Posts tagged Spain
No one reads Beatus of Liébana.
Illustrated Beatus manuscripts bring to life an extraordinary vision of the end of the world, as recorded by Saint John in the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) and filtered through the lens of Beatus of Liébana, an eighth-century Asturian monk. These manuscripts are unique to medieval Spain and a testament to the pervasive artistry and intellectual milieu of monastic culture there. The leaf shown here comes from a manuscript disassembled in the 1870s.
This table was created in an attempt to calculate the numerical “code” of the Antichrist, who was a particularly troubling figure to Christians of the Middle Ages. Saint John asserted in Apocalypse 13.18 that the “number of the beast…is 666,” the number specifically linked to the devil at the time the Apocalypse was written. Here, the eight names given to the Antichrist are lettered in red in vertical columns; each letter is assigned a number. The total given is 666, written four times diagonally in the center of the table.
if I should go outside the wolves would come to eat out of my hand just as my room would seem to be outside of me my other earnings would go off around the world smashed into smithereens but what is there to do today it’s thursday everything is closed it’s cold the sun is whipping anybody I could be and there’s no helping it so many things come up so that they throw the roots down by their hairs out in the bull ring stenciled into portraits not to make a big deal of the day’s allotments but today has been a winner and the hunter back with his accounts askew how great this year has been for putting in preserves like these and thus and so and always things are being left behind some tears are laughing without telling tales again except around the picture frame the news arrived that this time we would only see the spring at night and that a spider crawls across the paper where I’m writing that the gift is here
image: El Greco’s The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
No one reads Dr. Bacteria, pseudonym of Spanish neurobiologist and Nobel Prize winner Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934).
From an article by Laura Otis, translator of Cajal’s Vacation Stories:
Few scientists who admire neurobiologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s extraordinary drawings of neurons know that early in his career, he wrote science fiction. Cajal’s Vacation Stories, written in 1885–86 and published in 1905, explore the ethical consequences of what was then cutting-edge science: bacteriology, artificial insemination, photography, and the power of suggestion. Those who have read Cajal’s Recollections of My Life and Advice for a Young Investigator know how vividly he recreates the lab atmosphere for readers, but his short stories have a creative vision and wicked humor that even these classics lack. In his first years as a scientist, Cajal used fiction to take a “vacation” from the rules of scientific writing so that he could consider the future of science. [cont. reading]
The above drawing by Ramón y Cajal is “one of the first drawings of a neuron.” Via.
No one reads Bernardino de Sahagún, in whose books you can find passages from the Aztec like this:
it becomes long, deep; it widens, extends, narrows. it is a constricted place, a narrowed place, one of the hollowed-out places. there are roughened places; there are asperous places. it is frightening, a fearful place, a place of death. it is called a place of death because there is dying. it is a place of darkness; it darkens; it stands ever dark. it stands wide-mouthed; it is widemouthed. it is wide-mouthed; it is narrow mouthed. it has mouths which pass through. i place myself in the cave. i enter the cave.
From “the cave” via airform archives
From wikipedia: “Born in Sahagún, Spain, in 1499, he journeyed to New Spain in 1529, and spent more than 50 years conducting interviews regarding Aztec beliefs, culture and history. Though he primarily dedicated himself to the missionary task, his extraordinary work documenting indigenous worldview and culture has earned him the title ‘the first anthropologist.’ He also contributed to the description of the Aztec language Nahuatl, into which he translated the Psalms, the Gospels and a basic manual of religious education.”
A link to Amazon for the many volumes of the Florentine Codex.
Maybe this post should be titled “No one reads the Aztecs.” I know I don’t, though now I want to.