Could you indicate to me the names of the poets whom Walker has photographed? I will enclose both pictures with the manuscript and send it soon to Hachette. Thank you very much for your kind card. And we will see each other, and in the old town we will talk for the whole of a long expected day. Is my portrait a woodcut — it looks like a lithograph and I think much better than the first print you have done. I think that you are improving very much. Have you read all the beautiful interviews of king Georgos? I like him very much and hope our friend Ionides and all the keepers of the British are supporting him as much as they can.
Ionid: he should lend a boat with voluntary workers and take us to Greece — we could have Image aboard serving as chaplain — and we would be in charge of writing the epic. I am looking again at my portrait — I like it — and thank you very much for it. Do you think that mayer is still able to speak properly any language after having travelled for prints in so many countries? And I would like to say in our plans. I do not have any money to travel to Italy and I could hardly, even if I borrowed some, leave before April I think it is too late to go to Florence this year.
And especially — spring — which came yesterday, is evolving so quickly and so beautifully that I really do not feel like leaving for the South at the moment. With the greening shade of the coppices, buds cracking open at the tip of branches, clusters of blossoming daisies in the lawns, softening skies which sweetly recall all springs past, everything beckons me to stay up North and witness the refreshing sweetness of flourishing spring.
Only I need towns just as you do — and if I remember well we had planned to go to Devonshire and I was wondering if we could spend our holiday there together. What do you think? Perhaps you would rather go to Florence — if you can do both, go to Florence first on your own, and spare a few days to spend with me in Caerleon, Tintagel and over Lyonesse. We will discuss it at any rate on Saturday evening and Sunday at Bruges and these days Bruges will be gorgeous.
Could you not stay till Monday evening? At any rate, unless otherwise instructed, I will be waiting for you on Saturday evening at Write a postcard to tell me it is all fixed. The confirmation of our Cornwall excursion "where Mark is king" and the very pleasant perspective of writing an entertaining book on old Flemish towns. From what you tell me I think the best thing to do would be to set up a little scheme, with a summary of the chapters, and send it to you when it is done.
I will do so and send it to you when I am through. Squire is very pleasant and interesting it is true — but I cannot refrain from considering him a dangerous lunatic — because in our talk he repeatedly said that Florence was "a horrid place"! I have no news of the anthology yet, but I have many things to tell you — but we will soon be able to talk about them and that will be better.
A magazine from here is devoting a special issue to my poems on Saints and this will give me work till the end of the month. And then all will be well! I hope they will take it at the Mercure. Regards to Streatfield and even Sq[uire] and thank you for your postcard.
I was about to write to you, to tell you that Allen could change my scheme however much he wants to. As soon as he writes to me I will let you know what he suggests and would be very happy if "our" scheme would work out. If I am going to Torquay? I will write to my friend today, and I will ask her if she is home during the first days of July and ask her to answer straight back — as soon as I get her reply this week I presume I will write to tell you if I will stop at Torquay or not. I saw last week some sights of Montenegro. What a beautiful country — and what a beautiful poem you wrote about it, I have read it again since.
I thought about you during the whole time of the walk because I am sure you would have enjoyed it very much — with the stagnant water crowded with blooming water lilies gently lapping the walls — and it certainly is beautiful because it makes you neglect the halls and the cathedral despite their splendour — but once you have seen the ramparts there is nowhere else you would rather go. Thank you for the letter about Allen — and do not look for anything else for the time being.
Now about our departure — arrange it yourself — I am not at all keen on seeing the Jubilee — it would be better to go straight to Cornwall. Tell me which day I should come. Must I take my evening dress for our return from Cornwall? Regards, G. I will write in a few days to confirm my arrival time.
I will write to my friends to warn them of my coming on the 30th in the evening — two days with them — it is perfect and everything is sorting itself out. And if you walk by an agency with some travel literature on Cornwall please send me some — so I can see for myself — and first on a map — where Ruan and Tintagel are. We must gather a collection of marvellous and wonderful legends to animate and glorify the landscapes we will see. Thank you very much for the amusing narration of the Adventures of Alice, I read it with great pleasure — and a special thank you for your so charming letter which was sent at the same time as mine on our birthdays.
