Publishing the Forbidden. All Rights Reserved. © Samizdat 2014-2022.

Search Results

Nakamura: Magic Enchants Us with the Possible Made Real

“Neo-Assyrian magical figurine work conjures and materializes a primordial secret: if apotropaic magic names that which wards off and turns away evil, then evil is nothing other than the insidious reality that humans themselves create their own creators and make their own world.”

Carolyn Nakamura

Nakamura: the āšipu was Master of the Figurines

“There is a sense here of Derrida’s (1994) autonomous automaton, the animate puppet with a will of its own that yet obeys some predetermined program. By containing, concealing, and hiding these magical figures, the priest has made his mastery of their power complete.”

Nakamura: Magic Produces Wonder

The Sensuous Metaphysics of Magic: Mutual Constitution and Correspondence “The representation of a wish is, eo ipso, the representation of its fulfillment. Magic, however, brings a wish to life; it manifests a wish.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough (Miles and Rhees 1971) “Implicit in Wittgenstein’s aphorism that magic “manifests a wish” is the […]

Nakamura: More on Magic and Archeology

Magic Presents More Than It Represents “The magical object is nothing less than confounding; like Marx’s table, it is “an apparition of a strange creature: at the same time Life, Thing, Beast, Object, Commodity, Automaton — in a word, specter” (Derrida 1994:152). Like that other odd Table-thing, the magical object presents: the contradiction of automatic autonomy, mechanical […]

Is the šãru the Solution to the Impossibly Long Antediluvian Reigns?

“Regardless of the names, however, it is apparent that when the formula for calculating the actual length of reigns is applied, the figures on Berossos’ list of ancient Sumerian kings are amenable to precisely the same treatment as the original Sumerian King List. This indicates that Berossos was thoroughly familiar with the Sumerian system of computing […]

Recalculating the Antediluvian Reigns of Sumerian Kings

“At one time the present writer tended to interpret the large numbers associated with the Hebrew exodus from Egypt and also with the census lists in Numbers as “symbols of relative power, triumph, importance, and the like,” a position that can be sustained to a degree from ancient Near Eastern literature but does not account […]

On the Mythic Reigns of Antediluvian Kings in Sumeria

“Of the many fascinating and instructive artifacts that have been recovered from sites in Iraq where flourishing Sumerian cities once stood, few have been more intriguing than a prism now in the Weld-Blundell collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England. Known more popularly as the Sumerian King List, it is held to have been […]

About Samizdat

Samizdat explained!

Dead Men, Hollow Ghosts

” … But profoundly as I also feel the value of the religious impulse, so keenly do I feel the danger and almost necessary disaster of each and every creed and dogma. For the material of religion is essentially the uncharted, the ungrasped, as Herbert Spencer would say, though with a somewhat different connotation, the […]

Snake Kings

“The myths of the heroes of Athens, from Cecrops to Theseus, show them as kings, that is as functionaries, and, in primitive times, these functionaries assume snake-form. The daimon-functionary represents the permanent life of the group. The individual dies, but the group and its incarnation the king survive. Le roi est mort, vive le roi. […]