Log24

Sunday, January 6, 2019

At the Still Point . . .

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:08 PM

For Richard Marks, a film editor who reportedly died unexpectedly
at 75 in New York City on New Year's Eve —

Click to enlarge the inset.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

Then

And now.

Friday, April 29, 2016

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Continues.

"OK Baby, let's go dancing."
— Amy Adams in "American Hustle"

Click image below for some backstory.

Happy birthday to Uma Thurman.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

Scene from "The Debt" (2010)

Scene from "Jolene" (2008)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

At the Still Point (continued)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:07 AM

"Now I wanna dance, I wanna win.
I want that trophy, so dance good."

"C'est la vie , say the old folks.
It goes to show you never can tell.
"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:01 PM

Midrash on yesterday's midday NY lottery:

IMAGE- The dance from 'Beauty and the Beast'

"Everybody's doin' a brand new dance now…"

Saturday, June 15, 2013

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:05 PM

(Continued from yesterday's posts, "Object of Beauty"
and "Amy's Shadow")

A winner of a Nobel Prize for X-ray crystallography stands
at the head of the New York Times  obituary list today.

In memoriam —

X-Ray Vision

"Crystal Engineering in Kindergarten," by Bart Kahr:

"If the reader is beginning to suspect that Froebel’s
philosophy of spiritual crystallography is sometimes
incoherent I can confirm that this is so…."

Click images for some backstories.

Some further background:

The Times  follows yesterday's egregious religious error
with an egregious scientific error:

"The technique developed by Dr. Karle and Herbert A. Hauptman,
called X-ray crystallography, is now routinely used by scientists…."

Karle was reportedly born in 1918, Hauptman in 1917.

Wikipedia on the history of X-ray crystallography:

"The idea that crystals could be used as a 
diffraction grating for X-rays arose in 1912…."

The Nobel Foundation:

"The Nobel Prize in Physics 1914 was awarded to
Max von Laue 'for his discovery of the diffraction of
X-rays by crystals.'"

"The Nobel Prize in Physics 1915 was awarded jointly to
Sir William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg 
'for their services in the analysis of crystal structure
by means of X-rays.'"

Monday, May 16, 2011

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

(Continued from St. Michael's Day 2010 and Groundhog Day 2011)

From an obituary  of playwright Doric Wilson in this afternoon's online New York Times

In the early 1960s Mr. Wilson was one of the first resident playwrights at Caffe Cino— a coffeehouse considered by many to be the original Off Off Broadway performance space— on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village. Four productions by Mr. Wilson were staged there in 1961. Among them were “And He Made a Her,” in which Eve, of Adam and Eve, discovers that men objectify women, and “Now She Dances,” a caustic reshaping of Oscar Wilde’s trials for “gross indecency” in the 1890s as the story of Salome and John the Baptist….

Related material— Salome in this journal.

See also "Braids" from the date of Wilson's death.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

At the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:30 AM

It Goes to Show…*

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100929-StillPoint.jpg

* Context— ChuckBerry.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Midnight at the Still Point

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

From this journal —

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

m759 @ 12:00 AM
 
The Dance
(continued)

“… physicists are doing more
than ‘discovering the endless
 diversity of nature.’ They are
     dancing with Kali….”

Gary Zukav,
Harvard ’64

A photo from that same day—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100928-Tokyo081217.jpg

Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith),
and Keanu Reeves at a press conference for the
Tokyo premiere of "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
Photo taken on 17 December 2008. The film was
to premiere in Japan 19 December, 2008.

(Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

Related material: The links from this journal given above —

Harvard '64 and continued.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Still Point for a Dance

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance."

— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

See also a recurrent image
from this journal —

IMAGE- The ninefold square .

Monday, June 20, 2016

Plan 9 Continues

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

See …

At the Still Point … (February 12, 2008)

For Balanchine's Birthday (January 9, 2007)

Go Set a Structure (Various dates)

and …

Monday, May 16, 2016

Jew at the Glitter Ball

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

The title refers to Frederick Seidel and
to a post of April 29, "At the Still Point."

Monday, May 4, 2015

Light to Light

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

From yesterday —

Another remark on "still light" —

                                      " . . . After the kingfisher's wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world." — Four Quartets

Note the page number, 168, in the above quote from Capobianco.

From another page 168,*  a reproduction of a title page —

"In quella parte del libro…."

IMAGE- Detail of p. 168 in Brooker's 'Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews,' showing title page of Eliot's 'Dante' with epigraph from Dante's 'Vita Nova'

* In Jewel Spears Brooker's book
  T.S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews ,
  Cambridge University Press, 2004

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sermon

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Epigraphs from Parallelisms of Complete Designs
by Peter J. Cameron (Cambridge University Press, 1976)

Introduction
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning
(T. S. Eliot: Little Gidding)

I  The existence theorem
Here the impossible union
Of spheres of existence is actual
(T. S. Eliot: The Dry Salvages)

II  The parallelogram property
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
(T. S. Eliot: Little Gidding)

III  Steiner points and Veblen points
You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again?
(T. S. Eliot: East Coker)

IV  Edge-colourings of complete graphs
And hollyhocks that aim too high
Red into grey and tumble down
(T. S. Eliot: East Coker)

V  Biplanes and metric regularity
Two and two, necessarye conjunction,
Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
Whiche betokeneth concorde.
(T. S. Eliot: East Coker)

VI  Automorphism groups
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
(T. S. Eliot: Burnt Norton)

VII  Resolutions and partition systems
… fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors .. .
(T. S. Eliot: The Dry Salvages)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Haaretz Valentine

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:12 PM

See a Haaretz  story commemorating the Feb. 14,
1917, birthday of a crystallographer.

Related material in this journal —

At the Still Point (June 15, 2013):

IMAGE- The dance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The illustration is for those who, like Andy Magid and
Steven Strogatz in the March 2014 AMS Notices,
enjoy the vulgarization of mathematics.

Backstory: Group Actions (November 14, 2012).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Group of Eight*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"Everything's coming up Snow White."

— Anne Billson, May 14, 2013

For Charlize:

"Snow, Glass, Apples," by Neil Gaiman

* See Saturday's post At the Still Point

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Black Hole Revisited

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Backstory: The two previous Log24 posts
Raiders of the Lost Aleph (May 14) and
The Crying of Bucharest (May 15).

The following sequence of images was suggested by
Peter Woit's May 16 post "One Ring to Rule Them All."

