"... veneration of history ..."

I was listening to CBC radio the other day and there was an interview going on with Derek Walcott (Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1992).

On the whole it was not terribly interesting, but he was a good speaker and kept you listening. In answering how he became a writer, he digressed a bit on how people perceive art and commented "Europe suffers from a veneration of history." I was immediately struck by it because it was such a beautiful expression "suffers from a veneration of history" or more simply "veneration of history".

It has a way of rolling around on the tongue, it feels weighty and substantial. It could launch a hundred papers or a thousand discussions. It would make a credible paperweight.

What are your thoughts? Is it a weighty thought and phrase or is it simply some academia speak generated by a random jargon generator efficiently leveraging accessibility managed trends through dynamic convergence of synergistic principles and participles? Could you take it and run with it?


ingrid said…
Have you seen this? http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/
Richard said…
I am not sure if I have seen that one or another similar one (likely it was that one).

Disappointed you did not take a stab at the "veneration of history".
Alanita said…
Perhaps this comment was a bit biased, due to the fact that Europe is NOT the only continent that suffers from a veneration of history.
Philologically, to venerate meanins to regard with reverence and respect. This word derives from the same root as the name Venus, the goddess of love of the ancient Roman pantheon. Coincidental? I think not.

I'm interested to see what is bubbling inside your cranium in regarts to the "veneration of history" comment.
Richard said…
I didn't offer any thoughts on it because I really don't have any - I happen to like the sound of the expression and wondered what other people made of it.

I agree that Europe does not exclusively suffer from a veneration of history, this is pretty much endemic to all cultures.

However, in the context of a Caribbean culture, with a poor an undeveloped literary tradition, the process of becoming a writer is different than it would be in Europe, where you would be expected to study the grand masters of literature.

Perhaps veneration of history occurs because of the transitive nature of our relationship to our forebears. We are equal and the same, but they gave us life and so they are greater. Or, I am equal to my parents, but my parents are greater because they brought me into being. As an ordering relationship our ancestors are greater than or equal to us.

Grandparent >= Parent >= Me >= Child >= Grandchild

There are many hands on which this could be argued and I would soon be waving more than Shiva.

Popular Posts