[NB] Assyria, Derrida, and a Language of the Earth

O radiance of the great gods, light of the earth
Illuminator of the world regions
Lofty judge, creator of heaven and earth
O Shamash, by your light you scan the totality of lands as if they were cuneiform signs
You never weary of divination.
—hymn from the reign of Ashurbanipal, qtd. by Derrida in of Grammatology, qtd. by Zainab Bahrani in Rituals of War (61)

I take an especial pleasure in this citation, the way this text joins other texts, like a needle and thread cinching together fabrics.

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[NB] Tradition and the Original Past

The town may be changed,
But the well cannot be changed.
It neither decreases nor increases.
They come and go and draw from the well.
If one gets down almost to the water
And the rope does not go all the way,
Or the jug breaks, it brings misfortune.
(Hexagram 48, I Ching ; Chinese text here)

I know, Wilhelm is far from perfect, but it is ready to hand and sensible enough. I linked to the Chinese just because I could. I can’t read a lick of it, but it was easy to add the link and easy enough for a reader to take a quick look.

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