Afflatus

September 29, 2008

AFFLATUS – n. formal a divine creative impulse or inspiration.

Click on the word to check out the wikipedia reference for this one.  It even includes a reference to the aeolian harp, part of the previous word of the day.  What a coincidence!

A common usage of this word is in the phrase “the divine afflatus” (which seems a little redundant given the definition).  The ancient Greeks believed that the divine afflatus was behind most art and creation.  The Divine Afflatus is also a chapter in the book “Prejudices: Second Series” by H. L. Mencken.  In the chapter, Mencken argues for the existence and validity of the divine afflatus.  It is very well written.

I found a few bands called Afflatus but only one of them sounded any good.  You can listen to most of their CD, Autumn’s Urgency, here.  It’s like a rock, reggae mix.  Not bad.

A search for “afflatus” brought up a Time article from 1939 entitled “Mr. Bilbo’s Afflatus.”  It is completely unrelated to the word of the day but I found it fascinating and horrifying and I feel like it is important to be aware of those aspects of our history.  So I’m including it with today’s word of the day.

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