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Literature and Philosophy

Literature and Philosophy

There is a lot that have been discussed with regards to game/lifestyle literature and various philosophical and evolutionary underpinnings of them.

This thread is not about that....this thread is about the classic, heavyweight books in the area of literature and philosophy. By literature, i dont mean stupid stuff by maya angelou or ayn rand, hell to no! By literature, i mean works of yukio mishima or stendhal or tolstoy.

By philosophy i dont mean silly, fluffy stuff like gaia or is there a god?. Fuck that. By philosophy, i mean the works of robert nozick or alonzo church or williard van orman quine or nietzsche.

Anyways, i will try and give an exhaustive list of books and authors pertaining to each category.

Literature and Philosophy


This thread is for you if you've read works of(or have strong familiarity with the works of) :

Tolstoy, Ovid, Wilde, Breton, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Nietzsche, Hemingway, Graves, Lermentov, Marquez, Aquinas, Voltaire, Baudelaire, Robinson, Racine, Churchill, Dick, Gibran, Chesterton, Lawrence, Trollope, Carroll, Sappho, Marlowe, Sacher-Masoch, Petronius, Nabokov, Gogol, de Sade, Dante, Aristotle, Goethe, Johnson, Cervantes, Irving, Beamarchais, Longfellow, Hugo, Diogenes, Huxley, Austen, Davies, Kundera, Forster, Butler, Eluard, Adams, Lovelace, Seth, Doyle, Burns, Homer, Stoker, Bronte, Jones, Freud, Gide, Eliot, Hardy, Scott, Vonnegut, Chekhov, Steinbeck, Gorky, Aesop, Collins, Pope, Nin, Heller, Seneca, Wordsworth, Dumas, Jung, Coolidge, Stendahl, Ruskin, May, Durant, Swift, Aurelius, Roth, Catullus, Yeats, Chopin, Virgil, Anderson, Paine, Sophocles, Fielding, Darwin, Spinoza, Pushkin, Nashe, Shadwell, Rabelais, Williams, Solzhenitsyn, Brin, Hesse, Amis, Milton, Ellis, Kempe, Orwell, Twain, Ralegh, Browning, Lewis, Proust, Faulkner, Descartes, Russell, Kant, Emerson, Crowley, Boccaccio, Donne, Ginsberg, Salinger, Atwood, Rand, Coleridge, Spenser, Wells, Dickinson, Anonymous, Balzac, Kipling, Dostoyevsky, Poe, Caldwell, Skelton, Barker, Combe, Aeschylus, Machiavelli, Joyce, Boethius, Khayyam, Neruda, Turgenev, Herodotus, Chaucer, Hitler, Lautreamont, Rossetti, Shelley, Erasmus, Frost, Defoe, Alcott, Burgess, Diderot, Mauriac, Casanova, Mishima, Aristophanes, Molier, Golding, Hesiod, Bacon, Confucious, Chomsky, Euripedes, Pound, Wyatt, Montgomery, Kerouac, Tolkien, Borges, Gilgamesh, More, Sartre, Saki, Vaughan, Cave, Tennyson, Camus, Melville, Stevenson, Kafka, Epicurus, Whitman, Verne, Auden, Plath, Weissman, DeLillo, Capote, Saramago, Cummings, Gibson, Ibsen, Mailer, Bukowski, Mann, Asimov, St. Augustine, Gaiman, Miller, Crane, Lovecraft, Hawthorne, Shakespeare, Keats, France, Rimbaud, Conrad, Byron, Denon...

I am sure i am missing some authors....feel free to make contributions....This is a thread for the strong intellectual discussion of these authors....

Literature and Philosophy


Below you will find a list of philosophical authors, books and essay pertaining to the analytical tradition. . The continentals has been ignored. Of course, you may add them. I lean more towards the analytics, that is my comfort zone anyways. Below is the list:

2. CLASSICS in the field of analytical philosophy

1) Alexander S. Space, Time and Deity
2) Analytic Philosophy 2 series, Oxford 1962-65.
3) Anscombe,v2 Collected Papers, 2 vols.
4) Armstrong A Materialist Theory of Mind
5) Armstrong Universals and Scientific Realism, 2
6) Austin Sense and Sensibilia
7) Austin Philosophical Papers
8) Ayer Logical Positivism
9) Ayer The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge
10) Ayer Language, Truth and Logic
11) Benacerraf & Putnam Philosophy of Mathematics
12) Blackburn Spreading the Word
13) Broad C.D. Mind and its Place in Nature
14) Carnap The Logical Structure of the World
15) Carnap The Logical Syntax of Language
16) Chisholm Theory of Knowledge
17) Davidson Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation
18) Davidson Essays on Actions and Events
19) Dennett Brainstorms
20) Dummett Frege: Philosophy of Language
21) Dummett Truth and Other Enigmas
22) Evans The Varieties of Reference
23) Evans & McDowell Truth & Meaning: Essays in Semantics
24) Flew (ed.) Logic and Language, 2 series, 1951-53.
25) Fodor Representations
26) Fodor The Language of Thought
27) Bas van Fraassen The Scientific Image
28) Feigl & Sellars Readings in Philosophical Analysis
29) Frege Collected Papers
30) Frege Posthumous Writings
31) Frege The Foundations of Arithmetic
32) Frege Basic Laws of Arithmetic
33) Geach Logic Matters
34) Geach Reference and Generality
35) Gettier "Is Knowledge Justified True Belief?"
36) Goedel,v2,v3 Collected Works, 3 vols
37) Goodman Problems and Projects
38) Goodman Fact, Fiction and Forecast
39) Grice Studies in the Ways of Words
40) Hampshire S. Thought and Action
41) Hare Freedom and Reason
42) Hare The Language of Morals
43) Van Heijenoort From Frege to Goedel
44) Hempel The Logic of Scientific Investigation
45) Hempel Aspects of Scientific Explanation
46) Kripke Naming and Necessity
47) Kripke Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language
48) Lewis Counterfactuals
49) Lewis Convention: A Philosophical Study
50) Lewis On the Plurality of Worlds
51) Lewis C.I. Mind and the World Order
52) MacIntyre After Virtue
53) Mackie The Miracle of Theism
54) Mackie Ethics: Reinventing Right and Wrong
55) Malcolm Knowledge and Certainty
56) Montague Formal Philosophy
57) Moore Principia Ethica
58) Moore Selected Writings
59) Nagel E. The Structure of Science
60) Nagel T. The View from Nowhere
61) Nozick Anarchy, State and Utopia
62) Parfit Reasons and Persons
63) Plantinga Nature of Necessity
64) Prior Papers in Logic and Ethics
65) Prior Papers on Time and Tense
66) Putnam,v2,v3 Philosophical papers (3 volumes)
67) Quine Ontological Relativity and Other Essays
68) Quine Ways of Paradox
69) Quine Word and Object
70) Quine From a Logical Point of View
71) Ramsey The Foundations of Mathematics & Other Essays
72) Rawls A Theory of Justice
73) Reichenbach The Philosophy of Space and Time
74) Rorty The Linguistic Turn
75) Russell An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
76) Russell Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
77) Russell Logic and Knowledge
78) Russell Essays in Analysis
79) Russell Principles of Mathematics
80) Russell The Problems of Philosophy
81) Russell Philosophical Essays
82) Ryle Dilemmas
83) Ryle The Concept of Mind
84) Searle Speech Acts
85) Searle Intentionality
86) Sellars W. F. Science, Perception, and Reality
87) Singer Practical Ethics
88) Smart J.J.C. Philosophy and Scientific Realism
89) Smart & Williams Utilitarianism - For and Against
90) Stevenson C. Ethics and Language
91) Strawson P. F. Individuals
92) Tarski Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics
93) Whitehead & Russell Principia Mathematica
94) Wiggins Sameness and Substance
95) Williams Problems of the Self
96) Wisdom Problems of Mind and Matter
97) Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations
98) Wittgenstein Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics
99) Wittgenstein Tractatus


Feyerabend Against Method
Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Lakatos,v2 Collected Papers (2 vols)
Lakatos Proofs and Refutations
Peirce How to Make our Ideas Clear.
Peirce Some Consequences of Four Incapacities.
Popper Conjectures and Refutations
Popper The Logic of Scientific Discovery
Popper,v2 The Open Society and Its Enemies
Popper Unended Quest
Rorty Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
Whitehead Process and Reality


Bell David The Analytic tradition
Bergmann G. The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism
Cocchiarella Logical studies in early analytic philosophy
Cohen, L. J. The Dialogue of Reason: An Analysis of Analytical
Coffa J. A. The Semantic Tradition from Kant to Carnap.
Dummett Origins of Analytical Philosophy.
French et al. The Foundations of analytic philosophy
Hacker Wittgenstein's Place in Twentieth-Century Analytic
Hacking Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy?
Hylton P Russell, Idealism, & the Emergence of Analytic
Irvine & Wedeking Russell and analytic philosophy
Kneale & Kneale The Development of Logic
Munitz M.K. Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
Passmore A Hundred Years of Philosophy
Passmore Recent philosophers
Romanos G.D. Quine and Analytic Philosophy
Sorensen R.A. Pseudo-problems, how analytic philosophy gets done
Stanley R. The Limits of Analysis
Urmson J. O. Philosophical Analysis: its Development Between the Two
World Wars.
Wang, H. Beyond Analytic Philosophy, doing justice to what we
Warnock G. J. English Philosophy since 1900


Boolos & Jeffrey Computability and Logic
Dancy Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology
Haack Philosophy of Logics
Hughes & Cresswell A New Introduction to Modal Logic
Jeffrey The Logic of Decision
Nagel and Newman Goedel's Proof
Pollock Technical Methods in Philosophy
Quine Mathematical Logic
Quine Methods of Logic
Quine Set Theory and its Logic
Smith & Jones The Philosophy of Mind

(suggestions not included in the top 100)

