The texts that have come down to us from Antiquity were written for a time and place very different from our own. Their very origins are often mysterious, and yet, their concerns often speak to us very directly. We do not even know how Aristotle’s Politics, his main political treatise, were edited. They appear to be […]
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Entries by Guillaume Durocher
The Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhāra: An Introduction with Selected Translations Richard Salomon Somerville, Massachusetts: Wisdom, 2018 This is a fine book of translations of mysterious Gandharan Buddhist manuscripts. The context provided by Richard Salomon is excellent, providing a comprehensive overview of the little we know of ancient Buddhism and of the various sources: (enormous […]
I recently had the opportunity to watch Channel 4’s made-for-TV movie The Uncivil War, which recreates the story of the June 2016 British referendum on withdrawal from the European Union, commonly known as “Brexit.” Personally, I am not a fan of biopics and docudramas covering very recent history. More time needs to pass before we […]
Go to Part 1. On the Human Races According to Darwin, human races have emerged as a natural consequence of their spreading across the globe, leading to their separate evolution in relative reproductive isolation. As a result of their prolonged separation in different environmental and socio-cultural conditions, humans show differences on a variety of traits; […]
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (London: Penguin, 2004 [reprint of second edition, London: John Murray, 1879]). Western intellectual life today is characterized by a marked schizophrenia. On the one hand, virtually everyone accepts the scientific theory of Charles Darwin concerning the emergence and evolution of the various species […]
The Law of Blood Johann Chapoutot La loi du sang: Penser et agir en nazi Paris: Gallimard, 2014 (English translation by Miranda Richmond Mouillot Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018, in press) “I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” — Walter Sobchak In today’s culture, […]
There is a mysterious quality to the first literature of any ancient nation. The earliest recorded poems are those produced right at the edge between the forceful spontaneity of barbarism and the dead letter of civilization. They almost invariably reflect a primordial and manly mindset very different from that of our own time. They express […]