Featured Post

Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, May 24, 2013

Philosophical

According to my dictionary philosophical means, among other things:

"2 having or showing a calm attitude toward disappointments or difficulties : he was philosophical about losing the contract."

Here is Zambrano on the stoicism of the Spaniard:
Cuando en España se dice o le dicen a alguien, que hay que ser filósofo, hay que entender que es preciso soportar serenamente y con un tanto de sorna, algo muy difícil. Para el pueblo español, filosofía es algo que tiene mucho que ver con los reveses y tropiezos de la vida; en un mundo feliz no sería menester ser filósofo.
When in Spain people say, or somoeone is told, you have to be a philosopher, it is understood that it is necessary to bear something difficult with serenity and a bit of scorn. For the Spanish people, philosophy has to do with the setbacks and stumbles of life; in a happy world nobody would have to be a philosopher.
So a perfectly ordinary definition of the word, found in English, Spanish, and probably many other languages as well, becomes evidence about the Spanish character itself.

1 comment:

Vance Maverick said...

I'm disappointed. After years of Language Log, I was sure that supporting received wisdom with dubious lexical claims was uniquely characteristic of Anglophone culture.