Pearls of Wisdom brought to you by Charles Corm

I found this book at a friend’s house (can’t name him, too ashamed of having this book at his place without knowing about it), a book by Charles Corm, someone the editor of the book labels as: “Un grand libanais”. Of course “libanais” here refers to a bunch of people who survived 6000 years of persecution, seriously, this is written in the preface. This gem is dated from 1934. Check this out friends, oh, and it is written on the page before the start of the poem “translated from Lebanese”:

Langue des phéniciens, ma langue libanaise,
Dont la lettre est sans voix sous les caveaux plombés,
Langue de l’âge d’or, toi qui fus la genèse
De tous les alphabets;

ok… moving on:

Lorsque les Libanais, seuls après les Croisades,
Devant un adversaire encor plus acharné,
En ont dans leurs rochers rompu les barricades
Et l’assaut forcené

… i’m sure you guessed who’s the “adversaire encor plus acharné”… Because here is the best part:

Mon frère musulman, comprenez ma franchise:
Je suis le vrai Liban, sincère et pratiquant;
D’autant plus libanais que ma Foi symbolise
Le coeur du pélican

Si ma ferveur s’attache au dogme de l’Eglise,
C’est qu’Elle est à mes yeux l’universalité;
Car je ne peux croire en un dieu qui divise
L’immense humanité

This guy is really a trip. I decided to quote a little verse of his book “La montagne inspirée”, everytime I feel I am losing the grasp of reality.

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8 Responses to Pearls of Wisdom brought to you by Charles Corm

  1. phil says:

    unfortunately the legacy of the phoenicianists lingers on.

  2. JUST TO CLARIFY A POINT MADE BY THE PREVIOUS WRITER: MY FATHER CHARLES CORM WAS A STUDENT AT THE JESUIT SCHOOL WHERE HE WAS FRENCH EDUCATED SO “TRANSLATED FROM LEBANESE” MENT THAT HE WROTE WITH HIS LEBANESE HEART IN THE LANGUAGE HE STUDIED. FURTHERMORE, THE FOLLOWING QUOTE FROM THE SAME BOOK DEMONSTRATES THE LOVE HE HAD FOR HIS COUNTRY AND COUNTRY MEN OVER THEIR RELLIGION :
    ” …. S’IL REMET SES AIEUX PHOENICIENS A L’HONNEUR, C’EST PARCEQU’AVANT DE DEVENIR CHRETIENS OU MUSULMANS, ILS N’ETAIENT QU’UN MEME PEUPLE UNI DANS UNE MEME GLOIRE….. “

  3. bech says:

    That is not a quote from him but a quote of a commentary of him dear Virginie. I am sorry we are talking about your father, but according to his poetry he was a staunch Christian who thought of himself as the true heir of a fantasized country called Lebanon that stretched back in time to Phoenicians (who were a people going way beyond Lebanon).

    Il faut que tu comprennes sa franchise…

  4. SORRY BUT THIS IS A QUOTE FROM HIS BOOK ” LA MONTAGNE INSPIREE ” AND I THINK I KNOW VERY WELL MY FATHER HE WAS A GREAT SPIRITUAL BUT NOT A VERY RELIGIOUS PERSON HE RESPECTED ALL RELIGIONS AND HE ALWAYS TAUGHT US THAT THE REAL RELIGION WAS THE RESPECT OF OTHERS… PRINCIPLES AND BELIEVING IN A GOD FOR ALL !. . .
    BY THE WAY IN OUR FAMILY WE HAVE SO MANY MIXED MARRIAGES WHICH NEVER BOTHERED MY FATHER LEGACY ! MY MOTHER WAS A PROTESTANT BORN WHICH AT THE TIME OF THEIR WEDDING NO MARONITE VERY FANATIC WOULD HAVE DONE IT ! . . . HE RESPECTED HER SO MUCH THAT HE MOVED US TO THE COLLEGE PROTESTANT WHERE WE FINISHED OUR STUDIES BECAUSE ONE DAY AT THE FRANCISCAINE ONE NUN MADE A BAD REMARK ABOUT THE PRORESTANTS THE SECOND DAY MY FATHER MOVED US TO THE COLLEGE PROTESTANT … ” WITHOUT EVEN MY MOTHER KNOWLEGE ! . . . .”
    YOU ARE FREE TO THINK WHAT EVER YOU CHOOSE BUT THESE ARE SOME REALITIES THAT I KNOW SO WELL ! . . .

