Log24

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Next Thing

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

From posts tagged The Next Thing

an apt illustration can be found on the cover of
the 1943 first edition of Hesse's Glasperlenspiel 

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110203-Glasperlenspiel1943-Detail.jpg

See also Stevens's use of the phrase "heaven-haven"
in "Notes" (1942), the original plan of New Haven,
and related scholia in this journal.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110203-Scholia.jpg

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

– Rubén Darío

An academic work from 2003 discusses Stevens's "Notes"
as "a perfect geometric whole."

Note that "perfect" means "complete, finished, done."

 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Joining the Cavalcade

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:48 AM

The author featured in the previous post, one "Stephen Marlowe,"
reportedly died on February 22, 2008.

From his New York Times obituary by Margalit Fox —

"Mr. Marlowe was born Milton Lesser in Brooklyn
on Aug. 7, 1928. He received his bachelor’s degree
in philosophy from the College of William and Mary
in 1949. Under his original name, he began his
career in the early 1950s writing science fiction.

In the late ’50s, Mr. Lesser legally changed his name
to Stephen Marlowe, one of several pen names he
regularly used. (Among the others were Andrew Frazer,
Darius John Granger, C. H. Thames, Stephen Wilder,
Jason Ridgway and Adam Chase. In his 1961 novel
Dead Man’s Tale , Mr. Lesser joined the cavalcade of
ghostwriters who published under the name Ellery Queen.)"

From this journal on the date of Marlowe's reported death —

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

— Rubén Darío

Saturday, April 18, 2015

By Express

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:55 PM

Continues.

'Green Gables' star Jonathan Crombie dies at 48

Update of 8:19 PM ET —

Trailer for a recent Crombie documentary, "Waiting for Ishtar,"
that has not yet been released:

See also Lucero + Ishtar  and Lucero + Muerte .

Midrash:

IMAGE- Joseph Campbell, 'The Inner Reaches of Outer Space,' meditation on the number nine, the Goddess, and the Angelus

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Star Wars (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:29 PM

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110219-SquareRootQuaternion.jpg

A star figure and the Galois quaternion.

The square root of the former is the latter.

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

– Rubén Darío

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Secret Life of Don DeLillo

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

IMAGE- 'Ratner's Star,' by Don DeLillo (1976)

My own Star story would be somewhat different,
more concerned with inner than with outer space.

See Lucero  in this journal.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conundrum

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:31 PM

IMAGE- Cover of 'Mr. Ives' Christmas,' by Oscar Hijuelos'

Click to enlarge —

Related material — El Lucero Puro .

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 PM

(Continued. For the title, see Lucero  in this journal.)

See Newton in several works of literary art:

The date, Nov. 23, 2010, of the Westminster Abbey remarks
in the second Newton link above suggests a quite different church 
​from that date.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rhetorical Answer

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 AM

NOW ENJOY BRILLIANT COLLEGE COURSES
IN YOUR HOME OR CAR!

The sun was burning down….

There was a trembling in the air as the unnamed colors
and landforms took on definition, a clarity of outline and extent….

This is where we sat through his hushed hour, a torchlit sky,
the closeness of hills barely visible at high white noon.

— DeLillo, Don, Point Omega 

Midi là-haut, Midi sans mouvement 
En soi se pense et convient à soi-même… 
Tête complète et parfait diadème, 
Je suis en toi le secret changement.

— Valéry, Paul,  "Le Cimetière Marin"

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

— Darío, Rubén, "Los Tres Reyes Magos"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Plot Summary

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 PM

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111118-BrainstormDVD.jpg

IMDb Plot Summary for
Brainstorm (1983)

Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people. Once the capability of tapping into "higher brain functions" is added in, and you can literally jump into someone else's head and play back recordings of what he or she was thinking, feeling, seeing, etc., at the time of the recording, the applications for the project quickly spiral out of control. While Michael Brace uses the system to become close again to Karen Brace, his estranged wife who also works on the project, others start abusing it for intense sexual experiences and other logical but morally questionable purposes. The government tries to kick Michael and Lillian off the project once the vast military potential of the technology is discovered. It soon becomes obvious that the government is interested in more than just missile guidance systems. The lab starts producing mind torture recordings and other psychosis inducing material. When one of the researchers dies and tapes the experience of death, Michael is convinced that he must playback this tape to honor the memory of the researcher and to become enlightened. When another researcher dies during playback the tape is locked away and Michael has to fight against his former colleagues and the government lackeys that now run his lab in order to play back and confront the "scariest thing any of us will ever face"— death itself. Written by Eric van Bezooijen.

See also researcher John Gregory Dunne and "Lucero Puro" in this journal.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Thing Itself

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:29 AM

Suggested by an Oct. 18 piece in the Book Bench section
of the online New Yorker  magazine—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111020-Derrida.GIF

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11C/111020-Topia122.GIF

Related material suggested by the "Shouts and Murmurs" piece
in The New Yorker , issue dated Oct. 24, 2011—

"a series of e-mails from a preschool teacher planning to celebrate
the Day of the Dead instead of Halloween…"

A search for Coxeter + Graveyard in this journal yields…

Coxeter exhuming Geometry

Here the tombstone says "GEOMETRY… 600 BC — 1900 AD… R.I.P."

A related search for Plato + Tombstone yields an image from July 6, 2007…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/061019-Tombstones.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Here Plato's poems to Aster suggested
the "Star and Diamond" tombstone.

The eight-rayed star is an ancient symbol of Venus
and the diamond is from Plato's Meno .

The star and diamond are combined in a figure from
12 AM on September 6th, 2011—

The Diamond Star

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110905-StellaOctangulaView.jpg

See Configurations and Squares.

That webpage explains how Coxeter
united the diamond and the star.

Those who prefer narrative to mathematics may consult
a definition of the Spanish word lucero  from March 28, 2003.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Abel Prize

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:57 PM

The previous posts, Design and Solomon's Labyrinth,
refer, respectively,  to concepts of Tits ("buildings") and
of Thompson (imagining a future Origin of Groups ).

This suggests a review of Norway's 2008 Abel Prize,
presented to Thompson and Tits on May 20, 2008.

Poster display before the 2008 Abel Prize ceremony—

Click to enlarge.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11B/110826-PosterDisplay.jpg

A poster of sorts in this journal on the same day, May 20, 2008—

Bright Star –

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

– Rubén Darío  

Bright Star and Crystal Skull

Image adapted from
Blue Star Traders

Related material— Epiphany Revisited, Four Winds,
and Where Entertainment is God (continued).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brightness at Noon (continued)

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

From Epiphany Revisited

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110219-SquareRootQuaternion.jpg

A star figure and the Galois quaternion.

The square root of the former is the latter.

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

Rubén Darío

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brightness at Noon (continued)

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

"The predicate of bright origin"

— A phrase of Wallace Stevens from "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven" (1950)

Perhaps the predicate Stevens means is "bright."

If so, an apt illustration can be found on the cover of
the 1943 first edition of Hesse's Glasperlenspiel

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110203-Glasperlenspiel1943-Detail.jpg

See also Stevens's use of the phrase "heaven-haven" in "Notes" (1942),
the original plan of New Haven, and related scholia in this journal.

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110203-Scholia.jpg

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

– Rubén Darío

An academic work from 2003 discusses Stevens's "Notes" as
"a perfect geometric whole."

Note that "perfect" means "complete, finished, done."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Re-Imagining

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 PM

A New York Times  story from the Feast of St. Augustine
("A version of this article appeared in print on August 28, 2010,
on page A17 of the New York edition.") —

22-Story Fall in Manhattan
Kills Daughter of U.S. Envoy

By AL BAKER and KAREN ZRAICK

With summer winding down, Eric G. John, the United States ambassador to Thailand, made a trip familiar to many parents: he accompanied his 17-year-old daughter to New York as she got ready for her first year of college.

But his daughter, Nicole, barely experienced being a freshman at Parsons The New School For Design, near Union Square.

She died early Friday [August 27, 2010] after falling 22 floors from a high-rise apartment building in Herald Square after a night out that led her and friends to a party at the high-rise….

The Thailand and Design links above are the Times's.
The August 27 link is not.

Clicking on the Times's Design link leads to…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/100830-Parsons.jpg

Re-Imagining Orozco

June 25 – September 12, 2010

Opening reception: June 24, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

This journal, June 24, 12:31 p.m.

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

– Rubén Darío

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Star Wars

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100627-TahomaAster.jpg

The above asterisk, from the Tahoma font, suggests
a figure from "Diablo Ballet" (Jan. 21, 2003)—

“At the still point,
there the dance is.”
— T. S. Eliot

Another asterisk figure,  
from Twelfth Night 2010—

Kenneth Nolad, 'Play,' 1960. Noland died on January 5, 2010.

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

Rubén Darío

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bright Star

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:31 PM

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

– Rubén Darío

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Soul Song

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Today's top New York Times obituary
mentions Irving Berlin's 1919 tune
"A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody."

("That's show business." — Berlin)

I prefer a different song —

Image-- 'Estas son las mananitas....'

Related material —

Garden of the Soul and
A Mass for Lucero.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For Twelfth Night

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Nativity

Kenneth Nolad, 'Play,' 1960. Noland died on January 5, 2010.

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

Rubén Darío

See also diadema and an obituary
for Noland, who died today.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cowboy Song

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

For a girl I saw once in USA TodayBlank spacer gif in 1995:

Part I:

Top of the online front page, NY Times this morning–

NY Times ad for film 'An Education'

Blank spacer gif

Blank spacer gif

Part II:

Sesame Street characters search for a lost image

Part III:

Adapted song lyrics from “Colorado Trail“–

Kendra was a pretty girl
God Almighty knows

Part IV:

Very like another girl 30 years earlier

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday August 27, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
The Shining
of Lucero

For John Cramer’s
daughter Kathryn

(continued from
September 24, 2002)

“Mathematical relationships were
enough to satisfy him, mere formal
relationships which existed at
all times, everywhere, at once.”

Broken Symmetries, 1983

X
X
X

See also Art Wars at
The New Criterion

(Jan. 19, 2007) and the
 four entries preceding it.

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, January 16, 2009

Friday January 16, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM
Academy Award

“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

“I feel very happy to be a part of Mind Champions Academy.”

— A winner at a chess awards ceremony in India on Monday

John Mortimer, who wrote the TV version of Brideshead Revisited, died today. In his memory:

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

Rubén Darío    

King's Moves

King’s Moves,
adapted from
a figure by
F. Lanier Graham

Related material:
Will this be  
  on the test?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday January 14, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
A Fight for
Love and Glory

The 8-point star
of Venus:

Eight-point star of Venus

This star is suggested by
the Spanish name “Lucero
and by the following
passage from Heinlein’s
classic novel Glory Road:

    “I have many names. What would you like to call me?”

    “Is one of them ‘Helen’?”

    She smiled like sunshine and I learned that she had dimples. She looked sixteen and in her first party dress. “You are very gracious. No, she’s not even a relative. That was many, many years ago.” Her face turned thoughtful. “Would you like to call me ‘Ettarre’?”

    “Is that one of your names?”

    “It is much like one of them, allowing for different spelling and accent. Or it could be ‘Esther’ just as closely. Or ‘Aster.’ Or even ‘Estrellita.'”

    “‘Aster,'” I repeated. “Star. Lucky Star!”

Ricardo Montalban, d. Jan. 14, 2009-- NY Times
 
Que descanse en paz.

Little Mermaid bed

Later the same evening…
an update in memory
of Patrick McGoohan:

NYT obituaries 1/14/09 for both Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan

“There is one story and one story only
That will prove worth your telling….
 
