Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Tuesday November 26, 2002

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

Notes toward a Supreme Fact

In "Notes toward a Supreme Fiction," Wallace Stevens lists criteria for a work of the imagination:

  • It Must Be Abstract
  • It Must Change
  • It Must Give Pleasure.

For a work that seems to satisfy these criteria, see the movable images at my diamond theory website. Central to these images is the interplay of rational sides and irrational diagonals in square subimages.

"Logos and logic, crystal hypothesis,
 Incipit and a form to speak the word
 And every latent double in the word…."

— "Notes toward a Supreme Fiction," Section 1, Canto VIII

Recall that "logos" in Greek means "ratio," as well as (human or divine) "word." Thus when I read the following words of Simone Weil today, I thought of Stevens.

"The beautiful in mathematics resides in contradiction.   Incommensurability, logoi alogoi , was the first splendor in mathematics."

— Simone Weil, Oeuvres Choisies , éd. Quarto, Gallimard, 1999, p. 100



In the conclusion of Section 3, Canto X, of "Notes," Stevens says

"They will get it straight one day at the Sorbonne.
 We shall return at twilight from the lecture
 Pleased that the irrational is rational…."

This is the logoi alogoi  of Simone Weil.

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