Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Sermon to the Executors of 1897 [Fragment] [Uncategorisable]

  1. #1
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIAAARGGH
    Posts
    4,650
    Blog Entries
    5

    Sermon to the Executors of 1897 [Fragment] [Uncategorisable]

    The fanficcione "Kara, Kara" promised to Leftovers, by me, at the last Kirby contest, is (slowly, due to unavoidable circumstances) underway. This fragment was, at one point, to be included in it. It formed part of a draft which is now almost a year old. It is however now impossible to integrate, due to changes in the planned overall form of the story which make its narrative position...impossible to integrate.

    All the same.

    The thematics haven't changed, just the method of approaching them. You (meaning Left) can think of it as a kind of pre-release Steam Early Access exclusive patreon donor tier version of some of the ideas "Kara, Kara" wants to investigate re: Narbareck, Church, and so on. The rest of you can, and will, make of it whatever you want. Another classic schizopost from Dullahan®.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    This sermon is given by Frère Faustino Mascardi at the Old Hall [built 1266] in the last winter. Its nature? Quasi-valedictory. The audience are the matriculating class of 1897: a small group, about ten or eleven, who have over the last eight years been whittled down from an unspecified larger number of volunteers, by exhaustive tests, physical training, instruction in the military arts, schooling in almost every field of sublunary, theological and occult knowledge, in short by a pitiless procedure of selection which admits only the most rarefied, purified stratum of those who so aspire to the fold of Executors. The quality of this fine schola [schola re militaris] is that which may split hairs with a doctor of the Sorbonne as well as may split flesh from bone with battle-axe. The sifting process is in every sense a culling. Death on course is not uncommon, and the martyred have a quiet corner of the chapel to their names. Bitterly cold wind assaults the outdoors, and what insulation these old walls afford is comfort enough to the students who sit, quite unmoving in the rows, to hear the talk of their elder.

    §

    [Preamble omitted.]

    You have been to Palestine, haven't you?

    Haven't you?

    Of course Palestine is nothing but a name.

    To you who sit here now it is naught. The shadow of an idea.

    But you have been to Jerusalem, I am sure.

    Another name.

    And all the rest. The itinerary cannot have changed much since my senior matriculation.

    You saw all manner of things.

    The Temple Mount.

    You went to Bethlehem, to Nazareth, Lake Galilee.

    So on and so forth.

    Yes?

    And you saw.

    Inter alia.

    You saw the place.

    The very rock, of that place, drowned in history. Where Our Lord was crucified.

    Inter alia.

    Now I would pose you a question.

    Ye who have seen.

    A small problema.

    I pose this to you.

    I invite you to consider.

    Between the sight of that place, Jerusalem, as you saw it not a few months ago.

    And the sight of that place, Jerusalem, as it must have been seen.

    By your noble predecessors.

    Let us say, by the knights of the First Crusade.

    Godfrey of Bouillon.

    Inter alia.

    Those knights.

    For were they not also men who came across the sea?

    From Europe?

    To the holiest shrine in all Christendom?

    As did you?

    I invite you to consider this.

    Above all I invite you to consider – the difference.

    Between what they saw, and what you have seen.

    What is the distance between you?

    Such and such a number of years. This is true.

    Eight hundred, around that.

    But that is nothing but an integer.

    An empty idea, the scribble of a mathematician.

    It names the problem but does not solve it.

    It gives the form of Time, that is, History, but not the content.

    What is the content of History?

    I ask you this. In short.

    What is the difference? In essence.

    For there are, you will concede, many differences between Jerusalem then and now.

    Concrete differences.

    Material differences. With weight and size and colour.

    These centuries have left nothing alone.

    For one thing.

    You didn't have to reconquer the place from the Saracen when you arrived.

    A customs fee was sufficient.

    The men, of course, have changed.

    The men of that time are now dead without remainder.

    And the men who populate the city now were not even remotely conceived in the time of the Crusade.

    And all sorts of other changes.

    The face of the city, surely, has altered.

    Decay and destruction, construction and repair.

    And so on.

    Many changes.

    But I would have you tell me.

    Of all changes, which is the most profound?

    Which cuts the deepest?

    Which is the most determining?

    Is it in the men who live and walk there?

    The rhythms of life?

    The organisation of matter? Bricks and stone?

    The rock itself? The earth and sky?

    The languages spoken?

    The foods they eat?

    The plants that grow, the beasts that range?

    The sovereign who claims dominion?

    For all these have changed.

    Some more than others, some less.

    But all have changed.

    And only one change is the greatest.

    Only one that above all describes the passage of centuries.

    Defines it.

    Determines it.

    And what is more.

