1. Regarding palimpsests metaphorically, they have come to refer to any artefact which has been reused, but still bears traces of its original form. By the mid seventeenth century the word had entered the English vernacular, and was etymologically derived from Latin through Greek, palinpsestos; defined as, palin - again + psestos - rubbed smooth. While the cause of palimpsests is only conjectured, historical palimpsests in etymological origin are artefacts which have certainly been 'rubbed smooth', and even erased. The favour among the bearers of these artefacts to carry the motion to rub smooth or erase, is granted in a permissive and prohibitive rule, to which the bearers of these artefacts adhere. While it was always a deliberate decision to suspend, it remained but permissive in law; hence, the motion carried was allowed, but by no means obligatory. To find favour to erase an artefact, otherwise an act, was oftentimes postponed deliberatively and prohibitively, thus indefinitely forbidding or restricting the motion carried. The bearers of these artefacts were tories and whigs. The tories adhered to the attitudes and values of tradition, and were critical of the whigs, who valued the new behaviour and opinions of the present day, more than the values found in the past or in tradition; therefore, to deny the motion, or to proceed to erase an artefact, was in the check and balance of an equitable law; and in those times when the motion carried, it never was the case that the bearers of these artefacts would lose their past; for, concerning the most liberal whig, who favoured a radical freedom and break with tradition, and the motion carried; only an artefact was erased, and by no means tradition, which was present in the minds of the bearers that day, who were called upon to lose something they valued in tradition, but never entirely did lose tradition; for, in the values of even our own present day, that past which was completely erased, nevertheless has remained.
2. In the fertile land of our commonwealth, respecting the abundance of literary works, there is a time of plenty and a time when we have little; and in the years that pass by us, while the land is ours and always remains, there are times that we must lay fallow our field. We have had our last harvest. We have beat all the stems and husks of our plants with our flail, in order to separate the good grain and the seed. Yet, there are few seeds, and the grain begins to look like straw. So we must lay fallow our land; and, we must bury our grain; and, store our seeds; and, depart. We only have straw, and to bury the grain of our literary canon that entitles our tradition to our best poetry and prose is hardship. We plow and harrow. With our plow, we turn over the soil and cut furrows. With our flail, we break up the clods of the field; we remove the weeds; and we bury, level, and smooth out the field.
Yes, fallow we must. We must part with our best poetry and prose, and leave the field unsewn. For, it is only by so doing, that we can restore our fertile canon, that it may once again be cultivated in our era. While we continue to write our own poetry and prose in these times, we soon shall have forgotten that field.
A great work of poetry or prose is covered in times of duress and erased, or consists of few traces that remain visible through the earth of the field. If we could only return to the field we lay fallow. Yet in some of that earth there must yet be some seeds, and the wheat that we beat with our flail; all our hard work that went below; replacing a first impression of a book of poetry or a book of prose, that we have all but forsaken, shall nevertheless one day return by our revisions, that we may form subsequent impressions of that palimpsest in poetics, prosody, and prose. Let that writing be covered over, indeed! For all writers want to cover their words. In the remaining traces of the first impression that was lost, we return to that first impression through revisions of poetical, prosodical, and prosaic words; and, they have survived epochs and eras, our revisions of poetry and prose, in every field of interest, covering and recovering each harvest of new wheat. Presently, as we beat the wheat to separate the grain, and we throw back the seed, this new poetry and prose that is a staple for our past, and in our tradition; this lively press; and, this storehouse that brings books inside, to be sold on the market; for all of our sheaves fastened in our best binding, shall render a new first impression in our best words.
Indeed, both a poetic and prosodic, as well as a prosaic palimpsest, is covered when under duress, by an author who effaces, both poetically and prosodically, as well as prosaically, a first impression; and then, replaces that impression with subsequent impressions, that through his revisions that are governed by the rules of poetry and prose, render a new first impression that is binding, not only for the author's best words, but for those who came before him, also.
To define what a palimpsest is has become very lately a matter of humanistic concern. I can only suggest that Blackie's Etymological dictionary should be examined, as well as all the OEDs for the historical uses of that word. I cannot satisfy that requisite for myself, but hope to ammend this satisfactorily in the near future.
I say this is a humanistic concern, because I conjecture that monks in monasteries still create palimpsests today, which are probably as significant, if not more so, than the recent discovery concerning Archimedes.
To the world that palimpsests reveal to us, I suppose, in our interpretation we are human, and humanist, and humanistic, but I am concerned that too democratic an interpretation is given to our discovery of texts which we conclude were formerly lost.
It has been documented, in many results on the web by a boolean search of prognosis and palimpsest, and again, with "twain" liberal and palimpsest mixed, that much hopeful discussion is occurring, at least privately, by experts in fields employed, and formerly not sought out, for their own opinions, in virtue of their job description, that perhaps they shall press to advance.
