A sad glance

The archdeacon gazed at the gigantic edifice for some time in silence, then extending his right hand, with a sigh, towards the printed book which lay open on the table, and his left towards Notre-Dame, and turning a sad glance from the book to the church, – “Alas,” he said, “this will kill that.”

Coictier, who had eagerly approached the book, could not repress an exclamation. “Hé, but now, what is there so formidable in this: ‘Glossa in Epistolas D. Pauli, Norimbergae, Antoniue Koburger, 1474.’ This is not new. ‘Tis a book of Pierre Lombard, the Master of Sentences. Is it because it is printed?”

“You have said it,” replied Claude, who seemed absorbed in a profound meditation, and stood resting, his forefinger bent backward on the folio which had come from the famous press of Nuremberg. Then he added these mysterious words: “Alas! alas! small things come at the end of great things, […] the book will kill the edifice.”

To our mind, this thought had two faces. In the first place, it was a priestly thought. It was the affright of the priest in the presence of a new agent, the printing press. It was the terror and dazzled amazement of the men of the sanctuary, in the presence of the luminous press of Gutenberg. It was the pulpit and the manuscript taking the alarm at the printed word: something similar to the stupor of a sparrow which should behold the angel Legion unfold his six million wings. It was the cry of the prophet who already hears emancipated humanity roaring and swarming; who beholds in the future, intelligence sapping faith, opinion dethroning belief, the world shaking off Rome. It was the prognostication of the philosopher who sees human thought, volatilized by the press, evaporating from the theocratic recipient. […] It signified that one power was about to succeed another power. It meant, “The press will kill the church.”

Victor Hugo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Book Fifth, Chap. I-II.

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Hugo a inteles el ceva, dar nu tot. Nu-i asa ca-i straniu ca tocmai o carte crestina – comentariile lui Petru Lombardul la epistolele Pauline – va fi cea care “va ucide biserica”? Evident ca e. Biserica nu a fost / este “ucisa” de ateism, de secularism, sau de stiinta. Biserica a fost / este ucisa de crestinism.

…mai urmeaza vreo 50 de intrebari aici, dar nu le punem. Nu de alta, dar mi-e ca “the emancipated humanity” o sa ma ia la ochi.

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In imagine, un mic fragment din Glossa in epistolas beati Pauli a lui Avva Petre. Manuscris. Ca deh…

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