ligeramente diferente hoy en mi página del SSRN, en la que se me informa en su modo de visionado interno que "Jose Angel Garcia Landa['s] Author Rank is 2,174 out of 268,046"—algo mejor, y subiendo—a estas alturas.
Si esto no está mal, y quiere decir que alguien va leyendo mis artículos allí, aunque sean cuatro gatos académicos, mejores resultados todavía obtengo según otros parámetros. Este cuadro que sigue muestra la clasificación general (los 30.000 autores principales) clasificados por número de contribuciones subidas al SSRN. Muy trabajador he sido, y estoy en el puesto 25. Veinticinco de 30.000—o de 270.000, si prefieren. (Si abundo ahí más de lo que soy leído, ése es un triste parámetro en el que no voy a entrar—que lo haga Rita). Disfrutemos de la portada:
El siguiente gráfico presenta los resultados recientes (del último año se entiende) según el mismo parámetro, número de contribuciones. Ahí aún destaco más, pues ocupo el puesto 19, el más destacado que he logrado jamás en este repositorio. Ya sé que al 19 no le dan medalla en ningún pódium.... mais quand même!
Aquí otra visualización del mismo posicionamiento, con gráfica de Wall Street. ESTE TORNEO, lo llaman aquí—y no salgo nada abollado del mismo:
Me doy por felicitado por estos resultados. ¿Me creerán si les digo que menos da una piedra?
Javier Sánchez in memoriam Ha aparecido el volumen 50 de la revista Miscelánea—de la que en otro siglo fui editor—, y es un volumen dedicado a la memoria de Javier Sánchez Escribano, compañero de departamento, y de cafés, mientras vivió y mientras no se fue a la orilla del mar dejando atrás Zaragoza y el departamento. Muchas desgracias (y chistes de la vida también) comentamos esos últimos años hasta que se jubiló. Pero tuvo mala suerte Javier, y poco le tocó disfrutar de la jubilación. Javier fue profesor mío ya desde que pisé la universidad en 1979. Aún tengo por ahí un trabajo que hice para una asignatura suya más adelante en la carrera, el primero que aparece en mi lista de publicaciones. Para este número de la Miscelánea escribí esta presentación:
Este volumen está dedicado a la memoria de Javier Sánchez Escribano, compañero y amigo del Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana de la Universidad de Zaragoza, recientemente fallecido. Casi todos los profesores de este departamento conocimos a Javier Sánchez Escribano primero como profesor nuestro en la carrera. Ha sido para nosotros uno de los old timers que estaban ya en el departamento y en el área de Filología Inglesa en Zaragoza desde sus primeros tiempos; y enseñó Javier a muchas promociones de estudiantes desde los años 70. Siempre fue un excelente compañero, al que incluso en los momentos difíciles no le fallaban el buen humor, la amistad, y el trato amable. Era parte de esta vida cotidiana en la universidad—tantas reuniones, tantas clases y también muchos cafés que tomamos juntos; la vida sólida de cada día en la que confiamos pensando que nunca nos va a faltar, ese día a día que se vuelve la sustancia misma de la realidad. Damos por hecho no nos va a faltar sin pensarlo siquiera, como nadie había pensado que Javier pudiera morir tan pronto, a destiempo—como tampoco lo pensaríamos sobre nosotros mismos. Se retiró todavía joven, parecía que con mucho tiempo por delante, a disfrutar de una jubilación temprana y una vida que prometía ser feliz y tranquila, a orillas del Mediterráneo. Aunque lo perdimos de vista contábamos con volverlo a ver, cualquier día, en cualquier visita. Y no había de ser. Nunca sabemos si ya hemos visto a alguien por última vez, si ya hemos hablado por última vez con una de esas personas que han sido, con su compañía y con su amistad, la trama misma de nuestra vida diaria, y así nos sucedió con Javier.
Te echamos de menos, Javier, y sentimos no haber podido despedirte mejor, aunque es cierto que es imposible despedirse bien de quien no esperamos ni queremos despedirnos. Los académicos realizamos en estos casos rituales dedicatorios, ceremonias que no valen más que otras, pero que tienen el valor de mantener simbólicamente esta relación con nuestro compañero, de poder decirle adiós con aprecio y tristeza mientras reconocemos su labor y seguimos dirigiéndonos a él como uno de los nuestros, alguien que sigue ahí, en nuestra memoria, en ese tiempo fuera del tiempo en el que el mundo y las personas tienen una eternidad y una permanencia, y todo sigue siendo como debería ser, como era antes. Para eso son los textos—incluso los textos académicos, que estudian estas cosas—y la literatura, que es el mejor ejemplo de esa pervivencia.
De la literatura y la lengua inglesas disfrutó Javier, estudiándolas y enseñándolas, en sus clases y en sus publicaciones académicas. Y también disfrutó, a ratos al menos, como hacemos los académicos, con textos y estudios filológicos, en congreso con sus compañeros—estas cosas de la academia— cosas nuestras, a veces incomprensibles hasta para nosotros mismos, pero a ellas nos dedicamos, e incluso las dedicamos. A la Filología se dedicó Javier muchos años, toda una vida. Además de sus propios trabajos académicos, fue el fundador de la Sociedad Española de Estudios Renacentistas, que ha contribuido de modo tan significativo al desarrollo de la anglística en España. Y en esta parcela de nuestros estudios hizo su contribución Javier, desde lo que son ahora ya los tiempos heroicos. A estos estudios, sin embargo, se debió de ver atraído originalmente Javier más bien por la literatura que por la filología misma, pues su gran afición eran los escritores del renacimiento inglés, y el contacto que tuvieron con España, un contacto que él mantenía vivo y que nos sigue hablando desde sus escritos— And of this book, this learning mayst thou taste.
Nos despedimos como podemos, porque de alguna manera hay que despedirse. Por qué no, conversando con Shakespeare, como a menudo conversó Javier, con una de sus obras favoritas, Ricardo II—para darnos voz cuando falla la voz, y para servir como imagen de nuestro dolor al perderlo.
“The shadow of my sorrow? Ha? Let's see, 'Tis very true. My grief lies all within, And these external manner of laments Are merely shadows to the unseen grief That swells with silence in the tortured soul. There lies the substance.”
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.
SWIFT, Jonathan (1667-1745), born in Dublin after his father's death. He was son of Jonathan Swift by Abigail (Erick) of Leicester, and grandson of Thomas Swift, the well-known Royalist vicar of Goodrich, descended from a Yorkshire family. He was a cousin of *Dryden. He was educated with *Congreve, at Kilkenny Grammar School, then at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was censured for offences against discipline, obtaining his degree only by 'special grace'. He was admitted (1689) to the household of Sir William *Temple, and there acted as secretary. He was sent by Temple to William III to convince him of the necessity of triennial parliaments, but his mission was not successful. He wrote Pindaric *odes, one of which, printed in the Athenian Mercury (1692) provoked, according to Dr *Johnson, Dryden's remark, 'Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet.' Chafing at his position of dependence, and indignant at Temple's delay in getting him preferment, he returned to Ireland, was ordained (1694), and received the small prebend of Kilroot. He returned to Temple at Moor Park in 1696, where he edited Temple's correspondence, and in 1697 wrote *The Battle of the Books, which was published in 1704 together with *A Tale of a Tub, his celebrated satire on 'corruptions in religion and learning.' At Moor Park he first met Esther Johnson ('Stella'), the daughter of a servant or companion of Temple's sister. On the death of Temple in 1699, Swift went again to Ireland, whre he was given a prebend in St Patrick's, Dublin, and the living of Laracor. He wrote his Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome, with reference to the impeachment of the Whig lords, in 1701. In the course of numerous visits to London he became acquainted with *Addison, *Steele, Congreve, and Halifax. He was entrusted in 1707 with a mission to obtain the grant of Queen Anne's Bounty for Ireland, and in 1708 began a series of pamphlets on church questions with his ironical Argument against Abolishing Christianity, followed in the same year by his Letter Concerning the Sacramental Test, an attack on the Irish Presbyterinas which injured him with the Whigs. Amid these serious occupations, he diverted himself with theseries of squibs upon the astrologer John Partridge (1708-9, see under BICKERSTAFF), which have become famous, and his 'Description of a City Shower' and 'Description of the Morning', poems depicting scenes of London life, which were published in the *Tatler (1709). Disgusted at the Whig alliance with Dissent, he went over to the Tories in 1710, joined the Brothers' Club, attacked the Whig ministers in the *Examiner, which he edited, and in 1711 wrote The Conduct of the Allies and Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty, pamphlets written to dispose the mind of the nation to peace. He became dean of St Patrick's in 1713. He had already begun his Journal to Stella, a series of intimate letters (1710-13) to Esther Johnson and her companion Rebecca Dingley, who had moved to Ireland in 1700/1; it is written partly in baby language, and gives a vivid account of Swift's daily life in London where he was in close touch with Tory ministers. Swift's relations with Estella remain obscure; they were intimate and affectionate, and some form of marriage may have taken place. Another woman, Esther Vanhomrigh (pro. "Vannumery") , entered his life in 1708; his poem *Cadenus and Vanessa suggests that she fell deeply in love with him ('She wished her Tutor were her lover') and that he gave her some encouragement. She is said to have died of shock in 1723 after his final rupture with her, inspired by her jealousy of Stella. Stella died in 1728.
Swift wrote various political pamphlets, notably The Importance of the Guardian Considered (1713) and The Public Spirit of the Whigs (1714), in reply to Steele's Crisis; and about the time of the queen's death in 1714 and the fall of the Tory ministry, several papers (published much later) in defence of the latter. In the same year he joined *Pope, *Arbuthnot, *Gay, and others in the celebrated *Scriblerus Club. He returned to Ireland in Aug. 17814 and occupied himself with Irish affairs, being led by his resentment of the policy of the Whigs to acquire a sense of their unfair treatment of Ireland.By his famous *Drapier's Letters (1724) he prevented the introduction of 'Wood's Half Pence' into Ireland. He came to England in 1726, visited Pope and Gay, and dined with Sir Robert *Walpole, to whom he addressed a letter of remonstrance on Irish affairs with no result. He published *Gulliver's Travels in the same year, and paid a last visit to England in 1727, when the death of George I created for a moment hopes of dislodging Walpole. He wrote some of his most famous tracts and characteristic poems during his last years in Ireland, The Grand Question Debated (1729); Verses on the Death of Dr Swift (1731, pub. 1739), in which with mingled pathos and humoiur he reviews his life and work; A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious *Conversation (1738); and the ironical Directions to Servants (written about 1731 and published after his death). He kept up his correspondence with *Bolingbroke, Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot, attracted to himself a small circle of friends,, and was adored by the people. He spent a third of his income on charities, and saved another third to found St. Patrick's Hospital for Imbeciles (opened 1757). The symptoms of the illness from which he suffered for most of his life (now thought to have been Ménière's disease) became very marked in his last years, and his faculties decayed to such a degree that many considered him insane, though modern biographical opinion rejects this view. He was buried by the side of Stella, in St. Patrick's, Dublin, his own famous epitaph 'ubi saeva indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit' (where fierce indignation cannot further tear apart the heart) being inscribed into his tomb. Nearly all his works were published anonymously, and for only one, Gulliver's Travels, did he receive any payment (£200). Dr Johnson, *Macaulay, and *Thackeray, among many other writers, were alienated by his ferocity and coarseness, and his works tended to be undervalued in the later 18th-19th centuries. The 20th century has seen a revival of biographical and critical interest, stressing on the whole Swift's sanity, vigour, and satirical inventiveness rather than his alleged misanthropy.
Swift published a great number of works. Besides the more important, referred to above, mention may be made of the following:
Political writings: The Virtues of Sid Hamet the Magician's Rod (1710), an attack on Godolphin; The W—ds—r Prophecy (1711), attacking the duchess of Somerset; A Short Character of T[homas] E[arl] of W[harton] (1711)); The Fable of Midas (1711); Some Advice Humbly Offered to the Members of the October club, the extreme Tories (1712); Some Free Thoughts upon the Present State of Affairs (1714); Traulus (1730), attacking Lord Allen; and the History of the Four Last Years of the Queen [Anne] (1758), which contains his famous character of *Harley.
Pamphlets relating to Ireland: A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720); The Swearer's-Bank (1720), The Story of the Injured Lady (?1746); A Short View of the State of Ireland (1728); *A Modest Proposal (1729); An Examination of Certain Abuses, Corruptions and Enormities in the City of Dublin (1732); The Legion Club (the Irish Parliament, 1736).
