All my ideas come down to various discomforts debased into generalities.
- E.M. Cioran, Drawn and Quartered (1971)
It is possible that the ruins of Angkor [Angkor Wat] are in many ways more impressive than the city itself was in its heyday. Time has wrought wonders with the sandstone, which must have been garish enough when freshly cut. And vandalism and the flailings of sun and rain have done much to mute that excessive symmetry, that all-pervading symbolism, that repetitiousness which I find so irritating in far-Eastern art. There is evidence of an obsession with the magic of numbers and of the dignifying, under artistic forms, of primeval superstitions. One feels that the Khmer must have reasoned that if it was a good thing to erect one statue to Vishnu or of a Devata, then it was fifty times better to have fifty of them. Adepts of magic never seem to be convinced that their magical practices are completely and finally effective.
|Massimo Girotti and Lucia Bosé|
|Paola Cortellesi, Alice Maselli, Simone de Bianchi, and Antonio Albanese|
|Silvia D'Amico and Daniele Parisi|
In the normal course of things, a poet, however illustrious, is but an ornament of his country. He is a sumptuary creature, a luxury whose existence merely signifies the determination of some few people to express, in language quite distinct from the vernacular, what is purest in the domain of least useful thought.
|Mickey (left) and an eye-rolling friend|
|Walter Cartier being examined before a fight|
A regime based upon the ethic of “always enlightened selfishness” has the undeniable advantages of producing a more efficient and prosperous economy and a freer polity and society. It is also, I would venture to say, more genuinely, as distinct from rhetorically, moral, because it requires no violation or transformation of human nature. It takes people as they are and as they always have been, capable of being enlightened as well as selfish - enlightened precisely because they are selfish, because the “self” naturally embraces family and community, religion and tradition, interests and values.
|Sandrine Kimberlain and Agathe Bonitzer|
Although there is still much that we do not understand, it is likely that the selective forces working upon the humanization of man lay essentially in the nature of the socio-cultural world itself. Man, in other words, once he had “crossed over” into this new invisible environment, was being as rigorously selected for survival within it as the first fish that waddled up the shore on its fins. I have said that this new world was “invisible.” I do so advisedly. It lay, not so much in his surroundings as in man’s brain, in his way of looking at the world around him and at the social environment he was beginning to create in his tiny human groupings.
He was becoming something the world had never seen before - a dream animal - living at least partially within a secret universe of his own creations and sharing that secret universe in his head with other, similar heads. Symbolic communication had begun. Man had escaped out of the eternal present of the animal world into a knowledge of past and future. The unseen gods, the powers behind the world of phenomenal appearance began to stalk through his dreams.