Log24

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Play and Interplay

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:23 AM

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.’’

Non-theater —

"The interplay between Euclidean and Galois  geometry" and
related remarks on interplay — Keats's Laws of Aesthetics.

Part theater, part non-theater —

Cubist crucifixion.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday February 23, 2006

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

4x4x4 cube

“In The Painted Word, a rumination on the state of American painting in the 1970s, Tom Wolfe described an epiphany….”

Peter Berkowitz, “Literature in Theory”

“I had an epiphany.”

— Apostolos Doxiadis, organizer of last summer’s conference on mathematics and narrative.  See the Log24 entry of 1:06 PM last August 23 and the four entries that preceded it.

“… das Durchleuchten des ewigen Glanzes des ‘Einen’ durch die materielle Erscheinung

A definition of beauty from Plotinus, via Werner Heisenberg

“By groping toward the light we are made to realize how deep the darkness is around us.”

— Arthur Koestler, The Call Girls: A Tragi-Comedy, Random House, 1973, page 118, quoted in The Shining of May 29

“Perhaps we are meant to see the story as a cubist retelling of the crucifixion….”

— Adam White Scoville, quoted in Cubist Crucifixion, on Iain Pears’s novel, An Instance of the Fingerpost

Related material:

Log24 entries of
Feb. 20, 21, and 22.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Tuesday August 19, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:23 PM

O'Hara's Fingerpost

In The New York Times Book Review of next Sunday (August 24, 2003), Book Review editor Charles McGrath writes that author John O'Hara

"… discovered a kind of story… in which a line of dialogue or even a single observed detail indicates that something crucial has changed."

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

crucial – 1706, from Fr. crucial… from L. crux (gen. crucis) "cross." The meaning "decisive, critical" is extended from a logical term, Instantias Crucis, adopted by Francis Bacon (1620); the notion is of cross fingerboard signposts at forking roads, thus a requirement to choose.

The remainder of this note deals with the "single observed detail" 162.

 

162

Instantias Crucis

Francis Bacon says

"Among Prerogative Instances I will put in the fourteenth place Instances of the Fingerpost, borrowing the term from the fingerposts which are set up where roads part, to indicate the several directions. These I also call Decisive and Judicial, and in some cases, Oracular and Commanding Instances. I explain them thus. When in the investigation of any nature the understanding is so balanced as to be uncertain to which of two or more natures the cause of the nature in question should be assigned on account of the frequent and ordinary concurrence of many natures, instances of the fingerpost show the union of one of the natures with the nature in question to be sure and indissoluble, of the other to be varied and separable; and thus the question is decided, and the former nature is admitted as the cause, while the latter is dismissed and rejected. Such instances afford very great light and are of high authority, the course of interpretation sometimes ending in them and being completed. Sometimes these instances of the fingerpost meet us accidentally among those already noticed, but for the most part they are new, and are expressly and designedly sought for and applied, and discovered only by earnest and active diligence."

The original:

Inter praerogativas instantiarum, ponemus loco decimo quarto Instantias Crucis; translato vocabulo a Crucibus, quae erectae in biviis indicant et signant viarum separationes. Has etiam Instantias Decisorias et Judiciales, et in casibus nonnullis Instantias Oraculi et Mandati, appellare consuevimus. Earum ratio talis est. Cum in inquisitione naturae alicujus intellectus ponitur tanquam in aequilibrio, ut incertus sit utri naturarum e duabus, vel quandoque pluribus, causa naturae inquisitae attribui aut assignari debeat, propter complurium naturarum concursum frequentem et ordinarium, instantiae crucis ostendunt consortium unius ex naturis (quoad naturam inquisitam) fidum et indissolubile, alterius autem varium et separabile ; unde terminatur quaestio, et recipitur natura illa prior pro causa, missa altera et repudiata. Itaque hujusmodi instantiae sunt maximae lucis, et quasi magnae authoritatis; ita ut curriculum interpretationis quandoque in illas desinat, et per illas perficiatur. Interdum autem Instantiae Crucis illae occurrunt et inveniuntur inter jampridem notatas; at ut plurimum novae sunt, et de industria atque ex composito quaesitae et applicatae, et diligentia sedula et acri tandem erutae.

— Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, Book Two, "Aphorisms," Section XXXVI

A Cubist Crucifixion

An alternate translation:

"When in a Search of any Nature the Understanding stands suspended, the Instances of the Fingerpost shew the true and inviolable Way in which the Question is to be decided. These Instances afford great Light…"

From a review by Adam White Scoville of Iain Pears's novel titled An Instance of the Fingerpost:

"The picture, viewed as a whole, is a cubist description, where each portrait looks strikingly different; the failings of each character's vision are obvious. However, in a cubist painting the viewer often can envision the subject in reality. Here, even after turning the last page, we still have a fuzzy view of what actually transpired. Perhaps we are meant to see the story as a cubist retelling of the crucifixion, as Pilate, Barabbas, Caiaphas, and Mary Magdalene might have told it. If so, it is sublimely done so that the realization gradually and unexpectedly dawns upon the reader. The title, taken from Sir Francis Bacon, suggests that at certain times, 'understanding stands suspended' and in that moment of clarity (somewhat like Wordsworth's 'spots of time,' I think), the answer will become apparent as if a fingerpost were pointing at the way. The final narrative is also titled An Instance of the Fingerpost, perhaps implying that we are to see truth and clarity in this version. But the biggest mystery of this book is that we have actually have no reason to credit the final narrative more than the previous three and so the story remains an enigma, its truth still uncertain."

For the "162" enigma, see

Dogma,

The Matthias Defense, and

The Still Point and the Wheel.

See also the December 2001 Esquire and

the conclusion of my previous entry.
 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Search

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 AM

An image suggested by last night's PBS hour "Chautauqua: An American Narrative"—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110201-TwoViews.jpg

Click for larger versions of the image search and of the Hall of Philosophy.

Both the screenshot and the Chautauqua photo (by jbi46 at flickr.com) were taken on July 19th, 2010.

The screenshot appeared in the post "Pediments of Appearance" (which also included two much less complex images).

Some background —  A webpage on  Analytical Cubism and a related search in this journal.

From Wallace Stevens, who appears at top center in the image above—

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven, XXII

Professor Eucalyptus said, “The search
For reality is as momentous as
The search for god.” It is the philosopher’s search

For an interior made exterior
And the poet’s search for the same exterior made
Interior: breathless things broodingly abreath

With the Inhalations of original cold
And of original earliness. Yet the sense
Of cold and earliness is a daily sense,

Not the predicate of bright origin.
Creation is not renewed by images
Of lone wanderers. To re-create, to use

The cold and earliness and bright origin
Is to search. Likewise to say of the evening star,
The most ancient light in the most ancient sky,

That it is wholly an inner light, that it shines
From the sleepy bosom of the real, re-creates,
Searches a possible for its possibleness.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday May 9, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:31 AM
Cubist Language Game

"Philosophers ponder the idea
 of identity: what it is to give
 something a name on Monday
 and have it respond to 
  that name on Friday…."

Bernard Holland 

Monday:

From Log24 on
August 19, 2003
and on
Ash Wednesday, 2004:
a reviewer on
An Instance of the Fingerpost::

"Perhaps we are meant to
 see the story as a cubist
 retelling of the crucifixion."

Related material
for today's anniversay
of the birth of philosopher
Jose Ortega y Gasset:

Cubism as Multispeech
and
Halloween Meditations
(illustrated below)

Cover of 'The Gameplayers of Zan,' by M.A. Foster

"Modern art…
will always have
the masses against it."
Ortega y Gasset, 1925    

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday May 5, 2008

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

"And take upon's
the mystery of things
 as if we were God's spies"
King Lear  

PA Lottery Sunday, May 4, 2008: mid-day 170, evening 144

From Log24 on Aug. 19, 2003
and on Ash Wednesday, 2004:
a reviewer on
An Instance of the Fingerpost::

"Perhaps we are meant to
see the story as a cubist
   retelling of the crucifixion."

From Log24 on
Michaelmas 2007:

Kate Beckinsale (in 'Pearl Harbor') pointing to an instance of the number 144

Google searches suggested by
Sunday's PA lottery numbers
(mid-day 170, evening 144)
and by the above
figure of Kate Beckinsale
pointing to an instance of
the number 144 —

Click to enlarge:

Search for the meaning of 170 and 144, the PA lottery numbers of Sunday, May 4, 2008

Related material:

Beckinsale in another film
(See At the Crossroads,
Log24, Dec. 8, 2006):

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow  
 
Kate Beckinsale in Underworld: Evolution

 

Kate Beckinsale, adapted from
poster for Underworld: Evolution
(DVD release date 6/6/6)
 
There is such a thing
as a tesseract.

"It was only in retrospect
that the silliness
became profound."

— Review of  
Faust in Copenhagen

From the conclusion of
Joan Didion's 1970 novel
  Play It As It Lays

Cover of 'Play It As It Lays'

"I know what 'nothing' means,
and keep on playing."

From Play It As It Lays,
the paperback edition of 1990
  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) —

Page 170:

"By the end of a week she was thinking constantly
about where her body stopped and the air began,
about the exact point in space and time that was the
difference between Maria and other. She had the sense
that if she could get that in her mind and hold it for

170  

even one micro-second she would have what she had
come to get."

"The page numbers
are generally reliable."

Michaelmas 2007   

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Saturday December 9, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 AM
Death on the Feast
of Saint Nicholas

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061209-Deathbed.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Quotation from Log24 on
September 14, 2003–

Skewed Mirrors:

Readings on Aesthetics for the
Feast of the Triumph of the Cross:

“We’re not here to stick a mirror on you. Anybody can do that, We’re here to give you a more cubist or skewed mirror, where you get to see yourself with fresh eyes. That’s what an artist does. When you paint the Crucifixion, you’re not painting an exact reproduction.”

Julie Taymor on “Frida” (AP, 10/22/02)

 

Saint Francis Borgia at the Deathbed of an Impenitent [above], painted by Francisco Goya (1746-1828) in 1788, is one of the most astonishing works in an oeuvre replete with remarkable images. In the decade and a half since its inclusion in Robert Rosenblum‘s survey* of nineteenth-century art, this canvas has become widely known among scholars and their students. Rosenblum, following a line of interpretation that dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century, uses this painting to support a symptomatic reading of Goya’s art, which he describes as ‘the most sharply accurate mirror of the collapse of the great religious and monarchic traditions of the West.'”

Andrew Schulz in The Art Bulletin, Dec. 1, 1998

* 19th-Century Art, by H. W. Janson and Robert Rosenblum, 1984

Rosenblum died at 79

on Wednesday,
the Feast of St. Nicholas.

For more on
St. Francis Borgia, see
In Lieu of Rosebud.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday November 12, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM

Instance

Log24, Feb. 25, 2004:

From a review by Adam White Scoville of Iain Pears’s novel titled An Instance of the Fingerpost:

“Perhaps we are meant to see the story as a cubist retelling of the crucifixion, as Pilate, Barabbas, Caiaphas, and Mary Magdalene might have told it. If so, it is sublimely done so that the realization gradually and unexpectedly dawns upon the reader. The title, taken from Sir Francis Bacon, suggests that at certain times, ‘understanding stands suspended’ and in that moment of clarity (somewhat like Wordsworth’s ‘spots of time,’ I think), the answer will become apparent as if a fingerpost were pointing at the way.”

Another instance:

The film “Barabbas” (1962) shown on Turner Classic Movies at 8 PM Friday, Nov. 10.

Compare and contrast–

  • Barabbas emerging from prison as if from Plato’s cave, and Barabbas’s vision of Christ in blinding sunlight: “Flung into the sunlight, he stands blinking at a young man in white robes; is it merely the unaccustomed light that dazzles his eyes, or does he really see a radiance streaming from the young man’s face?” —TIME Magazine, 1962
  • 1 Peter 2 on Christ as the “living stone”
  • The cover of the novel Stone 588 shown in Friday’s 11:20 PM entry

The film is based on the novel by Par Lagerkvist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Lagerkvist novel may be of more enduring interest than Stone 588, but, as Friday’s lottery numbers indicate, even lesser stories have their place.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday December 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:15 AM
Christmas Reflections
for Julie Taymor
  (creator of
 Broadway’s “Lion King
and of the film “Frida“)

Adam Gopnik on Narnia in The New Yorker:

“Everything began with images,” Lewis wrote.

Julie Taymor on “Frida”:

“We’re not here to stick a mirror on you. Anybody can do that, We’re here to give you a more cubist or skewed mirror, where you get to see yourself with fresh eyes. That’s what an artist does. When you paint the Crucifixion, you’re not painting an exact reproduction.”

Images for Julie Taymor:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051213-Quartet.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Today’s New York Times on Debora Arango, an artist who died at 98 on Dec. 4 at her home near Medellin, Colombia:

“She made dramatic paintings of prostitutes, which shocked midcentury sensibilities….”

“Ms. Arango always pushed boundaries, even as a young girl. In a favorite story, she talked about how she wore pants to ride horses….”

Related material: Yesterday’s entry “Modestly Yours” and entries on Johnny Cash, horses, and Julie Taymor of September 12-14, 2003.

“Words are events.”

Walter J. Ong, Society of Jesus
 
Concluding Unscientific Postscript
at noon on St. Lucy’s Day:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051213-Nutcracker.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“They are the horses of a dream.
 They are not what they seem.”

The Hex Witch of Seldom, page 16

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Saturday April 9, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

Skewed Views

The Baltimore Sun on Saul Bellow, who died April 5, and women:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice McDermott said she most admires the way that Mr. Bellow carefully structured his novels and short stories.

“He’s a writer’s writer,” she said…. “There’s a classical shape to everything he writes, and that gives his novels and stories an air of inevitability….”

…. In spite, or perhaps because, of all the praise, Mr. Bellow also had detractors….  Critic Alfred Kazin thought the author had become a “university intellectual” with “contempt for the lower orders.”

Even Ms. McDermott said she had to “park my feminism at the door” while reading Mr. Bellow’s work.

“Despite all my resistance to his characters’ worldview, through his prose he’s able to let you enter fully into the life of this white, Jewish intellectual who has a skewed view of women,” she said.

A great woman artist on skewed views:

“That’s what you’re supposed to do as an artist. We’re not here to stick a mirror on you. Anybody can do that,” [Julie] Taymor said. “We’re here to give you a more cubist or skewed mirror, where you get to see yourself with fresh eyes. That’s what an artist does. When you paint the Crucifixion, you’re not painting an exact reproduction….”

Finally, a skewed view
of Pope John Paul II in Paradise:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050409-Heaven.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Wednesday February 25, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Modernism as a Religion

In light of the controversy over Mel Gibson's bloody passion play that opens today, some more restrained theological remarks seem in order.  Fortunately, Yale University Press has provided a framework — uniting physics, art, and literature in what amounts to a new religion — for making such remarks.  Here is some background.

From a review by Adam White Scoville of Iain Pears's novel titled An Instance of the Fingerpost:

"Perhaps we are meant to see the story as a cubist retelling of the crucifixion, as Pilate, Barabbas, Caiaphas, and Mary Magdalene might have told it. If so, it is sublimely done so that the realization gradually and unexpectedly dawns upon the reader. The title, taken from Sir Francis Bacon, suggests that at certain times, 'understanding stands suspended' and in that moment of clarity (somewhat like Wordsworth's 'spots of time,' I think), the answer will become apparent as if a fingerpost were pointing at the way."

Recommended related material —

By others:

Inside Modernism:  Relativity Theory, Cubism, Narrative, Thomas Vargish and Delo E. Mook, Yale University Press, 1999

Signifying Nothing: The Fourth Dimension in Modernist Art and Literature

Corpus Hypercubus,
by Dali.  Not cubist,
perhaps "hypercubist."

