Log24

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Araby

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM

An excerpt from "Araby," a short story by James Joyce—

At nine o'clock I heard my uncle's latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of his overcoat. I could interpret these signs. When he was midway through his dinner I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar. He had forgotten.

'The people are in bed and after their first sleep now,' he said.

I did not smile. My aunt said to him energetically:

'Can't you give him the money and let him go? You've kept him late enough as it is.'

My uncle said he was very sorry he had forgotten. He said he believed in the old saying: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' He asked me where I was going and, when I told him a second time, he asked me did I know The Arab's Farewell to his Steed . When I left the kitchen he was about to recite the opening lines of the piece to my aunt.

For a rather viciously anti-Catholic commentary, see Wallace Gray's Notes.

Update of 9:26 AM Oct. 22—

This is the same Wallace Gray who was an authority on Joyce at Columbia University and died on December 21, 2001. I prefer a different Columbia University Joyce scholar— William York Tindall (scroll down after clicking), who died on Sept. 8, 1981.

See also, from midnight a year after the date of Gray's death, Nightmare Alley.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Women’s History Month

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

Susanne for Suzanne

From pages 7-8 of William York Tindall’s Literary Symbolism  (Columbia U. Press, 1955)—

                                     ... According to Cassirer's Essay 
on Man, as we have seen, art is a symbolic form, parallel in respect 
of this to religion or science. Each of these forms builds up a universe 
that enables man to interpret and organize his experience; and each 
is a discovery, because a creation, of reality. Although similar in func- 
tion, the forms differ in the kind of reality built. Whereas science
builds it of facts, art builds it of feelings, intuitions of quality, and 
the other distractions of our inner life— and in their degrees so do 
myth and religion. What art, myth, and religion are, Cassirer con- 
fesses, cannot be expressed by a logical definition. 

Nevertheless, let us see what Clive Bell says about art. He calls 
it "significant form," but what that is he is unable to say. Having 
no quarrel with art as form, we may, however, question its signifi- 
cance. By significant he cannot mean important in the sense of 
having import, nor can he mean having the function of a sign; 
for to him art, lacking reference to nature, is insignificant. Since, 
however, he tells us that a work of art "expresses" the emotion of 
its creator and "provokes" an emotion in its contemplator,he seems 
to imply that his significant means expressive and provocative. The 
emotion expressed and provoked is an "aesthetic emotion," contem- 
plative, detached from all concerns of utility and from all reference. 

Attempting to explain Bell's significant form, Roger Fry, equally 
devoted to Whistler and art for art's sake, says that Flaubert's "ex- 
pression of the idea" is as near as he can get to it, but neither Flaubert 
nor Fry tells what is meant by idea. To "evoke" it, however, the artist 
creates an "expressive design" or "symbolic form," by which the 
spirit "communicates its most secret and indefinable impulses." 

Susanne Langer,who occupies a place somewhere between Fry 
and Cassirer, though nearer the latter, once said in a seminar that a 
work of art is an "unassigned syntactical symbol." Since this defini- 

End of page 7 

tion does not appear in her latest book, she may have rejected it, but 
it seems far more precise than Fry's attempt. By unassigned she prob- 
ably intends insignificant in the sense of lacking sign value or fixed 
reference; syntactical implies a form composed of parts in relation- 
ship to one another; and a symbol, according to Feeling and Form, 
is "any device whereby we are enabled to make an abstraction." Too 
austere for my taste, this account of symbol seems to need elaboration, 
which, to be sure, her book provides. For the present, however, taking 
symbol to mean an outward device for presenting an inward state, 
and taking unassigned and syntactical as I think she uses them, let 
us tentatively admire her definition of the work of art.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110301-VegaSongsSm.jpg

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110301-Diamond-RedOnGray.bmp

Oh, the red leaf looks to the hard gray stone
To each other, they know what they mean

— Suzanne Vega, “Song in Red and Gray

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday July 12, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 AM

In honor of
 William York Tindall
 (yesterday's entry):

A Literary Symbol

for Boyne Day

Mary Karr was "an unfashionably bookish kid whose brain wattage was sapped by a consuming inner life others didn't seem to bear the burden of. I just seemed to have more frames per second than other kids."

Geneva drive from Wikipedia

Click for animation.

Karr is Catholic.
Geneva is not.

Related material:
Calvinist Epiphany
for St. Peter's Day

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday July 11, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:28 AM
Mercilessly Tasteful

Diamond logo

Suzanne Vega, 'Songs in Red and Gray'


Related material:

The Literary Symbol
by William York Tindall

(Columbia University Press,
Epiphany 1955)

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