Imagine receiving a letter from a remote island. Imagine the journey it has ventured to reach the shores of here and now. In what language is the letter? Who is it from? How many years has it been awandering and what adventures has it encountered on its way to us?
Imagine traveling around the world in thirty seconds, while looking at thirty books – each in a different language. That’s one book per second. Imagine the treasures to be discovered in this short amount of time. Is this possible?
A few years ago, UNESCO marked every third Thursday of November as World Philosophy Day. And so it is, but what is philosophy? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” says the Prince of Denmark in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
When in the second half of the last century Isaac Bashevich Singer was awarded a Noble Prize for Literature, he raised an interesting question: “People ask me often, ‘Why do you write in a dying language?’” And he tried to explain: “
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty...
O, these I lack,
To make you garlands of… my sweet friend.
- Perdita, Winter’s Tale (IV, 4)