For several years now, on the evening of the Saint Laurent I have watched stars shooting across the sky over the large and beautiful garden under my windows. I thought I would do so last night but I got so engrossed and thrilled with a short life of Saint Peter Celestine which I read in the evening that I forgot about everything else. Maybe the life has been published in a booklet since the article was published.
If I can find it I will send it to you. Warm regards and see you soon. Thank you for your postcard which I found on my return from Marcinelle where I spent the last week. On one of the days of the week I went to the old abbey close to Marcinelle that they are restoring. The ruins of the abbey, a beautiful sunshine, and a river running at its feet all made me long to have you at my side. It will be for your next tour of Belgium, and we must think of it soon if as I hope you can come for a few days at the beginning of the autumn.
I am glad to know that you liked the photograph of Reims as much as it deserves it — the portal is remarkable and we must see it together. When are you going to Dresde? Do stay somewhere, be it for a couple of hours only, in Belgium. I received a cordial letter from the director of the Dome for whom I will straight away write an article on ivory sculpting at the Brussels Exposition. Thank you very much for this article!
I am starting a project on a new museum of industrial arts which will give me a lot of work but probably has a chance to succeed. My affairs are overall better and I am gaining strength and courage — very happy to hear that you have lost nothing of your productive verve. I am greatly anticipating reading le Banquet.
Tibergh has ordered the apology of Newman from London. We are very intrigued and amused at your great dedication to him. We are hoping to find out why you admire him so much by reading the apology. Matthews told me this morning that he is sending what he owes me. I had threatened to sue him! Regards to Image and Mayer. When is Mayer coming? The sky is all blue in anticipation and the last two mornings have been dazzling. And the banquet. I am waiting impatiently to sit down and listen to the tales of your guests — P.
How amusing it is to read my own letter remarkably improved by your translation, and I thank you most gratefully for all the trouble you have gone through for me once again. I have not much to say to you but I wanted to say directly at least how grateful I am. Nothing has been decided yet about the anthology, because I am still waiting for the letter from the ministry. They tell me he will certainly answer but the wait is always long.
I have better hope for next year in any case. The talk with Image about the bottle of Rum must have been very funny indeed. We will soon go and listen to him at Henekey at this rate, as one use to listen to Coleridge at Hampstead. As soon as the edition of your poems is decided on write to tell me. I am correcting the drafts of poems that will come out for Christmas, I will send them to you then. I will transcribe the letter to B. Thank you again and send my regards to Image. I will write to Squire one of these days. Regards to Pye as well, I will write to him at Christmas.
How much more pleasant and charming it would have been to tell you in person why I did not answer your letter straight away. My dear friend, you well know, and will be neither jealous nor upset, for you know how much this friendship with Paul Tiberghien is longer and prior to ours — that there is no man on earth I love more than him. Added to the regard that I have had for him for so long I feel a venerable veneration for his life, which is the most devoted, the most loving and the most charitable among all I have observed around me — despite this regard, this genuine veneration, and despite the fact that we have been raised together intellectually, artistically and that we were converted together — despite all that there have often been, as you can imagine, some disagreements between us — disagreements do happen between people who love each other most dearly.
But our friendship was so true and so solidly established that it could only become stronger and firmer after those discussions and transitory disagreements which reasonably occur between two friends who see each other constantly. Was ours of the same nature? I thought so up till now, dear Laurence, and it has only been for the last few days that I doubted its strength. And as I read your letter, a few reproaches springing to my mind, I wondered how you would bear these reproaches if I exposed them to you? Here is what I really think: yes, I am indeed very grateful for the kind and supportive letter you sent me, but also it seems to me that you deserve a few reproofs, because you neglected to do some little things that I asked you to do last year.
