Plotinus Plinlimmon

Friday, March 25, 2005

Letters from an American Former

Paintings from Arnhem Land. This primitive people who never developed architecture, agriculture, writing, metallurgy... were on the right track!

It seems that anthropology developed so that we would be able to finally look with clear eyes at our own society, which has ceaselessly mystified itself, and never with as much desperate fervor as in the past few centuries.

Right now we are living in the thick of the lies. You get a headache just living in the middle of it, like sitting under bad lighting.

Erasmus compiled a huge book of proverbs, the Adages. Many are still in use today and have been since Roman times. I used to be obsessed with epigrams, maxims, apothegms, aphorisms. A faded passion. La Rouchefoucauld, Chamfort, Nietzsche, Cioran... I still remember the names.

I'm surrounded by books I've not read and may never have the chance to read. A strange fate. Which seeds will fall on the sterile soil?

Ignavis semper feriae sunt. (For the lazy it is always holiday.)

Our calendar required its level of sophistication so that Easter might be accurately calculated. By the same mechanism the Arab world achieved great advances in practical geography and astronomy so that the direction of Mecca could always be ascertained. It is a shorter step than it seems from prayers at Matins to the Taylorised world.

I have an early edition of Taylor's book on scientific management, from I guess 1912, whose cover is blind-stamped with a design depicting an axe around which have been gathered with a cord a mass of staves. This is the Roman fasces, from whence... you guessed it.

You may think that this is the end. Well it is.


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