Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hex Witch

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:03 PM

The new Netflix film “Enola Holmes” is from a book by Nancy Springer.
Also by Springer:

See that title in this journal.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday July 17, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Habeas Corpus
The Hex Witch of Seldom,
by Nancy Springer:

Hex Witch of Seldom - Excerpt on squares of breadT

Log24 on 9/11, 2003

Here is a rhetorical exercise
for Jesuits that James Joyce
might appreciate:

Discuss Bobbi’s “little squares”
of bread as the Body of Christ.
Formulate, using Santayana’s
criteria, a definition of beauty
that includes this sacrament.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday December 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:15 AM
Christmas Reflections
for Julie Taymor
  (creator of
 Broadway’s “Lion King
and of the film “Frida“)

Adam Gopnik on Narnia in The New Yorker:

“Everything began with images,” Lewis wrote.

Julie Taymor on “Frida”:

“We’re not here to stick a mirror on you. Anybody can do that, We’re here to give you a more cubist or skewed mirror, where you get to see yourself with fresh eyes. That’s what an artist does. When you paint the Crucifixion, you’re not painting an exact reproduction.”

Images for Julie Taymor:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051213-Quartet.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Today’s New York Times on Debora Arango, an artist who died at 98 on Dec. 4 at her home near Medellin, Colombia:

“She made dramatic paintings of prostitutes, which shocked midcentury sensibilities….”

“Ms. Arango always pushed boundaries, even as a young girl. In a favorite story, she talked about how she wore pants to ride horses….”

Related material: Yesterday’s entry “Modestly Yours” and entries on Johnny Cash, horses, and Julie Taymor of September 12-14, 2003.

“Words are events.”

Walter J. Ong, Society of Jesus
Concluding Unscientific Postscript
at noon on St. Lucy’s Day:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051213-Nutcracker.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“They are the horses of a dream.
 They are not what they seem.”

The Hex Witch of Seldom, page 16

Monday, September 15, 2003

Monday September 15, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:15 PM

All the King's Horses

Johnny Cash's funeral was today.

Today is also the feast day of the Protestant saint Robert Penn Warren.

Here is how Stanley Kubrick might
make a memorial stone for Cash.


"He is
the outlaw
the people
the hero
in black."


Hex Witch
of Seldom

The title of this entry, "All the King's Horses," is of course a slightly altered version of the title of Robert Penn Warren's famous novel.  For the connection with horses, see my entries of

September 12, 2003, and of

September 5, 2002.

See also 

The Journey Westward and

Into the West,

as well as the beginning of Mark Helprin's novel

Winter's Tale:

"There was a white horse, on a quiet winter morning when snow covered the streets gently…." 

Friday, September 12, 2003

Friday September 12, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 PM

Into the Sunset

I just learned of Johnny’s Cash’s death.  On Google News, the headline was  Johnny Cash rides into sunset.  The source was the Bangkok Post.

“Don’t you know that
when you play at this level
there’s no ordinary venue.”

One Night in Bangkok (midi)

No Ordinary Venue

“They are the horses of a dream.
 They are not what they seem.”

The Hex Witch of Seldom, page 16

A Singer 7-Cycle
A Singer

The Magnificent Seven:


“the adventures of filming this epic
on location in Cuernavaca, Mexico.”

“He is the outlaw the people love,
the hero dressed in black.”

The Hex Witch of Seldom,
by Nancy Springer, page 15

“Words are events.”

Walter J. Ong, Society of Jesus 

“…search for thirty-three and three…”
The Black Queen in The Eight

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Thursday September 11, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:25 PM


Walter J. Ong


Upon learning of the recent death of Walter J. Ong, S. J., philosopher of language, I ordered a copy of his book

Hopkins, the Self, and God
University of Toronto Press, 1986.

As the reader of my previous entry will discover, I have a very low opinion of the literary skills of the first Christians.   This sect’s writing has, however, improved in the past two millennia.

Despite my low opinion of the early Christians, I am still not convinced their religion is totally unfounded.  Hence my ordering of the Ong book.  Since then, I have also ordered two other books, reflecting my interests in philosophical fiction (see previous entry) and in philosophy itself:

Philosophical fiction —

The Hex Witch of Seldom,
by Nancy Springer,
Penguin Putnam Inc., 2002
(See 1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

Philosophy —

by Richard Robinson,
Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford,
Oxford U. Press, 1954, reprinted 1962.

Following the scientific advice of Niels Bohr and Freeman Dyson, I articulated on April 25, 2003, a mad theory of the mystical significance of the number 162.

Here is that theory applied to the three works named above, all three of which I received, synchronistically, today.

Page 162 of Hopkins, the Self, and God is part of the long list of references at the back of the book.  Undiscouraged by the seeming insignificance (vide my note Dogma) of this page, I looked more closely.  Behold, there was Christ…  Carol T. Christ, that is, author of The Finer Optic: The Aesthetic of Particularity in Victorian Poetry, Yale University Press, 1975. “Particularity” seemed an apt description of my “162” approach to literature, so I consulted Christ’s remarks as described in the main body of Ong’s book.

Particularity according to Christ —

“Victorian particularist aesthetics has prospered to the present time, and not only in novels.  The isolated, particularized, unique ‘good moment’ [Christ, 105], the flash of awareness at one particular instant in just the right setting, which Hopkins celebrates….”

— Ong, Hopkins, the Self, and God, p. 14

I highly recommend the rest of Ong’s remarks on particularity.

Turning to the other two of the literary trinity of books I received today….

Page 162 of The Hex Witch of Seldom has the following:

“There was a loaf of Stroehmann’s Sunbeam Bread in the grocery sack also; she and Witchie each had several slices.  Bobbi folded and compressed hers into little squares and popped each slice into her mouth all at once.”

The religious significance of this passage seems, in Ong’s Jesuit context, quite clear.

Page 162 of Definition has the following:

“Real Definition as the Search for a Key.  Mr. Santayana, in his book on The Sense of Beauty, made the following extremely large demands on real definition:

‘A definition <of beauty> that should really define must be nothing less than the exposition of the origin, place, and elements of beauty as an object of human experience.  We must learn from it, as far as possible, why, when, and how beauty appears, what conditions an object must fulfil to be beautiful, what elements of our nature make us sensible of beauty, and what the relation is between the constitution of the object and the excitement of our sensibility.  Nothing less will really define beauty or make us understand what aesthetic appreciation is.  The definition of beauty in this sense will be the task of this whole book, a task that can be only very imperfectly accomplished within its limits.’ ”

Here is a rhetorical exercise for Jesuits that James Joyce might appreciate:

Discuss Bobbi’s “little squares” of bread as the Body of Christ.  Formulate, using Santayana’s criteria, a definition of beauty that includes this sacrament.

Refer, if necessary, to
the log24.net entries
Mr. Holland’s Week and Elegance.

Refrain from using the phrase
“scandal of particularity”
unless you can use it as well as
Annie Dillard.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

Sunday September 7, 2003

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

Horse Sense

Mathematicians are familiar with the emblem of Springer Verlag, the principal publisher of higher mathematics.

Ferdinand Springer, son of Julius Springer, founder of Springer Verlag, “was a passionate chess player and published a number of books on the subject. In 1881 this personal hobby and the name Springer led the company to adopt the knight in chess (in German, Springer) as its colophon.”

Hermann Hesse on a certain sort of serenity:

“I would like to say something more to you about cheerful serenity, the serenity of the stars and of the mind…. neither frivolity nor complacency; it is supreme insight and love, affirmation of all reality, alertness on the brink of all depths and abysses; it is a virtue of saints and of knights; it is indestructible and only increases with age and nearness to death. It is the secret of beauty and the real substance of all art.”

— From The Glass Bead Game

A saint and a knight, Jeanne d’Arc, was memorably portrayed by Milla Jovovich in The Messenger.

(Jovovich seems fated to play more-than-human characters in religious epics; see The Fifth Element.)

Another Springer, related to horses and to the accusation of witchcraft faced by Jeanne d’Arc, is Nancy Springer, the author of

The Hex Witch of Seldom.

Springer has written a number of books about horses, as well as other topics.

All of the above…. especially the parts having to do with mathematics and horses… was prompted by my redrawing today of a horse-shape within mathematics.  See my entry The Eight of April 4, 2003, and the horse-figure redrawn at right below.





Believers in the story theory of truth may wish to relate the gifts of Jeanne d’Arc and of the girl in The Hex Witch of Seldom to the legend of Pegasus.  See, for instance,

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

For another connection between mathematics and horses, see Sangaku.

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