Log24

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

For Child Buyers

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:25 AM

Recent posts on hotels and education suggest a review.
See “Child Buyer” in this journal.

From John Hersey’s The Child Buyer  (1960):

“I was wondering about that this morning…
About forgetting. I’ve always had an idea that
each memory was a kind of picture,
an insubstantial picture. I’ve thought of it as
suddenly coming into your mind when you need it,
something you’ve seen, something you’ve heard,
then it may stay awhile, or else it flies out, then
maybe it comes back another time….
If all the pictures went out, if I forgot everything,
where would they go? Just out into the air? Into the sky?
Back home around my bed, where my dreams stay?”

“We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel instead of the hymns….”

— Wallace Stevens

Hotel Bella Vista, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

— Postcard from eBay 
From Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Chapter I:

Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall —
Shaken, M. Laruelle replaced the book on the table… he reached to the floor for a folded sheet of paper that had fluttered out of it. He picked the paper up between two fingers and unfolded it, turning it over. Hotel Bella Vista, he read. There were really two sheets of uncommonly thin hotel notepaper….

I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Sein Feld  Continues.

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:08 AM

Dialogue from the recent Netflix series “Queen’s Gambit” —

Miss Jean Blake, interviewer from LIFE  — “The board?”

Beth Harmon — “Yes. It’s an entire world
of just 64 squares. I feel safe in it. I can control it.
I can dominate it. And it’s predictable, so if I get hurt,
I only have myself to blame.”

This passage, and other psychological claptrap in the Netflix version,
does not occur in the original 1983 novel by Walter Tevis.

Related material — Sein Feld  in this journal.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Death on Becket’s Day

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:22 AM

Author Alasdair Gray reportedly died yesterday,
on the feast of St. Thomas à Becket.

"His Collected Verse  (2010) was followed by 
Every Short Story 1951-2012 . Hell and Purgatory ,
the first two parts of his version of Dante’s
Divine Comedy , “decorated and Englished in
prosaic verse”, appeared in 2018 and 2019. 
In November Gray received the inaugural 
Saltire Society Scottish Lifetime Achievement award."

— https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/29/
alasdair-gray-obituary

See some related remarks from May 15, 1998.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Another Lying Rhyme…

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:29 PM

For Tom Stoppard, author of "Jumpers"

"Seven is Heaven" 


          From a webpage of Bill Cherowitzo

" … the Fano plane ,
a set of seven points
grouped into seven lines
that has been called
'the combinatorialist’s coat of arms.' "

Blake Stacey in a March 14 post 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Origin of Change . . .

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

According to Wallace Stevens:

From Savage Logic

Sunday, March 15, 2009  5:24 PM

The Origin of Change

A note on the figure
from this morning's sermon:

Diamond Theory version of 'The Square Inch Space' with yin-yang symbol for comparison

"Two things of opposite natures seem to depend
On one another, as a man depends 
On a woman, day on night, the imagined 
On the real. This is the origin of change. 
Winter and spring, cold copulars, embrace 
And forth the particulars of rapture come."

— Wallace Stevens,   
"Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,"
Canto IV of "It Must Change"

This  post was suggested by the following passage —

" the Fano plane ,
a set of seven points
grouped into seven lines
that has been called
'the combinatorialist’s coat of arms.' "

Blake Stacey in a post with tomorrow's date:

and by Stacey at another weblog, in a post dated Jan. 29, 2019, 

"(Yes, Bohr was the kind of guy who would choose
the yin-yang symbol as his coat of arms.)"

Yes, Stacey is the kind of guy who would casually dismiss
Bohr's coat of arms. 

Related material — 

(See also Faust in Copenhagen in this  journal)—

» more

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Hume, Parfit. Parfit, Hume.

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM

 "And were all my perceptions removed by death,
and could I neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love,
nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should
be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is
further requisite to make me a perfect nonentity."

— Book I, Part IV, Section vi  of  
    A Treatise of Human Nature

— Detail from the ending of Philip Pullman's
     graphic novel "Mystery of the Ghost Ship"

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dance, Music, Space

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:00 PM

". . . dance, fueled by music, opens up space."

—  Alastair Macaulay in the online New York Times  today

Putting aside the unfortunate fuel metaphor, this suggests a review —

A video published on the above date —

The video has six-plus-two dancers, a more concise arrangement
than the eight-plus-two discussed by Macaulay.

Another approach to six plus two:  the diamond-theorem correlation.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Swedenborg Chapel

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:02 AM

 

See a related political note from the bride.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Singularity

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

Log24 ten years ago today

"Here, in a strategy of simple erasure,
 the Subject masks his singularity . . . ."

— Jacques Derrida

See also the previous post and . . .

— Detail from the ending of Philip Pullman's new
     graphic novel "Mystery of the Ghost Ship"

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In Nuce

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:48 AM
 

Excerpts from James C. Nohrnberg, "The Master of the Myth of Literature: An Interpenetrative Ogdoad for Northrop Frye," Comparative Literature  Vol. 53, No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 58-82

From page 58 —
"… the posthumously revealed Notebooks. A major project of the latter was his 'Ogdoad': two groups of four books each. '[T]he second group of four […] were considered to be Blakean "emanations" or counterparts of the first four,' like 'the "double mirror" structure of The Great Code  and Words with Power : two inter-reflecting parts of four chapters apiece,' Michael Dolzani reports.* "

* P. 22 of Rereading Frye: The Published and Unpublished Works , ed. David Boyd and Imre Salusinszky, Frye Studies [series] (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998). [Abbreviated as RF .]


From page 62 —
"Visionaries like Blake and dramatists like Wagner seem to be working from some larger, mythic blueprint present in nuce  from very early on."

From page 63 —
"Frye's hypothetical books and will-to-totality were obviously fruitful; if the beckoning star was illusory, it nonetheless settled on a real birthplace. The sought-for constructs substituted their scaffolding for a backbone-like confidence in pre-given beliefs; possession of the latter is why Tories like Dr. Johnson and T.S. Eliot could do quite nicely without the constructs. Frye's largely imaginary eightfold roman  may have provided him a personal substitute— or alternative— for both ideology and myth."

From page 69 —
"For Frye the chief element of imaginative or expressive form is the myth, which functions structurally in literature like geometric shapes in painting."

From page 71 —
"The metaphysical skyhook lifting the artist free from unreflective social commitment is often a latent or manifest archetype that his work renews or reworks."

From page 77 —
"Frye's treatises— so little annotated themselves— are the notes writ large; the notes in the Notebooks are treatises writ small. They interpenetrate. Denham quotes 'the masters of the T'ien-tai school of Mahayana Buddhism' as saying '[t]he whole world is contained in a mustard seed' (RF  158, 160), and Frye quotes Keats: 'Every point of thought is the center of an intellectual world' (Study  159; cf. Great Code  167-68 and AC  61). …. [Frye’s] complex books were all generated out of the monadic obiter dicta . His kingdom 'is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden, and it grew' (Luke 13:18-19)."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Princeton University Press in 1947

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:17 AM

From a review, in the context of Hollywood, of a Princeton
University Press book on William Blake from 1947 —

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Notes Towards a Dark Tower*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Or:  Shema, SXSW

The doors open slowly. I step into a hangar. From the rafters high above, lights blaze down, illuminating a twelve-foot cube the color of gunmetal. My pulse rate kicks up. I can’t believe what I’m looking at. Leighton must sense my awe, because he says, “Beautiful, isn’t it?” It is exquisitely beautiful. At first, I think the hum inside the hangar is coming from the lights, but it can’t be. It’s so deep I can feel it at the base of my spine, like the ultralow-frequency vibration of a massive engine. I drift toward the box, mesmerized.

