* See references in this journal to the classic Fritz Leiber story.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Note the references on the map to
"Devil's Gate" and "Pathfinder."
See also the following from a review of The Pathseeker , a novel
by the Nobel laureate (Imre Kertész), who reportedly died today —
… The commissioner is in fact not in search of a path, but rather of traces of the past (more literally the Hungarian title means ‘trace seeker’). His first shock comes at his realization that the site of his sufferings has been converted into a museum, complete with tourists “diligently carrying off the significance of things, crumb by crumb, wearing away a bit of the unspoken importance” (59). He meets not only tourists, however. He also comes across paradoxically “unknown acquaintances who were just as much haunted by a compulsion to revisit,” including a veiled woman who slowly repeats to him the inventory of those she lost: “my father, my younger brother, my fiancé” (79). The commissioner informs her that he has come “to try to redress that injustice” (80). When she asks how, he suddenly finds the words he had sought, “as if he could see them written down: ‘So that I should bear witness to everything I have seen’” (80).
The act of bearing witness, however, proves elusive. In the museum he is compelled to wonder, “What could this collection of junk, so cleverly, indeed all too cleverly disguised as dusty museum material, prove to him, or to anyone else for that matter,” and adds the chilling observation, “Its objects could be brought to life only by being utilized” (71). As he touches the rust-eaten barbed wire fence he thinks, “A person might almost feel in the mood to stop and dutifully muse on this image of decay – were he not aware, of course, that this was precisely the goal; that the play of ephemerality was merely a bait for things” (66). It is this play of ephemerality, the possibility that the past will be consigned to the past, against which the commissioner struggles, yet his struggle is frustrated precisely by the lack of resistance, the indifference of the objects he has come to confront. “What should he cling on to for proof?” he wonders. “What was he to fight with, if they were depriving him of every object of the struggle? Against what was he to try and resist, if nothing was resisting?” (68) He had come with the purpose of “advertis[ing] his superiority, celebrat[ing] the triumph of his existence in front of these mute and powerless things. His groundless disappointment was fed merely by the fact that this festive invitation had received no response. The objects were holding their peace” (109).
In point of fact The Pathseeker makes no specific mention either of the Holocaust or of the concentration camps, yet the admittedly cryptic references to places leave no doubt that this is its subject. Above the gate at the camp the commissioner’s wife reads the phrase, “Jedem das Seine,” to each his due, and one recalls the sign above the entrance to the camp at Buchenwald. Further references to Goethe as well as the Brabag factory, where Kertész himself worked as a prisoner, confirm this. Why this subterfuge on the part of the author? Why a third-person narrative with an unnamed protagonist when so many biographical links tie the author to the story? One cannot help but wonder if Kertész sought specifically to avoid binding his story to particulars in order to maintain the ultimately metaphysical nature of the quest. Like many of Kertész’s works,The Pathseeker is not about the trauma of the Holocaust itself so much as the trauma of survival. The self may survive but the triumph of that survival is chimerical.
Translator Tim Wilkinson made the bold decision, in translating the title of the work, not to resort to the obvious. Rather than simply translate Nyomkereső , an allusion to the Hungarian translation of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pathfinder , back into English, he preserves an element of the unfamiliar in his title. This tendency marks many of the passages of the English translation, in which Wilkinson has opted to preserve the winding and often frustratingly serpentine nature of many of the sentences of the original instead of rewriting them in sleek, familiar English. . . .
— Thomas Cooper
"Sleek, familiar English" —
"Those were the good old days!" — Applegate in "Damn Yankees"
(See previous post.)
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
From a New York Times obituary
of Ellsworth Kelly by Holland Cotter —
"The anonymous role of
the Romanesque church artist
remained a model."
See as well
Note the contradiction between the URL date (last Monday's)
and the printed date below it (that of Epiphany 2016).
Who's trolling whom?
"Of all the Hungarian friends I've ever had…
I can't remember one who didn't want me to think of him…
as a king of con men."
" 'The omelet, you know that, don't you? Sure. It's a classic.
An omelet, it's in our Hungarian cookbook.
"To make an omelet," it says… "first, steal an egg." ' "
— Orson Welles, in his last completed film.
See also Lovasz in this journal.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
See also In Memoriam, a post of March 27, 2016.
"When Mr. Amoroso made the announcement about Yahoo!’s
new CEO, he said, The Board of Directors unanimously agreed
that Marissa’s unparalleled track record in technology, design,
and product execution makes her the right leader for Yahoo!
at this time of enormous opportunity.” — John Mattone yesterday
* Title courtesy of Malcolm Lowry.
In memory of "a cultural icon" —
Click image to enlarge.
Monday, March 28, 2016
"Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all."
— "Easter, 1916"
A Philosophers' Stone
— St. Patrick's Day, 2016
Sunday, March 27, 2016
"It wasn’t unusual for presenters to fail to make it beyond the first slide before having their carefully prepared presentation ripped to shreds. The process was constructive savagery: It helped make Intel the world’s largest chipmaker, a distinction it still holds, a decade after Grove retired. 'If you were to pick one person who built Silicon Valley, it was Andy,' said Marc Andreessen, the entrepreneur and venture capitalist, during a 2015 Churchill Club award presentation. 'Andy kind of set the model for what a high-quality Silicon Valley company should be.'"
See also Two Views of Finite Space.
A post from the date of his death —
Saturday, March 26, 2016
The Princeton reference in the previous post suggests
a check of today's online Daily Princetonian. This yields …
Related material: Library of Hell.
Or: "Lunch at the Y."
"Mr. Hamner moved to California in 1962
and got his first break when 'The Twilight Zone'
accepted two of his story ideas. His eight scripts
for the series included 'The Hunt,' about a man
who is dead but does not realize it until his hunting
dog prevents him from wandering into hell . . . ."
— William Grimes
Hamner reportedly died on Thursday, March 24.
See this journal on that date.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Toronto geometer H.S.M. Coxeter, introducing a book by Unitarian minister
Richard J. Trudeau —
"There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of Pontius Pilate’s
unanswered question ‘What is truth?’”
— Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Trudeau’s
The Non-Euclidean Revolution
Another such treatment …
"Of course, it will surprise no one to find low standards
of intellectual honesty on the Tonight Show.
But we find a less trivial example if we enter the
hallowed halls of Harvard University. . . ."
— Neal Koblitz, "Mathematics as Propaganda"
Less pleasantly and less discursively —
"Funny how annoying a little prick can be."
— The late Garry Shandling
Thursday, March 24, 2016
"The theory of elliptic curves and modular forms is
one subject where the most diverse branches
of mathematics come together: complex analysis,
algebraic geometry, representation theory, number theory."
— Neal Koblitz, first sentence of
Introduction to Elliptic Curves and Modular Forms,
First Edition, Springer-Verlag, 1984
Related material —
See also The Proof and the Lie.
* Title of a 1959 musical
A tune for Tarantino —
Fran Landesman and Larry Hagman atop a piano, with
Tommy Wolf at the piano and Richard Hayes at right. (1959)
Log24 on the date of Landesman's death —
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The New York Times this evening on the late Rita Gam:
"After generally being typecast in supporting roles
in two dozen films for what Life described as
'her sultry face and insinuating voice,' she recalled
in 1992, 'I looked into the black pit at 40 and
wondered, what do I do for an encore?' "
From a post of August 3, 2013 —
Note, on the map of Wyoming, Devil's Gate.
There are, of course, many such gates.
* A character from the recent film "The Hateful Eight."
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
"That elemental parent, the green night,
Teaching a fusky alphabet."
See also this journal on St. Patrick's Day 2016.
From St. Patrick's Day 2016 —
See also posts mentioning
Terry Gilliam's film "The Zero Theorem."
For some backstory, search Log24 for "Wolf Barth."
A search in this journal for "Toronto Star" yields A Problem.
Monday, March 21, 2016
"Intel announced today that the company’s former CEO
and Chairman Andrew S. Grove, who was born in Hungary
as András István Gróf, died today at age 79."
See also Intel in this journal.
“Just a lying rhyme for seven!”
— Playwright Tom Stoppard on Heaven
" 'Heaven lies about us in our infancy!' wrote William Wordsworth, one of Geoffrey Hartman’s beloved Romantics….
For Hartman, in 2010 proclaimed by his Yale colleague Paul Fry to be 'arguably the finest Wordsworth critic who has ever written,' those lines from 'Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood' must have been especially bittersweet. His own childhood had been cut short; born in Frankfurt in 1929…."
— "Remembering Geoffrey Hartman —
From the 1984 New Orleans film Tightrope—
This post was suggested by the late Yale literary critic
Geoffrey Hartman, who reportedly died on March 14.
" 'Interpretation is like a football game,' Professor Hartman
wrote in 'The Voice of the Shuttle,' a 1969 essay."
— A 2016 obituary by Margalit Fox
Sunday, March 20, 2016
"Where indeed might the literary scholar expect to find,
if not in literature, the measure of modern thought?"
— "Ruins of the Ogdoad," by Michael Keefer
— Mnemonic rhyme; author anonymous
Saturday, March 19, 2016
"To sum it all up I see mathematical activity as
a jumping ahead and then plodding along
to chart a path by rational toil."
"VERENA HUBER-DYSON, mathematician and logician,
died yesterday [March 12, 2016] in Bellingham, Washington,
at the age of 92. She was Emeritus Professor of the
Philosophy Department, University of Calgary, Alberta."
Some posts from earlier this month are related to mathematical
activity, Bellingham, jumping ahead, and plodding along:
"The process of plodding is being analyzed by proof theory,
a prolific branch of meta mathematics. Still riddled with questions
is the jumping." — Huber-Dyson, loc. cit.
Still riddled — "Why IS a raven like a writing desk?"
Click image for further details.
Friday, March 18, 2016
"Deadline reports that Stone is finalizing a deal
to star in Maniac , a 30-minute television series with
her former Superbad castmate Jonah Hill.
The project, a dark comedy, will be directed by
True Detective alum Cary Fukunaga and is based
on a 2014 Norwegian series about a mental-institution
patient living out a fantasy life in his dreams."
Update of 11:07 PM ET —
"The problem is having a solid business plan and knowing what
you're doing, whether it's a movie, a TV series or a company."
— Steve Golin in The Hollywood Reporter , Sept. 4, 2013
A Not-So-Funny Thing Happened.
See a post on KUNSTforum from the Ides of March.
Related news from the Ides of March —
"Look, I come here today not to praise Trump,
but to bury the GOP Establishment."
Kyle Smith on April 15, 2015, in the New York Post —
"The ludicrous action thriller 'Beyond the Reach'
fails to achieve the Southwestern noir potency
of 'No Country for Old Men,' but there’s no denying
it brings to mind another Southwestern classic
about malicious pursuit: the Road Runner cartoons."
See also ….
Happy birthday to composer John Kander, who turns 89 today.
NPR MUSIC INTERVIEWS
* See Noonan Weimar in this journal.
See Asbury Park in this journal.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Detail of images from this evening's Harvard Crimson
(click for a wider view) —
Click either image below for some backstory.
The following page quotes "Raiders of the Lost Crucible,"
a Log24 post from Halloween 2015.
From KUNSTforum.as, a Norwegian art quarterly, issue no. 1 of 2016.
Related posts — See Lyche Eightfold.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
A Log24 post yesterday was titled
"To an Old Philosopher in Cambridge."
This post is about one such philosopher,
the current president of Harvard University.
From May 2015 —
" 'When I publicly engage on an issue, it elevates it,'
Faust said in an interview this month. 'So I want to
be very careful of how I use my voice ….'
In 2007, Faust put her philosophy more succinctly.
Referencing Harvard Business School professor
Michael E. Porter, Faust told the New York Times
that she often considers the mantra 'strategy is
what you don’t do.' "
This journal on May 28, 2015 —
Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:07 AM
See as well Jews on Fiction.
Related material — Michael Porter: The Great and Powerful.
Related material: "Crucible" in this journal.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Click image above for a view of pages 50-51 of a new KUNSTforum
article showing two photos relevant to my own work — those labeled
"after S. H. Cullinane."
(The phrase "den pensjonerte Oxford-professoren Stephen H. Cullinane"
on page 51 is almost completely wrong. I have never been a professor,
I was never at Oxford, and my first name is Steven, not Stephen.)
For some background on the 15 projective points at the lower left of
the above March 10 Facebook post, see "The Smallest Projective Space."
Continued from The New York Times of Sunday, January 15, 1989 —
A sequel: Rapid Transit —
Click on the RAPID TRANSIT sign for a post of September 28, 2009.
From a review of Romanticism and Its Discontents ,
a book by the late Anita Brookner —
"Despite a novelist like Zola, who personified
'Romanticism as energy,' the final word is given
to the 'constitutionally depressed' critic Sainte-Beuve."
Brookner reportedly died at 87 on March 10, 2016.
A passage quoted in this journal on that date —
Sainte-Beuve in 1834:
"Modern society, once it is somewhat more settled . . .
will also have its calm, its corners of cool mystery . . . ."
"La société moderne, lorsqu'elle sera un peu mieux
assise et débrouillée, devra avoir aussi son calme,
ses coins de fraîcheur et de mystère, ses abris
propices aux sentiments perfectionnés…."
— Portraits de Femmes , Sainte-Beuve, éd. Gallimard,
coll. Folio Classique, 1998 , Madame de Souza, p. 82
Monday, March 14, 2016
On the new animated film "Sausage Party" —
On Seth Rogen —
"He has described his parents, who met in Israel
on a kibbutz, as 'radical Jewish socialists.' [a] "
* "The film will have its world premiere at the
South by Southwest Film Festival on March 14, 2016. [b] "
Notes from Wikipedia —
a. Patterson, John (September 14, 2007). "Comedy's new centre of gravity".
