Monthly Archives: December 2009


Citeam undeva o chestiune interesanta:

“In sec. XVI interesul pentru numar, parte integrata a viziunii despre om si lume, anima din ce in ce mai mult viziunea matematica. Impactul trecerii de la forma la numar e considerabil: el pune viziunea generala a lumii sub unghiul unei rationalitati universale (principiu al ratiunii suficiente) pe care omul este capabil sa o puna in lucrare; dintr-un punct de vedere antropologic, aceasta implica un recul progresiv al sensibilitatii si simbolului in favoarea abstractului si rationalului, in timp ce, pe de alta parte, continua procesul de estompare a oricarei metafizici inceput la sfarsitul Evului Mediu.”


The Sixteenth Century Journal

Cred ca este una dintre cele mai bune reviste dedicate controversatului sec. al XVII. Buuun. Ce sa mai spun despre TSCJ? Nimic. Doar ca toti cei care sunt interesati de baroc vor avea parte de destule nopti albe rasfoindu-l.

Baroque Rome was a site of ceremony not only within the confines of the papal court but also outside in the streets and piazzas. Harnessing the talents of a remarkable team of artists, architects, and poets, patrons in Rome supported pageants whose elaborate festive architecture and learned literary programs set the pace for other European courts and capitals. Street decorations, processions, and fireworks played a crucial role as public statements for groups or individuals with a range of religious and political agendas. But increasingly, it seems, in these middle years of the seventeenth century spectators were not the only audience imagined for Baroque Rome’s spectacles. Thanks to bibliographical efforts by several scholars, it is possible to identify more than a hundred printed texts describing Roman festivities during the period from 1623 to 16555 and more are likely to be discovered. Readers, not just viewers, were obviously a target for those who promoted pageantry [din Laurie Nussdorfe, Print and Pageantry in Baroque Rome, in TSCJ XXIX/2 (1998), pp. 439-440].

Capitolul 9

Anthony J. Vanchu, Technology as Esoteric Cosmology in Early Soviet Literature, pp. 203-222. Un articol interesant, aparut in 1997 in volumul The occult in Russian and Soviet culture. Ed. by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal.

Fall in love with your craft…, these strips of metal… breathe, work, move… they radiate for man, yet they are invisible to doctors… Study every metal, immerse yourself in it, us it and let it flow into the world with your secret instructions and let it do your bidding, do your bidding, do your bidding… The strongest locks, our cunning creations, will unlock themselves merely at our touch. Doors will listen and then tell us what has been said, the mirrors remember, the walls will hide our secret moves, floors will open up, ceilings will fall in, roofs will rise up like lids.


Un titlu gasit in respectivul articol si care mi-a retinut atentia este Ayleen Teskey, Platonov and Fedorov. The influence of Christian philosophy on a Soviet Writer. England: Avebury Publ. 1982. O carte foarte interesanta se pare, pe care insa nu o am. Daca cineva o are, ar fi super! Ceea ce pot sa ofer momentan sunt cateva recenzii la acest volum:

Irene Masing-Delic, in Russian Review, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Oct., 1983), pp. 449-450.

Ludmila Koehler, in The Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer, 1983), pp. 264-266.

Richard Gustafson, in Slavic Review, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter, 1984), pp. 734-735.

Fritz cel mic

Se spune ca demult, tare demult, cerul era atat de aproape de pamant incat oamenii il puteau atinge cu mana. Contrar tuturor asteptarilor, nu am sa ma apuc acum sa contrazic aceasta afirmatie. Trebuie sa recunoastem ca ne aflam, cu totii, in imposibilitatea de a o demonstra falsa. In fond, de ce nu? Lucrurile s-au intamplat demult, cand nimeni din cei ce sunt nu erau, si nici unul din cei ce au fost nu mai sunt. Asadar, suntem la mijlocul drumului.

Oamenii atingeau cu mana cerul. Daca o faceau toti, nu cred ca gestul ca atare avea vreo semnificatie. Stiti cum se spune: cand totul este un miracol, nimic nu mai este miraculos. Se pare insa ca noi, cei de astazi, luam atari lucruri ca pe ceva…diferit. Sau, exprimandu-ne in termeni anglo-saxoni de coloratura provincial-globala, putem exclama: Wow, that’s a real shit! Bun.

Trebuie sa stim insa ca a atinge cerul cu mana era un dar al Zeilor. Un dar facut oamenilor pentru bunatatea lor (a Zeilor) si nu invers. Oamenii nu pot fi niciodata indeajuns de la inaltime pentru a atinge ceva – cerul, spre exemplu. Demult insa, reuseau. Fritz insa nu! Stiti cum e:  in povestile sacre va interveni intotdeauna ceva care sa scurtcircuiteze sistemul. Ba o cadere (in pacat), ba un negru, ba un Fritz, un evreu, ba o femeie etc. Nu intindem lista ca nu-i bine… Mai bine ne concentram pe istoria de fata. Cercul va avea intotdeauna un motiv sa nu se inchida, asa ca nu asta-i important.