Also from Devil's Night 2008:

From the May 16 Nobel Symposium talk discussed in
Woit's "One Ring to Rule Them All":

Related material:

All Souls' Day at the Still Point (Nov. 2, 2003) and

Frodo and the Oxford Murders (Oct. 13, 2011).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chromatic Plenitude

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:00 PM

(Continued from 2 PM ET Tuesday)

“… the object sets up a kind of frame or space or field 
within which there can be epiphany.”

— Charles Taylor, "Epiphanies of Modernism,"
Chapter 24 of Sources of the Self
(Cambridge U. Press, 1989, p. 477) 

"The absolute consonance is a state of chromatic plenitude."

Charles Rosen

"… the nearest precedent might be found in Becky Sharp .
The opening of the Duchess of Richmond's ball,
with its organization of strong contrasts and
display of chromatic plenitude, presents a schema…."

— Scott Higgins, Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow:
Color Design in The 1930s 
, University of Texas Press,
2007, page 142

Schema I    (Click to enlarge.)

Note the pattern on the dance floor.

(Click for wider image.)


Schema II 

"At the still point…" — Four Quartets

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Midnight in Oslo (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:29 AM

Last evening's Geometry of the Dance discussed
a book on the Norwegian mathematician
Niels Henrik Abel. The post dealt with the group
S4 of 24 permutations of a 4-element set.

                                                    "In that open field
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
On a summer midnight, you can hear the music…."

— The dance in Four Quartets

For a summer midnight related to the group S4,
see Midnight in Oslo from last August.

"At the still point…." — T. S. Eliot

"…a dance results." — Marie-Louise von Franz

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The David Waltz…

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

In Turing's Cathedral

"At the still point" — T. S. Eliot

In memory of David L. Waltz, artificial-intelligence pioneer,
who died Thursday, March 22, 2012—

  1. The Log24 post of March 22 on the square-triangle theorem
  2. The March 18 post, Square-Triangle Diamond
  3. Remarks from the BBC on linguistic embedding
    that begin as follows—
         "If we draw a large triangle and embed smaller triangles in it,
          how does it look?"—
    and include discussion of a South American "tribe called Piranha" [sic ]
  4. The result of a Cartoon Bank search suggested by no. 3 above—
    (Click image for some related material.)
  5. A suggestion from the Cartoon Bank—
    IMAGE- 'Try our new grid view.'
  6. The following from the First of May, 2010

    The Nine Divisions of Heaven–

    Image-- Routledge Encyclopedia of Taoism, Vol. I, on the Nine Heavens, 'jiutian,' ed. by Fabrizio Pregadio

    Some context–

    IMAGE- The 3x3 ('ninefold') square as Chinese 'Holy Field'

    "This pattern is a square divided into nine equal parts.
    It has been called the 'Holy Field' division and
    was used throughout Chinese history for many
    different purposes, most of which were connected
    with things religious, political, or philosophical."

    – The Magic Square: Cities in Ancient China,
    by Alfred Schinz, Edition Axel Menges, 1996, p. 71

  7. The phrase "embedding the stone" —

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pensée

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM
 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Politics

 m759 @ 9:16 PM

"Should we arbitrate life and death
at a round table or a square one?"

 Wislawa Szymborska

See also the two previous posts,
Disturbing Archimedes and Tesseract.

Related material—

See also At the Still Point (a post in memory of film editor Sally Menke).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shine On, Edmundo

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 PM

"… if you will, a cha-cha on the floor of the Grand Hotel Abyss."

Harvard student's essay on Jack Nicholson in the ballroom of "The Shining"

"At the still point, there the dance is."

Four Quartets

Related material on the transition from "Do" to "Be" on Friday, October 21st—

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Castle Rock

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:29 PM

Happy birthday to Amy Adams
(actress from Castle Rock, Colorado)

"The metaphor for metamorphosis…" —Endgame

Related material:

"The idea that reality consists of multiple 'levels,' each mirroring all others in some fashion, is a diagnostic feature of premodern cosmologies in general…."

Scholarly paper on "Correlative Cosmologies"

"How many layers are there to human thought? Sometimes in art, just as in people’s conversations, we’re aware of only one at a time. On other occasions, though, we realize just how many layers can be in simultaneous action, and we’re given a sense of both revelation and mystery. When a choreographer responds to music— when one artist reacts in detail to another— the sensation of multilayering can affect us as an insight not just into dance but into the regions of the mind.

The triple bill by the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Rose Theater, presented on Thursday night as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival, moves from simple to complex, and from plain entertainment to an astonishingly beautiful and intricate demonstration of genius….

'Socrates' (2010), which closed the program, is a calm and objective work that has no special dance excitement and whips up no vehement audience reaction. Its beauty, however, is extraordinary. It’s possible to trace in it terms of arithmetic, geometry, dualism, epistemology and ontology, and it acts as a demonstration of art and as a reflection of life, philosophy and death."

— Alastair Macaulay in today's New York Times

SOCRATES: Let us turn off the road a little….

Libretto for Mark Morris's 'Socrates'

See also Amy Adams's new film "On the Road"
in a story from Aug. 5, 2010 as well as a different story,
Eightgate, from that same date:

A 2x4 array of squares

The above reference to "metamorphosis" may be seen,
if one likes, as a reference to the group of all projectivities
and correlations in the finite projective space PG(3,2)—
a group isomorphic to the 40,320 transformations of S8
acting on the above eight-part figure.

See also The Moore Correspondence from last year
on today's date, August 20.

For some background, see a book by Peter J. Cameron,
who has figured in several recent Log24 posts—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110820-Parallelisms60.jpg

"At the still point, there the dance is."
               — Four Quartets

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Midnight in the Garden (continued)–

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Tracking Shot

IMAGE- Cinema column dated Oct. 1, 2009

Related material—

IMAGE- Quote from Hoyle's 'October the First is Too Late'

See also this journal's September 2009 posts.

This  post was suggested by today's previous post and by today's NY Lottery.
For some background to the ioncinema.com post numbered 4210 above,
see, in conjunction with the page headed "Azazel" linked to here earlier today,
the ioncinema.com post numbered 5601.

“Stranger, dreams verily are baffling and unclear of meaning,
and in no wise do they find fulfillment in all things for men.

For two are the gates of shadowy dreams,
and one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory.
Those dreams that pass through the gate of sawn ivory
deceive men, bringing words that find no fulfillment.
But those that come forth through the gate of polished horn
bring true issues to pass, when any mortal sees them.