Pamphlets on church questions.The Sentiments of a Church of England Man with Respect to Religion and Government (1708); A Project for the Advancement of Religion and the Reformation of Manners (1709); A Preface to the B—p of S—r—m's Introduction (1713), an attack on Bishop *Burnet; Mr C—ns's Discourse on Free Thinking, a satire on Anthony *Collins (1713); A Letter to a Young Gentleman, Lately Entered into Holy Orders (1721), Swift's Sermons (of which four were published in 1744), are marked by the author's usual characteristics of vigour and common sense.
Miscellaneous verses and other writings. 'Mrs Frances Harris's petition', a servant who has lost her purse, an amusing burlesque (1709); *Baucis and Philemon (1709); 'On Mrs Biddy Floyd' (1709); 'A Meditation upon a Broom-Stick' (1710); A Proposal for Correcting, Improving and Ascertaining the English Tongue (1712); Imitations of the Seventh Epistle of the First Book of *Horace and the First Ode of the Second Book of Horace (1738); A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet (1721); a 'Letter to a Very Young Lady on Her Marriage' (1727); the 'Journal of a Dublin Lady' (1729); The Lady's Dressing-Room (1732); The Beasts Confession to the Priest (1732), a satire on 'the universal folly of mankind in mistaking their talents'; A Serious and Useful Scheme to Make an Hospital for Incurables—whether the incurable disease were knavery, folly, lying, or, infidelity (1733); On Poetry, a Rhapsody (1733), satirical advice to a poet; A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed; and Strephon and Chloe (1734).
The Prose Works have been edited by Herbert Davis (16 vols, 1939-74); Journal to Stella by H. Williams (2 vols, 1948); Poems by H. Williams (1937); Correspondence by H. Williams (5 vols, 1963-5); Complete Poems ed. P. Rogers (Penguin, 1983), with an important commentary. See also Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works and the Age (3 vols, 1962-83) and a useful short study by R. Quintana, Swift: An Introduction (1955).
As strangers we began Then acquaintances we became Then friends we were To round back to being strangers What did I do to you? I know I didn’t do anything wrong I acted as I always acted I smiled like I always smiled I talked like I always talked Yet, now you change toward me But I suspect why Did you love me till the point you wanted more? Were you hoping for a passionate night in the hay? I am sorry, you were disappointed But if this was the case, I totally understand For when we can’t have what we want We chase it away like it never existed The truth is now factored in I will keep my distance For I can’t give you what you want I will never be able to But I can give you your distance You said I am too much of an attraction That I am too attachable So I’ll be gone, estranged! I’ll be gone like the wind blowing west Cherishing the memory of our friendship And praying that GOD bless you well For after all, we were nothing, but strangers to begin with
Louis Cazamian on John Arbuthnot and Jonathan Swift. From A History of English Literature, by E. Legouis and A. Cazamian (Classicism: The Spirit of Controversy):
Controversy begets controversy; it also produces scepticism. In the atmosphere of party strife and of the clashing of ideas, the average mind is drifting towards the lassitude, the jaded indifference which will mark the mid-years of the century.
With vigorous thinkers, who give themselves up wholly to their beliefs, and ardently live through their intellectual adventures, doubt cannot be superficial and easy to bear; the universal irony with which they envelop themselves, and which seems to dissolve all the disappointments of heart of brain into a mere play of the critical intellect, disguises but ill the inward torment born of a moral restlessness. One must not, in all probability, lay too much stress on the moral kinship between Swift and the Romanticists, who were inclined to recognize in him one of themselves. But one can see in him, along with the triumph of the rational lucidity with which classicism wanted to light up the correct order of life and art, the symptom of the inner uneasiness which a reason too well armed for destruction could not escape, while it only met on every side with rival negations.
John Arbuthnot, born in Scotland (1667), taught mathematics in London, then practised medicine; attached to the person of Queen Anne (1709), he played an important part under the Whig ministry (1710-14) and in 1712 wrote numerous pamphlets: The Art of Political Lying, The History of John Bull, etc. In 1713 he formed with Pope the Scriblerus Club, which produced the Memoirs of Scriblerus (published in 1741). After the death of the queen and the fall of his party (1714), he retired into private life, but continued to collaborate in the literature of the opposition, in a way that still remains obscure. He died in 1735. His Miscellaneous Works (1750) are only partly authentic. The History of John Bull, Cassell's National Library; ed. by H. Teerink, 1925. See Aitken, The Life and Works of Arbuthnot, 1892.
Arbuthnot is inseparable from Swift. He was his friend and lived in mental companionship with him; from the circle to which both belonged there issued works united by an affinity of inspiration, and many a hint whicvh others knew how to put to profit. A supple, alert, original, seed-sowing intelligence, he has influenced Swift to a greater degree than he has been influenced by him. Or less pronounced features, but not without a certain family resemblance, he deserves to be remembered by the side of his great friend.
It is not easy to estimate the share of Arbuthnot in the common fund of ideas, images, symbols, and pleasantry to which not only he and Swift, but also Pope, Gay, and others contributed. His John Bull recalls in several places the Tale of a Tub; on the ther hand, Gulliver's Travels owes its birth to Martinus Scriblerus, a general theme, no doubt of collective origin, but the most direct development of which seems to be due to Arbuthnot. As for the echoes and variations of this theme in the literature of the day, there still subsists about them a great deal of uncertainty.
One thing is clear, and that is the frame of mind to which these diverse works give expression. Keen and critical thinkers, instinct with the intelelctual craving for realities, find themselves in contact with one another, mixed up with the politics of an age when all the devices of government are laid bare, when power is transferred to parties, when opinion, oficially in the ascendant, is subjected to all the caprices aroused in it by secret manœuvring; when public life is the triumph of insincerity and fraud. Stimulated by the analysis of the deceit which social appearances serve to cloak. Arbuthnot, Swift, Pope, and Gay encourage each other to the ironical search after false intellectual values. Before their tribunal are summoned wretched poets, false savants, quack doctors, pretentious scholars, humanists puffed up with bookish learning. A sort of general revision of science and art is instituted; and this universal criticism, so bold that it dares assail the superstitious obsession of ancient literatures, takes up again the charges of Hudibras against an obstinate scholasticism that will not die.
Like Butler's satire, Martinus Scriblerus exaggerates the whims, the oddities, the wrongs of pedantic ignoramuses, overlooking the soul of healthy curiosity that is often to be found in them; above all, it obstinately attacks adversaries who have been conquered time after time, and it pursued them under their already obsolete forms rather than under the new forms with which they manage to invest themselves. In this excellent fancy, there is a somewhat forced air of caricature. But the claims of intellect against foolishness are affirmed with a clear, robust, and sovereign good sense.
Arbuthnot has left his mark upon this common fund of doctrine. Through his John Bull also, his Political Lying, and the pictures of his personality that we find in the works of his friends, he possesses a distinct literary physiognomy. He has the gift of humour, transposes into impassive observation a full and concrete sense of the innumerable absurdities of life, and his sober art, vigorous, often bitter and realistic, recalls the tonality of that of Swift. A doctor, he knows the intimate connections of body and soul, and looks on the caprices of character from a physical point of view; and yet his vision of moral things is direct and profound; his portrait of John Bull has definitively drawn the first outline of this national English type. He has a creative imagination for allegory, and sustains the portraits of his symbolical characters with an accurate sense of the relationship between the sign and the thing signified. With him, experience and reflection have not soured the power of feeling, but have matured it into a humane and tolerant philosophy, the kindly radiation of which was felt by all who came near him. His rationalism is refined into a humility of the intelligence. He is a writer through the firmness, the precision, the incisiveness of his style; and his artistic invention has been fruitful. The figure of Martinus Scriblerus, ridiculous, pitiable, and obscurely appealing, and the episodes of his childhood, are additions to the unforgettable types of human comedy; Sterne remembered them in Tristram Shandy, Carlyle in Sartor Resartus.
Jonathan Swift, born in Dublin in 1667, came of a family of Yorkshire origin; lost his father at an early age, studied at Kilkenny and Trinity College, and was attached as secretary to Sir William Temple, until 1699. Already in 1696-7 he had written a great portion of A Tale of a Tub, and The Battle of the Books, published in 1704. It was at the home of Temple that he met Esther Johnson, the future Stella. He took orders, was appointed to the small living of Laracor in Ireland, but for the most part we find him in London, actively engaged in religious and political controversy. He defended the rights of the Irish clergy, and this led him to desert the Whig party for the other side, shortly before the Tory ministry of 1710. For a period of almost four years Swift, an intimate of Harley, was the influential adviser of the Government; collaborated in the Examiner (1711) and prepared public opinion for the peace with France (The Conduct of the Allies,etc.). Appointed Dean of St. Patrick's (Dublin) in 1713, he retired to Ireland on the fall of the Tories, whither he was followed by Hester Vanhomrigh (Vanessa), whom he had known in London; the false position of Swift between the two women who loved him, and of whom (it is possible, but improbable) he may have married one (Stella), was relieved by the death of Vanessa; that of Stella, in 1728, came as a still greater blow. He sympathized, meanwhile, with the sufferings of the Irish people, and wrote in their favour the Drapier's Letters (1724). Gulliver's Travels, which originated at a much earlier date, appeared in 1726, and had a great success, which, however, only brought greater suspicion upon the writer from a Government made uneasy by his satirical verve. His health, which had been failing for some time, grew worse; he was a victim of cerebral troubles and became more and more morose; after a few years of a life bordering on insanity, he died in 1745. Prose works, ed. by T. Scott, 1897-1908; Selections, ed. by Craik, 1892-3; Correspondence, ed. by Ball, 1910, etc.; A Tale of a Tub, etc., ed. by Guthkelch and Smith, 1920; The Battle of the Books, ed. by Guthkelch, 1908; Gulliver, ed. by Aitken, 1856; Craik, Life of Swift, 1882; Leslie Stephen, Swift,1882; H. Cordelet, Swift, 1907; S. Smith, Dean Swift, 1910; R. F. Jones, The Background of the Battle of the Books, 1920; Vanessa and her Correspondence with Jonathan Swift, ed. by Freeman, 1921; Eddy, Gulliver's Travels, a Critical Study, 1923; E. Pons, Swift, la Jeunesse, le Conte du Tonneau, 1925; Carl Van Doren, Swift, 1931.
Swift is the greatest writer of the classical age by the force of his genius; the concern for art and the care of form are not in his case the essential motive of creation. His work owes an exceptionally broad scope to the freedom and penetration of its thought. He carries the rational criticism of values to a point where it menaces and impairs the very reasons for living. In his case, therefore, lucidity and the search for balance are suffused with an intellectual emotion, concentrated and intense, which at times cannot be distinguished from an impassioned bitterness, and the expression of which, despite the restraint of irony and humour, possesses a pathetic vehemence. Attaining thus to the utmost limits of satire, he leaves the normal, simple plane of a literature of reason; the stifled, repressed voices of sensibility and instinct, which reality in its baseness and cruelty afflicts with many wounds, supply the subdued accompaniment of soul-stirring chords to the clear accents of the intellect. And just as the language of Swift has this mixed tonality, so his thought goes beyond the stage of pure criticism; it finds itself at work conserving, if not constructing; it clings to the relative and provisional truths which can shelter the being of man. Beyond the spirit of classicism, of which he is the supreme mouthpiece, one perceives in Swift the latent powers of a virtual Romanticism; and further still, the audaciously humble solutions of the most modern wisdom.
It is permissible to think that these attenuations of the spirit of criticism, these voluntary sacrifices to good sense, are not the most original part of Swift's work. His practical adhesion to moral or social beliefs which his merciless perspicacity saw through and through is to all appearances a sincere act, and one which no logical need can lead us not to respect. But he has not explained the submission of his reason on principle; the lesson of his intellectual destiny is uncertain; his example, deprived of all contagious virtue, remains strictly individual and less fruitful. His life, with the shadow which overcasts it and keeps gradually thickening, is in spite of all more significant than the wholly superficial tranquillity of his mind. The moral figure of Swift is that of an eager demand for truth that destroys one by one all deceitful illusions, and of the suffering which accompanies that destruction. This demand has been carried far in all directions; further, it would seem, than it itself desired to go; further, perhaps, than it was aware of at times.
