Prehistoric bermudagrass or blue salamanders
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ISBN paperback: 9788498163179
El bermejino prehistórico o las salamandras azules is a story by Juan Valera that takes place along the Mediterranean. From Spain to Jerusalem, the characters meet and misencounter each other, facing the most dissimilar vicissitudes.
IFragment of the work
I have always been a science buff. When I was young, I had a thousand other hobbies; but as I am now old, the scientific hobby prevails and triumphs in my soul. Unfortunately or fortunately, something very unique happens to me. I like the sciences in inverse proportion to the truths that they demonstrate with exactitude. So I am hardly interested in the exact sciences, and the inexact ones make me fall in love with them. Hence my inclination towards philosophy.
It is not the truth that seduces me, but the effort of discourse, subtlety and imagination that goes into discovering the truth, even if it is not discovered. Once the truth is discovered, well demonstrated and patent, it usually leaves me cold. Thus, a gallant young man, when he goes down the street in pursuit of a woman, whose graceful gait and figure excites him, and then goes forward, looks at her face and sees that she is old, or one-eyed, or has a monkey’s snout.
Man, moreover, would be a piece of furniture if he knew the truth, even if the truth were beautiful. He would be stilled in his possession and enjoyment and become foolish. It is better, therefore, that we know few things. What matters is to know enough for the mystery to appear or to be solved, and never enough for it to be explained or clarified. In this way curiosity is excited, fantasy is enlivened, and theories, dogmas, and other ingenuities are invented to entertain and console us during our earthly existence; all of which we would lack, being a thousand times more unhappy, if the mystery did not present itself to us by sheer rudeness, or if by sheer skill we were able to unravel its deep and true meaning.
Among these inexact sciences, which delight me so much, there is one, very fashionable nowadays, which is the object of my predilection. I am talking about prehistory.
I, without knowing if I am right, divide this science into two parts. One, which I would dare to call geological prehistory, is based on the discovery of skulls, shafts, arrows and spears, potsherds and other pottery, which the learned suppose to be of a very remote age, which they call stone. This prehistory amuses me less, and has, in my opinion, far fewer sets than another prehistory that we will call philological, based on the study of primitive languages and the documents that are preserved written in them. This is the prehistory that I find most amusing.
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