Glasses from hell


In this still from the movie The Name of the Rose Sean Connery holds up to his eyes a couple of seriously old-fashioned spectacles. The movie, which is an adaption of Umberto Eco’s novel Il nome della rosa from 1980, is set in the Middle Ages and spectacles were at that time very advanced technology; so advanced that some believed them to be the work of the devil. Of course everything out of the ordinary was in the Middle Ages perceived as something devilish, but this is interesting because spectacles or glasses are such common things today. It is an example of the truly enhancing that has gone from being very foreign to us to being as normal as clothes.

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2 Comments on "Glasses from hell"

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Lara Eva Sochor

Glasses are a good example of how humans are able to readily accept forms of enhancement as a means of therapy. I really like that you brought up such an ‘ancient’ example as well, as it brings to the foreground, that enhancement at least in the therapeutical sense has a long tradition to look back onto and that we do indeed have some reliable historical data here from which to draw conclusions concerning therapeutical enhancements nowadays and how they will fare with society.

Maria O'Connell

This is one of my favorite novels. It was interesting how much of the story actually does deal with suspicion of any human enhancement or improvement, even against reading. The glasses are a great example and show how enhancement is treated with suspicion, and as a loss of the human, through loss of imperfection, however innocuous.