Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
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Monday, December 14, 2009
The rendezvous was at the famous Milan race track of San Siro. We were to fight in the paddock. Arriving there shortly after dawn with my seconds, I remembered that only a few weeks before the place had cost me money. This time something else was involved.Aldo Nadi, On Fencing, here recounting his (only) duel, in 1923. A worthwhile read, particularly for his willingness to both support tradition: "It would be utterly ridiculous for anyone to ignore or change traditions which are centuries old" and to break with it: "If you hear tell of eight foil parry positions, from prime to octave, just say it isn't so. Do not lose your time: the overwhelming majority of the world's fencers, including the best, have never used more than six."
UPDATE: I should mention that while reading On Fencing, I came across mention of a fencing treatise by Descartes, and immediately thought, "Why haven't I read this?!" Oh--it's lost. Even with my suspicion that it wasn't very good (Descartes soldiering never struck me as wholehearted): melancholia.
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