But in my case it was not from thence, methinks,
that my strange dream came.”

Homer, Odyssey , Book 19

Translation by A.T. Murray, in two volumes.
Harvard University Press, 1919

Quoted in a press release for the film "Two Gates of Sleep."

From the post numbered 460 in this  journal—

At the still point from the film "Absolute Power" :

IMAGE- Gene Hackman and Judy Davis dance in 'Absolute Power'
Photo credit – Graham Kuhn

I’ve heard of affairs that are strictly plutonic,
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

Marilyn Monroe, modeling a Freudian slip

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cramer’s Bridge

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM

A comment yesterday at Peter Woit's weblog—

Glenn says:
March 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Perhaps John G. Cramer’s prediction will come true after all?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein%27s_Bridge_(book)

Of course, in that case, the proof would exist on a world-line
inaccessible to any living observer.

New York Lottery—

IMAGE- NY Lottery March 15, 2011- Midday 016, Evening 928

Related material:

From the weblog of Cramer's daughter Kathryn on Feb. 28—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110315-SF16.jpg

For 928. see the two posts from last year's 9/28 in this journal—

Midnight at the Still Point and Brightness at Noon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Origin

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"the predicate* of bright origin"

— A phrase of Wallace Stevens quoted here yesterday

One origin, noted here on January 25

IMAGE- Detail of a photo by Richard Newton at flickr.com

This commemorated the death of noted discographer Brian Rust.
Rust appears in today's New York Times  obituary index—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110202-NYTobits.jpg

Also in today's obituaries: artist Alan Uglow, who reportedly died on January 20.

A link ("Noland") from this journal on that date leads to… a geometric origin.

At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

What Stevens's "predicate" is, I do not know.
Eliot's predicate would seem to be "still."

Related material—  The dance from "Pulp Fiction"** illustrated here
on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels last year.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110202-StillPoint100929-303w.jpg

* Some background for the Hall of Philosophy (yesterday's post)—
"Unity of the Proposition" at Wikipedia and at Oxford University Press.

** A flickr.com page gives examples. (The link is thanks to The Ghost Light).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Star Wars

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100627-TahomaAster.jpg

The above asterisk, from the Tahoma font, suggests
a figure from "Diablo Ballet" (Jan. 21, 2003)—

At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

Another asterisk figure,  
from Twelfth Night 2010—

Kenneth Nolad, 'Play,' 1960. Noland died on January 5, 2010.

Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

Rubén Darío

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Symbology

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

At the Still Point

Headline from a weblog at
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

8:07 AM March 24, 2010–

Obama, Netanyahu doing
a complicated little dance

Related recent quotation here–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100324-vonFranz.gif

See also

A Dance Results,

St. Augustine's Day 2006, and

Religious Symbolism at Harvard

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050807-Howard.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Great Brown

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Today's New York Times on a current theatrical presentation of The Great Gatsby

"Throughout the show, the relationship between what is read and its context keeps shifting, with the real world finally giving way entirely to the fictive one."

Owl Eyes in The Great Gatsby

"This fella's a regular Belasco."

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100204-DavidBrownSm.jpg

David Brown, producer. Brown died on Monday.

From The Diamond as Big as the Monster in this journal on Dec. 21, 2005–

"At the still point, there the dance is.” –T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Eliot was quoted in the epigraph to the chapter on automorphism groups in Parallelisms of Complete Designs, by Peter J. Cameron, published when Cameron was at Merton College, Oxford.

“As Gatsby closed the door of ‘the Merton College Library’ I could have sworn I heard the owl-eyed man break into ghostly laughter.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

Related material: Yesterday's posts and the jewel in Venn's lotus.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday July 31, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 PM
Again with the…

ALLURE

at The New York Times.

For previous notes on
allure at the Times, see
St. Luke’s Day, 2008,
and its links.

Teaser at the top of
this afternoon’s Times’s
online front page:

Vampires Never Die:
In our fast-paced society,
eternity has a special
allure.” (With fanged
illustration)–

NYT teaser, 'Vampires Never Die'

Yesterday’s afternoon entry was
related to both the July 13th death
of avant-garde artist Dash Snow
and the beauty of Suzanne Vega.

A reference to Vega’s album
“Beauty & Crime” apppeared here
on the date of Snow’s death.
(See “Terrible End for an
Enfant Terrible
,” NY Times,
story dated July 24.)

The Vega entry yesterday was, in
part, a reference to that context.

Suzanne Vega album cover, 'Beauty and Crime'

In view of today’s Times
teaser, the large picture of
Vega shown here yesterday
(a detail of the above cover)
seems less an image of
pure beauty than of, well,
a lure… specifically, a
vampire lure:

Suzanne Vega as Vampire Bait

What healthy vampire
could resist that neck?

To me, the key words in the
Times teaser are “allure”
(discussed above) and “eternity.”

For both allure and eternity
in the same picture
(with interpretive
symbols added above)
see this journal on
January 31, 2008:

Abstract Symbols of Time and Eternity

Jean Simmons and Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus

This image from “Black Narcissus”
casts Jean Simmons as Allure
and Deborah Kerr, in a pretty
contrast, as Eternity.

For different approaches to
these concepts, see Simmons
and Kerr in other films,
notably those co-starring
Burt Lancaster.

Lancaster seems to have had
a pretty good grasp of Allure
in his films with Simmons
and Kerr. For Eternity, see
“Rocket Gibraltar” and
“Field of Dreams.”

For less heterosexual approaches
to these concepts, see the
continuing culture coverage of
the Times— for instance, the
vampire essay above and the
Times‘s remarks Monday on
choreographer Merce Cunningham–
who always reminded me of
 Carmen Ghia in “The Producers”–

Carmen Ghia from 'The Producers'

Related material:

“Dance of the Vampires”
in “At the Still Point
 (this journal, 1/16/03).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday April 25, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:22 PM
State of Play

Russell Crowe in 'State of Play'

The Russell Crowe
Hotel Puzzle

by John Tierney

"Russell Crowe arrives at the Hotel Infinity looking tired and ornery. He demands a room. The clerk informs him that there are no vacancies…."

Footprints from California today
(all by a person or persons using Firefox browsers):

7:10 AM
http://m759.xanga.com/679142359/concepts-of-space/?
Concepts of Space: Euclid vs. Galois

8:51 AM
http://m759.xanga.com/689601851/art-wars-continued/?
Art Wars continued: Behind the Picture

1:33 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/678995132/a-riff-for-dave/?
A Riff for Dave: Me and My Shadow

2:11 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/638308002/a-death-of-kings/?
A Death of Kings: In Memory of Bobby Fischer

2:48 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/691644175/art-wars-in-review–/?
Art Wars in review– Through the Looking Glass: A Sort of Eternity

3:28 PM and
http://m759.xanga.com/684680406/annals-of-philosophy/?
Annals of Philosophy: The Dormouse of Perception

4:28 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/641536988/epiphany-for-roy-part-i/?
Epiphany for Roy, Part I

6:03 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/641949564/art-wars-continued/?
At the Still Point: All That Jazz

6:22 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/644330798/where-entertainment-is-not-god/?
Where Entertainment is Not God: The Just Word

7:14 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/643490468/happy-new-yorker-day/?
Happy New Yorker Day– Class Galore

7:16 PM
http://m759.xanga.com/643812753/the-politics-of-change/?
The Politics of Change: Jumpers
 

"Relax," said the night man.
"We are programmed to receive."
— Hotel California
 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday January 10, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM
A Russian Doll

Introduction

The 3x3 square

For details of the story,
click on the images.

Chapter I:

'The Power Of The Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts,' by Rudolf Arnheim

Chapter II:

Cover of 'Nine Stories' with 'Dinghy' at center

Chapter III:

Natasha’s Dance

Orson Welles with chessboard


and the following quotation:

There is no landing fee in Avalon,
 or anywhere else in Catalina.”

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday November 23, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
At the Still Point

This morning’s entry quoted Ezra Pound:

“The first credential we should demand of a critic is his ideograph of the good.”

Dance critic Clive Barnes died Wednesday. Pound may have whispered his advice in St. Peter’s ear when Barnes stood before the Janitor Coeli at heaven’s gate. If so, another angel may have whispered in the other ear,

“Vide Forever Fonteyn.”

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday August 30, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Poetry and Politics* —

Movie-Teller

"… maybe it was McCain's role as 'movie-teller' that he cherishes most– the man who used to narrate the plots of films to his fellow PoWs in the compound. 'I must have told a hundred movies,' says McCain. 'Of course I don't know a hundred movies– I made them up.'"

The Guardian, quoted here on McCain's birthday, August 29, 2006. (McCain's birthday nine years earlier was the date of Judgment Day in "Terminator 2.")

A story from McCain's
birthday this year:

 

"Hail Sarah!"
Newsweek

Sarah Connor, mother of the savior in 'Terminator 2'

"At the still point,
there the dance is."

Four Quartets

"… the Four Quartets themselves appear, in all their complexity, as the poetry of simple civic virtue– the poetry of a poet trying to read the writing of the law that has become all but illegible. This, you may say, has nothing to do with poetry. On the contrary, it is one of the few truly hopeful signs that this civic virtue could once more be realized poetically."
 

— Erich Heller, quoted here
on August 25, 2008
(Feast of St. Louis)

Related material:

St. Sarah's Day,
 
The Dance:
5/24

See also the remarks of St. Augustine and others on time (August 28 entry) and, from May 24,  a song hook thanks to Cyndi Lauper:


* Also known as smoke and mirrors.
 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday June 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM
The Dance

At the still point,
there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot,
quoted here in the entry
of 2:45 AM Friday

In memory of
Eugenio Montejo,
Venezuelan poet who
died at around midnight
on Thursday night:

Excerpt form 'Sobremesa'-- 'Talking Across the Table'-- by the late Eugenio Montejo

From an obituary:

Montejo’s work “reached a wider audience thanks to the 2003 film ’21 Grams’ by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

In one scene, Sean Penn’s character quoted a line from a 1988 poem by Montejo. It reads: ‘The earth turned to bring us closer. It turned on itself and in us, until it finally brought us together in this dream.'”

Related material:

A link in the entry of
 2:45 AM Friday to
“The Cha-Cha-Cha Theory
of Scientific Discovery”
and a news story from the
Cannes Film Festival
dated May 18, 2007,
that features Inarritu:

Filmmakers form
cha cha cha

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday June 6, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM
The Dance of Chance

"Harvard seniors have
every right to demand a
    Harvard-calibre speaker."

— Adam Goldenberg in
The Harvard Crimson

"Look down now, Cotton Mather"

— Wallace Stevens,
Harvard College
Class of 1901

For Thursday, June 5, 2008,
commencement day for Harvard's
Class of 2008, here are the
Pennsylvania Lottery numbers:

Mid-day 025
Evening 761

Thanks to the late
Harvard professor
Willard Van Orman Quine,
the mid-day number 025
suggests the name
"Isaac Newton."

(For the logic of this suggestion,
see On Linguistic Creation
and Raiders of the Lost Matrix.)

Thanks to Google search, the
  name of Newton, combined with
  Thursday's evening number 761,
suggests the following essay:

Science 10 August 2007:
Vol. 317. no. 5839, pp. 761-762

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE:
The Cha-Cha-Cha Theory
of Scientific Discovery

Daniel E. Koshland Jr.*

* D. E. Koshland Jr. passed away on 23 July 2007. He was a professor of biochemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1965. He served as Science's editor-in-chief from 1985 to 1995.
 


What can a non-scientist add?

Perhaps the Log24 entries for
the date of Koshland's death:

The Philosopher's Stone
and The Rock.

Or perhaps the following
observations:

On the figure of 25 parts
discussed in
"On Linguistic Creation"–

5x5 ultra super magic square

"The Moslems thought of the
central 1 as being symbolic
of the unity of Allah.
"

— Clifford Pickover  

"At the still point,
there the dance is.
"

— T. S. Eliot,
Harvard College
Class of 1910

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday February 12, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 AM
At the Still Point

Roy Scheider in 'All That Jazz'

The Lives of Jazz, by Gerald Early: Feb. 12 premiere of Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned in January of 1924 by Paul Whiteman for an experimental concert of popular music. It was… premiered at Aeolian Hall in New York City on February 12, 1924 with the composer at the piano.” —Matthew Naughtin

“Whiteman’s concept of the ‘true form of jazz,’ even as late as 1924, was the original Dixieland Jazz Band’s 1917 recording of… Livery Stable Blues, with which he opened the program.” —The New York Times

For another sort of livery stable blues, see Readings for Candlemas (Log24, Feb. 2, 2008).

