Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
for St. Peter’s Day
Diamond life, lover boy;
we move in space
with minimum waste
and maximum joy.
— Sade, quoted here on
Lincoln’s Birthday, 2003
This is perhaps suitable
for the soundtrack of
the film “Blockheads“
(currently in development)–
Diamond Life — Related material from Wikipedia:
“Uta Frith, in her book Autism: Explaining the Enigma, addresses the superior performance of autistic individuals on the block design [link not in Wikipedia] test. This was also addressed in [an] earlier paper. A particularly interesting article demonstrates the differences in construction time in the performance of the block design task by Asperger syndrome individuals and non-Asperger’s individuals. An essential point here is that in an unsegmented version of the task, Asperger’s individuals performed dramatically faster than non-Asperger’s individuals: .”
5. Frith, Uta (2003). Autism: explaining the enigma (2nd ed. ). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Pub. ISBN 0-631-22901-9.
6. Shah A, Frith U (Nov 1993). “Why do autistic individuals show superior performance on the block design task?”. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 34 (8): 1351–64. PMID 8294523.
7. Caron MJ, Mottron L, Berthiaume C, Dawson M (Jul 2006). “Cognitive mechanisms, specificity and neural underpinnings of visuospatial peaks in autism”. Brain 129 (Pt 7): 1789–802. doi:10.1093/brain/awl072. PMID 16597652. “Fig 3”.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
by Hortense Calisher*
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Before thir eyes in sudden view appear The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark Illimitable Ocean without bound, Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth, And time and place are lost; where eldest Night And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise Of endless warrs and by confusion stand. For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring amidst the noise Thir embryon Atoms.... ... Into this wilde Abyss, The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave, Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire, But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight, Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain His dark materials to create more Worlds, Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while, Pondering his Voyage.... -- John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II
From the weblog of David Lavery, literature, film, and television scholar/critic, now teaching at Middle Tennessee State University–
Lavery’s quote of the day (6/27/09)-
“Art is based on second love, not first love. In it we make a return to something which we had willfully alienated. The child is occupied mostly with things, but it is because he is still unfurnished with systematic ideas, not because he is a ripe citizen by nature and comes already trailing clouds of glory. Images are clouds of glory for the man who has discovered that ideas are a sort of darkness.”
–John Crowe Ransom
Posted by Lavery on Friday, June 26, 2009, at 9:00 PM
Friday, June 26, 2009
I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball:
It will lead you in at Heavens gate,
Built in Jerusalems wall.
— WILLIAM BLAKE
“In ‘Apocatastasis Now: A Very Condensed Reading of William Blake’s Jerusalem‘ (
— The Year’s Work in English Studies, 2003: Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 493-547
|From the website of Philip Pullman, president of The Blake Society:
“I must create a System…”
The Blake Society, 25 October 2005: St James’s Church, Piccadilly
I see that the title of this lecture is given as BLAKE’S DARK MATERIALS. Now in the lecturer’s handbook, the second rule says “You need take no obsessive notice of the title that has been announced in advance.” Whether Blake’s materials are dark or not I couldn’t really say, but I am going to talk about Blake, partly, and partly about religion. Appropriate, perhaps, in a place like this, but you might think not appropriate from someone whose reputation is that of a scoffer or mocker or critic of religion; but I haven’t come here to scoff or mock. Nor have I come here to recant, as a matter of fact. I’m profoundly interested in religion, and I think it’s extremely important to understand it. I’ve been trying to understand it all my life, and every so often it’s useful to put one’s thoughts in order; but I shall never like God.
Download the full lecture
(pdf format, 155.62 KB)
from the Halloween season
of 2005 — in fact, from the
very date of Pullman’s lecture–
see Darkness Doubled.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
in Four Quartets, the fragments
he had grieved over
in The Waste Land.”
|“The formula reproduces exactly the essential features of the symbolic process of transformation. It shows the rotation of the mandala, the antithetical play of complementary (or compensatory) processes, then the apocatastasis, i.e., the restoration of an original state of wholeness….”
— Carl G. Jung in Aion
one year ago today.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The death of the character Mary O’Brien in the 2002 film “Equilibrium,” broadcast in the U.S.A. Saturday evening, paralleled the reported death of Iran’s Neda Soltan on the same day (June 20). The reported last words of Soltan would also have been fitting for O’Brien. (Any such resemblance between a fictional character and a real person is, of course, purely coincidental.)
Monday, June 22, 2009
One year ago today
George Carlin died.
|Online Etymology Dictionary
“Discuss the geometry
underlying the above picture.”
— Log24, June 11, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
“This paper is designed to be a conversation….
The ideas are organized loosely around a single theme: the Roman leader Pompey’s forced entry into the most sacred place of the Jewish temple. At issue are the origins and prevalence of doubt, even at the heart of religion….
The paper will be initially presented, with comments and additions, to the working group on ‘Secularism, Religious Authority, and the Mediation of Knowledge’ of the Center for Religion and Media at New York University on December 8, 2006.”
From the paper itself:
“All Pompey’s intrusion into the Holy of Holies will leave behind is one sentence in Tacitus; still, it is not hard to imagine it as a media show. As he enters this hidden room in the Temple of those weird, unGreek, Asian, tribal Jews, this cosmopolitan, sophisticated Roman is not just the insensitive anthropologist. He wants, to continue our imagining, to display the lack of contents of the Holy of Holies in a museum, to take them, like the treasures of Tutankhamen’s tomb, on tour. This all-powerful Roman wields klieg lights; he brings the press. He exposes. His expedition is something of an exposé. The whole scene feels as if it might have been filmed: like Dorothy’s peek behind the curtain at the diminutive Wizard of Oz. It feels as if it might have been televised: like Geraldo Rivera’s opening of Al Capone’s ‘secret vault.’ Pompey has in common with all journalists a desire to shove a microphone in God’s face. He wants to rant about what he has learned on his blog.
