So I read a ton, A TON, and am always finding out new and interesting bits of information. I am creating the POI Pond category here to pass them along. Kind of like a koi pond, but full of shiny and colorful Points Of Interest. I am hoping that it will have a two fold effect; to help me remember said facts as well as to pass them along to others!
The first entry -“Hearsay” the hunchback.
Beginning in 1532, the French friar Francois Rabelais, began publishing a series of books that became know as the comic epic: Gargantua and Pantagruel. Looking into these books is interesting enough on its own as they were super controversial due to their obscene language, subject matter, and general love for the grotesque. they were meant as parody through the ridiculous. According to Rabelais, the philosophy of the giant Pantagruel, or “Pantagruelism”, was rooted in “a certain gaiety of mind pickled in the scorn of fortuitous things”. Awesome. However, I just stumbled across a character mentioned in the books known by the name Hearsay, whom I think is both interesting and relevant!
I am currently reading a great factual account of Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe in the 16th century, entitled Over The Edge Of The World by Laurence Bergreen. It is in this book that this POI is mentioned.
Hearsay was a blind hunchback who ran his own school and taught all the classes. He had seven tongues, which also had seven tongues, with which to teach various truths to many people. Basically, you went to school and learned whatever Hearsay wanted to teach you, and then walked away being a brilliant scholar of said information. Students often included those fairly high up in society.
It is basically the opposite of the Greek concept of autopsis, seeing for one’s self. This was an obvious effort at parody of the popular behavior of basically believing anything as truth not only if it was fantastic, but often because it was fantastic.
Seems like a relevant parody once again with the age of internet and television and the ability to pass along so much misinformation. So many of us choosing to believe what sounds good as opposed to what is actual factually correct. Hearsay vs Autopsis. Coming to theaters near you this summer… 3D.