Posts Tagged ‘Religion

10
Dec
09

Francois de La Mothe Le Vayer ~ Writer

An Avocat at the Parlement of Paris

He was born on 1588, Paris and died 1672.  He is an independent thinker and writer who developed a philosophy of skepticism more radical than that of Michel Montaigne but less absolute than that of Pierre Bayle.  He became an avocat at the Parlement of Paris, taking over his father’s seat, but soon resigned when the attraction of belles letters became stronger.  His work La Contrariete d’ humeur entre la nation francaise et l’espagnole (1636; “Conflicts of Interest Between the French and Spanish Nations”) and Considerations sur l’ eloquence francaise (1638) earned him admission to the Academie Francaise in 1639.  He was admired by the powerful Cardinal de Richelieu and was tutor to several noble youths, including from 1652 to 1657 Louis XIV, for whom he wrote a complete series of texts.  The King rewarded him by appointing him historiographer of France and councilor of state.

His many philosophical works include De la vertu des paien (1642); “On the Goodness of the Pagans”); a treatise entitled Du peu de certitude qu’il y a dans l’ histoire (1668; “On the Lack of Certitude in History”), which marked a beginning of historical criticism in France;  and five skeptical Dialogues, published  posthumously under the pseudonym Orosius Tubero, which are concerned, respectively, with diversity in opinions, variety in customs of life and sex roles, the value of solitude, the virtue of the fools of this time, and differences in religion.

Advertisements
07
Nov
09

Charles Lamb (2 of 2)

Lamb’s letter, however, contain much of his most perceptive criticism and reveal his personal tastes.  The criticism often appears in the form of marginalia, reactions, and responses: brief comments, delicately phrased, but hardly ever argued through.

It was the founding of the London Magazine in 1820 that gave birth to “Elia” and to Lamb’s greatest achievements in literature.  The essays are almost wholly autobiographical (though often he appropriated to himself the experiences of others).  Many of the best deal with things half a century past;  vistas revealed by an imagination looking back down the experiences of a lifetime.  Lamb adopted the pseudonym “Elia” (the name of a fellow clerk) in order to spare the feelings of his elder brother, John, at that time a clerk in the South Sea house, which is the subject of the essay. 

The persona of “Elia” predominates in nearly all of the essays, Lamb’s style, therefore, is highly personal and mannered, its function being to “create” and delineate this persona, and the writing though sometimes simple is never plain.  The essays conjure up, with humour and sometimes with pathos, old acquaintances such as Samuel Salt, recall scenes from childhood and from later life, indulge the author’s sense of playfulness and fancy, and avoid only whatever is urgent or disturbing:  politics, suffering, sex, religion.  The first essays were published separately in 1823; a second series appeared, as The Last Essays of Elia, in 1833.

After Lamb’s retirement from the India House, a worsening of his sister’s condition obliged the pair to move to Edmonton.  This separation from the friends who gave him life and courage did not help his spirits.  His tendency to drink too heavily became more pronounced.  He died at Edmonton from complications to a wound suffered in a fall.  His sister outlived him by 13 years.

The standard edition of the works of Charles and Mary Lamb, edited by  E.V. Lucas, appeared in 7 volumes in 1903-05.  The best available edition of the letters, edited by Lucas, appeared in 3 volumes in 1935.  The standard biography, also by Lucas, was published in 1905 (rev. ed. 1921).  These is valuable critical material in Charles Lamb and his Contemporaries (1933), by Edmund Blunden, and in English Literature, 1815-1832 (in vol. 10 of Oxford History of English Literature) (1963), by Ian Jack. – The New Encyclopedia Britannica

 

17
Jun
09

Henry Adams (2 of 4)

These articles were published in Chapters of Erie and Other Essays *1871).  The mediocrity of the nation’s “statement” constantly irritated him.  Adams liked to repeat Pres. Ulysses S. Grant’s remark that Venice would be a fine city if it were drained.

Adams continued his reformist activities as editor of the North American Review (1870-76).  Moreover, he participated in the Liberal Republican movement.  This group of insurgents, repelled by partisanship and the scandals of the Grant administration, bolted the Republican Party in 1872 and nominated the Democrat Horace Greeley for president.  Their crusade soon foundered.  Adams grew disillusioned with a world he  characterized as devoid of principle.  He was disgusted with demagogic politicians and a society in which all became “servant(s) of the powerhouse.” 