In his desecration of the Holy of Holies, Pompey has with him, in other words, what Jacques Derrida, in his essay ‘Faith and Knowledge,’ calls the ‘powers of abstraction’: ‘deracination, delocalization, disincarnation, formalization, universalizing schematization, objectification, telecommunication etc.'”
June 9-11, 2009.
Et cetera, et cetera.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
- by David Lavery’s June 19 weblog entry “Future Books,”
- by an example of this sort of book– “The Holy of Holies: The Constituents of Emptiness,”
- by the June 19 NY Lottery midday number 354 (the name of an empty page in Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose, Library of America, 1997), and
- by the musical meaning of the numbers 3, 5, 4– the frequency ratios of the notes G, E, C
and hence the numerical equivalent of the NBC chimes.
the chimes at midnight.”
— William Shakespeare
and Orson Welles
Friday, June 19, 2009
And then there are
set free from words…
Today’s New York lottery:
These numbers also
name parts of a book
cited here Nov. 6, 2007:
… The actor is
— Wallace Stevens in
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Back to the Real
“Fiction gives us access to a very real history.”
The Associated Press thought for today:
“Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it.”
— John Hersey, American author (born on this date in 1914, died 1993).
From John Hersey’s The Child Buyer (1960):
“I was wondering about that this morning… About forgetting. I’ve always had an idea that each memory was a kind of picture, an insubstantial picture. I’ve thought of it as suddenly coming into your mind when you need it, something you’ve seen, something you’ve heard, then it may stay awhile, or else it flies out, then maybe it comes back another time…. If all the pictures went out, if I forgot everything, where would they go? Just out into the air? Into the sky? Back home around my bed, where my dreams stay?”
“We keep coming back and coming back
To the real: to the hotel instead of the hymns….”
— Wallace Stevens
Postcard from eBay
|From Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, Chapter I:
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
"Actualmente Maju estudia Publicidad en la Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas de Lima, es modelo de la agencia Elite Model Management y viaja por varios paises realizando campañas de publicidad, y es imagen publicitaria exclusiva de varias empresas en su país."
weblog for 8:09 PM today–
"The Order of Malta in Peru."
“V. is whatever lights you to the end of the street: she is also the dark annihilation waiting at the end of the street.”
(Tony Tanner, page 36, "V. and V-2," in Pynchon: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Edward Mendelson. Prentice-Hall, 1978. 16-55).
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
|New York Times Friday, June 12, 2009, 4:14 PM
By John Tierney
At the World Science Festival Thursday night [June 11, 2009], four physicists offered an answer to the question that has plagued philosophers and scientists: Why is there something rather than nothing at all?
Sure they did.
"A strange thing then happened." — L. Frank Baum
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Geometry for Jews
(continued from Michelangelo's birthday, 2003)
"Discuss the geometry underlying the above picture."
Abstraction and the Holocaust (Mark Godfrey, Yale University Press, 2007) describes one approach to such a discussion: Bochner "took a photograph of a new arrangement of blocks, cut it up, reprinted it as a negative, and arranged the four corners in every possible configuration using the serial principles of rotation and reversal to make Sixteen Isomorphs (Negative) of 1967, which he later illustrated alongside works by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse in his Artforum article 'The Serial Attitude.' [December 1967, pp. 28-33]" Bochner's picture of "every possible configuration"–
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
the two entries of
October 12, 2003:
Part I —
October 12, 2003 —
Above, an image from
Part II —
October 12, 2003 —
Above, an image from
Part III —
June 10, 2009 —
Below, images from
“They all laughed at
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"I know what
— Joan Didion,
Play It As It Lays
President Faust of Harvard on Joan Didion:
"She was referring to life as a kind of improvisation: that magical crossroads of rigor and ease, structure and freedom, reason and intuition. What she calls being prepared to 'go with the change.'"
"I think about swimming with him into the cave at Portuguese Bend, about the swell of clear water, the way it changed, the swiftness and power it gained as it narrowed through the rocks at the base of the point. The tide had to be just right. We had to be in the water at the very moment the tide was right. We could only have done this a half dozen times at most during the two years we lived there but it is what I remember. Each time we did it I was afraid of missing the swell, hanging back, timing it wrong. John never was. You had to feel the swell change. You had to go with the change. He told me that. No eye is on the sparrow but he did tell me that."
From the same book:
"The craziness is receding but no clarity is taking its place."
— Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
For a magical crossroads at another university, see the five Log24 entries ending on November 25, 2005:
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
“‘Oracle, why did you write
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy?
What are we supposed to learn?'”
— Philip K. Dick
Click on image
for further details.
October 16, 2008
New collection release:
the institutional mind at work.
Those who actually try to view
the Wade collection will
encounter the following warning:
|To access the images in the ARTstor Digital Library you need to be affiliated with a participating institution (university, college, museum, public library or K-12 school).|
"go to the ARTstor Digital Library,"
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
to Four Quartets:
The Dissertations of Maximus Tyrius, translated from the Greek by Thomas Taylor, printed by C. Whittingham, London, for the translator, 1804, Vol. II, p. 55:
“You see the mutation of bodies, and the transition of generation, a path upwards and downwards according to Heraclitus; and again, as he says, one thing living the death, but dying the life of another. Thus fire lives the death of earth, and air lives the death of fire; water lives the death of air, and earth lives the death of water. You see a succession of life, and a mutation of bodies, both of which are the renovation of the whole.”
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009