— Crouch, BlakeDark Matter: A Novel
(Kindle Locations 2004-2010).
Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

Related reading —

“Do you know there is a deliberate sinister conspiracy at work?”

“No, but hum a few bars and I’ll fake it.”

A few bars —

* Not the Dark Tower of Stephen King, but that of the
University of Texas at Austin, back in time 50 years and a day.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cube

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:28 PM

From this journal —

See (for instance) Sacred Order, July 18, 2006 —

The finite Galois affine space with 64 points

From a novel published July 26, 2016, and reviewed
in yesterday's (print) New York Times Book Review —

The doors open slowly. I step into a hangar. From the rafters high above, lights blaze down, illuminating a twelve-foot cube the color of gunmetal. My pulse rate kicks up. I can’t believe what I’m looking at. Leighton must sense my awe, because he says, “Beautiful, isn’t it?” It is exquisitely beautiful. At first, I think the hum inside the hangar is coming from the lights, but it can’t be. It’s so deep I can feel it at the base of my spine, like the ultralow-frequency vibration of a massive engine. I drift toward the box, mesmerized.

— Crouch, Blake. Dark Matter: A Novel
(Kindle Locations 2004-2010).
Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition. 

See also Log24 on the publication date of Dark Matter .

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Darkness Visible

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Andrew O'Hehir on July 22 —

— and on July 27 —

"Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more Worlds
Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
Pondering his Voyage…."

— John Milton, Paradise Lost , Book II

For Benedict Cumberbatch as a "warie fiend,"
see posts now tagged Both Hands.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Visionary

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Two figures to whom the word "visionary" has
recently been applied — 

Paul Laffoley at news.artnet.com

William P. Thurston at AMS Notices  (Dec. 2015)

A more classic example of a visionary is, of course, William Blake.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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

Later … (Click to enlarge.)

See as well last night's post Objective Quality.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Harvard Cinco de Mayo

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

… And Some Not So Live —

"Here was finality indeed, and cleavage!" — Under the Volcano

Sunday, May 3, 2015

In Memoriam

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

For the author of Dances with Wolves —

'Winter Count,' by Barry Holstun Lopez, cover with shades of gray

Monday, November 11, 2013

Steiner’s Modal Logic

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 AM

The first two pages of a 1989 book by George Steiner

(Click to enlarge)

See also yesterday's posts The Field of the Possible
and Abstraction

Compare and contrast with Socrates in the Meno 
quoting Pindar then discussing with a slave boy 
the duplication of the square.

Was Socrates a great philosopher or, as the above
figure seems to indicate and as some say of Steiner,
too clever by half ?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Church with Josefine

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:30 AM

Today, beginning at about 11 AM ET, I checked out
the latest news from Oslo artist Josefine Lyche,
often mentioned in these posts.

Lyche's Facebook page has a new cover photo—
geometric diagrams from Order in Space , a 1969
book by Keith Critchlow.

A search for more information on Critchlow yielded
information on his friend the impressive Kathleen Raine,
who reportedly died at 95 on July 6, 2003.

See also references to that date in this journal.

From Raine's obituary in The Guardian :

"When asked how she wished people
to remember her, Kathleen Raine said
she would rather they didn't. Or that
Blake's words be said of her: 'That in
time of trouble, I kept the divine vision.' "

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Educated Merchant Class

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:40 PM

In memory of Douglas J. Dayton, who reportedly died last Friday

The Studio of Gratifying Discourse.

See also Barry's Lexicon  and (for The Blake School)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sermon

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

Blake on the Bus

Note the contemptible adolescent misinformation
about Jim Morrison, The Doors, and Blake.

The Doors may have been named after neither
Blake's original version of the phrase "the doors
of perception" nor  Aldous Huxley's 1954
drug-related book by that title.

See also The Perception of Doors in this journal.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Elementary Finite Geometry

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:16 PM

I. General finite geometry (without coordinates):

A finite affine plane of order has n^2 points.

A finite projective plane of order n  has n^2 + n + 1 

points because it is formed from an order-n finite affine 

plane by adding a line at infinity  that contains n + 1 points.

Examples—

Affine plane of order 3

Projective plane of order 3

II. Galois finite geometry (with coordinates over a Galois field):

A finite projective Galois plane of order n has n^2 + n + 1

points because it is formed from a finite affine Galois 3-space

of order n with n^3 points by discarding the point (0,0,0) and 

identifying the points whose coordinates are multiples of the

(n-1) nonzero scalars.

Note: The resulting Galois plane of order n has 

(n^3-1)/(n-1)= (n^2 + n + 1) points because 

(n^2 + n + 1)(n – 1) =

(n^3 + n^2 + n – n^2 – n – 1) = (n^3 – 1) .
 

III. Related art:

Another version of a 1994 picture that accompanied a New Yorker
article, "Atheists with Attitude," in the issue dated May 21, 2007:

IMAGE- 'Four Gods,' by Jonathan Borofsky

The Four Gods  of Borofsky correspond to the four axes of 
symmetry
  of a square and to the four points on a line at infinity 
in an order-3 projective plane as described in Part I above.

Those who prefer literature to mathematics may, if they like,
view the Borofsky work as depicting

"Blake's Four Zoas, which represent four aspects
of the Almighty God" —Wikipedia

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Background

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:29 PM

From Joyce's 1912 Trieste lecture on Blake:

"Michelangelo's influence is felt in all of Blake's work, and especially in some passages of prose collected in the fragments, in which he always insists on the importance of the pure, clean line that evokes and creates the figure on the background of the uncreated void."

For a related thought from Michelangelo, see Marmo Solo .

For pure, clean lines, see Galois Geometry.

As for "the uncreated void," see the Ernst Gombrich link in Marmo Solo  for "an almost medieval allegory of how man confronts the void."

For some related religious remarks suited to the Harrowing of Hell on this Holy Saturday, see August 16, 2003

The Void

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

(Continued from March 10, 2012)

An inaccuracy in a passage linked to yesterday

“The created universe, the whole of things, is,
in words from Joyce’s Ulysses , ‘predicated on the void.'”

The “predicated” phrase seems to be absent from Ulysses .

Joyce does, however, have the following (from ricorso.net)—

William Blake” (March 1912) – cont.: ‘Armed with this two-edged sword, the art of Michaelangelo and the revelations of Swedenborg, Blake killed the dragon of experience and natural wisdom, and, by minimising space and time and denying the existence of memory and the senses, he tried to paint his works on the void of the divine bosom. [See note, infra.]To him, each moment shorter than a pulse-beat was equivalent in its duration to six thousand years, because in such an infinitely short instant the work of the poet is conceived and born. To him, all space larger than a red globule of human blood was visionary, created by the hammer of Los, while in a space smaller than a globule of blood we approach eternity, of which our vegetable world is but a shadow. Not with the eye, then, but beyond the eye, the soul and the supreme move must look, because the eye, which was born in the night while the soul was sleeping in rays of light, will also die in the night. […] The mental process by which Blake arrives at the threshold of the infinite is a similar process. Flying from the infinitely small to the infinitely large, from a drop of blood to the universe of stars, his soul is consumed by the rapidity of flight, and finds itself renewed and winged and immortal on the edge of th dark ocean of God. And althought he based his art on such idealist premises, convinced that eternity was in love with the products of time, this sons of God with the sons of [MS ends here].’ (Critical Writings, 1959, 1966 Edn., pp.221-22; quoted [in part] in Richard Ellmann, James Joyce, 1965 Edn., p.330.) [For full text, see RICORSO Library, “Major Authors”, via index, or direct.] Note – for “void” [supra] , cf. Stephen in “Scylla & Charybdis”: ‘Fatherhood […] is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro- and microcosm, upon the void.’ (Ulysses, Penguin Edn. 1967, p.207; [my itals.].)

