Log24

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ART WARS: Chesterton Thursday

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

The New York Times  philosophy column "The Stone"
last evening had an essay on art by a sarcastic anarchist,
one Crispin Sartwell

"… whole generations of art lovers have been
trained in modernist dogma, and arts institutions’
access to various forms of state or foundation
support depend on it completely. One goes to
the museum to gasp at stunning works of
incomparable, super-human genius by beings
who are infinitely more exalted and important
than the mere humans staring at their paintings.
That’s why ordinary people staring at a Picasso
(allegedly) experience a kind of transcendence
or re-articulation of their lives and world."

 Cubism Re-Articulated:

  Click image for some backstory.

(IMAGE: Walter Gropius and Froebel's Third Gift,
from a Google image search today)

Background: Cubism in this journal and
Pilate Goes to Kindergarten.

Related material: Chesterton + Thursday in this journal.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday July 3, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM
Blasphemous Thoughts
about Thor

Commonweal on Gopnik on Chesterton:

"Gopnik thinks Chesterton’s aphorisms are better than any but Oscar Wilde’s, and he describes some of them as 'genuine Catholic koans, pregnant and profound.' For example: 'Blasphemy depends on belief, and is fading with it. If anyone doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor.'"
 

Pregnant and Profound:
Douglas Adams on Thor

Kate felt quite dizzy. She didn't know exactly what it was that had just happened, but she felt pretty damn certain that it was the sort of experience that her mother would not have approved of on a first date.

"Is this all part of what we have to do to go to Asgard?" she said. "Or are you just fooling around?"

"We will go to Asgard… now," he said.

At that moment he raised his hand as if to pluck an apple, but instead of plucking he made a tiny, sharp turning movement.The effect was as if he had twisted the entire world through a billionth part of a billionth part of a degree. Everything shifted, was for a moment minutely out of focus, and then snapped back again as a suddenly different world.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

See also
The Turning:

"A theorem proposed betwen the two–"

— Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

The Turning: An Approach to the Theorem of Pythagoras

From The History of Mathematics,
by Roger Cooke

"… point A
In a perspective that begins again
At B…."

— Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday January 31, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM
From G. K. Chesterton,
The Black Virgin
 
As the black moon
of some divine eclipse,
As the black sun
of the Apocalypse,
As the black flower
that blessed Odysseus back
From witchcraft; and
he saw again the ships.

In all thy thousand images
we salute thee.

Earlier in the poem….
 
Clothed with the sun
or standing on the moon
Crowned with the stars
or single, a morning star,
Sunlight and moonlight
are thy luminous shadows,
Starlight and twilight
thy refractions are,
Lights and half-lights and
all lights turn about thee.

 
From Oct. 16, 2007,
date of death of Deborah Kerr:

"Harish, who was of a
spiritual, even religious, cast
and who liked to express himself in
metaphors, vivid and compelling,
did see, I believe, mathematics
as mediating between man and
what one can only call God."
R. P. Langlands

From a link of Jan. 17, 2008
Time and Eternity:

Abstract Symbols of Time and Eternity

Jean Simmons and Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus
Jean Simmons (l.) and Deborah Kerr (r.)
in "Black Narcissus" (1947)

and from the next day,
Jan. 18, 2008:

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

Rubén Darío,
born January 18, 1867

Related material:

Dark Lady and Bright Star,
Time and Eternity,
Damnation Morning

Happy birthday also to
the late John O'Hara.

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.

Thursday January 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 AM
Plato and Shakespeare
at Breakfast

 

"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

For Plato:
Inscapes.

For Shakespeare:
Hopkins on Inscape.

For both:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060119-SummerKnow.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Click on the picture
for related remarks.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Thursday July 17, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

A Constant Idea: 759

From Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 1919:

 

NUMBER: 759
AUTHOR: William Shakespeare
(1564–1616)
QUOTATION: I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad.
ATTRIBUTION: As You Like It.
Act iv. Sc. 1.
[text]

"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 tomorrow, 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 tomorrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before."