Almog, et al. Themes from Kaplan
Ammerman R.R. (ed.) Classics of Analytic Philosophy.
Anderson J. Studies in Empirical Philosophy
Anscombe G.E.M. Intention
Apel Towards a Transformation of Philosophy
Armstrong A Theory of Possibility
Armstrong D.M. What is a Law of Nature?
Austin J. L. How to Do Things With Words
Barry Political Argument
Barwise Handbook of Mathematical Logic
Bas van Fraassen Laws and Symmetry
Bigelow & Pargetter Science and Necessity
Bigelow The Reality of Numbers
Black (ed.) Philosophical Analysis
Black (ed.) The Importance of Language
Blackburn Essays in quasi-realism
Broad Five Types of Ethical Theories
Carnap Meaning and Necessity
Cartwright How the Laws of Physics Lie
Castaneda Thinking, Language, and the Strcture of the world
Churchland Matter and Consciousness
Churchland Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind
Cockburn D. Other Human Beings
Cohen Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence
Danto A. Analytical Philosophy of Knowledge
Dennett The Intentional Stance
Dennett Elbow Room
Devitt Realism and Truth.
Dretske F. Seeing and Knowing
Dummett Elements of Intuitionism.
Dummett Frege: Philosophy of Mathematics.
Dummett Frege and Other Philosophers.
Dummett The Interpretation of Frege's Philosophy.
Dummett The Logical Basis of Metaphysics.
Dworkin Taking rights Seriously
Edwards P. The Logic of Moral Discourse.
Elster Ulysses and the Sirens
Feigel Readings in the Philosophy of Science
Feinberg Doing and Deserving (Collected Papers)
Field Realism, Mathematics and Modality
Fodor Psychosemantics
Foot Theories of Ethics
Foot Virtues and Vices
Frege Conceptual Notation
Gabbay,v2,v3,v4 Handbook of Philosophical Logic, 4 vols
Gaerdenfors P. Knowledge in Flux
Geach Mental Acts
Glover Philosophy of Mind
Goldman A. Epistemology and Cognition.
Goodman Languages of Art
Goodman The Structure of Appearance
Hacking The Emergence of Probabiliy
Hacking Representing and Intervening
Hare Moral thinking: its levels, method and point
Davidson & Hintikka Words and Objections.
Hart Concept of Law
Hart Punishment and Responsibility
Hartland-Swann The Analysis of Morals
Hintikka J. Knowledge and Belief
Hintikka J. Models for Modality
Laudan Progress and its Problems
Levi, I. Gambling With Truth
Levi, I. The Enterprise of Knowledge
Lewis,v2 Collected Papers (2 vols.)
Locke, Don Myself and Others
Lycan Mind and Cognition
Mackie,v2 Collected papers 2 vols.
Mackie The Cement of the Universe
Martin, D (ed) Recent essays on truth and the liar paradox
McGinn The Character of Mind
Melden A.I. Free Action
Millikan Language Thought and Other Biological Categories
Moore Ethics
Moore Philosophical Papers
Moore Philosophical Studies
Moore Some Main Problems of Philosophy
Nowell-Smith Ethics
Nozick Philosophical Explanations
Pap A. Elements of Analytical Philosophy
Pap A. Semantics and Necessary Truth
Peacocke A Study of Concepts
Perry The Problem of the Essential Indexical
Philip Pettit The Common Mind
Pitcher G. The Philosophy of Wittgenstein
Plantinga A. God and Other Minds
Priest In Contradiction
Prior Logic and the Basis of Ethics
Quine Roots of Reference
Quine Theories and Things
Reichenbach Elements of Symbolic Logic
Russell Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits
Russell My Philosophical Development
Russell Our Knowledge of the External World
Sayre-McCord Moral Realism
Scheffler I. Conditions of Knowledge
Sheffler Consequentialism and its Critics
Sklar L. Space, time and spacetime
Stalnaker, R. Inquiry
Strawson Freedom and Resentment
Strawson Introduction to Logical Theory
Strawson Philosophical Logic
Strawson The Bounds of Sense
Taylor R Metaphysics
Tennant N. Anti-realism and Logic: Truth as Eternal
Toulmin S. The Uses of Argument
Tugendhat Traditional and analytical philosophy
Wiggins Needs, Values, Truth
Williams, D.C. Principles of Empirical Realism
Williams B. Moral Luck
Williams B. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy
Wisdom J. Other Minds
Wittgenstein The Blue and Brown Books
Wittgenstein On Certainty
Wittgenstein Zettel
Ziff P. Semantic Analysis

Literature and Philosophy

That's a hell of a list!

Literature and Philosophy

I think one of the most interesting (and probably one of the most misunderstood) literary figures of the late XIXth century was Pierre Loti. Loti was one of the very first man in history to truely live the life of what we like to call today an international player. His life has been incredibly rich and meaningful despite the huge limitations of his time.

He travelled to South America, Tahiti, Western and North Africa, Turkey, Vietnam, China and Japan as a sailor and a diplomat, carefully taking ample notes of his adventures.

He saw engaging in romantic relationships with exotic women as a mean to purify himself from what he thought were the negative influences of western civilization.

Aziyadé, his most famous book, was inspired by his affaire with a turkish woman who belonged to the harem of an Ottoman dignitary. One of his other works, Madame Chrysanthème, is based on his trip to Japan where he concluded a temporary mariage with a young Nagasaki girl.

Loti was actually a pen name which had been given to him by the queen of Tahiti. It's the name of a flower.

