Log24

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stevens and the Rock

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

Passage quoted in A Philosopher's Stone (April 4, 2013)—

This passage from Heidegger suggested the lexicon excerpt on
to hypokeimenon  (the underlying) in yesterday's post Lexicon.

A related passage:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Forms of the Rock (continued)

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:26 PM

Friday, February 21, 2014

Night’s Hymn of the Rock

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

One way of interpreting the symbol  IMAGE- Modal Diamond in a square 
at the end of yesterday's post is via
the phrase "necessary possibility."

See that phrase in (for instance) a post
of July 24, 2013, The Broken Tablet .

The Tablet  post may be viewed in light
of a Tom Wolfe passage quoted here on
the preceding day, July 23, 2013—

IMAGE- Tom Wolfe in 'The Painted Word' on conceptual art

On that  day (July 23) another weblog had
a post titled

Wallace Stevens: Night's Hymn of the Rock.

Some related narrative —

IMAGE- The 2001 film 'The Discovery of Heaven'

I prefer the following narrative —

Part I:  Stevens's verse from "The Rock" (1954) —
"That in which space itself is contained"

Part II:  Mystery Box III: Inside, Outside (2014)

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 —

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Space Itself

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

Consider Stevens’s verse from “The Rock” (1954):

“That in which space itself is contained.” 

Consider also Whitehead in 1906

"This is proved by the consideration
of a three dimensional geometry in which
there are only fifteen points."

— and Stevens on the sublime (1935):

"And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,

The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Angles of Vision

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 PM

IMAGE- Review of a book on Stevens's poetry, 'The Dome and the Rock,' with the reviewer's phrase 'angles of vision.'

See also Desargues in this journal.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday School

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Some narrative for a ghost writer —

IMAGE- The 2001 film 'The Discovery of Heaven'

I prefer the following narrative —

Part I:  Stevens’s verse from “The Rock” (1954) —
“That in which space itself is contained”

Part II:  Mystery Box III: Inside, Outside (2014)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

To Fuse Words with Things

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

A passage suggested by the previous post —

 
   — Catholic Resistance in Elizabethan England :
        Robert Persons's Jesuit Polemic, 1580–1610
        by Victor Houliston (Ashgate Publishing, 2007)

Boundary Value Problem

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM

"'The Owl in the Sarcophagus,' for all its incantatory
elegiac power, consists almost entirely of 
a self-generated and self-generating rhetoric.
It points up one of the limits of poetic composition itself,
the boundary where technique turns into technology."

— Bart Eeckhout in Wallace Stevens and the Limits
     of Reading and Writing ,
 University of Missouri Press,
     2002, p. 210

See as well this morning's previous post.

Block That Metaphor

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

"In theory, a robot could be the cloud-connecting Charon
that ushers us into the Internet of Things." 

Bryan Lufkin at Gizmodo.com, July 29, 2015

Related material —

The death of MIT computability theorist Hartley Rogers, Jr.
at 89 on July 17, and this journal on July 17.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Text and Context*

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 AM

"The ORCID organization offers an open and
independent registry intended to be the de facto  
standard for contributor identification in research
and academic publishing. On 16 October 2012,
ORCID launched its registry services and
started issuing user identifiers." — Wikipedia

This journal on the above date —

  

A more recent identifier —

Related material —

See also the recent posts Ein Kampf and Symplectic.

* Continued.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Comedy

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:20 PM

Symplectic

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 AM

See "Symplectic" in this journal.  Some illustrations —

 

Midrash —

"Adorned with cryptic stones and sliding shines,
An immaculate personage in nothingness,
With the whole spirit sparkling in its cloth,

Generations of the imagination piled
In the manner of its stitchings, of its thread,
In the weaving round the wonder of its need,

And the first flowers upon it, an alphabet
By which to spell out holy doom and end,
A bee for the remembering of happiness."

— Wallace Stevens, "The Owl in the Sarcophagus"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As Is

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:05 PM

"That simple operator, 'as,' turns out to carry within its philosophical grammar
a remarkable complex field* of operations…."

Charles Altieri,  Painterly Abstraction in Modernist American Poetry,
Cambridge University Press, 1989, page 343

See also Rota on Heidegger (What "As" Is, July 6, 2010), and Lead Belly
on the Rock Island Line — "You got to ride it like you find it."

* Update of Oct. 10, 2014: See also "Complex + Grid" in this journal.

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."

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mystery Box III: Inside, Outside

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 2:28 PM

(Continued from Mystery Box, Feb. 4, and Mystery Box II, Feb. 5.)

The Box

Inside the Box

Outside the Box

For the connection of the inside  notation to the outside  geometry,
see Desargues via Galois.

(For a related connection to curves  and surfaces  in the outside
geometry, see Hudson's classic Kummer's Quartic Surface  and
Rosenhain and Göpel Tetrads in PG(3,2).)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Big Rock

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

From the LA Times  online obituaries today:

Michael Feran Baigent was born in Nelson, New Zealand,
in 1948. After graduating from New Zealand's University
of Canterbury with a degree in psychology, he worked as a
photographer and magazine editor in Australia, New
Zealand and Spain before taking up research for a
documentary called "The Shadow of the Templars."

From 1998 he lectured on and led tours of the temples and
tombs in Egypt, and from 2001 he was editor of the
magazine "Freemasonry Today."

Elliott Reid

Longtime film, TV actor with a comic touch

Elliott "Ted" Reid, 93, a longtime character actor in films
and on television, stage and radio who played opposite
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the classic comedy
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," died Friday [June 21, 2013]
in Studio City, said his nephew Roger R. Jackson.

From a post last Saturday, June 22, and the earlier
​post last Friday, June 21, that preceded it:

The Eliade passage was quoted in a 1971 Ph.D. thesis
on Wallace Stevens.

Some context— Stevens's Rock in this journal.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lexicon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

From the final pages of the new novel
Lexicon , by Max Barry: 

"… a fundamental language
of the human mind— 
the tongue in which the human animal 
speaks to itself at the basest level. 
The machine language, in essence…."

"… the questions raised by 
this underlying lexicon
What are its words? 
How many are there? ….
Can we learn to speak them?
What does it sound like 
when who we are is expressed
in its most fundamental form? 
Something to think about."

