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Peter Montgomery wrote:
> 
> Indeed civilisation is a city thing,

My point was that the word's senses  had never been limitedd to this
etymological sense, but in fact had been a (false)a cluster of
'equations' ideolgoically and moralistically edged from the beginning. 

> but no cities without commerce.
> No commerce without records

Have you read the Odyssey; remember the "Merchant" that Telemachus has a
chat with. It's been a long time & I'm a bit vague myself, but someone
greets him with the question, "Are you a pirate or a merchant?" The two
'trades' had not diverged yet.  No records were needed for commerce but
for keeping track of exploitation in Palace Economies. And all those
bronze age civilizations from Mycenae to China disappeared, under
circumstances still not understood, around the end of the second
millenium. When writing writing reappeared it was not linked to the old
writing, and (as in India) the new socities wre not evn in the same
location. Writing for commerce appeared much later.

 (cf Phlebus and the profit and loss)

No. Much later than the orginal Cities.

> No records without literacy.

I s it literacy if it is used for _nothing_ besides records (and records
of  tribute, not commerce).


> Hence literacy is the key to civilisation.

It's more like 'civiliztion' was key to 'literacy."  "Literacy" is
probably a misleading term here since only the scribes keeping Palace
accounts were "literate." And as late as the end of the 5th-c b.c.e.
oral testimony was considered better evidence for enforcing contracts
than was written evidence. The written contract was a mere memo, the
oral testimony was wht counted in the Athenican version of a "trial."
And all the associations that cluster around "literacy" today were
pretty much a creation of print culture. Checkyou old hero of Gutenberg
Galaxy. 

Odd bit of information from a Rumanian immigrant to the U.S. Rumania had
100% literacy under the "Communists," but it has now slipped to less
than 90%. The people of Eastern Europe have been discovering that a
corrupt, tyrannical, distorted fake socialism was better than no
socialism at all. :-)