…of the undying snake from chaos hatched,
Whose coils contain the ocean,
Into whose chops with naked sword he springs,
Then in black water, tangled by the reeds,
Battles three days and nights,
To be spewed up beside her scalloped shore….”
 
— Robert Graves,
   “To Juan at the Winter Solstice”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday October 23, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:29 AM
Along Came
a Spider

Symmetry axes of the square

A phrase from 1959
(“Damnation Morning“),
from Monday
(“Me and My Shadow“),
and from Sept. 28
(“Buffalo Soldier“) —

“Look, Buster,
do you want to live?”

A closely related phrase:

… Todo lo sé
por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema

de la Muerte.

Rubén Darío

The link to
Buffalo Soldier
in this entry
is in memory of
Vittorio Foa, who
died Monday
at his home
 outside Rome.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday June 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Drunkard’s Walk

In memory of Episcopal priest
and Jungian analyst
Brewster Yale Beach,
who died on Tuesday,
June 17, 2008

“A man walks down the street…”

Paul Simon, Graceland album 

NY Times obituaries, Tuesday, June 17, 2008-- Tony Schwartz, Walter Netsch, Tim Russert

Related material:

In the above screenshot of New York Times obituaries on the date of Brewster Beach’s death, Tim Russert seems to be looking at the obituary of Air Force Academy chapel architect Walter Netsch.

This suggests another chapel, more closely related to my own experience, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Some background…

Walter Netsch in Oral History (pdf, 467 pp.):

“I also had a book that inspired me– this is 1947– called Communitas by Percival and Paul Goodman. Percival Goodman was the architect, and Paul Goodman was the writer and leftist. And this came out of the University of Chicago– part of the leftist bit of the University of Chicago….

I had sort of in the back of my mind, Communitas appeared from my subconscious of the new town out of town, and there were other people who knew of it….”

Center of Town, Cuernavaca, from Paul Goodman's Communitas
Log24, Feb. 24, 2008:

Candela's 'Capilla Abierta' chapel, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Chapel, Cuernavaca, Mexico

“God As Trauma”
by Brewster Yale Beach:
“The problem of crucifixion is
  the beginning of individuation.”

Si me de veras quieres,
deja me en paz
.”

Lucero Hernandez,
Cuernavaca, 1962

A more impersonal approach
to my own drunkard’s walk
(Cuernavaca, 1962, after
reading the above words):

Cognitive Blending
and the Two Cultures

An approach from the culture
(more precisely, the alternate
religion) of Scientism–
The Drunkard’s Walk:
How Randomness
Rules Our Lives

is sketched in
Today’s Sermon:
The Holy Trinity vs.
The New York Times

(Sunday, June 8, 2008).

The Times illustrated its review
of The Drunkard’s Walk
with facetious drawings
by Jessica Hagy, who uses
Venn diagrams to make
cynical jokes.

A less cynical use of
a Venn diagram:

No se puede vivir sin amar.”

— Malcolm Lowry,
Under the Volcano

Photo by Gerry Gantt

(March 3, 2004)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday May 29, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 AM
The Diadem
of Death

Washington Post Death Notices:

Dead on
St. Sarah’s Day,
May 24 —

Sophie B. Altman

Star of David in Washington Post death notice of Sophie B. Altman

Sophie B. Altman at Christmas 2006 dinner at DeCarlo's

Mother-in-law of
Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter
and founder and
producer of TV’s
It’s Academic

In Memoriam:

LOS TRES REYES MAGOS
Rubén Darío

—Yo soy Gaspar. Aquí traigo el incienso.
Vengo a decir: La vida es pura y bella.
Existe Dios. El amor es inmenso.
¡Todo lo sé por la divina Estrella!

—Yo soy Melchor. Mi mirra aroma todo.
Existe Dios. El es la luz del día.
¡La blanca flor tiene sus pies en lodo
y en el placer hay la melancolía!

—Soy Baltasar. Traigo el oro. Aseguro
que existe Dios. El es el grande y fuerte.
Todo lo sé por el lucero puro
que brilla en la diadema de la Muerte.

—Gaspar, Melchor y Baltasar, callaos.
Triunfa el amor, ya su fiesta os convida.
¡Cristo resurge, hace la luz del caos
y tiene la corona de la Vida!

THE THREE KINGS

I am Caspar. I bring with me the myrrh,
And have this to say: Life is pure and beautiful.
There is a God. His love is immense.
I can see all by the divine Star!

I am Melchior. My frankincense perfumes the air.
There is a God. He is the light of day.
The whitest flower has its stem in the mire
And in joy is also found sorrow!

I am Balthasar. I bring the gold. And I
Assure you: There is a God, great and mighty.
And I know this from the pure light
That radiates from the Diadem of Death.

Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar — say no more.
Love is triumphant, and beckons you to His feast:
Christ is born! The Chaos He has turned to light,
And he wears the crown of Life!

Midrash:

Wonder Woman and the Secret of the Magic Tiara

Wonder Woman and the Secret of the Magic Tiara-- The End

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday May 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM
The Unembarrassed Peddler

(For readers of
the previous entry
who would like to
know more about
purchasing the
Brooklyn Bridge)


From yesterday’s New York Times, in an obituary of a teacher of reporters:

“He was a stickler for spelling, insisting that students accurately compose dictated sentences, like this one: ‘Outside a cemetery sat a harassed cobbler and an embarrassed peddler, gnawing on a desiccated potato and gazing on the symmetry of a lady’s ankle with unparalleled ecstasy.'”

Spelling Your Way
To Success

Chapter I:
“gnawing on a  
  desiccated potato”

From the website
Blue Star Traders:
How the ancient crystal skull Synergy came to the Western World…

This skull first came to light when it was acquired about two and a half decades ago by a European businessman and avid hiker, as he traveled around Central and South America.  He acquired the skull from a very old native man, in a tiny village in the Andes, near the borders of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. He was just passing through, and had come upon the small settlement while looking for a place to stay for the night.  He wandered into the village and was greeted with smiles and an invitation to share a meal.

This gentleman, George, speaks several languages, and he usually has at least a few words in common with most of the people he meets in his travels– enough to get by, anyway.  Although he didn’t speak the same language as most of the people in this isolated village, there was an instant connection between them, and they managed with the smattering of Spanish and Portuguese that a few of them knew. In need of shelter for the night, George was offered a spot for his sleeping bag, near the fire, in the dwelling of an elderly man.

After a peaceful evening in the old man’s company, George gratefully accepted a simple breakfast and got ready to take his leave.  As he thanked the man for his generous hospitality, the elder led George to an old chest. Opening the crumbling wooden lid, he took out the crystal skull, touched it reverently, and handed it to George.  Awed by an artifact of such obvious antiquity, beauty and value, yet uncertain what he was expected to do with it, George tried to hand it back.  But the old man urged it upon him, making it clear that he was to take it with him. 

Curious about the history of such a thing, George tried to find out what the villagers knew about it. One young fellow explained in halting Spanish that  the skull had come into the possession of a much loved Catholic nun, in Peru.  She was quite old when she died in the early 1800’s, and she had given it to the old man’s “Grandfather” when he was just a boy.  (Note: It’s hard to say if this was really the man’s grandfather, or just the honorary title that many natives use to designate an ancestor or revered relative.)  The nun told the boy and his father that the skull was “an inheritance from a lost civilization” and, like the Christian cross, it was a symbol of the transcendence of Soul over death.  She said that it carried the message of immortal life and the illumination that we may discover when we lose our fear of death.  She gave it to the boy and his father, asking them to safeguard it until the “right” person came to get it– and share its message with the world.  It had been brought to that land from “somewhere else” and needed to wait until the right person could help it to continue its journey. “Your heart will know the person,” she said. 

“What a strange story,” thought George.

From elespectador.com:

“… ‘Supercholita’  tiene sobre todo una clara vocación divulgadora de la cultura andina. No en vano Valdez recibió su primer premio por explicar mediante este personaje cómo se cocina el ‘chuño,’ una típica patata deshidratada muy consumida en el altiplano boliviano.”

Chapter II:
“gazing on the symmetry
 of a lady’s ankle”

From “Sinatra: A Man
and His Music, Part II”
(reshown. prior to
“It Happened in Brooklyn,”
by Turner Classic Movies
on Sunday, May 11, 2008):

“Luck, be a lady tonight.”

From wordinfo.info:

astragalo-, astragal-
(Greek: anklebone, talus ball of ankle joint; dice, die [the Greeks made these from ankle bones])

astragalomancy, astragyromancy
Divination with dice, knuckle bones, stones, small pieces of wood, or ankle bones which were marked with letters, symbols, or dots. Using dice for divination is a form of astragalomancy.

Chapter III:
“unparalleled ecstasy”


Bright Star —

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

— Rubén Darío  

Bright Star and Crystal Skull

Image adapted from
Blue Star Traders


Related material:

The New York Lottery
  mid-day number yesterday–
719– and 7/19.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday May 9, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
Kernel of Eternity
continued from April 29

 
The Klein Group: The four elements in four colors, with black points representing the identity


Wikipedia on the Klein group (denoted V, for Vierergruppe):

In this representation, V is a normal subgroup of the alternating group A4 (and also the symmetric group S4) on 4 letters. In fact, it is the kernel of a surjective map from S4 to S3. According to Galois theory, the existence of the Klein four-group (and in particular, this representation of it) explains the existence of the formula for calculating the roots of quartic equations in terms of radicals.

For radicals of another sort, see A Logocentric Meditation, A Mass for Lucero, and Steven Erlanger in The New York Times— "France Still Divided Over Lessons of 1968 Unrest."

The Klein Group as Kernel
of a Map from S4 to S3:

Portrait of O:  The Klein Group as Kernel in  the Symmetric Group of Degree Four

Click to enlarge.

For those who prefer Galois's
politics to his mathematics,
there is
MAY 68: STREET POSTERS
FROM THE PARIS REBELLION

at London's Southbank Centre
 (May 1 – June 1, 2008).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday April 29, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:09 AM
Sacerdotal Jargon
at Harvard:

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe
(Harvard M.A., 1922)

versus

Rosalind Krauss

Rosalind Krauss
(Harvard M.A., 1964,
Ph.D., 1969)

on

The Kernel of Eternity

"No culture has a pact with eternity."
George Steiner, interview in  
The Guardian of April 19

"At that instant he saw,
in one blaze of light, an image
of unutterable conviction….
the core of life, the essential
pattern whence all other things
proceed, the kernel of eternity."

— Thomas Wolfe, Of Time
and the River, quoted in
Log24 on June 9, 2005

 

From today's online Harvard Crimson:

"… under the leadership of Faust,
Harvard students should look forward
to an ever-growing opportunity for
international experience
and artistic endeavor."

 

Wolfgang Pauli as Mephistopheles

Pauli as Mephistopheles
in a 1932 parody of
Goethe's
Faust at Niels Bohr's
institute in Copenhagen

From a recent book
on Wolfgang Pauli,
The Innermost Kernel:

Pauli's Dream Square (square plus the two diagonals)

A belated happy birthday
to the late
Felix Christian Klein
  (born on April 25) —

The Klein Group: The four elements in four colors, with black points representing the identity

Another Harvard figure quoted here on Dec. 5, 2002:

"The theory of poetry, that is to say, the total of the theories of poetry, often seems to become in time a mystical theology or, more simply, a mystique. The reason for this must by now be clear. The reason is the same reason why the pictures in a museum of modern art often seem to become in time a mystical aesthetic, a prodigious search of appearance, as if to find a way of saying and of establishing that all things, whether below or above appearance, are one and that it is only through reality, in which they are reflected or, it may be, joined together, that we can reach them. Under such stress, reality changes from substance to subtlety, a subtlety in which it was natural for Cézanne to say: 'I see planes bestriding each other and sometimes straight lines seem to me to fall' or 'Planes in color…. The colored area where shimmer the souls of the planes, in the blaze of the kindled prism, the meeting of planes in the sunlight.' The conversion of our Lumpenwelt went far beyond this. It was from the point of view of another subtlety that Klee could write: 'But he is one chosen that today comes near to the secret places where original law fosters all evolution. And what artist would not establish himself there where the organic center of all movement in time and space– which he calls the mind or heart of creation– determines every function.' Conceding that this sounds a bit like sacerdotal jargon, that is not too much to allow to those that have helped to create a new reality, a modern reality, since what has been created is nothing less."

