[DWJ] Incoherent Notes on THB and Shelley

Kyra Jucovy arykiy at gmail.com
Wed Oct 1 22:00:14 EDT 2014

On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 1:00 AM, <hschinske at aol.com> wrote:

> Kyra, I hate to spoil the story about Plotinus, but I think that's
> probably a mistranslation. I suspect the apparent reference to menstruation
> has more to do with contemporary theories of embryology, and he means
> something more like what we would call protoplasm -- raw people-stuff. In
> other words, beauty isn't about flesh and blood.
> Helen, I can't say I'm not disappointed that your erudition is getting in
the way of my amusement, but I have to admit I'm not surprised - it always
seemed too good to be true ;-)  I suppose what helped to mislead me is that
I encountered the same mistranslation twice, once in the printed text where
I first encountered Plotinus and then again on the Internet.  Presumably,
the logical explanation is that this translation is the readily available
one because it is an older (and thus less colloquial by my standards) one
that's therefore public domain, which explains both its prevalence and its
oddity.  If I must love Plotinus less, then I guess I can transfer some of
my affection to the translator, who somehow not only managed to translate
the original so bizarrely but also succeeded in having it become the
standard public domain version that would then be propagated forever on the
Internet ;-)

> Helen Schinske

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kyra Jucovy <arykiy at gmail.com>
> -"Now what is the beauty here? It has nothing to do with the blood or the
> menstrual process." -Plotinus, "On the Intellectual Beauty"
> <http://thriceholy.net/Texts/Ennead5.html#eighth> (This has nothing to do
> with DWJ or Shelley, but I just needed to quote it because Plotinus totally
> does say: "Why do we think women are beautiful? It certainly isn't because
> they menstruate!" and I think that is the funniest thing anyone has said
> ever.)
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