    Even if the Jerusalem of the year 1099 was in fact preserved there.

    Even if every man and creature and building, if every atom of that place was preserved.

    All matter configured under the aspect of nature, utterly the same.

    Utterly the same as in a day of the distant past.

    Beheld in the light of another day.

    Even then.

    This difference would overcome it.

    I invite you to consider.

    The difference between what they saw.

    And what you have seen.

    Yes, indeed.

    You are trained in logic and so you will have discerned.

    That if the difference is not in any specific component of the city itself.

    It can be in only one of two places.

    Either it is in the whole of the world without.

    The totality within which Jerusalem, Mother of Cities, is set like a jewel in a necklace.

    The world itself has changed.

    Or.

    The difference is nowhere but in yourself.

    It is in your very eyes.

    Your eyes are not the same as their eyes were.

    Your way of seeing.

    You are incapable of seeing in the same way that the old Crusaders saw.

    Which is it, then?

    You or the world?

    Ah.

    But you are trained in logic, and you will see.

    That this small dilemma of mine is false.

    There is no question of an either-or.

    It is both.

    The world has changed and you.

    The world.

    What is in foreign circles called the diminution of Mystery is really something quite simple.

    The size of the world has changed.

    For the Crusaders the world was immense, overfilled with mortal impediments to traversal.

    Leaving one's village meant making a will.

    Such mortal threat portended.

    Crossing the ocean?

    Their bravery was proved enough by the time they made landing in the Levant.

    A horse on land, the wind on the sea.

    These were the limits posed. How fast, how far.

    Who knew the extremity of the world? Only a faint few.

    For us it is different.

    Our world, knitted together by railways and steamships and telegraphs.

    And there is the recent invention of Marconi.

    It promises much in this direction.

    All mortal impediments, flattened.

    All extremities, mapped.

    The vast profusion of the medieval world is smoothed over.

    Smooth and featureless like a droplet of mercury.

    That is the nature of our world.

    The nature imposed over nature.

    And likewise imposed over ourselves.

    Our eyes.

    Our categories of perception.

    For as much as the smallness of the world confronts us as objective fact.

    As much as it presents itself as general interconnection.

    It is also true that the smoothing-out of the world is a matter of perception.

    You may today ride a horse from Marseilles to Paris; it will take just as long.

    The cities have not moved.

    Horses have grown no faster.

    And if a train breaks down in the wilderness?

    Certainly the passengers are just as bereft and isolated as pilgrims in the desert.

    The closure of the world is a matter of perception.

    You are tempted to say, 'only' a matter of perception.

    As if the subjective were such a meagre thing.

    But no.

    The world remains small no matter what.

    You may rescind all claim to technics.

    You may flee to the wild like one of the Desert Fathers.

    You anchorite you. You stylite.

    You cannot flee such as to revisit the prior nature of the world.

    The smallness of the world will catch you.

    Its objective character is that which ceaselessly expands to all portions of the Earth.

    Challenging it forth.

    Leaving nothing untouched.

    All is smoothed over.

    Jerusalem, smoothed until it is near transparent.

    Like a mirage.

    Yes, indeed.

    The world has become just such.

    Mirages, seen pallid through the haze.

    Endless in their panoply.

    It is another way to say, its Being is diminished.

    To 'be' in the world today – to experience the world.

    To receive the sensuous impact of the world.

    To lay open to the substancing of Being.

    It is...far less a thing.

    Far more pale, more stretched-thin.

    Than to 'be' in the world of 1099.

    A general diminution has taken grasp.

    By which Law has become mere Power.

    Loyalty has become calculability.

    Truth, generally-recognised correctness.

    Christianity, a pacifist group.

    That is the secret of our world, which is no secret at all.

    That is the content of History.

    The difference, if you will.

    Between the time of the Crusaders and our own time.

    The diminution of Being.

    And what of the future, you ask?

    What does this portend?

    We may not speak much of it.

    We may speak only a little.

    We say only this in anticipation:

    That the world will proceed.

    March forward in its path.

    The world will keep getting smaller.

    The fullness of Being will shallow, as water poured into a broader vessel does lie shallower.

    The world will proceed like this.

    We may not say more.

    For what new thing is there to tell you?

    None.

    “The world is desolate, the world is diminished."

    Yes, yes.

    But did the Lord not tell you?

    The world shall be desolate.

    Did the Lord not tell you?

    The world shall be diminished.

    In the Gospel of Saint Mark it is written: “Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

    I say: Let your faith awake, and let Christ speak to you.

    "Why are you troubled? I told you beforehand of all these things.”

    That is what He says.

    Do you wonder that the world is failing?

    Wonder that the world has grown old.

    There are many complaints in old age.

