Log24

Friday, April 23, 2010

Phantasmagoria

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

Today's NY Times obituaries —

Image-- John Carl Warnecke, Architect to Kennedy, Dies at 91

Warnecke died April 17, last Saturday.
From an entry linked to on that date

Rebecca Goldstein
   on first encountering Plato

"I was reading Durant's section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)"

Screenwriter Joan Didion

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."

Happy Shakespeare's birthday.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Turn of the Year

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Quioted here  last  year on September 23rd

See also Galois Quaternion.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Annals of Scientism

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Last night, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre,
the annual Ig Nobel prizes were awarded.

This journal earlier that day —

Related material —

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Near Zero

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

See "freeze the shifting phantasmagoria" in this journal.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sermon

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

The Ideas

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….
We interpret what we see, select the most workable
of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we
are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon
disparate images, by the ‘ideas’  with which we have
learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria
which is our actual experience.”
— Joan Didion

See Didion and the I Ching  and posts tagged Plato in China .

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Principles of Aesthetics

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:45 PM

Or:  Phantasmagoria Meets Pandemonium

Part I: Phantasmagoria

Rebecca Goldstein on first encountering Plato —

“I was reading Durant’s section on Plato, struggling to understand
his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection
out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think
the last, time that I encountered that word.)”

Screenwriter Joan Didion —

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….We interpret
what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices.
We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition
of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’
with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria
which is our actual experience.”

Part II: Pandemonium

Terry Teachout in Commentary  on Oct. 1, 2014:

“When making art or writing about it, the aesthete
tries never to moralize. Nor will he look with favor
upon artists who do so, no matter whether their
particular brand of moralizing is religious or secular.
But he can and must be fully, intensely alive to the
moral force of art whose creators aspire merely to
make the world around us more beautiful, and in
so doing to pierce the veil of the visible and give us
a glimpse of the permanently true. That is his job:
to help make sense of the pandemonium amid which
we live.”

Rivka Galchen in The New York Times Sunday Book Review
issue of October 5, 2014 (online Sept. 30):

“The story describes honestly something that is,
which is very different from proposing what ought to be.”

See also Pandemonium in this journal.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ideas

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 PM

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
The princess is caged in the consulate.
The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea.
The naked woman on the ledge outside the window
on the sixteenth floor is a victim of accidie, or
the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it would be
‘interesting’ to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes
some difference whether the naked woman is about to
commit a mortal sin or is about to register a political protest
or is about to be, the Aristophanic view, snatched back to the
human condition by the fireman in priest’s clothing just visible
in the window behind her, the one smiling at the telephoto lens.
We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral
lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select
the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely,
especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line
upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned
to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual
experience.”

Joan Didion

This evening’s New York Lottery:  659 and 7326.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Omega Story

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 AM
 

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live…. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."

Joan Didion

See also a post from May 4, 2011 (the date, according to a Google
search, of untitled notes regarding a matrix called Omega).

Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Philosophy

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:56 AM

Obituaries for New Year's Eve—

A link from Christmas Day—

Easter meditations—

See also

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mot Juste

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM
 
IMAGE- Anne Hathaway in 'Les Miserables'  Phantasmagoria.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Unity and Multiplicity

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Continued from Crimson Walpurgisnacht.

EpigraphsTwo quotations from  
Shakespeare's Birthday last year

Rebecca Goldstein
   on first encountering Plato
 

"I was reading Durant's section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)"

Screenwriter Joan Didion

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."

From Thomas Mann, "Schopenhauer," 1938, in Essays of Three Decades , translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, pp. 372-410—

Page 372: THE PLEASURE we take in a metaphysical system, the gratification purveyed by the intellectual organization of the world into a closely reasoned, complete, and balanced structure of thought, is always of a pre-eminently aesthetic kind. It flows from the same source as the joy, the high and ever happy satisfaction we get from art, with its power to shape and order its material, to sort out life's manifold confusions so as to give us a clear and general view.

Truth and beauty must always be referred the one to the other. Each by itself, without the support given by the other, remains a very fluctuating value. Beauty that has not truth on its side and cannot have reference to it, does not live in it and through it, would be an empty chimera— and "What is truth?"

….

Page 376: … the life of Plato was a very great event in the history of the human spirit; and first of all it was a scientific and a moral event. Everyone feels that something profoundly moral attaches to this elevation of the ideal as the only actual, above the ephemeralness and multiplicity of the phenomenal, this devaluation  of the senses to the advantage of the spirit, of the temporal to the advantage of the eternal— quite in the spirit of the Christianity that came after it. For in a way the transitory phenomenon, and the sensual attaching to it, are put thereby into a state of sin: he alone finds truth and salvation who turns his face to the eternal. From this point of view Plato's philosophy exhibits the connection between science and ascetic morality.

But it exhibits another relationship: that with the world of art. According to such a philosophy time itself is merely the partial and piecemeal view which an individual holds of ideas— the latter, being outside time, are thus eternal. "Time"— so runs a beautiful phrase of Plato— "is the moving image of eternity." And so this pre-Christian, already Christian doctrine, with all its ascetic wisdom, possesses on the other hand extraordinary charm of a sensuous and creative kind; for a conception of the world as a colourful and moving phantasmagoria of pictures, which are transparencies for the ideal and the spiritual, eminently savours of the world of art, and through it the artist, as it were, first comes into his own.

From last night's online NY Times  obituaries index—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110503-NYTobits.jpg

"How much story do you want?" — George Balanchine

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Phantasmagorical Touchstone

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:31 PM

"Ira Cohen made phantasmagorical films that became cult classics….

In certain artistic and literary circles, Mr. Cohen was a touchstone"

— Douglas Martin in the online New York Times  on May 1, 2011

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110503-BorrowedTimePoet.jpg

The rest  of the picture—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110503-DiamondHead-BorrowedTime.jpg

"Borrowed Time," a 1982 album by Diamond Head

It is said that the touchstone died at 76 on April 25 (Easter Monday).

See that date in this journal. See also Phantasmagoria.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110503-April25Diamond.jpg

The above-mentioned Easter post

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110503-EasterDiamond.jpg

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday May 28, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Tequila
Mockingbird

(November 5, 2002):

CelebritySexNews.com
on Kylie Minogue:

“Turns out she’s a party girl
who loves Tequila:
‘Time disappears with Tequila.
It goes elastic, then vanishes.'”

From a web page on
Malcolm Lowry’s classic novel
Under the Volcano

The day begins with Yvonne’s arrival at the Bella Vista bar in Quauhnahuac. From outside she hears Geoffrey’s familiar voice shouting a drunken lecture this time on the topic of the rule of the Mexican railway that requires that  “A corpse will be transported by express!” (Lowry, Volcano, p. 43).

Kylie Minogue
Kylie

Film 'Under the Volcano'
Finney

 
Well if you want to ride
you gotta ride it like you find it.
Get your ticket at the station
of the Rock Island Line.
— Lonnie Donegan (d. Nov. 3) 
and others
 
Station of the Rock Island Line
 
The Rock Island Line’s namesake depot 
in Rock Island, Illinois


Related material:

Twenty-First Century Fox
(10/6/02)

Back to You, Kylie
(11/5/02)

Time, Eternity, and Grace
(11/22/02)

That Old Devil Moon
(1/1/03) and
The Shanghai Gesture
(1/3/03)

Whirligig
(1/5/03)

Harrowing
(4/19/03)

Temptation
(4/22/03)

Temptation
(4/9/04)

Tribute
,
Train of Thought,
Drunk Bird, and
From Here to Eternity
(8/17/04-8/18/04)

Heaven and Earth
(9/2/04)

Habeas Corpus

(11/24/04)

X, continued
(12/4/04)

Birth and Death
(5/28/05)

Time Travel
(5/28/06)

Timeagain and
Two-Bar Hook
(8/9/06)

Echoes
(8/11/06)

Phantasmagoria
and Tequila!
(9/23/06)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday March 5, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:09 PM
(Context: March 2-4)

For CENTRAL
Central Intelligence:

“God does not play dice.”
— Paraphrase of a remark
by Albert Einstein

Another Nobel Prize winner,
Isaac Bashevis Singer

“a God who speaks in deeds,
not in words, and whose
vocabulary is the Cosmos”

From “The Escapist:
The Reality of Fantasy Games
“–

Platonic solids as Dungeons & Dragons dice
Dungeons & Dragons Dice

From today’s New York Times:

NY Times obituaries online, March 5, 2008: Gary Gygax, Wm. F. Buckley, Kaddish ad by Hadassah

A Kaddish for Gygax:


“I was reading Durant’s section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)”


Related material:

For more on the word
phantasmagoria,” see
Log24 on Dec. 12, 2004
and on Sept. 23, 2006.

For phantasmagoria in action,
see Dungeons & Dragons
and Singer’s (and others’)
Jewish fiction.

For non-phantasmagoria,
see (for instance) the Elements
of Euclid, which culminates
in the construction of the
Platonic solids illustrated above.

See also Geometry for Jews.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday October 24, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:26 AM
Adieu:
A Story for Dobbs

Internet Movie Database on screenwriter Lem Dobbs:

"Trivia:
Son of painter R.B. (Ron) Kitaj.

Took his pseudonym from the character Humphrey Bogart played
in 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.'"

Bogart and Robert Blake in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Click for details.

NY Lottery Oct. 21, 2007: Mid-day 512, Evening 430

October 21 was the day
that R. B. Kitaj died.
For what Kitaj called
"midrashic glosses"
on the numbers and
the lucky sums, see
4/30, 5/12, and
Eight is a Gate.

Screenwriter Joan Didion:

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling."

David Cohen on R. B. Kitaj:

"He has come to be fascinated… by the kabbalah, finding in it parallels to the world of art and ideas. Every morning, after a long walk, he winds up at a Westwood café surrounded by pretty UCLA students where he studies the writings of Emmanuel Levinas, before working for an hour on his memoirs."

Levinas Adieu:

Levinas, and Derrida, on the Adieu

Click for source.

"There is no teacher
but the enemy.
"

— Orson Scott Card,  
Ender's Game

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday July 23, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 8:00 AM
 
Daniel Radcliffe
is 18 today.
 
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
 

Greetings.

“The greatest sorcerer (writes Novalis memorably)
would be the one who bewitched himself to the point of
taking his own phantasmagorias for autonomous apparitions.
Would not this be true of us?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Avatars of the Tortoise”

El mayor hechicero (escribe memorablemente Novalis)
sería el que se hechizara hasta el punto de
tomar sus propias fantasmagorías por apariciones autónomas.
¿No sería este nuestro caso?”

Jorge Luis Borges, “Los Avatares de la Tortuga

Autonomous Apparition
 
 

At Midsummer Noon:

 
“In Many Dimensions (1931)
Williams sets before his reader the
mysterious Stone of King Solomon,
an image he probably drew from
a brief description in Waite’s
The Holy Kabbalah (1929) of
a supernatural cubic stone
on which was inscribed
‘the Divine Name.’”
 
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070624-Waite.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
Related material:
 
It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

 

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness.
And yet the leaves, if they broke into bud,
If they broke into bloom, if they bore fruit
,

And if we ate the incipient colorings
Of their fresh culls might be a cure of the ground.

– Wallace Stevens, “The Rock”

 
See also
 
as well as
Hofstadter on
his magnum opus:
 
“… I realized that to me,
Gödel and Escher and Bach
were only shadows
cast in different directions by
some central solid essence.
I tried to reconstruct
the central object, and
came up with this book.”
 
Goedel Escher Bach cover

Hofstadter’s cover.

 
Here are three patterns,
“shadows” of a sort,
derived from a different
“central object”:
 
Faces of Solomon's Cube, related to Escher's 'Verbum'

Click on image for details.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Friday March 2, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM
"I was reading Durant's section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)"

Part I: Phantasmagoria
 
Enlarge this image
Father and daughter in Bee Season
Photo by Phil Bray

Transcendence through spelling:
Richard Gere and Flora Cross
as father and daughter
in the film of Bee Season.

"Every aspect of the alef's
construction has been
Divinely designed
to teach us something."

Alef– The Difference Between
Exile And Redemption,
by Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin

Related material–

Art Theory for Yom Kippur
and
Log24 entries, Nov. 2005.


Part II: Hunt for the Real

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess:
The Conflict Between Word and Image
.

See also the references
to Zelazny's Eye of Cat
in the Nov. 2005 entries
as well as
today's previous entry
with the Norton Simon motto
"Hunt for the best"– and…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070302-EyeOfCat.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click for details.

"Photography has always involved waiting…. the photographer is understood to be waiting for the right convergence of subject, lighting and frame before clicking the shutter– waiting for what a master of the genre, Henri Cartier-Bresson, famously called 'the decisive moment.' Lee Friedlander, another great street photographer, compared this anticipatory state to the hunting alertness of a 'one-eyed cat.' The metaphor of the hunt has seeped into the essential language of photography."

Arthur Lubow in The New York Times, Feb. 25, 2007

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Tuesday December 5, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM

Today in History
(via The Associated Press)

On this date (Dec. 5):

In 1776, the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

In 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at age 35.

In 2006, author Joan Didion is 72.

Joan Didion, The White Album:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”

An Alternate History

(based on entries of
the past three days):

“A FAMOUS HISTORIAN:

England, 932 A.D. —
A kingdom divided….”

Introduction to “Spamalot”

A Story That Works

  • “There is the dark, eternally silent, unknown universe;
  • there are the friend-enemy minds shouting and whispering their tales and always seeking the three miracles —
    • that minds should really touch, or
    • that the silent universe should speak, tell minds a story, or (perhaps the same thing)
    • that there should be a story that works, that is all hard facts, all reality, with no illusions and no fantasy;
  • and lastly, there is lonely, story-telling, wonder-questing, mortal me.”

    Fritz Leiber in “The Button Molder

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday October 31, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:00 PM
To Announce a Faith

From 7/07, an art review from The New York Times:

Endgame Art?
It's Borrow, Sample and Multiply
in an Exhibition at Bard College

"The show has an endgame, end-time mood….

I would call all these strategies fear of form…. the dismissal of originality is perhaps the oldest ploy in the postmodern playbook. To call yourself an artist at all is by definition to announce a faith, however unacknowledged, in some form of originality, first for yourself, second, perhaps, for the rest of us.

Fear of form above all means fear of compression– of an artistic focus that condenses experiences, ideas and feelings into something whole, committed and visually comprehensible."

— Roberta Smith

It is doubtful that Smith
 would consider the
following "found" art an
example of originality.

It nevertheless does
"announce a faith."


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061031-PAlottery2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


"First for yourself"

Today's mid-day
Pennsylvania number:
707

See Log24 on 7/07
and the above review.
 

"Second, perhaps,
for the rest of us"

Today's evening
Pennsylvania number:
384

This number is an
example of what the
reviewer calls "compression"–

"an artistic focus that condenses
 experiences, ideas and feelings
into something
whole, committed
 and visually comprehensible."

"Experiences"

See (for instance)

Joan Didion's writings
(1160 pages, 2.35 pounds)
on "the shifting phantasmagoria
which is our actual experience."

"Ideas"

See Plato.

"Feelings"

See A Wrinkle in Time.

"Whole"

The automorphisms
of the tesseract
form a group
of order 384.

"Committed"

See the discussions of
groups of degree 16 in
R. D. Carmichael's classic
Introduction to the Theory
of Groups of Finite Order
.

"Visually comprehensible"

See "Diamond Theory in 1937,"
an excerpt from which
is shown below.

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Carmichael440abbrev.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The "faith" announced by
the above lottery numbers
on All Hallows' Eve is
perhaps that of the artist
Madeleine L'Engle:

"There is such a thing
as a tesseract.
"

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday September 23, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

“A corpse will be
transported by express!”

Under the Volcano,
by Malcolm Lowry (1947)


Dietrich


Minogue

“It has a ghastly familiarity,
like a half-forgotten dream.”

 — Poppy (Gene Tierney) in
The Shanghai Gesture.”

Temptation


Locomotive

The Star
of Venus


Locomotion

Joan Didion, The White Album:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas‘ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”

From Patrick Vert,
The Narrative of Acceleration:

“There are plenty of anecdotes to highlight the personal, phenomenological experience of railway passage…

… a unique study on phantasmagoria and the history of imagination. The word originates [in] light-projection, the so-called ghost-shows of the early 19th century….

… thought becomes a phantasmagorical process, a spectral, representative location for the personal imagination that had been marginalized by scientific rationalism….

This phantasmagoria became more mediated over time…. Perception became increasingly visually oriented…. As this occurred, a narrative formed to encapsulate the phenomenology of it all….”

For such a narrative, see
the Log24.net entries of

From a Christian fairy tale:

Aslan’s last words come at the end of The Last Battle: ‘There was a real railway accident […] Your father and mother and all of you are–as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands–dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.’….

Aslan is given the last word in these quiet but emphatic lines. He is the ultimate arbiter of reality: “‘There was a real railway accident.'” Plato, in addition to the Christian tradition, lies behind the closing chapters of The Last Battle. The references here to the Shadowlands and to the dream refer back to an earlier explanation by Digory, now the Lord Digory:

“[…] that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always been here and always will be here: just as our world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world. [….] Of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream. […] It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!”

Joy Alexander, Aslan’s Speech

“I was reading Durant’s section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)”

Whether any of the above will be of use in comforting the families of those killed in yesterday morning’s train wreck in Germany is not clear.  Pope Benedict XVI, like C. S. Lewis, seems to think Greek philosophy may be of some use to those dealing with train wrecks:

“Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: ‘In the beginning was the logos.‘ This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, syn logo, with logos. Logos means both reason and word– a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist.”

