By Eliot Weinberger
The world over acclaimed as essentially the most leading edge writers this day, Eliot Weinberger has taken the essay into unexplored territories at the borders of poetry and narrative the place the single rule, in response to the writer, is that each one the knowledge has to be verifiable.With An Elemental factor, Weinberger turns from his celebrated political chronicles to the timelessness of the themes of his literary essays. With the knowledge of a literary archaeologist-astronomer-anthropologist-zookeeper, he leads us via histories, fables, and meditations concerning the 10000 issues within the universe: the wind and the rhinoceros, Catholic saints and folks named Chang, the Mandaeans at the Iran-Iraq border and the Kaluli within the mountains of latest Guinea. one of the thirty-five essays integrated are a poetic biography of the prophet Muhammad, which was once praised via the London occasions for its "great good looks and grace," and "The Stars," a reverie on what's up there that has already been translated into Arabic, chinese language, Hindi, and Maori.
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Additional resources for An Elemental Thing
It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience.
There are honestly meant translations, which, as involuntary vulgarizations, are almost falsifications of the original, merely because its lively and merry TEMPO (which overleaps and obviates all dangers in word and expression) could not also be rendered. A German is almost incapacitated for PRESTO in his language; consequently also, as may be reasonably inferred, for many of the most delightful and daring NUANCES of free, free-spirited thought. And just as the buffoon and satyr are foreign to him in body and conscience, so Aristophanes and Petronius are untranslatable for him.
20. That the separate philosophical ideas are not anything optional or autonomously evolving, but grow up in connection and relationship with each other, that, however suddenly and arbitrarily they seem to appear in the history of thought, they nevertheless belong just as much to a system as the collective members of the fauna of a Continent—is betrayed in the end by the circumstance: how unfailingly the most diverse philosophers always fill in again a definite fundamental scheme of POSSIBLE philosophies.
An Elemental Thing by Eliot Weinberger