The thief and the transformer

When Prometheus stole fire from the gods to offer it to men, he didn’t know that he had deprived the Olympians of something far more precious than the flame, which is the monopoly of illusion. If the gods can trick mankind into obedience, Prometheus offered mortals the possibility to trick themselves and each other intoContinue reading “The thief and the transformer”

An obsession with the sea

The rugged skyline of the Massif de l’Estérel seen from the Bay of Cannes The ancient European cultures were nourished by an obsession with the sea. The foundation myths of the Greeks and the Romans, their theogonies and a large part of their self-understanding focused on the sea. The thalassobsession of the ancients, the matrixContinue reading “An obsession with the sea”

Going against the grain of the historical source

It’s a curious thing that although historians have always had historical sources at their disposal, the need to verify the truthfulness of a given source is a recent development in the history of history . Since the foundation of history as an intellectual endeavour (for Herodotus, the Greek word historia means inquiries) and a sourceContinue reading “Going against the grain of the historical source”

The proliferation of hybrids

The moderns are allergic to hybrids, things which don’t belong completely to one category or another. One of the articles of faith of post-Enlightenment modernity is the separation of nature and culture, of things pertaining to science (necessary, true, real) and those created by humans (contingent, potentially false, artificial). The space between these two setsContinue reading “The proliferation of hybrids”