Several true things about Voltaire, and one lie.
Can you spot the lie?
- Victor Hugo once said of him, “Italy had a renaissance, Germany a reformation, France had Voltaire.”
Every so often, on mondays, I’m going to select and examine a chunk of the 1729 Testament of Jean Meslier (wikipedia).
I first stumbled on Meslier when I was looking on Project Gutenberg for any works by Voltaire, and the search engine returned a pointer to Meslier’s Testament because it had been published with a forward by Voltaire. I still get
goose-bumps at the idea of being an author, and having a forward for one’s book written by Voltaire. That, as they say, is “big time.” It’s also a bit dangerous – Voltaire had his own ideas and his own agenda and, while he was a rationalist par excellence and one of the sparks of the enlightenment, he was not an atheist. Meslier was.
Meslier’s historical significance is interesting. His Testament was one of the first explicitly atheistic tracts of its sort, and he resorted to the clever dodge of posting it posthumously. “HAHA! You can’t kill me because I’m already dead!”
I’m thrilled to be here, and I look forward to posting stuff.
In case you’re wondering what this blog is going to be about, I have a bunch of things I plan to talk about:
I also intend to post some stuff regarding verbal abuse and how to use abuse, or how to contextualize invective. That will probably feed into a commenting policy, which I will enforce. Spoiler: I don’t expect you to be nice to eachother, but if you’re going to be nasty, I want to see creativity. Please.
For the present, I think that I am going to keep from going into other writings at great depth – especially because I’m going to be pointing you toward things that are pretty long or crunchy. I’m probably going to favor offering an overview of something, a pointer to the original, some chunks out of context, and my analysis of the same. I’ve used that sort of approach for a long time and it has worked pretty well, I think. I may remix a few of my old postings from Deviantart or my personal website, too. There’s a lot of writing I’ve been meaning to revisit and this seems like a great chance to do it.