***addendum*** I use quotations of the word, "twain" for I found it in the results of a boolean search on google of palimpsest and one of either liberal or prognosis. The author of the result had uploaded a manuscript on the web, which I didn't have a chance to attempt to read, but I was struck by her striking use of the word "twain". I hope I will have a chance to come across this result again, and I didn'tmean to imply she was liberal.
I suppose in order to convince modern practitioners of ancient medicine that there is any more to read to aid treatment, a quick reference of dia/pro could be to one who shall ever ask for the name of the ever nameless disease, that in the romantic age was, the plea of the patient - to be diagnosed with at least something Medical Doctor's had ready to cure - and now is the plea of certain MD's for some cause, thereof.
If, nevertheless, we isolate dia/pro, I wonder if gnostics know palimpsest. I acknowledge gnostics know and the rest is up to gnostics, I know.
***addendum*** The above two paragraphs were written in response to a result I found through a google search on the web, that I recall may have been entitled "Ugly Palimpsest", I was struck by the author's humor and great learning she reveals, and her career path in which she suggests she is underappreciated.
I offerred the prefixes dia/pro with respect to her research in ancient medicine. I am no expert in her field, but I feel that with respect to modern medicine both diagnosis and prognosis in modern medicine bear the need for an ethical scrutiny, that perhaps could be informed from an ancient propspective.
It is lately in the news of the day that Ontario, Canada has noted that children who take MRI tests need to lie till for one hour, and now they are attempting to design a video game that could be played by the child while the test is being conducted, to help a child remain motionless.
I am cynical sometimes, and can't help recalling that Ontario has stressed the need to have access to more places where MRIs can be conducted. I wonder why the healthiest portion of the population, namely children, would often require MRIs in the first place, and suggest in reference to diagnosis/prognosis, doctors of medicine take too invasive an apporach in acquiring much data in the name of the progress of science. I fear that there will come a time when practitioner's could even make MRI's routine for even healthy patients, even children, simply in order to rule out potential future concerns that may not be presented or apparantly indicative of any malady or concern at the time the MRI is conducted. I wonder if I had a child who seemed healthy, if I would trust our family doctor or a specialist with such a detailed portait of his or her brain, especially because any child's brain as the child grows up is always developing.
I have not been able to find this author's website again, but hope to come across it again, in order to attempt to read her writing.
Nevertheless, one modification of a palimpsest that has garnered some outburst, is the dubious result of 'textiual palimpsest', and I might have an opinion, as this experts, who, with regards to beauty and ugliness in palimpsests, might see the sublimity of the ruins recalled in Radcliffe's novel, A Sicillian Romance "twained" with the supra-natural process of prognostication that B. A. Ramsey's undertakes in uncovering his first chapter of A Sicillian Armour of the 'motion' of the word sublime from ungliness, in a reaction to terror, to beauty, in the freest awe.
It is false to say as far as we know we have read the underwriting of a palimpsest that was text formerly lost, because at least:
1. A Palimpsest is an effaced and overwritten text
2. Appointed to be effaced and overwritten by permissive authority,
3. While respecting its binding appointment to preserve prohibative authority.
Here is how Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary defines the word, Palimpsest:
: a very old document on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing
Definition of Palimpsest
According to "Oxford Dictionaries" the etymology of the word, Palimpsest is,
LatinGreekpalimpsēstos palin psēstos
An Etymology of the word palimpsest is advanced in this result:
palimpsest - definition of palimpsest in English from the Oxford dictionaryRubbings were not uncommon in England in the 17th Century and persist into present day. I once had a figure, as a toy, that I used as I was instructed, by placing a piece of paper over it and with anything used for drawing, could take a rubbing, which revealed the figure underneath. I could take as many rubbings as I pleased, so if there is something in common with a 'rubbing'
and a palimpsest, I would suggest some master copy that has always kept intact anything we care to erase for a new document, may exist.
The following are defintions of three types of Palimpsests:
(i) Prognosticative Palimpsests: '
(ii) Liberal palimpsests: 'A Liberal Palimpsest' is one which attempts to fully erases a tradition in redards to the old document, in order to promote new opinions and behaviour. Respecting this type of Palimpsest, there is a definite willingness to part with the past or tradition, depite the fact that traces remain of the old document.
(iii) Textual Palimpsests: This type of Palimpsest writes over a document by effacing and replacing text observing recognizable methods of criticism in a given field of expertise, thus uncovering a new document, bears traces of the old document in its text. With regards to this type of palimpsest the source document is unaltered and remains extant.
This reference is relevant also: