Log24

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sequel

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

"A sequel lies beyond." — Emily Dickinson —

Actual Being

For example:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Online NY Times
at 10:10 AM today:
“Founder of
 Special Olympics was 88″

Ask a Stupid Question…
______________________

Details, online NY Times front page-- Death of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and 'Oh, Sting, Where Is Thy Death?'

Related material from
this journal, July 30:

'There's a small hotel....'

In the room the women come and go

— Stephen King, The Shining:
The Wasps’ Nest

NY Times today:

NY Times, Aug. 11, 2009-- Wasps' nest illustrating humorous essay 'Oh, Sting, Where Is Thy Death?'

Related material:

Actual Being
(Oct. 25, 2008)

and The Shining
 (reissue, 1977 1st ed.),
page 162:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/090811-TheShining162sm.gif

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday August 2, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 AM
The Dance
at Lughnasa

Jean Butler dances  'On Dangerous Ground'

Related material:

Actual Being
and
Happy Mate Change,
Nicole
.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday January 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:23 AM
Dagger Definitions

From 'Ulysses,' 1922 first edition, page 178-- 'dagger definitions'
 
Midrash by a post-bac:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

“Horseness is
the whatness of allhorse”:
Thingism vs. Thisness

By Amy Peterson

Jacques Derrida once asked the surly and self-revealing question, “Why is it the philosopher who is expected to be easier and not some scientist who is even more inaccessible?” As with philosophers generally, literary critics come with their own inaccessible argot, some terms of which are useful, but most of which are not and only add more loops to literary criticism’s spiraling abstraction. Take for example, James Wood’s neologism thisness (h/t: 3 Quarks Daily):

The project of modernity in Wood’s eyes is largely in revealing the contour and shape, the specific ‘feel’ of that essential mystery. He even borrows a concept from the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus, haecceitas or ‘thisness,’ to explain what he means: ‘By thisness, I mean any detail that draws abstraction toward itself and seems to kill that abstraction with a puff of palpability, any detail that centers our attention with its concretion.’ (my emphasis)

Wood is clearly taking his cue here from the new trend in literary criticism of referring to realism by its etymological meaning, thingism. Where thingism is meant to capture the materialism of late nineteenth and early 20th century Realist literature, thisness, it seems, is meant to capture the basic immaterialism of Modern realist literature. In this, it succeeds. Realism is no longer grounded in the thingism, or material aspect, of reality as it was during the Victorian era. In contemporary literature, it is a “puff of palpability” that hints at reality’s contours but does not disturb our essential understanding of existence as an impalpable mystery. So now we have this term that seems to encompass the Modern approach to reality, but is it useful as an accurate conception of reality (i.e. truth, human existence, and the like), and how are we to judge its accuracy?

I think that, as far as literature is concerned, the test of the term’s accuracy lies in the interpretation of the Modernist texts that Wood champions as truthful but largely abstract depictions of human experience:

‘Kafka’s ‘”Metamorphosis” and Hamsun’s “Hunger” and Beckett’s “Endgame” are not representations of likely or typical human activity but are nevertheless harrowingly truthful texts.’

For brevity’s sake, I’ll pick a passage from a different Modernist text that I think exemplifies the issues involved in the question of thingism and thisness’ reality. In James Joyce’s Ulysses, a pub discussionhttp://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif of art’s purpose arises in which the writer Geoffrey Russell asserts that “Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences”; in his thoughts, Stephen Dedalus prepares to counter this:

Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see. Through spaces smaller than red globules of man’s blood they creepy crawl after [William] Blake’s buttocks into eternity of which this vegetable world is but a shadow. Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

To give my best translation of Stephen-think: The physical being of the horse (“horseness”) grounds the over-arching, abstract idea of the horse (“allhorse”) in reality (“whatness”). God—the ultimate abstraction—is elusive and rarely manifests himself as a material reality (when listening to children playing earlier in the book, Stephen asserts that God is a “shout in the street”). Space—the material world—must be observed to make sense of abstract ideas (like God). Stephen’s opponents who believe that art must depict the abstract and the essential make claims about existence that have very little basis in material reality so that they can grasp at the divine through the work of such famously fantastic artists as William Blake, whose unrealistic poetry and paintings Stephen evidently holds in little esteem here, though he’s kinder to Blake elsewhere. Finally, the present makes concrete the abstract possibilities of the future by turning them into the realities of the past.

Ulysses elucidates the distinction between abstractly based and materially based realism because, while abstract to be sure, Joyce’s writing is deeply rooted in material existence, and it is this material existence which has given it its lasting meaning and influence. The larger point that I’m trying to make here is that material reality gives meaning to the abstract. (As a corollary, the abstract helps us to make sense of material reality.) There can be no truth without meaning, and there can be no meaning without a material form of existence against which to judge abstract ideas. To argue, as Wood does, that the abstract can produce concrete truths with little reference to material reality is to ignore the mutual nature of the relationship between material reality and truth. The more carefully we observe material reality, the more truth we gain from our abstractions of its phenomena, or, to state it in the vocabulary—though not the style—of literary criticism: thisness is a diluted form of thingism, which means that thisness is productive of fewer (and lesser) truths.

http://www.log24.com/images/asterisk8.gif “Space: what you
  damn well
     have to see.”

Amy Peterson
has failed to see
that the unsheathing
of dagger definitions
takes place not in
a pub, but in
The National Library
of Ireland
.

The Russell here is not
Geoffrey but rather
George William Russell,
also known as AE.

Related material:

Yesterday’s Log24 entry
for the Feast of
St. Thomas Aquinas,
Actual Being,”
and the four entries
that preceded it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday January 28, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:59 AM
ACTUAL BEING
continued from
October 25, 2008

John Updike at Boston Public Library, 2006, photo by Robert Spencer for The New York Times
 

"The only wealth he bestowed on his subjects lay in the richness of his descriptive language, the detailed fineness of which won him comparisons with painters like Vermeer and Andrew Wyeth."

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in today's International Herald Tribune  

 

"These people have discovered how to turn dreams into reality. They know how to enter their dream realities. They can stay there, live there, perhaps forever."

— Alfred Bester on the inmates of Ward T in his 1953 short story, "Disappearing Act"

Related material:
"Is Nothing Sacred?"
 

 

When?

Going to dark bed there was a square round Sinbad the Sailor roc's auk's egg in the night of the bed of all the auks of the rocs of Darkinbad the Brightdayler.

Where?

Black disc from end of Ch. 17 in Ulysses

Ulysses, conclusion of Episode 17

 

Cover of 'Through the Vanishing Point,' by Marshall McLuhan and Harley Parker

Happy Feast of
St. Thomas Aquinas.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday October 25, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:01 AM
Actual Being

The New York Times Book Review online today has a review by Sam Tanenhaus of a new John Updike book.

The title of the review (not the book) is "Mr. Wizard."

"John Updike is the great genial sorcerer of American letters. His output alone (60 books, almost 40 of them novels or story collections) has been supernatural. More wizardly still is the ingenuity of his prose. He has now written tens of thousands of sentences, many of them tiny miracles of transubstantiation whereby some hitherto overlooked datum of the human or natural world– from the anatomical to the zoological, the socio-economic to the spiritual– emerges, as if for the first time, in the complete­ness of its actual being."

Rolling Stone interview with Sting, February 7, 1991:

"'I was brought up in a very strong Catholic community,' Sting says. 'My parents were Catholic, and in the Fifties and Sixties, Catholicism was very strong. You know, they say, "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic." In a way I'm grateful for that background. There's a very rich imagery in Catholicism: blood, guilt, death, all that stuff.' He laughs."

http://www.log24.com/log/pix08A/081025-Sting.jpg

RS 597, Feb. 7, 1991

Last night's 12:00 AM
Log24 entry:

Midnight Bingo

From this date six years ago:


It All Adds Up.

From this morning's newspaper,
a religious meditation I had not
seen last night:

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Related material:

Juneteenth through
Midsummer Night, 2007

and

Church of the Forbidden Planet

Saturday October 25, 2008

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

From this date six years ago:

It All Adds Up.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Friday October 25, 2002

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

ART WARS:
Picasso's Birthday

From an art quotes website:

Dore Ashton's Picasso on Art —

"We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,
at least the truth that is given us
to understand." — Pablo Picasso

From "Xanadu" —

"You have to believe we are magic."
— Olivia Newton-John

The Muse
Picasso

 

Soul Kiss
Olivia
Newton-John

 

 

 

A is for Art
Cullinane

 
"A work of art has an author and yet,
when it is perfect, it has something
which is essentially anonymous about it."
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace 

 

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