Pan: pandemic


Pan: pandemic

‘Goat-horned ones of all peoples, unite!’

The name pandemic derives from the name of god Pan.

Pan means all: Πάν = παντός. Leastwise, according to folk etymology of the name of the god already evidenced in the Homeric hymn dedicated to him:

πάντες δ᾽ ἄρα θυμὸν ἔτερφθεν

ἀθάνατοι, περίαλλα δ᾽ ὁ Βάκχειος Διόνυσος:

Πᾶνα δέ μιν καλέεσκον, ὅτι φρένα πᾶσιν ἔτερψε.

(Then all the immortals were glad in heart and Bacchic Dionysus in especial; and they called the boy Pan because he delighted all their hearts.

Transl. by Hugh G. Evelyn-White)

(It is worth asking ourselves on the meaning of folk etymology, provided that the whole cultural history, from the time of Pan up to now, will reflect on Pan through the allegorical perspective as precisely the god of all there is. The double meaning in the name of Pan has been a fact before etymology established its claim to a hegemonic dominion over the legitimacy of meaning. But etymology uncovers the traces of the title in its archaic origin as follows: Πάν derives from Παων, which in turn refers to the name of a mighty Indo-European pastoral deity).

The pandemic, this freeze, this seeming freezing up of time in the vertical of the event, took me by surprise precisely at the time of my obsession with Pan. 

I was preparing to announce the return of the Great god Pan – in my latest book and in spellbound activity during the first days of springtime. 

Pan is here, invisible, yet ubiquitous, like what is unforeseeable, like what is the most obscure trace of hereness. He is nature itself.

Pan has returned.

Nature is once again forth-coming.