Archive for January 16th, 2011

The reading of Cromwell didn’t please any. The new Sophocles in the Balzac family was a mirage. Balzac was more determined than ever to cut himself adrift from parental control. The two trial years stipulated in the contract with his father were not yet up and he insisted on his bond. On the 15th November his parents gave notice that the room in the rue Les diguières would be vacated. It was at such moments of extreme hopelessness that the tempter approaches his victim with a view to purchase his soul. It was at that time Le Poitevin a young man with well cut dress and ideas approached him with an offer. He already had a team set in place and with their close links with the theater and Publishing world their venture was bound t be a success. It was easy enough to make a potboiler and a fast buck. He was sure Balzac’s misfortune as owing to an excess of literary ambition. All that he wanted was a partnership in the novel production. The price demanded thus was his very soul, his artistic conscience. Balzac begun thus apprenticeship in Parisian literary pig-swill where no type of literary production ,no commission, no association was beneath his dignity between his twenty second and thirtieth years. His swift pen could churn out thirty or forty pages a day and was to be had cheaply and anonymously by whoever was prepared to pay for it. As in the tales of Baron Munchausen who on one occasion drew himself from the swamp by his own pigtail he did raise himself from hackwork. The lack of scruple demanded by literary prostitution- in accepting excesses of sentimental insincerities, improbable plots that lay concealed in verbiage of purple prose did clung to the greatest novelist of the age. Later Balzac had to admit his years of careless writing had made him slovenly. Even after five years despite the care he took in polishing his style he knew his error. While sending a copy of ‘Le Dernier Chouan’ he wrote to Baron Gerard thus: ‘Do what I will, I am afraid the hand of the novice will always be recognizable.’

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Capsule History ©

History of our universe falls into two periods. Unwritten Period is that period leading to the Big Bang and second is the recorded history of what follows it.

Origin of history: Whatever made History (and left it unrecorded) before the Big Bang must have known history will be repeated and understood in same manner as history has always been treated. Skepticism in history is a blind spot in man just as there is a prejudice to see what one wants to see as a predetermined Cause.

History is a chronicle of violence: This owes to the violence associated with the birth of universe. Man’s progress leaves a trail of violence from the time he separated from his arboreal existence. History is littered with such separations and man as part of his tribe or nation showed a propensity for violence. Great civilizations bear both excellence and crass materialism notwithstanding violence implied in their consolidation. Even so these are temporary in duration.
The secret of universe is that energy released by the Big Bang is ever seeking a way outward. This background radiation is a lesson for history that change is at its heart. Is there any civilization, which has remained unchanged? No. The debris from each are thrown pell-mell and the takers refashion lessons of history of Rome or Greece after their fashion and time.
The petty kingdoms and hordes of tribes expanding as Mongols going West or Hitler to the East are as sure as the Cosmic Background Radiation. These invasions create stresses. The stresses exerted from outside and impulses combined with stresses developing as a result cannot be escaped. Matter at the point of singularity didn’t. So will not an Imperial Power as formidable as Rome. Where Rome fell and in the void came in Moslems. But they were surpassed by other powers.
History is play off between want and luxury. It is made by man singly and as a whole. Every achievement is a deficiency felt and corrected. Progress of man brings with each advance a shortfall or want. How can one identify a want unless it is broken up into a series of ideas? Ideas are like flashes of light lighting up the state of being. It is a march of angels against their cloven feet. The solidity of concrete matter struggling against its abstract nature: if such inner conflict should lead to the Big Bang every progress in conquering inherent flaw will also draw an ideological struggle in its wake. Capitalism and socialism are manifestations of such conflict as iron age was with bronze age. American capitalism shall prove as Soviet empire a flash in the pan of time. China or India cannot escape the similar fate.

Lessons in history will be learned, but not prevent history from being made. But causes that make it change their appearance a little here and there. It shall never be the same. Like lightening will never strike twice on the same spot. What exactly led to WWI is not what caused WWII. There have been many causes, which were long on the boil and in the pan all these had to work with several others till a point of collapse reached. Thus learning history and avoiding the wrong lessons is as much crucial in creating new methods by when a collapse is inevitable those who are in positions to make history survive it with more vigor and knowledge. The lives they save will be those who have placed their trust in them.


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Constantine I (c.280-337AD)

His contribution to the burgeoning Christianity in the difficult days of persecution under the Roman aegis he is called the Great and among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Christians by the appellation of a saint. Saint Constantine or Constantine the Great he reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance throughout the empire.
Caesar Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus was Roman emperor from 306, and the sole holder of that office from 324 until his death in 337.
Constantine also transformed in a matter of six years the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium into a new imperial residence, Constantinople, which would remain the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for over one thousand years. When he died the empire was divided among his three sons which was a harbinger of things to come.
The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a “new Constantine”. Ten emperors, including the last emperor of Byzantium, carried the name. At the court of Charlemagne the name Constantine acquired a mythic role as a warrior against heathens and his identifying with his reign was to prove his legitimacy as his successor. Perhaps this foreshadows the manner Stalin made himself as legitimate successor to the mantle of Lenin.


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