As a Church dignatary, mixed up in the controversies which separated the Anglicans from the dissenting sects, and within Anglicanism itself set several tendencies at variance with each other, Swift had to take a side. His career was a choice; he lived and died as Dean of St. Patrick's in Dublin. He wrote numerous religious treatises, which one is usually too much inclined to overlook, besides doctrinal sermons, sensible and calm in tone; he acquitted himself scrupulously of the duties of his charge, and practised his religion, with more hidden regularity than apparent zeal. He recommends a judicious form of piety; extremes repel him, and his preferences lie in the observance of a golden mean; to follow the religion of the majority of one's country, is in Swift's opinion to act as a well-behaved man. He rails against the arguments of the Catholics, the strife and the fanaticism of the various sects; his nature leads him to embrace a doctrine of average reason. But he rebels with all his energy against the ambitious and rational attempt of Deism; he harshly refutes Collins. And in his reaction against the looseness of morals, he goes to the extent of extrolling, not without a suspicion of irony, the benefits accruing from a purely exterior and social submission to the attitude of belief, for hypocrisy is, after all, better than cynicism.
This is only a sudden outburst. Despite the conformity of his declarations and principles, analogous to that of a Voltaire, Swift stirred up a deep and secret unrest in the minds of those in power during his time, the patrons of Church and State; Queen Anne, above all a devout Churchwoman, refused to recognize his political services in a fitting way; the favourite of a minister, he did not obtain the bishopric he believed he could expect; at the critical moments in his life, an unkind destiny always seemed to baffle his desires; it was with the bitterness of a long series of disappointments that he withdrew from court intrigues. His great works, those in which his genius is laid bare, terrified or scandalized all orthodoxies; in A Tale of a Tub, his religious thought is instinct with a movement of pitiless negation; and the impulse which carries it on is too strong not to overthrow all the barriers which he himself would like to set up. In the preface which he wrote for this work, Swift is indignant that he should be classed among the Deists by superficial readers. To us of to-day, the error appears very natural. To point out shades and degrees of difference between the sects who contest each other's rights to represent the pure teaching of the Gospel, is to make it possible to select that which is least removed, on an average, from the sacred text; but such a choice is only a makeshift of resignations, the solution of despair; for too startling allegories picture to our eyes the unconscious or intentional work of human instinct, in all ages and in all the churches, bent on deforming, twisting, mutilating, contradicting the letter and spirit of the admirable and terrible message beneath which the flesh of man groans and faints.
And not only are religious organizations built up on half-conscious acts of cowardice, and the surrender of the highest aspirations of faith; but the very ardour which exalts the most enthusiastic of believers—the Quakers, the Ranters, and those Huguenots, refugees from France, who at this time are making a public show of their convulsions—is bound up with the turbid fermentations of animality. The Discourse concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit no doubt admits, in passing, that prophetic inspiration can be an immediate gift from the Godhead; but everything encourages the conjecture that this is a purely formal reserve; for an over-zealous spirit in religion, from the orgies of the ancients to the frenzies of the moderns, is called back with too mercilessly sharp an analysis, too keen an intuition of the deeper link between certain spiritual raptures and erotic moods, to the appetites alone of the flesh. The spirit of this treatise, under its form of concentrated irony, is that of a modern study of the pathology of mystic states. And with the taste for sound, even if bitter truth, there is mingled in it the keen and secret joy of a moral revenge, the protest of a free mind against conventional lies, even should these lies be sacred.
But the works of reason are treated with no better respect. The Battle of the Books is fired by an anger still aimed at a special object—at certain forms of intellectual ambition and error. Pedantry, false erudition, rabid controversy, are connected with the thesis of the 'moderns,' the insolent, mean enemies of the glory of the ancients; the despiser of Phalaris, Bentley—who yet was not wrong—is overwhelmed with classical contumely; the verve of this pamphlet, full as it is of allusions to the images and devices of the epic, is another example of the fecundity at this epoch of the mock-heroic theme. Gulliver's Travels singularly broadens the indictment of the very effort by which the human mind claims to know and understand. Philosophy appears in the light of an ambitious jargon; metaphysics, of a mystication; while theory, that sterile activity, shackles the efficient play of practice in all domains and in a hundred and one different ways. This satiric realism is given free scope in the painting of the illusory kingdom of Laputa. The fever of financial speculation, of rational inquiry, and already, of mechanical progress, which the society of that day freely shows, is presented as the agitated ardour of over-heated brains, in which an unceasingly hatched all manner of 'projects' and inventions, preposterous chimeras.
Swift does not seem to put any trust in science, either in its present or in its future; he derides equally the erudite interferences of bentley, and Newton's theory of gravitation; these hypotheses, he holds, are the playthings of thought; fashion upholds them, and then they pass away. Like Samuel Butler, he joylessly witnesses, in the first flush of the modern age, the the awakening of the mental unrest which will produce the scientific conquest of the world; his attention, turned towards the past, is above all aware of the innumerable failures of scholastic charlatanry. The moderns, according to him, have added nothing which really matters to the sound reasoning added nothing which really matters to the sound reasoning of the ancients. His rational criticism of knowledge has not positive counterpart; it tends to scepticism.
It is less surprising to find only shadows in the images which Swift paints of political institutions and manners. His experience had revealed to him the hidden springs of power, the part played by corruption and intrigue. He writes on the opposition side, under the despised administration of Walpole. Elsewhere, in his didactic treatises, he shows himself alive to the necessity for a strong authority, sustained by the prestige of religion, and in its turn sustaining the spiritual hierarchy. While he has nothing about him of the uncompromising Tory, he is a friend of order. But Gulliver's Travels throws the light of a superior and destructive irony upon the smallness of the means, the vanity of the motives, the illusion of the catchwords, through which kings retain their thrones and magistrates their offices; and from one end of society to the other the fearful influence of man upon man is exercised. It is not only the English political life of his time which he thus dissects; the monarchy itself, the paraphernalia that surround it, the courts and courtiers, the debating assemblies, the struggles of parties, the wiles of the favourites of both sexes—everything upon which, in fact, rests the contemporary administration of Europe—is irremediably damaged by this corrosive satire. To serve the needs of his allegory, and in order to vary the perspective by reversing the scale of his transposition, Swift carries us from the country of the dwards to that of the giants; in the former, everything was the grotesque and despicable parody of that human reality which convention invests with an august prestige; in the latter, it is our reality which reveals itself, directly, as ridiculous and infinitely small. But Brobdingnag and its patriarchal manners are not an ideal seriously proposed to man; this fancy vanishes as soon as one graspts its thin texture; it is only invented to show us better our littleness, to crush us under a sense of our miseries. Whatever the standard chosen for the comparison, mankind cuts a sorry and ugly figure.
The reason is that it is in itself vile and corrupt. In order to realize ever so little the idea of a noble existence, Swift has to it that one must forsake the human species. Animal life will supply us with the figures of reasonable beings. In the land of the philosophical horses, we at last come upon something that in the countries known to us we have looked for in vain. When explained to these wise quadrupeds, our civilization is not intelligible to them; for our perversity surpasses all understanding. And in the lower depths of their civilized society, the ignoble race of two-footed monsters drags itself along; let us look at it without prejudice, and we shall recognize ourselves. What we call bestiality is the very attribute of man. With relentless cruelty, Swift drives our thought back towards the sordidness of physical existence. Here is an instinctive trend of his attention, almost an obsession of his fancy, of which his poems, like the great allegories, bear the traces, and which has been often connected with the morbid tendencies of his nature. No element in his work is more characteristic; none is better known, this delight in what is foul spreading itself out with cynical frankness on the very surface. In what measure have we here the sign and the germ of a pathological state? Or is it the need for the whole truth, a realism of mind, an ironic lesson of the moralist aimed at the vanities of mankind, a psychological and medical attention to what links up soul and body, or again the lucid, voluntary pessimism of a mind that is resolutely and cooly Christian? Nothing is more difficult than to attempt an exact answer to these questions.
On the other hand, there is among these elements one which dominates the others too much, which emanates too distinctly from all this work like a bitter essence, not to rightly serve to define it: pessimism. Swift does not pass judgment upon the universe or upon the world of man in the absolutely negative way which makes philosophic pessimism; his mind mistrusts general affirmations, and at the same time his status as a priest does not permit him, with regard to creation as a whole, to pronounce one of those explicit words of despair which faith reproves. Yet he is intellectually hostile to what exists; his emotions have a much larger share in his judgments when he condemns than when he accepts reality. His verdict on life is of the psychological and moral order. It bears upon the quality of men in themselves, and upon the use they make of the occasions to act which society offers.
It is in the souls that the evil lies; thence it is that it radiates over all the relations of human beings with one another. This pessimism is so clearly coloured by individual experience, that one has been able to see it in the generalized after-effect of the shocks felt by the sensibility, or more precisely by the ambition of Swift; it is so personal in its expression, that one is tempted to find in it the painful consciousness of an impaired psychological and mental health, the echo of inner sufferings which have ended by ruining the balance of a mind. Perhaps there is even at bottom the hidden influence of one of those secret sores of personality, the possible effects of which are revealed to-day by the study of subconscious states.
And yet, Swift has not been always the prey of this bitterness; at least, not to the same degree. His intimate life, and his literary life, both betray moments, or phases, of animation, of expansiveness, almost of gaiety. It is when he comes out of himself, out of his concentrated and solitary meditation, that his thought appears to relax. At the time in which he is wholly engrossed in political strife, from 1710 to 1714, Swift is carried onward by the tide of action. The Journal to Stella, a collection of letters in which he jots down familiarity the story of his life for the girl to whom he is attached by an affection that has remained rather mysterious, is one of the most taking documents of its kind; an effusion in which one catches the note of a strange temperament, somewhat ailing; but a not full of playfulness and tender puerilities. Whether it be the bustle of public affairs, or sentiment, which then occupies Sift more, something is lifting him above that fund of aggressive reflection to which A Tale of a Tub already bore witness.
Ireland also saved him at moments from this gnawing disquietude of mind. Deeply moved by the miserable lot of the country which saw his birth, which he does not look upon as his own, and for which he evinces a somewhat scornful sympathy, he at least knows how to speak out in its favour. He advises the Irish (1720) to reply to the economic pressure of the English by refusing to buy the products of their manufacture. In 1724, he publishes a series of Letters (signed 'M. B. Drapier') against the new copper currency which an Englishman had obtained the privilege of coining, and the weight of which did not correspond with its official value. With an admirable divination of the popular mind, he there wrote a language full of such simple and just sense, and roused so cleverly the mistrust of the practical instinct, that the Government had perforce to yield before a general protest. On this occasion, Swift was the accepted mouthpiece of a people; and he always remained proud of it.
In many subjects, his fertile talent as a polemist was able to expose with clearness and coolness the ideas of a lively and original but balanced judgment. There is in Swift a literary critic, a political writer, a theorist of the rights of the Church. But his work has a physiognomy as a whole; and it is right that its dominant traits should be furnished by the most marked characteristics of his genius. He is above all great by his allegorical invention as applied to satire, by his humour and irony, by the marvellous ease and precision of his style.
Irony and allegory are here fused into one. What is unique, is the suggestive power which radiates from the play of symbolical imagination; and more than in the symbols themselves, more than in the forms chosen to illustrate the theses, the interest here lies in the discovery of these forms, in the act of the mind which chooses them, which loads them with a meaning prodigiously rich and insulting. The apologues on which are founded A Tale of a Tub or The Battle of the Books have nothing original about them. Gulliver's Travels is first of all a novel of adventure and a tale of wonder, and as such is of no more value than many others; the sources utilized by Swift have been discovered or are suspected; in this domain he had a long series of predecessors. But the working out of these data is with him incomparable. The verve, the ingenuity, the concrete invention, which embroider these general themes with uninterrupted variations, give to the least detail a restrained and irresistible eloquence, and store it with a world of allusions; which also render the supernatural acceptable and normal; such are the elements of an art which Swift carries to the highest degree. And these elements themselves are derived: their common source is a passionate analysis which, with an indefatigable effort, scrutinizes reality, at the same time as it judges and condemns it with a harsh and angry feeling. The figured representations among which Swift's satire moves are like an embittered poetry, the value of which lies less in its form than in the philosophic meaning thorugh which it develops and achieves itself.
