After 90 Years, JRR Tolkien’s Translation of Beowulf Will Finally Get Published
Before he was a fantasy author, JRR Tolkien was an incredibly gifted linguist with a focus on early Old English and Norse. Now, we’ll get to see more of his translation work first hand, because his version of the 10th century epic poem Beowulf will soon be available.
Filioque Against the Nazis
1933 Bethel Confession: “The church teaches that the Holy Spirit, true God for all eternity, is not created, not made, but proceeds from the Father and the Son…. We reject the false doctrine that the Holy Spirit can be recognized without Christ in the creation and its orders. For it is always as proceeding from the Son that the Holy Spirit judges this fallen world and establishes the new order, above all nations, of the church as the people of God. Only because the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son does the church receive its mission to all nations.”
1933 Pastors’ Conference discussion: “In National Socialism, it is ‘first nature’s grace, then Christ’s grace. First creation, then redemption. This goes back to liberal theology. What is decisive is that the filioque is missing. The filioque means that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The German Christians want to introduce a nature spirit, a folk [Volk] spirit, into the church, which is not judged by Christ but rather justifies itself.’ This is ‘German paganism.’”
[Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Works, vol. 12 Berlin 1932–1933, p. 399; and vol. 13 London, 1933–1935, p. 48]
A Beating Sustained
“The Last Time for Everything”
“We’re running out
Of fear and doubt;
We’re low on loneliness.
And long goodbyes
Are in short supply;
We’re coming to the bitter’s end.
Tired of the letdowns,
‘Cause they never let up
When learning to do without
Is all that you ever get enough of.
Well, there is a last time for everything
Then what of this earthly life?
It’s a beating sustained
By a knot of nerves and veins:
A trembling choir.
We are born born to pass away
And nothing gold can stay;
I’m a dwindling fire.
The seasons spin around me
As I’m breathing in and out,
And ever my heart is pounding
A steady, unstoppable countdown
to the last time for everything.
You have to look death in the eye—
In the eye!
You need to see what’s hidden there:
You need to see that he’s afraid to die.
But you my love,
You’re gonna wake up soon
In your lonely room
To the sound of a singing bird
And throw the curtain back
To find your bag’s already packed
And the cab is at the curb.
And, like a bad dream—
Unreal in the morning light—
So will the world seem
When you see it in the mirror for the last time.
‘Cause there is a last time for everything.”
Galaxy Type by Romain Roger
Although they have been knocking around for a while, I’ve only just discovered this series called “Galaxy Type Posters”, in which designer Romain Roger gets under the skin (quite literally) of various fonts with intricate deconstructions. Shown here are posters representing Clarendon, Avant Garde, Bauer Bodoni, Bello, Fette Fraktur and Helvetica.
Yes, we take pleasure in color, integrity, harmony, radiance, and so on; and yet, as anyone who troubles to consult his or her experience of the world knows, we also frequently find ourselves stirred and moved and delighted by objects whose visible appearances or tones or other qualities violate all of these canons of aesthetic value, and that somehow “shine” with a fuller beauty as a result. Conversely, many objects that possess all these ideal features often bore us, or even appall us, with their banality. At times, the obscure enchants us and the lucid leaves us untouched; plangent dissonances can awaken our imaginations far more delightfully than simple harmonies that quickly become insipid; a face almost wholly devoid of conventionally pleasing features can seem unutterably beautiful to us in its very disproportion, while the most exquisite profile can do no more than charm us. The tenebrous canvases of Rembrandt are beautiful, while the shrill daubs of Thomas Kinkade, with all their sugary glitter, are repellant. Whatever the beautiful is, it is not simply harmony or symmetry or consonance or ordonnance or brightness, all of which can become anodyne or vacuous of themselves; the beautiful can be encountered—sometimes shatteringly—precisely where all of these things are deficient or largely absent. Beauty is something other than the visible or audible or conceptual agreement of parts, and the experience of beauty can never be wholly reduced to any set of material constituents. It is something mysterious, prodigal, often unanticipated, even capricious. We can find ourselves suddenly amazed by some strange and indefinable glory in a barren field, an urban ruin, the splendid disarray of a storm-wracked forest, and so on.
This story has no end: or rather I do not know it. By the time I do, it will be too late to write it, and there will be no need any more. I shall make my oblation, and it will be hard, and all I will be able to say is ‘Be it unto me according to Thy word’… So the constant redemption and making…
Geographical and astronomical illustrations from the mid-1800s by John Philipps Emslie via The Wellcome Collection
Today I visited the medieval library at Merton College, Oxford as a guest of the Fellow Librarian. It is the UK’s oldest library that was designed to be used by scholars, and it has been functioning as such since its construction in the 1370s. You enter the library at the ground level through a massive door. Going up the stairs you reach the upper floor, where the books are stored. It is sensational to walk among the rows of book cases in the half-lit room. Their shelves are filled with hundreds of early-modern books (many still fitted in their original bindings), which are patiently waiting until someone will touch them again. Heavy benches hoovering over wooden floors are a reminder that this room was once filled with scholars leaning over their books, trying to catch the last light of the day. In the middle of the library a heavy 13th-century book chest is found, next to a small collection of shiny 14th-century astrolabes. What a heavenly place.
Pics (my own): library, book cases, consultation bench, book chest (13th century), stained-glass window (medieval), and entrance. More information about the library on Merton College’s website (here) and also here; more on Merton College, which dates from the 13th-century, here.
These delicate letters seem so fragile. Like me, you might be fooled into thinking they have been quilled, but they are from a personal personal 3D project of Dan Hoopert. They’ve been beautifully constructed with all the swirls and loops.
You might remember Dan’s popular architectural, wireframe letters from a while ago, also made with Cinema 4D.