By myself: 

Finite Relativity

The Crucifixion of John O'Hara

Block Designs

The Da Vinci Code and Symbology at Harvard

The Crimson Passion

Material that is related, though not recommended —

The Aesthetics of the Machine

Connecting Physics and the Arts
 

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Sunday September 14, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:12 PM

Skewed Mirrors

Readings on Aesthetics
for the
Feast of the Triumph of the Cross

Part I

Bill Moyers and Julie Taymor

Director Taymor on her own passion play (see previous entry), “Frida“: 

“We always write stories of tragedies because that’s how we reach our human depth. How we get to the other side of it. We look at the cruelty, the darkness and horrific events that happened in our life whether it be a miscarriage or a husband who is not faithful. Then you find this ability to transcend. And that is called the passion, like the passion of Christ. You could call this the passion of Frida Kahlo, in a way.”

— 10/25/02 interview with Bill Moyers

From transcript
of 10/25/02
interview:

MOYERS: What happened to you in Indonesia.

TAYMOR: This is probably it for me. This is the story that moves me the most…. 

I went to Bali to a remote village by a volcanic mountain on the lake. They were having a ceremony that only happens only every 10 years for the young men. I wanted to be alone.

I was listening to this music and all of a sudden out of the darkness I could see glints of mirrors and 30 or 40 old men in full warrior costume– there was nobody in this village square. I was alone. They couldn’t see me in the shadows. They came out with these spears and they started to dance. They did, I don’t know, it felt like an eternity but probably a half hour dance. With these voices coming out of them. And they danced to nobody. Right after that, they and I went oh, my God. The first man came out and they were performing for God. Now God can mean whatever you want it to mean. But for me, I understood it so totally. The detail on the costumes. They didn’t care if someone was paying tickets, writing reviews. They didn’t care if an audience was watching. They did it from the inside to the outside. And from the outside to the in. And that profoundly moved me then.

MOYERS: How did you see the world differently after you were in Indonesia?

From transcript
of 11/29/02
interview:

….They did it from the inside to the outside. And from the outside to the in. And that profoundly moved me then. It was…it was the most important thing that I ever experienced. … 

…………………..

MOYERS: Now that you are so popular, now that your work is…

TAYMOR: [INAUDIBLE].

MOYERS: No, I’m serious.

 Now that you’re popular, now that your work is celebrated and people are seeking you, do you feel your creativity is threatened by that popularity or liberated by it?

TAYMOR: No, I think it’s neither one. I don’t do things any differently now than I would before.

And you think that sometimes perhaps if I get a bigger budget for a movie, then it will just be the same thing…

MOYERS: Ruination. Ruination.

TAYMOR: No, because LION KING is a combination of high tech and low tech.

There are things up on that stage that cost 30 cents, like a little shadow puppet and a lamp, and it couldn’t be any better than that. It just couldn’t.

Sometimes you are forced to become more creative because you have limitations. ….

TAYMOR: Well I understood really the power of art to transform.

I think transformation become the main word in my life.

Transformation because you don’t want to just put a mirror in front of people and say, here, look at yourself. What do you see?

 You want to have a skewed mirror. You want a mirror that says you didn’t know you could see the back of your head. You didn’t know that you could amount cubistic see almost all the same aspects at the same time.

It allows human beings to step out of their lives and to revisit it and maybe find something different about it.

It’s not about the technology. It’s about the power of art to transform.

I think transformation becomes the main word in my life, transformation.

Because you don’t want to just put a mirror in front of people and say, here, look at yourself. What do you see?

You want to have a skewed mirror. You want a mirror that says, you didn’t know you could see the back of your head. You didn’t know that you could…almost cubistic, see all aspects at the same time.

And what that does for human beings is it allows them to step out of their lives and to revisit it and maybe find something different about it.

Part II

 Inside and Outside: Transformation

(Research note, July 11, 1986)

Click on the above typewritten note to enlarge.

Summary of
Parts I and II:


See also
Geometry for Jews.

“We’re not here to stick a mirror on you. Anybody can do that, We’re here to give you a more cubist or skewed mirror, where you get to see yourself with fresh eyes. That’s what an artist does. When you paint the Crucifixion, you’re not painting an exact reproduction.”

Julie Taymor on “Frida” (AP, 10/22/02)

“She made ‘real’ an oxymoron, 
         she made mirrors, she made smoke.
She had a curve ball
          that wouldn’t quit,
                              a girlfriend for a joke.”

— “Arizona Star,” Guy Clark / Rich Alves

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