A bootstrapping fellow

10 July 2017

munchausenOn another occasion I wished to jump across a lake. When I was in the middle of it, I found it was much larger than I had imagined at first. So I at once turned back in the middle of my leap, and returned to the bank I had just left, to take a stronger spring. The second time, however, I again took off badly, and fell in up to my neck. I should, beyond any doubt, have come to an untimely end, had I not, by the force of my unaided arm, lifted up my pig-tail, together with my horse, whom I gripped tightly with my knees.

E. Raspe, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

 

Readers may be interested in the call for papers for Trópos. Rivista di ermeneutica e critica filosofica on the topic of self-reference from which this passage was excepted: https://troposonline.org/forthcoming/

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Years pass like turtles

31 January 2017

dotk

When Avram was a mere boy of seven––so the story goes––the Turks raided his father’s property and on the road encountered a small contingent from the court, accompanying the child on a walk. When they saw the Turks the escorts fled, leaving Avram and an old man who deftly staved off all the horsemen’s attacks with a long stick, until their leader hurled a spear that he had kept between his teeth, hidden in a piece of reed. Struck, the old man fell, but Avram, who had a stick of his own in his hand, swung it with all his might and caught the Turk by the boots. Yet for all the despair and hate behind the boy’s blow, it was not enough. The Turk only laughed and rode off, ordering the village to be burned down. Years passed like turtles, Avram Brankovich grew up, and the event was forgotten, for there were other battles to be fought, and Brankovich now led soldiers of his own, bearing a flag on his sleeve and a reed with a poisoned spear in his mouth. Once they came across an enemy spy traveling with his son, a mere boy, on the road, carrying only a stick and looking innocent enough. One of the soldiers recognized the old man, spurred his horse toward him, and tried to tie him up. But the old man defended himself so tenaciously with his stick that everyone thought there was a secret message rolled up in it. Then Brankovich withdrew the poisoned spear and killed the old man. At that same moment, the boy struck him with his own stick. He was barely seven years old and, truth be told, not with all the force of his hatred and love could he have harmed Brankovich. All the same, Brankovich laughed and fell as if he had been cut down dead.


Source: Milorad  Pavić, Dictionary of the Khazars: A lexicon novel in 100,000 words (Female edition). The dedication reads,

Here lies the reader

who will never open this book.

He is here forever dead.

 

.

Song of a Hebrew

 .

Working is another way of praying

You plant in Israel the soul of a tree.

You plant in the desert the spirit of gardens.

 .

Praying is another way of singing.

You plant in the tree the soul of lemons.

You plant in the gardens the spirit of roses.

 .

Singing is another way of loving.

You plant in the lemons the spirit of your son.

You plant in the roses the soul of your daughter.

 .

Loving is another way of living.

You plant in your daughter the spirit of Israel.

You plant in your son the soul of the desert.

.

Dannie Abse (1923-2014)
Dannie Abse

матрёшка

26 August 2013

матрёшка

The Only Way is Up

7 September 2012

Another great one by William Blake. Jacob’s Ladder (c. 1800)

The Circle Game

31 December 2011

A happy and peaceful new year to all our readers.

Four Quartets

6 February 2011

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

 

T.S. Eliot

Little Gidding from Four Quartets