Americans, he wrote, “had no time for thought; they saw, and could see, nothing beyond their day’s work; their attitude to the universe outside them was that of the deep-sea fish.”  His anonymously published novel Democracy, an American Novel (1880) reflected his loss of faith.  The heroine, Madeleine is introduced to the democratic process.  She meets the President and other figures who are equally vacuous.  After her contact with the power brokers, Madeleine concluded:  “Democracy has shaken my nerves to pieces.”

In 1880 Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard College appointed Adams professor of medieval history.  He was the first American to employ the seminar method in teaching history.  In 1877 he resigned to edit the papers of Thomas Jefferson’s treasury secretary,  Albert Gallatin.  Pursuing his interest in U.S. history, Adams completed two biographies, The Life of Albert .Gallatin (1879) and John Randolph (1882).  He continued to delve into the nation’s early national period, hoping to understand the nature of an evolving American democracy. 

This study culminated in his nine-volume History of the United States of America during the administrations of Jefferson and Madison (1889-91), a scholarly work that received immediate acclaim.  In this work he explored the dilemma of governing an egalitarian society in a political world in which the predominant tendency was to aggrandize power.  In 1884 Adams wrote another novel, Esther.  Published under a pseudonym, Esther dealt with the relationship between religion and modern science, a theme that engaged Adams throughout his life. – (C.McH.)




October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other followers

Active Researchers Actual Leader Advocate Home Gardening Aggrandize Power Aggressive Research Annual Ritual Remembrance Another Tradition Applications in Plant Breeding Appropriate Knowledge Architect Architecture Artificial Coral Reef Asian Champion Asian Country Background Knowledge Best Faculty Member Better man Better Quality Big Gumamela Flowers Bitter Quarrels Books of Old Testaments Building Groups Buildings Career Careful Thinking Caste Place Central Figure Champins in the Game Chiefly Remembered Cloaked Woman Close Friends Closest Friends Collection of Quotations Companion Volume Comparative Life Computerized Operations Conceptual Design Consent of Human Mind Contemplated Flight Contemporary French Influence Continous Emphasis Contrasting Figures Controlling Plant Shoot Formation Conventional Classic Imagery Conventional Copper Wires Creative Designs Crowd of Pupils Crucial Work Line Cultivation of Personal Friendship Cultured Atmosphere Cultured Elite Current Trend Dedicated Coordinator Deep Concern Deep Drainage Channel Deepest Man Deep Hostility Deep Impression Deep Interest Deep Sense of Morality Delicate Neoclassical Adam Style Designs Destructive Fishing Practices Deteriorated Community Development of Plants Dialectical Analysis Direct Influence Disrupted by War Domed hall Domestic Architecture Drastic Conclusion Early Career Early Mathematical Training Early National Period Efficient Transactions Elderly Beau Eldest Son Elegant Art Eminent Scientist Eventual Annexation Exceptional Ability Exemplary Scientific Innovation Exhibition Work Exploding World of Science and Technology Exterior Expression Famed People Fame Writer Famous Convent for Women Famous Historia calamitatum Faster Data Transmission Faster Transactions Field of Huan Nutrition Final Version of Orechestra Fine City Firm Hand First Community-based Program First Important Work Fluent German Speaker Foremost mathematician Foremost Scottish Architect Forest Setting Former Admirer Formidable Cash Crop Formulated Basic Rules Fuller Understanding Functional Equations and integrals Future Frame Golden Calf Good Acquaintance Good Degree Good Life Good Professor Good Reputation Grand Tour of Europe Great Deal Greater in Umber Greatest British Architect Great Hour of Vicotry Great Ideas Great Liberal Sage Great Monasery Great Occasion Great Tragedies Great Variety of Letters Growing power of Economic Monpolies Hard Corals Hard Work Haunting Fear of Senility Heaviliy Critize Highest Advisory Highest Award Highest Priesthood House Completion House Redecoration Immediate Success Importance of Intellectual Work Important Assignment Important Figures Important Position important Professional Influence Independent Philosophy of Language Indigenous Medicinal Plants Influential Supporter Informal Warmth Inspired Men Inteior Style of Slip-pilasters International Consultations Ironic Literary Style Jewish Community Keen Student Kernel of Truth Kid's favorite game Laminated Wood Large Populations Largest Hospital Latest Fashion Layers of Traditions Leading Biblical Scholar Leading Journals Levi Tribe Library Lifelong Friendship Lifetime Study Literary Activity Literary Figure Living Proof Local Consultations Logical Writing Main Responsibility Main Support Foundation Major Viral Disease Many Countries Many Domestic Commissions Many Fundamental Aspect Marine REserves Significant Role Marital Unhappiness Martyred Apostle Materials Mathematical Reasoning Mathematical Talent Mature Style Merit Attention Meticulous Attention Midieval History Milston Moblized Team Modern Egalitarian Modernize Farming Methods Modern Mathematics Modified Foods Monumental Hall More Dominant Position More Effective Marine Sanctuaries More Powerful Whig Most Distinguised Most Distinguised Autobiographies Most Influenc=tial Figure Most Influential Master Most Sacred Part of Tabernacle Most Universally Admired Multilevel Room Narrative Told National Invitation New Architectural Style New Breed New Community New Foundation New Freedom New Light New Lightness New Lord Lieutenant New Monarch Notable Training Numerous Essays Nutritional Acceptability of Cluny Old-fashioned Country Squire Old Center Court Oldest One Oldest Simplest Greek Style Old Patron Opposing Side Opposite Poles of Philosophy Original Unwillingness Oustanding Biographies Out of Place Outstanding Educator Outstanding Pediatrician Award Outstanding Physician Award Own Love Letters Own Religious Correspondence Partially Paralyzed Partial Success Passionate Cares Peace Loving Perfect Building Perpetual Statue Personal Mission Physical Organic Chemistry Point of Dispute Popular Italia Opera Potential Flash Flood Probing Plants Prominent Whig Leader Proper Utilization of Science Public Buildings Purpose of Christ's Life Quiet Force Raised Funds Real Potential Rectangular Building Rectangular Column Resolute Defender of Liberty Resounding Cndemnation Ribbonlike Forms Rich Souce Romantic Figure Romantic Neo-Gothic Castles Sanatorium Scholarly Work Schools Seasonal Changes Second Highest Position Secretly Married Self Taught Enthusiast Seminar Method Seriously Ill Several International Publications Several Prestigious Awards Several Sources Several Studies Several Terraces of Houses Severity Shor Time Short Life Short Masterpiece Short Story Significant Contribution Significant Neo-classical Interiors Significant Researches Similar Fisheries Development Program Simple Things Six-storey Serpentine Wall Skillful Mediation Sled Trip Some Esegetes Source of Supplementary Vitamins Specific Plant Development Pathways Strong Contempt Strong Effort Strong Priesthood Style Style of Decoration Substantial Tory Victory Successful Exterior Successful Forecasts Suitable Position Superior Data Transmission Sustainale Development Sweeping Victory Swollen Volcanic Lake Sympthetic Commentators Tactful Hand Talented Young French Architect Teaching of Philisophy Timid Natures Tirelessly Criticize Top of Mt. Hor Towering Figure Town Hall Traditional Materials Traditional Reaching Typical Patrician Fashion Unbendable Perseverance Undergraduate Degree Undoubted Success Unfavorable Story Unified Scheme Unique Semiconductor Unique Semiconductor Materials University Small Grant Unmarked Grave Unobtrusive Decoration Unofficial Title Unofficial World Singles Champion Unquestionable Love for Country Unusual Area Upper Section of Wall Useful Art Valuable Contribution to Pediatrics Variety of Rice Various Achievement Various Senses Varius Line of Development Very ASctive Part Very Obscure Field Very Popular Music Virtually Collaborated Warm Encouragement Wealthiest Families Wedge-shaped rooms Widely Known Wiltshire Wolly Blameless Wood Structure Work Focus Worse Man Younger Brother James Young Scientist Young Scientists