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  • Gary C. Moore
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      : Subject: Marie-Claire Galperine: FRENCH TEXT


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      Marie-Claire Galperine



      L�auteur
      L��uvre

      Lecture du Banquet de Platon
      Des premiers principes











      L�auteur

      Il est des �tres qui, au sein d�une profession, sont marqu�s d�une note de distinction, dans toute la polys�mie de ces termes. Atopie toute socratique au milieu des fonctionnaires de l�Universit�. La vie commune est pour ces natures chose souvent �trange, et leur regard int�rieur atteste qu�ils sont comme les gardiens et les bergers de la Pens�e.
      Marie-Claire Galp�rine est de cette race et de ce style-l�.
      Professeur de philosophie ou plut�t professeur et philosophe... L�auteur de ces lignes fut, il y a de nombreuses ann�es, son disciple. Disciple privil�gi� et observateur partiel, � la m�moire fragmentaire, dont le regard doit se faire, pour �tre juste, r�solument partial.
      Certes, des souvenirs impressionnistes ne sauraient constituer une biographie, mais la pr�cision factuelle doit parfois c�der le pas � des fulgurances qui disent plus qu�une chronologie et atteignent l�essence d�un �tre.
      Marie-Claire Galp�rine semble n�avoir jamais fait un cours � partir de notes �crites. Par elle, nous compr�mes ce qu��tait, dans la pure tradition antique et grecque, le privil�ge de l�oralit�. Lorsqu�elle apparaissait en Sorbonne, quelque chose comme une rupture de l�accoutumance s�accomplissait.
      La Parole s��levait d�une �me m�ditative, nourrie de la fra�che lecture des textes eux-m�mes, rendus � leur surgissement premier. Les doctrines des philosophes anciens devenaient la vie m�me de l�esprit, et leurs questionnements se faisaient, imm�diatement, pr�sents. L�atomisme de D�mocrite et celui de Platon s�affrontaient en une gigantomachie, et les r�flexions �veill�es en nous illuminaient une journ�e de sp�culations sur le � rien �, le � quelque chose �, les formes finies ou infinies des corps �l�mentaires, ou sur le D�miurge et les cinq poly�dres r�guliers inscriptibles dans la sph�re. Comme le philosophe du Th��t�te de Platon, Marie-Claire Galp�rine parlait � loisir, avec paix et s�r�nit�, avec cette souveraine libert� � l��gard des th�mes, que Platon d�signe comme la marque propre du philosophe.
      Sans doute, au fil des ans, une conaturalit� s��tait-elle install�e � par innutrition � entre le mode d�intellectualit� de Marie-Claire Galp�rine et les � Phares � qui toujours furent, et demeurent, sa nourriture : ni Platon ni Damascius ne composent leurs �uvres comme des jardins de Le N�tre, et � bien des �gards le trait� Des premiers principes ressemble � l�un de ces labyrinthes qui enchant�rent les parcs des temps anciens : on s�y perd pour mieux se retrouver, avec la t�nacit� de la qu�te.
      Passion de la pens�e, de ses apories, des enfantements douloureux souvent vou�s � l��chec, ceux-l� m�mes dont parle Damascius, et qui introduisent � seul affleurement d�une telle exp�rience dans toute la litt�rature antique � l�angoisse existentielle au c�ur de la forme la plus extr�me du n�oplatonisme...
      Passion de la po�sie et de la litt�rature. Le Claudel sauvage et sublime de T�te d�or me fut ainsi r�v�l� par des paroles de feu. Le souffle romanesque de Barbey d�Aurevilly est � jamais li� en moi � des phrases, � des allusions qui �taient autant d�invitations � la lecture.
      Jamais professeur n��veilla ainsi � la lecture de Proust et de ses pr�dilections secr�tes ou avou�es : Madame de S�vign�, Saint-Simon, Balzac � pour qui � pens�e � et � passion � sont si souvent synonymes.
      Fi�re h�riti�re d�une lign�e d��crivains au g�nie puissant et vocif�rant, ou de traducteurs talentueux, Marie-Claire Galp�rine leur tient t�te, engage avec eux le combat, l�ag�n par lequel l�imitation est rivalit� f�conde et permet au descendant de remplir les exigences �thiques et esth�tiques qu�imposent l�aristocratie de l�esprit et l�illustration d�une lign�e.
      Mais c�est sur le terrain de la m�taphysique pure, loin des tourments terrestres dont elle conna�t toute l�amertume, loin aussi des sortil�ges et s�ductions du monde sensible, que cette �me humaine et romanesque trouve paradoxalement � accomplir son �uvre propre.
      Une rare �l�gance lui fait choisir, au cr�puscule du monde grec, de lire le plus difficile et sans doute le plus profond des Anciens, ce Damascius qui osa affronter jusqu�� l�antinomie du concept de principe absolu. La Gr�ce pa�enne, r�duite � une poign�e d�esprits irr�ductibles, qui ne virent jamais dans le triomphe de l�Empire chr�tien de Justinien qu�un accident appartenant � l�ordre � platonicien � des choses, eut la grandeur d�une supr�me fid�lit� � elle-m�me.
      Marie-Claire Galp�rine est, plus encore que catholique, une spirituelle pour qui la m�ditation sait aussi emprunter les voies de l��criture. Sa traduction de Damascius est marbr�e d�intertitres qui en �clairent la lecture et sont autant de formes br�ves cisel�es avec un art d��crivain. En un autre sens du mot � �criture �, c�est en copiant � v�ritable exercice spirituel antique ou m�di�val � la totalit� du Banquet qu�elle put faire sien le meilleur de Platon. Saisie par la beaut� des calligraphies � celles, notamment, des manuscrits byzantins �, cette philosophe se plut � ruminer les apories de Damascius en le lisant directement dans l�un des plus anciens codices de la biblioth�que Marcionne de Venise : la m�ditation de l��me � parole int�rieure et silencieuse � entrait en pure co�ncidence avec la jouissance esth�tique d�une forme par laquelle le Beau se fait vecteur du Vrai.
      Chez Marie-Claire Galp�rine, c�est une r�gle de vie qui se trouve illustr�e et propos�e � notre imitation. Et sans doute est-ce cela le plus pr�cieux.
      Par l� le Ma�tre aide � � devenir meilleur �, et si, parfois, nous �choit quelque participation au Bien, c�est � des esprits d�une telle � nature philosophique � que nous en sommes redevables.