The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media Limited).
b. D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 1, 2016).
"Sony Is Throwing A ‘Sausage Party’ At SXSW…". Deadline.com.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
"In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together,
and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church
examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions."
— Nostra Aetate , by Pope Paul VI
In memory of the late architect Patrick Hodgkinson
Harvey Court at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
For the architect, see yesterday's post "Brick-Perfect."
See as well a meditation on the numbers 9 and 13
in the post "Space" on day 13 of May, 2015.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
From the Wikipedia article Bauhaus (band) —
Halloween 2013 here (click to enlarge) —
* See "synchronolog…" in this journal.
See "The Hunger" in this journal.
David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve star in "The Hunger" (1983).
(Continued from November 26, 2002.)
"Button your lip baby
Button your coat
Let's go out dancing
Go for the throat"
"Only connect." — E. M. Forster.
Patrick Hodgkinson, a British architect, reportedly died at 85 on
February 21, 2016. From his March 4 obituary in the Telegraph —
Before Brunswick, came Harvey Court for Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Colin St John Wilson, exLCC, his senior in the Martin studio, had done a scheme with four freestanding ranges in concrete. Hodgkinson radically transformed this at short notice into the final version presented to the College, a tight, connected square finished in local brick with a stepped section and impressive close-spaced brick columns on the exterior faces where the section overhung.
Never afflicted by modesty, Hodgkinson called it “designed to a brick-perfect, three-dimensional grid clear of ugly moments: the builders enjoyed making it”. It was attributed to Martin, Wilson and Hodgkinson jointly, but Hodgkinson felt that his contribution was under-appreciated, and again with the Law Library at Oxford, normally credited to Martin and Wilson. The theory of compact medium-rise courtyard forms derived from the Harvey Court design became central to Martin’s research programme at Cambridge in the 1960s; Hodgkinson felt that he deserved more credit for this too.
Friday, March 11, 2016
"We're entering Weimar, baby." — Peggy Noonan
A photo from the eve of the above exhibition's opening —
A Log24 post from the day of the above exhibition's opening —
Thursday, March 10, 2016
"Modern society, once it is somewhat more settled . . .
will also have its calm, its corners of cool mystery . . . ."
Detective Cruz enters Planck's Constant Café in "The Big Bang."
See also Ted Cruz last Saturday in Idaho …
"I had joined the White House early in 1984, after three years
writing Dan Rather's radio commentaries."
— Peggy Noonan, "Confessions of a White House Speechwriter,"
a 1989 New York Times excerpt from her book What I Saw
at the Revolution
* See also What IS the frequency, Kenneth?
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
"Michael White, who is best known for producing the movies
The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python and the Holy Grail ,
has died, his ex-girlfriend confirmed to Reuters. He was 80."
One possible answer —
BBC "Intruders" transcript
* See Veritas (March 7, 2016).
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
See also, in this journal, "An Awfully Big Adventure."
From the New York Times philosophy column "The Stone"
yesterday morning —
"Our knowledge of the universe and ourselves expands
like a ripple surrounding a pebble dropped in a pool.
As we move away from the center of the spreading circle,
its area, representing our secure knowledge, grows.
But so does its circumference, representing the border
where knowledge blurs into uncertainty and speculation,
and methodological confusion returns. Philosophy patrols
the border, trying to understand how we got there and to
conceptualize our next move. Its job is unending."
— Scott Soames, "Philosophy's True Home"
Related ripples —
From the previous Log24 post:
From a passage by Nietzsche quoted here on June 9, 2012:
"Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on, and on, and on, and on"
Monday, March 7, 2016
Nicole Kidman at the end of
“Hemingway & Gellhorn” (2012)
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Saturday, March 5, 2016
New York lottery today —
This evening's NY lottery results, interpreted as a phone number, yield …
See also posts tagged The Poet's Pineapple …
"The momentary footings of a climb
Up the pineapple, a table Alp and yet
Material related to the title:
- Art as Religion (Jan. 1, 2016) —
- From the post Edifice (March 1, 2016) —
"Euclid's edifice loomed in my consciousness
as a marvel among sciences, unique in its clarity
and unquestionable validity."
—Richard J. Trudeau in
The Non-Euclidean Revolution (1986)
- Weaveworld in this journal.
Friday, March 4, 2016
On film director Stanley Kubrick:
From "Kubrick," by Michael Herr, Vanity Fair , August 1999—
"He disliked the usual references to his having been a 'chess hustler' in his Greenwich Village days, as though this impugned the gravity and beauty of the exercise, the suggestion that his game wasn’t pour le sport or, more correctly, pour l’art . To win the game was important, to win the money was irresistible, but it was nothing compared with his game, with the searching, endless action of working on his game. But of course he was hustling, he was always hustling; as he grew older and moved beyond still photography, chess became movies, and movies became chess by other means. I doubt that he ever thought of chess as just a game, or even as a game at all. I do imagine that a lot of people sitting across the board from him got melted, fried, and fragmented when Stanley let that cool ray come streaming down out of his eyes— talk about penetrating looks and piercing intelligence; here they’d sat down to a nice game of chess, and all of a sudden he was doing the thinking for both of them."
On physics writer Peter Woit:
From Part II of an interview with Peter Woit by Gerald Alper
"For just a moment, he allows himself to become self reflective: 'I was always a smart kid. A very smart kid. I suppose if I ever took a standardized test I would do very well, especially, in the area of abstract reasoning.'
Peter Woit says this as matter-of-factly as if he said, 'When I was a kid my father drove a Chevrolet.' He says it as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, if asked to describe how he became the person he is, might have said 'I was always a tall kid. A very tall kid. In school, short kids bored me.'
I felt I had to say, 'but there must be a few million people in the United States who would also score very high in abstract thinking in the standardized tests and none of them have your interests.'
'The people around here all do. And there are thousands of us all around the world.'
'But there are 7 billion people in the world.'
Peter Woit had to concede the mathematical point, but I don't think he appreciated the psychological distinction I was alluding to. There is an astonishing divide between the culture of science and the culture of humanities that C.P. Snow famously alluded to. There is even a greater divide between the culture of pure mathematics and the culture of the earthbound evolutionarily programmed biological world into which we are born.
There is a celebrated quip by Dick Cavett that encapsulates this. Reflecting on his famous interview of the then reigning world chess champion, Bobby Fischer, he observed:
'Throughout the interview I could feel the force of his IQ.'
Paraphrasing this I could say that throughout the interview, which was at times exhilarating, at times daunting, I could feel the force of his two hundred QMIQ (quantum mechanics IQ). Norman Mailer once commented that the immediacy of television— the fact that most influential people in the world can be brought into your living room— creates the illusion that you have thereby been included in their inner power circle, and to that extent vicariously empowered. But you are no closer to the corridors of power then you were before. Analogously, you can sit just a few feet away from a world-class expert, close enough to reach out and touch them, but you are no closer to their accumulated wisdom— unless you are willing to go home and put in ten thousand hours of hard work trying to raise the level of your understanding."
Related aesthetics —
"Poincaré said that science is no more a collection of facts
than a house is a collection of bricks. The facts have to be
ordered or structured, they have to fit a theory, a construct
(often mathematical) in the human mind. . . .
… Mathematics may be art, but to the general public it is
a black art, more akin to magic and mystery. This presents
a constant challenge to the mathematical community: to
explain how art fits into our subject and what we mean by beauty.
In attempting to bridge this divide I have always found that
architecture is the best of the arts to compare with mathematics.
The analogy between the two subjects is not hard to describe
and enables abstract ideas to be exemplified by bricks and mortar,
in the spirit of the Poincaré quotation I used earlier."
— Sir Michael Atiyah, "The Art of Mathematics"
in the AMS Notices , January 2010
Thursday, March 3, 2016
A rose on a Harvard University Press book cover (2014) —
A Log24 post's "lotus" (2004) —
A business mandorla (2016) —
It turns out the the picture on the office wall from the
recent film "Spotlight" in last Sunday's 3 PM post
is not of Bellingham, Washington, but rather of La Paz,
Bolivia. See the update at the end of the post.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
"In certain moods the horror of a word is the meaning it defends against all comers; so metaphor is the device by which one undermines that defense. In Stevens’ 'Someone Puts a Pineapple Together,' the someone contemplates 'A wholly artificial nature, in which / The profusion of metaphor has been increased.' If you put a pineapple together and see metaphors becoming more profuse, you release yourself from psychological determinations, you become a performative gesture and are happy to find yourself in that state. But then a scruple may assert itself:
Presumably a bad metaphor murders a good one: bad in the sense of telling lies, ignoring the truths that can’t honorably be ignored."
— Denis Donoghue, "The Motive for Metaphor,"
"In the planes that tilt hard revelations on
The eye, a geometric glitter, tiltings …."
— Wallace Stevens, "Someone Puts a Pineapple Together" (1947)
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
From the latter —
"Semiotics is a game of ascribing meaning, or content, to mere surface."