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday July 1, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:06 AM
At the still point,
there the dance is.
— T. S. Eliot

Humphrey Carpenter in The Inklings, his book on the Christian writers J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, says that

“Eliot by his own admission took the ‘still point of the turning world’ in Burnt Norton from the Fool in Williams’s The Greater Trumps.”

The Inklings, Ballantine Books, 1981, p. 106

Today’s Birthdays: …. Actress-dancer Leslie Caron is 76…. Movie director Sydney Pollack is 73….  Dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is 66. –AP, “Today in History,” July 1, 2007

The Diamond within the Mandorla

The Diamond
in the Mandorla

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Tuesday May 1, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM
May 1, 2007
2:45 AM

I could tell you a lot,
but you gotta be
true to your code.
— Sinatra

At the still point
— Eliot

George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm

da ist der Tanz;
Doch weder Stillstand noch Bewegung.
Und nenne es nicht Beständigkeit,
Wo Vergangenheit und Zukunft sich sammeln.

 
IMAGE- Scenes from 'Der Einsatz' with ninefold square

 
to put one's back
into something
bei etwas
Einsatz zeigen
to up the ante
den Einsatz erhöhen
to debrief den Einsatz
nachher besprechen
to be on duty
im Einsatz sein
mil.to be in action im Einsatz sein
to play for
high stakes
mit hohem
Einsatz spielen

"Nine is a very
powerful Nordic number
."
— Katherine Neville,
The Magic Circle

Happy Walpurgisnacht.
 

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Tuesday November 7, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM
A Game of Chess

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061107-McQueen.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"And these chessmen are men and women as they appear to themselves and to one another in this world. And the silver table is Time. And those who stand and watch are the immortal souls of these same men and women."

— C. S. Lewis,
The Great Divorce

I Ching chessboard

I Ching chessboard

Related material:

"At the still point,
there the dance is
"

and

Number and Time, by Marie-Louise von Franz
 

Friday, February 3, 2006

Friday February 3, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Washington Ballet

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060203-Dream.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

   At the still point

Related material:

Log 24, Sunday, January 29, 2006,

and links in the previous entry–

A Contrapuntal Theme and
Good Will Writing.

Beauty is momentary in the mind–
The fitful tracing of a portal;
But in the flesh it is immortal.

The body dies; the body’s beauty lives.
So evenings die, in their green going,
A wave, interminably flowing.
So gardens die, their meek breath scenting
The cowl of winter, done repenting.
So maidens die, to the auroral
Celebration of a maiden’s choral.

— Wallace Stevens,
   “Peter Quince at the Clavier”

Monday, December 26, 2005

Monday December 26, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
Language Game on
Boxing Day

In the box-style I Ching
Hexagram 34,
The Power of the Great,
is represented by

  The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Box34.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. .

Art is represented
by a box
(Hexagram 20,
Contemplation, View)

  The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Box20.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. .

  And of course 
great art
is represented by
an X in a box.
(Hexagram 2,
The Receptive)

  The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Box02.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. .

“… as a Chinese jar still   
Moves perpetually
 in its stillness”

“… at the still point,  
there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot 

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Jungian on this six-line figure:

“They are the same six lines that exist in the I Ching…. Now observe the square more closely: four of the lines are of equal length, the other two are longer…. For this reason symmetry cannot be statically produced and a dance results.”
 
— Marie-Louise von Franz,
   Number and Time


For those who prefer
technology to poetry,
there is the Xbox 360.

(Today is day 360 of 2005.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday December 21, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:07 PM
For the feast of
St. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald

The Diamond
as Big as
the Monster

From Fitzgerald’s The Diamond as Big as the Ritz:

    “Now,” said John eagerly, “turn out your pocket and let’s see what jewels you brought along. If you made a good selection we three ought to live comfortably all the rest of our lives.”
     Obediently Kismine put her hand in her pocket and tossed two handfuls of glittering stones before him.
    “Not so bad,” cried John, enthusiastically. “They aren’t very big, but– Hello!” His expression changed as he held one of them up to the declining sun. “Why, these aren’t diamonds! There’s something the matter!”
    “By golly!” exclaimed Kismine, with a startled look. “What an idiot I am!”
    “Why, these are rhinestones!” cried John.

From The Hawkline Monster, by Richard Brautigan:
 
    “What are we going to do now?” Susan Hawkline said, surveying the lake that had once been their house.
    Cameron counted the diamonds in his hand.  There were thirty-five diamonds and they were all that was left of the Hawkline Monster.
    “We’ll think of something,” Cameron said.

Related material:

“A disciple of Ezra Pound, he adapts to the short story the ideogrammatic method of The Cantos, where a grammar of images, emblems, and symbols replaces that of logical sequence. This grammar allows for the grafting of particulars into a congeries of implied relation without subordination. In contrast to postmodernists, Davenport does not omit causal connection and linear narrative continuity for the sake of an aleatory play of signification but in order to intimate by combinational logic kinships and correspondences among eras, ideas and forces.”

When Novelists Become Cubists:
    The Prose Ideograms of Guy Davenport,
    by Andre Furlani

“T.S. Eliot’s experiments in ideogrammatic method are equally germane to Davenport, who shares with the poet an avant-garde aesthetic and a conservative temperament.  Davenport’s text reverberates with echoes of Four Quartets.”

Andre Furlani

At the still point,
  there the dance is.”

—  T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets,
quoted in the epigraph to
the chapter on automorphism groups
in Parallelisms of Complete Designs,
by Peter J. Cameron,
published when Cameron was at
Merton College, Oxford.

“As Gatsby closed the door of
‘the Merton College Library’
I could have sworn I heard
the owl-eyed man
break into ghostly laughter.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Tuesday December 6, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 AM
Lasso
 
  In memory of…


CUERNAVACA, Mexico
– Spanish singer Gloria Lasso, who made her name recording romantic ballads in Latin America and Paris, died in her sleep on Sunday at her home in Cuernavaca. She was 83.

Today’s Harvard Crimson–

Pudding Show Features
Wild West Theme

From yesterday’s entry,
a tribute to Olivia Newton-John:

At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

Xanadu (1980)

For related material, see

Balanchine’s Birthday (1/9/03)
and Deep Game (6/26/04).

 For more on Balanchine,
Olivia Newton-John, Sunday,
 and Eliot’s “still point,”
see the previous entry.

For more Harvard humor,
see The Crimson Passion.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Monday October 31, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 2:00 AM
Balance

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix03/030109-gridsmall.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"An asymmetrical balance is sought since it possesses more movement. This is achieved by the imaginary plotting of the character upon a nine-fold square, invented by some ingenious writer of the Tang dynasty. If the square were divided in half or in four, the result would be symmetrical, but the nine-fold square permits balanced asymmetry."