— Wallace Stevens, Harvard College Class of 1901, "The Relations between Poetry and Painting" in The Necessary Angel (Knopf, 1951)

From a review of Rosalind Krauss's The Optical Unconscious  (MIT Press hardcover, 1993):

Krauss is concerned to present Modernism less in terms of its history than its structure, which she seeks to represent by means of a kind of diagram: "It is more interesting to think of modernism as a graph or table than a history." The "table" is a square with diagonally connected corners, of the kind most likely to be familiar to readers as the Square of Opposition, found in elementary logic texts since the mid-19th century. The square, as Krauss sees it, defines a kind of idealized space "within which to work out unbearable contradictions produced within the real field of history." This she calls, using the inevitable gallicism, "the site of Jameson's Political Unconscious" and then, in art, the optical unconscious, which consists of what Utopian Modernism had to kick downstairs, to repress, to "evacuate… from its field."

— Arthur C. Danto in ArtForum, Summer 1993

Rosalind Kraus in The Optical Unconscious (MIT Press paperback, 1994):

For a presentation of the Klein Group, see Marc Barbut, "On the Meaning of the Word 'Structure' in Mathematics," in Introduction to Structuralism, ed. Michael Lane (New York: Basic Books, 1970). Claude Lévi-Strauss uses the Klein group in his analysis of the relation between Kwakiutl and Salish masks in The Way of the Masks, trans. Sylvia Modelski (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1982), p. 125; and in relation to the Oedipus myth in "The Structural Analysis of Myth," Structural Anthropology, trans. Claire Jackobson [sic] and Brooke Grundfest Schoepf (New York: Basic Books, 1963). In a transformation of the Klein Group, A. J. Greimas has developed the semiotic square, which he describes as giving "a slightly different formulation to the same structure," in "The Interaction of Semiotic Constraints," On Meaning (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 50. Jameson uses the semiotic square in The Political Unconscious (see pp. 167, 254, 256, 277) [Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981)], as does Louis Marin in "Disneyland: A Degenerate Utopia," Glyph, no. 1 (1977), p. 64.

For related non-sacerdotal jargon, see…
 

Wikipedia on the Klein group (denoted V, for Vierergruppe):

In this representation, V is a normal subgroup of the alternating group A4 (and also the symmetric group S4) on 4 letters. In fact, it is the kernel of a surjective map from S4 to S3. According to Galois theory, the existence of the Klein four-group (and in particular, this representation of it) explains the existence of the formula for calculating the roots of quartic equations in terms of radicals.

For radicals of another sort, see A Logocentric Meditation, A Mass for Lucero, and [update of 7 PM] Steven Erlanger in today's New York Times— "France Still Divided Over Lessons of 1968 Unrest."

For material related to Klee's phrase mentioned above by Stevens, "the organic center of all movement in time and space," see the following Google search:

April 29, 2008, Google search on 'penrose space time'

Click on the above
 image for details.

See also yesterday's
Religious Art.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday April 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM
The Date

A Xanga footprint this morning–

France /283018943/item.html? 4/10/2008 8:14 AM

This links to an entry
containing the following:

Date: June 13, 2005

Related material:
A Mass for Lucero.

That web page concludes with a reference to esthetics and a Delian palm, and was written three years ago on this date.

Today [June 13] is also the date of death for Martin Buber, philosophical Jew.

Here is a Delphic saying in memory of Buber:

“It is the female date that is considered holy, and that bears fruit.”

—  Steven Erlanger,
    New York Times story,
    dateline Jerusalem, June 11

This, together with the online
New York Times obituaries
pictured here on April 7,
suggests further consideration
of a female date…. namely,
that of a Log24 entry,

A Yahrzeit for Virginia Woolf,

from March 28
(the date of Woolf’s death).

March 28 this year was also
the date of death of another
female author,

Helen Bassine Yglesias
.

Helen Yglesias in 2000

Click on the image
for a larger picture
and further details.

“Attention must
  be paid.”
Linda Loman 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday March 6, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM
This note is prompted by the March 4 death of Richard D. Anderson, writer on geometry, President (1981-82) of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and member of the MAA’s Icosahedron Society.

Royal Road

“The historical road
from the Platonic solids
to the finite simple groups
is well known.”

— Steven H. Cullinane,
November 2000,
Symmetry from Plato to
the Four-Color Conjecture

Euclid is said to have remarked that “there is no royal road to geometry.” The road to the end of the four-color conjecture may, however, be viewed as a royal road from geometry to the wasteland of mathematical recreations.* (See, for instance, Ch. VIII, “Map-Colouring Problems,” in Mathematical Recreations and Essays, by W. W. Rouse Ball and H. S. M. Coxeter.) That road ended in 1976 at the AMS-MAA summer meeting in Toronto– home of H. S. M. Coxeter, a.k.a. “the king of geometry.”

See also Log24, May 21, 2007.

A different road– from Plato to the finite simple groups– is, as I noted in November 2000, well known. But new roadside attractions continue to appear. One such attraction is the role played by a Platonic solid– the icosahedron– in design theory, coding theory, and the construction of the sporadic simple group M24.

“By far the most important structure in design theory is the Steiner system S(5, 8, 24).”

— “Block Designs,” by Andries E. Brouwer (Ch. 14 (pp. 693-746) of Handbook of Combinatorics, Vol. I, MIT Press, 1995, edited by Ronald L. Graham, Martin Grötschel, and László Lovász, Section 16 (p. 716))

This Steiner system is closely connected to M24 and to the extended binary Golay code. Brouwer gives an elegant construction of that code (and therefore of  M24):

“Let N be the adjacency matrix of the icosahedron (points: 12 vertices, adjacent: joined by an edge). Then the rows of the 12×24 matrix (I  J-N) generate the extended binary Golay code.” [Here I is the identity matrix and J is the matrix of all 1’s.]

Op. cit., p. 719

Related material:

Finite Geometry of
the Square and Cube

and
Jewel in the Crown

“There is a pleasantly discursive
treatment of Pontius Pilate’s
unanswered question
‘What is truth?'”
— H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987,
introduction to Trudeau’s
“story theory” of truth

Those who prefer stories to truth
may consult the Log24 entries
 of March 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

They may also consult
the poet Rubén Darío:

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


* For a road out of this wasteland, back to geometry, see The Kaleidoscope Puzzle and Reflection Groups in Finite Geometry.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday February 22, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Philosophers Ponder

“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 in
   The New York Times
  
Monday, May 20, 1996

Associated Press,
Today in History,
Monday, Feb. 18, 2008:

On this date:

In 1564,
artist Michelangelo
died in Rome.

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

Non ha l’ottimo artista in se alcun concetto,
Ch’un marmo solo in se non circoscriva
Col suo soverchio; e solo a quello arriva
La man che ubbidisce all’intelletto.
(The best artist has in himself no concept
in a single block of marble not contained;
only the hand obeying mind will find it.)
— Michelangelo, as quoted
by Erwin Panofsky in

Idea: A Concept
in Art Theory

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

— Rubén Darío

Related material:
Yesterday’s entry
and Anthony Lane
in this week’s
New Yorker:

“… the whole of ‘Jumper’ comes across as vastly incurious about the cultures at its command. When David takes Millie (Rachel Bilson), a school friend from Michigan, for a dirty day out in Rome, she stands in awe before the Colosseum. ‘This place is amazing,’ she declares. ‘It’s so cool.’ I wasn’t expecting Ernst Gombrich….”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday February 20, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:48 AM
 About Five Years Ago:

M. V. Ramana on a famous quotation–
 
"Oppenheimer had learned Sanskrit at Berkeley so as to read the Gita in the original; he always kept a worn pink copy on the bookshelf closest to his desk. It is therefore likely that he may have actually thought of the original, Sanskrit, verse rather than the English translation. The closest that fits this meaning is in the 32nd verse from the 11th chapter of the Gita.

 kalosmi lokaksaya krt pravrddho

This literally means: I am kAla, the great destroyer of Worlds. What is intriguing about this verse, then, is the interpretation of kAla by Jungk and others to mean death. While death is technically one of the meanings of kAla, a more common one is time."

"KAla" (in the Harvard-Kyoto transliteration scheme) is more familiar to the West in the related form of Kali, a goddess sometimes depicted as a dancing girl; Kali is related to kAla, time, according to one website, as "the force which governs and stops time."  See also the novel The Fermata, by Nicholson Baker.

The fact that Oppenheimer thought of Chapter 11, verse 32, of the Gita may, as a mnemonic device, be associated with the use of the number 1132 in Finnegans Wake.

 See 1132 A. D. & Saint Brighid, and my weblog entries of January 5 (Twelfth Night and the whirligig of time), January 31 (St. Bridget's Eve), and February 1 (St. Bridget's Day), 2003

The custom-made asterisk
above may be regarded
as a version of
the "Spider" symbol
of Fritz Leiber.

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

Rubén Darío

Related material:

The previous five entries
and the entries of
this date three years ago.

Time of this entry:

11:48:17 AM.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday January 31, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:24 AM
From G. K. Chesterton,
The Black Virgin
 
As the black moon
of some divine eclipse,
As the black sun
of the Apocalypse,
As the black flower
that blessed Odysseus back
From witchcraft; and
he saw again the ships.

In all thy thousand images
we salute thee.

Earlier in the poem….
 
Clothed with the sun
or standing on the moon
Crowned with the stars
or single, a morning star,
Sunlight and moonlight
are thy luminous shadows,
Starlight and twilight
thy refractions are,
Lights and half-lights and
all lights turn about thee.

 
From Oct. 16, 2007,
date of death of Deborah Kerr:

"Harish, who was of a
spiritual, even religious, cast
and who liked to express himself in
metaphors, vivid and compelling,
did see, I believe, mathematics
as mediating between man and
what one can only call God."
R. P. Langlands

From a link of Jan. 17, 2008
Time and Eternity:

Abstract Symbols of Time and Eternity

Jean Simmons and Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus
Jean Simmons (l.) and Deborah Kerr (r.)
in "Black Narcissus" (1947)

and from the next day,
Jan. 18, 2008:

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

Rubén Darío,
born January 18, 1867

Related material:

Dark Lady and Bright Star,
Time and Eternity,
Damnation Morning

Happy birthday also to
the late John O'Hara.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday January 26, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:22 AM
Working Backward

Those who have followed the links here recently may appreciate a short story told by yesterday’s lottery numbers in Pennsylvania: mid-day 096, evening 513.

The “96” may be regarded as a reference to the age at death of geometer H.S.M. Coxeter (see yesterday morning’s links). The “513” may be regarded as a reference to the time of yesterday afternoon’s entry, 5:01, plus the twelve minutes discussed in that entry by presidential aide Richard Darman, who died yesterday.

These references may seem less fanciful in the light of other recent Log24 material: a verse quoted here on Jan. 18

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


Rubén Darío,
born January 18, 1867

— and a link on Jan. 19 to the following:

The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe:

 

“But what does it all mean?” asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.

“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.”

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday January 18, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 AM

Nativity

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

Rubén Darío,
born January 18, 1867

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday November 3, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM
The Answer

"Our existence is
beyond understanding.
Nobody has an answer."

