Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Death Day

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:20 PM

"Birthday, death-day — what day is not both?" — Updike




Thursday, August 30, 2018

Perception* of Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:12 PM




* A footnote in memory of a dancer who reportedly died
  yesterday, August 29 —  See posts tagged Paradigm Shift.

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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Story Theory

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

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

— John Updike, The New Yorker  dated August 5, 2002, page 63

Today's date— Poincaré's birth, Wittgenstein's death.

A Saint for Clark University—

Today is also the birth date of William Edward Story,
a mathematician who taught at Clark University
in Worcester, Mass.

Story's date of death was April 10, 1930.

See the Log24 posts for that date in 2012.

“Oh, Sara!” she whispered joyfully. “It is like a story!”

“It is  a story,” said Sara. “Everything's  a story.
 You are a story— I am a story.”

— Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday January 30, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Two-Part Invention

This journal on
October 8, 2008,
at noon:

“There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question ‘What is truth?'”

— H. S. M. Coxeter, introduction to Richard J. Trudeau’s remarks on the “story theory” of truth as opposed to the “diamond theory” of truth in The Non-Euclidean Revolution

Trudeau’s 1987 book uses the phrase “diamond theory” to denote the philosophical theory, common since Plato and Euclid, that there exist truths (which Trudeau calls “diamonds”) that are certain and eternal– for instance, the truth in Euclidean geometry that the sum of a triangle’s angles is 180 degrees.

Insidehighered.com on
the same day, October 8, 2008,
at 12:45 PM EDT

“Future readers may consider Updike our era’s Mozart; Mozart was once written off as a too-prolific composer of ‘charming nothings,’ and some speak of Updike that way.”

— Comment by BPJ

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

Updike died on January 27.
On the same date,
Mozart was born.


Mr. Best entered,
tall, young, mild, light.
He bore in his hand
with grace a notebook,
new, large, clean, bright.

— James Joyce, Ulysses,
Shakespeare and Company,
Paris, 1922, page 178

Related material:

Dec. 5, 2004 and

Inscribed carpenter's square

Jan. 27-29, 2009

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Thursday March 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:30 PM
In and Out

John Updike in
The New Yorker:

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

Annie Dillard in
For the Time Being

“in and out of time”

Born on this date:

Tom Wolfe

Died on this date:

Philip K. Dick

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

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04B/041207-Quine.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

0! = 1

Quine’s Shema

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

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.


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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