To put your quill where your mouth is

Each one of us is an archeologist, a witness, active or passive, of the history of the material and immaterial culture around us. We don’t have to be academically-minded grave-diggers or shovel-wielding students of antiquity to exercise our archeological sense. An archeologist is someone who understands that he or she is surrounded by ghosts, andContinue reading “To put your quill where your mouth is”

Let’s start in the middle (of things)

In the beginning was the word. In the middle was the story. Many ancient epic poems are known to begin in the middle of things, in medias res. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s AeneidĀ all begin ‘into the thickst’ (Thomas Drant), at a point in the narrative where things had already moved significantly from the beginning.Continue reading “Let’s start in the middle (of things)”

Wooden myths last forever

I just love it when myths come back to bite us (in the ass), like Sartre’s annoying flies. Most cultural artefacts do not originate in fact, but in mythology, which is not to say fiction. And myths keep coming back, they are more resilient than any stone foundations. Long after the last ruins have fadedContinue reading “Wooden myths last forever”

Letters addressed to a ghost

When we think of Renaissance humanism, several things leap to mind: the rediscovery of the classics, the discovery of manuscripts and works previously thought lost, a taste for antiquity, Cicero’s eloquence, classical ideas, imitation of the ancient masters. But we rarely, if ever, think about imaginary friends. And we rarely think about the novelty ofContinue reading “Letters addressed to a ghost”