Thursday, 5 July 2018

Church And State II

See Church And State.

For another literary comment on church and state, see James Joyce misquoted here.

One responsibility of the Pontifex Maximus is to adjust the calendar. Thus, there was a Julian calendar and now a Gregorian calendar. (Scroll down.) I trust that, in the Terran Empire, there will still be a Pontifex Maximus, based in Rome.

Since I will entrain for London in less than an hour, this is definitely my last gasp until maybe sometime on Monday.

You all have a good weekend.

6 comments:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Your arguments in past blog pieces convinced me that the Jerusalem Catholic Church we see in Anderson's Terran Empire stories is the same Catholic Church we see today. Except that the popes, for whatever reason, transferred their seat from Rome to Jerusalem. So, yes, I would expect the Bishops of Rome IN Jerusalem to still include "Pontifex Maximus" among their titles.

And that has made me wonder how and why the Popes no longer resided in Rome. Did some disaster make the city uninhabitable? Given how violent human history is, that is all too easily plausible!

Have a good time in London and I look forward to you "gasping" again here! (Smiles)

Sean

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, to all interested readers!

I discovered today that the SF writer Harlan Ellison died June 27/28, aged 84.

Truth to say, I was not a fan of Ellison, altho I did read some of his stories, including a collection of his works called DEATHBIRD.

Sean

David Birr said...

An anecdote I read about Ellison, attached to the Washington Post obituary article, was by someone who realized, some decades ago, that he was in Ellison's presence. Nonetheless, he approached diffidently, asking, more or less, "Pardon me, but are you Harlan Ellison?" According to his account, Ellison gave him a quizzical look and asked in return, "Does Harlan Ellison owe you money?"

I'm not a great fan of Ellison, but he wrote some things I enjoyed reading, and some others that I didn't enjoy but felt should be read for consideration of the issues they raised.

I'm reminded, too, of what (also now recently dead) Ursula K. Le Guin told David Drake years ago about writer/editor/publisher Donald A. Wollheim. Drake publicly asked Le Guin what it was like working with Wollheim. She said, "It was like working with a lizard.” Pause. “A very old, very wise, lizard.” Pause. “A poisonous lizard.” Drake writes that he considered that a "perfect and succinct" description.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

I agree with what you said about Harlan Ellison, that he could be witty and wrote some things worthy and deserving of being read even if you are not a big fan of his stuff.

Of course I've heard of Donald A. Wollheim, as any serious SF fan should. But not that he was so difficult/unpleasant that he was considered "poisonous" by Le Guin.

And I think we have both read things by Dave Drake, both as sole author and as a co-author with other writers, such as S.M. Stirling. I'm determined to check out Barnes and Noble this weekend to see if I can get a copy of his new book, BLACK CHAMBER.

Sean

David Birr said...

Sean:
Drake's assessment of Wollheim's character, given just prior to quoting Le Guin on the topic, was as follows:
"Wollheim was a towering figure in the SF field, but his personality caused many to dislike him. He was extremely smart and well-read, never pompous himself and displaying open contempt for pompous twits (of which the field has its share)."

Given that, I don't know exactly what bothered Le Guin about him. Drake made pretty clear that he didn't consider Le Guin a "pompous twit," so it doesn't seem likely she would've been on the receiving end of Wollheim's venom. Maybe it disturbed her to witness such incidents even when clearly well-deserved (she did describe Wollheim as "very wise").

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

It's possible that what made some people consider Donald Wollheim to be at least sometimes "poisonous" came from his activities as an editor at Ace Books. Ace put out a paperback edition of JRR Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS without his consent and without paying royalties. Due to a loophole in copyright laws as they existed in 1960.

I visted Barnes and Noble tonight and I did get a copy of Stirling's BLACK CHAMBER. Huzzah!!! I hope to read the book after I finish Christian Davenport's THE SPACE BARONS.

Alas, I did not find the third volume of the reprinting of Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic INSTITUTE stories. Soon, I hope!

Sean