Mandelstam on Hellenism
Hellenism is a cooking pot, oven tongs, an earthenware jug of milk, household utensils, dishes, all the things that surround a human body; Hellenism is the warmth of the hearth recognized as something holy; it is any possession that connects a man with some part of the world outside himself. … Hellenism is a man deliberately surrounded with utensils instead of with indifferent objects, the turning of indifferent objects into utensils, humanizing the surrounding world, warming a man with a gentle teleological warmth. Hellenism is any stove beside which a man sits and enjoys the warmth as something akin to his internal warmth. … Hellenism is the system, in the Bergsonian meaning of the word, which a man sets up around himself.
Translation by Robert Tracy