I believe the contrary — that your mind is not accomplished at all — that your beautiful, almost perfect, form — will naturally reach that perfection through constant work — and what you must work on is the improvement, the broadening of your mind and the refining of your thoughts. Generally speaking it is not up to me to show you how, but I do blame you for having neglected and brushed aside the few means I had suggested to you. You have not the faintest idea of what religious life is about — do understand me, I am not at all trying to convert you — it would be preposterous and absurd — but do understand dear Laurence that you must know what religious life is.
When you will have read yourself, through the story of the life of a few saints for example — what this religion, which you believe is narrow and formalistic, truly is — then will you see what absolute happiness one can find in it. You are clearly and undoubtedly a gifted poet. You must remain as such, we certainly agree on this point! But if you want to fulfil your objective, if you want your poems to spread out like a beautiful picture book but also convey love and inspire thought — you must steep your writing in belief and faith.
Think of the book which stirred you the most among the new books you have read these last few years. You mentioned Tolstoy one day, and it is indeed not the form you admired in him, but the faith, dear friend, belief and truth. It is now that your mind shapes itself, believe me. Your "London Visions" are but sensations, various fleeting emotions. Your "Supper" and your "Porphyrion" are two first attempts to collect and gather your thoughts in an artistic fashion. Those two poems are appealing, because the verse is beautiful and especially because they are infused with a powerful and remarkable proclivity to conjure suggestive images, which all gifted poets, such as yourself, possess.
They are appealing indeed, but they will never stir and inflame me. Very well you will say — it is not given to everyone to be or to write like Tolstoy. That is true — but it could be given to you, if you would just look around you simply and without prejudice. Tolstoy understood life so well and defined its objective so clearly, dear friend, because like his godson, like the better of his two old men, he preferred action and charity work to vain protest.
Think of The Cossacks, such a wonderful book — so sincere, so true, as you know, although the end is sad and a little disheartening. Because the improvised Cossack loses heart and goes back to the city. Now — to conclude — one always gets confused when settling matters in a letter. And how true they are about yourself. But reproaches, you will ask — what are you reproaching me of? Only this — that being hesitant and solicited as you yourself admit in these words, solicited in various ways — through prejudice mostly and laziness only a little, you refused to read two or three little books that, with certainly much moderation, I had selected for you.
I asked you one day to read the Fioretti — it would have had for you the exquisite charm of a voyage to Tuscany and Umbria, with marvelously pure Angelicos everywhere within your reach. Fioretti — niente! I asked you one day to open a Golden Legend at the British to read — 2 pages only — the dialogue or rather the answers of Saint James Intercisus to his executioners.
Intercisus- niente? For Emmerich niente. What were all these denials — incidental coincidences, memory slips due to your numerous occupations? Dear, no — it is defiance — defiance towards the most loving of your friends — let it cease, by all means, now that I have exposed this defiance to you my dear friend.
I have never asked you, and never will I ask you to try to pray, or embark upon any religious practice — but when from very far off I do try, and admit to it quite freely, to help you see through yourself more clearly and to let you see "what you love and seek" by advising you to read a book carefully selected for you and which is consequently beautiful, do not be defiant anymore, and if there still is a little effort to make, make it for me, because these readings should not imply any commitment on your part, and they can, to my mind, contribute to your happiness and to your fame.
How long this letter is, yet I must still add a few words to make our positions quite clear; for with your defiance which I am most certain exists, I would like to make sure that you do not lend me any hidden feelings — According to the information I have read these last days about Benedictine convents — the life of these monks — who endeavor to be pious, industrious and artistic at the same time any man entering the convent and who displays certain skills for an art is indeed encouraged to promote it: it is specified in the rules a life devoid of tedious social duties, would probably be more to my liking than priesthood — I would however remain accessible to the world because I have a duty to fulfil, which is to bring back to God those souls who do not know Him or knowing Him prefer a life of slavery to their petty routines rather than being a servant of God.
