Saturday, March 31, 2018


Far Yet Near

Jean-Pierre Vernant (1914-2007), Myth and Thought Among the Greeks (1983; rpt. New York: Zone Books, 2006), p. 14:
The writings that have come to us from ancient Greek civilization embody ideas different enough from those expressed in the framework of our own intellectual universe to make us feel that we are in foreign territory, to give us not only a sense of a historical distance but also an awareness of a change in man. At the same time, these ideas are not as alien to us as are some others. They have come down to us through an uninterrupted process of transmission. They live on in cultural traditions to which we constantly refer. The Greeks are distant enough for us to be able to study them as an external subject, quite separate from ourselves, to which the psychological categories of today cannot be applied with any precision, and yet they are sufficiently close for us to be able to communicate with them without too much difficulty.

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