    Any man could tell you.

    The cough, the rheum, the weakness of the eyes.

    When a man is old, he is full of complaints.

    The world is old, and so is full of troubles.

    And it is this world.

    This world.

    That you are called upon to serve.

    God has called you.

    God has preserved you through trials.

    Arduous tasks to purify your nature.

    And I ask you.

    Is it a little thing that God has done?

    A small and paltry thing?

    That in the world's old age He has sent Christ unto you, that He may renew you now, when all is diminished?

    I think not.

    Then you should choose not to cleave to this aged world.

    Let yourself grow young in Christ.

    In He who tells you that the world perishes, the world grows old, the world is desolate.

    God has called you here to serve.

    The executor of His will.

    That is what you will be henceforth.

    This is the meaning of the epitaph of our schola's founder.

    Which you know so well.

    It is inscribed here in many places.

    Senescit mundus et nondum defuncti sumus.


    The world grows old, and we are not yet done.

    The world grows old, and yet we still live.

    And so our work continues.

    In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

    Amen.

    [Audience: Amen.]

    Ite, missa est.

    §

    While speaking Mascardi has noted the presence of the Abbé's secretary, Père de Crescenzo, tall reed stylus of a man seated far up the back of the lecture hall. After the dismissal he descends the rows to the base of the lectern and issues a brief nota bene. An eyeblink and they the two are outside braving the wind, snowfall crunching underfoot. To the Offices, inside, coats off, upstairs. The Abbé is waiting for them behind his desk. In the firelit illume of those walls, piled high with confessions and institutes, mounted helms and swords and the skulls of dead beasts, his shadowed face poses an arboreal lattice. Frère Mascardi, says the Abbé. Please, sit. The old man passes a moment of indefinable length, a held breath, in shuffling the papers on his desk this way and that before at last he lets them be. Looks up and fixes his gaze, hard and crystalline, across the troubled surface of his desk. Humour me, he says, quite without humour. Do you remember the tale of Kāra-Kāra?
    ちょう
    もく


  2. #2
    The world will keep getting smaller.

    The fullness of Being will shallow, as water poured into a broader vessel does lie shallower.

    The world will proceed like this.
    But did the Lord not tell you?

    The world shall be desolate.

    Did the Lord not tell you?

    The world shall be diminished.

    In the Gospel of Saint Mark it is written: “Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
    Senescit mundus et nondum defuncti sumus.

    The world grows old, and we are not yet done.

    The world grows old, and yet we still live.

    And so our work continues.
    Superlative. I await eagerly, and more eagerly still hope to deliver on my part as well.

  3. #3
    死者 The Dead
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Age
    33
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6
    This is beautiful, and I love it. I don't think I've seen historiography made downright poetic before.

  4. #4
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIAAARGGH
    Posts
    4,650
    Blog Entries
    5
    I wouldn't presume to call it historiography, nor indeed anything very original. What you see here, pressed into a kind of thematic arrangement mainly stolen from one of the sermons of Saint Augustine, are talking points from Heidegger's essay The Question Concerning Technology + some very general ideas from Paul Virilio, both of which I would recommend looking into if the ideas interest you and you want to read the thoughts of much smarter people who don't write doofy anime fanfiction. Thank you all the same.
    Last edited by Dullahan; October 14th, 2019 at 10:45 AM.
    ちょう
    もく


  5. #5
    死者 The Dead
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Age
    33
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    6
    Fair, I agree that historiography is not the right word. I reached for the term because the general concept of how you would not understand the past as someone in the past understood it, even if you were somehow transported there, is probably the most important thing I remember of the first few weeks of history 101 at university, which covered historiography. Unfortunately, history 101 is pretty much all I got. The closing parts felt downright postmodern to me (not that I know much about postmodernism or the postmodern condition really), but "the world is old" is also something I remember as a very distinctively medieval thing.

    Anyway, forget that. Beautifully written, is what I wanted to say. I appreciate the reading recommendations. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Is it still fanfiction if you're almost entirely unfamiliar with the original work?

  6. #6
    nicht mitmachen Dullahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AUSTRALIAAARGGH
    Posts
    4,650
    Blog Entries
    5
    Yes.
    ちょう
    もく


  7. #7
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The Night of Wallachia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    26,948
    JP Friend Code
    083945095
    US Friend Code
    NA? More like N/A!
    Blog Entries
    42
    If nothing else, it's certainly a zinger of a moodmaker. The talk of mystery and duty is laden with an acute sensation of import, and serves as a nice and heady prelude to what is to come. As always, but especially now, you've a knack for marinating the brainmeats right into a different headspace.

    Not Left, but still eager for moar, as they used to say on the webz.
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •