domingo, 20 de janeiro de 2013

Atenção: finalmente parece ter acontecido um livro importante no mundo ocidental.

Depois de duas tentativas confusas que se ficaram por um aquecimento inicial, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997) e uma desistência a dois quilómetros da meta, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), Jared Diamond candidata-se finalmente, com seriedade, a inscrever o seu nome na galeria imortal dos corredores de fundo. Em breve facultarei às massas o meu veredicto para que as massas possam dizer de sua justiça, em prol da minha boa relação com as massas.
Young people are not the private property of their parents: rather, they are free to move from dwelling to dwelling, finding love as they choose from a wide range of potential carers of different ages. Diamond is wholly convincing when he celebrates the emotionally secure, self-reliant, good-humoured and creative human beings produced by such collectivist methods of childcare. Why, he asks, don’t we in the West straightforwardly embrace these tried-and-tested methods of preserving the mental health of future generations?

We hear much anguished discussion about the accelerating disappearance of birds and frogs as our Coca-Cola civilisation spreads over the world, but much less attention has been paid to the disappearance of our languages. Looming over us today is the tragedy of the impending loss of most of our cultural heritage. Diamond is scathing in his criticism of those opinionated progressives – particularly English speakers – who see no reason why their own language should not be the only one left. He invites us to reverse roles here. While Shakespeare can be translated into Mandarin, we English speakers would regard it as a loss to humanity if Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy were available only in Mandarin translation. In his usual authoritative way, Diamond concludes his discussion of language loss by surveying the many proven cognitive benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism, reminding us that for a whole community to be monolingual is in evolutionary terms unusual – a historically recent aberration.
Para a totalidade da crítica: aqui.

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