An art of implicit expression, contained as to its methods, expansive as to its results, is by its main device closely akin to humour. It has usually been the custom to treat Swift as a master of irony, because his mockery has not the kindly aftertaste which would appear to be, according to some judges, the distinctive note of the humorist. But while his effects are very often more in the nature of irony—which depicts the ideal, and pretends to believe that it is real—they are also very often enlivened by humour—which depicts the real, and pretends to believe that it is ideal. The working of transposition, which is common to them, brings these two literary kinds very close together, and their boundaries are shifting. Swift likes to hover playfully over these limits, and to pass from one domain to the other. He is no less a master in one than in the other. He handles humour in a superior manner because being keenly alive to all the virtual value od the concrete, to all the reactions which the real sets up in our emotion or in our intelligence, he knows how to evoke it in all its crude force, to allow these reactions their widest play, and to efface himself entirely behind the the facts he presents to us, enhancing their eloquence with his impassibility. The best-known piece—the practical commercial proposal to utilize the flesh of Irish children as butcher's meat—has all the precision of an estimate and the calm of a financial statement.
Thus it is that Swift's style conveys the impression of a tense energy, but one which commands and directs itself. A morbid element may have been found in his thought; his personality is a problem which has not as yet, perhaps, revealed the whole of its secret; it certainly contains both grief and instability, a deep trouble which finally led to madness. But this anguish and this unrest are dominated by the force of an extraordinarily lucid intellect, of a will that knows how to govern passion even when it delivers itself up to it. Upon a temperament that possessed all the germs of moral incertitude, and which no doubt, in the following century, would have blossomed out into an ardent Romanticism, Swift builds up a work that is wholly classical in its form. The inner tension reveals itself only in the compactness of the expression, in the number of the intentions, in the restrained violence of some effects. Everything is clear in this style, despite the use made of allusion; it is bathed in an intellectual light; everything in it seems sound, normal, self-controlled. It is only in some familiar effusions, such as the Journal to Stella, that we meet with the signs of an oddity in the manner of writing and in the terms which is excessive, at time disquieting.
Everywhere else, the language is that of reason itself, of a reason that is sensible to reality, nurtured by it, and in no way abstract and dry. Swift possesses the concrete world, knows how to utilizae it, and here again he is the humorist. He knows how to employ the racy word, sometimes the coarse word; he frankly collides with the proprieties, or, as the case may be, veils the realism of his subjects with ironic periphrases. But the concrete facts of experience, as well as the ideas, the sentiments, and the shades of meaning, are enveloped, harmonized by the limpid flow of the most simple, vigorous and straightforward prose. Each word in its place, quite naturally; the most fitting word is always chosen, withoug effort, through an instinct that seems spontaneous. A great variety of tone is obtained by means of a supple adaptation of the language to the theme. If one remembers the extent of Swift's work, the ease with which it passes from the most naïve exposition to the pseudo-epic style, from the weightiest discussion to the freest pleasantry, the fact that the parts of his correspondence which were the most hastily dashed out are still astonishingly spirited and immediately, inevitably clear, one will the better gauge the greatness of the writer.
To be consulted: Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. ix. Chaps. IV, V, VIII, IX, XIII; vol. x. Chap. XV; Bergson, Le Rire, etc., 1900; W. H. Durham, Critical Essays of the Eighteenth Century, 1700-25, 1915; Elton, The Augustan Ages, 1899; Farrar, Critical History of Free Thought, 1862; Hunt, Religious Thought in England, 1892; F. B. Kaye, ed. of Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, 1924; Laski, Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham, 1921; Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, 1812-15; Paston, Lady Mary Wortly Montagu and her Times, 1907; Pons, Swift, la Jeunesse, le Conte du Tonneau, 1925; De Rémusat, L'Angleterre au XVIIIe siècle, 1856; Rigault, History of Free Thought, 1906; Saintsbury, History of Criticism, 1906; Sichel, Bolingbroke and his Times, 1902; Leslie Stephen, History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, 1902.
A veces estas cosas van que vuelan y duran poco en Internet, pero de momento ha aparecido un sitio llamado Smartsheep que recicla y redifunde varias bibliografías mías, procedentes de mi bibliografía de tres metros de alta. Esta va sobre el origen del lenguaje, ese Newspeak que suena a través nuestro como si fuésemos una arpa de Eolo.
Antropocentrism is displaced in Addison´s essay on the Scale of Being. The human is no longer the center of God´s plan, and it is only a limited perspective we can have on the whole of nature. The world is no longer made for us; it also belongs to a variety of animals, angels, and aliens.
Addison's essay on the Scale of Being (Spectator no. 519, 1712), is an excellent exposition and instantiation of the notion of the FULL NATURE. It puts forward a view of the natural world which is completely purpose-driven, providential, a version of the Intelligent Design that Paley will still be holding a hundred years later. It goes back to age-old concepts of the Great Chain of Being, insisting on the fullness of the chain as a providential design. Every possible nook and pigeonhole of the world of nature has its place and every possible creature has been instantiated in this full productive system, whose very abundance is proof, for Addison, of the perfection of the creative plan. It is, then, a classical version of theodicy, and the world-view it offers is that of the static Scala Naturae, God's mind expressed in nature and culminating (at least as far as the Earth is concerned) in the human being as the closest expression of the divine will, and the one who can best understand the divine plan of which he is a subordinate part.
On the whole, Addison's views have been dismissed from a twentieth-century stance as a form of naive and complacent anthropocentrism, a prolongation of classical or medieval views into the age of enlightenment. But there may be some form of historical myopia at work here, once we take the historical context into account. There are highly interesting elements to be found in Addison, just as there are in the comparable takes on this idea of a Full Nature formulated by his contemporaries—Leibniz first, perhaps, then Shaftesbury, Bolingbroke, and Pope in his Essay on Man. And in Mandeville in another sense. The notion of full nature is not merely a justification for this seemingly anthropocentric view of mankind in its place in nature—just like some aspects the Linnaean (static, non-evolutionary) system will seriously question man's exceptionality in nature. Antropocentrism is, instead, displaced. The human is no longer the center of God's plan, and it is only a limited perspective we can have on the whole of the scale of nature. There is, by the way, an apparent contradiction here, quite prominent in Pope's Essay on Man: the overall plan is divine, and it therefore escapes the human scope, which is necessarily limited—but these thinkers present themselves as providing a perspective on the divine plan which transcends (the "ordinary") human scope. Such reasoning leads to the paradoxical doctrine that we live in the best of possible worlds. The best—only not for us; it is the best from a divine stance we cannot share or comprehend.
Still, the notion of "the best of all possible worlds" and its concomitant "full nature" serve their function as an explanation of human limitations and of the fact that the world cannot be reduced to a moral order defined in human terms. What is more, we see that some elements in this world view are on the very brink of settting in motion the System of Nature, and transforming the static scale of creation, a natural taxonomy of diversity, into an epic of evolution, far in advance of the Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation and in advance of Diderot and Buffon (though not ahead of Ibn Khaldun and other proto-evolutionists. It is an evolutionary epic conducted, sure enough, by the mind of God unfolding its plan through nature. The opposition between evolutionary and non-evolutionary thinkers is in many respects not as clearly-drawn as it might look at first sight, and many of the principles of the evolutionary thought of Darwin, or of Spencer, rest on the notions developed by eighteenth-century thinkers, or, indeed, their predecessors. To name but a few: the reasoning on public benefits arising from private vices in Mandeville's Fable of the Bees is a reflection on the indirect and unplanned results of action, resulting in complex self-organization. Adam Smith's Invisible Hand, a concept emhasizing the emergence of spontaneous order from a multiplicty of conflicting forces —an order not planned by the intention of the (nonetheless conscious) agents. Malthus's reflections on the dynamics of population and resources, and on their effects on social dynamics, not just as regards such phenomena as war or famine, but also institutions, customs and beliefs. Or, again, the principle of the Tangled Bank which is so memorably formulated in the last paragraph of Darwin's Origin of Species. It is from the variety (the fullness of nature), from the tangled nature of the bank, that competition and ecological integration result, further biological complexity emerges and ever more beautiful forms may arise. As in an expanded Mandeville, public good results from the "private vice" of the struggle for life.
This principle of complex dynamics resulting from (and into) a Full Nature is also formulated in a memorable way in Oliver Goldsmith's story "Asem the Man-Hater". This is a squib against idealism which asserts the divine Providence and its working through indirect means and Secondary causes, far from any simple-minded projection of a moral order on the world. One of these days I will put down in writing a detailed commentary of this story, which I take as a memorable fable of complexity and evolutionary dynamics avant la lettre. There we see, again, that the very existence of complex human society rests on the predatory dynamics and self-interest that enable the emergence of a human order in the first place. And the existence of a multiplicity of creatures involves the dynamics of hunting and preyiing; ultimately, even the forms of human cooperation rest on non-altruistic self-interest and derive from it. If Goldsmith is a proto-evolutionist, he does nail down some of the complex dynamics driving evolution. And not every aspect of this reasoning is formulated by explicitly evolutionary eighteenth-century thinkers, like Buffon or Erasmus Darwin.
All in all, Addison's essay on the Scale of Being, while being firmly planted in the thought of the past, seems on the brink of inventing evolution in the very process of its reasoning. Addison's central belief (that inanimate nature is merely the support of life, and that there is no inanimate nature without life) is a direct consequence of Robert Hooke's Micrographia (1665) and the new awareness of the microbial world. It also draws on the cosmological speculations of Fontenelle and other continental theorists of the Plurality of Worlds (the 17th-century equivalent of today's multiverses), who were drawing the intellectual consequences of the new discoveries in astronomy. But in spite of its progressive outlook around the year 1700, the assumption of a fully peopled universe is of course mistaken. We now know that most of the material universe, at least insofar as we can observe it, is inanimate and lifeless—that life, far from being spread everywhere, is an extremely exceptional development. Both life and intelligence are much more exceptional than Fontenelle or Addison would seem to think—the exception, rather than the rule of the universe. A century and a half later, William Whewell recognized as much—if the Universe is conceived as the purposive basis for this, then it is extremely wasteful and, well, pointless. Addison's teleology and his providentialism are likewise the relics of an earlier age. And yet there are elements in this essay which look to the future, as well as to the past. And these go far beyond Addison's speculations on Aliens (and Angels). Evolution did not evolve in a single day, and this essay is one of my favourite texts on eighteenth-century proto-evolutionism, with human thought gathering the materials of the past and moving further towards a new perspective on nature and man's place in it. Beyond its apparent self-complacency we can detect a bold step in the decentering of man and of human thought. This is apparent in these thinkers discerning a universe which, while it exhibits a cosmic order, is not guided by human priorities or aims. A mighty maze, not without a plan, indeed, but one whose plan is neither of human proportions, nor intended with an eye to human priorities. This is thought in evolution, soon to become fully evolutionary.
Note, for instance, the use of such notions as "adaptation" and "progress", the "transitions" from one species to another, or his description of the emergence of the senses in higher beings of the scale of nature. It is the very rhetoric of Addison's essay, his speculative journey through the Scale of Nature, that invites his reader to see that scale as an emergent or evolutionary system. He stands so much on the very brink of explicitly formulating an evolutionary interpretation, that this interpretation seems to be forming at the back of the author's mind, and to come to the fore in the consciousness of his reader as a natural development of Addison's reasoning. It is not clear whether the "advance" of the world of life through these stages, the "progress" of the scale of nature, is only the progress of Addison's examination from simple to complex, or the historical-evolutionary progress of the emergence of biological complexity, a reading it seems (perhaps cautiously) to invite—much more indeed than the Locke text he quotes. The "software" of life, the instincts or mental capacities of animals, are for Addison likewise on a rising scale of complexity which admits or invites an evolutionary interpretation. Bergson, indeed, observed in L'Évolution créatrice that the idea of the Scale of Nature was preparing the ground for the birth of evolutionism.
Or consider, indeed, the closing statement of Addison's essay, asserting the fundamental kinship between Man and Worm, and their common origin. Clearly, no reader of Addison will understand him to claim that worms are descended from humans—but didn't take such a big step for Charles Darwin to assert that humans evolved from worm-like creatures, and ultimately from inanimate matter. Many a reader of Addison, beginning with Darwin himself, was more than ready for such a claim.
Addison's displacement of anthropocentrism is, paradoxically enough, a mode of thought which is in a way quite naturally in keeping with traditional Biblical wisdom, when he observes that it is not for man to question the acts of God. The divine design, as he sees it, far transcends our limited outlook as creatures too narrowly centered on their own priorities, and unaware of their complex integration with all other beings in a cosmic order we can barely begin to discern.