Some academics may prefer a more leftist version of
“predicated on the void”—

Friday, December 17, 2010

Metaphor

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"The film-within-the-film represents no movie ever made by anyone at any time."

Vincent Canby on a Blake Edwards production

IMAGE- Amy Adams, from high school to 'The Fighter'

Dabo claves regni caelorum.  By silent shore
Ripples spread from castle rock.  The metaphor
For metamorphosis no keys unlock.

"Endgame," November 7, 1986

Fare Thee Well

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:01 AM

Excerpt from a post of 8 AM May 26, 2006

A Living Church
continued from March 27, 2006

"The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare to-morrow at breakfast."

– G. K. Chesterton

The Eightfold Cube

Platonic Solid

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060526-JackInTheBox.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Shakespearean Fool
© 2004 Natasha Wescoat

A related scene from the opening of Blake Edwards's "S.O.B." —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101217-SOBintro.jpg

Click for Julie Andrews in the full video.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Punch Line

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM

From a post on December 4th —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101204-42ndStDetail.jpg

The above theater was the venue of "The Front Page" in 1928-1929.

This afternoon's New York Times  front page (click to enlarge) —
 

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101216-NYTfront.jpg

"The son of a bitch stole my watch."

Related philosophy —
"Eventually it all works out."

Vincent Canby on a Blake Edwards production

Curtain Call

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM

Julie Taymor in an interview published Dec. 12 —

“I’ve got two Broadway shows, a feature film, and Mozart,’’ she said.
“It’s a very interesting place to be and to be able to move back and forth,
but at a certain point you have to be able to step outside and see,’’
and here she dropped her voice to a tranquil whisper, “it’s just theater.
It’s all theater. It’s all theater. The whole thing is theater.’’

Google News this afternoon (Blake Edwards obituary) —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101216-BlakeEdwardsNews.jpg

Friday, November 5, 2010

V Day for Natalie

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

This morning's post mentioned the new film "Black Swan," starring Natalie Portman, that opens December 3.

Portman also starred in the 2006 film "V for Vendetta," based very loosely on today's date— November 5, Guy Fawkes Day.

Some background on Alan Moore, the creator of the graphic novel underlying that film—

1. The New York Times , March 12, 2006
2. Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore
3. This journal on March 24, 2009

Also from March 24, 2009—  An image for what Thomas Pynchon, in this morning's post, called "the watchful scavengers of Epiphany."

Sunday, April 4, 2010

URBI ET ORBI

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:11 AM

URBI
  (Toronto)–

Toronto Globe and Mail: AWB 'Three Sevens' flag

Click on image for some background.

ORBI
   (Globe and Mail)–

From March 19, 2010-- Weyl's 'Symmetry,' the triquetrum, and the eightfold cube

See also Baaad Blake and
Fearful Symmetry.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Catholic Tastes, continued

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM

For young Andrew Cusack, should he ever care to read this journal.

Bertrand Russell and T. S. Eliot: their dialogue

"The window of the room in which Eeldrop and Appleplex talk opens to a view which includes a police station. Again Eliot delineates the two men on the basis of thought– the divided mind. Eeldrop is entranced by 'the smoky smell of lilac, the gramophones, the choir of the Baptist chapel, and the sight of three small girls playing cards on the steps of the police station.'"

The story from which this is taken is "Eeldrop and Appleplex," by T.S. Eliot.

The "three small girls playing cards" suggest the three Fates. For a less subtle illustration, see William Blake's "Hecate, or the Three Fates"–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100312-BlakeHecate.jpg

For a more cheerful (and Catholic)
Hecate figure, see the oeuvre  of
Alyssa Milano.

Group Characters

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Steve Pond on “Crazy Heart”

“… this gentle little movie… is, after all, a character study– and in an alcoholic country singer named Bad Blake, we’ve got one hell of a character.”

And then there’s Baaad Blake

Group Characters, from 'Symmetry,' Pergamon Press, 1963

Related material:

This journal on the president of
London’s Blake Society
and
Wikipedia on the founder of
Pergamon Press

Friday, January 8, 2010

Annals of Wizardry

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:35 PM

Part I:

Last night's post for the birthday of
Nicolas Cage, which linked to a
description of his upcoming film–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100108-SorcAppr.jpg

Nicolas Cage as Balthazar Blake

Part II:

From this morning's comics:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10/100108-WizardOfId.gif

Thursday, January 7, 2010

High Concept

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Balthasar Meets Blake

Happy birthday, Nicolas Cage.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday July 3, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM
Damnation Morning
continued

“The tigers of wrath are wiser
    than the horses of instruction.”

Blake

“… the moment is not
properly an atom of time
 but an atom of eternity.
 It is the first reflection
 of eternity in time, its first
attempt, as it were, at
       stopping time….”
 
Kierkegaard

Symmetry Axes
of the Square:

Symmetry axes of the square

(Damnation Morning)

From the cover of the
 Martin Cruz Smith novel
Stallion Gate:

Image of an atom from the cover of the novel 'Stallion Gate'

A Monolith
for Kierkegaard:


Images of time and eternity in memory of Michelangelo


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

Rubén Darío

Related material:

The deaths of
 Ernest Hemingway
on the morning of
Sunday, July 2, 1961,
and of Alexis Arguello
on the morning of
Wednesday, July 1, 2009.
See also philosophy professor
Clancy Martin in the
London Review of Books
(issue dated July 9, 2009)
 on AA members as losers
“the ‘last men,’ the nihilists,
 the hopeless ones.”

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday June 26, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 PM

Apocatastasis Now

I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heavens gate,
Built in Jerusalems wall.
— WILLIAM BLAKE

“In ‘Apocatastasis Now: A Very Condensed Reading of William Blake’s Jerusalem‘ (JBSSJ [Journal of the Blake Society at St James‘s] 6 [2001] 18–25), Susanne Sklar argues that Blake is not apocalyptic but apocatastatic, that is (following a doctrine of Origen and Gregory of Nyssa) he believes that all free creatures will be redeemed by God’s universal love.”

The Year’s Work in English Studies, 2003: Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 493-547

Related material:

Thriller

From the website of Philip Pullman, president of The Blake Society:

“I must create a System…”

The Blake Society, 25 October 2005: St James’s Church, Piccadilly

I see that the title of this lecture is given as BLAKE’S DARK MATERIALS. Now in the lecturer’s handbook, the second rule says “You need take no obsessive notice of the title that has been announced in advance.” Whether Blake’s materials are dark or not I couldn’t really say, but I am going to talk about Blake, partly, and partly about religion. Appropriate, perhaps, in a place like this, but you might think not appropriate from someone whose reputation is that of a scoffer or mocker or critic of religion; but I haven’t come here to scoff or mock. Nor have I come here to recant, as a matter of fact. I’m profoundly interested in religion, and I think it’s extremely important to understand it. I’ve been trying to understand it all my life, and every so often it’s useful to put one’s thoughts in order; but I shall never like God.