       R. Lowell

See also, in this journal, Big Rock.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Modes of Being

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

From today's earlier post, Stevens and the Rock

"Rock shows him something that transcends
the precariousness of his humanity:
an absolute mode of being.
Its strength, its motionlessness, its size
and its strange outlines
are none of them human;
they indicate the presence of something
that fascinates, terrifies, attracts and threatens,
all at once."

— Mircea Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion  (1958)

An object with such an "absolute mode of being"
is the plot center of a new novel discussed here previously
Max Barry's Lexicon . From a perceptive review:

I believe he’s hit on something special here.
It’s really no surprise that Matthew Vaughn
of Kick-Ass  and X-Men: First Class  fame
has bought the rights to maybe make the movie;
Lexicon  certainly has the makings of a fine film.

Or graphic  novel  Whatever.

Kitty in Uncanny X-Men #168 (April 1983)

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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poetry and Truth

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

From today's noon post

"In all his poems with all their enchantments
for the poet himself, there is the final enchantment
that they are true. The significance of the poetic act
then is that it is evidence. It is instance and illustration.
It is an illumination of a surface,
the movement of a self in the rock.
Above all it is a new engagement with life.
It is that miracle to which the true faith of the poet
attaches itself."

— Wallace Stevens at Bard College, March 30, 1951

Stevens also said at Bard that

"When Joan of Arc said: 

Have no fear: what I do, I do by command.
My brothers of Paradise tell me what I have to do.

these words were the words of an hallucination.
No matter what her brothers of Paradise drove her to do,
what she did was never a poetic act of faith in reality
because it could not be."

There are those who would dispute this.

Some related material:

"Ageometretos me eisito."—
"Let no one ignorant of geometry enter."—
Said to be a saying of Plato, part of the
seal of the American Mathematical Society—

A poetic approach to geometry—

"A surface" and "the rock," from All Saints' Day, 2012

Spaces as Hypercubes

— and from 1981—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090217-SolidSymmetry.jpg

Some mathematical background for poets in Purgatory—

"… the Klein correspondence underlies Conwell's discussion 
of eight heptads. These play an important role in another
correspondence, illustrated in the Miracle Octad Generator
of R. T. Curtis, that may be used to picture actions
of the large Mathieu group M24."

Speech

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

Speech by Wallace Stevens upon accepting
an honorary degree from Bard College in 1951

(Click to enlarge.)

Transcription of conclusion:

"In all his poems with all their enchantments
for the poet himself, there is the final enchantment
that they are true. The significance of the poetic act
then is that it is evidence. It is instance and illustration.
It is an illumination of a surface,
the movement of a self in the rock.
Above all it is a new engagement with life.
It is that miracle to which the true faith of the poet
attaches itself."

— Wallace Stevens at Bard College, March 30, 1951

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Shattered Mind

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:26 AM

For St. Peter's Day

"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…."

—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

Related material on transforming shapes:

The Diamond 16 Puzzle  and…

IMAGE- The URL for permutationpuzzles.org, with favicon

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rock Concert

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 PM

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.

— "The Rock," a poem by Wallace Stevens from
a section with the same title in the Collected Poems .

"A little bit of Las Vegas in the 1960s has
splashed down Off Broadway…. Actually,
the show as a whole could benefit from a softer sell."

Charles Isherwood's review of
    "The Best Is Yet to Come"
    on page C1, NY edition, today's NY Times

"Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum…"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lottery Hermeneutics (continued)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM

Recent New York Lottery numbers—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110520-RecentNYlottery.jpg

The interpretation of "056" in yesterday's
The Aleph, the Lottery, and the Eightfold Way
was not without interest, but the interpretation there
of "236" was somewhat lacking in poetic resonance.

For aspiring students of lottery hermeneutics,
here are some notes that may help. The "236" may
be reinterpreted as a page number in Stevens's
Collected Poems . It then resonates rather nicely
("answers when I ask," "visible and responsive")
with yesterday evening's "434"—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110520-StevensCP236And434-500w.jpg

For today's midday "022," see Hexagram 22: Grace in the context of the following—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110520-LaterPoetry-Hines141.jpg

As for yesterday afternoon's 609, see a particular Stevens-related page with that number…

IMAGE- Review of 'The Dome and the Rock'

For "a body of thought or poetry larger than the subject's," see The Dome of  the Rock.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bedrock

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 AM

Today's previous post suggests the following—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110519-PhaneSense.jpg

Bester on bedrock and "the bottom line of all existence" suggests
a review of Wallace Stevens's "The Rock." Some background:
See Succor, May 11, and But Seriously, May 12.
See also Waiting for Benjamin, May 15.

Larry McMurtry famously wrote of reading Walter Benjamin
at the Dairy Queen. I never read Benjamin there, but I did
read at least some of the Bester book quoted above.

The bottom lines of this peculiar meditation—

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.

— "The Rock," a poem by Wallace Stevens from
a section with the same title in the Collected Poems .

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Waiting for Benjamin

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:07 PM

Walter Benjamin, that is…  At the Dairy Queen.
    (With apologies to Parker Posey.)

"One of Benjamin's many unrealised projects was a book
that would consist only of culls from already existing material;
he would do no more than arrange and edit."
— Screenwriter Frederic Raphael, May 2011 Literary Review

Raphael is clever, but I prefer Wallace Stevens on culls—

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.

Dairy Queen — Click to enlarge

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110515-DairyQueen400w.jpg

See also Stevens and "The Rock" in this journal and today's "Shoe."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beyond Forgetfulness

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

From this journal on July 23, 2007

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"

This quotation from Stevens (Harvard class of 1901) was posted here on when Daniel Radcliffe (i.e., Harry Potter) turned 18 in July 2007.

Other material from that post suggests it is time for a review of magic at Harvard.

On September 9, 2007, President Faust of Harvard

"encouraged the incoming class to explore Harvard’s many opportunities.

'Think of it as a treasure room of hidden objects Harry discovers at Hogwarts,' Faust said."

That class is now about to graduate.

It is not clear what "hidden objects" it will take from four years in the Harvard treasure room.

Perhaps the following from a book published in 1985 will help…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110505-MetamagicalIntro.gif

The March 8, 2011, Harvard Crimson  illustrates a central topic of Metamagical Themas , the Rubik's Cube—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110427-CrimsonAtlas300w.jpg

Hofstadter in 1985 offered a similar picture—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110505-RubikGlobe.gif

Hofstadter asks in his Metamagical  introduction, "How can both Rubik's Cube and nuclear Armageddon be discussed at equal length in one book by one author?"