Here is Addison's text , then, from the Norton Anthology:
JOSEPH ADDISON: [ On the Scale of Being]
The Spectator, No. 519, October 25, 1712
Inde hominum pecudumque genus, vitaeque volantum,
Et quae marmore fert monstra sub aequore pontus. (1)
—VIRGIL, Aeneid 6.728-29
Though there is a great deal of pleasure in contemplating the material world, by which I mean that system of bodies into which nature has so curiously wrought the mass of dead matter, with the several relations which those bodies bear to one another, there is still, methinks, something more wonderful and surprising in contemplations on the world of life, by which I mean all those animals with which every part of the universe is furnished. The material world is only the shell of the universe: the world of life are its inhabitants.
If we consider those parts of the material world which lie nearest to us and are, therefore, subject to our observations and inquiries, it is amazing to consider the infinity of animals with which it is stocked. Every part of matter is peopled. Every green leaf swarms with inhabitants. There is scarce a single humor in the body of a man, or of any other animal, in which our glasses (2) do not discover myriads of living creatures. The surface of animals is also covered with other animals which are, in the same manner, the basis of other animals that live upon it; nay, we find in the most losid bodies, as in marble itself, innumerable cells and cavities that are crowded with such imperceptible inhabitants as are too little for the naked eye to discover. On the other hand, if we look into the more bulky parts of nature, we see the seas, lakes, and rivers teeming with numberless kinds of living creatures. We find every mountain and marsh, wilderness and wood, plentifully stocked with birds and beasts, and every part of matter affording proper necessaries and conveniences for the livelihood of multitudes which inhabit it.
The author of The Plurality of Worlds (3) draws a very good argument upon this consideration for the peopling of every planet, as indeed it seems very probable from the analogy of reason that, if no part of matter which we are acquainted with lies waste and useless, those great bodies, which are at such a distance from us, should not be desert and unpeopled, but rather that they should be furnished with beings adapted to their respective situations.
Existence is a blessing to those beings only who are endowed with perception and is, in a manner, thrown away upon dead matter any further than as it is subservient to beings which are conscious of their existence. Accordingly, we find from the bodies which lie under our observation that matter is only made as the basis and support of animals and that there is no more of the one than what is necessary for the existence of the other.
Infinite Goodness is of so communicative a nature that it seems to delight in the conferring of existence upon every degree of perceptive being. As this is a speculation which I have often pursued with great pleasure to myself, I shall enlarge further upon it, by considering that part of the scale of beings which comes within our knowledge.
There are some living creatures which are raised but just above dead matter. To mention only that species of shellfish, which are formed in the fashion of a cone, that grow to the surface of several rocks and immediately die upon their being severed from the place where they grow. There are many other creatures but one remove from these, which have no other sense besides that of feeling and taste. Others have still an additional one of hearing, others of smell, and others of sight. It is wonderful to observe by what a gradual progress the world of life advances through a prodigious variety of species before a creature is formed that is complete in all its senses; and, even among these, there is such a different degree of perfection in the sense which one animal enjoys, beyond what appears in another, that, though the sense in different animals be distinguished by the same common denomination, it seems almost of a different nature. If after this we look into the several inward perfections of cunning and sagacity, or what we generally call instinctl, we find them rising after the same manner, imperceptibly, one above another, and receiving additional improvements, according to the species in which they are implanted. This progress in nature is so very gradual that the most perfect of an inferior species comes very near to the most imperfect of that which is immediately above it.
The exuberant and overflowing goodnes of the Supreme Being, whose mercy extends to all his works, is plainly seen, as I have before hinted, from his having made so very little matter, at least what falls within our knowledge, that does not swarm with life. Nor is his goodness less seen in the diversity than in the multitude of living creatures. Had he only made one species of animals, none of the rest would have enjoyed the happiness of existence; he has, therefore, specified in his creation every degree of life, every capacity of being. The whole chasm in nature, from a plant to a man, is filled up with diverse kinds of creatures, rising one over another by such a gentle and easy ascent that the little transitions and deviations from one species to another are almost insensible. This intermediate space is so well husbanded and managed that there is scarce a degree of perception that does not appear in some one part of the world of life. Is the goodness or wisdom of the Divine Being more manifested in this his proceeding?
There is a consequence, besides those I have already mentioned, which seems very naturally deducible from the foregoing considerations. If the scale of being rises by such a regular process so high as man, we may by a parity of reason (4) suppose that it still proceeds gradually through those beings which are of a superior nature to him, since there is an infinite greater space and room for different degrees of perfection between the Supreme Being and man than between man and the most despicable insect. This consequence of so great a variety of beings which are superior to us, from that variety which is inferior to us, is made by Mr. Locke (5) in a passage which I shall here set down after having premised that, notwithstanding there is such infinite room between man and his Maker for the creative power to exert itself in, it is impossible that it should ever be filled up, since there will be still an infinite gap or distance between the highest created being and the Power which produced him:
That there should be more species of intelligent creatures above us than there are of sensible and material below, is probable to me from hence: That in all the visible corporeal world we see no chasms or no gaps. All quite down from us, the descent is by easy steps and a continued series of things that, in each remove, differ very little from the other. There are fishes that have wings and are not strangers to the airy region; and there are some birds that are inhabitants of the water, whose blood is cold as fishes and their flesh so like in taste that the scrupulous are allowesd them on fish days. There are animals so near of kin both to birds and beasts that they are in the middle between both: amphybious animals link the terrestrial and aquatic together; seals live at land and at sea, and porpoises have the warm blood and entrails of a hog, not to mention what is confidently reported of mermaids or seamen. There are some brutes that seem to have as much knowledge and reason as some that are called men; and the animal and vegetable kingdoms are so nearly joined that, if you will take the lowest of one and the highest of the other, there will scarce be perceived any great difference between them; and so on, till we come to the lowest and the most inorganical parts of matter, we shall find everywhere that the several species are linked together and differ but in almost insensible degrees. And when we consider the infinite power and wisdom of the Maker, we have reason to think that it is suitable to the magnificent harmony of the universe and the great design and infinite goodness of the Architect, that the species of creatures should also, by gentle degrees, ascend upward from us toward his infinite perfection, as we see they gradually descend from us downward; which, if it be probable, we have reason to be persuaded that there are far more species of creatures above us than there are beneath, we being in degrees of perfection and much more remote from the infinite being of God than we are from the lowest state of being and that which approaches nearest to nothing. And yet of all those distinct species we have no clear distinct ideas.
In this system of being, there is no creature so wonderful in its nature, and which so much deserves our particular attention, as man, who fills up the middle space between the animal and intellectual nature, the visible and invisible world, and is that link in the chain of beings which has been often termed the nexus utriusque mundi (6). So that he who, in one respect, is associated with angels and archangels, may look upon a Being of infinite perfection as his father, and the highest order of spirits as his brethren, may, in another respect, say to corruption, "Thou art my father," and to the worm, "Thou art my mother and my sister" (7).
1. Thence the race of men and beasts, the life of flying creatures, and the monsters that the ocean bears beneath her smooth surface (Latin).
2. Microscopes. "Humor": fluid.
3. Bernard de Fontenelle (1657-1757). This popular book, a series of dialogues between a scientist and a countess concerning the possibility of other inhabited planets and the new astrophysics in general, was published in 1686 in France and was translated in 1688 by both John Glanvill and Aphra Behn.
4. A reasonable analogy or equivalence.
5. John Locke, in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 3.6.12.
This is a commentary on Addison's essay on the scale of being in the Spectator 519 (1712), as a significant instance of the changing world-view in natural history and cosmology in the age of the Enlightement. Addison's notion of a full nature is placed in the history of ideas as a proto-evolutionist notion, a displacement of anthropocentric natural philosophy, and a link between the tradition of theodicy and the earliest forms of the evolutionary epic, antedating Buffon, Diderot, Lamarck or Erasmus Darwin.
Comentamos el ensayo de Addison sobre la Escala del Ser, en el Spectator 519 (1712), como un caso significativo del cambio de visión del mundo en la era de la Ilustración, en lo relativo a la historia natural y a la cosmología. La noción de una "naturaleza llena" de Addison se sitúa en la historia de las ideas como una concepción protoevolucionista, un desplazamiento de la filosofía natural antropocéntrica, y un eslabón entre la tradición de la teodicea y las primeras manifestaciones de la épica de la evolución, previa a Buffon, Diderot, Lamarck o Erasmus Darwin.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11 Keywords: Addison, English literature, Evolution, Evolutionary epic, Theodicy, Chain of Being, Philosophy, Anthropocentrism, Evolutionism, Creationism
JoseAngel: Radio Nacional comentando con toda tranquilidad cómo avanza la independencia de Cataluña. Al guano nos llevan estas actitudes de traidores. Las grandes traiciones, y las pequeñas. Todas ayudan.
Sobre este sueño puede leerse (en Otras Inquisiciones) el ensayo de Borges "El sueño de Coleridge", y sobre el poema y su origen y fuentes el extenso estudio de John Livingston Lowes The Road to Xanadu. Algo comenté aquí sobre ese libro y sus fuentes subterráneas en un par de artículos, "The Road to Xanadu" y "La Gloriosa y los ríos sagrados". La cuestión es que también hay una fuente subterránea, y una corriente subterránea, en 'Kubla Khan'.
Creo que esa corriente fluye desde una fuente más remota, a saber, la supuesta Carta del Preste Juan que también debió conocer Marco Polo, un falso informe sobre las maravillas de Oriente que circuló por Europa a partir del siglo XII. Lo reproduce Umberto Eco en su Storia delle terre e dei luoghi leggendari, libro que me compré en Venecia en italiano (Bompiani, 2013), pero que ya ha salido también en español. Reproduzco el pasaje relevante de la carta, con la fuente maravillosa, y seguidamente la sección que dedica Eco a la leyenda y carta del Preste Juan. Como se ve, no sólo está en este apócrifo medieval el origen (o un origen) de la maravillosa corriente subterránea, sino también del palacio soñado e incluso, quizá, de la Leche del Paraíso, el hidromiel (u opio) que ha de insuflar al poeta energía demoníaca o sobrenatural, para que a su vez inspire temor reverencial a quienes contemplan "his flashing eyes, his floating hair". Cada cual su Xanadu. Así describe el suyo el Preste Juan:
Possediamo un altro palazzo, superiore al primo non in lunghezza ma in altezza e bellezza e edificato in seguito a una visione avuta, prima che noi nascessimo, dal padre nostro al quale, per la santità e la giustizia che in modo straordinario prosperavano in lui, era dato il nome di Quasidio. Infatti gli venne detto in sogno: "Edifica un palazzo per il figlio che stai per avere, che sarà re dei re terreni e signori dei signori di tutta quanta la terra. E per volere di Dio al palazzo sarà attribuita questa virtù: qui mai nessuno patirà fame né infermità, nessuno che si trovi al suo interno potrà morire il giorno in cui vi sarà entrato. E se qualcuno che fosse sul punto di morire di fame entrasse nel palazzo e li si fermasse un poco, se ne andrebbe sazio come se avesse mangiato cento portate e sano come se mai in vita sua fosse stato malato." Al suo interno nascerà anche una fonte, gustosa e odorosa più di ogni altra cosa al mondo, che non uscirà mai dal palazzo; da un angolo, dal quale si originerà, essa scorrerà invece attraverso il palazzo sino a un altro angolo sul lato opposto e lì la terra la accoglierà e sotto terra tornerà alla sua origine, allo stesso modo in cui il sole da occidente sotto la terra ritorna a oriente.
E avrà il sapore, sulla bocca di quanti ne gusteranno, di qualunque cosa essi desidereranno mangiare o bere. Infatti riempirà il palazzo di un profumo motto intenso, come se ogni sorta di droghe, di aromi e di unguenti fosse lì convogliata e smossa, e anzi molto di più. Se qualcunco gusterà l'acqua di quella fonte por tre anni e tre mesi e tre settimane e tre giorni e tre ore, ogni giorno per tre volte a digiuno, e nell'arco di tre ore ne gusterà in modo che né prima né dopo questa ora, bensì nello spazio che c'è tra l'inizio e la fine di ognuna di queste tre ore, per tre volte a digiuno ne gusterà, certamente prima di trecento anni e tre mesi e tre settimane e tre giorni e tre ore non morirà e sarà sempre nella sua prima giovinezza [...] (En Eco 134-35)
Quizá incluso la fórmula del encantamiento que hemos de aplicarle al poeta desmelenado, "weave a circle round him thrice", puede estar inspirada en la obsesión ternaria que rige este palacio, según la carta del Preste Juan. Pero quién sabe, en un sueño la intertextualidad se combina de manera impredecible con todas las otras fuentes a las que se remonta Lowes. Con Bartram y las fuentes del Nilo, por ejemplo. O quién sabe si incluso conocería Coleridge ese otro sueño de Beckford al que alude Lowes.