— Chiang Yee, Chinese Calligraphy,
   
quoted in Aspen no. 10, item 8

"'Burnt Norton' opens as a meditation on time. Many comparable and contrasting views are introduced. The lines are drenched with reminiscences of Heraclitus' fragments on flux and movement….  the chief contrast around which Eliot constructs this poem is that between the view of time as a mere continuum, and the difficult paradoxical Christian view of how man lives both 'in and out of time,' how he is immersed in the flux and yet can penetrate to the eternal by apprehending timeless existence within time and above it. But even for the Christian the moments of release from the pressures of the flux are rare, though they alone redeem the sad wastage of otherwise unillumined existence. Eliot recalls one such moment of peculiar poignance, a childhood moment in the rose-garden– a symbol he has previously used, in many variants, for the birth of desire. Its implications are intricate and even ambiguous, since they raise the whole problem of how to discriminate between supernatural vision and mere illusion. Other variations here on the theme of how time is conquered are more directly apprehensible. In dwelling on the extension of time into movement, Eliot takes up an image he had used in 'Triumphal March': 'at the still point of the turning world.' This notion of 'a mathematically pure point' (as Philip Wheelwright has called it) seems to be Eliot's poetic equivalent in our cosmology for Dante's 'unmoved Mover,' another way of symbolising a timeless release from the 'outer compulsions' of the world. Still another variation is the passage on the Chinese jar in the final section. Here Eliot, in a conception comparable to Wallace Stevens' 'Anecdote of the Jar,' has suggested how art conquers time:

       Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness."

— F. O. Matthiessen,
   The Achievement of T.S. Eliot,
   Oxford University Press, 1958,
   as quoted in On "Burnt Norton"

Friday, January 7, 2005

Friday January 7, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:35 AM

A corpse will be
transported by express!

(Ideograms for Guy Davenport;
see also previous entry.)

At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

Illustration from
Tuesday, April 22, 2003:

Temptation


Locomotive

The Star
of Venus


Locomotion

Related material:
The Devil and Wallace Stevens

Friday January 7, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 AM

In Memory of
Guy Davenport

From the day Davenport died:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050104-Endgame.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“At Merton College, Oxford,
he wrote the first thesis on Joyce
to be accepted by the university.”

Today’s New York Times

From a very informative essay
on Davenport’s aesthetics:

“T.S. Eliot’s experiments
in ideogrammatic method
are equally germane to Davenport,
who shares with the poet
an avant-garde aesthetic and
a conservative temperament.
Davenport’s text reverberates
with echoes of Four Quartets.”

— Andre Furlani

At the still point, there the dance is.”

—  T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets,
quoted in the epigraph to
the chapter on automorphism groups
in Parallelisms of Complete Designs,
by Peter J. Cameron,
published when Cameron was at
Merton College, Oxford.

See also
Elegance.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Monday September 27, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Romantic Interaction
continued…

(See previous entry.)

From today’s Harvard Crimson:

Pudding Show Features
Wild West Theme

From yesterday’s entry,
a tribute to Olivia Newton-John:

At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

Xanadu (1980)

For related material, see

Balanchine’s Birthday (1/9/03)
and Deep Game (6/26/04).

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday September 26, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 PM

Romantic Interaction

(See previous entry.)

At the still point,
 there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot 

For Olivia Newton-John
on her birthday,
at 1:11:11 pm EDT

“Keep me suspended in time with you;
Don’t let this moment die.
I get a feeling when I’m with you
None of the rules apply.
But I know for certain
Goodbye is a crime;
So love if you need me,
Suspend me in time.”

— Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Sunday January 18, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:12 AM

A Living Church

"Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. But imagine what it would be to live with such men still living. To know that Plato might break out with an original lecture to-morrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song. The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare to-morrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before."

— G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

C. P. Snow on G. H. Hardy in the foreword to A Mathematician's Apology:

"… he had another favourite entertainment.  'Mark that man we met last night,' he said, and someone had to be marked out of 100 in each of the categories Hardy had long since invented and defined.  STARK, BLEAK ('a stark man is not necessarily bleak: but all bleak men without exception want to be considered stark')…."

S. H. Cullinane on religion and Hollywood:

"If the incomparable Max Bialystock were to remake 'Up Close and Personal,' he might retitle it 'Distant and Impersonal.'  A Google search on this phrase suggests

a plot outline for Mel Brooks & Co."

In memory of
producer Ray Stark,
an excerpt from that plot outline:

The Oxford University Press summary of

God:
Myths of the Male Divine,
by David Leeming and Jake Page

"They [Leeming and Page] describe the rise of a male sky God as 'the equal to, the true mate, of Goddess, who was still associated with Earth.' In the Iron Age, the sky God became more aggressive, separating from the Goddess and taking his place as the King God, as Zeus, Odin, and Horus. Ultimately he emerged as the creator, a more distant and impersonal force. Here Leeming and Page also illuminate an important trend–a sense that the divine is beyond gender, that it permeates all things (as seen in the Chinese Tao and En Sof of the Kabbalah). They see a movement in the biography of God toward a reunion with the Goddess."

As for the Goddess, see

Art Wars: Just Seventeen

(December 17, 2002). 

Stark, a saint among Hollywood producers, died yesterday, January 17.  If, as Chesterton might surmise, he then met Plato and Shakespeare in Heaven, the former might discuss with him the eternal Platonic form of the number 17, while the latter might offer the following links on Stark's new heavenly laptop:

Cartoon Graveyard and

Art Wars: At the Still Point

This concludes the tribute to Stark.  For a tribute to Bleak, click here.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Thursday January 8, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 PM

Natasha's Dance

"… at the still point, there the dance is…."

"… to apprehend
 The point of intersection of the timeless
 With time, is an occupation for the saint…. "

— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

It seems, according to Eliot's criterion, that the late author John Gregory Dunne may be a saint.

Pursuing further information on the modular group, a topic on which I did a web page Dec. 30, 2003, the date of Dunne's death, I came across a review of Apostol's work on that subject (i.e., the modular group, not Dunne's death, although there is a connection).  The review:

"A clean, elegant,
absolutely lovely text…"

Searching further at Amazon for a newer edition of the Apostol text, I entered the search phrase "Apostol modular functions" and got a list that included the following as number four:

Natasha's Dance:
A Cultural History of Russia
,

which, by coincidence, includes all three words of the search.