For a different approach to such a discussion, see Paradigms Lost, a post made here a few hours before the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110427-ParadigmsLost.jpg

Whether Paradigms Lost is beyond forgetfulness is open to question.

Perhaps a later post, in the lighthearted spirit of Faust, will help. See April 20th's "Ready When You Are, C.B."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bridal Birthday

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 PM

The Telegraph , April 29th

Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton, born 9 January 1982,
will marry Prince William of Wales on April 29th, 2011.

This suggests, by a very illogical and roundabout process
of verbal association, a search in this journal.

A quote from that search—

“‘Memory is non-narrative and non-linear.’
— Maya Lin in The Harvard Crimson , Friday, Dec. 2, 2005

A non-narrative image from the same
general time span as the bride's birthday—

IMAGE- 'Solid Symmetry' by Steven H. Cullinane, Dec. 24, 1981

For some context, see Stevens + "The Rock" + "point A".
A post in that search, April 4th's Rock Notes, links to an essay
on physics and philosophy, "The Discrete and the Continuous," by David Deutsch.

See also the article on Deutsch, "Dream Machine," in the current New Yorker 
(May 2, 2011), and the article's author, "Rivka Galchen," in this journal.

Galchen writes very well. For example —

Galchen on quantum theory

"Our intuition, going back forever, is that to move, say, a rock, one has to touch that rock, or touch a stick that touches the rock, or give an order that travels via vibrations through the air to the ear of a man with a stick that can then push the rock—or some such sequence. This intuition, more generally, is that things can only directly affect other things that are right next to them. If A affects B without  being right next to it, then the effect in question must be in direct—the effect in question must be something that gets transmitted by means of a chain of events in which each event brings about the next one directly, in a manner that smoothly spans the distance from A to B. Every time we think we can come up with an exception to this intuition—say, flipping a switch that turns on city street lights (but then we realize that this happens through wires) or listening to a BBC radio broadcast (but then we realize that radio waves propagate through the air)—it turns out that we have not, in fact, thought of an exception. Not, that is, in our everyday experience of the world.

We term this intuition 'locality.'

Quantum mechanics has upended many an intuition, but none deeper than this one."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Romancing the Metaphor

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:24 PM

Background —

From a 1990 novel —
http://www.log24.com/log/pix11A/110424-StoneJunction.jpg

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rock Notes

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

An Ordinary Evening in Tennessee

"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….." — Wallace Stevens

Related material:  The Discrete and the Continuous

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.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Imago Creationis

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , , — m759 @ 6:00 PM

Image-- The Four-Diamond Tesseract

In the above view, four of the tesseract's 16
vertices are overlaid by other vertices.
For views that are more complete and
moveable, see Smith's tesseract page.

Four-Part Tesseract Divisions

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-TesseractAnd4x4.gif

The above figure shows how four-part partitions
of the 16 vertices  of a tesseract in an infinite
Euclidean  space are related to four-part partitions
of the 16 points  in a finite Galois  space

Euclidean spaces versus Galois spaces
in a larger context—

 

 


Infinite versus Finite

The central aim of Western religion —

"Each of us has something to offer the Creator...
the bridging of
                 masculine and feminine,
                      life and death.
It's redemption.... nothing else matters."
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist  (1998)

The central aim of Western philosophy —

              Dualities of Pythagoras
              as reconstructed by Aristotle:
                 Limited     Unlimited
                     Odd     Even
                    Male     Female
                   Light      Dark
                Straight    Curved
                  ... and so on ....

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."
— Jamie James in The Music of the Spheres  (1993)

Another picture related to philosophy and religion—

Jung's Four-Diamond Figure from Aion

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100615-JungImago.gif

This figure was devised by Jung
to represent the Self. Compare the
remarks of Paul Valéry on the Self—

Flight from Eden: The Origins of Modern Literary Criticism and Theory, by Steven Cassedy, U. of California Press, 1990, pages 156-157—

 

 

Valéry saw the mind as essentially a relational system whose operation he attempted to describe in the language of group mathematics. "Every act of understanding is based on a group," he says (C, 1:331). "My specialty— reducing everything to the study of a system closed on itself and finite" (C, 19: 645). The transformation model came into play, too. At each moment of mental life the mind is like a group, or relational system, but since mental life is continuous over time, one "group" undergoes a "transformation" and becomes a different group in the next moment. If the mind is constantly being transformed, how do we account for the continuity of the self? Simple; by invoking the notion of the invariant. And so we find passages like this one: "The S[elf] is invariant, origin, locus or field, it's a functional property of consciousness" (C, 15:170 [2:315]). Just as in transformational geometry, something remains fixed in all the projective transformations of the mind's momentary systems, and that something is the Self (le Moi, or just M, as Valéry notates it so that it will look like an algebraic variable). Transformation theory is all over the place. "Mathematical science…  reduced to algebra, that is, to the analysis of the transformations of a purely differential being made up of homogeneous elements, is the most faithful document of the properties of grouping, disjunction, and variation in the mind" (O, 1:36). "Psychology is a theory of transformations, we just need to isolate the invariants and the groups" (C, 1:915). "Man is a system that transforms itself" (C, 2:896).

Notes:

  Paul Valéry, Oeuvres  (Paris: Pléiade, 1957-60)

C   Valéry, Cahiers, 29 vols. (Paris: Centre National de le Recherche Scientifique, 1957-61)

Note also the remarks of George David Birkhoff at Rice University
in 1940 (pdf) on Galois's theory of groups and the related
"theory of ambiguity" in Galois's testamentary letter—

… metaphysical reasoning always relies on the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and… the true meaning of this Principle is to be found in the “Theory of Ambiguity” and in the associated mathematical “Theory of Groups.”

If I were a Leibnizian mystic, believing in his “preestablished harmony,” and the “best possible world” so satirized by Voltaire in “Candide,” I would say that the metaphysical importance of the Principle of Sufficient Reason and the cognate Theory of Groups arises from the fact that God thinks multi-dimensionally* whereas men can only think in linear syllogistic series, and the Theory of Groups is the appropriate instrument of thought to remedy our deficiency in this respect.

* That is, uses multi-dimensional symbols beyond our grasp.

