Saturday, April 27, 2013
AN EXCERPT BELOW FROM MY REAL-TIME REVIEW HERE OF JACQUES THE FATALIST (1796) by Denis Diderot
Pages 147 – 163
Dogs as underlings in some universal pecking order and public executions provide some disconnected topics here. And pictures for the Master being “word pictures” with a pen or pencil rather than a paintbrush, I guess. The latter seems later to elicit the word “elogious” and this book’s use of this word is the first I have ever encountered, I’m sure. This seems to radiate back somewhat to my above reference to the physical translation, through time, of language or text (skipping or adding, Whovian or not)… There is also a turn of phrase in this section that sticks out like a sore thumb involving being called an “old shit”.
Meanwhile, as a result of this section in this book, I have started to brush up on Spinoza and I wonder if Diderot (or his narrator) may not be a Plura-Monist rather than simply a Monist (the concept first raised by me in connection with my recent real-time review of ‘The Magic Mountain’ by Thomas Mann here). Meanwhile again, there is yet another interruption of Jacques’ tale about his love-life with a co-traveller’s tale of some saucy pranks regarding some monks, whose Abbot is into austerity and was pre-Thatcher, the latter seeming, since her very recent death, to raise her post-retrocausal head quite often in my reviews.
“It was his view that if we had a clear sight of the chain of causes and effects which shape a man’s life from the moment he is born until his dying day, we would be convinced that everything he had done was what he had no choice but to do. [...] His Captain had stuffed Jacques’s head with his opinions which he had got from Spinoza,…[...] …he [Jacques] was a good man , candid, honest, brave, loyal, faithful, very obstinate, even more loquacious, and no less vexed than you and I to discover that he had embarked upon the story of his loves with almost no hope of ever finishing it. [...] In any case, I can see poor Jacques now, with a large scarf would round his neck…”