Carrol
> 
> P.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:31 AM
> Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> 
> > A rat rathere empty truism, but what, as they used to say in the '50s,
> > does it have to do with the pricxe of eggs in Todkyo.
> >
> > Can't type much; just had surgery on my left thumb for trigger thumb;
> > hand still pretty much without feeling.
> > Carrol
> >
> > Peter Montgomery wrote:
> > >
> > > Everyone has his or her agendas.
> > >
> > > P.
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 6:53 PM
> > > Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> > >
> > > > "Civiilization" in any of the contexts we have used it in here is a
> > > > polemical term, and it can't be pinned down so neatly. It contains
> quite
> > > > a few of what
> > > > Empson called "equations" in his complex words. Two or more senses of
> a
> > > > word which in a given  context are identified. Wonderful example from
> > > > Pope,
> > > >
> > > > Some to whom wit has been profuse,
> > > > Want as much more to turn it to its use.
> > > >
> > > > This is not merely ambiguity (intended or unintended) but (in the
> > > > example) claims that "seeing resemblances"  must somehow incorporate
> > > > _within_ itself the 'opposite' of seeing differences. And in the
> > > > background is "A Great  Wit," i.e. "wit" as "A profound thinker (e.g.,
> > > > Aristotle) coloring the equation of wit & judgtment (two cliches from
> > > > 17th-c criticism). And that's only a beginning.
> > > >
> > > > Well, "civilized" is usually packed with unintended equations. "You
> > > > uncivilized brute" someone says in conversation, utterly innocent of
> any
> > > > knowledge of the Latin maning  of civis -- but even here that is
> lurking
> > > > in the background. Hence it's not quite  correct to simply define
> > > > "civillliWs" hwew as a synonysm for "civil," "polite," and
> "uncivilized"
> > > > as merely "crude" or rude. (And check the history of _rude_!)
> > > >
> > > > And we are slipping back and forth here between two sets of users of
> > > > civilized: (1) a set of one: T.S. Eliot, who does not use it in the
> text
> > > > under consideration and (2) readrs of Eliot, of shom a certain minimal
> > > > sophistication is expected (dand check the histoyr of _that_ term).
> > > > "Tribal" as an antonym simply will not do. It _never_ was related to
> > > > that but contrasted to non-urban, as in peasant. Civilization was
> simply
> > > > urban. But it has long since ceased to carry that simple content, and
> > > > probably didn't from the beginning: cf. pagan; heathen.
> > > >
> > > > So we need to either drop the term or start over again with more care.
> > > > Nancy's use is probably the place to start, but as much as she packs
> > > > into her discussion of Conrad, it's not a complete unpacking of all
> that
> > > > several millenia of usage have packed into "civilization" and
> > > > "civiliczed."
> > > >
> > > > Carrol
> > > >
> > > > Peter Montgomery wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > I think we need to sort out terms here.
> > > > >
> > > > > The antonym of civilised is not savage, but tribal.
> > > > > Civilisations tend to be literate. Tribes tend to be auditory.
> > > > > Cf Eric Havelock's Preface to Plato.
> > > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_A._Havelock#Preface_to_Plato
> > > > >
> > > > > Both can be, but are not necessarily savage or civil.
> > > > > The Iroquois were very savage. The Hurons were very civil.
> > > > > Even highly developed civilsations and tribes can be savage
> > > > > (cf Nazis and Mayans).
> > > > >
> > > > > Civilsations, having evolved from tribal societies tend to have
> > > > > remnant values of tribal socities which can create conflict.
> > > > > Kurtz was attempting to revert to type, which was an impossible
> thing to
> > > do.
> > > > > As a product of civilsation he was too self-aware of his
> individuality,
> > > > > a characteristic not common in tribes.
> > > > >
> > > > > Pre-Platonic culture in Greece, ie the Hellenes were tribal
> > > > > The Iliad and Odessey are tribal productions of an aural culture.
> > > > > Their word for a person who dissociated from the group to become
> > > > > an individual was 'idiotae'. Socrates was one such.
> > > > >
> > > > > P.
> > > > >
> > > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > > From: "DIana Manister" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:18 AM
> > > > > Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> > > > >
> > > > > > Not necessarily Peter,
> > > > > >
> > > > > > A civilized person could morph into a sociopathic killer. Jack the
> > > > > > Ripper or any number of decivilized monsters who are not savages.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > So-called Savages have their own moral codes and taboos, often
> very
> > > > > > strictly observed.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Diana
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Sent from my iPod
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On May 25, 2010, at 7:28 AM, Peter Montgomery
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > > wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > To be de-civilised is not to be uncivilised.
> > > > > > > To be de-civilised is not to be a savage.
> > > > > > > It is to have no identity at all. A hollow man.
