The Courage of Thought

by J.D. Ian Barton & Dr. Salvatore Ivan Italiano;
© (2018)

Aufklärung ist der Ausgang! Unfortunately, we Italians have been condemned to a mental oblivion which prevents us fully understanding this statement in our own language on account of the official Italian translation of Aufklärung having been inadequately rendered. This is a telling example of how any given regime of intended translation precepts of ‘equivalence’ can have real consequences in the minds of people. By way of definition ‘regime’ is any given cabal of soulless technicians who perceive in literature and poetry a means of advancing their own utilitarian objectives – i.e. private University whose unique aim is the money of prospective scholars and not certainly their education [The Law School Scam by Paul Campus. For-profit law schools are a capitalist dream of privatized profits and socialized losses. But for their debt-saddled, no-job-prospect graduates, they can be a nightmare].

In point of fact, the term Aufklärung (Rischiaramento is the correct and only possible Italian translation) is to be regarded as part of a wider conceptual perspective. When considering the real meaning it can be said to somehow re-activate the search for freedom of thought and will and scores the divide between ignorance and knowledge.

However, let us start from the beginning: the origin of the Italian word ‘luce’ goes back to the Sumerian root *luh (to purify). We find further traces of it in the Greek leukós (candid) – not to mention the epithet with which Apollon, the god of the sun, was named lykéios (the sender of daylight). Furthermore, in Lucifer (The Star of daybreak) who announces daylight. In Latin: lucere (to sparkle, to shine), lucescere (glimmering again, daybreak). From here derive some Italian names such as Lucio and Lucia. Then, Lux – the light.

However, this same Sumerian root *luh appears in Lucus, whose meaning is related to the meaning of ‘a land not destined for farming’, a place not to be touched by spades and/or hatchet. By extension of meaning, this ‘not to be touched place’ becomes a ‘sacred space’. This means that the Latin ‘Luce’ contains within its own definition and semantics two separate meanings: one is related to the ‘sparkling’ of the daylight which scatters darkness. The other refers to a ‘sacred place’ not to be touched by human activities because that ‘space’ is reserved to the holy epiphany.

The light (la luce) is Rischiaratrice Aufklärung, and not illuminante (illuminismo) for it makes things visible and is at the same time a thing that reveals itself. It is a substance also and not only a medium.

Dr. Salvatore Ivan Italiano
Dr. Salvatore Ivan Italiano

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