Very few of his novels have been translated into English unfortunately. Today in France Pierre Loti is neglected and his works are labelled as old fashioned colonial literature, which probably tells more about the prejudices of the critics than Loti himself.

Literature and Philosophy

My trip back memory lanes on the nietzsche thread (a), (b), ©... brings back some essays written when i was a 1 year uni. I found another one...these was written a long time, i can see the errors in them...but during those times...i was soo anti-socrates, it wasnt even funny. I got the LAIRD hamilton translation just to critique and take apart the guy. anyways, here is the essay titledBig GrinIONYSUS versus APPOLLYON: Against against Socrates

DIONYSUS versus APPOLLYON: Against against Socrates

Should a person conducts himself based on logic or based on feelings? Socrates believes that a life of reason is better than a life of feelings. What is reason? Examination of points of view through contrasts and comparisons. Every thought has two states of reaction attach to it—an emotional reaction or no emotional reaction—indifference. Reasoning involves examination of facts, the shifting of emotion-tagged data or non-emotion-tagged data through the mind. All emotion can be grouped into two states, a feeling of sadness or a feeling of pleasure, all other forms of feeling are various mixtures of these two forms of feeling. Superficially it can be said that the goal of humanity in general is to survive; reason and feelings all serve this goal; that is why we have fear, love, hatred, and whatever. The feeling of pleasure comes when the received data from the environment increase our chances of survival, the
feeling of sadness when the received data decrease our chances of survival. Former experiences influence how a person will react in the future. The feeling elicited is the summation of feelings on the information received or to what degree is the new data reduntant with former data and….. more. The reason why feelings are often wrong is due to the fact that reason involves the shifting of information about in the mind, and some of these information are tagged with emotions, these emotion of emotion-tagged data are what cloud the first emotion, confusing us, thereby resulting in an incorrect total feeling The closest we can ever get to empirical, highly objective conclusion is through feelings. By feelings, I mean that single, most rare first impression a data made on the mind well before the process of reasoning starts. Am I talking about intuitions or "gut" instincts? No, these are already corrupted by thinking. It is deeper and finer than all these. The specific type of this rare first emotional reaction to information perceived is the degree that the data assist in enhancing survival or not. Indifference indicates irrelevancy of information. That rare first emotional reaction is the summation of previous emotional reactions to such data, it is an elicited response drawn out by the information itself. Even the data that we cannot consciously recall or formalize in thoughts can be felt, because feelings are more primordial, more organic, and less abstracted than thoughts. "Instinctive" reaction of this kind cannot even be found in the most highly trained Zen masters, their “first” feeling(singular) is actually the nth degree of many mental juxtapositions. It is a state where one is a “perfect” reflection of nature, where nature registers itself almost unerringly, in an instant deductions and inferences(or total summation of feelings) simply flows out on "their own accord" without all the blunt-edged logic chopping. In this state everything is learn conceptually only and only. A very weak (with emphasis on weak) analogy are prodigies, they have a conceptual grasp of mathematics, languages, art, music, e.t.c, even if they are illiterate and not (yet) given a formalize training in their special field of talent.

To PERFECTLY achieve this state, one has to NEVER have thought at all, because the more a person thinks the more he mixes emotions together. The only form of "reasoning" is emotional "reasoning". It is not emotion that corrupts reason, but reason that corrupts that fine and rare emotion through juxtaposition of emotion-tagged data in the mind--reason is what confuses mankind(we need what confuses us to explicate us!). Man must go down to go up—-man must learn from lower animals. The crowning of reason in man represent a mutation, a miscarriage, a cross between a goat and a fly. Who is mainly responsible for this sorry state of affairs? The herald of Apollyon, the tyrannical employer of dialectics—-Socrates. He deserves the hemlock?!? Worse than the hemlock?!?

The emergence of reason indicated by the extremity to which the emotions are avoided like a plague, crucified to death with logic, stoned with so many dirty names, what does this tells us? What do we hear in the cold halls of the logical life, what thunder crashes inaudibly in the soul of these highly rational beings? Beings who like Socrates declare that “ …the true philosopher…abstains from as far as possible from pleasures and fears and griefs, because it reflects that the result of giving away to pleasure or fear or desire is not as might be supposed the trivial misfortune….but the last and worst calamity….” An healthy man does not need a physician; although the logical man is relatively above the common man, the logical man betrays something—the tyranny of his instincts—to what extent he is tortured by it. The very fact that you need to control self is indicative of the degeneracy of self. If the self is inherently healthy there will be no need to control it, will there? There is a difference between a state-of-being and a state-of-becoming, the healthy man, the true philosopher in the every real sense of the word, is the person that operates perfectly in the midst of emotional tempest. He exist without blocking or castrating his feelings, he does not suppress his emotion to death, neither does he wage unending war against them, nor does he run away from them, he welcomes them all the while keeping a straight head. You may ask what good is a philosophy that cannot be “practiced” by men? That is why it is philosophy—higher above the common rabble, yea, even necessarily higher above the “superior” men. A philosophy based on pragmatic utility offends, it tastes of common digestion—the ruminant digestion; it smells of the marketplace, it stinks from the odour of the
populace—the divine is necessarily loftier than the common.