Anthony Hopkins

"Si me de veras quieres,
deja me en paz."

Lucero Hernandez

Related material:

outis.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tuesday August 7, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Horse Whisperer

Scarlett Johansson and friend in The Horse Whisperer

Scarlett Johansson and friend
in “The Horse Whisperer” (1998)

Thanks to University Diaries (Aug. 6) for the following:

“‘The University of Sydney has ordered an independent review into allegations that the dean of the Conservatorium of Music hired a horse whisperer to conduct management workshops.’ [Are you, like UD, a bit vague on exactly what a horse whisperer is? And are you having trouble figuring out what a horse whisperer would have to offer a management workshop? But then, what exactly is a management workshop? Read on.]”

For some background on horse whispering and management workshops, see IABC Steal Sheet, March 2004.

Related material:

The recent Log24 entries

University Diaries:
“God, isn’t there already
enough crap in this story?”

See also Log24,
Dec. 10, 2003:

Putting Descartes Before Dehors

      

“Descartes déclare que
c’est en moi, non hors de moi,
en moi, non dans le monde,
que je pourrais voir
si quelque chose existe
hors de moi.”

ATRIUM, Philosophie     

For further details,
see ART WARS.

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."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday August 5, 2007

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


 

Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, 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.”

To Ride Pegasus, by Anne McCaffrey, 1973: 

“Mary-Molly luv, it’s going to be accomplished in steps, this establishment of the Talented in the scheme of things. Not society, mind you, for we’re the original nonconformists…. and Society will never permit us to integrate. That’s okay!” He consigned Society to insignificance with a flick of his fingers. “The Talented form their own society and that’s as it should be: birds of a feather. No, not birds. Winged horses! Ha! Yes, indeed. Pegasus… the poetic winged horse of flights of fancy. A bloody good symbol for us. You’d see a lot from the back of a winged horse…”

From Holt Spanish and English Dictionary, 1955:

lucero m Venus
(as morning or evening star);
bright star…
star (in forehead of animal)….

Scarlett Johansson and friend in The Horse Whisperer

Scarlett Johansson and friend
in “The Horse Whisperer” (1998)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday June 10, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM
Like a Melody

An excerpt from
The Miracle of the Bells
quoted in
A Mass for Lucero

“‘A pretty girl–          
 is like a melody—- !’
But that was always
Bill Dunnigan’s      
Song of Victory….  
Thus thought the…
press agent for     
       ‘The Garden of the Soul.'”

Ay que bonito es volar  
    A las dos de la mañana
….”
— “La Bruja

For a rendition by
Salma Hayek, click
on the picture below.

Related material:
Log24 entries for
May 18, 2007.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday May 13, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:31 PM

Prime Blue

“To the two gods of art, Apollo and Dionysus, we owe our recognition that… there is a tremendous opposition, as regards both origins and aims, between the Apolline art of the sculptor and the non-visual, Dionysiac art of music.”
The Birth of Tragedy,
    by Friedrich Nietzsche,
    Penguin, 1993, page 14.
    Quoted in “A Mass for Lucero.”

Half the Answer:
Commentary by spookytruth
from Log24, 2/22/2005:

“I mean, come on, Hunter, a stupid bullet through the head??? how creative, you brain-addled simpleton… if you take the assignment, if you are going to hook up your afterlife keyboard and transmit back and tell us about what it is REALLY like out there, if you decided to let your electric-shock fingers hot wire us the truth of the afterlife… if you really planned to tell us the answer to our ultimate, emotional question…… ‘does God prefer beer, wine, or a shot of whiskey.’ well, if that is what you decided to do well then, for God’s sake, don’t forget (oh, wait, yeah, you already DID FORGET, you half-baked, half brained, half witted, half-a-loaf, half pint pin head, you forgot, THE JOURNEY IS HALF THE ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

On Dionysus:

“For wine, he loves to view
    his altars stain,
 But prime blue ruin*–
    goes against the grain.”
— page 69, Jack Randall’s Diary

  *name “given by
   the modern Greeks to gin
— page 4, Jack Randall’s Diary

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunday May 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 PM

Masters of Chaos

“Any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations.”
Julia Kristeva

Paris vaut bien une messe.”
Henri IV

“Certain details might be considered and elucidated more fully.”
A Mass for Lucero

“There is never any ending to Paris….”
Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Saturday April 7, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:25 PM
Today's birthdays:
Francis Ford Coppola
and Russell Crowe

Gift of the Third Kind
 

Background:
Art Wars and
Russell Crowe as
Santa's Helper
.

From Friedrich Froebel,
who invented kindergarten:

Froebel's Third Gift

From Christmas 2005:

The Eightfold Cube

Related material from
Pittsburgh:

Reinventing Froebel's Gifts

… and from Grand Rapids:

Color Cubes

Click on pictures for details.

Related material
for Holy Saturday:

Harrowing,
"Hey, Big Spender,"
and
Santa Versus the Volcano.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Monday December 4, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 AM
Descent of the God

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061204-Theo2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

All Hallows’ Eve,
2005:

Multispeech

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/Gameplayers12.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

as well as

C. S. Lewis,
That Hideous Strength,
Chapter 15,
“The Descent of the Gods,”

and
Charles Williams,
The Carol of Amen House“:

Beauty arose of old
And dreamed of a perfect thing,
Where none shall be angry or cold
Or armed with an evil sting;

Where the world shall be made anew,
For the gods shall breathe its air,
And Phoebus Apollo there-through
Shall move on a golden stair.

(For the musical score, see
The Masques of Amen House.)

See also
A Mass for Lucero.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday October 29, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM
Decrease
(Readings for the
Halloween season)


In 1692 on July 31, at the time of the Salem witchcraft trials, Increase Mather reportedly “delivered a sermon… in Boston in which he posed the question… ‘O what makes the difference between the devils in hell and the angels of heaven?'”

Increase
, the father of Cotton Mather, was president of Harvard from June 27, 1692, to Sept. 6, 1701.  His name is memorialized by Harvard’s Mather House.

From Log24 on Jan. 15, 2003:

Locating Hell

“Noi siam venuti al loco ov’ i’ t’ho detto
            che tu vedrai le genti dolorose
    c’hanno perduto il ben de l’intelletto
.”

Dante, Inferno, Canto 3, 16-18

“We have come to where
              I warned you we would find
Those wretched souls
              who no longer have 
The intellectual benefits of the mind.”

Dante, Hell, Canto 3, 16-18

From a Harvard student’s weblog:

Heard in Mather  I hope you get gingivitis You want me to get oral cancer?! Goodnight fartface Turd. Turd. Turd. Turd. Turd. Make your own waffles!! Blah blah blah starcraft blah blah starcraft blah starcraft. It’s da email da email. And some blue hair! Oohoohoo Izod! 10 gigs! Yeah it smells really bad. Only in the stairs though. Starcraft blah blah Starcraft fartface. Yeah it’s hard. You have to get a bunch of battle cruisers. 40 kills! So good! Oh ho ho grunt grunt squeal.  I’m getting sick again. You have a final tomorrow? In What?! Um I don’t even know. Next year we’re draggin him there and sticking the needle in ourselves. 

” … one more line/ unravelling from the dark design/ spun by God and Cotton Mather”

— Robert Lowell

 

To honor Harvard’s Oct. 28 founding,
here are yesterday’s numbers from
the state of Grace (Kelly, of Philadelphia):

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Related material:

Log24 on 1/16,
and Hexagram 41,

The image “http://www.log24.com/images/IChing/hexagram41.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Decrease

The Image

At the foot of the mountain, the lake:
The image of Decrease.
Thus the superior man controls his anger
And restrains his instincts.

This suggests thoughts of
the novel Cold Mountain
 (see yesterday morning)
and the following from
Log24 on St. Luke’s Day
this year:

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Lucero as portrayed by Megan Follows
Established in 1916,
Montreat College
is a private, Christian
college located in a
beautiful valley in the
Blue Ridge Mountains
of North Carolina.

From Nell:

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“The valley spirit never dies…”

See also St. Luke’s Day, 2004,
as well as a journal entry
prompted by both
the ignorant religion
of Harvard’s past
and the ignorant scientism
of Harvard’s present–
 Hitler’s Still Point:
A Hate Speech for Harvard
.

This last may, of course, not
quite fit the description of
the superior man
controlling his anger
so wisely provided by
yesterday’s lottery and
Hexagram 41.
Nobody’s perfect.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday October 18, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:11 PM
Flashback
 
Log24, May 11, 2005:

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Lucero as portrayed by Megan Follows
Established in 1916,
Montreat College
is a private, Christian
college located in a
beautiful valley in the
Blue Ridge Mountains
of North Carolina.

From Nell:

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday May 19, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:07 PM
Women-Only
Meeting at Princeton

From May 15 through May 26, there is a women-only meeting on zeta functions at the  Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.  Today’s activities:

8:00- 9:45 a.m. Breakfast (Dining Hall)
9:00- 9:30 a.m. T-shirt Sale, Harry’s Bar – Dining Hall
9:30-10:00 a.m. Depart for Princeton University (talks, lunch, campus and art museum tour, and dinner)

No movie?

From Log24, July 27, 2003:

“…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.


Related material:

Women’s History Month–
Global and Local: One Small Step

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Wednesday February 8, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:11 PM
For Grammy Night

From A Mass for Lucero:

“To the two gods of art, Apollo and Dionysus, we owe our recognition that… there is a tremendous opposition, as regards both origins and aims, between the Apolline art of the sculptor and the non-visual, Dionysiac art of music.”
The Birth of Tragedy, by Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, 1993, page 14

Melody, then, is both primary and universal.” (Author’s italics)
— Nietzsche, op. cit., page 33

“…in so far as he interprets music in images, he himself lies amidst the peaceful waves of Apolline contemplation….”
— Nietzsche, op. cit., page 35

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060208-Scarlett.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Apolline Contemplation

From The Miracle of the Bells, by Russell Janney, Prentice-Hall, 1946, page 333–

“He was singing softly:
A pretty girl–
 is like a melody—- !
 But that was always
 Bill Dunnigan’s
 Song of Victory….
 Thus thought the…
 press agent for
‘The Garden of the Soul.'”

Wednesday February 8, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Iconography
(continued)

“… iconography,
the concept and image
of the bride of Christ–
the sponsa Christi
assumed particular relevance in
the definition of women’s identity.”

Silvia Evangelisti in
Historiographical Reviews

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060208-Sponsa.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

 Arts & Letters Daily
(Feb. 8, 2006) annotated:

Dan Brown is not the first to have suggested that Jesus had a sex life– even Martin Luther said it. So what about the lady, Mary Magdalene?… more

“In ‘The Little Mermaid,’ Ariel’s true identity is the ‘Lost Bride,’ the Magdalene.”
Joan Acocella on pop religion in this week’s New Yorker

For literature profs of today, Theory is what the Dialectic was to Marxist intellectuals of the past: the key to almost everything… more

“Contemporary literary theory did not emerge in an intellectual and cultural vacuum. The subordination of art to argument and ideas has been a long time in the works. In The Painted Word, a rumination on the state of American painting in the 1970s, Tom Wolfe described an epiphany he had one Sunday morning while reading an article in the New York Times on an exhibit at Yale University. To appreciate contemporary art– the paintings of Jackson Pollack and still more so his followers– which to the naked eye appeared indistinguishable from kindergarten splatterings and which provided little immediate pleasure or illumination, it was ‘crucial,’ Wolfe realized, to have a ‘persuasive theory,’ a prefabricated conceptual lens to make sense of the work and bring into focus the artist’s point. From there it was just a short step to the belief that the critic who supplies the theories is the equal, if not the superior, of the artist who creates the painting.”
Peter Berkowitz, “Literature in Theory”

The idea that anyone, regardless of learning or class, could “come to Christ” went along with the idea of equal rights in America. William Jennings Bryan… more

“… evangelical Protestantism has always been an integral part of American political history.”
Michael Kazin, Dissent Magazine, Winter 2006

And from non-Protestantism, for the birthday of John “Star Wars” Williams, we have…

Sanctus from Missa “Veni Sponsa Christi” (pdf), by Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650).

