Month: January 2011

Dark Passage

A review of the film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu by Cristi Puiu which records the rapid passing of a man who has been living day to day an impoverished lonely life of drunken stalemate in a decrepit Bucharest apartment. The logic of his decline ends with his death on a trolley in a hospital’s operating theatre prep room.

Unborn Grandsons

It seems these masters found themselves caught between the demands of two indispensable and previously harmonious elements of their culture which had lately come into conflict. On the one side they understood, as is the tradition, that knowledge descended strictly through the epochs from named masters to those students they had specially selected as being worthy of it. Knowledge was only passed to the next generation of future masters via the closed conduit of the masters’ lineage. In this way, accession to knowledge reinforced the stability of social hierarchy and the ordering of the temporal universe, the past held the present tightly in its grip. But on the other side of this model, the masters discovered, or perhaps merely suspected, that a particular circumstance might cause the knowledge content of the lineage to become dangerous to the viability of the lineage itself. And in the contradiction that thus arose between the form of established power and the knowledge content held by that power which of the two, the masters’ asked themselves, ought to triumph over the other?