Este es el pasaje de Purchas que al parecer leía Coleridge cuando el opio medicinal, o la prosa del historiador, pudo con él:
In Xanadu did Cublai Can build a stately palace, encompassing sixteene miles of plaine ground with a wall, wherein are fertile Meddowes, pleasant springs, delightful Streames, and all sorts of beasts of chase and game, and in the middest thereof a sumptuous house of pleasure, which may be removed from place to place.
Aquí anota Lowes el parecido con un texto que Coleridge no conocía, y transcribo aquí su nota:
There is a singular coincidence to which Henri Cordier has called attention in his edition of Yule's Cathay and the Way Thither. In a thirteenth-century Arabic account of Xandu (Shang-tu), which was not translated into any Occidental language until years after Coleridge had dreamed his dream, occurs this statement: 'On the eastern side of that city a karsi or palace was built called Langtin, after a plan which the Kaan had seen in a dream and retained in his memory." (6). In ancient tradition the stately pleasure-dome of Kubla Khan itself came into being, like the poem, as the embodiment of a remembered vision in a dream.
Una nota a pie de página ésta que inspiró el ensayo clásico de Borges sobre "El sueño de Coleridge". Ahora bien, el libro de Lowes es el único que conozco que contiene notas en las notas al pie. Ese número (6) nos remite a esta nota textual o divagativa al final del libro:
(6). See the extract from the Jami'-ut-Tawáríkh (Djami el-Tévarikh), or General History of the World, of Rashiduddin (Rashid ed-Din, born about 1247 A.D.), in Yule, Cathay and the Road Thither, ed. Cordier (Hakluyt Society, 1914), III, 107-33, esp. 117-18, and II, 227, n. 1. For D'Ohsson's reading of the statement about the dream, see Yule-Cordier, III, 117, n. 4. Rashid describes the building of Kubla's palace over 'a certain lake encompassed with meadows near the city." The lake having been filled up and covered over and the palace built above it, "the water that was thus imprisoned in the bowels of the earth in the course of time forced outlets in sundry places, and thus fountains were produced." That is a singular parallel with the subterranean waters of the poem, yet Coleridge could not have known the Jami'-ut-Tawáríkh. Rashid's account of the palace is also quoted in The Geographical Review (Am. Geographical Soc.), XV (1925), 591, and in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, new series, VII, 329-38. The text of Rashid's works is being edited by E. Blochet for the "E. J. W. Gibb Memorial." See Volumes XII and XVIII, 2 of the Memorial series.
The site of Xanadu has recently been explored; see the article by Lawrence Impey on "Shangtu, the Summer Capital of Kublai Khan," with interesting plates and plans, in The Geographical Review XV, 484-604—a reference for which I am indebted to Dr. H. J. Spinden of the Peaody Museum of Harvard University. The site was visited in the autumn of 1872 by Dr. S. W. Bushell, Physician to H. B. M. Legation, Peking, whose reports of his expedition may be found in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, XVIII (1873-74), 156-58; Journal of the Royal Geog. Soc., XLIV (1874), 73-97, esp. 81-84; Journal Royal Asiatic Soc., new series, VII, 329-38. See also Henri Cordier, Les Voyages en Asie au XIVe siècle du . . . Odoric de Pordonone (in Recueil de Voyages et de Documents pour servir à l'histoire de la géographie depuis le XIIIe jusqu'à la fin du XVIe siècle), X, 313-15. For Friar Odoric's account, see ibid., X, 371-72, and esp. Yule-Cordier, Cathay and the Way Thither, II, 227-28.
The coincidence of the dreambuilt palace becomes still more curious when we read, in a Diary of J. Payne Collier: "we talked of dreams, the subject having been introduced by a recitation by Coleridge of some lines he had written many years ago upon the building of a Dream-palace by Kubla-Khan" (Lectures and Notes, p. 17; italics mine). But obviously Collier's note represents merely a confused recollection.
En su ensayo "Koublaï Khan, Coleridge, et Borges" Paul Bénichou (traductor del ensayo de Borges) comenta esta nota y cree atribuir a un error de traducción (de las fuentes persas usadas por Yule) la cuestión del palacio soñado. No es explicación suficiente ni necesaria, pues también hay palacio soñado en este texto del Preste Juan, anterior en siglos a las traducciones usadas por Yule, a las versiones europeas de la historia contada por Rashid-ed-Din, y también muy anterior a este historiador persa (de hacia 1300) al que se hacía remontar la noticia del palacio soñado.
Otra nota curiosa (qué digo, muchas) introduce Lowes a este respecto. Comentando las asociaciones fugitivas del "Mount Abora" de Coleridge con el "Mount Amara" de Milton en Paradise Lost, añade este dato pasajero:
46. There is an extraordinary document which is evidence enough that such associations were less remote than we might think. It was written by a boy of eighteen, just twenty years before Coleridge's dream was dreamed. On December 4, 1778, ("being the full of the Moon") William Beckford, five years later the author of Vathek, wrote down, at Fonthill, an amazing reverie. It was not printed till 1910, and obviously Coleridge never saw it. As a "psychological curiosity" it is interesting to the last degree; but I may quote here a few pertinent sentences only (Lewis Melville, The Life and Letters of William Beckford of Fonthill, London, 1910, pp. 62-63):
Meanwhile my thoughts were wandering into the interior of Africa and dwelt for hours on those Countries I love. Strange tales of Mount Atlas and relations of Travellers amused my fancy. One instant I imagined myself viewing the marble palaces of Ethiopian princes seated on the green woody margin of Lakes. . . . Some few minutes after, I found myself standing before a thick wood listening to impetuous water falls. . . . I was wondering at the Scene when a tall comely Negro wound along the slopes of the Hills and without moving his lips made me comprehend I was in Africa, on the brink of the Nile beneath the Mountains of Amara. I followed his steps thro' an infinity of irregular Vales, all skirted with Rocks and blooming with an aromatic vegetation, till we arrived at the hollow peak and . . . a wide Cavern appeared before us . . . . We entered the Cavern and fell prostrate before the sacred source of the Nile which issues silently from a deep Gulph in the Rock.
We may not forget, moreover, that the Happy Valley of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, was "in the kingdom of Amhara" (Rasselas, chap. i), not far from the Nile. And Rasselas (with its strange cavern and its stream which "entered a dark cleft of the mountain . . . and fell with dreadful noise") may at least have helped to fix the name in Coleridge's memory. The great cavern, it may be added, had a massive iron gate which "was opened to the sound of musick" (chap. i), and there was in the Happy Valley "instruments of soft musick . . . of which some played . . . by the power of the stream" (chap. vi). But for many reasons I do not believe that this curious music has any connection with "the mingled measure from the fountain and the caves."
The cave at Corycos of which Purchas (Pilgrimage, 1617, p. 382), following Pomponius Mela (Lib. I, cap. xiii), gives an account, "terrifieth those that enter, with the multiplied sounds of Cymbals and uncouth mintralsie"; it has a subterranean river, and it is holy (vere sacer). Mela's description is very vivid, and some recollection of it may have lingered in Coleridge's memory. But I know no evidence that it did.
Es más que probable, sin embargo, que Coleridge, si no conocía el sueño de Beckford, sí conociese los trabajos de edificación del Xanadu ideado por Beckford, Fonthill Abbey. Miren el artículo de la Wikipedia al respecto, o este sitio dedicado a Fonthill en Beckfordiana—porque ni el edificio ni su historia tienen desperdicio. Tras unos años de vida como expatriado por un escándalo homosexual, el riquísimo y decadente Beckford comenzó la construcción de su mansión neogótica hacia 1796-98, los mismos años en que Coleridge soñó con Kubla Khan. Y algún detalle es revelador:
Shunned by English society, he nevertheless decided to return to his native country; after enclosing the Fonthill estate in a six-mile long wall (high enough to prevent hunters from chasing foxes and hares on his property), this arch-romantic decided to have a Gothic cathedral built for his home. (Wikipedia)
Apuntemos que el mero nombre de Fonthill (lo más cercano que pudo llegar a Coleridge de esta "abadía") puede combinarse con las otras fuentes y los otros montes, con las otras lecturas de Coleridge, para producir esas asociaciones subterráneas que tanto apreciaba Lowes.
Marco Polo es una de las fuentes incluidas en Purchas's Pilgrimage y pudo llegar directamente también a a Coleridge. Y Marco Polo sí conocía la carta del Preste Juan. A Marco Polo lo cita Lowes en una de sus voluminosas notas (al cap. VII):
4. In the heart of Asia lies the huge and sinister desert of Lop or obi. It had been traversed from even Chinese time immemorial by one of the mysterious ancient trade-routes stretching dimly into Central Asia, the long lost and recently rediscovered Kan-Suh imperial highway between the Orient and the West. Six hundred years ago Marco Polo crossed, on the road to Cathay, the phantom-haunted sands of Gobi by this very highway. And Marco Polo's travels found a place in Purchas His Pilgrimes. And Milton, like Coleridge, was a diligent reader of Purchas, as his Commonplace Book attests. One thing which Milton read of the Desert of Lop was this: "They say that there dwell many spirits which cause great and mervailous Illusions to Travellers to make them perish. For if any stay behind that he cannot see his company, he shall be called by name, and so going out of the way is lost . . . Consorts of Musicall Instruments are sometimes heard in the Ayre" (Purchas, XI, 216). And it was these goblin voices from the uncanny borders of the Mongol wold which were transmuted into quintessential poetry, as the Lady in "Comus" speaks, losta and alone in the wood at night:
A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng in my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
And airy tongues that syllable men's names
On sands and shores and desert wildernesses.
But the Desert of Lop has a longer poetical history.... (etc.) (Lowes, 445)
La fuente de esta nota también parece haber inspirado a Shakespeare en La Tempestad. Pasajes inspirados por este texto de Marco Polo (o quizá por sus secuelas) se encuentran cuando Caliban habla de los espíritus invisibles y músicaos de la isla. En la carta del Preste Juan, que pudo conocer bien directamente bien por influjo indirecto, vemos además la fuente del reino utópico soñado por Gonzalo. En el complejo de textos que inspiraron a Coleridge también se oyen las músicas tocadas por el aire que tanto encantaron a Caliban en su isla, y le inspiraron sus deseos de no despertarse de su sueño, para volver a soñar.
Pero derivamos, como Lowes, porque aquí un eco nos lleva a otro, aunque (como dice Hobbes) "Not every Thought to every Thought succeeds indifferently".
Aquí queda, en suma, mi propuesta, que quizá no le haya escapado antes a algún medievalista ignoto. En todo caso, no encuentro esta referencia ni en la Wikipedia (artículo "Kubla Khan") ni en el mismo Coleridge (que sólo cita a Purchas), ni en John Livingston Lowes, ni en Orson Welles, ni en Olivia Newton-John. Eco conoce la carta y la reedita, pero no la relaciona con el poema de Coleridge. Tampoco la menciona Bénichou. A las posibilidades que enumera Bénichou para explicar el misterio que comenta Borges (el sueño del palacio como prefiguración del sueño del poema) hay que añadir, evidentemente, la que aquí señalamos: la posibilidad de que tanto Rashid-ed-Din como Coleridge, o bien otra fuente usada por Coleridge si no él directamente, bebiesen de una fuente común, anterior y bien conocida en su momento—la carta del Preste Juan. Y que estas corrientes se mezclasen, en las corrientes del sueño, con otra surgiente profunda de las profundidades del pensamiento, el arquetipo repetido de los sueños que nos llevan a crear algo que (quizá) otros hayan creado ya antes, inspirados por otro sueño suyo y por la misma corriente subterránea, le sorgente irrazionali del pensiero. Muchos han soñado con palacios; algunos incluso los han construido, ya sea en el aire, o en cimientos apenas más sólidos.