Related material:

Imago Creationis

A medal designed by Leibniz to show how
binary arithmetic mirrors the creation by God
of something (1) from nothing (0).

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100618-LeibnizMedaille.jpg

Another array of 16 strings of 0's and 1's, this time
regarded as coordinates rather than binary numbers—

Frame of Reference

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-ReferenceFrame.gif

The Diamond Theorem

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-Dtheorem.gif

Some context by a British mathematician —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100619-Cameron.gif

Imago

by Wallace Stevens

Who can pick up the weight of Britain, 
Who can move the German load 
Or say to the French here is France again? 
Imago. Imago. Imago. 

It is nothing, no great thing, nor man 
Of ten brilliancies of battered gold 
And fortunate stone. It moves its parade 
Of motions in the mind and heart, 

A gorgeous fortitude. Medium man 
In February hears the imagination's hymns 
And sees its images, its motions 
And multitudes of motions 

And feels the imagination's mercies, 
In a season more than sun and south wind, 
Something returning from a deeper quarter, 
A glacier running through delirium, 

Making this heavy rock a place, 
Which is not of our lives composed . . . 
Lightly and lightly, O my land, 
Move lightly through the air again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Sermon for Hogwarts

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

Part I: The Search

Part II: The Rock

Related metaphors–

Three Tales

Related illustration–

The Dome of the Rock:

Dome of the Rock on NY Times online front page, 7:10 AM ET Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009

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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday February 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Diamond-Faceted:
Transformations
of the Rock

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)

A mathematical version of
this poetic concept appears
in a rather cryptic note
from 1981 written with
Stevens's poem in mind:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090217-SolidSymmetry.jpg

For some explanation of the
groups of 8 and 24
motions referred to in the note,
see an earlier note from 1981.

For the Perlis "diamond facets,"
see the Diamond 16 Puzzle.

For a much larger group
of motions, see
Solomon's Cube.

As for "the mind itself"
and "possibilities for
human thought," see
Geometry of the I Ching.

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"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday June 29, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Big Rock

"I'm going to hit this problem
with a big rock."

– Mathematical saying,
quoted here
in July of 2006

June 28, 2007:

A professor discusses a poem by Wallace Stevens:

"Professor Eucalyptus in 'Ordinary Evening' XIV, for example, 'seeks/ God in the object itself,' but this quest culminates in his own choosing of 'the commodious adjective/ For what he sees… the description that makes it divinity, still speech… not grim/ Reality but reality grimly seen/ And spoken in paradisal parlance new'…."

– Douglas Mao, Solid Objects:Modernism and the Test of Production, Princeton University Press, 1998, p. 242
 
"God in the object" seems
unlikely to be found in the
artifact pictured on the
cover of Mao's book:
 
Cover of 'Solid Objects,' by Douglas Mao

I have more confidence
that God is to be found
in the Ping Pong balls of
  the New York Lottery….

These objects may be
regarded as supplying
a parlance that is, if not
paradisal, at least
intelligible– if only in
the context of my own
personal experience.

June 28, 2008:

NY Lottery June 28, 2008: Mid-day 629, Evening 530

These numbers can, of course,
be interpreted as symbols of
the dates 6/29 and 5/30.

The last Log24 entry of
 6/29 (St. Peter's Day):

"The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth."
– Wallace Stevens,
"Credences of Summer"

The last Log24 entry of
5/30 (St. Joan's Day):

The Nature of Evil

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday June 6, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM
The Dance of Chance

"Harvard seniors have
every right to demand a
    Harvard-calibre speaker."

— Adam Goldenberg in
The Harvard Crimson

"Look down now, Cotton Mather"

— Wallace Stevens,
Harvard College
Class of 1901

For Thursday, June 5, 2008,
commencement day for Harvard's
Class of 2008, here are the
Pennsylvania Lottery numbers:

Mid-day 025
Evening 761

Thanks to the late
Harvard professor
Willard Van Orman Quine,
the mid-day number 025
suggests the name
"Isaac Newton."

(For the logic of this suggestion,
see On Linguistic Creation
and Raiders of the Lost Matrix.)

Thanks to Google search, the
  name of Newton, combined with
  Thursday's evening number 761,
suggests the following essay:

Science 10 August 2007:
Vol. 317. no. 5839, pp. 761-762

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE:
The Cha-Cha-Cha Theory
of Scientific Discovery

Daniel E. Koshland Jr.*

* D. E. Koshland Jr. passed away on 23 July 2007. He was a professor of biochemistry and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1965. He served as Science's editor-in-chief from 1985 to 1995.
 


What can a non-scientist add?

Perhaps the Log24 entries for
the date of Koshland's death:

The Philosopher's Stone
and The Rock.

Or perhaps the following
observations:

On the figure of 25 parts
discussed in
"On Linguistic Creation"–

5x5 ultra super magic square

"The Moslems thought of the
central 1 as being symbolic
of the unity of Allah.
"

— Clifford Pickover  

"At the still point,
there the dance is.
"

— T. S. Eliot,
Harvard College
Class of 1910

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday May 7, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Forms of the Rock

“point A / In a perspective
that begins again / At B”

— Wallace Stevens,
The Rock

See also

August 2, 2002

January 20, 2003

April 8, 2003

December 5, 2004

December 10, 2004

January 11, 2006

April 30, 2006

August 25, 2006

August 26, 2006

February 6, 2007

July 23, 2007

July 24, 2007

September 30, 2007

April 14, 2008

Christmas Eve, 1981

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday April 14, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 AM

Classical Quantum

From this morning's
New York Times:

Physicist John A. Wheeler with diagrams of classical and quantum ways to get from point A to point B

"John A. Wheeler, a visionary physicist… died Sunday morning [April 13, 2008]….

… Dr. Wheeler set the agenda for generations of theoretical physicists, using metaphor as effectively as calculus to capture the imaginations of his students and colleagues and to pose questions that would send them, minds blazing, to the barricades to confront nature….

'He rejuvenated general relativity; he made it an experimental subject and took it away from the mathematicians,' said Freeman Dyson, a theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study….

… he [Wheeler] sailed to Copenhagen to work with Bohr, the godfather of the quantum revolution, which had shaken modern science with paradoxical statements about the nature of reality.

'You can talk about people like Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Confucius, but the thing that convinced me that such people existed were the conversations with Bohr,' Dr. Wheeler said….

