The seminal Epicurean textual content, in a super new translation
The Epicureans of historic Rome discarded the information of lifestyles after demise and of an interventionist God in desire of the tactile pleasures of nature. In The Nature of Things, Lucretius celebrates with wit and sharp notion the extreme breadth of the Epicurean trust process, starting from the indestructibility of atoms and the invention of fireplace to the folly of romantic love and the phenomena of clouds and rainstorms.
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Rather, he invites us to compare this visceral confrontation with a primeval natural world in the middle pages of the novel to the very different encounter with the natural that takes place at the beginning of the story, in the description of Professor Lidenbrock舗s scientific lectures and his work on carefully classified mineralogical samples in his study. Lab work and field work, abstract taxonomies and concrete perception, analytical distance and lived immersion, the attempt to master nature intellectually and the way in which nature always offers more marvelous panoramas than the human mind can grasp舒these are the juxtapositions upon which the novel hinges.
But arguing with the most irascible of professors was out of the question for someone of my somewhat undecided turn of mind. Just as I was cautiously retreating to my handsome room upstairs, the street door squeaked on its hinges. Large feet made the wooden staircase creak, and the master of the house rushed through the dining-room immediately to his study. 舡 I had scarcely had time to move when the professor already exclaimed in a tone of utter impatience: 舠Well! 舡 I rushed into my redoubtable master舗s study.
Even though he sometimes broke his specimens by handling them too roughly, he combined the geologist舗s genius with the mineralogist舗s keen eye. Armed with his hammer, his steel pointer, his magnetic needles, his blowpipe, and his bottle of nitric acid, he was a very powerful man. By assessing the fracture, the appearance, the hardness, the fusibility, the sonorousness, the smell, and the taste of any mineral, he was able to classify it unhesitatingly among the six hundred substances known to science today.