Related material: Catholic Tastes and
                           A Mass for Lucero.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thursday December 29, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:31 PM

Parallel Lines
Meet at Infinity

 

From Log24,
Dec. 16, 2005:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051229-WhistleStop.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From today's
New York Times,
a man who died
(like Charlie Chaplin
and W. C. Fields)
on Christmas Day:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051229-DawsonClip.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 

From Log24, Dec. 6, 2002,
Santa Versus the Volcano:

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, 2002)

and others

The Rock Island Line's namesake depot 
in Rock Island, Illinois

Monday, June 13, 2005

Monday June 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Cliffs of Moher

My father’s father,
    his father’s father, his —
Shadows like winds

Go back to a parent before thought,
    before speech,
At the head of the past.

They go to the cliffs of Moher
    rising out of the mist….

— Wallace Stevens,
   “The Irish Cliffs of Moher”

A Portrait of the Artist
 as a Young Man
,
James Joyce, Chapter 5:

As he came back to the hearth, limping slightly but with a brisk step, Stephen saw the silent soul of a jesuit look out at him from the pale loveless eyes. Like Ignatius he was lame but in his eyes burned no spark of Ignatius’s enthusiasm. Even the legendary craft of the company, a craft subtler and more secret than its fabled books of secret subtle wisdom, had not fired his soul with the energy of apostleship. It seemed as if he used the shifts and lore and cunning of the world, as bidden to do, for the greater glory of God, without joy in their handling or hatred of that in them which was evil but turning them, with a firm gesture of obedience back upon themselves and for all this silent service it seemed as if he loved not at all the master and little, if at all, the ends he served. SIMILITER ATQUE SENIS BACULUS, he was, as the founder would have had him, like a staff in an old man’s hand, to be leaned on in the road at nightfall or in stress of weather, to lie with a lady’s nosegay on a garden seat, to be raised in menace.

The dean returned to the hearth and began to stroke his chin.

–When may we expect to have something from you on the esthetic question? he asked.

–From me! said Stephen in astonishment. I stumble on an idea once a fortnight if I am lucky.

–These questions are very profound, Mr Dedalus, said the dean. It is like looking down from the cliffs of Moher into the depths. Many go down into the depths and never come up. Only the trained diver can go down into those depths and explore them and come to the surface again.

See also Kahn’s The Art and Thought of Heraclitus and the references to a “Delian diver” in Chitwood’s Death by Philosophy.

From
Death by Philosophy:

“Although fragments examined earlier may enable Heraclitus’ reader to believe that the stylistic devices arose directly from his dislike of humanity, I think rather that Heraclitus deliberately perfected the mysterious, gnomic style he praises in the following  fragment.

31. The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor hides, but  indicates. (fr. 93)

Heraclitus not only admires the oracular style of delivery, but recommends it; this studied ambiguity is, I think, celebrated and alluded to in the Delian diver comment. For just as the prophecies of the Delian or Delphic god are at once obscure and darkly clear, so too are the workings of the Logos and Heraclitus’ remarks on it.”

Related material:
A Mass for Lucero.

That web page concludes with a reference to esthetics and a Delian palm, and was written three years ago on this date.

Today is also the date of death for Martin Buber, philosophical Jew.

Here is a Delphic saying in memory of Buber:

“It is the female date that is considered holy, and that bears fruit.”

—  Steven Erlanger,
    New York Times story,
    dateline Jerusalem, June 11

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saturday May 28, 2005

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

Midnight in the Garden,
continued:

Birth and Death

Today's birthdays:
Kylie Minogue and John Fogerty.
Get well soon, Bad Moon.

And in memory of Eddie Albert,
a talented actor who died
on Thursday, May 26, 2005,
at his home in California
and was born on April 22, 1906,
in Rock Island, Illinois:

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.


Among his films:

Escape to Witch Mountain.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday May 20, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:20 PM

The Shining of Apollo

"Plato's most significant passage may be found in Phaedrus 265b: 'And we made four divisions of the divine madness, ascribing them to four gods, saying that prophecy was inspired by Apollo, the mystic madness by Dionysos, the poetic by the Muses, and the madness of love […] by Aphrodite and Eros' (trans. by H.N. Fowler, in the Loeb Classical Library)."

Saverio Marchignoli, note on section 20, paragraphs 115-119, of the Discourse on the Dignity of Man (Oratio de hominis dignitate) (1486) by Pico della Mirandola, considered the "Manifesto of the Renaissance."

Related material:
A Mass for Lucero,
The Shining of May 29,
Shining Forth,
Sermon for St. Patrick's Day, and the phrase
Diamond Struck by the Sun.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wednesday May 11, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM
Goodbye Girl

  From a goodbye letter
by a girl named
  Lucero in Cuernavaca
  in the early 1960’s:

Si me de veras quieres,
deja me en paz
.”

(See Shining Forth.)

Today’s birthdays —
   Natasha Richardson,
   Martha Quinn,         
   Frances Fisher —     
 remind me of        

 

The Sprite and the Synergist
chapter in Bester’s The Deceivers:

Three drinks later he was suddenly inspired.  “What I need right now is a girl to lose myself in.  That’s the only way to wait for a pattern to show.”

One of his reciprocal Rogues (he had a dozen alternate selves) answered, “Feel free, but you left your big red book in the workshop.”

“Why, for jigjeeze sake, can’t I have the little black book, famed in song and story?”

“Why can’t you remember a phone number?  Never mind.  Shall we join the ladies?”

He made three calls, all negative.  He had three more drinks, all positive.  He stripped, went to his Japanese bed in the monk’s cell, thrashed, swore, and slept at last, dreaming

crazed p a t t e r n s
           a t t e r n s
           t t e r n s
           t e r n s
           e r n s
           r n s
           n s
           s

“Whenever I want you,
all I have to do is…”

Deja me en paz…

Related material:

Octavio Paz

Wednesday May 11, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:00 PM
De Arco

… y eres tú y soy yo
y es un caminarte en círculo
dar a tus hechos dimensión de arco
y a solas con tu impulso decirte la palabra.

Homero Aridjis

For Lucero:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050511-Montreat-logo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Lucero as portrayed by Megan Follows Established in 1916,
Montreat College
is a private, Christian college
located in a beautiful valley
in the Blue Ridge Mountains
of North Carolina.

From Nell:

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wednesday November 24, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

Habeas Corpus

From St. Nicholas Versus the Volcano:

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

In honor of a particular corpse, from last Friday, November 19, here is part of a Log24 entry from that day:

“The meaning of the poem is ‘the full organized body of all the extension and intension that we can find in it.’ “
— Allen Tate

A corpse will be transported by express!

The corpse in question is that of a children’s book illustrator.  The following screenshot from today’s online New York Times illustrates both extension and, in light of the Lowry quotation above, intension.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04B/041124-Express.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

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 @ 3:17 PM

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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tuesday August 31, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 AM

Iconography

For student
Anthony Fonseca,
Harvard ’04-’05
:

Michael (Studio della Robbia, ca. 1475)

For teacher
Margaret Casey:

The Green and
Burning Tree
, by
Chesca Potter

For the Voice of Gollum,
Peter Woodthorpe:

For further details, click on
any of the pictures above.

… y eres tú y soy yo 
y es un caminarte en círculo 
dar a tus hechos dimensión de arco 
y a solas con tu impulso decirte la palabra.

Homero Aridjis

For Lucero:

dimensión de arco

(This last picture, taken by
Andrew from London,
was added at
11:30 AM ET Aug. 31, 2004.
For the excellent story that
accompanies the picture, see
Early Evening, the Light
Beginning to Fade
.”)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wednesday August 18, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Drunk Bird


T. Charles Erickson
Shizuo Kakutani
in the 1980’s

Kakutani died yesterday.

“A drunk man will find his way home, but a drunk bird may get lost forever.”

— Shizuo Kakutani, quoted by J. Chang in Stochastic Processes (ps), p. 1-19.  Chang says the quote is from an R. Durrett book on probability.

Meaning:

A random walk in d dimensions is recurrent if d = 1 or d = 2, but transient if d is greater than or equal to 3.


From a web page on Kylie Minogue:

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



Kylie sings
“Locomotion”

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

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

For further literary details in memory of Shizuo Kakutani, Yale mathematician and father of book reviewer Michiko Kakutani, see

Santa Versus the Volcano.

Of course, Kakutani himself would probably prefer the anti-Santa, Michael Shermer.  For a refutation of Santa by this high priest of Scientism, see

Miracle on Probability Street

(Scientific American, July 26, 2004). 

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Wednesday July 14, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM
Welcome to…
Mr. Motley’s
Neighborhood

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040714-Motley2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Will You Be My Friend?
Only On My Own Turf.

By Esther Dyson, Editor at Large 
Special to ZDNet
July 12, 2004, 3:00 AM PT

On social-networking Web services:


Perhaps people will revert to private social networks–ones they manage locally….

Perhaps the law of networks–the strength of a tie degrades by the square of the number of links–would become more apparent, and perhaps that would be a good thing.

I’m not sure how good that is as a business model, but it works as a social model.”

The beautiful, brilliant, and charming Esther Dyson seems to have suffered a temporary lapse in brilliance with the above remark on the strength of ties in social networks….

“the law of networks–the strength of a tie degrades by the square of the number of links….”

Here are some useful references encountered while fact-checking Ms. Dyson’s assertion about the “law of networks” —

Links on Graph Theory and Network Analysis

The Navigability of Strong Ties:
Small Worlds, Tie Strength and Network Topology
(pdf)

Modeling Coleman’s Friendly Association Networks
(pdf)

The Strength of Weak Ties:
A Network Theory Revisited
(pdf)

Scientific Collaboration Networks, II (pdf)
(Deals specifically with tie-strength computation.) 

Dynamic Visualization of Social Networks

and, finally, a diagram of social networks in Shakespeare that conclusively demonstrates that there is no simple relationship between strength of ties and number of ties:

Cleopatra’s Social Ties
(png)

Perhaps what Ms. Dyson had in mind was the following (courtesy of The Motley Fool):

“Metcalfe’s Law of Networks states that the value of a network grows by the square of the size of the network. Translated, this means that a network that is twice as large as another network will actually be at least four times as valuable. Why? Because four times as many interconnections are possible between participants in the larger network.

When you add a fourth person to a group of three, you don’t add just one more networked relationship. You add several. The new individual can network with all three of the existing persons, and vice versa. The Internet is no different. It became more and more valuable as the numbers of computers using it grew.”

For another perspective on this alleged law, from science fiction author Orson Scott Card, see The Group, a Log24 entry of Sept. 24, 2002.

Elsewhere, in a discussion of social-networking software:

“Esther Dyson starts with a request that people turn to their left and ask the person next to them, ‘Will you be my friend?’ The room erupts in chatter, but, of course, the problem is we don’t have enough information about one another to make a snap decision about that question.”

Obviously, ties resulting from such a request will be weak, rather than strong.  However, as study of the above network-theory links will reveal, weak ties can sometimes be more useful than strong ties.  An example:

Passing the Peace at Mass.

Compare and contrast with
Ms. Dyson’s request to turn and
ask the Mr. Rogers question,
“Will you be my friend?”