Considering that you despite yourself belong to the first category — would I seek to convert you? Of course I would, dear friend! How could you think that I would love you any other way. And this alarms you, bothers and distresses you, and you fear that I would appeal to and take advantage of your kindness towards me by asking you to try and make an effort which would be most distasteful to you, as for example saying a prayer for me. But dear friend — once again and once for all — rest assured — all I ask of you I have told you already, it is to show no ill will, it is not to turn your back to the feelings that are shaping my life — and especially I repeat that I will never seek to make you see the Light under any other form than a poetic or a heroic one, for I know who you are.
And now I think the radiance of our friendship is breaking through the little cloud that was looming over it — and though it has been longstanding, I think I was justified in writing at such length, so we can each enjoy — as we have until last month — full trust in one another. Regards Georges. A very condensed postcard today: I received a charming note from Pye about the poems — and wrote back to him. I guess you do not write anymore because you are daily expecting the publication of your book that I am equally eager to see.
As to me, I lead an unvarying life, engaged in the study of logic that I am through with thank goodness, and psychology that I am about to finish. I hope to have finished my studies of philosophy by April — it will not be much of a change! But it will probably make theology easier - my editor has been delayed for the publication of my anthology — he will send out leaflets next week — a page of these leaflets should be a portrait of Keats. And he will even pay for this reproduction if Walker should demand it, if such is the case would he be kind enough Walker to write me a note telling me how much it would cost.
May I ask you to do this for me? I thank you very much if you can do it and I trust I will hear from you soon, about your book and your news. As soon as I received Porphyrion I read one of his songs, which kept me under a spell of enchantment. It was Monday morning: and every passing day having had no time to resume my reading I think about you as I gaze admiringly at the sweet and harmonious softness of these spring mornings where the exquisite blue colour of the dawn lit sky at the hour when you foolishly doze under your bedclothes is imperceptibly veiled in a morning mist that Memling and Metsys would paint as backgrounds to their paintings.
And I would have liked you to be at my side all those mornings to show you these unparalleled skies, for you who love nature and life so dearly and have such a gift to describe and depict it in your verses.
See a Problem?
You are blessed, really you are my dear friend, to have such a marvelous gift for poetry, and to constantly perceive novel and radiant images of nature rendered in a natural succession of beauty and consecrated harmony. You have become immortal and ranked amongst the greatest poets of your country, now that Porphyrion has been published. It is my present opinion at any rate. As it was the first time I read it — and I have no doubt of the great success that awaits you.
It is all the more obvious to me now since you have so beautifully revised this first song. And do not think that my friendship amplifies all the good I think of your poem: I do think even better of it compared to the first readings, but as with the first readings I am far from thinking it perfect. The IVth book, despite its dazzling title, Orophernes, and the brilliant final battle, is to my mind rather vague, wavering, and the entire beginning seems to unravel with no definite purpose but to lead to the final picturesque battle.
For a genuine poet you are, and I insist upon it, for having spoken ill of the end of the poem, you must know how highly I think of it, on the whole and in detail. The changes you have made in the first book have considerably enhanced its appeal, and the similes remain what they are, images, metaphors of classical beauty and that one feels, as I stated above, are destined to remain forever as such — that of the wine blending with water for example, and that of the dreaming warriors whose movements are likened to the slow unravelling of weeds in the rivers — those and a thousand others beside.
Porphyrion unmistakeably brings to mind Endymion and Hyperion — and that is what prompted me to say earlier that you can from now on be certain of your fame — because to my mind Porphyrion is by far superior to those two classical poems by Keats, and the pretty verses in Martha and the beautifully soothing verses of Augustine would suffice to rank you once and for all, as I said, among the greatest true poets of this century — I have not yet read the other pieces of the book volume, but as I have known you as such before recognition, I would not want to be of the last to hail you in your glory.
