11 abr. 2011

Still more aphorisms

I had forgotten completely about Wallace Stevens's aphorisms. This subject is getting better and better all the time. I simply have to open up my memory to where other examples come flooding back. This would be an outline of a lecure on the subject:

The pre-Socratic aphorism (Heraclitus). Here the aphorism appears to be a form of precursor to all philosophy itself.

The Humanist aphorism (Erasmus). Aphorisms in the humanist age reflect the idea that human cultures themselves are repositories of wisdom. The Marqués de Santillana collected proverbs in "Refranes que dizen las viejas tras el fuego."

The baroque aphorism (Gracián). Associations with wit (ingenio).

The neo-classical / enlightenment aphorism. Aphorism is the voice of reasonableness but also of paradox.

The Romantic aphorism (Blake).

The decadent aphorism. (Wilde)

The modernist aphorism. Juan Ramón Jiménez / Wallace Stevens.

The late modernist aphorism...

Various sources of distrust for the form. It is too sententious, too categorical. It commands assent that we might not want to give it.

2 comentarios:

John dijo...

Have you considered Nietzsche?

Regarding Heraclitus, it seems to me that the aphorism is an original or originary format of philosophy -- or something stronger than precursor.

Enlightenment: aphorism was one of Franklin's claims to fame. (Poor Richard.)

Jonathan dijo...

I have considered him. I don't know his work well enough yet, but I know he is a significant aphorist. I think Schopenhauer translated Gracián, so there's that too.