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Shoulders of Giants - Clittary Hilton — LiveJournal

Mar. 26th, 2005

09:03 am - Shoulders of Giants

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Date:November 5th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)

Not quite true

I've heard this story about Newton's barb several times before and spent considerable time trying to ascertain the truth of it. Hooke fell a victim to smallpox in his early childhood. There are descriptions of him such as "scarred to the point of ugliness" and his condition of "twistedness, which grew worse with age" and references to a great deal of pain. However, I was not able to find a single contemporary account of him in which he was called a "dwarf." Newton was not a nice person, but Hooke was not a dwarf. Apparently, the story has little factual currency.

I use this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful and playful poetry. I was especially taken by Две ипостаси, which is not without genius. The virtuosity of its flowing wordplay and the subtle fusion of elegaic melody to the emotional dissection of star-crossed love are most exquisite and sublime. I cannot imagine the amount of work and emotion that went into composing this poem, to acieve the perfect fusion of its elements and make them to work so effortlessly. You have an amazing and powerful gift for language, of extreme rarity. Thank-you for discovering its possibilities for all of us.

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Date:November 5th, 2005 09:33 pm (UTC)

Re: Not quite true

I am truly humbled by your second paragraph... As to Robert Hooke, you are probably right, but then had Antonio Salieri really poisoned Mozart? Later in life he taught music to Liszt and Beethoven, but these guys had survived his lessons :)) Да и вообще, кто скажет, чтоб Сальери гордый был когда-нибудь завистником презренным, змеей, людьми растоптанною, вживе песок и пыль грызущею бессильно?

Вернемса к Гуку. This is how Hooke was described by his friend John Aubrey:

'He is but of midling stature, something crooked, pale faced, and his face but little below, but his head is lardge, his eie full and popping, and not quick; a grey eie. He haz a delicate head of haire, browne, and of an excellent moist curle. He is and ever was temperate and moderate in dyet, etc.'

Please note the "but" in but of middling stature!.. это не может не означать, что росточком был Гук невелик, хотя и не обязательно карлик в медицинском смысле. Но конечно фактическая сторона вопроса не была столь значима для меня в этой миниатюре, как поэтическая сторона! Кстати знаете ли Вы, что Гук как архитектор был строителем печально знаменитого Bethlehem Royal Hospital (which became known as 'Bedlam')?

Ваше суждение о двух ипостасях мне необычайно лестно и приятно, хотя я и сознаю, что вещь того не стоит... Спасибо!

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