Log24

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mimicry

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:09 PM

This journal Tuesday,  Oct. 28, 2014, at 5 PM ET:

“What is a tai chi master, and what is it that he unfolds?”

From an earlier post, Hamlet’s father’s ghost
on “the fretful porpentine”:

Hamlet , Act 1, Scene 5 —

Ghost:

“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combinèd locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.”

Galway Kinnell:

“I roll
this way and that in the great bed, under
the quilt
that mimics this country of broken farms and woods”

— “The Porcupine”

For quilt-block designs that do not mimic farms or woods,
see the cover of Diamond Theory .  See also the quotations
from Wallace Stevens linked to in the last line of yesterday’s
post in memory of Kinnell.

“… a bee for the remembering of happiness” — Wallace Stevens

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tale

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:10 AM

“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul….

Hamlet’s Father’s Ghost

The results of a search in this journal for “a tale unfold” suggest
a review of the following passage from Donna Tartt’s Secret History

A math weblog discussed this passage on January 24, 2013.
For related alliances, see this  weblog on that same date.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Toronto vs. Rome

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

or: Catullus vs. Ovid

(Today's previous post, "Coxeter vs. Fano,"
might also have been titled "Toronto vs. Rome.")

ut te postremo donarem munere mortis

Catullus 101

Explicatio

Unfolding

Image by Christopher Thomas at Wikipedia
Unfolding of a hypercube and of a cube —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100506-Hcube_fold.gif

Image--Chess game from 'The 
Seventh Seal'

The metaphor for metamorphosis no keys unlock.
— Steven H. Cullinane, "Endgame"

The current New Yorker  has a translation of
  the above line of Catullus by poet Anne Carson.
According to poets.org, Carson "attended St. Michael's College
at the University of Toronto and, despite leaving twice,
received her B.A. in 1974, her M.A. in 1975 and her Ph.D. in 1981."

Carson's translation is given in a review of her new book Nox.

The title, "The Unfolding," of the current review echoes an earlier
New Yorker  piece on another poet, Madeleine L'Engle—

Cynthia Zarin in The New Yorker, issue dated April 12, 2004–

“Time, for L’Engle, is accordion-pleated. She elaborated,
‘When you bring a sheet off the line, you can’t handle it
until it’s folded, and in a sense, I think, the universe can’t
exist until it’s folded– or it’s a story without a book.’”

(See also the "harrow up" + Hamlet  link in yesterday's 6:29 AM post.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

07 Book

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM

BOOKS OF THE TIMES

A Talent for Writing, and Falling Into Things

(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/books/07book.html)

The above headline from this morning's New York Times  is a rather strong reminder of a post linked to here last night—  a post from April 10, 2004 (Holy Saturday), titled "Harrowing."

The book under review is a biography of William Golding, also quoted here in "Harrowing."

From that post—

“There is a suggestion of Christ descending into the abyss for the harrowing of Hell.  But it is the Consul whom we think of here, rather than of Christ.  The Consul is hurled into this abyss at the end of the novel.”

– Stephen Spender, introduction to Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano

Related material:

Theater of Truth

 rift-design— Definition by Deborah Levitt

"Rift.  The stroke or rending by which a world worlds, opening both the 'old' world and the self-concealing earth to the possibility of a new world. As well as being this stroke, the rift is the site— the furrow or crack— created by the stroke. As the 'rift design' it is the particular characteristics or traits of this furrow."

– "Heidegger and the Theater of Truth," in Tympanum: A Journal of Comparative Literary Studies, Vol. 1, 1998

See also "harrow up" + Hamlet  in this journal.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday December 22, 2008

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

The Folding

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5

Ghost:

“I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!”

This recalls the title of a piece in this week’s New Yorker:”The Book of Lists:
Susan Sontag’s early journals
.” (See Log24 on Thursday, Dec. 18.)

In the rather grim holiday spirit of that piece, here are some journal notes for Sontag, whom we may imagine as the ghost of Hanukkah past.

There are at least two ways of folding a list (or tale) to fit a rectangular frame.The normal way, used in typesetting English prose and poetry, starts at the top, runs from left to right, jumps down a line, then again runs left to right, and so on until the passage is done or the bottom right corner of the frame is reached.

The boustrophedonic way again goes from top to bottom, with the first line running from left to right, the next from right to left, the next from left to right, and so on, with the lines’ directions alternating.

The word “boustrophedon” is from the Greek words describing the turning, at the end of each row, of an ox plowing (or “harrowing”) a field.

The Tale of
the Eternal Blazon

by Washington Irving

Blazon meant originally a shield, and then the heraldic bearings on a shield.
Later it was applied to the art of describing or depicting heraldic bearings
in the proper manner; and finally the term came to signify ostentatious display
and also description or record by words or other means. In Hamlet, Act I. Sc. 5,
the Ghost, while talking with Prince Hamlet, says:

‘But this eternal blazon
must not be
To ears of flesh and blood.’

Eternal blazon signifies revelation or description of things pertaining to eternity.”

Irving’s Sketch Book, p. 461

By Washington Irving and Mary Elizabeth Litchfield, Ginn & Company, 1901

Related material:

Folding (and harrowing up)
some eternal blazons —

The 16 Puzzle: transformations of a 4x4 square
These are the foldings
described above.

They are two of the 322,560
natural ways to fit
the list (or tale)
“1, 2, 3, … 15, 16”
into a 4×4 frame.

For further details, see
The Diamond 16 Puzzle.

Moral of the tale:

Cynthia Zarin in The New Yorker, issue dated April 12, 2004–

“Time, for L’Engle, is accordion-pleated. She elaborated, ‘When you bring a sheet off the line, you can’t handle it until it’s folded, and in a sense, I think, the universe can’t exist until it’s folded– or it’s a story without a book.'”

Sunday, September 8, 2002

Sunday September 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

In honor of the September 8 birthdays of

From a website on Donna Tartt‘s novel The Secret History… 

“It is like a storyteller looking up suddenly into the eyes of his audience across the embers of a once blazing fire…

…the reader feels privy to the secrets of human experience by their passage down through the ages; the telling and re-telling. A phrase from the ghost in Hamlet comes to mind:

‘I could a tale unfold whose lightest word /
Would harrow up thy soul…..’ “

This work of literature seems especially relevant at the start of a new school year, and in light of my remarks below about ancient Greek religion. One should, when praising Apollo, never forget that Dionysus is also a powerful god.

For those who prefer film to the written word, I recommend “Barton Fink” as especially appropriate viewing for the High Holy Days. Judy Davis (my favorite actress) plays a Faulkner-figure’s “secretary” who actually writes most of his scripts.

Tartt is herself from Faulkner country.  For her next book, see this page from Square Books, 160 Courthouse Square, Oxford, Misssissippi.

Let us pray that Tartt fares better in real life than Davis did in the movie.

As music for the High Holy Days, I recommend Don Henley’s “The Garden of Allah.” For some background on the actual Garden of Allah Hotel at 8080 Sunset Boulevard (where “Barton Fink” might have taken place), see

NAZIMOVA AND THE GARDEN OF ALLA.

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