Friday, September 30, 2016

Sanctified snark

"Farewell, my very dear friend, my son in years, my father in dignity, and please note this request:  that, whatever you write to me, you see that it comes to me first."

"uale, mi amice carissime, aetate fili, dignitate parens, et hoc a me rogatus obserua, ut, quicquid mihi scripseris, ad me primum facias peruenire."

     St. Jerome to St. Augustine, Saint Augustine:  Letters, trans. Sister Wilfrid Parsons, vol. 1 (1-81) =FC 12 (1951), no. 72 (403/404), p. 332 =CSEL 34 (1885), p. 262.
     St. Jerome wasn't just irritated by the theological criticism; he was pissed that he was the last to hear of it.  And though St. Augustine got the better of St. Jerome theologically in Letter 82 (404/405), he promised to "take greater care, as far as the Lord helps me, to see that the letters which I write to you reach you before they get into any other hands to be scattered abroad" (420).

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The infant learns to speak in its mother's lap

"what can one imagine more contrary to all the known facts than this primitive state dreamed up by philosophy [(e.g. Rousseau)], in which a troop of human orangutans, weary of devouring one another, improvise finally society, language, intelligence; animal creators who invent humankind?"