Friday, August 2, 2013

Parts of a World

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM


IMAGE-Kristen Wiig in 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

"When an irresistible force such as you
meets an old immovable object like me…"

— From one whose name was writ in water*

* Scholia:  Art WarsConceptual Coffee, and Day of the Tetraktys

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Parts of a World

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 PM

Bruce Reynolds, chief architect of
the Great Train Robbery, who reportedly
died today:

"We all have our benchmarks….
it’s the same madness, I suppose,
that drives people to bivouac on
the north face of the Eiger."

For the Eiger in this journal, see "Parts of a World."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

Backstory  The Talented

Related material Parts of a World and Ace in the Hole.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brightness at Noon, continued

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

"One wild rhapsody a fake for another."

– Wallace Stevens, "Arrival at the Waldorf," in Parts of a World  (1942)

"Camelot is an illusion.

That doesn't matter, according to Catherine.
Camelot is an artificial construction, a public perception.
The things that matter are closer, deeper, self-generated, unkillable.
You've got to grow up to discover what those things are."

— Dan Zak, Washington Post  movie review on Feb. 27, 2009. See also this journal on that date.

See as well a note on symmetry from Christmas Eve, 1981, and Verbum in this journal.

Some philosophical background— Derrida in the Garden.

Some historical background— A Very Private Woman  and Noland.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Empire Room Strikes Back

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 PM

The New York Times  now offers a sequel to its philosophy series "The Stone"

"a sword that heals."

From the Times  City Room this afternoon—

Click to enlarge


"One wild rhapsody a fake for another."

— Wallace Stevens, "Arrival at the Waldorf," in Parts of a World  (1942)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


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

The late Hillard Elkins, producer of the erotic review "Oh! Calcutta!" —


The Well Dressed Man with a Beard

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house . . .

It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

— Wallace Stevens, from Parts of a World , 1942

Elkins died on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.

From this journal on that date


Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday June 19, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM
He wasn’t there
again today

Today’s New York Times:

NY Times ad for 'The God Who Wasn't There,' with  article on pages from medieval manuscripts

And then there are
gemlike numbers
   set free from words…

Today’s New York lottery:

NY Lottery Friday, June 19, 2009: Midday 354, Evening 431

 354, 431

These numbers also
name parts of a book
cited here Nov. 6, 2007:

                   … The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark….

— Wallace Stevens in
    Parts of a World, 1942

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday November 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 PM
The Third Person

Of Modern Art

The New York Times
November 6, 2007

More on the Career of
the Genius Who Boldly
Compared Himself to God


“Picasso… once said…

‘… No wonder his [Picasso’s] style is so ambiguous. It’s like God’s. God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things. The same with this sculptor….’

The comparison to God, like the use of the third person, was deliberate, of course.”

Of Modern Poetry

The poem of the mind
    in the act of finding
What will suffice ….
                            … It has
To construct a new stage.
    It has to be on that stage,
And, like an insatiable actor,
    slowly and
With meditation, speak words
    that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear
    of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it
    wants to hear, at the sound
Of which, an invisible
    audience listens,
Not to the play, but to
    itself, expressed
In an emotion as of
    two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one.
   The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark….

— Wallace Stevens in
    Parts of a World, 1942

Of Modern Metaphysics

“For every work [or act] of creation is threefold, an earthly trinity to match the heavenly.

First, [not in time, but merely in order of enumeration] there is the Creative Idea, passionless, timeless, beholding the whole work complete at once, the end in the beginning: and this is the image of the Father.

Second, there is the Creative Energy [or Activity] begotten of that idea, working in time from the beginning to the end, with sweat and passion, being incarnate in the bonds of matter: and this is the image of the Word.

Third, there is the Creative Power, the meaning of the work and its response in the lively soul: and this is the image of the indwelling Spirit.

And these three are one, each equally in itself the whole work, whereof none can exist without other: and this is the image of the Trinity.”

— Concluding speech of St. Michael the Archangel in a 1937 play, “The Zeal of Thy House,” by Dorothy Sayers, as quoted in her 1941 book The Mind of the Maker. That entire book was, she wrote, an expansion of St. Michael’s speech.

