Monday, May 03, 2021

Epicurus and Zagajewski: Memory and Suffering in the Mutilated World

On his deathbed, Epicurus wrote to his friend and disciple Idomeneus that his "gladness of mind at the memory of [their] past conversations" helped him overcome the pain he was suffering. I learned about this letter from the Epicurus episodes in the podcast "The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps", by Peter Adamson, professor of philosophy in Munich and London, and it crossed my mind again when I recently memorized Adam Zagajewski's poem "Try To Praise the Mutilated World", which offers a memory of companionship as one reason for that praise: "Remember the moments when we were together / in a white room and the curtain fluttered" (in Clare Cavanagh's translation). (Andrew Shields, #111words, 3 May 2021)


File:Sanzio 01 Epicurus.jpg
Epicurus (?), from Raphael's "School of Athens" (1509-1511)

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