Remarks of the Pope at the University of Regensburg on Sept. 12, 2006

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday December 16, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:00 PM

A Wintry Friday Afternoon

Three years ago today in the New York Times:

“The book was Will Durant’s Story of Philosophy, and I was 12 or 13 when I carried it home from the library one wintry Friday afternoon.

I cannot even remember the novel that accompanied it. But I remember that I was curled up on our beat-up old couch, the one with the huge embarrassing rip where my older sister would position me to sit demurely, my dress fanned out over the damage, when her dates arrived. I was reading Durant’s section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)

The Forms are abstract but real, I read, graspable only through the eyes of the mind, pure reason. And it seemed to me, that dark winter afternoon as I read, that I was grasping them; that I, a yiddishe maidel of questionable worth, was seeing with the eyes of my mind exactly what that ancient Greek philosopher had seen; that just like him I was out beyond the phantasmagoria, suspended in formal perfection; that I was out beyond myself, had almost lost all touch with who I even was, and it was . . . bliss.”

— Rebecca Goldstein

  Related material:
  Davenport’s Express.

  Update of 6:14 PM EST:

    Whistle Stop

   The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051216-Leo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For the late John Spencer,
actor on NBC’s “West Wing”

    From “West Wing”

— “When was the last time
    you went to a meeting?”
— “AA?…. What meeting
     could I possibly go to?”
— “Mine.”

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saturday May 21, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:35 PM
History As She Is Writ

“Finally, there is the matter of players
changing history as she is writ.”

— “Historical Fantasy Campaigns
for Role Playing Simulations
,”
published in Phantasmagoria,
Murdoch Alternative Reality
Society Annual, 2004, pp. 32-38

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050521-Zeitung.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Franken is best known as the author of
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday December 12, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Ideas, Stories, Values:
Literati in Deep Confusion

Joan Didion, The White Album:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas‘ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”

Interview with Joseph Epstein:

“You can do in stories things that are above those in essays,” says Epstein.  “In essays and piecework, you are trying to make a point, whereas in stories you are not quite sure what the point is. T.S. Eliot once said of Henry James, ‘He had a mind so fine no idea could violate it,’ which, I think, is the ultimate compliment for an author. Stories are above ideas.”

Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, Sept. 12, 2004:

“You are entering a remarkable community, the Harvard community. It is a community built on the idea of searching for truth… on the idea of respect for others….

… we practice the values we venerate. The values of seeking truth, the values of respecting others….”

Paul Redding on Hegel:

“… Hegel discusses ‘culture’ as the ‘world of self-alienated spirit.’ The idea seems to be that humans in society not only interact, but that they collectively create relatively enduring cultural products (stories, dramas, and so forth) within which they can recognise their own patterns of life reflected.”

The “phantasmagoria” of Didion seems related to the “phenomenology” of Hegel…

From Michael N. Forster,  Hegel’s Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit:

“This whole system is conceived, on one level at least, as a defense or rational reworking of the Christian conception of God.  In particular, its three parts are an attempt to make sense of the Christian idea of a God who is three in one — the Logic depicting God as he is in himself, the Philosophy of Nature God the Son, and the Philosophy of Spirit God the Holy Spirit.”

and, indeed, to the phenomenology of narrative itself….

From Patrick Vert,
The Narrative of Acceleration:

“There are plenty of anecdotes to highlight the personal, phenomenological experience of railway passage…

… a unique study on phantasmagoria and the history of imagination. The word originates [in] light-projection, the so-called ghost-shows of the early 19th century….

… thought becomes a phantasmagorical process, a spectral, representative location for the personal imagination that had been marginalized by scientific rationalism….

Truly, ‘immediate experience is [or becomes] the phantasmagoria of the idler’ [Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.  Page 801.]….

Thought as phantasm is a consequence of the Cartesian split, and… a further consequence to this is the broad take-over of perceptual faculty…. What better example than that of the American railway?  As a case-study it offers explanation to the ‘phantasmagoria of the idler’….

This phantasmagoria became more mediated over time…. Perception became increasingly visually oriented…. As this occurred, a narrative formed to encapsulate the phenomenology of it all….”

For such a narrative, see
the Log24.net entries of

November 5, 2002, 2:56 AM,
November 5, 2002, 6:29 AM,
January 3, 2003, 11:59 PM,
August 17, 2004, 7:29 PM,
August 18, 2004, 2:18 AM,
August 18, 2004, 3:00 AM, and
November 24, 2004, 10:00 AM.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Tuesday December 7, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

White Christmas

Starring W. V. Quine as
the Ghost of Christmas Past

“Birthday, death-day —
   what day is not both?”
   — John Updike

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”

Joan Didion, The White Album

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Quine’s Shema

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