I am writing all this to you sincerely and merrily, because you are my friend, my dear friend Laurence Binyon and that I know that neither praise nor blame will change your behaviour towards me or towards others. It is what I have done with you in this letter through my praise of Porphyrion. I will now take it with me and show it off this very day to my friends Paul Tiberghien and Arnold Goffin. The newspaper articles will certainly be good — but if some were to be dull, crush them under your foot like a "Conquistador". I am a better judge than all those hack writers, and I have read enough English poetry to know what to think of the very beautiful and very dear Porphyrion!
Regards to Pye. I will try to have the book purchased by the library. Do not stay too long in the West Flanders so you can start and turn your full attention to "the forest". British Museum and be confident that the letter will arrive as it should and that relationships can resume as they used to! I was very touched when I received your letter dear Laurence and as I read, and I certainly thought you would, that you had taken an interest in my whereabouts from afar and were sometimes worried as to my fate during those 4 years.
There were indeed some moments of fear and anxiety, especially in what you call — the burning of Louvain. I stayed in a seminary which was next to the Halls of the university — these burned down — and for most of the night we were faced with the unpleasant alternative of either being killed if we left the seminary — or burned alive if we remained there — as I believed it was the end I went to the chapel and I gave communion to the sisters who served in the seminary.
I received communion myself and served at the mass of the director of the seminary and when I returned to the courtyard I saw to my immense and understandable relief that the wind was blowing in another direction so that the danger of spreading of the fire was over! I also remember distinctly how beautiful that night of the fire was, we could see most of the town burning, we could hear the shots of cannon balls between Malines and Louvain — and shotguns inside town — and the garden of the seminary seemed, all the while, just like a haven of peace and happiness.
And then came those 4 years, during which, despite what you have probably read in the newspapers, you can hardly imagine how heroic and brave our people were, whatever their social background, workmen, gentlemen, magistrates or civil servants fought boldly against the invaders. There would be a beautiful book to put together if we gathered all the documents that describe the pluck and determination displayed by this resistance, we could easily do it without any fear of exaggeration because most of these documents, especially the letters of Cardinal Mercier and the protests of the magistrates, have been published and read with much interest — they have sustained our hopes and our courage during the occupation.
And now that all is over, there is much that I would, now that all is finished, have been sad not to have lived through.
Numéros en texte intégral
And I am sure it is your opinion as well. And now that you are reassured about my fate tell me if you were able to stay at the British Museum. Were you not mobilised? Why is your writing paper headed "the Athenaeum" are you working for this magazine? And Selwyn Image? And Horne? Do ease my mind on their account and tell me if you were able to work and on what during all this time?
Such will perhaps forgive the imperfections of their narrative for the sympathy which the adventures and feelings which it recounts, and a curiosity respecting scenes already rendered interesting and illustrious, may excite Our companions in this voyage were of the meanest class, smoked prodigiously, and were exceedingly disgusting. After having landed for refreshment in the middle of the day, we found, on our return to the boat, that our former seats were occupied; we took others, when the original possessors angrily, and almost with violence, insisted upon our leaving them.
This occasions a greater freedom and refinement of manners among the lower orders than we meet with in our own country. I fancy the haughty English ladies are greatly disgusted with this consequence of republican institutions, for the Genevese servants complain very much of their scolding , an exercise of the tongue, I believe, perfectly unknown here They were a hundred miles distant, but reach so high in the heavens, that they look like those accumulated clouds of dazzling white that arrange themselves on the horizon during summer. Their immensity staggers the imagination, and so far surpasses all conception, that it requires an effort of the understanding to believe that they indeed form a part of the earth The evening was most beautiful, and the scenery lovely enough to beguile us of our fatigue: the horned moon hung in the light of sunset, that threw a glow of unusual depth of redness over the piny mountains and the dark deep vallies [sic] they enclosed; at intervals in the woods were beautiful lawns interspersed with picturesque clumps of trees, and dark pines overshadowed our road The thunder storms that visit us are grander and more terrific than I have ever seen before.
We watch them as they approach from the opposite side of the lake, observing the lightning play among the clouds in various parts of the heavens, and dart in jagged figures upon the piny heights of Jura, dark with the shadow of the overhanging cloud, while perhaps the sun is shining cheerily upon us. Not only Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and the Atomists but also Plato and Aristotle tried to answer the dilemma put forward by Parmenides, namely, that since any difference from Being is absolute non-Being, and as such unthinkable, no account of the world of difference and change can be valid.
But this doctrine not only invalidates any explanation of the sensible world, it asserts that this world insofar as it is different from Being is non-existent. Because it seems of fundamental importance for the understanding of Greek philosophy to determine exactly what Parmenides thought, I decided to study all available evidence about his work. My decision was based on the conviction that only such a study can be of value today, for Parmenides' philosophy is one in which all is in all and any interpretation of part of it risks, by not taking into consideration other aspects of his thought, being contradicted by the results of another partial study.
I have devoted the first part of the book to a line by line commentary on the fragments.
I have edited the text only to facilitate reference and to complete in part the critical apparatus given by Diels-Kranz. I have made use of the best available editions of the ancient authors who quote Parmenides' text. A fresh study of the manuscripts of Simplicius' commentaries to Aristotle's Physics and De Caelo may still add to our knowledge, but I am convinced that even such a study would not drastically change the status of the text of Parmenides.
The variant readings given in the critical apparatus and sometimes in the commentary are selective and are especially meant to illustrate the places where a variant reading may be of importance for the interpretation of the text. The translation has no pretension to literary value and has been added as a complement to the commentary, to reduce as much as possible the number of ambiguities in the construction of the Greek.
Each fragment is followed by its commentary, but in a few places discussion of the text is postponed till the second part of the book to preserve the unity of the first three chapters. These chapters deal with more general aspects of Parmenides' thought: his notion of Being, the relation of Aletheia to Doxa , and the content of the second part of the poem. The fourth chapter attempts to determine what the ancients took Parmenides' philosophy to be and what value this testimony has for the historical reconstruction of Parmenides' thought.
Since such a study as the present is by its very nature largely polemical, I wish to emphasize here my indebtedness to the scholars who have devoted themselves to the study of Parmenides and not least to those with whose interpretations I happen to disagree.
In particular I would like to mention the pioneering work of H. Diels, E. Zeller, W. Heidel, and H. The book, with some changes of form and content, is a doctoral dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Princeton University in September But I have taken into consideration studies on Parmenides that reached me up to December The Presocratic Philosophers.
A Critical History with a Selection of Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Second revised edition by M. Schofield; first edition by K. Kirk and J. Two points should be emphasized. More specialized scientific interests were simultaneously developing throughout the sixth and fifth centuries B. We have also extruded the Sophists, whose positive philosophical contribution, often exaggerated, lay mainly in the fields of epistemology and semantics.
Secondly, we have not set out to produce a necessarily orthodox exposition if, indeed, such a thing is conceivable in a field where opinion is changing so rapidly , but have preferred in many places to put forward our own interpretations. At the same time we have usually mentioned other interpretations of disputed points, and have always tried to present the reader with the main materials for the formation of his own judgement. Where the evidence is fuller and clearer - particularly where considerable fragments survive, as for example in the case of Parmenides the commentary can naturally be shorter; where the evidence is sparser and more confusing, as for example in the case of Anaximander or the Pythagoreans, our own explanations must be longer and more involved.
Chapter 1 in particular, which deals with a part of the subject which is often neglected, is perhaps more detailed in parts than its ultimate importance demands, and nonspecialists are advised to leave it until last. Only the most important texts have been quoted, and those in an inevitably personal selection. For a nearly complete collection of fragments and testimonies the reader should turn to H. There are major and important changes in this new edition. Schofield has completely rewritten the chapters on the Eleatics and Pythagoreans, principally because of work by analytic philosophers on the former and by Walter Burkert in particular on the latter -- work which has called for some reassessment of the Cornford-Raven view on the interrelations between the two schools.
Alcmaeon has been incorporated in these chapters. Gallop, David. Parmenides of Elea. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. It also offers the first complete translation into English of the contexts in which the fragments have come down to us, and of the ancient testimonia concerning Parmenides' life and thought. All of these secondary materials are collected in the comprehensive work of Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker 6th edition, Berlin , hereafter referred to as D-K, and all have been included here.
The purpose of the translation is to provide an English version that will be of service to modern readers who wish to explore the poem in detail. All the fragments have been translated in full, and appear in the order that has become canonical since the fifth edition of Diels-Kranz. References to the fragments are given in the conventional style derived from this order.
As far as differences of word-order allow, the translation of the poem has been arranged in lines corresponding to those of the Greek text. This style has been adopted purely for ease of reference, and not with the aim of producing a poetic version. No attempt has been made to capture the literary qualities of Parmenides' verse or the archaism of his language. XXX , has characterized a translation as 'a shameful form of book. But sometimes he does not know what it means, and is only guessing as well as he can. To signal the worst uncertainties, alternative renderings have been appended for passages whose meaning is disputed, or where major questions of interpretation hinge upon the text or translation adopted.
John Suckling (poète)
In these places the reader will find it instructive to compare alternatives. He will then quickly discover how completely he puts himself at the translator's mercy, if he relies entirely upon any single version. He may also find it useful, especially if he is wholly dependent upon translation, to consult the short glossary of terms that present special problems of translation or interpretation. The introduction advocates one plausible, modern interpretation of Parmenides.
It also tries to bring out the more important points still in dispute, and some major philosophical questions raised by the poem. It has seemed better to write an extended essay, cross-referenced to the translation, than to provide a separate series of exegetic and critical notes. This arrangement, regrettably, has made it necessary to skate all too lightly over much significant detail. But it also avoids dispersing editorial comment too widely for convenient use; and by allowing a more continuous exposition of the poem than is possible in separate notes, it may better help the explorer to find his bearings in the Eleatic jungle.
The notes to the introduction occasionally qualify or enlarge upon points made in the text. Their main purpose, however, is to provide guidance to the secondary literature, supportive either of views adopted in the text without argument or of defensible alternatives. Almost every line of Parmenides is controversial, and it is not possible, in the space available, to discuss every problem, let alone to argue for definitive solutions. Although the present exposition is thus unavoidably 'partisan,' it attempts to air disagreements sufficiently to provide some awareness of what is at issue.
Given this limited aim, the use of secondary sources is necessarily selective. Fuller treatment of the literature would have incurred the risk of producing a work impenetrable to all but specialists. And of such works Parmenides has perhaps received his due share already. Discussion has therefore been confined mainly to a small number of leading studies in English. All sources used, together with others readily accessible, have been listed in the Bibliography.
Coxon, Allan Hartley. The Fragments of Parmenides. Assen: Van Gorcum. Since the latest editions of Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker depart in several places from Diels' own text, it seemed desirable to re-examine the tradition, and the following pages were originally planned as a simple text with fuller critical apparatus than has appeared since Poetarum Philosophorum Fragmenta and with epic parallels. A revised collection of testimonia was then added, incorporating the Platonic, Aristotelian and Neoplatonic discussions, mostly written with knowledge of the complete text and essential for understanding the fragments, but in the main omitted by Diels.
Finally it seemed inescapable to complete the work with an introduction and commentary. The inclusion among the testimonia of philosophical as well as of purely doxographical material necessitated the substitution of a broadly chronological order for the analytical order adopted by Diels. I have made use of the standard printed editions, but have modified the text in numerous places, particularly in Proclus' commentary on the Parmenides, where the readings are based on my own collations.
Textual notes are added only where clarity demands it. In citing the text of Aetius after Doxographi Graeci I have included short forms of the chapter-headings, which formulate the questions which the information extracted from the original works has been adapted to answer, and apart from which it cannot be evaluated. See the Review of the book by Malcolm Schofield in Phronesis 32, , pp. Sider, David, and Johnstone Jr. Hence, the number of places where we offer several possibilities tending to put our preferred interpretation first.
Henn, Martin. Westport: Praeger Publishers. Contents: 1. Parmenides and his Predecessors 1; 2.
Translation of the Diels B-Fragments 23; 3. The Question of Being: a dialectic of alternative paths 31; 4. Fragment B3: the metaphysical unity of Thinking and Being 51; 5. Parmenides' closed-loop concept of time and the illusion of linear time-consciousness 67; 6.
Necessity, possibility, and contingency 85; 7. The teachings of the Goddess ; 8. The Diels and Kranz Greek text in the order translated ; 9. Traveling through profound darkness the train arrives at the gates of the ways of Night and Day. Avenging Justice holds the keys; yet the maidens persuade her to open the gates to insure safe passage to the palace of the Goddess, who teaches Parmenides the Truth of Being.
The Goddess instructs Parmenides on two ways of thinking inquiry: The one, that Being is, and must always be; the other, that Being is not, and cannot ever be. She then counsels him not to follow the second path, the Way of Opinion, as it represents the errant path of mortal minds, which do not recognize the eternal Essence of all that is. But by following the Way of Truth, Thinking and Being are found to be the same; while the unlimited source of all there is is ungenerable, indestructible, systematic, and whole, subsisting in one eternally present "now" which transcends the passage of time.
The circumference of the cosmos holds the clue to Being's unified simplicity. The Goddess then tells Parmenides to learn the opinions of mortals, so that he may never be outmatched in argument. Finally, the Goddess speaks of Destiny who rules sexual intercourse and painful birth.
She warns that everything contained in the mortal cosmology is bound by Necessity to inevitable decay; but Being shall never cease to be. The following translation recognizes Hermann Diels' original numbering of the B-fragments from Parmenides Lehrgedicht , which are listed on the left in parentheses.
But Diels' original ordering of the B- Fragments has been modified to register a coherent flow of ideas and images. Geldard, Richard G. Parmenides and the Way of Truth. Rhinebeck: Monkfish Book Publishing Company. Parmenides of Elea 1; Chapter 2. The Fragments 20; Chapter 3. Wrestling with Parmenides 52; Chapter 4. The Way of Truth 92; Chapter 5. Two-thirds, possibly more, is lost. We know a little more about the whole, fortunately, from Plato's dialogue "Parmenides," which describes a visit by the aging philosopher to Athens, where he meets with interested intellectuals, including a young Socrates.
A small industry of interpretation has evolved out of the complexity of Plato's dialogue, leading to varied conclusions about the missing sections. But, more of that below. The "Nature" of the title is the Greek physis [foo-sis], a term that expresses a visionary concern for "the nature of things," not just the tangible facts of physical nature. It appears, in fact, that most Presocratic truth-seekers expressed their views in a similar way, entitling their work "On Nature" as a sign that they were not writing a poem entitled "On the Gods.
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That Parmenides chose the verse form was also an accepted means of expression, following Hesiod and, to some extent, Homer. Verse was the language of revelation. The rhythm and sound of the hexameters' elevated thought above ordinary discourse. In more recent times, we have the example of Shakespeare, who employed prose in his plays only for fools and madmen.
Iambic pentameter was reserved for rational albeit sometimes brutal discourse. It is also useful to remember that the Greeks spoke their verse aloud. Silent reading was unknown until the Roman era. The eye followed the unbroken line of letters, the words rolled off the tongue, were caught by the ear, and only then could meaning be grasped by the understanding. Since Greek is an inflected language, word order depends on sound, how the words flow together, how vowels and consonants combine to produce a smooth, harmonic measure. As a result, the hard consonants do not bump into one another.
A vowel invariably intercedes to smooth the way.