  5. I FORGOT TO TELL YOU THAT ALL GREAT CIVILIZATIONS WENT WAY BEYOND THEIR BORDERS…. AND THE PHOENICIAN WERE THE GREATEST TRAVELLERS OF THEIR TIME… IT IS NOT A SHAME TO HAVE HAD IN PRESENT LEBANON A GREAT HISTORY WHICH WENT BACK FOR SO MANY THOUSANDS OF YEARS…. ALL COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE PROUD OF THEIR HISTORY BUT WE THE LEBANESE WE WANT EVEN TO DESTROY THE PAST AND CONTINUE DESTROYING OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY !… SOOOO SAD ! . . . . .

  6. bech says:

    Well he still does not seem to respect ‘the others’ my dear Virginie all the time. There is this passage in La montagne inspiree that is absolutely beautiful and revealing:

    et comment pres de 2000 ans
    ils ont maintenu la croix au milieu des turbans
    depuis les mers de chine jusqu’en mediterrannee
    dans notre seul liban

    But hear me out here. let’s do a little intellectual exercise here, don’t you think Palestinians should claim to be Phoenicians too, and Syrians as well given that Phoenicians were all over the place? My question is why aren’t they doing it? and my second question is why Lebanese think Phoenicianism is something peculiar to them? Aren’t we writing history and incorporating people and social groups under the banner Lebanon in order to justify some form of uniqueness that this country should have in the present?

  7. If Lebanon existence annoys you so much . . . . . I think there is nothing to discuss !
    The Pheonicians went from Tyre, Sydon Berith, Byblos etc … And it happened that these cities were and still are on the cost of present Lebanon but if for you all the existence of this little country should disappear from Earth so there is nothing which could convince you of the existence of Lebanon ! !
    This is no more talking of any religion but using religion to destroy the existence of an entire population !
    The Phoenician only lived on the coast of present Lebanon and from these little cities they travelled all around the world ! ! !
    We are not saying that the Roman who came all over the Meditterranien sea were no more originated from present Italy ? Baalbeck is a Roman vestige but this does not make present Lebanon Italy or Greece or discuss the legacy of the Pharaons which is only in present Egypt !
    If because my father was born Christian makes him evil !
    I cannot comment on anything with you ! His poetry was very historical… unfortunatly history is not always beautiful and this to say from all sides …. I wish that people were as respectful of each other as one per cent of their blind fanatism
    The only thing I can say please talk with respect when you make comment about a dead person who cannot defend himself !
    Hope you enjoy life as our passage is quite short on the Planet which is not even a dust in the Universe ! Soyons realiste et oublions nos haines !
    V C C

  8. Bech says:

    Dear Virginie,
    Sorry to answer so late but was caught up in things. And it let me think more of your comment only to discover that you are not even answering the points I’m making.
    Here are my points:
    1- Through the last quote I gave you, I show you how Charles Corm through his poetry was not just a Christian believer (nothing wrong with that on the contrary) but one that thought he was in some sort of a clash with Muslims. Which is historically very far from political and social realities. Please read the quote.

    2- Phoenicians existed not just in present day territory of Lebanon but also Palestinian Syria and probably a bit of Turkey. It means they originated not just from Lebanon. They have traveled all over the world, yes, great for them, but not just from Lebanon. From all over the coastal area. So no need to claim heritage from the Phoenicians as something peculiar to the Lebanese, this is historical non-sense.

    And I want to answer a couple of point you are making now:

    1- I never called for hatred. On the contrary I call for bringing differences together in harmony. It is Charles Corm who called for some sort of differentiation when he wrote his phoenician-christian re-writing of history in order to differentiate some sort of true Lebanese from a fake one.

    2- I don’t lack respect for the dead, I just care to set the record straight. My father passed away too, and when I had to criticize positions he took, I did, but I never failed to respect him and be conscious of what I owe to him.

    Take care
    Bashir

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