Literature and Philosophy

i found yet another was written by me for a creative writing class back at the university. i changed the setting to russia. I based the fiction on the story of a young man i read in the newspaper that killed himself. The young man name was augustine. in a nutshell: the young man birth resulted in the death of his mother. His sister was lost on a rainy day because of him. he was raised in a catholic school. he was prone to religious hallucinations involving the crucifixion of christ. the young man had a lot of black cats. he had a tough relationship with his father. they had a female family psychiatrist named dr ivanov. the young man later killed himself. that is how it made the newspaper in the first place.

My inspiration was the way stendhal based the "the red and the black" on a true story in the newspaper.

anyways, here it is:


Spirals of dust dances across the landscape spinning, contorting and
hurling, before evolving into red-brown waves from the sea of dust that
covers the ground. The sky, a blue dome, rapidly loses its brilliance,
plastered by dark multifacetious foams that look like brown, soaked cotton
balls waiting to be squeezed. The evening air is tartly crisp. As the sky
darkens, the howling winds blow more furiously, raging like a thousand
demons pulling the hair of a madman; it lashes against trees, houses, and
men. Pearls of lightening lacerate the abysmal darkness of the sky with
fork-like projections, accompanied by thunderclaps of hollow reverbration
that keep echoing in the mind after their initial bangs.
The storm gather as if bidding its time for a sudden showdown, then a lull,
before a shattering thunder burst open the pregnant reservoir of heaven,
contemptibly emptying down hail mingled with ice-cold rain, mercilessly
beating down on those below like the mares of Diomedes. In slant-like
trajectory, it splatters the window panes, angrily shakes the gates on their
hinges, and with maddened fury, it rings the cathedral bell incessantly
until finally flinging it onto the cobble-stoned street below. All is war
and fury without, but within, a melancholic tranquility prevails on 13
Vogelan street.