Download the full lecture
(pdf format, 155.62 KB)

For more dark materials
from the Halloween season
of 2005 — in fact, from the
  very date of Pullman’s lecture–
see Darkness Doubled.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday June 17, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 AM

Back to the Real

Colum McCann on yesterday’s history:

“Fiction gives us access to a very real history.”

The Associated Press thought for today:

“Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it.”

— John Hersey, American author (born on this date in 1914, died 1993).

From John Hersey’s The Child Buyer (1960):

“I was wondering about that this morning… About forgetting. I’ve always had an idea that each memory was a kind of picture, an insubstantial picture. I’ve thought of it as suddenly coming into your mind when you need it, something you’ve seen, something you’ve heard, then it may stay awhile, or else it flies out, then maybe it comes back another time…. If all the pictures went out, if I forgot everything, where would they go? Just out into the air? Into the sky? Back home around my bed, where my dreams stay?”

“We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel instead of the hymns….”

— Wallace Stevens

Hotel Bella Vista, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Postcard from eBay
From Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Chapter I: 

Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall —
Shaken, M. Laruelle replaced the book on the table… he reached to the floor for a folded sheet of paper that had fluttered out of it. He picked the paper up between two fingers and unfolded it, turning it over. Hotel Bella Vista, he read. There were really two sheets of uncommonly thin hotel notepaper….

I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday March 24, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

The Child Trap

See E! Online, March 18 — Lindsay Lohan Remembers Parent Trap Mum

See also
 
http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090324-ChildTrap.jpg

For those who like such things, an excellent Marxist analysis of Watchmen from another fan:

Whitson, Roger. “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of Alan Moore and William Blake.” ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies Vol. 3 No. 2 (2007). Dept. of English, University of Florida.

Whitson’s subject, Alan Moore, is the author of the Watchmen graphic novel. Moore’s style seems less suited to the Forth family pictured above than to Lindsay Lohan fans– who may also enjoy another graphic novel by Moore, Lost Girls.

More Lohan material related to her role in “Georgia Rule“–

Damnation Morning Continued (March 16).

Further background:

“The film realizes that if people actually fought crime, they’d most likely be crazy. Take The Comedian for an example. He fights crime, sure. He’s also a raging alcoholic.” –“‘Watchmen’ a flawed masterpiece,” by Ryan Michaels

See also the following expanded version of a link from Sunday morning, March 22:

Watchman, what of the night?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday January 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:23 AM
Dagger Definitions

From 'Ulysses,' 1922 first edition, page 178-- 'dagger definitions'
 
Midrash by a post-bac:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

“Horseness is
the whatness of allhorse”:
Thingism vs. Thisness

By Amy Peterson

Jacques Derrida once asked the surly and self-revealing question, “Why is it the philosopher who is expected to be easier and not some scientist who is even more inaccessible?” As with philosophers generally, literary critics come with their own inaccessible argot, some terms of which are useful, but most of which are not and only add more loops to literary criticism’s spiraling abstraction. Take for example, James Wood’s neologism thisness (h/t: 3 Quarks Daily):

The project of modernity in Wood’s eyes is largely in revealing the contour and shape, the specific ‘feel’ of that essential mystery. He even borrows a concept from the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus, haecceitas or ‘thisness,’ to explain what he means: ‘By thisness, I mean any detail that draws abstraction toward itself and seems to kill that abstraction with a puff of palpability, any detail that centers our attention with its concretion.’ (my emphasis)

Wood is clearly taking his cue here from the new trend in literary criticism of referring to realism by its etymological meaning, thingism. Where thingism is meant to capture the materialism of late nineteenth and early 20th century Realist literature, thisness, it seems, is meant to capture the basic immaterialism of Modern realist literature. In this, it succeeds. Realism is no longer grounded in the thingism, or material aspect, of reality as it was during the Victorian era. In contemporary literature, it is a “puff of palpability” that hints at reality’s contours but does not disturb our essential understanding of existence as an impalpable mystery. So now we have this term that seems to encompass the Modern approach to reality, but is it useful as an accurate conception of reality (i.e. truth, human existence, and the like), and how are we to judge its accuracy?

I think that, as far as literature is concerned, the test of the term’s accuracy lies in the interpretation of the Modernist texts that Wood champions as truthful but largely abstract depictions of human experience:

‘Kafka’s ‘”Metamorphosis” and Hamsun’s “Hunger” and Beckett’s “Endgame” are not representations of likely or typical human activity but are nevertheless harrowingly truthful texts.’

For brevity’s sake, I’ll pick a passage from a different Modernist text that I think exemplifies the issues involved in the question of thingism and thisness’ reality. In James Joyce’s Ulysses, a pub discussionhttp://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif of art’s purpose arises in which the writer Geoffrey Russell asserts that “Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences”; in his thoughts, Stephen Dedalus prepares to counter this:

Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see. Through spaces smaller than red globules of man’s blood they creepy crawl after [William] Blake’s buttocks into eternity of which this vegetable world is but a shadow. Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

To give my best translation of Stephen-think: The physical being of the horse (“horseness”) grounds the over-arching, abstract idea of the horse (“allhorse”) in reality (“whatness”). God—the ultimate abstraction—is elusive and rarely manifests himself as a material reality (when listening to children playing earlier in the book, Stephen asserts that God is a “shout in the street”). Space—the material world—must be observed to make sense of abstract ideas (like God). Stephen’s opponents who believe that art must depict the abstract and the essential make claims about existence that have very little basis in material reality so that they can grasp at the divine through the work of such famously fantastic artists as William Blake, whose unrealistic poetry and paintings Stephen evidently holds in little esteem here, though he’s kinder to Blake elsewhere. Finally, the present makes concrete the abstract possibilities of the future by turning them into the realities of the past.

Ulysses elucidates the distinction between abstractly based and materially based realism because, while abstract to be sure, Joyce’s writing is deeply rooted in material existence, and it is this material existence which has given it its lasting meaning and influence. The larger point that I’m trying to make here is that material reality gives meaning to the abstract. (As a corollary, the abstract helps us to make sense of material reality.) There can be no truth without meaning, and there can be no meaning without a material form of existence against which to judge abstract ideas. To argue, as Wood does, that the abstract can produce concrete truths with little reference to material reality is to ignore the mutual nature of the relationship between material reality and truth. The more carefully we observe material reality, the more truth we gain from our abstractions of its phenomena, or, to state it in the vocabulary—though not the style—of literary criticism: thisness is a diluted form of thingism, which means that thisness is productive of fewer (and lesser) truths.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif “Space: what you
  damn well
     have to see.”

Amy Peterson
has failed to see
that the unsheathing
of dagger definitions
takes place not in
a pub, but in
The National Library
of Ireland
.

The Russell here is not
Geoffrey but rather
George William Russell,
also known as AE.

