Log24

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Void

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

From "Elegy to the Void," by Cathleen Schine, New York Review of Books , issue dated Nov. 24, 2011—

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Didion famously wrote in The White Album . Blue Nights  is about what happens when there are no more stories we can tell ourselves, no narrative to guide us and make sense out of the chaos, no order, no meaning, no conclusion to the tale. The book has, instead, an incantatory quality: it is a beautiful, soaring, polyphonic eulogy, a beseeching prayer that is sung even as one knows the answer to one’s plea, and that answer is: No.

Blue Nights  is a sequel of sorts to The Year of Magical Thinking , Didion's story of the year following the death on December 30th, 2003, of her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne.

Related material:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111117-NYTobits1030AM.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111117-DidionBikini.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111117-BlackAlbum.jpg

For some context, see

  1. Cosmic Banditos in this journal,
  2. the Fall 1997 newsletter of the Institute for Advanced Study,
  3. and Oppenheimer's Aria.

For a different link to that aria, see a journal entry dated December 28, 2003.
(Click link, scroll down.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday December 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:22 AM
The State of Grace,
Author of
Hamlet

Today’s Harvard Crimson:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061212-Crimson.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The texts in question are said
to be manuscripts of
Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,”
and “The Library of Babel.”

The latter deals (like
The Mountains of Pi“)
with literature that can
be seen as the result
of a random process–
such as the lottery in
another story by Borges.

A less sinister lottery
is that of Pennsylvania–
known to some as
 “the Keystone State.”
I prefer to think of it as
the State of Grace.”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051016-Mont.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click on picture for details.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061212-PAlottery.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The “NITE” number 108 leads us
naturally to 1/08:

 Sunday, January 08, 2006

For Stephen Hawking’s Birthday

Epigraphs to the classic novel Cosmic Banditos:

God does not play dice with the universe. –Albert Einstein

Not only does God play dice with the universe, but sometimes he throws them where they cannot be seen. –Stephen Hawking

Today’s Pennsylvania Lottery numbers:

Mid-day 722 7/22, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
Evening 399 Page 399, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations of 1919.

 

This (and yesterday’s “DAY” number 133)
suggests we consult page 133 of
Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
of 1919.  At the top of this
page we find…

“O day and night,
but this is wondrous strange!”

Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5

Another figure from 1/08,
St. Mary Magdalene, might,
adapting the words of Borges,
offer the following observation:

“Shakespeare’s text and the lottery’s
are verbally identical, but the second
is almost infinitely richer.
(More ambiguous, detractors will
  say, but ambiguity is richness.)”

Related material: 11/22.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Sunday January 8, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

For Stephen Hawking’s Birthday

Epigraphs to the classic novel Cosmic Banditos:

God does not play dice with the universe. –Albert Einstein

Not only does God play dice with the universe, but sometimes he throws them where they cannot be seen. –Stephen Hawking

Today’s Pennsylvania Lottery numbers:

Mid-day 722 7/22, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
Evening 399 Page 399, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations of 1919.

Friday, July 9, 2004

Friday July 9, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM

Scoop

This afternoon I came across, in a briefcase I seldom use, two books I had not looked at since I bought them last month:

  • The Footprints of God, a recently published paperback by Greg Iles, a writer who graduated from Trinity High School, Natchez, Mississippi, in 1979, and from the University of Mississippi in Oxford in 1983.
  • Sanctuary, by the better-known Mississippi writer William Faulkner.

At the time I purchased the books, indeed until I looked up Iles on the Web today, I was not aware of the Mississippi connection.  Their physical connection, lying together today in my briefcase, is, of course, purely coincidental.  My view of coincidence is close to that of Arthur Koestler, who wrote The Challenge of Chance and The Roots of Coincidence, and to that of Loren Eiseley, who wrote of a dice game and of "the Other Player" in his autobiography, All the Strange Hours.

A Log24 entry yesterday referred to a comedic novel on the role of chance in physics, Cosmic Banditos.  Today's New York Times quotes an entertainer who referred to President Bush yesterday, at a political fund-raiser, as a bandito.  Another coincidence… this one related directly to the philosophy of coincidences expounded jokingly in Cosmic Banditos.

I draw no conclusions from such coincidences, but they do inspire me to look a little deeper into life's details — where, some say, God is.  Free association on these details, together with a passage in Sanctuary, inspired the following collage:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040709-FritoReba.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Related Texts

Faulkner on a trinity of women
in Sanctuary (Ch. 25):

"Miss Reba emerged from behind the screen with three glasses of gin. 'This'll put some heart into us,' she said. 'We're setting here like three old sick cats.'  They bowed formally and drank, patting their lips.  Then they began to talk.  They were all talking at once,* again in half-completed sentences, but without pauses for agreement or affirmation."


"In Defense of the Brand":

"When I was helping Frito corn chips expand its core user group in the mid-'90s, we didn't ask Frito-Lay to just wave the Fritos banner. The brand was elevated to a place where it could address its core users in a way that was relevant to their lifestyle. We took the profile of the audience and created a campaign starring Reba McEntire. It captured the brand's essence, and set Frito eaters amidst good music, good people, and good fun."

Song lyric, Reba McEntire:
 
"I might have been born
just plain white trash,
but Fancy was my name."

Loren Eiseley, 
Notes of an Alchemist:

I never found
the hole in the wall;
I never found
Pancho Villa country
where you see the enemy first.
— "The Invisible Horseman"

Thursday, April 3, 2003

Thursday April 3, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:12 PM

Musical Metaphysics

Some background for my journal entries of  April 2, 2003 (Symmetries), of March 31, 2003 (Sunday Lottery), and of March 28, 2003 (Bright Star):

In memory of

Today’s site music (see midi console at top right of screen) is “All or Nothing at All.”

In view of the Sunday Lottery entry of March 31 and of Starr’s hits,  this song might be retitled “007 or 256.”

In view of Draper’s hit

“Tell all the folks that
  this life’s a game of poker….”

the following article is of interest:

“GOD MAY PLAY DICE with the universe, as Einstein once feared, but serious gamblers, scorning metaphysical crapshoots and the casino’s house edge, prefer no-limit Texas hold’em poker….”

— James McManus, Boston Globe, Sunday, March 30, 2003

Two other quotes, epigraphs to the classic novel Cosmic Banditos, seem relevant:

God does not play dice with the universe.
— Albert Einstein

Not only does God play dice with the universe, but sometimes he throws them where they cannot be seen.
— Stephen Hawking

Those who prefer Jewish metaphysics can consult the related book

Seinfeld and Philosophy:
A Book about Everything and Nothing
.

Powered by WordPress