Pico della Mirandola

Ruthlessly skewering himself in Proteus, Stephen imagines his writings being rediscovered "after a few thousand years, a mahamanvantara. Pico della Mirandola like." His thought seems to have been prompted by reading Walter Pater's essay on the Italian Renaissance wunderkind philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94), an essay which helped to revive interest in Pico's writings in the late 19th century. Stephen's idea, augmented by the Hindu concept of the "great year," is that people in the distant future will recognize his genius, even though he went unappreciated in his own day.

JH 2018

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, painting by an unknown artist held in the Uffizi, Florence. Source: www.newworldencyclopedia.org.

Walter Pater, "from a group taken at Brasenose" (Bransenose College, Oxford), in an image of unknown provenance reproduced in Thomas Wright's The Life of Walter Pater (1907). Source: Wikimedia Commons.