… Dr. Wheeler was swept up in the Manhattan Project to build an atomic bomb. To his lasting regret, the bomb was not ready in time to change the course of the war in Europe….

Dr. Wheeler continued to do government work after the war, interrupting his research to help develop the hydrogen bomb, promote the building of fallout shelters and support the Vietnam War….

… Dr. Wheeler wondered if this quantum uncertainty somehow applied to the universe and its whole history, whether it was the key to understanding why anything exists at all.

'We are no longer satisfied with insights only into particles, or fields of force, or geometry, or even space and time,' Dr. Wheeler wrote in 1981. 'Today we demand of physics some understanding of existence itself.'

At a 90th birthday celebration in 2003, Dr. Dyson said that Dr. Wheeler was part prosaic calculator, a 'master craftsman,' who decoded nuclear fission, and part poet. 'The poetic Wheeler is a prophet,' he said, 'standing like Moses on the top of Mount Pisgah, looking out over the promised land that his people will one day inherit.'"

Dennis Overbye, The New York Times,
    Monday, April 14, 2008

As prophets go, I prefer
 the poet Wallace Stevens:

"point A / In a perspective
that begins again / At B"

— Wallace Stevens,
"The Rock"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday September 30, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM
Trinity Church

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070930-Trinity_Church_today.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Funeral services will be held
at Trinity Church, Upperville,
at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30.”

The source:

William D. Rogers, Diplomat and Attorney

Today’s previous entry had
 a different image of Rogers
with a quotation from
  Wallace Stevens’s “The Rock.”
Stevens, though raised as
a Presbyterian, was a
secular poet.

Since Rogers’s funeral
is to take place in
a Christian church,
it seems fitting to
grant equal time to
a Christian poet of
at least equal stature:

“Though you forget the way
    to the Temple,
There is one who remembers
    the way to your door:
Life you may evade,
    but Death you shall not.
You shall not deny the Stranger.”

— Thomas Stearns Eliot,
  “Choruses from ‘The Rock

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday July 24, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM
The Church of St. Frank

See yesterday’s entries for
some relevant quotations
from Wallace Stevens.

Further quotations for what
Marjorie Garber, replying to
a book review by
Frank Kermode, has called
the Church of St. Frank“–

Frank Kermode on

Harold Bloom:

“He has… a great, almost
selfish passion for poetry,
and he interprets difficult
texts as if there were no
more important activity
in the world, which may
be right.”

Page 348 of Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
,
by Harold Bloom
(1977, Cornell U. Press):

“The fiction of the leaves is now Stevens’ fiction…. Spring, summer, and autumn adorn the rock of reality even as a woman is adorned, the principle being the Platonic one of copying the sun as source of all images….

… They are more than leaves
              that cover the barren rock….

They bear their fruit    
             so that the year is known….

If they are more than leaves, then they are no longer language, and the leaves have ceased to be tropes or poems and have become magic or mysticism, a Will-to-Power over nature rather than over the anteriority of poetic imagery.”

For more on magic, mysticism, and the Platonic “source of all images,” see Scott McLaren on “Hermeticism and the Metaphysics of Goodness in the Novels of Charles Williams.” McLaren quotes Evelyn Underhill on magic vs. mysticism:

The fundamental difference between the two is this: magic wants to get, mysticism wants to give […] In mysticism the will is united with the emotions in an impassioned desire to transcend the sense-world in order that the self may be joined by love to the one eternal and ultimate Object of love […] In magic, the will unites with the intellect in an impassioned desire for supersensible knowledge. This is the intellectual, aggressive, and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness […] (Underhill 84; see also 178ff.)

— Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dutton, 1911.

For more on what Bloom calls the “Will-to-Power over nature,” see Faust in Copenhagen and the recent (20th- and 21st-century) history of Harvard University. These matters are also discussed in “Log24 – Juneteenth through Midsummer Night.”

For more on what Underhill calls “the intellectual, aggressive, and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness,” see the review, in the August 2007 Notices of the American Mathematical Society, of a book by Douglas Hofstadter– a writer on the nature of consciousness— by magician Martin Gardner.

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, 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.'

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tuesday February 6, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Poetics of Space

The title is from Bachelard.
I prefer Stevens:

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.
It is the rock where tranquil must adduce
Its tranquil self, the main of things, the mind,

The starting point of the human and the end,
That in which space itself is contained, the gate
To the enclosure, day, the things illumined

By day, night and that which night illumines,
Night and its midnight-minting fragrances,
Night's hymn of the rock, as in a vivid sleep.

— Wallace Stevens,
   "The Rock," 1954

Joan Ockman in Harvard Design Magazine (Fall 1998):

"'We are far removed from any reference to simple geometrical forms,' Bachelard wrote…."

No, we are not. See Log24, Christmas 2005: 

Compare and contrast:

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

 

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

 

(Click on pictures for details.)

More on Bachelard from Harvard Design Magazine:

"The project of discerning a loi des quatre éléments would preoccupy him until his death…."

For such a loi, see Theme and Variations and…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070206-Elements.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(Click on design for details.)

Thought for Today:
"If you can talk brilliantly
about a problem, it can create
the consoling illusion that
it has been mastered."
— Stanley Kubrick, American
movie director (1928-1999).

(AP, "Today in History,"
February 6, 2007)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Sunday January 7, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Birthday Greetings
to Nicolas Cage
from Marxists.org

Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Various forms of “the modern movement” that include “… the modernist school of poetry (as institutionalised and canonised in the works of Wallace Stevens) all are now seen as the final, extraordinary flowering of a high-modernist impulse which is spent and exhausted…” —marxists.org:

“One of the primary critiques of modernism that Learning from Las Vegas was engaged in, as Frederic [sic] Jameson clearly noted, was the dialectic between inside and outside and the assumption that the outside expressed the interior.* Let’s call this the modernist drive for ‘expressive transparency.'”

Aron Vinegar of Ohio State U., “Skepticism and the Ordinary: From Burnt Norton to Las Vegas

* Jameson, Frederic [sic]. 1988. “Architecture and the Critique of Ideology.” The Ideologies of Theory: Essays, 1971-1986. Volume 2. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 59.

Steven Helmling, The Success and Failure of Fredric Jameson, SUNY Press, 2001, p. 54–

Jameson “figures the inside/outside problem in the metaphor of the ‘prison-house of language’….”

