TEXT 78: Aetius 1.20.2 = Dox.Gr. p. 318 (271 U)
Epicurus [says that] void, place, and space differ [only] in name.
I stumbled on Epicurus’ writings (or rather those of his students) in one of these silly millennial ways. When looking for an image of a bust on Google images, I was lucky to be curious enough to read further.
It is not often that I find an ancient writing of which I think ‘I should really get into this’ (except for a weakness for Socrates). Usually, books that I get very enthusiastic about are not written and published earlier than 2010, or in some philosophical cases before 1980. But how to get into Epicurus’ writing through the available pocket publications specifically translated (curated) in order to indeed seem that fresh to me – mainly by putting his philosophy under a big umbrella of ‘how to find happiness in your contemporary life with ancient writing [read: ancient writing = very intelligent connotations]’. Which might even ironically be ‘influenced’ by Foucault’s work on subjectivity (or life as a work of art). Of course, I’m not of the philosophical type that is about getting the gist, a concise meaning reached through close examination of details in the writing and their relationship with the whole that can thereby be considered true, of a certain ‘original’ text. However, I’d like to be able to see the differences, gaps and incompatibility of such an original text with the experience of my time. That is where my philosophical friends often show a mixture of admiration and frustration when talking to me about my interpretations: they are only focused on a part and usually interested in where the text unintentionally rebels against itself by being preserved to this time. How do I solve this? I get the most boring, unaesthetic publishing of his writing, based on the table of contents and a little bit of intuition.
So as soon as I’ve read about friendship and common support structures, ataraxia – the peace and freedom from fear and early ideas of voids and particles that make up our material reality, I will come back with how that could all connect with contemporary curating of contemporary art.
coming up: Epicurating? – ‘curatorial rambling on friendship, support and falling’