The young man stands by the window. Doctor Ivanov studies his host with an acute scientific air; the young man jerk his head as if in defiance of a
thought his face darkening, perhaps tortured by a re-awakened memory.
Moving over to the phonograph he puts on Chopin's Opus 26/1 in C minor and said "Excuse me, doctor, i will need to go and change" in a gentle solemn voice.
"By all means" replies Ivanov with a forced, feminine smile.
Mrs Ivanov examine her environment: the room is tidy but not spacious, two
opposite mahogany chairs divided by a rectangular table occupies the center.
A brown carpet inscribed with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics covers the
floor all the way to the walls. Where to the north stands a chiming
phonograph, and to the west a swinging pendulum clock. Hanging in the east
is the "Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. Most of the walls are hidden
from view by shelves of books arranged in alphabetical order--from
Anthropology to Zen Buddhism. Streaming all over the place, on the table,
shelves, and chairs are the black cats. Thirteen of them.
"What a singular fellow" muttered Ivanov.
Having exchanged his work uniform for his evening dress, Sergei re-enters
the room wearing a black robe similar to those of the Trappist monks. As he
goes over to light the fireplace he dips his hand into his left pocket
pulling out a blue case from which he extracts a cigarette; he kneeled,
lighting the cigarette with the glowing edge of an ember.
Mrs Ivanov surveyed the young man: A mediumly built constitution, slightly
taller than average; a wide shoulder supports an almost oval head except for
the squarishness of the temples. A strong aquiline nose proudly shoots from
the base of the skull dividing two luminously green eyes. The eyes, seemly
expressionless, retreats into the skull under two fiery brows. The face
seems broken into planes, the jaws lent an air of arrogance to the lips, the
mouth looks unnatural-- like a slit on a tight flesh. Ivanov eyes rest on
the skin.
"You don't get out much do you?" he asks
"I don't really have reasons to" Sergei answered before taking his seat
opposite Mrs Ivanov.
Sergei lent his piercing eyes over the doctor, then pose a question
suddenly "Why were you looking at me like that?"
The doctor, surprised, answered evasively "When?"
"When i was by the fireplace" Sergei elaborates.
From Sergei's seeming concentration while lighting the fire, Mrs Ivanov had
assume that the young man is unaware of her searching gaze.
"Oh that-" he begin mirthlessly, dismissively waving his hand "-i was just
thinking..." intentionally trailing his voice off to de-emphasize the
importance of his stare.
"Thinking about what?" Sergei demands nonchalantly.
The doctor sighs.
"Sergei, what does my mere looking at you have to do with why you summon me
here today? You haven't even begin to tell me why i am here? Shall we get to
the business at hand and stop this trivial line of questioning?"
Sergei waited for a minute pause, then, with a rather grave note to his
voice responds
"Doctor, it is simply that your staring at me in that particular manner
have everything to do with why you are here, in fact, that look is why you
are here!"
Mrs Ivanov vents an annoyed laughter; she knows Sergei's eccentricities, but it
seems that even Sergei should appreciate the sacrifice she made to her
overscheduled time in order to talk with him. Composing her face in a manner
indicating a person with no patience for trivialities she speaks in a
business-like tone
"First, you invited me over knowing fully well how tight my schedule is. I
came here despite that, thinking you must have a very pressing problem.
However, you are now telling me that my chance staring at you now that i am
in your house is actually the very reason why you invited me here in the
first place. Sergei, if you don't have any serious problem to attend to and
stop wasting my time, i will prefer to be excused." She promised herself to
give the young man a single full minute before vacating the premises.
On hearing the words of the doctor Sergei lean over to shake off the ashes
of his cigarette, his face expressionless. The smoke swims evenly from the
cigarette rising into the air without a break in ascent, then, as if an
invisible hand was brought to block the smoke's path, it dissolves suddenly
into chaotic spirals. Small smoke ringlets evolve from the chaos, dancing
their way upward to the music of Chopin. For a moment, it seems that the two
of them were enclosed in a void detached from everything except the sound of
longing that emanates from the phonograph, seeping through into their
Sergei raise his gaze to meet the doctor's. An infinite pause. That is when
Ivanov knew. Just as a drop on fusing with the lake echoes its union with
ripples, the answer, once consciously part of Ivanov's mind resonates of the
Glimpsing understanding in Ivanov's eyes, Sergei abruptly changes his
focus, gazing through the window into the black night draped with curtains
of rain. A forest of pearls strewn to each other the rain stretches
endlessly into the night, a spidery web holding the earth with the heavens.
The night. What is means Ivanov knows that much: On the 24th of August,
1915, when Sergei now 20 years of age was only a lad of ten, his older
sister disappeared into a night much like tonight's. Sergei's father,
Dmitri, was to blame him for it till he passed away three years ago thus
further compounding the guilt complex that springs from being already
accused of his mother death at his birth.
Ivanov asks himself "Is there a reason to why he plays this music tonight?"
The violent crashing of the cords echo of a wrestling with storm. It seems
to Sergei that the music plays the piano rather than the other way.
Vibrantly, the sounds, a torrent of controlled chaos rising and falling
slashes at the keys like the waves of an angry sea tossing a set of chained
planks. To his soul, the music is concentric circles of fire radiating
outward, slicing through the enclosing web of drops that holds his sister
"Do you like this music?" Ivanov inquire
"I need this music" Sergei volunteers
"You must--"Cutting himself short--"Do you play it a lot?"
"Only on a rainy night"
Ivanov, nodding unconsciously, knows fully well the meaning of Sergei's
"Doctor," Sergei started, pausing to gather his thoughts, "The world to me
is a bag of rotten men's bones, stenched with an asthmatic air of
Puritanism, falsified by its "creator". It does not excite me; i am tortured
and dying, i seek you only that you may trick me out of my misery and give
me a few hours of respite from wretchedness. That is all i ask".
The doctor look at him with a mix of shock and fascination, the young man's
bluntness saddens and amuses him at the same time, studying him for a while,
he remarks.
"You are a guilty man, Sergei, guilty of lying--lies to oneself"
"You don't need my help, Sergei, hashish or opium will suffice! I can't
think of anything that will quickly sedate a turbulent conscience--the
conscience of a liar!"
"Conscience?!" Sergei thunders, the paleness of his face dissolving into
crimson red as if the word is a match setting him on fire.
"Aye, conscience" replies Ivanov, adding "Do you presume to be without
Sergei couldn't dare feign an answer.
"Sergei, you presume that i am a trickster, that i can somehow trick you
out of your misery. Well, i cannot, because i am not a charlatan. What i can
do is help you resolve your problem."
"Do you beleive in cause and effect?" asked Ivanov
"Of course; everything results from something, so?"
"Precisely, what is causing this problem now? In order to find out you have
to retrace your steps back to...."
"To my childhood, i presume?" Sergei interjected with sarcasm.
"Yes" Ivanov said emphatically, "As a matter of fact" a bit irritated.
Sergei gives out a raucous laughter, sneering he clasps his hands closer to
his bosom remarking sarcastically
"Now what, psychoanalysis?"
"Why then am i here?" Ivanov sharply countered
"The past is the past, doctor, let it bury itself. What i ask for is the
"The future? One needs to step back in other to jump forward, Sergei.
Without the past there is no future"
"Fancy phrasings" Sergei dismissively reply
"That is why i call you a liar--you are simply trying to avoid the issue,
and yes, that was why i looked at you in that particular manner...Augustus"
For the first time the expressionless face dissolve into pained
convolutions drawn by the memories of that word 'Augustus'; the angular
solid planes of his face shred into a contortion of jagged flesh, the nose
rapidly dilates against a shattering teeth.
Sergei rise up, thundering furiously "DON'T EVER DARE CALL ME BY THAT NAME,
"Why?" Ivanov ask calmly
"You know damn well why"
"It was your birth name wasn't it?"
"So you--"
Cutting Ivanov off, Sergei ordered "Get out!" his finger pointing the way
to the door.
Having known Sergei since birth, having being his confidante through the
years, Ivanov wasn't offended by the command. He rise up without another
word and step out of the house.
Sergei paces the room, that name 'AUGUSTUS' has been more or less repressed
out of his consciousness. It is not just the word but the very tone by which
Ivanov pronounced it that shatters his wall. The name bring back memories
like an angry flood.
As an antidote, he tries recounting the "Second Coming" backwards, but it
was of no use. This is the drumming of his soul, the very confession of a
mask. Somewhere along the way the mask becomes the man or is it the man that
becomes the mask? Engulfed by the very web he had spinned he become lost in
his own labyrinth. He cannot separate the soul from the facade, but Ivanov
can; yet it is him that fought the very guardian of his salvation, or is it
the mask? He stares dry-eyed at the half-extinguished ember; the fire
dancing wraps the ember in a kaleidoscope of colours reflecting off his
blank face. As the dying fire eats into the heart of the wood small popping
sounds crackles from the flame like the last gasps of a dying man. His soul
weeps. The anesthesia of repression has lost their potency, painful memories
after painful memories gush into his consciousness irrestibly breaking the
dam that have stem them for so long, they pour out, with the fury of the
Dragging his feet, he collapses into a chair; has he lost? Has he lost the
race to outrun his memories?--the race against his father?--the race against
his birth?--the race for his sister?--the race against even himself? He felt
very tired. For an expanse of four minutes he couldn't twitch even a single
muscle. Catatonic pain. His head bowed, his hair drooping down like the
tentacles of a jelly-fish--a runner collapsing against an invisible and
unyielding wall. His mind wavers, drifting back to his childhood:

(back to his childhood:

A few yards down, they could see the flag of Bezukhova Primary School
beating against the cool morning breeze. Spring was approaching. The two
silently walked together, father and son. Dmitri Raskilnov of Sverdlovsk,
Russia, pensively glanced at his boy, checking to see if his uniform was in
perfect order--a bit apprehensive of the impression his boy would convey.
Augustus tried to recall the rules and regulations of the school; he tried
to imagine what the classrooms would look like, his teachers, his
classmates, and the infamous principal, Korovgod Viskonav.
"Good Morning students, we have a new pupil today. His name is Augustus
Raskilnov. He will be joining the class" with an indifferent tone, Sister
Bolkonski introduced Augustus while ushering him to his seat.
As the lecture progressed, the boy sat rigidly examining the teacher,
transfixed by the teacher's mannerism, her pattern of gesticulating, and her
habitual swinging of the rosary as she delivered a lecture on the
crucifixion of Christ.
Augustus, slipping into hallucination over the hypnotic lecture heard the
"Crucify him, crucify him" the voices shouted. Augustus turned to his left
and saw a great commotion. As he approaches, a man look down at him with a
wicked grin and asked, "Boy, don't you think he deserves to be hanged?"
"Who?" Augustus inquired
"The deceiver, the man who calls himself Jesus of Nazareth" the strange man
explains while turning to jeer at the chained man on the platform. Two
leather-clad soldiers shoved the indifferent convict off the platform,
stripped him of his clothes and crowned him with sharp thorns. The convict
rose to take up his cross, walking barefoot upon hard rocks toward Golgotha.
Augustus looked at him in awe and wondered, how can he be so stoic? So
The accused looked at the crowd with seeming pity, serene even as he lay
supine on the cross, his arms bound to opposite poles of the cross, his legs
tied at the base of the cross' spine forming an intersection at the head,
where the inscription "INRI" was stamped in mockery.
The executioner stood ready, hammer in hand, a nine-inch nail in the other.
He threw back a foot sinking his knees into the soft sand; a smirk that
seems to lay between mockery and pity plays constantly on his mouth as he
set a nail on the accused's right hand--savouring the moment. Biting his
lips, the executioner slowly raised the hammer in arch-like trajectory, the
motion was uniform, linear and determined. When the hammer ascended to its
peak, man and hammer seemed fused, sculptured, pristine like a statue, then
in one burst of lightening, it struck, driving home the spike.
O Golgotha, how i can still hear the sound
O Golgotha, how i can still feel the pain
O Golgotha, how i can still hear the saviour
Saying Eli, Eli, Lama Sabathani.

A sharp clap jotted him back into the presence of all the forty-four eyes
that comprises the class, all fastened on him. He had been talking to
"Mister Raskilnov, answer the question! Are you deaf?" shouted the nun.
She continued "What is it? You are not paying attention in my class. In my
class, mister, i am the law, you do exactly as i say, and don't even think
that being a minister's son exempts you from my jaws. No, no one escape my
jaws. Know now that the fist of righteousness shall descend upon the sons of
disobedience--it will surely strike." Performing a physical demonstration
with her fist she jotted up the class with a loud thud. Spinning, she took a
brown slender rod off her desk, staring at Augustus, she began to lecture
while gently massaging the rod up and down.
"Do you know why you are named Augustus?"
"No, sister" Augustus retorted
"You are named Augustus because your father wants you to emulate a saint,
saint Augustine, whose favourite phrase is "GIVE ME CHASTITY, GIVE ME LOVE".
But you, boy, are not deserving of that name, the name of my favourite
saint. A scoundrel daydreaming in my class, MY CLASS." -Pausing she
ordered-"Off to the walls! To the walls, off, off NOW!"

(this is the part after he woke the next morning....)