Related material:

Yesterday’s Log24 entry
for the Feast of
St. Thomas Aquinas,
Actual Being,”
and the four entries
that preceded it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday April 21, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM
A Fresh Perspective

“… if thou bring thy gift   
to the altar, and
    there rememberest….”
Matthew 5:23-24


The following meditations were inspired by an ad today in the online New York Times obituaries section–

“Been somewhere interesting? Tell us about it for a chance to win a trip for 2 to Paris.”

Country song, quoted here Dec. 17, 2003–

“Give faith a fighting chance.”

Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano–

“I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.”

From an obituary of mathematician Gian-Carlo Rota linked to here on April 18, the anniversary of Rota’s death:

Gian-Carlo Rota

Gian-Carlo Rota

“He always brought a very fresh
perspective on philosophical issues.”

Father Robert Sokolowski

NY Times obituaries, April 21, 2008: Cardinal Trujillo and Jerome H. Grossman, as well as William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer

Final Arrangements, continued–

April 21, 2008:

Odd Couples

Click image to enlarge.

From a novel, Psychoshop, quoted here in an entry on the Pope’s birthday, “The Gates of Hell” —

His manner was all charm and grace; pure cafe society….

He purred a chuckle. “My place. If you want to come, I’ll show you.”

“Love to. The Luogo Nero? The Black Place?”

“That’s what the locals call it. It’s really Buoco Nero, the Black Hole.”

“Like the Black Hole of Calcutta?”

“No. Black Hole as in astronomy. Corpse of a dead star, but also channel between this universe and its next-door neighbor.”

“Here? In Rome?”

“Sure. They drift around in space until they run out of gas and come to a stop. This number happened to park here.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday October 24, 2007

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

Internet Movie Database on screenwriter Lem Dobbs:

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

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

Bogart and Robert Blake in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Click for details.

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

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

Screenwriter Joan Didion:

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

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

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

David Cohen on R. B. Kitaj:

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

Levinas Adieu:

Levinas, and Derrida, on the Adieu

Click for source.

"There is no teacher
but the enemy.
"

— Orson Scott Card,  
Ender's Game

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday August 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Divine Universals

"The tigers of wrath          
 are wiser than                
 the horses of instruction."

— William Blake,
Proverbs of Hell

From Shining Forth:

  The Place of the Lion, by Charles Williams, 1931, Chapter Eight:

"Besides, if this fellow were right, what harm would the Divine Universals do us? I mean, aren't the angels supposed to be rather gentle and helpful and all that?"

"You're doing what Marcellus warned you against… judging them by English pictures. All nightgowns and body and a kind of flacculent sweetness. As in cemeteries, with broken bits of marble. These are Angels– not a bit the same thing. These are the principles of the tiger and the volcano and the flaming suns of space."

 Under the Volcano, Chapter Two:

"But if you look at that sunlight there, then perhaps you'll get the answer, see, look at the way it falls through the window: what beauty can compare to that of a cantina in the early morning? Your volcanoes outside? Your stars– Ras Algethi? Antares raging south southeast? Forgive me, no." 

 A Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m.
morning or evening star:
any bright star….
hole in a window panel
     for the admission of light….

Look at the way it
falls through the window….

— Malcolm Lowry

How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
— Isaiah 14:12

For more on Spanish
and the evening star,
see Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star.

 Symmetry axes
of the square:

Symmetry axes of the square

(See Damnation Morning.)

From the cover of the
 Martin Cruz Smith novel
Stallion Gate:

Atom on cover of Stallion

"That old Jew
gave me this here."

Dialogue from the
Robert Stone novel
A Flag for Sunrise.

Related material:

A Mass for Lucero,

Log24, Sept. 13, 2006

Mathematics, Religion, Art

— and this morning's online
New York Times obituaries:

Cardinal Lustiger of Paris and jazz pianist Sal Mosca, New York Times obituaries on August 6, 2007

The above image contains summary obituaries for Cardinal Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, 1981-2005, and for Sal Mosca, jazz pianist and teacher. In memory of the former, see all of the remarks preceding the image above. In memory of the latter, the remarks of a character in Martin Cruz Smith's Stallion Gate on jazz piano may have some relevance:

"I hate arguments. I'm a coward. Arguments are full of words, and each person is sure he's the only one who knows what the words mean. Each word is a basket of eels, as far as I'm concerned. Everybody gets to grab just one eel and that's his interpretation and he'll fight to the death for it…. Which is why I love music. You hit a C and it's a C and that's all it is. Like speaking clearly for the first time. Like being intelligent. Like understanding. A Mozart or an Art Tatum sits at the piano and picks out the undeniable truth."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday April 14, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:06 AM

“I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano 

Related material:
The time of this entry,
4:06:26 AM ET, and
Symmetry and Change
in the Dreamtime

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday January 19, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM
Triple Kiss

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070119-TripleKiss.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I bent to kiss the lovely Maid,
And found a threefold kiss return’d.
— “The Crystal Cabinet

The above illustration of a classic Blake verse is for Anthony Daniels, a critic of Ezra Pound. The illustration may appeal to Daniels, since it is, like the persona presented by Daniels himself, petit-bourgeois and vulgar.

It was inspired by today’s two previous entries and by Daniels’s remarks, in this month’s New Criterion magazine, on Ezra Pound:

“Of his poetry I shall say nothing: not being fluent in Greek, Chinese, Italian, Farsi, and so forth, I do not feel much qualified to comment on it…. I shall merely confess to a petit-bourgeois partiality for comprehensibility and to what Pound himself called, in the nearest he ever came to a mea culpa with regard to his own ferocious anti-Semitism at a time of genocide, ‘a vulgar suburban prejudice’ against those who suppose that their thoughts are so profound that they justify a lifetime of exegesis if ever their meaning is to be even so much as glimpsed through a glass darkly.”

— “Pound’s Depreciation

Daniels, here posing as a vulgar suburban petit-bourgeois, is unwilling to examine Pound’s poetry even “through a glass darkly.”  This echoes the petit-bourgeois, but not vulgar,  “confession” of today’s previous entry:

“I didn’t expect much–didn’t look out the window
At school more diligent than able–docile stable”

— “A Life,” by Zbigniew Herbert

Pound, editor of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”– published in the first issue of the original Criterion magazine in 1922– might refer Daniels to the ghost of Guy Davenport:

“‘The architectonics of a narrative,’ Davenport says, ‘are emphasized and given a role to play in dramatic effect when novelists become Cubists; that is, when they see the possibilities of making a hieroglyph, a coherent symbol, an ideogram of the total work. A symbol comes into being when an artist sees that it is the only way to get all the meaning in.’….

In his study of The Cantos, Davenport defines the Poundian ideogram as ‘a grammar of images, emblems, and symbols, rather than a grammar of logical sequence…. An idea unifies, dominates, and controls the particulars that make the ideogram’…. He insists on the intelligibility of this method: ‘The components of an ideogram cohere as particles in a magnetic field, independent of each other but not of the pattern in which they figure.'”

— Andre Furlani, “‘When Novelists Become Cubists’: The Prose Ideograms of Guy Davenport

Related material:

A remark
on form and pattern
by T. S. Eliot
(friend of Pound
and founder of
the original
Criterion magazine)

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Thursday December 1, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Campion’s Day

Today is the feast of the Catholic saint Edmund Campion.  Campion, a Jesuit with a graceful prose style, would perhaps not be too deeply offended by the fact that his surname is now best known in some circles as that of a fictional character– the “Albert Campion” of Margery Allingham‘s detective stories. 

The following is from a web page devoted to Allingham’s fiction, Roger Johnson’s “Thoughts on Mr. Campion and His Family.”

    “Campion” may be a family name. At any rate, several explanations have been offered for it.  Jack Morpurgo notes that it was her husband Philip, drawing on the history of his own school, “who suggested for Marge’s hero his pseudonymic surname.  (The Jesuit martyr, Edmund Campion, is the most surprising alumnus of Christ’s Hospital, a determinedly Protestant foundation.)”
     This is not of course to say that Albert Campion’s family are Roman Catholics: indeed, all the evidence is that they are Church of England.  However, the fact does suggest a couple of interesting minor parallels with Mr Rudolph K–.  St. Edmund Campion necessarily spent most of his mission in England incognito. And, perhaps more pertinently, the campion is a small hardy English wild flower – like the scarlet pimpernel, in fact. And the younger Albert Campion is strongly in the tradition of the apparently effete aristocrat Sir Percy Blakeney, who achieved fame as the dashing hero known as the Scarlet Pimpernel. 
     Richard Martin says that the name is “a barely disguised sign,” being the old French word for “champion.”

The non-fictional St. Edmund Campion is of course remembered also, for instance in the names of Campion College in suburban Sydney, of Campion College at the University of Regina and of Campion Hall at the University of Oxford.

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Sunday September 5, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Symmetry and Change
in the Dreamtime

Notes from the Journal
of Steven H. Cullinane

Summary:

Aug 31 2004 
07:31:01 PM
Early Evening,
Shining Star 
Sep 01 2004
09:00:35 AM
Words
and Images
Sep 01 2004
12:07:28 PM
Whale Rider
Sep 02 2004
11:11:42 AM
Heaven
and Earth

Sep 02 2004
07:00:23 PM
Whale Road

Sep 03 2004
12:00:54 AM

Cinderella’s
Slipper
 
Sep 03 2004
10:01:56 AM
Another
September Morn

 

Sep 03 2004
12:00:25 PM

Noon

Sep 03 2004
01:13:49 PM

De Nada

Sep 03 2004
03:17:13 
PM

Ite, Missa Est 


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 1…

Early Evening,
Shining Star

7:31:01 PM ET

Hexagram 01
The Creative:

 

The Image

Heaven

Heaven

The movement of heaven
is full of power.

Click on picture
for details.

The Clare Lawler Prize
for Literature goes to…

Under the Volcano,
Chapter VI:

“What have I got out of my life? Contacts with famous men… The occasion Einstein asked me the time, for instance. That summer evening…. smiles when I say I don’t know. And yet asked me. Yes: the great Jew, who has upset the whole world’s notions of time and space, once leaned down… to ask me… ragged freshman… at the first approach of the evening star, the time. And smiled again when I pointed out the clock neither of us had noticed.”

For the thoughts on time
of another famous man,
from Mexico, see the
Nobel Prize acceptance speech
of Octavio Paz,
In Search of the Present.”


Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 2…

Words and Images

9:00:35 AM ET

Hexagram 35
Progress:

The Image

Fire

Earth

The sun rises over the earth.

From Aug. 18, 2004:

“Oh, my Lolita. I have only words
to play with!” (Nabokov, Lolita)

“This is the best toy train set
a boy ever had!”
(Orson Welles, after first touring
RKO Studios, quoted in Halliwell)

“As the quotes above by Nabokov and Welles suggest, we need to be able to account for the specific functions available to narrative in each medium, for the specific elements that empirical creators will ‘play with’ in crafting their narratives.”

Donald F. Larsson

For
James Whale
and
William French Anderson —

Words
In the Spirit of
Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs:

Stay for just a while…
Stay, and let me look at you.
It’s been so long, I hardly knew you.
Standing in the door…
Stay with me a while.
I only want to talk to you.
We’ve traveled halfway ’round the world
To find ourselves again.

September morn…
We danced until the night
      became a brand new day,
Two lovers playing scenes
      from some romantic play.
September morning still can
      make me feel this way.

Look at what you’ve done…
Why, you’ve become a grown-up girl…

— Neil Diamond

Images
In the Spirit of
September Morn:

The Last Day of Summer:
Photographs by Jock Sturges

In 1990, the FBI entered Sturges’s studio and seized his work, claiming violation of child pornography laws.”

Related material:

Bill’s Diamond Theory

and

Log24 entries of
Aug. 15, 2004
.

Those interested in the political implications of Diamond’s songs may enjoy Neil Performs at Kerry Fundraiser.

I personally enjoyed this site’s description of Billy Crystal’s remarks, which included “a joke about former President Clinton’s forthcoming children’s book — ‘It’s called The Little Engine That Could Because It Could.'”

“Puff, puff, woo, woo, off we go!” 

 


 

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 3…

Whale Rider

12:07:28 PM

Hexagram 28
Preponderance of
the Great:

The Image

Lake

Wind

The lake rises
above
the trees.

 

Cullinane College News:

“Congratulations to Clare Lawler, who participated very successfully in the recently held Secondary Schools Judo Championships in Wellington.”

For an explanation of this entry’s title, see the previous two entries and

Oxford Word
(Log24, July 10, 2004) 


Thursday, September 2, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 4…

Heaven and Earth

11:11:42 AM ET

Hexagram 42
Increase:

The Image

Wind

Thunder

Wind and thunder:
the image of Increase.

“This time resembles that of
the marriage of heaven and earth”


Kylie


Finney

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

“What it all boiled down to really was everybody giving everybody else a hard time for no good reason whatever… You just couldn’t march to your own music. Nowadays, you couldn’t even hear it… It was lost, the music which each person had inside himself, and which put him in step with things as they should be.”

The Grifters, Ch. 10, 1963, by
James Myers Thompson

“The Old Man’s still an artist
with a Thompson.”
— Terry in “Miller’s Crossing

For some of “the music which
each person had inside,”
click on the picture
with the Thompson.

It may be that Kylie is,
in her own way, an artist…
with a 357:

(Hits counter at
The Quality of Diamond
as of 11:05 AM Sept. 2, 2004)

For more on
“the marriage of heaven and earth,”
see
Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star


Thursday, September 2, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 5…

Whale Road

7:00:23 PM

Hexagram 23
Splitting Apart:

The Image

Mountain

Earth

The mountain rests
on the earth
.

“… the plot is different but the monsters, names, and manner of speaking will ring a bell.”

— Frank Pinto, Jr., review of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf 

Other recommended reading, found during a search for the implications of today’s previous entry, “Hexagram 42”:

Water Wings.

This excellent meditation
on symmetry and change
comes from a site whose
home page
has the following image:


Friday, September 3, 2004

 Symmetry and Change, Part 6…

Cinderella’s Slipper

12:00:54 AM ET

Hexagram 54
The Marrying Maiden:

 

The Image

Thunder


Lake
See
The hundredletter
thunderwords of
Finnegans Wake


“… a Thoreau-like retreat
by a nearby lake….
Both men have
a ‘touch of the poet’….
The symmetry is perfect.”

Friday, September 3, 2004  

Symmetry and Change, Part 7…

Another September Morn

10:01:56 AM ET

Hexagram 56:
The Wanderer

 

The Image

Fire


Mountain

Fire on the mountain,
Run boys run…
Devil’s in the House of
The Rising Sun!
 


Friday, September 3, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 8…

Noon

12:00:25 PM ET

Hexagram 25
Innocence:

The Image

Heaven


Thunder

Under heaven
thunder rolls.
 


Friday, September 3, 2004

Symmetry and Change, Part 9…

De Nada

Helen Lane

1:13:49 PM ET

Hexagram 49
Revolution:

The Image

Lake


Fire
 Fire in the lake:
the image of Revolution
.

“I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart.”

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano 


Friday, September 3, 2004

Symmetry and Change, conclusion…

Ite, Missa Est

3:17:13 PM ET

Hexagram 13
Fellowship With Men:

The Image

Heaven


Fire

Heaven together with fire.

“A pretty girl —
is like a melody —- !”

 For details, see
A Mass for Lucero


Friday, September 3, 2004

Friday September 3, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:13 PM

Symmetry and Change, Part 9…

De Nada

Helen Lane

1:13:49 PM ET

Hexagram 49
Revolution:

The Image

Lake



Fire

 

 Fire in the lake:
the image of Revolution
.

"I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night…. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it? …And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart."

— Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Saturday July 10, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:17 PM
Oxford Word

From today's obituary in The New York Times of R. W. Burchfield, editor of A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary:

"Robert William Burchfield was born Jan. 27, 1923, in Wanganui, New Zealand. In 1949, after earning an undergraduate degree at Victoria University College in Wellington, he accepted a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford.

There, he read Medieval English literature with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien."

For more on literature and Wanganui, see my entry of Jan. 19. 2003, from which the following is taken.

 

 

Literature
and
Geography

"Literature begins
with geography."

Attributed to
Robert Frost

The Maori Court at
the Wanganui Museum

 

"Cullinane College is a Catholic co-educational college, set to open in Wanganui (New Zealand) on the 29th of January, 2003."

The 29th of January will be the 40th anniversary of the death of Saint Robert Frost.

New Zealand, perhaps the most beautiful country on the planet, is noted for being the setting of the film version of Lord of the Rings, which was written by a devout Catholic, J. R. R. Tolkien.

For other New Zealand themes, see Alfred Bester's novels The Stars My Destination and The Deceivers.

The original title of The Stars My Destination was Tyger! Tyger! after Blake's poem. 

For more on fearful symmetry, see the work of Marston Conder, professor of mathematics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

 

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Thursday March 11, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:28 PM

Sequel

From an entry of July 27, 2003…

Catholic Tastes, Part I:

“…my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.”

— Charles Small, Harvard ’64 25th Anniversary Report, 1989 (See 11/21/02).

Perhaps dinner and a movie?
The dinner — 
at Formaggio in Cuernavaca.
The movie —
Michael.

Lucero
(Bright Star),
portrayed by
Megan Follows

Hoc est enim
corpus meum…

See also
A Mass for Lucero.

Catholic Tastes, Part II:

A Catholic priest on “The Passion of the Christ”:

“By the time it’s over, the make-up artists give his skin the texture of spaghetti marinara.”

— The Rev. Richard A. Blake, S.J., professor of fine arts and co-director of the film studies program at Boston College, in America magazine, issue dated March 15, 2004.

Related material:

“I’m waiting for Mel’s sequel:

‘He’s back. Christ Almighty!
The Resurrection.
This time, it’s personal.’ “

Bruce Feirstein in The New York Observer

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Saturday August 23, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:07 AM

Pictures of Nothing

‘”The artist delights to go back to the first chaos of the world… All is without forms and void. Some one said of his landscapes that they were pictures of nothing, and very like.”

William Hazlitt, 1816, on J. M. W. Turner

“William Hazlett [sic] once described Turner’s painting as ‘pictures of the elements of air, earth, and water. The artist delights to go back to the first chaos of the world…All is without form and void. Some one said of his landscapes that they were pictures of nothing and very like.   This description could equally well be applied to a Pollock, Newman, or Rothko.”

— Sonja J. Klein, thesis, The Nature of the Sublime, September 2000

The fifty-second A. W. Mellon series of Lectures in the Fine Arts was given last spring at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., by Kirk Varnedoe, art historian at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.

The lecture series was titled

Pictures of Nothing:
Abstract Art since Pollock.

 

The lectures, 2003:

Why Abstract Art? … March 30

Survivals and Fresh Starts … April 6

Minimalism … April 13

After Minimalism … April 27

Satire, Irony, and Abstract Art … May 4

Abstract Art Now … May 11

Varnedoe died on Thursday, August 14, 2003,
the day of the Great Blackout.

Pictures of Nothing:

“Record-breaking crowds turned up at the National Gallery for Kirk’s Mellon Lectures….

… the content of Kirk’s talk was miraculously subtle, as he insisted that there could be no single explanation for how abstraction works, that each piece had to be understood on its own terms — how it came to be made, what it meant then and what it has gone on to mean to viewers since.

Dour works like

Frank Stella’s early
gray-on-black canvases

Die Fahne Hoch,”
Frank Stella,
1959

“Gray on Black,”
or “Date of Death”

seemed to open up under Kirk’s touch to reveal a delicacy and complexity lost in less textured explanations.”

Blake Gopnik in the Washington Post,
Aug. 15, 2003

For another memorial to Varnedoe, see

Fahne Hoch.

A May 18 Washington Post article skillfully summarized Varnedoe’s Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery:

Closing the Circle on Abstract Art.

For more on art and nihilism, see

The Word in the Desert.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Tuesday May 27, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 AM

Mental Health Month, Day 27:

Conspiracy Theory and
Solomon's Seal

In our journey through Mental Health Month, we have now arrived at day 27. This number, the number of lines on a non-singular cubic surface in complex projective 3-space, suggests it may be time to recall the following note (a sort of syllabus for an imaginary course) from August 1997, the month that the Mel Gibson film "Conspiracy Theory" was released.

Conspiracy Theory 101
August 13, 1997

Fiction:

(A) Masks of the Illuminati, by Robert Anton Wilson, Pocket Books, New York, 1981.  Freemasonry meets The Force (starring James Joyce and Albert Einstein).
(B) The Number of the Beast, by Robert A. Heinlein, Ballantine Books, New York, 1980.  "Pantheistic multiple solipsism" and transformation groups in n-dimensional space combine to yield "the ultimate total philosophy." (p. 438). 
(C) The Essential Blake, edited by Stanley Kunitz, MJF Books, New York, 1987.  "Fearful symmetry" in context.

Fact:

(1) The Cosmic Trigger, by Robert Anton Wilson, Falcon Press, Phoenix, 1986 (first published 1977).  Page 245 reveals that "the most comprehensive conspiracy theory," that of the physicist Sir Arthur Eddington, is remarkably similar to Heinlein's theory in (B) above.
(2) The Development of Mathematics, by E. T. Bell, 2nd. ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1945.  See the discussion of "Solomon's seal," a geometric configuration in complex projective 3-space.  This is as good a candidate as any for Wilson's "Holy Guardian Angel" in (A) above.
(3) Finite Projective Spaces of Three Dimensions, by J. W. P. Hirschfeld, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1985.  Chapter 20 shows how to represent Solomon's seal in the 63-point 5-dimensional projective space over the 2-element field.  (The corresponding 6-dimensional affine space, with 64 points, is reminiscent of Heinlein's 6-dimensional space.)
 