Fritz era un tip care a trait, ca toti ceilalti care puteau atinge cerul, demult, tare demult. Traia cu ei, manca cu ei… Sau, mai pe scurt, Fritz nu reusea sa atinga cerul! Ce sa mai… Era prea scund. Mic. Pitic. Fritz era un avorton. Un tampit. Un scurt (circuit). O greseala! Greseala cui?

Oamenii atingeau cerul cu mana ridicata, cu capul si cu multe alte lucruri – atunci cand se aflau in stare de erectie. Zeii erau multumiti de acest lucru, nu insa si de Fritz. El era exceptia sau, cum am spune astazi, era un tip dotat. Fritz se insurase cu o fata a oamenilor – superba, evident – insa progeniturile lor, 5 la numar, erau de aceeasi inaltime cu…, hm, Fritz. Zeii nu il puteau ucide caci, pana la urma, era propria lor creatura. A nu-l recunoaste insemna a nu se recunoaste pe Sine. Insemna a-si nega Creatia, perfectiunea. Inadmisibil. Bun.

Fritz era miracolul pe care nimeni nu si-l dorea. Era, de fapt, singurul sfant-in-viata. Lor le apartin miracolele, in special cele la care te astepti mai putin. Daaa… Fritz facuse 5 copii – nu de unul singur, ci cu nevasta-sa, evident. Nevasta, o femeie superba, care atingea cerul cu capul, capul fiind invaluit intr-o imensa podoaba rosie, s-a cam saturat de Fritz dupa un timp. Pleca dupa un lungan, iar sfantul nostru ramase singur cu cei 5. Istoria nu ne mai spune nimic, insa faptul ca astazi nu atingem, cei mai multi dintre noi, cerul cu mana, nu ar trebui sa ne puna pe ganduri? In fond, cerul e la aceeasi distanta de pamant ca si demult, tare demult, caci multi se lauda ca il pot intelege, pentru ca atinge… Dar, oare, chiar ei sa fie norocosii?

Bibliofilia in Rusia

Fragmente din articolul: M. Friedberg, Soviet Russia’s Bibliophiles and Their Foes: A Review Article, in Slavic Review, Vol. 35, Nr. 4 (Dec., 1976), pp. 699-714. Lectura placuta.

In the XVIIIth c., the library of Prince D.M. Golitsyn numbered about 6000 volumes: we have this information because when the prince fell into disfavor with the monarch, the library was confiscated by the police. The holdings of the library of N.P. Rumiantsev, probably the largest in the XIXth c. Russia, included 28.000 books, 710 mss., and 1500 maps. At the turn of the century, in the distant reaches of Siberia, Gennadii Vasil’evich Iudin amassed a library of 80000 volumes. Iudin was a jealous guardian of his possession, but he would on occasion relent. Thus, he allowed the use of his library to a political exile then in Siberia who, like so many others, used the period of his banishment to catch up on research and writing. The exile was Vladimir Ul’ianov, who later became Lenin. It should perhaps be noted that the Iudin collection was purchased in 1906 with American taxpayers’ money and now reposes in the Library of Congress – where it is used, among others, by more recent Russian political exiles.

In 1888, A.S. Suvorin, Chekhov’s longtime friend and publisher, needed a rare book. The work in question was Alexander Radischev’s Journey from St. Patersburg to Moscow, a fictionalized eighteenth-century tract that was banned by the censors because of its attack on the institution of serfdom. Suvorin finally prevailed on P.V. Shchapov, described by a historian as a “book fanatic” to lend him a copy so that it could be reprinted (the ban had by then been lifted). The copy was sent to the typesetters who, unaware of the book’s rarity, tore it up into individual pages, losing a few in the process. And even though Suvorin bought (at enormous expense) an exact replica of the destroyed copy, Shchapov “soon died in a state o complete insanity caused, in the opinion of his doctors by mental suffering that was triggered by the loss of a beloved book.” That bibliophiles are erratic, capable of extremes of greed as well as selfless concern for the happiness of fellow collectors, is attested by the biography of P.A. Efremov (1830 – 1907). His passion for collecting rare books led him to “manufacture” rarities, which he did by reproducing articled from journals and having them bound into covers and jackets printed privately for him alone.On the other hand, in his last will and testament he actually requested that his impressive collection not be preserved intact. Rather, he wrote, it should be broken up by having the books scattered as widely as possible. In this manner, Efremov thought, he would bring much joy to many collectors who would have as much fun hunting for these books as he did in his lifetime. Then there is also the documented story of a Russian aristocrat who, eager to impress friends and acquaintances with his erudition, created what may be called a Potemkin library. He borrowed overnight a large collection of impressive books  and had the displayed conspicuously in his house, where he was giving a large party. The following morning all the books were returned to the dealer

The swan song of old Russia’s bibliophilia was a magnificent volume entitled Pokhvala knige (In Praise of Books) that appeared in 1917, only a few months before the Revolution. Six hundred fifty copies were printed on rag paper and 400 more on ordinary paper. Superbly illustrated, the collection attests to the great interest in book collecting and in the graphic arts in Russia at the turn of the century.


Sperand ca v-am starnit curiozitatea prin randurile de mai sus, intregul articol poate fi DL de aici.

Un excelent site, in rusa: Antiquarian Book (link-ul este pe Google Translate).