From a distance the clattering sound of horses' hooves echo against the
morning silence like the goosesteps of marching soldiers. Sergei awake from
his chair; he had been dreaming all night, dreaming of his childhood.
Outside, a brilliant dawn precede the twilight of previous day, the sky,
beautiful and serene belies the turbulence of yesternight. White couds with
streaks of blue retreats behind surrounding mountains that peeps over each
other in undulating waves. From the east, over the hills, a giant white disk
climbs slowly through the heavens sending golden rays that basks the bright
sky in hues of violet. The clouds a touch of crimson.
Doctor Ivanov words still sound in his head "retrace your steps, Augustus"
The time is 8:45a.m. In fifteen minutes the train heading for Eastern
Sverdlovsk will arrive at the train station. Sergei quickens his pace. If he
walks briskly enough he will be there in ten minutes. He rushed, furtively
attempting to button his overcoat against the brush of dryingly bitter cold
air. By 9:00, he had reached the train station--five minutes early.
Stretching, he impassively takes in the whole scenery, from the gaunt old
man with five missing frontal teeth, incredibly sunken sockets nestling a
pair of bulging blue eyes that are surrounded by filth-laden lids, whose
only indication of life on a deathly pale face is a large throbing vein
transversing his forehead; to an insufferable and arrogant woman of
aristocratic pretensions ordering her lackey left and right. Sergei smirks
and mutters "Ashes to ashes, dusts to dusts" as he slips his first
cigarette inbetween his lips.

Literature and Philosophy

I like the book of Marcus Aurelius , the roman emperor . A lot of actuel stuff in there and a good reminder to how a man should act for me .

Literature and Philosophy

Quote: (02-20-2012 09:41 AM)Alfonzo Wrote:  

I like the book of Marcus Aurelius , the roman emperor . A lot of actuel stuff in there and a good reminder to how a man should act for me .

THanks, i look into that. Any authoritative author you will recommend? The roman work that i read but never finished was "decline and fall of the roman empire" by gibbon

Literature and Philosophy

Quote: (02-19-2012 08:07 AM)Tresor Wrote:  

I think one of the most interesting (and probably one of the most misunderstood) literary figures of the late XIXth century was Pierre Loti. Loti was one of the very first man in history to truely live the life of what we like to call today an international player. His life has been incredibly rich and meaningful despite the huge limitations of his time.

He travelled to South America, Tahiti, Western and North Africa, Turkey, Vietnam, China and Japan as a sailor and a diplomat, carefully taking ample notes of his adventures.

He saw engaging in romantic relationships with exotic women as a mean to purify himself from what he thought were the negative influences of western civilization.

Aziyadé, his most famous book, was inspired by his affaire with a turkish woman who belonged to the harem of an Ottoman dignitary. One of his other works, Madame Chrysanthème, is based on his trip to Japan where he concluded a temporary mariage with a young Nagasaki girl.

Loti was actually a pen name which had been given to him by the queen of Tahiti. It's the name of a flower.

Very few of his novels have been translated into English unfortunately. Today in France Pierre Loti is neglected and his works are labelled as old fashioned colonial literature, which probably tells more about the prejudices of the critics than Loti himself.

thank you very much for the detailed commentary. I will look into this guy and tell you how i like him. appreciate it.

Literature and Philosophy


“Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside equally desperate to get out.”

-- Michel de Montaigne quote

"A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband."

--Michel de Montaigne

"Marriage, a market which has nothing free but the entrance."

--Michel de Montaigne

Literature and Philosophy

“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.”

- Oscar Wilde

Hahahaha. Even back still have to fuck with them bitches in order to fuck them bitches, i guess.

"A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her."

-- Oscar Wilde

Priceless. Hehehehe.

Literature and Philosophy

Blast from the past....found this little gem from my 1st year.....:It was an attempt to establish that all scientific positions is based on theory and not facts. I didnt use Kuhn's paradigm shift argument or Feyerband's "against method", i went about it in a different manner. Enjoy.

Gist: Samuel Johnson, the foremost english lexicographer decided to hit a stone with his feet to disprove David Hume's postulation that human's have no direct experience of self, only sensations associated with self.

Anyways, enjoy:


When Samuel Johnson(the lexicographer)kicked a stone to attempt to
show that a "stone" is actually a stone and not an idea. He was attempting to
justify the existence of stone by resulting to empirical verification.
Empirical verification is an essential part of the scientific process:experimentation.
Experimentation is empirical verification. We can
ask a scientist to verify a stone empirically for us, and s/he will
result to setting up experiments to verify it.
Now, what a scientist counts as experimental observation all depends
on what issue the experiment is designed to settle and what empirical
assumption the experiments make. That is, if we are making
observation about stars, the empirical assumption here is the working
theory of the telescope; if we are measuring the velocity of stars,
the empirical assumption here is the working theory of time(alarm
clocks, radioisotopes, stop watches, etc). We start to question the
time factor if say, we suspect something is wrong with the watch
used. Thus, depending on the focal point of the experiment, other
adjunct entities becomes either the dependent variable or the
independent variable. It is all relativistic. At one point the
velocity of the stars being examined is the theory being tested, with
shift in focal point, the previously assumed time factor itself will
now become the theory being tested. So, every empirical "facts" in
science can become a theory being tested depending on what the
experiment is. Thus, if a stone is "confirmed" using the scientific
process, then a "stone" cannot be said to be an empirical fact, but
an empirical assumption for a given confirmation technique. Thus
everything is theory.


that was cute of me, wasnt it?....soo hot-headed for a 18yr old. Hahahaha.

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