— G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy 

The number 759 is courtesy of Plato; the quotation 759 above is courtesy of Shakespeare.  The song that Shakespeare suggests is "A Day in the Life of a Fool."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Starting Out in the Evening

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

… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening’s post on mathematics and narrative
and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning’s New York Times.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-StartingOut.jpg

Above: Frank Langella in
Starting Out in the Evening

Right: Johnny Depp in
The Ninth Gate

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-NinthGate.jpg

“One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage.”

— “Is Fiction the Art of Lying?”* by Mario Vargas Llosa, New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

My own adventures in that realm— as reader, not author— may illustrate Llosa’s remark.

A nearby stack of paperbacks I haven’t touched for some months (in order from bottom to top)—

  1. Pale Rider by Alan Dean Foster
  2. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  3. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
  5. Literary Reflections by James A. Michener
  6. The Ninth Configuration by William Peter Blatty
  7. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  8. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
  9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  10. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  11. Being There by Jerzy Kosinski
  12. What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson
  13. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  14. A Gathering of Spies by John Altman
  15. Selected Poems by Robinson Jeffers
  16. Hook— Tinkerbell’s Challenge by Tristar Pictures
  17. Rising Sun by Michael Crichton
  18. Changewar by Fritz Leiber
  19. The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe
  20. The Hustler by Walter Tevis
  21. The Natural by Bernard Malamud
  22. Truly Tasteless Jokes by Blanche Knott
  23. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
  24. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

What moral Vargas Llosa might draw from the above stack I do not know.

Generally, I prefer the sorts of books in a different nearby stack. See Sisteen, from May 25. That post the fanciful reader may view as related to number 16 in the above list. The reader may also relate numbers 24 and 22 above (an odd couple) to By Chance, from Thursday, July 22.

* The Web version’s title has a misprint— “living” instead of “lying.”

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rift Designs

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 PM

From the current index to obituaries at Telegraph.co.uk—

Teufel is also featured in today's New York Times

"Mr. Teufel became a semicelebrity, helped in no small part by his last name, which means 'devil' in German."

From Group Analysis ,  June 1993, vol. 26 no. 2, 203-212—

The Problem of Good and Evil

by Ronald Sandison, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2EY, UK

In my contribution to the Group Analysis Special Section: "Aspects of Religion in Group Analysis" (Sandison, 1993) I hinted that any consideration of a spiritual dimension to the group involves us in a discussion on whether we are dealing with good or evil spirits. But if we say that God is in the group, why is not the Devil there also? Can good and evil coexist in the same group matrix? Is the recognition of evil "nothing but" the ability to distinguish between good and bad? If not, then what is evil? Is it no more than the absence of good?

These and other questions were worked on at a joint Institute of Group Analysis and Group-Analytic Society (London) Workshop entitled "The Problem of Good and Evil." We considered the likelihood that good and evil coexist in all of us, as well as in the whole of the natural world, not only on earth, but in the cosmos and in God himself What we actually do with good and evil is to split them apart, thereby shelving the problem but at the same time creating irreconcilable opposites. This article examines this splitting and how we can work with it psychoanalytically.

This suggests a biblical remark—

"Now there was a day… when the sons of God
came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan came also among them."

Job 1:6, quoted by Chesterton in The Man Who Was Thursday

Sandison died on June 18. See the Thursday, August 5, Log24 post "The Matrix."

Teufel died on July 6. See the Log24 posts for that day.

The title of this  post, "rift designs," refers to a recurring theme in the July 6 posts. It is taken from Heidegger.

From a recent New Yorker  review of Absence of Mind  by Marilynne Robinson—

"Robinson is eloquent in her defense of the mind’s prerogatives, but her call for a renewed metaphysics might be better served by rereading Heidegger than by dusting off the Psalms."

Following this advice, we find—

"Propriation gathers the rift-design of the saying and unfolds it  in such a way that it becomes the well-joined structure of a manifold showing."

p. 415 of Heidegger's Basic Writings , edited by David Farrell Krell, HarperCollins paperback, 1993

"Das Ereignis versammelt den Aufriß der Sage und entfaltet ihn zum Gefüge des vielfältigen Zeigens." 

— Heidegger, Weg zur Sprache

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday April 13, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Happy Ending

For the birthday of
red-haired revolutionary
Thomas Jefferson

'The Man Who Was Thursday'-- the conclusion

Reba McEntire, illustration for her Palm Sunday, 2009, single 'Strange'

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