The boy in The Road/Kalos

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  • 10 Apr 2016 at 9:49 pm #8257

    Glass
    Member

    A lovely meditation on the Greek word Kalos by the philosopher Crispin Sartwell recalls the boy in The Road.

    The Greek words for beautiful (kalos) and beauty (to kalon) have moral as well as aesthetic force. They refer to “nobility” as well as what we would think of as direct visual beauty. But these terms also have an epistemic dimension; they are connected to the idea of knowledge. All of these meanings might be brought together in a notion of “illumination:” the kalos is above all, we might say, what is drenched in light. The noble soul is the clearly illuminated soul, and such a soul will be beautiful.

    (Crispin Sartwell, Six Names of Beauty 88)

    When I read this, I thought of the passsage at the end of TR in which the father is on his death bed being tended to by his son:

    “He watched him come through the grass and kneel with the cup of water he’d fetched. There was light all about him. He took the cup and drank and lay back…He took the cup and moved away and when he moved the light moved with him.” (277 Vintage International paperback)


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    11 Jul 2016 at 6:41 am #8453

    dfiel1
    Member

    Thanks v much for your beautiful post
    Angels seemed to glow like that in classical thought plus see also Matthew 17 where Christs face ” did shine as the sun…”
    For CM the innocence of childhood , more specifically of a son , elicits some of his greatest passages. Has any writer ever written such a book of love of a father for a son? Compare hemingways nick stories and the distance there
    Then compare the beautiful dream of the son for the father carrying the fire in No country
    Many boys seek fathers especially the boy in the orchard keeper who memorably finds 2 !
    The boy almost does not comprehend death in his innocence when he goes back to reclaim the hawk
    The boy meeting the woodsman ( the orchard keeper ! ) in The Road surely is what all fathers want for their sons To always protect them and that light


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    11 Jul 2016 at 6:48 pm #8455

    Glass
    Member

    Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for fleshing it out with some of your own ideas on fathers and sons. Interesting stuff.


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