For a connection — purely subjective and coincidental, of course — with Dunne's death, see The Dark Lady (Jan. 1, 2004), which concerns another Natasha… the actress Natalie Wood, the subject of an essay ("Star!") by Dunne in the current issue of the New York Review of Books.

The Review's archives offer another essay, on science and religion, that includes the following relevant questions:

"Have the gates of death
been opened unto thee?
Or hast thou seen the doors
of the shadow of death?"

From my December 31 entry:

In memory of
John Gregory Dunne,
who died on
Dec. 30, 2003
:

For further details, click
on the black monolith.

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Sunday November 2, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:11 AM

All Souls' Day
at the Still Point

From remarks on Denis Donoghue's Speaking of Beauty in the New York Review of Books, issue dated Nov. 20, 2003, page 48:

"The Russian theorist Bakhtin lends his august authority to what Donoghue's lively conversation has been saying, or implying, all along.  'Beauty does not know itself; it cannot found and validate itself — it simply is.' "

From The Bakhtin Circle:

"Goethe's imagination was fundamentally chronotopic, he visualised time in space:

Time and space merge … into an inseparable unity … a definite and absolutely concrete locality serves at the starting point for the creative imagination… this is a piece of human history, historical time condensed into space….

Dostoevskii… sought to present the voices of his era in a 'pure simultaneity' unrivalled since Dante. In contradistinction to that of Goethe this chronotope was one of visualising relations in terms of space not time and this leads to a philosophical bent that is distinctly messianic:

Only such things as can conceivably be linked at a single point in time are essential and are incorporated into Dostoevskii's world; such things can be carried over into eternity, for in eternity, according to Dostoevskii, all is simultaneous, everything coexists…. "

Bakhtin's notion of a "chronotope" was rather poorly defined.  For a geometric structure that might well be called by this name, see Poetry's Bones and Time Fold.  For a similar, but somewhat simpler, structure, see Balanchine's Birthday.

From Four Quartets:

"At the still point, there the dance is."

From an essay by William H. Gass on Malcolm Lowry's classic novel Under the Volcano:

"There is no o'clock in a cantina."
 

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Tuesday January 21, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:09 PM

Diablo Ballet

Thanks to Meghan for the following:

not going, not coming,
rooted, deep and still
not reaching out, not reaching in
just resting, at the center
a single jewel, the flawless crystal drop
in the blaze of its brilliance
the way beyond.

— Shih Te (c. 730)

It turns out that Shih Te (“Foundling”) was the sidekick of Han Shan (“Cold Mountain”).  Here are some relevant links:

Thoughts of Robert Frost (see past two days’ entries) lead to “Two Tramps in Mud Time,” which in turn leads to Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder splitting wood in The Dharma Bums.

This in turn leads, via a search on “Kerouac” and “axe,” to the sentence

“There’s the grace of an axe handle 
 as good as an Eglevsky ballet,”

in Big Sur

Kerouac taught me when I was 16 and he is still teaching me now that I am 60.

Searching for “Eglevsky ballet” leads to this site on André Eglevsky, his work, his life, and his children.  A further search leads to his daughter Marina Eglevsky, who stages dance for the Diablo Ballet.

Born to Dance

Marina Eglevsky and
the Diablo Ballet —
a rare and gifted
pas de deux

Those who feel the above is too “arty” for them may nevertheless appreciate the movie by the same name: “Born to Dance” (1936), starring Eleanor Powell and James Stewart.

In the larger metaphorical sense, of course, Powell and Eglevsky are both part of the same dance… at the “still point” described so well by Shih Te. 

“just resting, at the center
a single jewel…”

At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

From Marshall’s Jewelers, Tucson —

A Diamond-Cutter Sutra:

The ideal cut is a mathematical formula for cutting diamonds to precise angles and proportions to maximize the reflection and refraction of light. In addition to these ideal proportions, the polish and symmetry of the diamond is done to the highest standards also. Only then does it qualify to receive the American Gem Society (AGS) “triple zero” rating. A “zero” rating is the most perfect rating that the AGS gives evaluating the cut, polish, and symmetry of the diamond.

When a diamond receives the “zero” rating for each of these areas, (cut, polish, and symmetry), it gets three “zeros,” hence the “triple zero” rating. Because of this attention to detail, it takes up to four times longer to cut a diamond to these standards than an “average” diamond.

You may choose to compromise on color or clarity but to ensure the most brilliant diamond you should not compromise on cut….

The “triple zero” ideal cut guarantees you a magnificent balance of brilliance, sparkle, and fire.

Postscript of 1/25/03:

See also the obituary of Irene Diamond, ballet patron, for whom the New York City Ballet’s “Diamond Project” is named.  Diamond died on January 21, 2003, the date of the above weblog entry.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Thursday January 16, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:05 PM

ART WARS
At the Still Point

At the still point, there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets

Humphrey Carpenter in The Inklings, his book on the Christian writers J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, says that

“Eliot by his own admission took the ‘still point of the turning world’ in Burnt Norton from the Fool in Williams’s The Greater Trumps.”

The Inklings, Ballantine Books, 1981, p. 106

Carpenter says Williams maintained that

It is the Christian’s duty to perceive “the declared pattern of the universe” — the “eternal dance” of Williams’s story The Greater Trumps — and to act according to it.

— Paraphrase of Carpenter, pp. 111-112

“The sun is not yet risen, and if the Fool moves there he comes invisibly, or perhaps in widespread union with the light of the moon which is the reflection of the sun.  But if the Tarots hold, as has been dreamed, the message which all things in all places and times have also been dreamed to hold, then perhaps there was meaning in the order as in the paintings; the tale of the cards being completed when the mystery of the sun has opened in the place of the moon, and after that the trumpets cry in the design which is called the Judgement, and the tombs are broken, and then in the last mystery of all the single figure of what is called the World goes joyously dancing in a state beyond moon and sun, and the number of the Trumps is done.  Save only for that which has no number and is called the Fool, because mankind finds it folly till it is known.  It is sovereign or it is nothing, and if it is nothing then man was born dead.”

The Greater Trumps, by Charles Williams, Ch. 14

If we must have Christians telling stories, let them write like Charles Williams.

Note that although Williams says the Fool Tarot card has no number, it is in fact often numbered 0. See

The Fool as Zero.”