      Philippe Hoffmann, Corbi�res matin, ao�t 1996



      L��uvre

      Aux �ditions Verdier

      Lecture du Banquet de Platon, 1996
      Des premiers principes, de Damascius, introduction, notes et traductions de Marie-Claire Galp�rine, 1987























      Lautor
      LSuvre

      Reading of the Banquet of Plato
      First principles





      ENGLISH TRANSLATION:





      THE AUTHOR

      She is a person which, within her profession, who is marked with a note of distinction in all the polysemia, meanings, of this term. The very Socratic Atopia (?) in the medium of the functionaries of her University [Atopie toute socratique au milieu des fonctionnaires de l�Universit�.]. The common life is for such natures is often a strange thing, and their interior soul attests that they are more like the guards and shepherds of Thought.
      Marie-Claire Galp�rine is of this race and of this style there.
      Professor of philosophy, or rather professor and philosopher, the author of these lines was, many years ago, her disciple. As a privileged disciple and very partial observer, with an incomplete memory, who perceives a debt to be repaid, , to be just, resolves so tobe partial.
      Admittedly, from impressionist memories one cannot constitute a biography, but factual precision must sometimes yield the step to that which says more than chronology, and reaches the essence of what one is.
      Marie-Claire Galp�rine seems to never have constructed a course starting from written notes. Through her, we understood the lecture in the pure ancient and Greek tradition privileged with her orality. Thus she appeared in the Sorbonne as something of a rupture with l�accoutumance (familiarity) with s�accomplissait (her accomplishment).
      The Word of her elevated and meditative soul, nourished, refreshed the reading of the texts themselves, awakening the surprize of their first appearance. The doctrines of the ancient philosophers became the life of the spirit, and their questioning was a confrontation immediately in the present. The atomism of Democritus and that of Plato�s s�affrontaient (confrontation?) in a gigantomachia, and the reflections awakened in us illuminated, in asingle day, speculations on " nothing ", " something ", the finished or infinite shapes of elementary bodies, or on the D�miurge and the five regular indescribable polyhedrons in the sphere. Like the philosopher of the Theatetus, Marie-Claire Galp�rine spoke with leisure, with peace and serenity, with a sovereign freedom in consideration of the topics which Plato indicates as the clear mark of the philosopher.
      No doubt, with the passing of years, a conaturality was installed by a failure of nourishment between the intellectual mode of Marie-Claire Galp�rine and the " Establishment " [�Phares,�?] which always was, and remains. Neither Plato nor Damascius make their works like gardens for the �They�, and "They" regard the treatise Of the first principles as resembling one of the labyrinths which enchanted the parks of old times: but one loses little for better finding oneself in the tenacity of the search.
      Passion of thought, of its aporias, of the often dedicated painful enfantements (childbirths, Socratic midwifery) doomed tofailure, these occur of which Damascius speaks, and who introduces the flowering of a singular experience in all of ancient literature: l�angoisse existential (the existential anguish) with the heart in the most extreme form of Neoplatonism. [� l�angoisse existentielle au c�ur de la forme la plus extr�me du n�oplatonisme...]
      Of her passion for poetry and the literature, she loves the wild and sublime Paul Claudel of Head of Gold, which she revealed to me with words of fire. The romantic breath of Barbey d�Aurevilly is forever dependent, for me, upon her sentences, with allusions which were invitations to reading as such.
      Never did a professor ever awaken in others such a reading of Proust and its secret or acknowledged predilections: Madam de S�vign�, Saint-Simon, Balzac for whom " thought " and " passion " are so often synonymous.
      Fiery heiress of a heritage of writing grounded on powerful and vociferating genius or as talented translators, Marie-Claire Galp�rine goes head to head with them, engaging in combat with them, the agon by which imitation becomes fertile competition and makes it possible for her 'descendants' to take up the ethical and aesthetic requirements which impose an aristocracy of spirit, and the illustration of a great descent.
      But it is on the ground of pure metaphysics, far from the terrestrial torments of which she knows only bitterness (l�amertume), far also from the magic spells and seductions of the sensitive world, in which this human and romantic soul paradoxically finds in the accomplishment of her own work.
      A rare elegance makes her choose, in the twilight of the Greek world, the reading of the most difficult and deepest of the Ancient Philosophers, this Damascius who dared to face up to the antinomy of the concept of the absolute principle. Pagan Greece, reduced to a handful of irreducible spirits who could never survive in the triumph of the Christian Empire of Justinian, in that one event, pertaining to the closure of the "Platonic Academy," had the grandeur of a supreme fidelity to its own ideal.
      Marie-Claire Galp�rine is, more than a Catholic, spiritual for whom meditation borrows the ways of writing. Her translation of Damascius is marbled by the subtitle which clarifies her reading of him, and there are as many of her breif forms chiseled with an art of writing. In another direction of the word " writing, " it is by copying -- the true spiritual exercises of the ancient or medieval -- that the totality of the Banquet could become the best of Plato. Seized by the beauty of their penmanships -- in particular, those of Byzantine manuscripts -- this philosopher enjoyed ruminating the aporias of Damascius by reading them directly in the older codices of the Marcionus library of Venice: the meditation of the interior soul and silent word -- produces, in sheer coincidence, with the aesthetic pleasure of a form by which the Beautiful is made the vector of Truth.
      In Marie-Claire Galp�rine, it is a rule of life which is illustrated and proposed with our imitation. And undoubtedly this is what is most precious.
      Here the Master helps "one to become better," and if, sometimes, some participation in the Good falls to us, it is with such spirits of " philosophical nature " that we are indebted.

      Philippe Hoffmann, Corbi�res morning, August 1996



      LSuvre

      With The Verdier Editions

      Reading of the Banquet of Plato, 1996
      First principles, of Damascius, introduction, notes and translations of Marie-Claire Galp�rine, 1987






















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