For those of us that are sitting quietly in the back row and following you very closely could you please include the book you are quoting from?
Thank you, Jay
, for your 'back row" interest!
That quote comes from an Appendix to a book Ortega published in 1923 entitled El tema de nuestro tiempo
("The Theme of Our Time"). Unfortunately, the title was translated into English as "The Modern Theme." This is the most egregious of many mistakes that have been made in translating Ortega's works: first
, because of the direct literal translation that I have given above, and second
, because what Ortega menat by "the theme of our time" was the ovecoming of the Idealism of so-called "Modern Philosophy" that began with Descartes in the sixteenth century and came into question at the end of the 19th century. In 1916, Ortega had written an essay entitled Nada moderno, pero muy siglo veinte
("Nothing Modern, but Very Twentieth Century"), where we can see the beginnings of this rejection. Today we might call him "Post-Modern," if that designation did not imply agreement with many other philosophers who have been labeled as such.
The Modern ThemeObras Completas
All the quotes are my own translations from the original Spanish, and I've tried to stay as close to the original meaning as possible, even though it leads to some awkwardness at times. So you will find that the wording that I have provided differs somewhat from that appearing in the published translation.
In the case of Ortega's translation of the famous quote from the Hindu, I consulted several online sources, including a Hindu encyclopedia, and the wording I chose was the closest I could come to both the original words in Spanish by Ortega and the intended meaning of the phrase from other sources. The Spanish is "Nada de eso, nada de eso," which literally would be "Nothing of that, nothing of that." The published translation gives: "Nothing of that kind, nothing of that kind," which does not appear in any of the sources I consulted.
Also, I retained Ortega's spelling of the Hindu name, even when I learned that the current spelling in English is "Yajnavalkya." [The accents on the Hindu letters do not reproduce on these postings.]
If you're interested in the sources for any of the other quotes, I'd be glad to provide them. I hope to include more lengthy passages of Ortega's thoughts on "definition" as posts to this thread in the near future, and I'll include citations to the same passages in other English translations, if they are available.