See also Sequel — about the work, life, and afterlife of Stan Rice, husband of Anne Rice (author of The Vampire Chronicles) — and the following story from today’s N.Y. Times:

The New York Times, Jan. 16, 2003:

‘Dance of the Vampires,’
a Broadway Failure, Is Closing

By JESSE McKINLEY

In one of the costliest failures in Broadway history, the producers of “Dance of the Vampires,” a $12 million camp musical at the Minskoff Theater, will close the show on Jan. 25, having lost their entire investment.

Its gross for the week ending on Sunday [Jan. 12], $459,784, was its lowest, and that, finally, was the kiss of death for the show.

The death and arrival at heaven’s gate
of The Producers‘ producer, Sidney Glazier,
on Dec. 14, 2002, is described in the web page
Eight is a Gate.
 

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Thursday January 9, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:48 PM

Balanchine's Birthday

Today seems an appropriate day to celebrate Apollo and the nine Muses.

From a website on Balanchine's and Stravinsky's ballet, "Apollon Musagete":

In his Poetics of Music (1942) Stravinsky says: "Summing up: What is important for the lucid ordering of the work– for its crystallization– is that all the Dionysian elements which set the imagination of the artist in motion and make the life-sap rise must be properly subjugated before they intoxicate us, and must finally be made to submit to the law: Apollo demands it."  Stravinsky conceived Apollo as a ballet blanc– a "white ballet" with classical choreography and monochromatic attire. Envisioning the work in his mind's eye, he found that "the absence of many-colored hues and of all superfluities produced a wonderful freshness." Upon first hearing Apollo, Diaghilev found it "music somehow not of this world, but from somewhere else above." The ballet closes with an Apotheosis in which Apollo leads the Muses towards Parnassus. Here, the gravely beautiful music with which the work began is truly recapitulated "on high"– ceaselessly recycled, frozen in time.

— Joseph Horowitz

 

 

Another website invoking Apollo:

The icon that I use… is the nine-fold square…. The nine-fold square has centre, periphery, axes and diagonals.  But all are present only in their bare essentials.  It is also a sequence of eight triads.  Four pass through the centre and four do not.  This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason…. 

In accordance with these remarks, here is the underlying structure for a ballet blanc:

A version of 'grid3x3.gif.'

This structure may seem too simple to support movements of interest, but consider the following (click to enlarge):

As Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, paraphrasing Horace, remarks in his Whitsun, 1939, preface to the new edition of the Oxford Book of English Verse, "tamen usque recurret Apollo."

The alert reader will note that in the above diagrams, only eight of the positions move.

Which muse remains at the center?

Consider the remark of T. S. Eliot, "At the still point, there the dance is," and the fact that on the day Eliot turned 60, Olivia Newton-John was born.  How, indeed, in the words of another "sixty-year-old smiling public man," can we know the dancer from the dance?
 

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Saturday December 21, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

To Ophelia
at the Winter Solstice

Introduction

“There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling…

… is it of the Virgin’s silver beauty,
All fish below the thighs?
She in her left hand bears a leafy quince;
When, with her right hand she crooks a finger, smiling,
How many the King hold back?
Royally then he barters life for love.

Or of the undying snake from chaos hatched,
Whose coils contain the ocean,
Into whose chops with naked sword he springs,
Then in black water, tangled by the reeds,
Battles three days and nights,
To be spewed up beside her scalloped shore?”

— Robert Graves, “To Juan at the Winter Solstice”

Illustrations

The Virgin’s Beauty 

 On the Beach

A Maiden’s Prayer

Answered Prayer

Dialogue

Act III Scene ii:

Hamlet   Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Ophelia  No, my lord.
Hamlet   I mean, my head upon your lap?
Ophelia  Ay, my lord.
Hamlet   Do you think I meant country matters?
Ophelia  I think nothing, my lord.
Hamlet   That’s a fair thought to lie between maid’s legs.
Ophelia   What is, my lord?
Hamlet    Nothing.
Ophelia   You are merry, my lord.  
Hamlet    Who, I?
Ophelia   Ay, my lord.

Quotations

“Do you know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember nothing?” 
— T. S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”

At the still point, there the dance is.” 
— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

“I know what ‘nothing’ means….”
— Maria Wyeth in Play It As It Lays

“How do you solve a problem like Maria?”
— Oscar Hammerstein II

“…problems can be solved by manipulating just two symbols, 1 and 0….” 
— George Johnson, obituary of Claude Shannon

“The female and the male continue this charming dance, populating the world with all living beings.” 
— Leonard Shlain, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess,
    Penguin Arkana paperback, 1999, Chapter 17,
    “Lingam/Yoni” 

“According to Showalter’s essay*, ‘In Elizabethan slang, ‘nothing’ was a term for the female genitalia . . . what lies between maids’ legs, for, in the male visual system of representation and desire…. Ophelia’s story becomes the Story of O — the zero, the empty circle or mystery of feminine difference, the cipher of female sexuality to be deciphered by feminist interpretation.’ (222)* Ophelia is a highly sexual being…”

— Leigh DiAngelo,
   Ophelia as a Sexual Being

S. H. Cullinane: “No shit, Sherlock.”

*Showalter, Elaine. “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism.” Hamlet. Ed. Susanne L. Wofford. Boston: Bedford Books of St.Martin’s Press, 1994. 220-238.

Dénouement

Is that nothing between your legs
or are you just happy to see me?


See also The Ya-Ya Monologues.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Tuesday November 26, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:23 AM

Dancing about Architecture

The title’s origin is obscure, but its immediate source is a weblog entry and ensuing comments: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”

A related quote:

At the still point, there the dance is.”

— T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” in Four Quartets

“Eliot by his own admission took ‘the still point of the turning world’ in ‘Burnt Norton’ from the Fool in Williams’s The Greater Trumps.”

— Humphrey Carpenter, The Inklings (1978), Ballantine Books, 1981, page 106. Carpenter cites an “unpublished journal of Mary Trevelyan (in possession of the author).”

The following was written this morning as a comment on a weblog entry, but may stand on its own as a partial description of Eliot’s and Williams’s “dance.”

Three sermons on the Fool card, each related to Charles Williams’s novel The Greater Trumps:

To Play the Fool,
Games “Not Unlike Chesse,” and
Charles Williams and Inklings Links.

“Here is the Church,
Here is the steeple,
Open the door and see all the People.”

For some architecture that may or may not be worth dancing about, see the illustrations to Simone Weil’s remarks in my note of November 25, 2002, “The Artist’s Signature.”

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