      
      Jung and the Imago Dei:

 “… Jung presents a diagram  
    to illustrate the dynamic
      movements of the self….”

…the movement of
a self in the rock

Stevens, The Rock, and Piranesi's Prisons

Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
,
by Harold Bloom,
Cornell U. Press, 1977

“Welcome to The Rock.”
— Sean Connery

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070107-Bridge.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
“… just as God defeats the devil:
this bridge exists….”
Andre Weil

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070107-Magneto2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The bridge illustration
is thanks to Magneto.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday August 26, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Philosopher's Rock
 
(continued from  

previous entry)

"Alcatraz, Spanish for pelican, was named Isla de los Alcatraces after the birds that were the island's only inhabitants." —Bay City Guide

Related material

Thomas Kuhn's "Pelican Brief":

"… the Philosopher’s Stone was a psychic rather than a physical product.  It symbolized one’s Self…."

Philosopher's Pelican:

"The formula presents a symbol of the self…."

Jung and the Imago Dei:

"… Jung presents a diagram to illustrate the dynamic movements of the self…."

…the movement of
a self in the rock

Stevens, The Rock, and Piranesi's Prisons

Wallace Stevens:
The Poems of Our Climate
,
by Harold Bloom,
Cornell U. Press, 1977

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday August 25, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 AM

Today's birthday:
Sean Connery

"Poetry is an illumination of a surface,
  the movement of a self in the rock."
— Wallace Stevens, introduction to
    The Necessary Angel, 1951

Welcome.

Time in the Rock, by Conrad Aiken

First edition, 1936

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday July 29, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 PM

Big Rock

Thanks to Ars Mathematicaa link to everything2.com:

"In mathematics, a big rock is a result which is vastly more powerful than is needed to solve the problem being considered. Often it has a difficult, technical proof whose methods are not related to those of the field in which it is applied. You say 'I'm going to hit this problem with a big rock.' Sard's theorem is a good example of a big rock."

Another example:

Properties of the Monster Group of R. L. Griess, Jr., may be investigated with the aid of the Miracle Octad Generator, or MOG, of R. T. Curtis.  See the MOG on the cover of a book by Griess about some of the 20 sporadic groups involved in the Monster:
 

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

The MOG, in turn, illustrates (via Abstract 79T-A37, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1979) the fact that the group of automorphisms of the affine space of four dimensions over the two-element field is also the natural group of automorphisms of an arbitrary 4×4 array.

This affine group, of order 322,560, is also the natural group of automorphisms of a family of graphic designs similar to those on traditional American quilts.  (See the diamond theorem.)

This top-down approach to the diamond theorem may serve as an illustration of the "big rock" in mathematics.

For a somewhat simpler, bottom-up, approach to the theorem, see Theme and Variations.

For related literary material, see Mathematics and Narrative and The Diamond as Big as the Monster.
 

"The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth."

Wallace Stevens,
"Credences of Summer"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday June 29, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM
For the Feast of
St. Peter:

The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth.”

— Wallace Stevens,
“Credences of Summer,”

Spellbound, and

Quotes on Mathematics,
collected by
Peter Cameron.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saturday June 17, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 AM
In memory of
Barbara Epstein:
 

Spellbound

“Breaking the spell of religion is a
 game that many people can play.”
— Freeman Dyson in the current
   New York Review of Books

Part I:
The Game

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060617-Boggle.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Part II:
Many People

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060617-Spellbound.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For further details,
see Solomon’s Cube
and myspace.com/affine.

The rock cannot be broken.
It is the truth.”
— Wallace Stevens     

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Wednesday January 11, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:30 PM

Time in the Rock

"a world of selves trying to remember the self
before the idea of self is lost–

Walk with me world, upon my right hand walk,
speak to me Babel, that I may strive to assemble
of all these syllables a single word
before the purpose of speech is gone."

— Conrad Aiken, "Prelude" (1932),
    later part of "Time in the Rock,
    or Preludes to Definition, XIX" (1936),
    in Selected Poems, Oxford U. Press
    paperback, 2003, page 156

"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.
It is the rock where tranquil must adduce
Its tranquil self, the main of things, the mind,

The starting point of the human and the end,
That in which space itself is contained, the gate
To the enclosure, day, the things illumined

By day, night and that which night illumines,
Night and its midnight-minting fragrances,
Night's hymn of the rock, as in a vivid sleep."

— Wallace Stevens in The Rock (1954)

"Poetry is an illumination of a surface,
  the movement of a self in the rock."
— Wallace Stevens, introduction to
    The Necessary Angel, 1951
 

Related material:
Jung's Imago and Solomon's Cube.

 

The following may help illuminate the previous entry:

"I want, as a man of the imagination, to write poetry with all the power of a monster equal in strength to that of the monster about whom I write.  I want man's imagination to be completely adequate in the face of reality."

— Wallace Stevens, 1953 (Letters 790)

The "monster" of the previous entry is of course not Reese Witherspoon, but rather Vox Populi itself.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Monday October 3, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM
On This Date

“In 1955, 50 years ago, ‘Captain Kangaroo’
and ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’
premiered on CBS and ABC, respectively.”
— Today in History, Associated Press

Part I

For a Christian meditation on Captain Kangaroo, see the Log24 entries of Jan. 24, 2004.

Part II

“Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset.”
— Today in History, Associated Press

A Rosh Hashana catechism:

    Question

(See Chorus from the Rock.)

How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?
— Wallace Stevens,
   “The American Sublime”

    Answer

“Spear Daddy!” in yesterday’s entry,
Happy Birthday, Wallace Stevens

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)

 

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Sunday December 5, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 3:00 PM

Chorus from
The Rock

Author Joan Didion is 70 today.

On Didion’s late husband, John Gregory Dunne:

“His 1989 memoir Harp includes Dunne’s early years in Hartford and his Irish-Catholic family’s resentment of WASP social superiority: ‘Don’t stand out so that the Yanks can see you,’ he wrote, ‘don’t let your pretensions become a focus of Yank merriment and mockery.'”

The Hartford Courant, August 4, 2002

From a Hartford Protestant:

The American Sublime

How does one stand
To behold the sublime,
To confront the mockers,
The mickey mockers
And plated pairs?

When General Jackson
Posed for his statue
He knew how one feels.
Shall a man go barefoot
Blinking and blank?