Y aquí reproduzco, según decía, el comentario de Eco sobre la carta del Preste Juan y su mítica figura:
IL REGNO DEL PRETE GIANNI
Narra la Cronaca di Ottone di Frisinga che nel 1145 in una visita al papa Eugenio III, nel corso di una ambasciata armena, Ugo vescovo di Gabala gli aveva parlato di un Gianni, Rex et Sacerdos cristiano nestoriano, discendente dai Magi, incitandolo a indire una seconda crociata contro gli infedeli.
Nel 1165 inizia a circolare quella che sarà chiamata la Lettera di Prete Gianni dove il prete scriveva a Manuele Comneno, imperatore di Oriente. Ma la lettera era pervenuta anche al papa Alessandro III e a Federico Barbarossa e aveva certamente impressionato i suoi destinatari se Alessandro III, nel 1177, aveva inviato, tramite il suo medico Filippo, una missiva al mitico monarca esortandolo ad abbandonare Peresia nestoriana e a sottomettersi alla Chiesa di Roma. Poco si sa di questo Filippo, né se avesse raggiunto il prete, né se il prete avesse risposto, ma l'intero episodio rivela l'interesse che la lettera poteva rivestire sul piano politico oltre che su quello religioso.
La lettera raccontava come nel lontano Est, al di là delle regioni occupate dai musulmani, al di là di quelle terre che i crociati avevano cercato di sottrarre al dominio degli infedeli, ma che al loro dominio erano tornate, fioriva un regno cristiano, governato da un favoloso Presbyter Johannes, rex potentia et virtute dei et domini nostri Iesu Christi.
Se esisteva un regno cristiano oltre le terre controllate dai musulmani, si poteva pensare a un ricongiungimento tra la Chiesa romana d'Occidente e il lontano Oriente e si legittimavano tutte le imprese di espansione ed esplorazione. Pertanto, tradotta e parafrasata più volte nel corso dei secoli seguenti, e in varie lingue e versioni, la lettera aveva avuto una importanza decisiva per l'espansione dell'Occidente cristiano. Nel 1221 una lettera di Jacques de Vitry al papa Onorio III menziona il Prete Gianni come un alleato quasi messianico in grado di rovesciare la situazione militare a favore dei crociati, mentre nel corso della settima crociata Luigi IX (secondo la Storia di san Luigi di Joinville) lo vede piuttosto come un possibile avversario mentre spera di allearsi ai tartari. Ancora nel XVI secolo a Bologna, all'epoca dell'incoronazione di Carlo V, si discuteva di Gianni come alleato possibile per la riconquista del Santo Sepolcro.
La leggenda del Prete Gianni viene ripresa continuamente da chi cita la lettera senza interrogarsi sulla sua veridicità. Del regno del prete parla John Mandeville (che scrive un Viaggi, ovvero Trattato delle cose più meravigliose e più notabili che si trovano al mondo). Questo autore non si era mai mosso da casa propria, e scriveva quasi sessant'anni dopo che Marco Polo si era spinto sino al Catai. Ma per Mandeville raccontare di geografia significava ancora raccontare di esseri che devono esserci, non che ci sono, anche se da alcune sue pagine si può pensare che tra le sue fonti ci fossero anche i resoconti del testimone oculare Marco Polo. Non è che Mandeville dica sempre e solo panzane: per esempio parla del camaleonte come di una bestia che cambia colore, però aggiunge che è simile a una capra.
Ora, è interessante paragonare la Sumatra, la Cina meridionale, l'India di Mandeville con quelle di Polo. C'è un nucleo che rimane in gran parte identico, salvo che Mandeville popola ancora queste contrade di animali e mostri umanoidi che ha trovato sui libri precedenti.
Verso la metà del XIV secolo il regno di Prete Gianni si sposterà da un Oriente impreciso verso l'Africa, e certamente l'utopia del regno di Gianni ha incoraggiato l'esplorazione e la conquista del continente. Infine i portoghesi avevano creduto di identificare il regno del prete con l'Etiopia, che di fatto costituiva un impero cristiano, anche se meno ricco e favoloso di quello descritto nella famigerata lettera. Si veda per esempio la relazione di Francisco Alvarez (Verdadera Informaçam das terras do Preste Joam das Indias, 1540), che tra il 1520 e il 1526 era stato in Etiopia, membro di una'amgasceria portoghese.
Come nasce, a che cosa mirava la lettera di Prete Gianni? Forse era un documento di propaganda antibizantina, prodotto negli scriptoria di Federico I (dato che usa espressioni abbastanza dispregiative nei confronti dell'imperatore d'Oriente), o una delle esercitazioni retoriche che tanto piacevano ai dotti dell'epoca, cui poco importava se ciò che davano per vero fosse davvero tale. Ma il problema non è tanto quello della sua origine, bensi quello della sua ricezione. Attraverso il fantasticare geografico si è via via rafforzato un progetto politico. In altre parole, il fantasma evocato da qualche scriba fantasioso ha agito come alibi per l'espansione del mondo cristiano verso Africa e Asia, amichevole sostegno del fardello dell'uomo bianco. Quello che ha contribuito alla sua fortuna era stata la descrizione di una terra abitata da esseri mostruosi di ogni sorta, ricca di materiali preziosi, splendidi palazzi e altri prodigi, di cui possono dare un'idea i brani che pubblichiamo in antologia. Chiunque abbia scritto la lettera era al corrente di tutta la letteratura antica sulle meraviglie dell'Oriente e aveva saputo sfruttare con abilità retorica e narrativa una tradizione leggendaria che aveva più di mille e cinquecento anni di vita. Ma sopratutto scriveva per un publico per il quale l'Oriente afffascinava in particolare per le ricchezze inaudite che custodiva, miraggio di abbondanza agli occhi di un mondo dominato in gran parte dalla povertà.2
Era del tutto falsa la lettera del Prete? Certamente riuniva tutti gli stereotipi sul favoloso Oriente ma diceva qualcosa di vero circa l'esistenza, se non di un regno, di molte comunità cristiane tra Medio Oriente e Asia. Si trattava delle comunità nestoriane.
I nestoriani aderivano alla dottrina di Nestorio, patriarca di Costantinopoli (ca. 381-451), che sosteneva che in Gesù Cristo convivevano due distinte persone, l'Uomo e il Dio e che Maria era madre solo della persona umana, rifiutandole pertanto il titolo di Madre di Dio. La dottrina era stata condannata come eretica ma la chiesa nestoriana aveva avuto una grande diffusione in Asia, dalla Persia al Malabar e alla Cina.
Como vedremo, quando i grandi viaggiatori medievali si spingeranno sino alla Mongolia e al Catai, nel corso del loro viaggio sentiranno parlare dalle popolazioni locali di un Prete Gianni. Di sicuro quei popoli lontani non avevano mai letto la lettera del Prete, ma certamente quella del Prete Gianni era come minimo una leggenda che circolava presso le comunità nestoriane che, a sostegno della lora identità, vantavano quella discendenza come titolo di nobiltà, per manifestare il loro orgoglio di cristiani in terra pagana.
Ultimo elemento della lettera era che Gianni si proclamava come Rex et Sacerdos, re e sacerdote. La fusione di regalità e sacerdozio è fondamentale nella tradizione giudaico-cristiana, che si rifà alla figura di Melchisedec, re di Salem e sacerdote dell'Altissimo, a cui lo stesso Abramo rende omaggio. Melchisedec appare anzitutto nel Genesi 14, 17-20: "Quando Abramo fu di ritorno, dopo la sconfitta di Chedorlaomer e dei re che erano con lui, il re di Sodoma gli uscì incontro nella Valle di Save, cioè la Valle del re. Intanto Melchisedec, re di Salem, offrì pane e vino: era sacerdote del Dio altissimo e benedisse Abramo con queste parole: Sia benedetto Abramo dal Dio altissimo, creatore del cielo e della terra, e benedetto sia il Dio altissimo, che ti ha messo in mano i tuoi nemici. Abramo gli diede la decima di tutto."
In quanto offre pane e vino Melchisedec è subito apparso come figura del Cristo e come tale lo cita in numerosi passi san Paolo il quale, definendo Gesù come "Sacerdote in eterno dell'Ordine di Melchisedek" ne anunnuncia il ritorno come Re dei Re. E, per venire ai tempi nostri, Giovanni Paolo II, nella udienza generale del 18 febbraio 1987 aveva detto: "Il nome Cristo che, come sappiamo, è l'equivalente greco della parola Messia, cioè Unto, oltre al carattere 'regale', di cui abbiamo trattato nella catechesi precedente, include, secondo la tradizione dell'Antico Testamento, anche quello 'sacerdotale'.... Tale unità ha la sua prima espressione, quasi un prototipo e una anticipazione, in Melchisedek, re di Salem, misterioso contemporaneo di Abramo."
Chi ha scritto la lettera del Prete aveva anche presente questa idea di una regalità sacerdotale e di un sacerdozio regale—e ciò spiega perché questo lontano imperatore fosse indicato come Presbyter o Prete.
(2). Per le varie versioni della lettera e per la sua fortuna vedi Zaganelli (1990).
Bénichou, Paul. "Koublaï Khan, Coleridge et Borges." In Cahier de l'Herne: Jorge Luis Borges. Ed. Dominique de Roux et al. 1989. 444-51. Borges, Jorge Luis. "La flor de Coleridge" y "El sueño de Coleridge." En Borges, Otras inquisiciones. 1960. Madrid: Alianza, 1985. 17-25. Coleridge, S. T. "Kubla Khan: Or, A Vision in a Dream. A Fragment." c. 1797-98, pub. 1816. En The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. gen. M. H. Abrams y Stephen Greenblatt. Vol. 2. Nueva York: Norton, 1999. 439-41. _____. "Kubla Khan." Bartleby 1993-2014. http://www.bartleby.com/101/550.html 2014 Beckfordiana http://beckford.c18.net/wbeditions.html 2014 Eco, Umberto. Storia delle terre e dei luoghi leggendari. Milan: Bompiani-RCS Libri, 2013. "Fonthill Abbey." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fonthill_Abbey 2014 García Landa, José Angel. "The Road to Xanadu."Vanity Fea 4 dic. 2005. http://garciala.blogia.com/2005/120401-the-road-to-xanadu.php 2005 _____. "La Gloriosa y los ríos sagrados." Vanity Fea 5 dic. 2005. http://garciala.blogia.com/2005/120501-la-gloriosa-y-los-rios-sagrados.php 2005 "Kubla Khan." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubla_Khan 2014 Lowes, John Livingston. The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination. 1927. Londres: Pan Books-Picador, 1978. Purchas, Samuel. PVRCHAS his PILGRIMAGE. OR RELATIONS OF THE WORLD AND THE RELIGIONS OBSERVED IN ALL AGES Places discovered, from the CREATION unto this PRESENT. / In foure parts. THIS FIRST CONTAINETH a Theologicall and Geographical Historie of ASIA, AFRICA, and AMERICA, with the ilands adiacent. / Declaring the ancient religions before the floud, the Heathnish, Jewish, and Saracenicall in all Ages since, in those parts professed, with their seuerall Opinions, Idols, Oracles, Temples, Priests, Fasts, Feasts, Sacrifices, and Rites Religious: Their beginnings, Proceedings, Alterations, Sects, Orders and Successions. / With briefe descriptions of the countries, nations, states, discoveries; Priuate and Publike Customes, and the Remerkable Rarities of Nature, or humane Industrie in the Same. / The second Edition, much enlarged with Addition through the whole Worke; / by Samvel Pvrchas, Minister at Eastwood in Essex. / Vnus Deuvs, vna Veritas. / London: Printed by William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard at the Signe of the Rose. / 1614. Online facsimile at Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/purchashispilgri00purc 2014 Milton, John. "A Mask Presented at Ludlow-Castle, 1634. & c." [A.k.a. Comus ]. From Poems of Mr. John Milton. 1645. In The Poems of John Milton. Ed. H. Darbishire. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1961. 43-75. "Samuel Purchas." In Web Writing That Works http://www.webwritingthatworks.com/EXanPurchas01.htm 2014 "Samuel Purchas." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Purchas 2014 Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. c. 1611, pub. 1623. In The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Online at MIT. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/tempest/full.html 2012 Zaganelli, Gioia, ed. La lettera del Prete Gianni. Parma: Pratiche, 1990.