> > > > > > > P.
> > > > > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > > > > From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > > > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > > > Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 6:22 AM
> > > > > > > Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >> Peter Montgomery wrote:
> > > > > > >>>
> > > > > > >>> Eliot was a big fan of THE HEART OF DARKNESS.
> > > > > > >>>
> > > > > > >>> Is Kurtz de-civilised?
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >> No! To be civilized is to be aware of oneself as related to The
> > > City.
> > > > > > >> Kurtz's life would be unintelligible within a paleolithic or
> even
> > > > > > >> neolithic culture. And while K's attitude towards the "natives"
> > > > > > >> invokes
> > > > > > >> the Eurocentric use of "savage," his attitude towareds hmself,
> let
> > > > > > >> alone
> > > > > > >> the attitude of (a) the fictional narrator and (b) the story as
> a
> > > > > > >> whole
> > > > > > >> is biguous. Tos label Kurtz as "uncivilzied" is to justify
> Europe:
> > > > > > >> It is
> > > > > > >> not Europe that is committing genocide n the Congo but those
> > > > > > >> savages who
> > > > > > >> have infected Kurtz with their savagery which then has
> rebounded on
> > > > > > >> them.
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >> Now it may be that Eliot (the man) or Eliot (the poet of TWL)
> > > himself
> > > > > > >> thought in these terms, of Kurtz or the woman in the narrow
> canoe
> > > as
> > > > > > >> "decivilzied." Assuming that would add quite an interesting
> edge to
> > > > > > >> the
> > > > > > >> poem but it would make Eliot the man worthy of the greatest
> > > contempt.
> > > > > > >> (Ditto re Conrad.)
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >> "The horror. The Horror" Kurtz muttrs -- and perhaps that
> horror is
> > > > > > >> analyzed in the history of such words as "pagan,"
> "civilization,"
> > > > > > >> "savage," "urbane," and other terms in which is embodied the
> > > > > > >> valorization of The City (- Europe in the 196h c.) and "The
> > > > > > >> Country" (=
> > > > > > >> the rest of the world in the 19th-c). (My expositon here is
> jumbled
> > > > > > >> since I'm explorginga what for me is new angle from which to
> look
> > > > > > >> at the
> > > > > > >> consciousness arising from the savage (!) rampage of Europe
> across
> > > > > > >> the
> > > > > > >> world in the last 3 centuriesd. It is too bad Empson did not
> > > > > > >> include a
> > > > > > >> chapter on "savage" in his _Structure of *Complex Words_, for
> quite
> > > a
> > > > > > >> bit of (terrifying) history is packed into the 'equations' as
> > > Empson
> > > > > > >> called them which structure this term.
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >> Carrying this (even in its rough state here) back to TWL, we
> may
> > > > > > >> see a
> > > > > > >> sort of (unintended) savage (!) irony in that phrase which ends
> the
> > > > > > >> poem.
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >> I'll stop here for now.
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >> Carrol
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >>>
> > > > > > >>> Mr. Civilisation, he dead!
> > > > > > >>>
> > > > > > >>> P.
> > > > > > >>> ----- Original Message -----
> > > > > > >>> From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > > >>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > > > > > >>> Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010 7:19 AM
> > > > > > >>> Subject: Re: Mr. Eugenides
> > > > > > >>>
> > > > > > >>>> Diana Manister wrote:
> > > > > > >>>>>
> > > > > > >>>>> Peter,
> > > > > > >>>>>
> > > > > > >>>>> Yes dehumanized. De-civilized too, if you will,
> > > > > > >>>>
> > > > > > >>>> "decivilized" (which is also not Eliot's word) is an even
> more
> > > > > > >>>> inappropriate metaphor than dehumanized. The behavior of the
> > > > > > >>>> clerk is
> > > > > > >>>> only possible within civilization! For one thing, even in a
> > > > > > >>>> pre-capitalist class societies she would not have been living
> > > > > > >>>> alone or
> > > > > > >>>> preparing her own meal. Those tins involved international
> > > commerce.
> > > > > > >>>> Moreover, the entire episode presupposes the atomized social
> > > > > > >>>> relations
> > > > > > >>>> which appeared embryonically in the 175th-c (and Milton with
> > > > > > >>>> amazing
> > > > > > >>>> prescience grasped) and only fully (and only in England & the
> > > > > > >>>> U.S.) in
> > > > > > >>>> the 19th-c. They were only beginning to develop in France &
> > > Germany
> > > > > > > (and
> > > > > > >>>> this enters into the causes of WW1).
> > > > > > >>>>
> > > > > > >>>> So whatever the young man and woman are or are not, they are
> > > highly
> > > > > > >>>> civilized -- and surely Eliot had enough of an historical
> sense
> > > and
> > > > > > > was
> > > > > > >>>> precise enough in his language (even the silent language of
> > > thought
> > > > > > > and
> > > > > > >>>> intention) that he would never have seen these characters as
> > > > > > >>>> de-ciivilized. These vague, sloppy categories introduced by
> > > readers
> > > > > > >>>> rather than the poem trivialize the whole poem.
> > > > > > >>>>
> > > > > > >>>> Carrolk
> > > > > > >