But how does one feel?
One grows used to the weather,
The landscape and that;
And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,

The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.
What wine does one drink?
What bread does one eat?

— Wallace Stevens

A search of the Internet for “Wallace Stevens”  + “The Rock” + “Seventy Years Later” yields only one quotation…

Log24 entries of Aug. 2, 2002:

From “Seventy Years Later,” Section I of “The Rock,” a poem by Wallace Stevens:

A theorem proposed
between the two —
Two figures in a nature
of the sun….

From page 63 of The New Yorker issue dated August 5, 2002:

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

From Didion’s Play It As It Lays:

Everything goes.  I am working very hard at not thinking about how everything goes.  I watch a hummingbird, throw the I Ching but never read the coins, keep my mind in the now.
— Page 8

From Play It As It Lays:

I lie here in the sunlight, watch the hummingbird.  This morning I threw the coins in the swimming pool, and they gleamed and turned in the water in such a way that I was almost moved to read them.  I refrained.
— Page 214

And the sublime comes down
To the spirit itself,
The spirit and space,
The empty spirit
In vacant space.

One heart will wear a Valentine.
— Sinatra, 1954

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Tuesday April 8, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:07 PM

Death’s Dream Kingdom

April 7, 2003, Baghdad – A US tank blew a huge statue of President Saddam Hussein off its pedestal in central Baghdad on Monday with a single shell, a US officer said…. “One shot, one kill.”

“When smashing monuments, save the pedestals; they always come in handy.”

Stanislaw J. Lec 

“In death’s dream kingdom….

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow”

— T. S. Eliot, Harvard 1910, The Hollow Men

“A light check in the shadow
is the same gray as
a dark check outside the shadow.”

— Edward H. Adelson, Yale 1974, Illusions and Demos

“point A / In a perspective that begins again / At B”

— Wallace Stevens, Harvard 1901, “The Rock

See also

Shine On, Hermann Weyl.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Monday January 20, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

Shine On, Robinson Jeffers

"…be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, 
      a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits,
     that caught — they say — God, when he walked on earth."
Shine, Perishing Republic, by Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers died at Big Sur, California, on January 20, 1962 — a year to the day after Robert Frost spoke at the Kennedy inauguration.

"The poetry of Robinson Jeffers shines with a diamond's brilliance when he depicts Nature's beauty and magnificence.   His verse also flashes with a diamond's hardness when he portrays human pain and folly."
Gary Suttle  

"Praise Him, He hath conferred aesthetic distance
Upon our appetites, and on the bloody
Mess of our birthright, our unseemly need,
Imposed significant form. Through Him the brutes
Enter the pure Euclidean kingdom of number…."
— Howard Nemerov, 
   Grace To Be Said at the Supermarket 

"Across my foundering deck shone 
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash 
Fáll to the resíduary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash: 
In a flash, at a trumpet crash, 
I am all at once what Christ is |, since he was what I am, and 
Thís Jack, jóke, poor pótsherd, | patch, matchwood,
    immortal diamond, 
Is immortal diamond."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection

"In the last two weeks, I've been returning to Hopkins.  Even in the 'world's wildfire,' he asserts that 'this Jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,/Is immortal diamond.' A comfort."
— Michael Gerson, head White House speechwriter,
    in Vanity Fair, May 2002, page 162

"There's none but truth can stead you.  Christ is truth."
— Gerard Manley Hopkins

"The rock cannot be broken.  It is the truth."
— Wallace Stevens 

"My ghost you needn't look for; it is probably
Here, but a dark one, deep in the granite…."
— Robinson Jeffers, Tor House

On this date in 1993, the inauguration day of William Jefferson Clinton, Audrey Hepburn died.

"…today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully…."
Maya Angelou, January 20, 1993

"So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger'd still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire"
— John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes (January 20), IX

Top view of
ordinary
diamond

Top view of
Hearts On Fire
diamond

Advertising Copy:

What you see with a Hearts On Fire diamond is an unequalled marriage of math and physics, resulting in the world's most perfectly cut diamond.

 

"Eightpointed symmetrical signs are ancient symbols for the Venus goddess or the planet Venus as either the Morning star or the Evening star."
Symbols.com

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.  Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame."
Song of Solomon

"The last words from the people in the towers and on the planes, over and over again, were 'I love you.'  Over and over again, the message was the same, 'I love you.' …. Perhaps this is the loudest chorus from The Rock:  we are learning just how powerful love really is, even in the face of death."
The Rev. Kenneth E. Kovacs

"Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again."
The Who 

See also my note, "Bright Star," of October 23, 2002.

 

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Saturday January 11, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:24 PM

METROPOLITAN ART WARS:

The First Days of Disco

Some cultural milestones, in the order I encountered them today:

From Dr. Mac’s Cultural Calendar:

  • “On this day in 1963, Whiskey-A-Go-Go—believed to be the first discotheque in the world—opened on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles with extraordinary hype and fanfare.”

From websites on Whit Stillman’s film, “The Last Days of Disco”:

Scene: Manhattan in the very early 1980’s.

Alice and her friend Charlotte are regulars at a fashionable disco.

Roger Ebert:

“Charlotte is forever giving poor Alice advice about what to say and how to behave; she says guys like it when a girl uses the word ‘sexy,’ and a few nights later, when a guy tells Alice he collects first editions of Scrooge McDuck comic books, she…”

Bjorn Thomson:

“… looks deep into his eyes and purrs ‘I think Scrooge McDuck is sexy!’ It is a laugh-out-loud funny line and a shrewd parody, but is also an honest statement.”

(Actually, to be honest, I encountered Thomson first and Ebert later, but the narrative sequence demands that they be rearranged.)

The combination of these cultural landmarks suggested that I find out what Scrooge McDuck was doing during the first days of disco, in January 1963.  Some research revealed that in issue #40 of “Uncle Scrooge,” with a publication date of January 1963, was a tale titled “Oddball Odyssey.”  Plot summary: “A whisper of treasure draws Scrooge to Circe.”

