Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Consolatory Tale

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:13 PM

The title is taken from Isak Dinesen— See the previous post,
which posed the question, "Stylist or fraud?"

Stylist and  fraud—

The stylist:   Gerard Manley Hopkins, Society of Jesus

The fraud (i.e., the fiction):

Scifi art- Women on Diamond

Click on the cover art for further details.

The cover artist, by the way, died on the date*
mentioned prominently in the previous post.

* September 7, 2009. 
   See also that date in this journal, with its post
   "Magic Boxes." Happy birthday, J. K. Rowling.

The Question

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Maya Alexandri on September 7, 2009

… Blixen herself may have cut closer to the truth
in her final story in Winter's Tales , "A Consolatory Tale" [1942].

In it, a character explains,

What exactly [the imposter to the Prince] has told
the people I cannot report, partly because his sayings
seem to be deep and twofold, so that those who have
heard them do not remember them, and partly because
he really does not say much.  But the impression which
he has made is sure to be very profound.

Later, the imposter utters the following enigma: "Life and Death
are two locked caskets, each of which contains the key to the other."  
In other words, this imposter bore a striking resemblance to
Kahlil Gibran (or his modern day incarnate, Paulo Coelho).

Stylist or fraud, that's the question.

Stylist or fraud?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

St. Julia’s Day

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:23 PM

For mathematician Julia Robinson, who died on this date
in 1985, and her sister Constance Reid, who died on
October 14, 2010

A search suggested by the "cosmic dippiness" of
a 1998 science fiction novel and by the non-dippiness of
a much better novel with closely related themes from 1977—

(Click to enlarge.)

(The use of "recursive" here is of course rather poetic, not to be
construed as meaningful in the strictly mathematical sense.
See also the term's etymology, and Working Backwards.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

St. Walter’s Day

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:05 PM

Today is the dies natalis  of group theorist  Walter Feit.

     "The Steiner systems (5,6,12) and (5,8,24) are remarkable combinatorial
configurations unlike any others. Their automorphism groups are the Mathieu
groups M12 and M24. These are the only 5-transitive permutation groups other
than symmetric and alternating groups: (a fact long conjectured but only
proved as a consequence of the classification). The Leech lattice is a blown up
version of (5,8,24).
It is the unique even unimodular lattice in 24 dimensions
with no vectors of weight 2. This uniqueness is an essential reason why it is a
geometric object of fundamental importance. The automorphism group Co.O
of the Leech lattice involves about half of the sporadic groups and generally it
is felt that these are well understood."

— Walter Feit, book review, Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society ,
     Vol. 8 (1983), 120-124, page 123

Papiere, Bitte!

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:25 AM

For a memorable eccentric who reportedly died
on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

(Simplicity continued)

"Understanding a metaphor is like understanding a geometrical
truth. Features of various geometrical figures or of various contexts
are pulled into revealing alignment with one another by  the
demonstration or the metaphor.

What is 'revealed' is not that the alignment is possible; rather,
that the alignment is possible reveals the presence of already-
existing shapes or correspondences that lay unnoticed. To 'see' a
proof or 'get' a metaphor is to experience the significance of the
correspondence for what the thing, concept, or figure is ."

— Jan Zwicky, Wisdom & Metaphor , page 36 (left)

Zwicky illustrates this with Plato's diamond figure
​from the Meno  on the facing page— her page 36 (right).

A more sophisticated geometrical figure—

Galois-geometry key to
Desargues' theorem:

   D   E   F
 S'  P Q R
 S  P' Q' R'
 O  P1 Q1 R1

For an explanation, see 
Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 AM

(Continued from July 16)

From the schedule of an April 2013 philosophical conference:

Why should anyone care what Zwicky thinks?

1.  Her writings. In particular, Plato as Artist .

2.  Her husband. See Robert Bringhurst in this journal.

3.  A reading by Zwicky and Bringhurst on March 20, 2013.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Zero Theorem

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:27 PM

Max Bialystock discovers a new playwright

Related material:  Here, here, and here.

Frank Discussion

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:29 AM

Related material: Weiner news

Update of 3:30 AM:

A meditation on the above
headline phrase "widely published."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rhetorical Question

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:29 AM

"Und was für ein Bild des Christentums
ist dabei herausgekommen?"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dark Humor

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:09 AM

Arts and Letters Daily  today links to a July 17
Washington Post  review of two books on the
occult and the enlightenment. The review, by
Michael Dirda, ends on a cheerful note:

"Happy synchronicity."

In related news, a Walpurgisnacht obituary also
ends cheerfully:

"He was still trying to get out a joke
with his final breath."

That obituary describes a life that reportedly ended
on April 21, 2013. Synchronicity involving that date—

The posts of April 21, 2013 (and related material in
this morning's previous post).

The Broken Tablet

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

This post was suggested by a search for the
Derridean phrase "necessary possibility"* that
led to web pages on a conference at Harvard
on Friday and Saturday, March 26**-27, 2010,
on Derrida and Religion .

The conference featured a talk titled
"The Poetics of the Broken Tablet."

I prefer the poetics of projective geometry.

An illustration— The restoration of the full
15-point "large" Desargues configuration in
place of the diminished 10-point Desargues
configuration that is usually discussed.

IMAGE- The proof of the converse of Desargues' theorem involves a third triangle.

Click on the image for further details.

* See a discussion of this phrase in
  the context of Brazilian religion.

** See also my own philosophical reflections
   on Friday, March 26, 2010:
   "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Conceptual Coffee

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 AM

A related scene, in memory of a jingle singer who died Sunday at 97:

Click for the Heavenly Coffee song.

See also Bleu  and Kiss Club.

They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Then We Take Berlin

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 PM

"The Germans, the document reads,
were looking for 'guidance and advice.'

Their wish was fulfilled."

Der Spiegel  today

by René Pfister, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach,
Jörg Schindler and Holger Stark

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:18 AM

This is the weekend for Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The convention includes an art show. (Click above image to enlarge.)

Related material from Norway

IMAGE- The Kavli Prize logo, a Metatron cube

Suggested nominations for a Kavli Prize:

1.  Josefine Lyche's highly imaginative catalog page for
the current Norwegian art exhibition I de lange nætter,
​which mentions her interest in sacred geometry

2.  Sacred Geometry:  Drawing a Metatron Cube

and from San Diego

The Kavli Institutes logo:

IMAGE- Logo of the Kavli institutes

Midnight Song

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

For a modeling visionary— "All the Time."

Related material: Coco Rocha and Gatsby .

Update of 12:31 AM July 21— See also "For Doin' Evil."

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:45 PM

"Dichtung ist Stiftung." — Heidegger

Vril Chick

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:15 PM


A Brainstorm  for Jo Lyxe :

Swastika logo of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind 
at the University of California, San Diego.

Soundtrack:  Under the Iron Sky .

She Was a Hunter, Not a Witch

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Iron Cross, continued )

IMAGE- Obits for a White House reporter and for a recipient of the Iron Cross

"… and the clocks were striking thirteen."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Desk Set

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 AM

For a former defender of the Fulda Gap
who reportedly died on July 1, 2013

IMAGE- Detail of Major Barbara's desk (from the 1941 Gabriel Pascal film)

and two quotations:

"Is it so hard a thing to see…?"

"Die Liebe nahm kein Ende mehr."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM


For Brad Leithauser, some of whose remarks
on "Reading Poems Backward" were quoted
here on July 13

A brief review of the life of artist Marc Simont,
who died on that day.

(Click for a larger and clearer image.)

Tell it slant .

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art Saint

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 PM

Marc Simont, Classic Children’s Book Illustrator, Dies at 97

Simont reportedly died on Saturday, July 13, 2013.

See this journal on that date and Simont's cover illustration
for The Wonderful O .

Child Buyers

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

The title refers to a classic 1960 novel by John Hersey.

“How do you  get young people excited about space?”

— Megan Garber in The Atlantic , Aug. 16, 2012
(Italics added.) (See previous four posts.)

Allyn Jackson on “Simplicity, in Mathematics and in Art,”
in the new August 2013 issue of Notices of the American
Mathematical Society

“As conventions evolve, so do notions of simplicity.
Franks mentioned Gauss’s 1831 paper that
established the respectability of complex numbers.”

This suggests a related image by Gauss, with a
remark on simplicity—

IMAGE- Complex Grid, by Gauss

Here Gauss’s diagram is not, as may appear at first glance,
a 3×3 array of squares, but is rather a 4×4 array of discrete
points (part of an infinite plane array).

Related material that does  feature the somewhat simpler 3×3 array
of squares, not  seen as part of an infinite array—

Marketing the Holy Field

IMAGE- The Ninefold Square, in China 'The Holy Field'

Click image for the original post.

For a purely mathematical view of the holy field, see Visualizing GL(2,p).

Space Itself

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 10:18 AM

"How do you get young people excited
about space? How do you get them interested
not just in watching movies about space,
or in playing video games set in space
but in space itself?"

Megan Garber in The AtlanticAug. 16, 2012

One approach:

"There is  such a thing as a tesseract" and
Diamond Theory in 1937.

See, too, Baez in this journal.

Tag (Part II)

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 9:29 AM

(Continued from yesterday evening)

Madeleine L'Engle in The Irrational Season
(1977), Chapter 9:

"After A Wrinkle in Time  was finally published,
it was pointed out to me that the villain, a naked
disembodied brain, was called 'It' because It
stands for Intellectual truth as opposed to a truth
which involves the whole of us, heart as well as
mind.  That acronym had never occurred to me. 
I chose the name It intuitively, because an IT
does not have a heart or soul.  And I did not
understand consciously at the time of writing
that the intellect, when it is not informed by
the heart, is evil."

You're…  IT.

Related material: Mathematics as a Post-Communist Activity.

Ay Que Bonito

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


From Iris Murdoch's novel The Bell 

" 'With an engineer to help me,' said Dora,
'I can do anything.'  And indeed as she
stood there in the moonlight, looking at
the quiet water, she felt as if by the sheer
force of her will she could make the great
bell rise.  After all, and after her own fashion,
she would fight.  In this holy community
she would play the witch."

Monday, July 15, 2013


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:30 PM

Some recent posts have been added to the Root Circle saga.

Update of 12:13 AM July 16, 2013:

Click the above image for further details. This "every other term"
strategy may be illustrated as in the July 12, 2013, post "Ein Bild "—

The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060604-Primitive.gif� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

This  image was originally posted on June 5, 2006 at 12:06 AM ET.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Working Backwards

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:25 PM

"Warming to the question of what it means to read a poem backward…."

— Essayist in a New Yorker  weblog on July 11, 2013

“Death itself would start working backwards.”

— Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia , 1950

"I twisted my mind like a bright ribbon, folded it, 
and tied the crazy Christmas knots I love so well."
— Roger Zelazny, A Rose for Ecclesiastes , 1963

"All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one."
— T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets , 1942

See also some context for these quotations.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:18 AM

Last night's 9:29 PM (ET) post featured the phrase
"This way to the egress."

Last night's 10 PM post featured two deaths:

The author of  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
reportedly died at 85 on Tuesday, July 9.

A former director of the Museum of Modern Art
who was famously shown the exit door there 
in his younger years reportedly died at 80 on
Saturday, July 6.

For a sort of pageant combining Christmas,
the Museum of Modern Art, and an egress,
see St. Stephen's Day, 2008.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 PM

The Inner Ring

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 PM

The title refers to Brad Leithauser's remarks
in the previous post.

This way to the egress.


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:22 AM

A sort of poem
by Gauss and Weyl —

Click the circle for the context in Weyl's Symmetry .

For related remarks, see the previous post.

A literary excursus—

Brad Leithauser in a New Yorker  post of July 11, 2013:

Reading Poems Backward

If a poet determines that a poem should begin at point A and conclude at point D, say, the mystery of how to get there—how to pass felicitously through points B and C—strikes me as an artistic task both genuine and enlivening. There are fertile mysteries of transition, no less than of termination.

And I’d like to suppose that Frost himself would recognize that any ingress into a poem is better than being locked out entirely. His little two-liner, “The Secret,” suggests as much: “We dance round in a ring and suppose / But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.” Most truly good poems might be said to contain a secret: the little sacramental miracle by which you connect, intimately, with the words of a total stranger. And whether you come at the poem frontward, or backward, or inside out—whether you approach it deliberately, word by word and line by line, or you parachute into it borne on a sudden breeze from the island of Serendip—surely isn’t the important thing. What matters is whether you achieve entrance into its inner ring, and there repose companionably beside the Secret.

One should try, of course, to avoid repose in an inner circle of Hell .

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ein Bild

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

A rhetorical question from this journal—

"Und was für ein Bild des Christentums
ist dabei herausgekommen?"

A rhetorical answer from this journal (June 5, 2006)—

The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060604-Primitive.gif� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Material closely related to the above rhetorical answer—

(Click for clearer image.)

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:48 PM

"In Princeton every Sunday he would walk 
one and a half miles from his home to buy
the Sunday New York Times , and so,
according to his daughters, his church
denomination was pedestrian."

— "André Weil As I Knew Him," by Goro Shimura,
Notices of the American Mathematical Society ,
Vol. 46, No. 4, April 1999, page 430

The above passage was suggested by
a reported death from July 9, 2013, and by
a photo taken by Trish Mayo on July 6,
2013. See also Log24 on that  date.

Speaking of Dates…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 AM

See also 11 February 2012 in this journal, as well as the link in
last evening's post to 2 March 2012, in the context of synchronicity.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Diagon Alley

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

You say goodbye, I say

A YouTube video uploaded on March 2, 2012—

This  journal on the date of the above video's uploading— March 2, 2012:

"…des carreaux mi-partis de deux couleurs par une ligne diagonale…."

See also Josefine Lyche in Vril Chick and Bowling in Diagon Alley.


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM

From a Telegraph  obituary about a death on July 8, 2013:

"The pilots’ tactic was to fly to within a certain distance of the target, and cut their engines. They would then glide in silently, release their bombs, then restart their engines and fly home. The Germans called them the 'Nachthexen' (the Night Witches) due to the whooshing sound they made— 'like a witch’s broomstick in the night'— as they flew past. There was, supposedly, a promise to award an Iron Cross to any Luftwaffe pilot who actually managed to bring down a Night Witch."

In memoriam:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Taormina Dualism

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:23 PM

"At some point in Greek history, it was noticed that the capital upsilon—Y—
looked like a path branching left and right. The comparison, like so much
traditional material, was ascribed to the Pythagoreans, in accordance with
the dualism just mentioned; our earliest source for it, however, is as late as
the Roman poet Persius (Satires, 3.56)." 

— "The Garden of Forking Paths" in the weblog
   Varieties of Unreligious Experience, Nov. 21, 2006

Amy Adams at the Lancia Café in Taormina, Sicily, on June 15, 2013.
Adams was in Taormina for the Italian premiere of her Superman film.

See also this  journal on that date— June 15, 2013.

Posts related to the Garden of Forking Paths:  Witch Ball (Jan. 24, 2013),
Sermon for Harvard (Sept. 19, 2010), and Amy Adams + Craft.

The Long March

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:01 PM

See Women's History Month, 2013.

See also The Crosswicks Curse  and


Plan 9

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM


Related material from June 3, 2008 

On Faith:

“God is the original conspiracy theory….

Among the varieties of Christian monotheism,
none is more totalitarian, none lodges more radical
claims for God’s omnipotence, than Calvinism—
and within America, the chief analogue of Calvinist
theology, Puritanism. According to Calvin every
particle of dust, every act, every thought, every
creature is governed by the will of God, and yields
clues to the divine plan.”

– Scott Sanders, “Pynchon’s Paranoid History

Vril Chick

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 4:30 AM

Profile picture of "Jo Lyxe" (Josefine Lyche) at Vimeo

Profile picture for "Jo Lyxe" (Josefine Lyche) at Vimeo

Compare to an image of Vril muse Maria Orsitsch.

From the catalog of a current art exhibition
(25 May – 31 August, 2013) in Norway,

Josefine Lyche
Born in 1973 in Bergen, Norway.
Lives and works in Oslo and Berlin.

Keywords (to help place my artwork in the
proper context): Aliens, affine geometry, affine
planes, affine spaces, automorphisms, binary
codes, block designs, classical groups, codes,
coding theory, collineations, combinatorial,
combinatorics, conjugacy classes, the Conwell
correspondence, correlations, Cullinane,
R. T. Curtis, design theory, the diamond theorem,
diamond theory, duads, duality, error correcting
codes, esoteric, exceptional groups,
extraterrestrials, finite fields, finite geometry, finite
groups, finite rings, Galois fields, generalized
quadrangles, generators, geometry, GF(2),
GF(4), the (24,12) Golay code, group actions,
group theory, Hadamard matrices, hypercube,
hyperplanes, hyperspace, incidence structures,
invariance, Karnaugh maps, Kirkman’s schoolgirls
problem, Latin squares, Leech lattice, linear
groups, linear spaces, linear transformations,
Magick, Mathieu groups, matrix theory, Meno,
Miracle Octad Generator, MOG, multiply transitive
groups, occultism, octahedron, the octahedral
group, Orsic, orthogonal arrays, outer automorphisms,
parallelisms, partial geometries,
permutation groups, PG(3,2), Plato, Platonic
solids, polarities, Polya-Burnside theorem, projective
geometry, projective planes, projective
spaces, projectivities, Pythagoras, reincarnation,
Reed-Muller codes, the relativity problem,
reverse engineering, sacred geometry, Singer
cycle, skew lines, Socrates, sporadic simple
groups, Steiner systems, Sylvester, symmetric,
symmetry, symplectic, synthemes, synthematic,
Theosophical Society tesseract, Tessla, transvections,
Venn diagrams, Vril society, Walsh
functions, Witt designs.

(See also the original catalog page.)

Clearly most of this (the non-highlighted parts) was taken
from my webpage Diamond Theory. I suppose I should be
flattered, but I am not thrilled to be associated with the
(apparently fictional) Vril Society.

For some background, see (for instance) 
Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies .

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bad Dreams at the Pearly Gates

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:45 PM

" 'So this is heaven!' A line that strikes dread into
a theater reviewer's heart." 

Dan Sullivan in the Los Angeles Times

“The most terrifying verse I know:
merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.”

Joan Didion, The Last Thing He Wanted

"Audiences never had any difficulty with his work,
which was instantly recognisable as the stuff of dreams…."

Apology for the life of a British playwright
     who died on July 3, 2013.

"I saw 'More Light' twice, for my sins, and wasn't surprised
that half of the second audience left at intermission."

— Dan Sullivan in the Los Angeles Times  (continued)

Some light from this journal on the day of the above
playwright's death, the day before, and the day after—

For a more plausible heaven, see the posts of July first 
and an LA Times  obituary for a man who died on that  date.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Educated Merchant Class

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:40 PM

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

The Studio of Gratifying Discourse.

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

Mere 61

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Today is the 61st anniversary of the publication
of the book Mere Christianity , by C. S. Lewis.

In its honor, here is a link to "Hexagram 61
in this journal.

See also "Moonshine and Lion."

Sunday School

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 AM

IMAGE- R. D. Carmichael's 1931 construction of the Steiner system S(5, 8, 24)

IMAGE- Harvard senior Jeremy Booher in 2010 discusses Carmichael's 1931 construction of S(5, 8, 24) without mentioning Carmichael.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The People’s Tesseract*

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:57 AM

From Andries Brouwer

Image related, very loosely, to Falstaff's 'green fields'

* Related material:  Yesterday's evening post and The People's Cube
  (By the way, any  4×4 array is a tesseract .)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mathematics and Narrative (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 6:01 PM

Short Story — (Click image for some details.)

IMAGE- Andries Brouwer and the Galois Tesseract

Parts of a longer story —

The Galois Tesseract and Priority.


Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:30 AM

Google sidebar for Richard J. Trudeau's 'The Non-Euclidean Revolution'

Trudeau is a sophist.

Wertheim, on the other hand

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Declaration of Independent

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:21 PM

"Classical Geometry in Light of Galois Geometry"
is now available at independent.academia.edu.

Related commentary Yesterday's post Vision 
and a post of February 21, 2013:  Galois Space.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


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

"Then it came to him.
In a single stroke he had what might be called
a complete vision of the information age."

— "Douglas C. Engelbart, Inventor of the
Computer Mouse, Dies at 88
," by John Markoff
in this afternoon's online New York Times

Related material:
The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace
in the Dec. 4, 2008, post  OCODE.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Diamond Theorem Updates

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

My diamond theorem articles at PlanetMath and at 
Encyclopedia of Mathematics have been updated
to clarify the relationship between the graphic square
patterns of the diamond theorem and the schematic
square patterns of the Curtis Miracle Octad Generator.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:07 PM

Continued from Sunday's post Book Award and last
midnight's post Holding the Frame

The nineteenth-century German writer Rudolf Haym on
German romantic Hellenism—

"In the enjoyment of this fair picture-world, our nation must 
needs delude itself a moment with the dream of Greek felicity 
and Greek repose to awaken directly poorer and more restless 
than before. To Poetry such a delusion was indeed natural, and 
who would dispute it with her after she had offered to our 
enjoyment what was sweetest and most perfect! But we see 
now all at once Metaphysic seized with the same illusion. 
Turning aside from the strait path of sober inquiry and from the 
labour of deliverance through the most conscientious criticism, 
Hegel begins to expand over our spiritual world his ideal that 
was found in Hellas, that was strengthened by exhaustive 
penetration into the ultimate grounds of all religion. A dreamed-of 
and yearned-for future is treated as present. A system tricked 
out with the entire dignity of the science of truth raises itself 
beside our poetry, and with diamond net spins us into an idea 
with which the want, the incompleteness, and the unbeauty of 
our political and historical actuality is at every point in contradiction."

Rudolf Haym, Hegel und seine Zeit  (1857), 91-92, translated 
and quoted in  The Secret of Hegel , by James Hutchison Stirling
(1898 edition, p. 626)

Holding the Frame

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

High praise for a 1941 film

Major Barbara  (Gabriel Pascal, 1941) — "There are some performances
that bypass your critical faculties altogether, connecting not with your brain
but with your soul. They are desperately few, those characterisations of
such heightened sensitivity, such emotional resonance that the effect is
both exalting and suffocating. You might chance upon one every three or 
four years, if you're lucky. I don't know why, or how, but every time Wendy
Hiller utters a line or holds the frame in Major Barbara , I am on the verge
of tears." — Rick Burin

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