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33135a certain German

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  • louise
    Mar 1, 2005
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      It is Time that is the tragic, and it is by the meaning that it
      intuitively attaches to Time that one Culture is differentiated from
      another; and consequently "tragedy" of the grand order has only
      developed in the Culture which has most passionately affirmed, and
      in that which has most passionately denied, Time. The sentiment of
      the ahistoric soul gives us a Classical tragedy of the moment, and
      that of the ultrahistorical soul puts before us Western tragedy that
      deals with the *development of a whole life*. Our tragedy arises
      from the feeling of an *inexorable* Logic of becoming, while the
      Greek feels the *illogical, blind Casual of the moment* - the life
      of Lear matures inwardly towards a catastrophe, and that of Oedipus
      stumbles without warning upon a situation. ....... Fundamentally all
      Greek statues were standard masks, like the actors in the theatre of
      Dionysus; all bring to expression, in significantly strict form,
      *somatic* attitudes and positions. Physiognomically they are
      *dumb*, corporeal and of *necessity* nude - character-heads of
      definite individuals came only with the Hellenistic age. Once more
      we are reminded of the contrast between the Greek number-world, with
      its computations of tangible results, and the other, our own, in
      which the relations between groups of functions or equations or,
      generally, formula-elements of the same order are investigated
      morphologically, and the character of these relations fixed *as
      such* in express laws.

      Oswald Spengler, Decline of the West, Volume One,
      Chapter IV, The Problem of World-History,
      II, The Idea of Destiny and the Principle of Causality, pp130-1,
      1934 edition, complete in one volume, Allen & Unwin.