The best response to this question
that I know of was contained in
a good-bye letter from a girl named
Lucero in Cuernavaca
in the early 1960’s:

Si me deveras quieres,
deja me en paz
.”

(See Shining Forth.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Tuesday June 22, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Dirty Trick

Some quotations in memory of philosopher Stuart Hampshire, who died on June 13, 2004.

From the Hampshire obituary in The Guardian:

I

He frequently told the story of how, towards the end of the war, he had to interrogate a French traitor (imprisoned by the Free French), who refused to cooperate unless he was allowed to live. Should Hampshire, knowing the man was condemned to die, promise him a reprieve, which he was in no position to give, or truthfully refuse it, thereby jeopardising the lives of Resistance fighters?

“If you’re in a war,” said Hampshire, “you can’t start thinking, ‘Well I can’t lie to a man who’s going to be shot tomorrow and tell him that he isn’t.’ ”

But what the whole anecdote, and its incessant retelling, revealed was that Hampshire had, in fact, thought precisely what he said was unthinkable, and that whichever of the two decisions he finally took lay heavy on his conscience ever afterwards. Indicatively, too, it was especially loathsome to him because, although he did not say this in so many words, the traitor was almost a mirror image of himself – a cultivated young intellectual, looking like a film star, much influenced by elegant literary stylists – except that, in the traitor’s case, his literary mentors were fascist.

II

It is hard to know how Hampshire’s academic career was vitiated by the scandal over his affair with Ayer’s wife Renee, whom he married in 1961 after a divorce in which he was named as co-respondent. Even if less a matter of the dons’ moral conviction than their concern over how All Souls would appear, the affair caused a massive furore….

From a log24 entry on the day before Hampshire’s death:

I

“Hemingway called it a dirty trick.  It might even be an ancient Ordeal laid down on us by an evil Inquisitor in Space…. the dirty Ordeal by Death….”

— Jack Kerouac in Desolation Angels

II

The New Yorker of June 14  & 21, 2004:

…in ‘The Devil’s Eye,’ Bergman’s little-known comedy of 1960. Pablo seduces the wife of a minister, and then, sorrowful and sated, falling to his knees, he addresses her thus:

‘First, I’ll finish off that half-dug vegetable patch I saw. Then I’ll sit and let the rain fall on me. I shall feel wonderfully cool. And I’ll breakfast on one of those sour apples down by the gate. After that, I shall go back to Hell.’ “

Whether Hampshire is now in Hell, the reader may surmise.  Some evidence in Hampshire’s  favor:

His review of On Beauty and Being Just, by Elaine Scarry, in The New York Review of Books of November 18, 1999.  Note particularly his remarks on Fred Astaire, and the links to Astaire and the Four Last Things in an earlier entry of June 12, which was, as noted above, the day before Hampshire’s death.

As for the day of death itself, consider the  following  remark with which Hampshire concludes his review of Scarry’s  book:

“But one must occasionally fly the flag, and the flag, incorrigibly, is beauty.”

In this connection, see the entry of the Sunday Hampshire died, Spider Web, as well as entries on the harrowing of hell — Holy Saturday, 2004 — and on beauty —  Art Wars for Trotsky’s Birthday and A Mass for Lucero (written, as it happens, on June 13, 2002).

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thursday April 22, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:07 PM

Minimalism

"It's become our form of modern classicism."

— Nancy Spector in 
   the New York Times of April 23, 2004

Part I: Aesthetics

In honor of the current Guggenheim exhibition, "Singular Forms" — A quotation from the Guggenheim's own website

"Minimalism refers to painting or sculpture

  1. made with an extreme economy of means
  2. and reduced to the essentials of geometric abstraction….
  3. Minimalist art is generally characterized by precise, hard-edged, unitary geometric forms….
  4. mathematically regular compositions, often based on a grid….
  5. the reduction to pure self-referential form, emptied of all external references….
  6. In Minimal art what is important is the phenomenological basis of the viewer’s experience, how he or she perceives the internal relationships among the parts of the work and of the parts to the whole….
  7. The repetition of forms in Minimalist sculpture serves to emphasize the subtle differences in the perception of those forms in space and time as the spectator’s viewpoint shifts in time and space."

Discuss these seven points
in relation to the following:

 
Form,
by S. H. Cullinane

Logos and Logic

Mark Rothko's reference
to geometry as a "swamp"
and his talk of "the idea" in art

Michael Kimmelman's
remarks on ideas in art 

Notes on ideas and art

Geometry
of the 4×4 square

The Grid of Time

ART WARS:
Judgment Day
(2003, 10/07)

Part II: Theology

Today's previous entry, "Skylark," concluded with an invocation of the Lord.   Of course, the Lord one expects may not be the Lord that appears.


 John Barth on minimalism:

"… the idea that, in art at least, less is more.

It is an idea surely as old, as enduringly attractive and as ubiquitous as its opposite. In the beginning was the Word: only later came the Bible, not to mention the three-decker Victorian novel. The oracle at Delphi did not say, 'Exhaustive analysis and comprehension of one's own psyche may be prerequisite to an understanding of one's behavior and of the world at large'; it said, 'Know thyself.' Such inherently minimalist genres as oracles (from the Delphic shrine of Apollo to the modern fortune cookie), proverbs, maxims, aphorisms, epigrams, pensees, mottoes, slogans and quips are popular in every human century and culture–especially in oral cultures and subcultures, where mnemonic staying power has high priority–and many specimens of them are self-reflexive or self-demonstrative: minimalism about minimalism. 'Brevity is the soul of wit.' "


Another form of the oracle at Delphi, in minimalist prose that might make Hemingway proud:

"He would think about Bert.  Bert was an interesting man.  Bert had said something about the way a gambler wants to lose.  That did not make sense.  Anyway, he did not want to think about it.  It was dark now, but the air was still hot.  He realized that he was sweating, forced himself to slow down the walking.  Some children were playing a game with a ball, in the street, hitting it against the side of a building.  He wanted to see Sarah.

When he came in, she was reading a book, a tumbler of dark whiskey beside her on the end table.  She did not seem to see him and he sat down before he spoke, looking at her and, at first, hardly seeing her.  The room was hot; she had opened the windows, but the air was still.  The street noises from outside seemed almost to be in the room with them, as if the shifting of gears were being done in the closet, the children playing in the bathroom.  The only light in the room was from the lamp over the couch where she was reading.

He looked at her face.  She was very drunk.  Her eyes were swollen, pink at the corners.  'What's the book,' he said, trying to make his voice conversational.  But it sounded loud in the room, and hard.

She blinked up at him, smiled sleepily, and said nothing.

'What's the book?'  His voice had an edge now.

'Oh,' she said.  'It's Kierkegaard.  Soren Kierkegaard.' She pushed her legs out straight on the couch, stretching her feet.  Her skirt fell back a few inches from her knees.  He looked away.

'What's that?' he said.

'Well, I don't exactly know, myself."  Her voice was soft and thick.

He turned his face away from her again, not knowing what he was angry with.  'What does that mean, you don't know, yourself?'

She blinked at him.  'It means, Eddie, that I don't exactly know what the book is about.  Somebody told me to read it once, and that's what I'm doing.  Reading it.'

He looked at her, tried to grin at her — the old, meaningless, automatic grin, the grin that made everbody like him — but he could not.  'That's great,' he said, and it came out with more irritation than he had intended.

She closed the book, tucked it beside her on the couch.  She folded her arms around her, hugging herself, smiling at him.  'I guess this isn't your night, Eddie.  Why don't we have a drink?'

'No.'  He did not like that, did not want her being nice to him, forgiving.  Nor did he want a drink.

Her smile, her drunk, amused smile, did not change.  'Then let's talk about something else,' she said.  'What about that case you have?  What's in it?'  Her voice was not prying, only friendly, 'Pencils?'

'That's it,' he said.  'Pencils.'

She raised her eyebrows slightly.  Her voice seemed thick.  'What's in it, Eddie?'

'Figure it out yourself.'  He tossed the case on the couch."

— Walter Tevis, The Hustler, 1959,
    Chapter 11


See, too, the invocation of Apollo in

A Mass for Lucero, as well as 

GENERAL AUDIENCE OF JOHN PAUL II
Wednesday 15 January 2003
:

"The invocation of the Lord is relentless…."

and

JOURNAL ENTRY OF S. H. CULLINANE
Wednesday 15 January 2003
:

Karl Cullinane —
"I will fear no evil, for I am the
meanest son of a bitch in the valley."

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Sunday March 21, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:20 AM

Quid Pro Quack

(Headline of today’s
Maureen Dowd column)

Quiddity:

The essence, nature, or distinctive peculiarity, of a thing; that which answers the question, Quid est? or, What is it?

-Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Quid


Cross Window

Pro


Royal Palm Student

Quo


Dream of Heaven

The above rather cryptic sequence of pictures may be regarded as a memorial to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, who died at about the time I found the central picture, “Royal Palm Student.”  For further details, click on the individual pictures, each of which is taken from a past log24 entry.  Also of some relevance: the palm at the end of A Mass for Lucero and the Stevens poem on The Palm at the End of the Mind.

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

Monday, September 29, 2003

Monday September 29, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:03 PM

Magic Hawaii

Today, the birthday of singer Jerry Lee Lewis, is also the feast of St. Michael and All Angels.

In honor of Lewis:

Killer Radio, an entry of July 31, 2003, that contains the following…

“When the light came she was sitting on the bed beside an open suitcase, toying with her diamond rings.  She saw the light first in the depths of the largest stone.”

— Paul Preuss, Broken Symmetries,
    scene at Diamond Head, Oahu,
    Hawaii

In honor of the angels:

Mathematics as an Adequate Language,
by Israel Gelfand, Sept. 2, 2003, which contains the following…

“Many people consider mathematics to be a boring and formal science.  However, any really good work in mathematics always has in it: beauty, simplicity, exactness, and crazy ideas.  This is a strange combination.  I understood earlier that this combination is essential on the example of classical music and poetry.  But it is also typical in mathematics.  It is not by chance that many mathematicians enjoy serious music.

This combination of beauty, simplicity, exactness, and crazy ideas is, I think, common to both mathematics and music.”

These qualities seem also to be sought by practitioners of religion and physics… for example, by the spiritually-minded physicist in Preuss’s Broken Symmetries.  Skeptics might prefer, to the word “religion,” the word (pronounced with a sneer) “magic.”

What do we find if, following in the footsteps of Gelfand and Preuss, we do a Google search on the following words…

beauty simplicity exactness
 crazy magic Hawaii
“?

The search yields two results:

  1. The Pupil: Poems by W. S. Merwin.
    The above link is to a poem, “Prophecy,” that seems suitable for these, the High Holy Days at the end of one year and the beginning of another.

    For a follow-up to the poem, see
    The Shining of Lucero.

  2. Striking Through the Mask, or
     The Allegorical Meanings
     in Moby Dick
    .”

These two selections, both on the theme of light and darkness, offer a language that is perhaps more adequate than mathematics for dealing with the nature of the High Holy Days.  For a more lighthearted approach to these concerns, also with a Hawaiian theme, see

The Aloha Mass.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Sunday July 27, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Catholic Tastes

In memory of New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg, who died Saturday, July 26, 2003:

Nous Voici Dans La Ville – A Christmas song from 15th century France (midi by John Philip Dimick).

In memory of my own youth:

Formaggio
Address Paseo del Conquistador # 144 Food Type Italian Dress Casual Tel 777-313-0584
Comment Chef Lorenzo Villagra is formally trained in Italian Cuisine. Great food and views of the valley of Cuernavaca.

In memory of love:

Volverán del amor en tus oídos

Las palabras ardientes a sonor;

Tu corazón de su profundo sueño

Tal vez despertará;

Pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas,

Como se adora a Dios ante su altar,

Como yo te he querido…desengáñate,

¡Así no te querrán!

