Katolik Shinja asked me for my ideas on the Syanxis meme:
We are then able to assemble, as it were, our own personal synaxis (gathering together) of saints. What are yours, and why?
He went on to specify four synaxes: saints, literary, musical, and philosophical.
Though I’ve answered similar questions as part of the Friday 5, I went ahead and answered anyway. Here are my synaxes, which include individuals both alive and dead:
Saintly: Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Murray Gell-Mann, and of course Galileo. Plus a translator for old Galileo.
Let’s face it, these guys are the saints of the new era. From them we get many of the miracles that are essential to our world, imagination, way of life, and health, and the importance of science, invention, and unfettered imagination. And besides, I can think of only a couple of Christian Saints I’m particularly interested in meeting: Augustine and Francis, and I couldn’t even talk to them without a translator’s aid.
Philosophical: Soren Kierkegaard, Kong Fu Tse (Confucius), Gemisthus Plethon, Michel Foucault, and Ernest Schumacher. Plus translators.
A lot of these guys have strong values and strong, honest, important, and dangerous doubts. Schumacher would be the one to steer them onto a particularly fruitful course, I think.
Musical: Charlie Parker (whom I appreciate more and more as time goes by); John Coltrane; Sonny Rollins; Sidney Bechet; and Hamiet Bluiett.
This would be a hell of a sax quintet. I’d be in the front row bootlegging every damned second of it.
Literary: I’m imagining a composite monster here, maybe an AI made up of five consciousnesses that could compose these amazing hybrid novels, without all the personal stuff they’d actually fight over as individuals getting in the way. Let’s see: Ralph Ellison; George Orwell; Maureen McHugh; Bruce Sterling; and Olaf Stapledon.
Sadly, only one woman listed in any of my Synaxes. Unfortunately I don’t know any female saxophonists of note (Ms. Dulfer is not of note), or philosophers, or major scientists of more note than those mentioned above. Ursula K. Le Guin was almost on my list, but having recently read some McHugh I have her on my mind.
I tag nobody, but anyone who wishes can take a hack at this. Let me know if you do!