October 15

Amber pages

Publius Vergilius Maro, aka Virgil, hero of Dante's "Inferno", author of the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid, born today in 70 CE

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, German philosopher, born today in 
1844. The bad jokes are too obvious to include: "Nietzsche Is Alive" (see August 25), or "Nietzsche became Human All Too Human today". A ridiculously lengthy essay about him, about Nihilism and the concept of the Superman, about the passage from the Twilight of Nihilism to the Huit-Clos of Existentialism, and the search for a way out via the "Immaculate Failure" and the "Zero Positive", which latter is the title of the title essay in my collection of essays which will also bear that name, is due for publication... some time between the end of the mourning-period for God and the arrival of the Ubermensch-Messiah to replace him.

Italo Calvino, born today in 1923. My essay on his "Invisible Cities" will be available shortly in another essay collection, "Homage To Thomas Bowdler", but multiple references to him in essays about others, in my "Private Collection" blog - click hereand then scroll the gleanings to find him.

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle,  World War I Dutch spy, better known as "Mata Hari", executed today in 1917. Her stage-name, incidentally, means "Eye of Dawn" in Indonesian and Malay (some say it means "Mother of God" in Sanskrit, but God is a Christian concept, and not terribly common among Hindus or Buddhists: to which deity then was she the mother?)

First issue of "Reader's Digest" distributed, today in 1921 (and yes, there is now a German-language version)

Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichmarshal, evaded justic today in 1946 , by committing suicide. GER

Nikita Khrushchev ousted, today in 1964. Replaced by Kosygin and Brezhnev. Whatver happened to Kosygin? Did Brezhnev do a Trotsky on him (click here and here)?

First Vietnam draft card burned, today in 1965; and I would love to know who that person was (not Bill Clinton anyway)

UPDATE, several other wars later: his name was David Miller and he was an avowed Catholic who refused on pacifist grounds (click here); except that he wasn't actually the first, but only the first to be prosecuted for doing so (click here)

First photographic evidence of another solar system presented, today in 1984

The illustration at the top of the page shows an updated model of Dante's "Paradiso", based on the evidence in the final entry, immediately above

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