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Showing posts from July 4, 2010

Calasso, my antipodes!

I’ve been reading Roberto Calasso’’s Literature and the God’s, and getting that antipodal feeling. So close, and so far, we stand in the invisible community, the third life. Calasso, at the beginning of his chapter on nymphs, remarks that the “gods manifest themselves intermittently along with the ebb and flow of what Aby Warburg referred to as the mnomic wave.” Later, Calasso points to the position of the eighteenth century on that wave, ‘where the lowest point was probably a moment in eighteenth century France when, with a breezy and derisive self-assurance, the childish fables of the Greeks, the barbaric Shakespear and the sordid biblical tales were all dismissed as no more than the work of an shrewd priesthood determined to suffocate any potentially enlightened minds in the cradle.” (28) Nevermind, for a second, that Shakespeare’s barbarism was derived from Racinian classicism, which took its charisma from the sense of Greek theater given by Aristotle, or so it was thought – that t