Thursday, November 13, 2008

It needs to be said...

A few things, just to get them off my chest.

1. "Quantum of Solace" is a horrible title for what will undoubtedly be a very good movie. I understand it is a nod to the title of the short story by Ian Fleming on which this Bond is based. But Xan Brooks is right: overweening deference can wreak its own havoc on a man's rep. Case in point: "Quantum of Solace".

I'm willing to admit Bond movies are silly and over the top... but at least they are coherently silly. "Quantum of Solace" just makes no sense. Better to just go see the flick and come up with your own title after watching it. Something like... "Not as Much Testicle-Smashing!" (props to C.B.)

2. It's PIN, not PIN number.

3. One of St. Augustine's last works is called Retractations, not Retractions. Mislabeling it as "retractions" gives the impression Augustine devoted the entire work to recanting earlier claims throughout his previous writings. But this is only partially true of Retractations. The Doctor of Grace did recant a number of points upon re-reading nearly his entire corpus in his later years, but for the most part he polished, clarified, and strengthened his claims.

The word retractatione literally means "going over the ground again," hence maybe a clearer title for English readers would be "Revisions" or perhaps "Reconsiderations," or maybe even the more elaborate "Theological Reminiscences". Retractione, by contrast, suggests retreat.

It's a small point, perhaps, but I think not only that scholarship demands that kind of precision, but also that a proper grasp of Augustine's final efforts better preserves the integrity, or unity, of his theological work. Just as it is imprecise to say there is an earlier and a later Wittgenstein, as if he presented two wholly different systems simpliciter, so it is incorrect to see in the "Retractions" a dishevelled or ultimately defeated St. Augustine.

That is all. Back to your cubicle.


D.J. Skull-Fog said...

Yeah, I just got some money from the automatic ATM machine.

the Cogitator said...

Nice! Good job on a job well done.

e. said...

You guys are very unique.

the Cogitator said...

Thanks, e., but I prefer to think of myself as a uniquely one of a kind individual in a category all by itself.