— from Rima LIII
    by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
   (1836-1870)

Translation by Young Allison, 1924:

Burning words of love will come
Again full oft within thine ears to sound;
Perchance thy heart will even be aroused
From its sleep profound;

But mute and prostrate and absorbed,
As God is worshipped in His holy fane,
As I have loved thee…undeceive thyself:
Thou wilt not be thus loved again!

The Robert Lowell version of
the complete poem by Bécquer:

Will Not Come Back
(Volverán)

Dark swallows will doubtless come back killing
the injudicious nightflies with a clack of the beak:
but these that stopped full flight to see your beauty
and my good fortune… as if they knew our names–
they’ll not come back. The thick lemony honeysuckle,
climbing from the earthroot to your window,
will open more beautiful blossoms to the evening;
but these… like dewdrops, trembling, shining, falling,
the tears of day–they’ll not come back…
Some other love will sound his fireword for you
and wake your heart, perhaps, from its cool sleep;
but silent, absorbed, and on his knees,
as men adore God at the altar, as I love you–
don’t blind yourself, you’ll not be loved like that.

“…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.

See, too, my entry for the feast day of
Saint Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer,
which happens to be
December 22.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Friday July 25, 2003

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

Realism in Literature:
Under the Volcano

Mexican Volcano Blast
Scares Residents

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 11:13 p.m. EDT Friday, July 25, 2003

PUEBLA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano shot glowing rock and ash high into the air Friday night, triggering a thunderous explosion that panicked some residents in nearby communities.

Here are 3 webcam views of the volcano.   Nothing to see at the moment.

Literary background:

Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano,

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star,

A Mass for Lucero,

Shining Forth,

and, as background for today’s earlier entry on Platonism and Derrida,

The Shining of May 29.

Vignette

For more on Plato and Christian theology, consult the highly emotional site

Further Into the Depths of Satan:

“…in The Last Battle on page 170 [C. S.] Lewis has Digory saying, ‘It’s all in Plato, all in Plato.’ Now, Lewis calls Plato ‘an overwhelming theological genius’ (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 80)….”

The title “Further Into the Depths of Satan,” along with the volcano readings above, suggests a reading from a related site:

Gollum and the Mystery of Evil:

“Gollum here clearly represents Frodo’s hidden self. It is ‘as if we are witnessing the darkest night of the soul and one side attempting to master the other’ (Jane Chance 102). Then Frodo, whose finger has been bitten off, cries out, and Gollum holds the Ring aloft, shrieking: ‘Precious, precious, precious! My Precious! O my Precious!’ (RK, VI, 249). At this point, stepping too near the edge, he falls into the volcano, taking the Ring with him. With this, the mountain shakes.’ “

In the above two-step vignette, the part of Gollum is played by the author of “Further Into the Depths of Satan,” who called  C. S. Lewis a fool “that was and is extremely useful to his father the devil.”

See Matthew 5:22: “…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” 

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Sunday July 13, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:09 PM

ART WARS, 5:09

The Word in the Desert

For Harrison Ford in the desert.
(See previous entry.)

    Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break,
    under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them.
    The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of
    the disconsolate chimera.

— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

The link to the word "devilish" in the last entry leads to one of my previous journal entries, "A Mass for Lucero," that deals with the devilishness of postmodern philosophy.  To hammer this point home, here is an attack on college English departments that begins as follows:

"William Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, which recounts the generation-long rise of the drily loathsome Flem Snopes from clerk in a country store to bank president in Jefferson, Mississippi, teems with analogies to what has happened to English departments over the past thirty years."

For more, see

The Word in the Desert,
by Glenn C. Arbery
.

See also the link on the word "contemptible," applied to Jacques Derrida, in my Logos and Logic page.

This leads to an National Review essay on Derrida,

The Philosopher as King,
by Mark Goldblatt

A reader's comment on my previous entry suggests the film "Scotland, PA" as viewing related to the Derrida/Macbeth link there.

I prefer the following notice of a 7-11 death, that of a powerful art museum curator who would have been well cast as Lady Macbeth:

Die Fahne Hoch,
Frank Stella,
1959


Dorothy Miller,
MOMA curator,

died at 99 on
July 11, 2003
.

From the Whitney Museum site:

"Max Anderson: When artist Frank Stella first showed this painting at The Museum of Modern Art in 1959, people were baffled by its austerity. Stella responded, 'What you see is what you see. Painting to me is a brush in a bucket and you put it on a surface. There is no other reality for me than that.' He wanted to create work that was methodical, intellectual, and passionless. To some, it seemed to be nothing more than a repudiation of everything that had come before—a rational system devoid of pleasure and personality. But other viewers saw that the black paintings generated an aura of mystery and solemnity.

The title of this work, Die Fahne Hoch, literally means 'The banner raised.'  It comes from the marching anthem of the Nazi youth organization. Stella pointed out that the proportions of this canvas are much the same as the large flags displayed by the Nazis.

But the content of the work makes no reference to anything outside of the painting itself. The pattern was deduced from the shape of the canvas—the width of the black bands is determined by the width of the stretcher bars. The white lines that separate the broad bands of black are created by the narrow areas of unpainted canvas. Stella's black paintings greatly influenced the development of Minimalism in the 1960s."

From Play It As It Lays:

   She took his hand and held it.  "Why are you here."
   "Because you and I, we know something.  Because we've been out there where nothing is.  Because I wanted—you know why."
   "Lie down here," she said after a while.  "Just go to sleep."
   When he lay down beside her the Seconal capsules rolled on the sheet.  In the bar across the road somebody punched King of the Road on the jukebox again, and there was an argument outside, and the sound of a bottle breaking.  Maria held onto BZ's hand.
   "Listen to that," he said.  "Try to think about having enough left to break a bottle over it."
   "It would be very pretty," Maria said.  "Go to sleep."

I smoke old stogies I have found…    

Cigar Aficionado on artist Frank Stella:

" 'Frank actually makes the moment. He captures it and helps to define it.'

This was certainly true of Stella's 1958 New York debut. Fresh out of Princeton, he came to New York and rented a former jeweler's shop on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side. He began using ordinary house paint to paint symmetrical black stripes on canvas. Called the Black Paintings, they are credited with paving the way for the minimal art movement of the 1960s. By the fall of 1959, Dorothy Miller of The Museum of Modern Art had chosen four of the austere pictures for inclusion in a show called Sixteen Americans."

For an even more austere picture, see

Geometry for Jews:

For more on art, Derrida, and devilishness, see Deborah Solomon's essay in the New York Times Magazine of Sunday, June 27, 1999:

 How to Succeed in Art.

"Blame Derrida and
his fellow French theorists…."

See, too, my site

Art Wars: Geometry as Conceptual Art

For those who prefer a more traditional meditation, I recommend

Ecce Lignum Crucis

("Behold the Wood of the Cross")

THE WORD IN THE DESERT

For more on the word "road" in the desert, see my "Dead Poet" entry of Epiphany 2003 (Tao means road) as well as the following scholarly bibliography of road-related cultural artifacts (a surprising number of which involve Harrison Ford):

A Bibliography of Road Materials

Friday, July 11, 2003

Friday July 11, 2003

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

Las Manos de Gershwin

Today is the feast day of St. George Gershwin.

The hands of
George Gershwin,
by Al Hirschfeld

For related material, see

Saint Nicholas vs. Mount Doom and

Leadbelly Under the Volcano.

See also related material on Judaism and on Lord of the Rings in this morning's links to the Conference of Catholic Bishops and to Stormfront.org.

More on the film "Las Manos de Orlac" discussed briefly in the Under the Volcano link above:

Facetious:  Digits of Death

Serious:  Under the Volcano: A Dissertation.

From the latter —

"The ubiquitous posters advertising the 1935 MGM film Mad Love,

advertised in Spanish as Las Manos de Orlac [The Hands of Orlac]…  reiterates this theme. … Moreover, the current showings of Las Manos de Orlac represent a revival, the film having been shown in Quauhnahuac a year or so before. A 'revival' is literally a return to life…."

Recall where the letters of transit in Casablanca were hidden.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Sunday April 13, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Palm Sunday, Part II:

Cold Mountain

From the notes to the CD of Songs From the Mountain (John Herrmann, Dirk Powell, Tim O’Brien):

“John [Herrmann, banjo player] would like to dedicate his work on this recording to Philip Kapleau Roshi, Kalu Rimpoche, and Harada Tangen Roshi, who all know the way to Cold Mountain….”

 See Buddha’s Birthday (April 8) and The Diamond Project.

“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 
  I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

— Tom Eliot, The Waste Land 

“I am thinking…
… of the midnight picnic
Once upon a time….”

Suzanne Vega, “Tom’s Diner

Once upon a time…

See
Later the Same Day
and
Enormous Changes
At the Last Minute
 


Grace Paley

“De donde crece la palma” — Song lyric 

From On Beauty, by Elaine Scarry, Princeton University Press, 1999, a quotation from Homer —

in Delos, beside Apollo’s altar
the young slip of a palm-tree
springing into the light.”

See also A Mass for Lucero and The Shining of Lucero.  

How much story do you want?”

— George Balanchine

Friday, March 28, 2003

Friday March 28, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:16 AM

Bright Star

From a Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m. morning or evening star: any bright star….

 Today is Reba McEntire’s birthday.

” ‘I know what it is you last saw,’ she said; ‘for that is also in my mind. Do not be afraid! But do not think that only by singing amid the trees, nor even by the slender arrows of elven-bows, is this land of Lothlórien maintained and defended against the Enemy. I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!’

      She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its ray glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come to rest upon her hand. Frodo gazed at the ring with awe; for suddenly it seemed to him that he understood. 

      ‘Yes’, she said, divining his thought, ‘it is not permitted to speak of it, and Elrond could not do so. But it cannot be hidden from the Ring-Bearer, and one who has seen the Eye. Verily it is in the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper.’ “

— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Related material on telepathy:

Shining Forth and Naturalized Epistemology

Related material on rings, and another musical Reba:

Leonard Gillman interview, Part I and Part II

Gillman, a pianist, is co-author of Rings of Continuous Functions.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Monday January 27, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:47 PM

As promised last December 6…

Leadbelly Under the Volcano

From a website on Malcolm Lowry’s novel Under the Volcano:

“This image of impending doom recurs in the movie at the local theater, ‘Los Manos De Orlac’ or ‘The Hands of Orlac’ — the classic film about a pianist….”

Today’s site music, “Good Night, Irene,” by Leadbelly, is for the Diamond Project of the New York City Ballet, named for Irene Diamond, who died January 21. (See entry of that date.)

See also the obituary of John Browning, pianist, who died January 26.

Historical postscript: Huddie Ledbetter (“Leadbelly”) was, according to some accounts, born on January 21, the date of Irene Diamond‘s death.  He died on December 6, the feast day of Saint Nicholas.

Sunday, December 8, 2002

Sunday December 8, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:48 PM

 
Lucero
 
From a Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m. morning or evening star:
any bright star….
2. hole in a window panel for the
admission of light….
 
Sal a tu ventana,
que mi canto es para ti….
Lucero, lucero, lucero, lucero

— “Ya la ronda llega aquí

 
 
Cross Window Ex Cathedra
 
See In Mexico City, a Quiet Revelation,
in the New York Times of December 5.
The photo, from a different website, is
   of a room by the architect Luis Barragán.

