Log24

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Plugin

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 6:45 PM

Art enthusiast Phyllis Tuchman in The New York Times  yesterday —

"Ms. Rockburne's understated work plugged into
the prevailing Minimalist aesthetic of the day . . . ."

This was quoted here yesterday, followed by a visual flash drive
of sorts —

Another Parisian flash drive of sorts —

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Tuchman Radical*

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 PM

Two excerpts from today's Art & Design section of
The New York Times  —

For the deplorables of France —

For further remarks on l'ordre ,
see posts tagged Galois's Space
( tag=galoiss-space).

* The radical of the title is Évariste Galois (1811-1832).

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Multifaceted . . .

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

. . . Con Figuras de Espantar

"He Who Searches  is multifaceted in structure …"

Publisher's description of a Helen Lane translation
of "Como en la Guerra ," by Luisa Valenzuela
Also by Valenzuela —

Related material — An obituary from The Boston Globe  today
on the April 5 death of Borinsky's translator, and . . .

"He Who Searches" may consult also posts tagged Date.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Last Word

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:00 AM

Remarks suggested by the previous post

From Jeremy Biles, "Introduction: The Sacred Monster," in
Ecce Monstrum: Georges Bataille and the Sacrifice of Form

(Fordham University Press, 2007, page 3) —

Bataille’s insistent conjunction of the monstrous and the sacred is the subject of this book. Regarded by many as one of the most important thinkers of our time, and acknowledged as an important influence by such intellectuals as Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida, Bataille produced a corpus of wide-ranging writings bearing the monstrous marks of the affective and intellectual contradictions he also sought to produce in his readers. In the following chapters, I will specify some of the ways in which Bataille evokes monstrosity to elicit in himself and his audience an experience of simultaneous anguish and joy—an experience that he calls sacred. In particular, Bataille is fascinated with the ‘‘left-hand’’ sacred. In contradistinction to its lucent and form-conferring ‘‘right-hand’’ counterpart, the left-hand sacred is obscure and formless—not transcendent, pure, and beneficent, but dangerous, filthy, and morbid. This sinister, deadly aspect of the sacred is at once embodied in, and communicated by, the monster. As we will see, it is in beholding the monster that one might experience the combination of ecstasy and horror that characterizes Bataille ’s notion of the sacred.

The dual etymology of ‘‘monster’’ reveals that aspect of the sacred that enticed Bataille. According to one vein of etymological study, the Latin monstrum  derives from monstrare  (to show or display). The monster is that which appears before our eyes as a sign of sorts; it is a demonstration. But another tradition emphasizes a more ominous point. Deriving from monere  (to warn), the monster is a divine omen, a portent; it heralds something that yet remains unexpected, unforeseeable—as a sudden reversal of fortune. In the writings of Bataille, the monster functions as a monstrance, putting on display the sinister aspect of the sacred that Bataille sees as the key to a ‘‘sovereign’’ existence. But in doing so the monster presents us with a portent of something that we cannot precisely foresee, but something that, Bataille claims, can be paradoxically experienced in moments of simultaneous anguish and ecstasy: death.

See as well

(Order of news items transposed for aesthetic effect.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Badreads

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:11 AM

    See also a related Log24 post.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Zero Monstrance

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:00 AM

From "The Metaphysics of Entities," a post of Sept. 20, 2014 —

Anthony Lane in The New Yorker  on a 2013 film —

"The hero of 'The Zero Theorem' is a computer genius
called Qohen Leth (Christoph Waltz)…. He is the sole
resident of a derelict church, where, on a crucifix in front
of the altar, the head of Christ has been replaced by a
security camera. No prayers are ever said, and none are
answered."

Related dialogue from a 2008 film

Another view of the Zero Theorem derelict church —

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lost in Translation

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:45 PM

IMAGE- Original French of text from 'The Shining of May 29'

Translation by Barbara Johnson:

"The minimum number of rows— lines or columns—
that contain all the zeros in a matrix is equal to
the maximum number of zeros
located in any individual line or column ."