Further research produced an illustration:

 

Desiring more literary depth, I sought more information on the story of Scrooge and Circe. It turns out that this was only one of a series of encounters between Scrooge and a character called Magica de Spell.  The following is from a website titled

Duckburg Religion:

“Magica’s first appearance is in ‘The Midas Touch’ (US 36-01). She enters the Money Bin to buy a dime from Scrooge. Donald tells Scrooge that she is a sorceress, but Scrooge sells her a dime anyway. He sells her his first dime by accident, but gets it back. The fun starts when Scrooge tells her that it is the first dime he earned. She is going to make an amulet….”

with it.  Her pursuit of the dime apparently lasts through a number of Scrooge episodes.

“…in Oddball Odyssey (US 40-02). Magica discovers Circe’s secret cave. Inside the cave is a magic wand that she uses to transform Huey, Dewey and Louie to pigs, Donald to a goat (later to a tortoise), and Scrooge to a donkey. This reminds us of the treatment Circe gave Ulysses and his men. Magica does not succeed in transforming Scrooge after stealing the Dime, and Scrooge manages to break the spell (de Spell) by smashing the magic wand.”

At this point I was reminded of the legendary (but true) appearance of Wallace Stevens’s wife on another historic dime.  This was discussed by Charles Schulz in a cartoon of Sunday, May 27, 1990:


  

Here Sally is saying…

Who, me?… Yes, Ma’am, right here.

This is my report on dimes and pennies…

“Wallace Stevens was a famous poet…
His wife was named Elsie…”

“Most people do not know that Elsie was the model for the 1916 ‘Liberty Head’ dime.”

“Most people also don’t know that if I had a dime for every one of these stupid reports I’ve written, I’d be a rich person.”

Finally, sitting outside the principal’s office:

I never got to the part about who posed for the Lincoln penny.


I conclude this report on a note of synchronicity:

The above research was suggested in part by a New York Times article on Ovid’s Metamorphoses I read last night.  After locating the Scrooge and Stevens items above, I went to the Times site this afternoon to remind myself of this article.  At that point synchronicity kicked in; I encountered the following obituary of a Scrooge figure from 1963… the first days of disco:

The New York Times, January 12, 2003

(So dated at the website on Jan. 11)

C. Douglas Dillon Dies at 93;
Was in Kennedy Cabinet

By ERIC PACE

C. Douglas Dillon, a versatile Wall Street financier who was named secretary of the Treasury by President Kennedy and ambassador to France under President Eisenhower, and was a longtime executive of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, died Friday [Jan. 10, 2003] at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Mr. Dillon, who lived with his wife on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, Fla., was 93.

Mr. Dillon was born to wealth and influence as the son of the founder of Dillon, Read & Company, an international banking house. Mr. Dillon was widely respected for his attention to detail — he had a reputation for ferreting out inconspicuous errors in reports — and his intellect, which his parents began shaping at an early age by enrolling Mr. Dillon in elite private schools.

Mr. Dillon is said to have been able to read quickly and to fully comprehend what he read by the time he was 4 years old. At the Pine Lodge School in Lakehurst, N.J., Mr. Dillon’s schoolmates included Nelson, Laurance and John Rockefeller III. Mr. Dillon later graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and sharpened his analytical powers on Wall Street.

Strapping and strong-jawed, Mr. Dillon sometimes seemed self-effacing or even shy in public, despite his long prominence in public affairs and in business. He served over the years as chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, president of Harvard University’s board of overseers…”

Et cetera, et cetera, and so forth.

(See yesterday’s two entries, “Something Wonderful,” and “Story.”)

Two reflections suggest themselves:

“I need a photo opportunity.
I want a shot at
redemption.
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard.”
— Paul Simon

Ending up in a cartoon graveyard is indeed an unhappy fate; on the other hand…

It is nice to be called “sexy.”

Added at 1:50 AM Jan. 12, 2003:

Tonight’s site music, in honor of Mr. Dillon
and of Hepburn, Holden, and Bogart in “Sabrina” —
 “Isn’t It Romantic?”

 

Friday, August 2, 2002

Friday August 2, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:24 PM

Double Day… August 2, 2002

“Time cannot exist without a soul (to count it).” — Aristotle

The above quotation appears in my journal note of August 2, 1995, as an  epigraph on the reproduced title page of The Sense of an Ending, by Frank Kermode (Oxford University Press, 1967).

August 2, 1995, was the fortieth anniversary of Wallace Stevens’s death. On the same date in 1932 — seventy years ago today — actor Peter O’Toole was born.  O’Toole’s name appears, in a suitably regal fashion, in my journal note of August 2, 1995, next to the heraldic crest of Oxford University, which states that “Dominus illuminatio mea.”  Both the crest and the name appear below the reproduced title page of Kermode’s book — forming, as it were, a foundation for what  Harvard professor Marjorie Garber scornfully called “the Church of St. Frank” (letters to the editor, New York Times Book Review, July 30, 1995).

Meditations for today, August 2, 2002:

From page 60 of Why I Am a Catholic, by Gary Wills (Houghton Mifflin, 2002):

“Was Jesus teasing Peter when he called him ‘Rocky,’ naming him ab opposito, as when one calls a not-so-bright person Einstein?”

From page 87 of The Third Word War, by Ian Lee (A&W Publishers, Inc., New York, 1978):

“Two birds… One stone (EIN STEIN).”

From “Seventy Years Later,” Section I of “The Rock,” a poem by Wallace Stevens:

A theorem proposed between the two —

Two figures in a nature of the sun….

From page 117 of The Sense of an Ending:

“A great many different kinds of writing are called avant-garde…. The work of William Burroughs, for instance, is avant-garde.  His is the literature of withdrawal, and his interpreters speak of his hatred for life, his junk nihilism, his treatment of the body as a corpse full of cravings.  The language of his books is the language of an ending world, its aim… ‘self-abolition.'”

From “Today in History,” by The Associated Press:

“Five years ago:  ‘Naked Lunch’ author William S. Burroughs, the godfather of the ‘Beat generation,’ died in Kansas City, Mo., at age 83.”

Part of the above statement is the usual sort of AP disinformation, due not to any sinister intent but to stupidity and carelessness.  Burroughs actually died in Lawrence, Kansas. For the location of Lawrence, click on the link below.  Location matters.

http://www.mapquest.com/

From page 118 of The Sense of an Ending:

“Somewhere, then, the avant-garde language must always rejoin the vernacular.”

From the Billie Holiday songbook:

“Good mornin’, heartache.”

From page 63 of The New Yorker issue dated August 5, 2002:

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

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