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Thoughts to reflect on: T.S.Eliot

Photo credit: gettyimages.com

The Rock

In 1934, T. S. Eliot, arguably the most prominent modernist poet, produced a play – The Rock – characterized by great allegorical, historical, and metaphysical complexity and eclecticism. Some of his most graceful religious poems derived from that text. Matter of fact, the project was part of a fund-raising contest for the collection of money for the construction of forty-five new churches. The interwar years were marked by considerable disillusionment of Christian morality and religious belief in general. The Diocese in London was worried that there is a decrease in worshiping communities in the suburbs and decided to issue an appeal for public funding. T. S. Eliot participated with his play and thus helped for the collection of at least 1,500 pounds, which would be around 107,308.0 pounds in today's currencies.

Later, the Choruses from the Rock were published as part of T. S. Eliot Collected Poems, 1909 – 1962.

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Happy Birthday, Internet!

Image credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

On this date, 52 years ago…

On the 7th of April, 1969, the first "request for comments," the so-called RFC documents, was published. This event set the scene for the appearance of the internet. It is considered a symbolic birth of the net for the reason that RFC documents opened the doors for researches, proposals, and different approaches, which often applied to the later internet technology. The engineers were now able to publicly kick around and generate new ideas for the future development of the net.

One interesting aspect of the RFC is that a unique serial number is issued for each document. An individual paper cannot be overwritten; rather, updates or corrections are submitted on a separate RFC. The result is an ongoing historical record of the evolution of internet standards.

As it usually happens with an event of such a great historical impact, there is another pretender for the birth date of the net – 1st of January, 1983. It was the day when the National Science Foundation's university network backbone became fully operational and it is also considered a forerunner of the World Wide Web.


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Quotes to reflect on: Roland Barthes

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Language and Love

Roland Barthes is one of the most important think-tanks in Linguistics, Humanities, Literature, Cinema, and Post-Modern thought. As he perceived it, Language itself is the most crucial part of the body of our understanding of the world's phenomena. Language is not only a living organism but a corporeal part of our consciousness. We feel, touch, love, or hate, we fathom the depths of the Universe and experience our lives through our language. Our words and the meaning we attach to them have the possibility to literally create or disintegrate reality. So, don't underestimate what you daily utter or write or read or hear. It's what pushes up or down the evolution of our linguistic body, of our future as a species. Mind your words. For, what defines human being the most is language. And language could be love. Love and language - the greatest inventions of all times.

"Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire. The emotion derives from a double contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly, indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is "I desire you," and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion (language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other hand, I enwrap the other in my words, I caress, brush against, talk up this contact, I extend myself to make the commentary to which I submit the relation endure.

Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments


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When Bunnies Don't Lay Eggs

Image credit: BBC

Lesser-Known Easter Traditions From Around the World

Easter is just around the corner for the Catholic and Protestant world and coming soon for the Orthodox. The Easter bunny and the colorful eggs are probably the most widespread symbols of the holiday. But all around the world, there are different customs, which people adopted in order to celebrate the most important holiday in the Christian calendar. Let's take a look at some of them!
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The Father of Modern Sculpture

Image credit: Portrait of Auguste Rodin, John Singer Sargent, 1884; Wikipedia

Auguste Rodin

The French sculptor François Auguste René Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917) is considered the founder of modern sculpture as we know it today. He is one of the most famous artists both in the visual arts and intellectual worlds. Although he took classic sculpture education his first notable work Man with the Broken Nose (1863-4) was already a major deviation from the traditional view of the French Salon and caused great controversy and dispute. Rodin is highly appreciated as one of the most talented masters of both clay and bronze figures who demonstrated a unique and original model of these materials with complex forms, elaborated contrast of concavity and convexity, and a deep understanding of the play of lights and reflections.

His Art provoked a lot of discourses among the traditionalist. On the one hand, Rodin was a meticulous craftsman who was able to produce detailed precise rendering and on the other hand, he refused to follow the pieces of advice of the Salon and developed a new "classic" that cut off the threads of the dogmatic traditional views on sculpture. As opposed to the seeking of perfection, balance, completeness, and amplified beauty, the sculptor was now emphasizing the inner expressiveness of the subject matter, of the material itself, as well as the aesthetics of the ugliness, incompleteness, fragmentation, and naturalism. In his book Art: Conversations with Paul Gsell, he goes even furthermore saying that often the uglier something appears in Nature, the more beautiful it could be in the form of Art. Rodin abandoned the traditional use of mythology and allegories to convey the inner meanings of the represented subject and put the accent on the physicality and the individual unique features. He wasn't only an artist but a great thinker, who produced seminal writings on aesthetics and kept communication with some of the most influential intellectuals of his time.

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