"Samuel Beckett y la Narración Reflexiva" es un estudio en profundidad de la escritura experimental de Beckett, en especial de la trilogía novelística "Molloy," "Malone Dies," y "The Unnamable", desde la perspectiva de la narratología estructuralista y las teorías estructuralistas sobre la enunciación. Resulta de allí no sólo una mejor comprensión de la técnica utilizada por Beckett para transmitir su peculiar visión de la realidad, sino también toda una nueva gama de significaciones en estos textos. Este capítulo examina la transformación metaficcional a que se ven sometido el papel del receptor en la escritura de Beckett, con su uso de la figura del narratario y el papel del lector implícito o textual.
(Images of the Reader (Samuel Beckett and Reflexive Narrative, 9))
"Samuel Beckett and Reflexive Narrative" is an in-depth study of Beckett's experimental writing, more specifically of the novelistic trilogy "Molloy," "Malone Dies" and "The Unnamable," from the standpoint of structuralist theories of narrative and of enunciation. An increased insight is thereby obtained into the technique used by Beckett to articulate his peculiar view of reality, and a new dimension of signification of these texts emerges. This chapter examines Beckett's metafictional reworking of the role of the receiver, his use of narratees and the image of the textual or implied reader.
Reference Info:Samuel Beckett y la narración reflexiva. Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 1992. 229-36.
Exponemos y comentamos en este artículo la teoría cosmológica presentada en el libro de Stephen Hawking y Leonard Mlodinow El Gran Diseño (The Great Design, 2010), una perspectiva global sobre la física y el universo que pretende dar cuenta de la excepcionalidad aparente del mismo, y reducirla a parámetros racionales recurriendo al concepto del multiverso. Señalamos algunas analogías del multiverso de Hawking con las hiperficciones ergódicas, así como con las figuraciones del multiverso presentadas en la novela de ciencia-ficción especulativa de Olaf Stapledon Star Maker (1937). Situamos las concepciones de ambos libros en las tradiciones de la teodicea, viéndolas en concreto como una actualización de las teorías sobre la plenitud de la naturaleza.
The Grand Design and Star Maker: Speculations on the Multiverse and the Sole Reality
This paper expounds and comments the cosmological theory put forward in Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow's book The Great Design (2010), a global perspective on physics and the universe which tries to account for the apparent exceptionality of the physical universe and reduce it to rational parameters, by resorting to the concept of the multiverse. We point out some existing parallels between Hawking's multiverse and ergodic hyperfictions, as well as previous figurations of the multiverse presented in Olaf Stapledon's speculative science-fiction novel Star Maker (1937). We situate both books within the traditions of theodicy, more specifically as a bringing up to date of traditional conceptions on the plenitude of nature.
Samuel Beckett y la narración reflexiva. Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 1992. Es este el último capítulo de Samuel Beckett y la Narración Reflexiva, un estudio en profundidad de la escritura experimental de Beckett, en especial de la trilogía novelística Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, desde la perspectiva de la narratología estructuralista y las teorías estructuralistas sobre la enunciación. Resulta de allí no sólo una mejor comprensión de la técnica utilizada por Beckett para transmitir su peculiar visión de la realidad, sino también toda una nueva gama de significaciones en estos textos. La escritura de Beckett se revela como una escritura reflexiva, que juega deliberadamente con las convenciones de la representación para trascenderlas y transformarlas. Su sentido se construye en gran medida mediante la desconstrucción paródica de los procedimientos narrativos tradicionales. La metodología estructural desarrollada para el análisis narrativo resulta así ser especialmente adecuada para enfrentarse a la escritura metaficcional de Beckett: debido a la extremada reflexividad de esta obra, el poder explicativo del método va más allá de lo que tradicionalmente se considerarían cuestiones formales, ya que la forma se ha tematizado, ha pasado a a ser el contenido mismo de la obra de Beckett, la base de su articulación narrativa. En este capítulo concluimos con unas observaciones finales sobre la estética metaficcional y reflexiva de Beckett en tanto que supone un trabajo de reelaboración de las convenciones de la representación literaria y de las modalidades narrativas, y un trabajo sobre los códigos semióticos con los que interpretamos la realidad. Siguen a esta conclusión las secciones finales del libro: una sección de ejemplos de episodios de la Trilogía que admiten una lectura metaficcional, una bibliografía de las obras de Beckett, y una bibliografía crítica de obras citadas.
(Writing as Work on Semiotic Codes (Samuel Beckett and Reflexive Narrative, 10))
Abstract: This is the last chapter of Samuel Beckett and Reflexive Narrative, an in-depth study of Beckett's experimental writing, more specifically of the novelistic trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, from the standpoint of structuralist theories of narrative and of enunciation. An increased insight is thereby obtained into the technique used by Beckett to articulate his peculiar view of reality, and a new dimension of signification of these texts emerges. Beckett's writing is revealed as a reflexive writing, playing deliberately with the conventions of narrative representation in order to transcend and transform them. Its sense is largely built through the parodic deconstruction of traditional narrative procedures. The structural methodology deployed for narrative analysis is, then, most adequate to deal with Beckett's metafictional writing: because of the extreme reflexivity of these works, the explanatory power of this method extends beyond the traditionally formal aspects, given than form has become thematized and has become the subject matter of Beckett's writing, the basis of its narrative articulation. This chapter concludes the book with some final observations on Beckett's metafictional and reflexive aesthetics, understood here as a reworking of the conventions of literary representation and narrative modes, and a labour effected on the semiotic codes that are used to interpret reality. This conclusion is followed by the back matter of the book, including a section collecting examples from the Trilogy which admit a metafictional reading, a bibliography of Beckett's works, and a list of critical works cited.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42 Accepted Paper Series
Reference Info:Samuel Beckett y la narración reflexiva. Zaragoza: Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 1992.
On "shared universes" it is always a question of more or less —just as in "real life" we share our universe to a certain extent, always partially so, but perhaps never in a complete way. In the case of fictional worlds, an explicit reference to characters or events in another novel is taken as a sign that the author wants to emphasize the continuity between both novel worlds, and this may be either central or anecdotal (perhaps just a mark of the author's personal affection for his own tiny "comédie humaine"). But in the last analysis, all human universes, fictional or not, are partially shared by the fact that we live in a common and interconnected semiosphere. If there were any universe which was completely autonomous or non-shared, not resting on a common ground with our universe, then that's an issue similar to the multiverses in cosmology. They are a mathematical or logical problem without any demonstrable physical connection to our own universe. That is, if we make abstraction of the fact that these problems have been thought out IN OUR UNIVERSE, and in that sense they are also subordinate hypothetical worlds resting on the common world of shared experience.
Or at least that's the way it looks if we see it from here.
From a thread in the Narrative-L. David Richter adds:
Sometimes a writer creates a world which is largely coherent but with occasional inconsistencies, of which the most canonical is Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha novels. Kirk and Klotz in Faulkner's People (1965) index all the characters, with special treatment for ones that are handled inconsistently. One example of inconsistency involves Quentin Compson, who in The Sound and the Fury (1929) commits suicide while at Harvard at the age of 19--the Anderson Bridge over the Charles River actually has a plaque commemorating this fictional event; but Quentin also narrates the short story "That Evening Sun," from These Thirteen (1931), and he is 24 years old as narrator (9 years old at the time of the story which is timestamped "fifteen years ago").
Close readers can overread these inconsistencies through elaborate midrash that creates implausible storyworlds. The Baker Street Irregulars, who read the Sherlock Holmes stories ("the canon") as though they represent a coherent and consistent world have presented theories that Watson (who marries Mary Morstan in The Sign of Four) was married three or four times because the dates of action of particular stories (as inferred from details in the stories) suggest that Watson was married, then unmarried, then married again, then unmarried.... Or that his middle name is Hamish (Scottish for James) because his name is John H. Watson and his wife, at one point, calls him "James." I should mention that such research findings generally have their tongue firmly in their collective cheek.
Similar close reading in Biblical studies takes place without irony. For example, Isaac has been determined to be 37 years old at the time of the aborted sacrifice in Genesis 22, though his age is never mentioned in that chapter and the dialogue with Abraham would suggest that he is a boy of ten or so. The inflexible logic of 37 proceeds from Sarah's age at Isaac's birth (90), and her age at her death (127) at the beginning of Genesis 23. Since Sarah is not mentioned at all in Genesis 22, it is inferred that the cause of her death was finding out--in some midrashim from an evil angel--that Abraham has gone off to sacrifice Isaac--and if that is so Isaac must be 37. Similar midrash is created in New Testament studies to reconcile inconsistencies in the Gospels, e.g. who carries Jesus's cross to Golgotha: the Gospel of John says that Jesus carried it; the other three (synoptic) Gospels say it was carried by Simon of Cyrene. To remove the inconsistency, the midrashic process creates an emplotted event (Jesus falls while carrying the cross, the Romans find a man in the crowd, Simon, and draft him to help) that is so vivid that it is often pictured in religious paintings (like Breughel's Way to Calvary) and has been filmed in practically every Jesus movie I know of.
Some aspects of this fictional-world-managing are dealt with by Marie-Laure Ryan under the heading of "transfictionality", e.g. in "Transfictionality Across Media." In Theorizing Narrativity. Ed. John Pier and José Ángel García Landa. (Narratologia, 12). Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008. 385-417. On the other hand, the mental or discursive operations involved in "fitting" a narrative within a larger narrative, historicizing it, or building an overal chronology out of disparate narratives, may be seen as an aspect of what I call "narrative anchoring." See e.g. here, "Harry Thompson, 'This Thing of Darkness': Narrative Anchoring" https://www.academia.edu/336349/Harry_Thompson_This_Thing_of_Darkness_Narrative_Anchoring
Un comunicado de ATU, Asociación para la Transparencia Universitaria:
La corrupción en la Universidad no es algo reciente sino que, por el contrario, goza de un notable pedigrí. De hecho, nunca se ha intentado acabar realmente con la corrupción. Las escasas veces que se han destapado algunos casos flagrantes no respondían a un planteamiento sistemático sino a reyertas internas entre reinos de taifas que libraban batallas entre sí y trataban de aprovechar la oportunidad de tener un competidor menos.
Pero la corrupción no es el único problema de nuestra Universidad. La sistemática conversión de todas las instituciones públicas en negocios privados supone el mayor de los ataques de la historia.
Por esto mismo pensamos que puede ser el momento idóneo para intentar acabar con la corrupción. Pero con rigor y determinación, sin dejar fuera ningún tipo de corrupción y estableciendo prioridades entre unas y otras.
Denunciar los casos de corrupción requiere la colaboración de todos. No sirve mirar a otro lado. Es imprescindible recopilar los casos de corrupción que conozcáis, que nos enviéis la documentación correspondiente para sacarla a la luz, a la vista de todos y así aumentar la transparencia en la Universidad.
Por nuestra parte, nos comprometemos a atender todos los casos que recibamos, completar la documentación y hacerlos públicos cuando tengamos la información suficiente.
En los próximos meses se va a celebrar el “VCongreso sobre la Corrupción y el Acoso en la Universidad Pública." Uno de los objetivos es establecer un calendario de actuaciones al que puedan incorporarse vuestras sugerencias.
No cabe esperar más. Si no asumimos nuestra responsabilidad en denunciar y luchar contra la corrupción, no queda espacio para la esperanza en una Universidad que, mediante un ejercicio de transparencia y autocrítica, promueva una sociedad más justa.
Ulysses. Dir. Joseph Strick. Adapted from the novel by James Joyce by Fred Haines and Joseph Strick. Cast: Milo O'Shea as Leopold Bloom, Barbara Jefford as Molly Bloom, Maurice Roëves as Stephen Dedalus, T. P. McKenna as Buck Mulligan and Sheila O'Sullivan as May Golding Dedalus. 1967. Online at YouTube https://youtu.be/eJGBcD-YefM
No soy muy dado a las efemérides, y eso que todo es efímero. Pero oigo que Samuel Beckett terminó su vida prepóstuma hace 25 años. Hace 26 leí yo mi tesis sobre Beckett—y le dieron o me dieron un premio. También le dieron premio (otro) al libro que salió de la revisión de la tesis, Samuel Beckett y la narración reflexiva (1992).Todo lleva su tiempo—vivir, escribir, y hasta morir. Ahora el libro lo he ido subiendo por capítulos a la SSRN. Aquí están uno tras otro y, en cierto modo, también el libro—en su vida póstuma o angélica.
Blog de notas de José Ángel García Landa (Biescas y Zaragoza) :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: "Algo hay en el formato mismo de los blogs que estimula un desarrollo casi canceroso de nuestro ego" (John Hiler)