In the original:

"situés sur des lignes ou des colonnes distinctes "

Update of 11:30 PM ET May 29, 2014:

Derrida in 1972 was quoting Philippe Sollers, Nombres
(Paris: Éditions du Seuil , 1968).  Sollers in turn was
perhaps quoting A. Kaufmann, Méthodes et Modèles
de la Recherche Opérationnelle , Paris, Dunod , 1964,
L'Économie d'Entreprise 10 , vol. 2, page 305:

"Le nombre minimal de rangées
(lignes et/ou colonnes) contenant
tous les zéros d'une matrice, est égal
au nombre maximal de zéros
situés 
sur des lignes et des colonnes distinctes."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Space Itself

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:25 AM

From The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens ,
John N. Serio, ed., "Stevens's Late Poetry," by B.J. Leggett,
pp. 62-75, an excerpt from page 70:

Click the above image for further details.

See also Nothingness and "The Rock" in this journal.

Further readings along these lines:

IMAGE- Parallel book covers- 'The Mystery of the Quantum World' and (adapted) 'The Stars My Destination'

For pure mathematics, rather than theories of the physical world, 
see the properties of the cube illustrated on the second (altered
book cover above.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Corpse Express

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:02 AM

See Malcolm Lowry's "A corpse will be transported by express!" in this journal.

From June 23

"When Plato regards geometry as the prerequisite to
philosophical knowledge, it is because geometry alone
renders accessible the realm of things eternal;
tou gar aei ontos he geometrike gnosis estin."

— Ernst Cassirer, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research,
   Volume V, Number 1, September, 1944.

Maybe.

June 23, Midsummer Eve, was the date of death for Colonel Michael Cobb.

Cobb, who died aged 93, was "a regular Army officer who in retirement produced
the definitive historical atlas of the railways of Great Britain." — Telegraph.co.uk, July 19

As for geometry, railways, and things eternal, see parallel lines converging
in Tequila Mockingbird and Bedlam Songs.

Station of the Rock Island Line

The Rock Island Line’s namesake depot 
in Rock Island, Illinois

See also Wallace Stevens on "the giant of nothingness"
in "A Primitive Like an Orb" and in Midsummer Eve's Dream

At the center on the horizon, concentrum, grave
And prodigious person, patron of origins.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday February 24, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
 
Hollywood Nihilism
Meets
Pantheistic Solipsism

Tina Fey to Steve Martin
at the Oscars:
"Oh, Steve, no one wants
 to hear about our religion
… that we made up."

Tina Fey and Steve Martin at the 2009 Oscars

From Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 117:

… in 'The Pediment of Appearance,' a slight narrative poem in Transport to Summer

 A group of young men enter some woods 'Hunting for the great ornament, The pediment of appearance.' Though moving through the natural world, the young men seek the artificial, or pure form, believing that in discovering this pediment, this distillation of the real, they will also discover the 'savage transparence,' the rude source of human life. In Stevens's world, such a search is futile, since it is only through observing nature that one reaches beyond it to pure form. As if to demonstrate the degree to which the young men's search is misaligned, Stevens says of them that 'they go crying/The world is myself, life is myself,' believing that what surrounds them is immaterial. Such a proclamation is a cardinal violation of Stevens's principles of the imagination.


Superficially the young men's philosophy seems to resemble what Wikipedia calls "pantheistic solipsism"– noting, however, that "This article has multiple issues."

As, indeed, does pantheistic solipsism– a philosophy (properly called "eschatological pantheistic multiple-ego solipsism") devised, with tongue in cheek, by science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein.

Despite their preoccupation with solipsism, Heinlein and Stevens point, each in his own poetic way, to a highly non-solipsistic topic from pure mathematics that is, unlike the religion of Martin and Fey, not made up– namely, the properties of space.

Heinlein:

"Sharpie, we have condensed six dimensions into four, then we either work by analogy into six, or we have to use math that apparently nobody but Jake and my cousin Ed understands. Unless you can think of some way to project six dimensions into three– you seem to be smart at such projections."
    I closed my eyes and thought hard. "Zebbie, I don't think it can be done. Maybe Escher could have done it."

Stevens:

A discussion of Stevens's late poem "The Rock" (1954) in Wallace Stevens: A World of Transforming Shapes, by Alan D. Perlis, Bucknell University Press, 1976, p. 120:

For Stevens, the poem "makes meanings of the rock." In the mind, "its barrenness becomes a thousand things/And so exists no more." In fact, in a peculiar irony that only a poet with Stevens's particular notion of the imagination's function could develop, the rock becomes the mind itself, shattered into such diamond-faceted brilliance that it encompasses all possibilities for human thought:

The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up—and—ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near,
     point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.

                    (Collected Poems, 528)

Stevens's rock is associated with empty space, a concept that suggests "nothingness" to one literary critic:

B. J. Leggett, "Stevens's Late Poetry" in The Cambridge Companion to Wallace Stevens— On the poem "The Rock":

"… the barren rock of the title is Stevens's symbol for the nothingness that underlies all existence, 'That in which space itself is contained'….  Its subject is its speaker's sense of nothingness and his need to be cured of it."

This interpretation might appeal to Joan Didion, who, as author of the classic novel Play It As It Lays, is perhaps the world's leading expert on Hollywood nihilism.

More positively…

Space is, of course, also a topic
in pure mathematics…
For instance, the 6-dimensional
affine space
(or the corresponding
5-dimensional projective space)

The 4x4x4 cube

over the two-element Galois field
can be viewed as an illustration of
Stevens's metaphor in "The Rock."

Heinlein should perhaps have had in mind the Klein correspondence when he discussed "some way to project six dimensions into three." While such a projection is of course trivial for anyone who has taken an undergraduate course in linear algebra, the following remarks by Philippe Cara present a much more meaningful mapping, using the Klein correspondence, of structures in six (affine) dimensions to structures in three.

Cara:

Philippe Cara on the Klein correspondence
Here the 6-dimensional affine
space contains the 63 points
of PG(5, 2), plus the origin, and
the 3-dimensional affine
space contains as its 8 points
Conwell's eight "heptads," as in
Generating the Octad Generator.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday March 30, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:14 PM
The Thing Itself

From a summary of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness:

“The human can never know being as it truly is, for to do that, one would have to be the thing itself. To know a rock, we have to be the rock (and of course, the rock, as a being-in-itself, lacks consciousness). Yet the being-for-itself sees and intuits the world through what is not present. In this way, the being-for-itself, already wholly free, also possesses the power of imagination. Even if absolute beauty (to Sartre, the absolute union of being and consciousness) cannot be apprehended, knowing it through its absence, as in the way one feels the emptiness left by a departed loved one, is its own truth.”

— Anonymous author at sparknotes.com

Friday, May 4, 2007

Friday May 4, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:01 PM

May '68 Revisited

"At his final Paris campaign rally… Mr. Sarkozy declared himself the candidate of the 'silent majority,' tired of a 'moral crisis in France not seen since the time of Joan of Arc.'

'I want to turn the page on May 1968,' he said of the student protests cum social revolution that rocked France almost four decades ago.

'The heirs of May '68 have imposed the idea that everything has the same worth, that there is no difference between good and evil, no difference between the true and the false, between the beautiful and the ugly and that the victim counts for less than the delinquent.'

Denouncing the eradication of 'values and hierarchy,' Mr. Sarkozy accused the Left of being the true heirs and perpetuators of the ideology of 1968."

— Emma-Kate Symons, Paris, May 1, 2007, in The Australian

Related material:

From the translator's introduction to Dissemination, by Jacques Derrida, translated by Barbara Johnson, University of Chicago Press, 1981, page xxxi —

"Both Numbers and 'Dissemination' are attempts to enact rather than simply state the theoretical upheavals produced in the course of a radical reevaluation of the nature and function of writing undertaken by Derrida, Sollers, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva and other contributors to the journal Tel Quel in the late 1960s. Ideological and political as well as literary and critical, the Tel Quel program attempted to push to their utmost limits the theoretical revolutions wrought by Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Mallarme, Levi-Strauss, Saussure, and Heidegger."

This is the same Barbara Johnson who has served as the Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society at Harvard.

Johnson has attacked "the very essence of Logic"–

"… the logic of binary opposition, the principle of non-contradiction, often thought of as the very essence of Logic as such….

Now, my understanding of what is most radical in deconstruction is precisely that it questions this basic logic of binary opposition….

Instead of a simple 'either/or' structure, deconstruction attempts to elaborate a discourse that says neither 'either/or', nor 'both/and' nor even 'neither/nor', while at the same time not totally abandoning these logics either."

— "Nothing Fails Like Success," SCE Reports 8, 1980

Such contempt for logic has resulted, for instance, in the following passage, quoted approvingly on page 342 of Johnson's  translation of Dissemination, from Philippe Sollers's Nombres (1966):

"The minimum number of rows– lines or columns– that contain all the zeros in a matrix is equal to the maximum number of zeros located in any individual line or column."

