David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

23 July 2015

Q : "What is a question?"

Though with only schoolboy French, we do appreciate the double or meta form of the formal reflexive French interrogation :
"What is it that it is (whatever)?"
"Qu' est-ce que c'est (this question)?"
      lithograph on offset page by CHAM, Le Charivari, Dec. 1869
      collection FIAPCE  (Perhaps someone who has acquired the first edition of Das Kapital in German has come to speak? The Paris Commune is formed 15 months later.)
Though with only schoolboy Art appreciation, we do appreciate the raised hands of Theatre of the Actors of Regard :
"Does anyone really know what this is?" 
 click image to see full image
 (Fifteen months later they formed the Free Pencil Movement.)
Though with only schoolboy Korean Zen, we do appreciate the primary koan of that tradition :
"What is this?"

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...