Blogging the Bookshelf

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The Melancholy of the Antique World – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 10th, 2012 · No Comments · Humanism, Philosophy

Gustave Flaubert, in a letter to a friend, speculated on the ‘melancholy of the antique world’ being more profound than that of our modern world because there was no hope of life beyond the grave. Flaubert went on to say that for the ancients therefore, that:

“’Black hole’ was infinity itself; their dreams loom and vanish against a background of immutable ebony. No crying out, no convulsions – nothing but the fixity of a pensive gaze. With the gods gone, and Christ not yet come, there was a unique moment, from Cicero to Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone. Nowhere else do I find that particular grandeur.”

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