From the Nobel Prize lecture of Octavio Paz on December 8, 1990 — twelve years ago today:

“Like every child I built emotional bridges in the imagination to link me to the world and to other people. I lived in a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, in an old dilapidated house that had a jungle-like garden and a great room full of books. First games and first lessons. The garden soon became the centre of my world; the library, an enchanted cave. I used to read and play with my cousins and schoolmates. There was a fig tree, temple of vegetation, four pine trees, three ash trees, a nightshade, a pomegranate tree, wild grass and prickly plants that produced purple grazes. Adobe walls. Time was elastic; space was a spinning wheel. All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. The beyond was here, all was here: a valley, a mountain, a distant country, the neighbours’ patio. Books with pictures, especially history books, eagerly leafed through, supplied images of deserts and jungles, palaces and hovels, warriors and princesses, beggars and kings. We were shipwrecked with Sindbad and with Robinson, we fought with d’Artagnan, we took Valencia with the Cid. How I would have liked to stay forever on the Isle of Calypso! In summer the green branches of the fig tree would sway like the sails of a caravel or a pirate ship. High up on the mast, swept by the wind, I could make out islands and continents, lands that vanished as soon as they became tangible. The world was limitless yet it was always within reach; time was a pliable substance that weaved an unbroken present.”

Today’s site music is courtesy of the Sinatra MIDI Files

Friday, December 6, 2002

Friday December 6, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 AM

St. Nicholas versus Mt. Doom

Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas, who is thought to have died on December 6.

For some meditations on time, click here

For a perhaps more pleasant meditation — on eternity — listen to this site’s background music, which has been changed in honor of the birth, on December 6, 1896, of lyricist Ira Gershwin.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Wednesday October 23, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:00 PM

Bright Star

From the website of Karey Lea Perkins:

“The truth is that man’s capacity for symbol-mongering in general and language in particular is…intimately part and parcel of his being human, of his perceiving and knowing, of his very consciousness…”

Walker Percy, The Message in the Bottle, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 1975

Today’s New York Times story on Richard Helms, together with my reminiscences in the entry that follows it below, suggest the following possibility for symbol-mongering:

Compare the 16-point star of the C.I.A.

with the classic 8-point star of Venus:

This comparison is suggested by the Spanish word “Lucero” (the name, which means “Bright Star,” of the girl in Cuernavaca mentioned two entries down) and by the following passage from Robert A. Heinlein‘s classic novel, Glory Road:

    “I have many names. What would you like to call me?”

    “Is one of them ‘Helen’?”

    She smiled like sunshine and I learned that she had dimples. She looked sixteen and in her first party dress. “You are very gracious. No, she’s not even a relative. That was many, many years ago.” Her face turned thoughtful. “Would you like to call me ‘Ettarre’?”

    “Is that one of your names?”

    “It is much like one of them, allowing for different spelling and accent. Or it could be ‘Esther’ just as closely. Or ‘Aster.’ Or even ‘Estrellita.’ ”

    ” ‘Aster,’ ” I repeated. “Star. Lucky Star!”

The C.I.A. star above is from that organization’s own site.  The star of Venus (alias Aster, alias Ishtar) is from Symbols.com, an excellent site that has the following variations on the Bright Star theme:

Ideogram for light Alchemical sign
Greek “Aster” Babylonian Ishtar
Phoenician Astarte Octagram of Venus
Phaistos Symbol Fortress Octagram

See also my notes The Still Point and the Wheel and Midsummer Eve’s Dream.  Both notes quote Robinson Jeffers:

“For the essence and the end
Of his labor is beauty…
one beauty, the rhythm of that Wheel,
and who can behold it is happy
and will praise it to the people.”

— Robinson Jeffers, “Point Pinos and Point Lobos,”
quoted at the end of The Cosmic Code,
by Heinz Pagels, Simon & Schuster, 1982

Place the eightfold star in a circle, and you have the Buddhist Wheel of Life:

Tuesday, October 1, 2002

Tuesday October 1, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 AM

Who’s on First?

To Lucero on October First, 2002:
A Poem by Homero Aridjis

ES TU NOMBRE Y ES TAMBIÉN OCTUBRE…

Es tu nombre y es también octubre
es el diván y tus ungüentos
es ella tú la joven de las turbaciones
y son las palomas en vuelos secretos
y el último escalón de la torre
y es la amada acechando el amor en antemuros
y es lo dable en cada movimiento y los objetos
y son los pabellones
y el no estar del todo en una acción
y es el Cantar de los Cantares
y es el amor que te ama
y es un resumen de vigilia
de vigilancia sola al borde de la noche
al borde del soñador y los insomnios
y también es abril y noviembre
y los disturbios interiores de agosto
y es tu desnudez
que absorbe la luz de los espejos
y es tu capacidad de trigo
de hacerte mirar en las cosas
y eres tú y soy yo
y es un caminarte en círculo
dar a tus hechos dimensión de arco
y a solas con tu impulso decirte la palabra.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Tuesday September 24, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:33 PM

The Shining of Lucero

From my journal note, “Shining Forth“:

The Spanish for “Bright Star” is Lucero.”

The Eye of the Beholder:

When you stand in the dark and look at a star a hundred light years away, not only have the retarded light waves from the star been travelling for a hundred years toward your eyes, but also advanced waves from your eyes have reached a hundred years into the past to encourage the star to shine in your direction.

— John Cramer, “The Quantum Handshake

From Broken Symmetries, by Paul Preuss, 1983:

He’d toyed with “psi” himself…. The reason he and so many other theoretical physicists were suckers for the stuff was easy to understand — for two-thirds of a century an enigma had rested at the heart of theoretical physics, a contradiction, a hard kernel of paradox….   

Peter [Slater] had never thirsted after “hidden variables” to explain what could not be pictured.  Mathematical relationships were enough to satisfy him, mere formal relationships which existed at all times, everywhere, at once.  It was a thin nectar, but he was convinced it was the nectar of the gods.

………………

Those so-called crazy psychics were too sane, that was their problem — they were too stubborn to admit that the universe was already more bizarre than anything they could imagine in their wildest dreams of wizardry. (Ch. 16)

From Secret Passages, by Paul Preuss, 1997:

Minakis caught up and walked beside him in silence, moving with easy strides over the bare ground, listening as Peter [Slater] spoke. “Delos One was ten years ago — quantum theory seemed as natural as water to me then; I could play in it without a care. If I’d had any sense of history, I would have recognized that I’d swallowed the Copenhagen interpretation whole.”

“Back then, you insisted that the quantum world is not a world at all,” Minakis prompted him. “No microworld, only mathematical descriptions.”

“Yes, I was adamant. Those who protested were naive — one has to be willing to tolerate ambiguity, even to be crazy.”

“Bohr’s words?”

“The party line. Of course Bohr did say, ‘It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature.’ Meaning that when we start to talk what sounds like philosophy, our colleagues should rip us to pieces.” Peter smiled. “They smell my blood already.”

………………
 
Peter glanced at Minakis. “Let’s say there are indications — I have personal indications — not convincing, perhaps, but suggestive, that the quantum world penetrates the classical world deeply.” He was silent for a moment, then waved his hand at the ruins. “The world of classical physics, I mean. I suppose I’ve come to realize that the world is more than a laboratory.”

“We are standing where Apollo was born,” Minakis said. “Leto squatted just there, holding fast to a palm tree, and after nine days of labor gave birth to the god of light and music….”

From my journal note, “A Mass for Lucero“:

To Lucero, in memory of
1962 in Cuernavaca

From On Beauty, by Elaine Scarry,
Princeton University Press, 1999 —

“Homer sings of the beauty of particular things. Odysseus, washed up on shore, covered with brine, having nearly drowned, comes upon a human community and one person in particular, Nausicaa, whose beauty simply astonishes him. He has never anywhere seen a face so lovely; he has never anywhere seen any thing so lovely….

I have never laid eyes on anyone like you,
neither man nor woman…
I look at you and a sense of wonder takes me.

Wait, once I saw the like —
in Delos, beside Apollo’s altar —
the young slip of a palm-tree
springing into the light.”

From Secret Passages, by Paul Preuss, 1997:

“When we try to look inside atoms,” Peter said, “not only can we not see what’s going on, we cannot even construct a coherent picture of what’s going on.”

“If you will forgive me, Peter,” Minakis said, turning to the others. “He means that we can construct several pictures — that light and matter are waves, for example, or that light and matter are particles — but that all these pictures are inadequate. What’s left to us is the bare mathematics of quantum theory.”

…. “Whatever the really real world is like, my friend, it is not what you might imagine.”

………………

 
Talking physics, Peter tended to bluntness. “Tell me more about this real world you imagine but can’t describe.”

Minakis turned away from the view of the sunset. “Are you familiar with John Cramer’s transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics?”

“No I’m not.”

………………

“Read Cramer. I’ll give you his papers. Then we can talk.” 

 From John Cramer, “The Quantum Handshake“:

Advanced waves could perhaps, under the right circumstances, lead to “ansible-type” FTL communication favored by Le Guin and Card…. 

For more on Le Guin and Card, see my journal notes below.

For more on the meaning of “lucero,” see the Wallace Stevens poem “Martial Cadenza.”

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Thursday September 5, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:36 AM

Birthdate of film producer Darryl F. Zanuck

Among Zanuck’s films were “All about Eve” and “Viva Zapata!”

Bright Star

I do not have a photograph of Lucero Hernandez, the subject of my journal notes

Shining Forth and

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

In keeping with Zanuck’s commandment that “The kid stays in the picture!” —

The photo at left, of a very young actress, captures some of Lucero’s beauty.

Center for Global Education,
Augsburg College
 

Semester-abroad Program in Mexico

“The program is based in Cuernavaca, a city known for its perennial springtime (70-80 degrees). Cuernavaca, the capital of the state of Morelos, is about 50 miles south of Mexico City. Both the city and the state are important in Mexican history: the palace of the conqueror Hernan Cortez borders the central plaza in Cuernavaca and Morelos is known as “the cradle of the Mexican revolution” of 1910 led by Emiliano Zapata, who was born in a small town near Cuernavaca. A city of more than one million, Cuernavaca is also known for its innovative grass-roots education programs, economic cooperatives, and base Christian communities inspired by liberation theology.” 

Monday, September 2, 2002

Monday September 2, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:25 AM

Elevation of the Host

Some religious fanatics may be offended by my account, in the note below, of a theatrical bartender-priest at Lincoln Center who last night held a CD aloft in what may seem a parody or satire of the elevation of the host in the Mass. They should consider the following account of how a medieval nun viewed the host:

…she saw a great brightness between the priest’s hands, so vivid and so bright and of such wonderful beauty that in her opinion it could not be compared to anything the human spirit could imagine. And it seemed to her that this brightness had a circular shape….

For another appearance of a priest associated, if only by synchronicity, with Lincoln Center, see the photographs below, both from the New York Times obituaries section of Friday, August 30, 2002.

Richard Lippold, a sculptor known for radiant, expansive abstractions in metal, died on Aug. 22….

Richard Lippold’s ‘‘Orpheus and Apollo’’ at Avery Fisher Hall in 1996.

Jack Manning/The New York Times

Bill Wassmuth, a former Roman Catholic priest who opposed the Aryan Nations group in northern Idaho, died on Tuesday, Aug. 27. 

In this little drama of August 30, played out in the obituary section of the New York Times, it is not clear from the Lippold sculpture who is to play the role of Orpheus and who the role of Apollo. One might interpret the note below, written two days later, as implying that Orpheus is to be played by Lionel Hampton and Apollo by Christ himself.  Such a drama is neither parody nor satire.  It is, on the contrary, deadly serious. 

“A great brightness,” as seen by the medieval nun described above, is traditionally associated with the Aryan sun god Apollo.  For more on this theme in Roman Catholic art, see

Sun-Worship and Catholicism,

The Monstrance and the Wafer God, and

A Catholic rebuttal.

For a less dogmatic approach to these matters, see my journal note of June 13, 2002,

 A Mass for Lucero.

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