A Companion for Darkness
Classical Twilights in the II Millennium
In A Companion for Darkness: Classical Twilights in the II Millennium, seven original essays are collected, that were written over a period of nine years. The presence, imposing or elusive, of a Classical legacy represents a red thread throughout the work. The title of the collection, with its allusive vagueness and poignancy refers, in a quasi poetic form, to the elusive presence of classical myth in the Western tradition. Such a presence may be hidden in the plies of a critical approach (Ruskin’s reading of Dante’s realism) and a mind pattern (a certain notion of natural necessity in Leonardo da Vinci); or be clearly displayed in philosophical essays and tales (Hölderlin’s and Leopardi’s concepts of nature) and poetic texts (Hölderlin’s acceptance of mortality in “An die Parzen”), or, be personified as a divine entity (Pound’s Dionysus or Lord Byron’s Arimanes).
The titles of some sections may require an explanation. Whoever is conversant with the Thucydidean lexicon, will detect a slight irony in the title of the foreword: Πρóφασις may be an excuse: and not an apology, because apology, while belonging to the genre of critical aggressiveness and interpretive resentment, still does not renounce the conformity of cliché, when the subjectivity of the author is at stake. The introductory and conclusive sections are named after the respective parts of Greek tragedy: “Páradosos” was the song of the chorus when coming on stage, and “Eisóden” was its final song before exiting; “Epeisódion” is an Interlude. In accordance with the Nietzschean belief in an ontological unity of drama and music, the above three sections prospect the musical nature of mythical memory (which is the specific subject of a work in progress by the Author) by referring to Wagner’s Siegfried and Schubert’s Winterreise. Finally, Denier du mythe, echoing Marguerite Yourcenar’s early novel Denier du rêve, in which a little coin (denier) is passed around from character to character, is intended as a metaphor of the unifying theme of myth.
ISBN 9783895863608. LINCOM Studies in Language and Culture 02. 102pp. 2006.