Sunday, June 24, 2007

the beloved #2

From a review in the TLS of Shadi Bartsch's The Mirror of the Self:

" 'Mirrors were discovered in order that man might know himself', declares Seneca, shortly after he has told us about one Hostius Quadra, a Roman who lined his bedroom walls with magnifying mirrors so that he could watch himself 'shared between a man and a woman and exposed to penetration in his whole body' "

For Plato, the mirror ...... is located in the eyes of the loved one and it reflects not the self as it is seen by others but the divine that has contact with the truth. The lover sees his own ideals mirrored in the eyes of the beloved, who in turn sees his own beauty mirrored in the eyes of his lover; both are spurred on by this vision of the divine in themselves to engage in a quasi-erotic activity of philosophical dialogue and to ascend to a more direct vision of the divine."

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