Dr Pedro Blas Gonzalez is a writer and philosopher who holds a PhD in Philosophy. He has written five books: Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega y Gasset’s Philosophy of Subjectivity; Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality and Autonomy; Ortega’s The Revolt of the Masses and the Triumph of the New Man; Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay and Dreaming in the Cathedral.
SOURCE: SENSES OF CINEMA, thank you.
ON FIRST ENCOUNTERING John Huston’s old prospector, Howard (Walter Huston), in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), our immediate impression is one of sheer delectation. Howard is wisdom personified. He is also a fine example of the Socratic dictum, “know thyself.”
Howard represents that rare form of contentment that is more readily found in literature than is often exercised by people in real life. He guides the viewer through a meticulous rendering of how avarice debilitates its victims — this, regardless of the latter’s treachery and craftiness. Howard reminds us of what Havelock Ellis has to say about morals in The Dance of Life: “There is no separating pain and pleasure without making the first meaningless for all vital ends and the second turn to ashes. To exalt the meaning of pain; and we cannot understand the meaning of pain unless we understand the place of pleasure in the art of life.”(1)