Monday, August 15, 2005

joining the techno revolution

i'm making this post from my favorite coffee place, drinking a caramel machiatto and enjoying the free wifi. i just finished watching bottle rocket with jacob and josh, and i really need to give that a viewing at least once every two months. there are so many enjoyable lines in that movie, and i realized today that it pulls off showing us an important character only once but keeping her involved in the story.

i also finished the name of the rose, by umberto eco, last night. this was the most arduous reading undertaking that i attempted this summer. the book was only 500 pages, but it took nigh on three weeks. it was also hard coming off the heals of harry potter and the half-blood prince. i enjoyed the great mystery all the way through, and the unusual story-telling devices employed by eco in the telling. it was also fantastic for the quotes that i pulled out that pertain to theology and philosophy. i am going to paste a few of them:

“But why doesn’t the Gospel ever say that Christ laughed?” I asked, for no good reason. “Is Jorge right?”
“Legions of scholars have wondered whether Christ laughed. The question doesn’t interest me much. I believe he never laughed, because, omniscient as the son of God had to be, he knew how we Christians would behave. But here we are.” (161)

“Illness is not exorcised. It is destroyed.”
“With the body of the sick man.”
“If necessary.”
“You are the Devil,” William said then.
Jorge seemed not to understand. If he had been able to see, I would say he stared at his interlocutor with a dazed look. “I?” he said.
“Yes. They lied to you. The Devil is not the Prince of Matter; the Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. The Devil is grim because he knows where he is going, and, in moving, he always returns whence he came. You are the Devil, and like the Devil you live in darkness. If you wanted to convince me, you have failed. I hate you, Jorge, and if I could, I would lead you downstairs, across the ground, naked, with fowl’s feathers stuck in your asshole and your face painted like a juggler and a buffoon, so the whole monastery would laugh at you and be afraid no longer. I would like to smear honey all over you and then roll you in feathers, and take you on a leash to fairs, to say to all: He was announcing the truth to you and telling you that the truth has the taste of death, and you believed, not in his words, but in his grimness. And now I say to you that, in the infinite whirl of possible things, God allows you also to imagine a world where the presumed interpreter of the truth is nothing but a clumsy raven, who repeats words learned long ago.” (477)

“It was the greatest library in Christendom,” William said. “Now,” he added, “the Antichrist is truly at hand, because no learning will hinder him any more. For that matter, we have seen his face tonight.”
“Whose face?” I asked, dazed.
“Jorge, I mean. In that face, deformed by hatred of philosophy, I saw for the first time the portrait of the Antichrist, who does not come from the tribe of Judas, as his heralds have it, or from a far country. The Antichrist can be born from piety itself, from excessive love of God or of the truth, as the heretic is born from the saint and the possessed from the seer. Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them. Jorge did a diabolical thing because he loved his truth so lewdly that he dared anything in order to destroy falsehood. Jorge feared the second book of Aristotle because it perhaps really did teach how to distort the face of every truth, so that we would not become slaves of our ghosts. Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.” (491)

Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose. Harcourt Brace & Company, New York, 1983.

4 comments:

Krispin Mayfield said...

Well, I enjoy your posts, Josh. Of course I can't blame anyone else for not checking it - being as this is a rare occurance.

Krispin Mayfield said...

Um, I mean...occurence. I just got off an 8-hour shift from the 'way. Forgive me.

Krispin Mayfield said...

Alright, Josh... was it Acceptance that you said was metal and that I needed to hear? Because they aren't. So I must be mixed up.

Jacob said...

I'm at Wheaton, you bastard. I just spent two hours registering for frigging ResNet. Before that, I talked to Linzi. I think that's how she spells it. I also tried to call you, but you were not there. So call me back sometime ... I'll email you my new cell phone number.