See also China's 3,000-year-old "Book of Transformations," the I Ching, for more philosophy and lore of the affine 6-dimensional space over the binary field.

© 1997 S. H. Cullinane 

For a more up-to-date and detailed look at the mathematics mentioned above, see

Abstract Configurations
in Algebraic Geometry
,

by Igor Dolgachev.

"Art isn't easy." — Stephen Sondheim

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Sunday January 19, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:30 PM

Literature
and
Geography

“Literature begins
with geography.”

 Attributed to
Robert Frost

The Maori Court at
the Wanganui Museum

Cullinane College is a Catholic co-educational college, set to open in Wanganui (New Zealand) on the 29th of January, 2003.”

The 29th of January will be the 40th anniversary of the death of Saint Robert Frost.

New Zealand, perhaps the most beautiful country on the planet, is noted for being the setting of the film version of Lord of the Rings, which was written by a devout Catholic, J. R. R. Tolkien. 

Here is a rather Catholic meditation on life and death in Tolkien’s work:

Frodo: “…He deserves death.”

Gandalf: “Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”

Personally, I prefer Clint Eastwood’s version of this dialogue:

The Schofield Kid: “Well, I guess they had it coming.”

William Munny: “We all have it coming, Kid.”

For other New Zealand themes, see Alfred Bester’s novels The Stars My Destination and The Deceivers.

The original title of The Stars My Destination was Tyger! Tyger! after Blake’s poem. 

For more on fearful symmetry, see the work of Marston Conder, professor of mathematics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. 

 

Monday, December 30, 2002

Monday December 30, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:30 PM

Homer

“No matter how it’s done, you won’t like it.”
— Robert Redford to Robert M. Pirsig in Lila

The evening before Harriet injures Roy,
she asks him, in a restaurant car,
whether he has read Homer.”
Oxford website on the film of The Natural

“Brush Up Your Shakespeare”
— Cole Porter lyric for a show that opened
on December 30, 1948

Judy Davis as Harriet Bird

                                        

Thine eyes I love…
Shakespeare, Sonnet 132

“Roy’s Guenevere-like lover is named Memo Paris,
presumably the face that launched a thousand strikes.”
Oxford website on the film of The Natural 

Nicole Kidman
as Memo Paris

“Iris is someone to watch over Roy.”
Oxford website on the film of The Natural 

Kate Winslet as young Iris Murdoch

From the second-draft screenplay
for The Sting,
with Robert Redford as Hooker:

HOOKER
(shuffling a little)
I, ah…thought you might wanna come out for a while.  Maybe have a drink or somethin’.

LORETTA
You move right along, don’t ya.

HOOKER
(with more innocence than confidence)
I don’t mean nothin’ by it.  I just don’t know many regular girls, that’s all.

LORETTA
And you expect me to come over, just like that.

HOOKER
If I expected somethin’, I wouldn’t be still standin’ out here in the hall.

Loretta looks at him carefully.  She knows it’s not a line.

LORETTA
(with less resistance now)
I don’t even know you.

HOOKER
(slowly)
You know me.  I’m just like you…
It’s two in the morning and I don’t know nobody.

The two just stand there in silence a second.  There’s nothing more to say.  She stands back and lets him in.

Iris Murdoch on Plato’s Form of the Good,
by Joseph Malikail:

For Murdoch as for Plato, the Good belongs to Plato’s Realm of Being not the Realm of Becoming…. However, Murdoch does not read Plato as declaring his faith in a divine being when he says that the Good is

the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and the lord of light in the visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which [one who] would act rationally either in public or private life must have his eyes fixed (Republic…).

Though she acknowledges the influence of Simone Weil in her reading of Plato, her understanding of Plato on Good and God is not Weil’s (1952, ch.7)*. For Murdoch,

Plato never identified his Form of the Good with God (the use of theos in the Republic… is a façon de parler), and this separation is for him an essential one. Religion is above the level of the ‘gods.’ There are no gods and no God either. Neo-Platonic thinkers made the identification (of God with good) possible; and the Judaeo-Christian tradition has made it easy and natural for us to gather together the aesthetic and consoling impression of Good as a person (1992, 38)**.

As she understands Plato:

The Form of the Good as creative power is not a Book of Genesis creator ex nihilo … Plato does not set up the Form of the Good as God, this would be absolutely un-Platonic, nor does he anywhere give the sign of missing or needing a real God to assist his explanations. On the contrary, Good is above the level of the gods or God (ibid., 475)**.

Mary Warnock, her friend and fellow-philosopher, sums up Murdoch’s metaphysical view of the Vision of the Good:

She [Murdoch] holds that goodness has a real though abstract existence in the world. The actual existence of goodness is, in her view, the way it is now possible to understand the idea of God.

Or as Murdoch herself puts it, ‘Good represents the reality of which God is the dream.’ (1992, 496)**”

*Weil, Simone. 1952. Intimations of Christianity Among The Ancient Greeks. Ark Paperbacks, 1987/1952.

**Murdoch, Iris. 1992. Metaphysics As A Guide To Morals. London: Chatto and Windus. 

From the conclusion of Lila,
by Robert M. Pirsig:

“Good is a noun. That was it. That was what Phaedrus had been looking for. That was the homer over the fence that ended the ballgame.”

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Saturday December 28, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Solace from Hell’s Kitchen

State of Grace

The Sting

This midnight’s site music is “Solace: A Mexican Serenade,” part of which was used in the film “The Sting.” George Roy Hill, the film’s director, died Friday, Dec. 27. He turned 81 on Friday, Dec. 20. See my note of that date,

Last-Minute Shopping.”

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Tuesday August 13, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:37 PM

As Blake Well Knew 

From The New York Times:

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, whose contributions to the mathematical logic that underlies computer programs and operating systems make him one of the intellectual giants of the field, died on [August 6, 2002] at his home in Nuenen, the Netherlands. He was 72….

Dr. Dijkstra is best known for his shortest-path algorithm, a method for finding the most direct route on a graph or map….

The shortest-path algorithm, which is now widely used in global positioning systems and travel planning, came to him one morning in 1956 as he sat sipping coffee on the terrace of an Amsterdam cafe.

It took him three years to publish the method, which is now known simply as Dijkstra’s algorithm. At the time, he said, algorithms were hardly considered a scientific topic.

From my August 6, 2002, note below:

…right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew…

— Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Under the Volcano

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Tuesday August 6, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:23 PM

In honor of

Pope St. Sixtus II,

Pope St. Hormisdas,

Pope Callistus III, and

Pope Paul VI,

all of whom died on this date:

Bouncing butterflies

A music box butterfly tune

A lavender love butterfly vignette

Bob Lind himself sings

If you remember something there

That glided past you,

Followed close by heavy breathing,

Don’t be concerned.  It will not harm you;

It’s only me, pursuing something

I’m not sure of.

and a

Grand Finale!

But seriously…

A few words in memory of a great mathematician, André Weil, who died on August 6, 1998: 

“I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or is it because right through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able to see it?”

— Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Under the Volcano

There is a link on the Grand Finale site above to a site on British Columbia, which to Lowry symbolized heaven on earth. See also my website Shining Forth, the title of which is not unrelated to the August 6, 1993 encyclical of Pope John Paul II.

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