For a correction of Sollers's  Johnson's damned nonsense, click here.

Update of May 29, 2014:

The error, as noted above, was not Sollers's, but Johnson's.
See also the post of May 29, 2014 titled 'Lost in Translation.'

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thursday December 16, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Nothing Nothings
(Again)

Background: recent Log24 entries (beginning with Chorus from the Rock on Dec. 5, 2004) and Is Nothing Sacred? (quotations compiled on March 9, 2000).

From an obituary of Paul Edwards, a writer on philosophy, in this morning's New York Times:

"Heidegger's Confusions, a collection of Professor Edwards's scholarly articles, was published last month by Prometheus."

Edwards, born in Vienna in 1923 to Jewish parents, died on December 9.

Some sites I visited earlier this evening, before reading of Edwards's death:

  • " 'Nothingness itself nothings' — with these words, uttered by Martin Heidegger in the early 1930s, the incipient (and now-familiar) split between analytic and continental philosophy began tearing open. For Rudolf Carnap, a leader of the Vienna Circle [Wiener Kreis] of logical empiricists and a strident advocate of a new, scientific approach to philosophy, this Heideggerian proposition exemplified 'a metaphysical pseudo-sentence,' meaningless and unable to withstand any logical analysis. Heidegger countered that Carnap’s misplaced obsession with logic missed the point entirely."
    Review of A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger
  • "Death and Metaphysics," by Peter Kraus, pp. 98-111 in Death and Philosophy, ed. by Jeff Malpas and Robert Solomon.  Heidegger's famous phrase (misquoted by Quine in Gray Particular in Hartford) "Das Nichts selbst nichtet" is discussed on page 102.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Friday December 10, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Gray Particular
in Hartford

From Wallace Stevens,

"The Rock, Part III:
Forms of the Rock in a Night-Hymn" —

The rock is
   the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which
   he rises, up–and–ho,
The step to
   the bleaker depths of his descents…

From this morning's
New York Times obituaries

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix03/nytC.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.leve Gray, a painter admired for his large-scale, vividly colorful and lyrically gestural abstract compositions, died on Wednesday in Hartford. He was 86.

The cause was a massive subdural hematoma suffered after he fell on ice and hit his head on Tuesday outside his home in Warren, Conn., said his wife, the writer Francine du Plessix Gray.

*******************************

Jackson Mac Low, a poet, composer and performance artist whose work reveled in what happens when the process of composition is left to carefully calibrated chance, died on Wednesday….

… in 1999 [he] received the Wallace Stevens Award, which carries a $100,000 prize, from the Academy of American Poets.

A Wallace Stevens Award,
in Seven Parts:

  I.  From a page linked to in
      Tuesday's entry White Christmas:

"A bemused Plato reasoned that nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is it that there is not? In our own day Martin Heidegger ventured that das Nichts nichtet — 'the nothing nothings' — evidently still sensing a problem."
— W. V. Quine in Quiddities

 II.  "As if nothingness
             contained a métier…"
      — Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

III.  "Massive subdural hematoma"
       — Three-word poem
           performed on Tuesday
           in Connecticut

IV.  mé·tier n.

 

  • An occupation, a trade, or a profession.
  • Work or activity for which a person is particularly suited; one's specialty.

[French, from Old French mestier, from Vulgar Latin misterium, from Latin ministerium. See ministry.]
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

 

  V.  "ho"
        — Wallace Stevens, "The Rock"

 VI.  Francine du Plessix Gray…
       From the
       Archives of the
       New York Review of Books:

July 16, 1992: Splendor and Miseries, review of

Women for Hire: Prostitution and Sexuality in France after 1850 by Alain Corbin, translated by Alan Sheridan

La Vie quotidienne dans les maisons closes, 1830–1930 by Laure Adler

Figures of Ill Repute: Representing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France by Charles Bernheimer

Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era by Hollis Clayson

VII.   From an entry of April 29, 2004:

 

"… a 'dead shepherd who brought
tremendous chords from hell
And bade the sheep carouse' "

 

— Wallace Stevens
as quoted by Michael Bryson

 

(p. 227, The Palm
at the End of the Mind:

Selected Poems and a Play.
Ed. Holly Stevens.

New York: Vintage Books, 1990)

 

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