Related material:

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thursday January 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:48 AM
The Man Who Was Thursday:
An Introduction

“Wallace Stevens’s remarkable oeuvre is a quasi-spiritual quest for the supreme fiction, for a poetry that ‘must take the place / Of empty heaven and its hymns’ and thus help modern man find meaning in a godless world. The poet’s role, for Stevens, is that of high priest of the imagination: it is the poet who ‘gives to life the supreme fictions without which we are unable to conceive of it.’ ….
… Stevens’s hallmark ‘imagination-reality’ complex… is pursued almost obsessively in his poetry and prose of the 1940s. Parts of a World, published in 1942, and the poem-sequence of the same year, ‘Notes toward a Supreme Fiction’ (‘Notes’ was subsequently collected in Transport to Summer in 1947), comprise a prolonged meditation in a time of war on poetry and the poet’s role, in the face of what Stevens, in his essay ‘The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words,’ terms ‘the pressure of reality.’ Parts of a World is riven by its competing vocabularies. A discourse of desire, of process, of the poet’s contemplation of the mind in the act of finding what will suffice, is elaborated in ‘the never-resting mind’ of ‘The Poems of Our Climate’ and in ‘The Well Dressed Man with a Beard,’ in which ‘It can never be satisfied, the mind, never’ [occurs]. A very different idiom, that of the ‘hero’ or ‘major man,’ the figure of capable imagination, dominates and directs such poems as ‘Mrs Alfred Uruguay,’ ‘Asides on the Oboe’ and ‘Examination of the Hero in a Time of War,’ where

    Summer, jangling
         the savagest diamonds and
    Dressed in its
         azure-doubled crimsons,
    May truly bear
         its heroic fortunes
    For the large,
         the solitary figure.”

Lee M. Jenkins,
    University College Cork,
   “Wallace Stevens,”
    The Literary Encyclopedia,
    9 Dec., 2004.

For some related serious, but less solemn, remarks, click on the above date.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Saturday January 7, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:09 PM

Strange Attractor

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Epiphany Star

(See also the star as a
“spider” symbol in the
stories of Fritz Leiber.)

For Heinrich Harrer,
who died today…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060107-WhiteSpider.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Harrer was one of the 1938 team that first climbed the north face (the Nordwand, also called the Mordwand, or “death” face) of the Eiger.

Wikipedia on the north face of the Eiger:

“A portion of the upper face is called ‘The White Spider,’ as snow-filled cracks radiating from an ice-field resemble the legs of a spider. Harrer used the name for the title of his book about his successful climb, Die Weisse Spinne (translated… as The White Spider).”

Connoisseur of Chaos,”
by Wallace Stevens,
from Parts of a World (1942):


After all the pretty contrast of life and death
Proves that these opposite things partake of one,
At least that was the theory, when bishops’ books
Resolved the world. We cannot go back to that.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so . And yet relation appears,
A small relation expanding like the shade
Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.


The pensive man . . . He sees that eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

Related material:

Monday, June 6, 2005

Monday June 6, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Order and Disorder

From “Connoisseur of Chaos,”
by Wallace Stevens, in
Parts of a World, 1942:


A.  A violent order is a disorder; and
B.  A great disorder is an order.
    These Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)               


A.  Well, an old order is a violent one. This proves nothing.
    Just one more truth, one more
    Element in the immense disorder of truths.

B.  It is April as I write. The wind
    Is blowing after days of constant rain.
    All this, of course, will come to summer soon.
    But suppose the disorder of truths should ever come
    To an order, most Plantagenet, most fixed. . . .
    A great disorder is an order.
    Now, A And B are not like statuary, posed
    For a vista in the Louvre. They are things chalked
    On the sidewalk so that the pensive man may see.


    The pensive man . . . He sees that eagle float
    For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

Related material:
“Derrida on Plato on writing says ‘In order for these contrary values (good/evil, true/false, essence/appearance, inside/outside, etc.) to be in opposition, each of the terms must be simply EXTERNAL to the other, which means that one of these oppositions (the opposition between inside and outside) must already be accredited as the matrix of all possible opposition.’ “

Peter J. Leithart

See also

Skewed Mirrors,
Sept. 14, 2003

“Evil did not  have the last word.”
Richard John Neuhaus, April 4, 2005

Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone
a last a loved a long the


“There is never any ending to Paris.”
— Ernest Hemingway

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