By Albert Jack
From the foreign bestselling writer of Red Herrings and White Elephants—a curious consultant to the hidden histories of vintage nursery rhymes.
Who used to be Mary fairly opposite, or Georgie Porgie? How may well hi there Diddle Diddle provide an important astronomy lesson? Do Jack and Jill really symbolize the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette? And if Ring round the Rosie isn’t concerning the plague, then what's it rather about?
This booklet is a unusual, curious, and occasionally sordid examine the reality in the back of renowned nursery rhymes that uncovers the unusual stories that encouraged them—from Viking raids to political riot to smuggling slaves to freedom.
Read Albert Jack's posts at the Penguin Blog.
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Additional resources for Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes
379. , 382. 32 Wilhelm Dilthey, Aufbau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaften (Stuttgart: Suhrkamp, 1970), 347. KWAN TZE-WAN 44 authentic meaning of action. ”33 In the review of Jaspers’ new book around 1920, Heidegger pointed out that man’s life experiences can not be adequately handled with Husserl’s theory of intentionality, because life experiences are in the last analysis not “objective,” but “historical” through and through. e. as an object for historical study, but as an “actualization-historical” (vollzugsgeschichtliches) 34 phenomenon.
With the publication of the three Critiques, Kant drew a balance sheet for nearly all major philosophical problems hitherto discussed. The Kantian system can also be regarded as a “subjective” one as it seems to be revolving around the question of human activities as pivotal phenomena. But given this unmistakable tendency toward a theory of subjectivity, Kantian philosophy on the whole seems to distinguish itself from the rest of the modern subjectivistic tradition to the extent that Kant remained mindful of the human finitude and has been very careful about not transgressing its limits.
30 In a word, historicality is a close parallel of temporality, and can be considered a “more concrete working out” (konkretere Ausarbeitung)31 of the latter, which often appears too high-sounding and abstract. In the context of life situations, personal as well as social, historicality turns out to be of much higher relevance. In fact, with Windelband’s dictum “man is an historical animal” or Dilthey’s notion of man as “historical being” (geschichtliches Wesen), 32 a tradition of tracing the root of history back upon man himself was already taking shape.
Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes by Albert Jack