“As poets and as readers we are both the users and the transmitters of this lexicon. Today we need to keep adding not subtracting meaning, remembering not forgetting, to connect ourselves to the chain that ultimately joins all cultures.”
Welcome to Lexicon
Unlike Ludwig, Sophia, in whose memory this site is maintained, did not accept “remaining silent” as a viable intellectual option—not because she thought ultimate meaning any more expressible than did Wittgenstein, but because she thought the battle was necessary.
Heroic, doomed to failure, absolutely essential.
The Phoenix One of the things that has been notable since the construction of Sophia’s website has been the number of people who have commented on how lovely it is. “The website is beautiful”, they say. Yes, it is. I think so too—and I want to place here my thanks to Katie White from Phoenix Design for bringing conception to reality. Katie was asked to create a platform that had a lovely clarity, so evoking Sophia herself, whose thought was like a room filled with light. In this way, the website itself has become one of those "ripples" of Sophie's
With the Eye of Beauty: A Commission for Sophia Sophia believed in the power of beauty, and she found it in complex thought, in the spiritual clarity of moral choice, in the discipline of loving another, in the physical beauty of nature, and in the perilous but wonderful battle with impermanence which is art. Sophia loved art with a passion. Ever since that first trip to Italy when she was 4, works of art had had a powerful resonance for her. She enjoyed going to galleries, loved art books, and was knowledgeable about art history across civilisations. In fact, appreciating
Happy Birthday, Will The world’s a stage, Will . . . and you’re still a headline act. Happy birthday, old friend. I think these would make you laugh… Atkinson & Laurie and Whitmore and Wynn
Easter Sunday Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death instead of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make
Good Friday—Crucifixion Easter is the holiest festival in the Christian calendar. Steeped in compelling reminders of the presence of suffering and of the ineradicable human capacity for evil which all too often ends in such suffering, the story of Easter is one with which modernity, in its relentless “pursuit of happiness,” has become increasingly uncomfortable. Yet it is Easter that holds Christianity’s deepest truth. Death, St Paul tells us, is “the last enemy”—and it is death whose final and utter defeat is symbolised in the Easter narrative. Every year, at Pesach, Jews celebrate not just the freeing of the Jewish
Wisdom ~ The Prize Sophia believed that one of the defining issues of our times is the increasing lack of a sense of the distinction between public and private worlds. Government intrusion into private behaviour and a corresponding intrusion of people’s private behaviour into the public space (social media is like an immersion in the collective id) are debasing both social life and intellectual endeavour. In the years since her death, the ongoing craziness of the current era—which seems more and more like one enormous reality TV show—has provided an object lesson in what
Sophia 30.7.1991~17.1.2014 “Yes,” said Gandalf, “for it will be better to ride back three together than one alone. Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and
Treasures from the Vault Now that Telstra has accorded this half of your editorial team a reliable Internet connection, joys hitherto denied have become temptingly available. The Internet is a treasure trove for anyone at all interested in history. One can, for example, read some of the world’s oldest, rarest, and most beautiful books—the pages real almost to touch, each leaf turned as if by magic hand (here are some pages from the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most precious of Anglo-Saxon/ Celtic texts in the British Library). Or listen to TS Eliot reading Four Quartets in those spare,
Picard and Dathon at El-Adrel Contemplating the rationale for this blog (and leading on from Wittgenstein and the “rules” of communication), got me thinking about Star Trek (course it did—as sci fi nerds like Sophia would totally, totally understand). Arguably one of the best, and certainly one of the most interesting Star Trek episodes was in The Next Generation, the late 80s-early 90s series starring the magisterial Patrick Stewart (bringing all that Shakespearean gravitas to the role). It is also worth considering in relation to the notion of the importance of transmitting the cultural lexicon, a concept which