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The Prince and Other Writings by Niccolò Machiavelli
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Add to Wants. Among the many books in his library, Ashurbanipal included works of literature, such as the tale of Gilgamesh or the story of Etana, because he realized that literature articulates not just the story of a certain people, but of all people. The historian Durant writes:. Literature is at first words rather than letters, despite its name; it arises as clerical chants or magic charms, recited usually by the priests, and transmitted orally from memory to memory.
Carmina , as the Romans named poetry, meant both verses and charms; ode , among the Greeks, meant originally a magic spell; so did the English rune and lay , and the German Lied. Rhythm and meter, suggested, perhaps, by the rhythms of nature and bodily life, were apparently developed by magicians or shamans to preserve, transmit, and enhance the magic incantations of their verse.
Out of these sacerdotal origins, the poet, the orator, and the historian were differentiated and secularized: the orator as the official lauder of the king or solicitor of the deity; the historian as the recorder of the royal deeds; the poet as the singer of originally sacred chants, the formulator and preserver of heroic legends, and the musician who put his tales to music for the instruction of populace and kings. The role of the poet in preserving heroic legends would become an important one in cultures throughout the ancient world.
The Indian epic Mahabharata written down c. All of these works, and those which came after them, were only made possible through the advent of writing. The early cuneiform writers established a system which would completely change the nature of the world in which they lived. The past, and the stories of the people, could now be preserved through writing.
Durant notes:. The Phoenicians did not create the alphabet, they marketed it; taking it apparently from Egypt and Crete, they imported it piecemeal to Tyre , Sidon , and Byblos , and exported it to every city on the Mediterranean ; they were the middlemen, not the producers, of the alphabet. By the time of Homer the Greeks were taking over this Phoenician — or the allied Aramaic — alphabet, and were calling it by the Semitic names of the first two letters, Alpha , Beta ; Hebrew Aleph , Beth.
Early writing systems, imported to other cultures, evolved into the written language of those cultures so that the Greek and Latin would serve as the basis for European script in the same way that the Semitic Aramaic script would provide the basis for Hebrew, Arabic, and possibly Sanskrit. The materials of writers have evolved as well, from the cut reeds with which early Mesopotamian scribes marked the clay tablets of cuneiform to the reed pens and papyrus of the Egyptians, the parchment of the scrolls of the Greeks and Romans, the calligraphy of the Chinese, on through the ages to the present day of computerized composition and the use of processed paper.
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“More, Much More” and other writings
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Play as Symbol of the World: And Other Writings
Pearson, Black, J. The Literature of Ancient Sumer.
Oxford University Press, Coe, M. The Maya. Joseph Beuys said that during World War II, when his fighter plane crashed in Crimea, Tartar people saved his life, and this experience influenced his own making. Beuys radically tried to define non-European culture as high culture, but unlike European culture which caused World War II.
In other words, he tried to put civilization, which was recognized as a lower layer of culture, to a higher level than culture. In this point, it can be said that a German speaker has a different way of thinking from French speakers or English speakers who do not clearly distinguish these two words. Because the parents of Abramovic were heroes of anti-Nazi partisans, it may be said that they were antagonists of Beuys during World War II. Through her practices with Tibetan lama and Australian aborigines, Abramovic understands enough about the significance of Zivilisation.
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The situation of a crossover between two artists trying to overcome European modernism is exciting. It was Zhuangzi who thought of chaos as a place of origin, and he is mathematically right. It seems necessary to place a performance of Beuys as an extension of the European consideration of nature. A myth called performance occurred as a reaction to the distortion caused by the stiffness of monotheistic belief.
Originally, this performance of Beuys must have been weird. However, this performance acquired too much publicity, and even became pop such as in the chanting religious dance by Ippen , and the original creepiness was gone. However, this is not a failure of re-performance, but a result of re-performance after a few decades. By talking to dead hare again and again, Abramovic tried to create a myth of overcoming the impossibility of conversation with the dead, but in the environment of too many noisy spectators in Guggenheim Museum it was impossible to make this performance divine.
Because of these surroundings, it was difficult to concentrate on the performance. The sound of the iron attached to her heel hitting the floor is supposed to have a symbolic meaning, of sending a vowel into space, spreading an effect of Zivilization, but this sound was erased by a ringtone of a mobile telephone, which is too Kultur. Again, this is a tragedy of re-performance. Therefore, ironically, the situation emerges that a photo-recording of a performance has a more divine aura than the performance itself.
The photograph which captures the moment of gold leaf on her face must be beautiful. In this performance, we can see that she carried the history of Yugoslavia on her back. Marina Abramovic Performance still from Lips of Thomas, Performance, Galerie Krinzinger, Innsbruck. Exactly at p. We can only hear the sound of the metronome, tick-tock, echoing slowly into space. Ten minutes later, Abramovic opened a one-liter bottle of honey, which she started to eat slowly by putting a spoon in and out of the bottle.
Her licking the spoon many times was especially sexual. After eating honey for approximately ten minutes, the artist opened a wine bottle, and drank it slowly while staring in the direction of a spectator. Then, she picked up a razor on the table, and cut her stomach slowly and carefully, by tracing the outline of a star that was already written on her stomach. Meanwhile, a sound of a metronome counts the passing time slowly.
Blood dripped from her stomach slowly. Abramovic wore old combat boots placed on the stage, after having wiped up the blood with a white napkin, and put on an army cap, and picked up a stick. A red star was placed on this army cap, and the stick which curved slightly gave me an impression that the stick was like a Kalashnikov gun.
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