Log24

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the Snow Queen

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:11 AM

Dark Epiphanies

Part I: 

Part II:

"A Little Boy and a Little Girl," by Hans Christian Andersen
(second story of the seven that make up The Snow Queen )

Part III:

A former Snow White —

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Gentlemen Prefer . . .

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

“What of the night
That lights and dims the stars?
Do you know, Hans Christian,
Now that you see the night?”

— The concluding lines of “Sonatina to Hans Christian,”
by Wallace Stevens (in Harmonium  (second edition, 1931))

“Never a little tea-party of white young lady foxes”
The Snow Queen , by Hans Christian Andersen

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Found …

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:02 PM

( A sequel to the previous post, Lost )

From a link, "A Little Boy and a Little Girl," found in a Log24
search for Andersen + Atlantic

"A few flakes of snow were falling, and one of them, rather larger
than the rest, alighted on the edge of one of the flower boxes.
This snow-flake grew larger and larger, till at last it became
the figure of a woman, dressed in garments of white gauze,
which looked like millions of starry snow-flakes linked together.
She was fair and beautiful, but made of ice—
shining and glittering ice." — "The Snow Queen"

Related material —

Analogue of the little boy from "The Snow Queen" in "Equals" (2015) —

"Nice piece of ice." — Brendan Fraser in
"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (2008).

See also the concept that everything adds up to nothing in
"The Zero Theorem" (2013) 

and the Conway-Norton-Ryba theorem (2017).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Never Stop Exploring.

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM

"And we may see the meadow in December…."

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold;
but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away
all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was
a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed
flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible
ways, for he wanted to make something with them;
just as we have little flat pieces of wood to make
geometrical figures with, called the Chinese Puzzle.
Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated,
for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding.
In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful,
and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass
which was in his eye caused this. He found whole
figures which represented a written word; but he
never could manage to represent just the word
he wanted–that word was "eternity"; and the
Snow Queen had said, "If you can discover that figure,
you shall be your own master, and I will make you
a present of the whole world and a pair of new skates."
But he could not find it out.

— From The Snow Queen , by Hans Christian Andersen

See also the Chinese Puzzle in the previous post.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Art and Theology

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:06 AM

Yesterday's nonsense from The New York Times  suggests
a better example of cultural criticism is needed.  Try this 

The opening paragraph of "The many faces of Pablo Picasso,"
by Peter Conrad, at theguardian.com on Saturday,
7 February, 2009, 19.01 EST* —

"Picasso," the surrealist poet Paul Eluard said,
"paints like God or the devil." Picasso favoured
the first option. "I am God," he was once heard
telling himself. He muttered the mantra three
times, boasting of his power to animate and
enliven the visible world. Any line drawn by
his hand pulsed with vitality; when he looked
at it, a bicycle seat and its handlebar could
suddenly turn into the horned head of a bull.
But he also took a diabolical pleasure in
warping appearances, deforming faces and
twisting bodies, subjecting reality to a
tormenting inquisition.

As noted here, yesterday was the birth date (in 1811) of Galois.
It was also the birth date (in 1881) of Picasso.

Related material from the 2009 date* of the Conrad article —
The Log24 post "Childish Things." For those who deeply
dislike Picasso, there is also an 1880 opening illustration 
to Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen

Story the First,
Which Describes a Looking-Glass
and the Broken Fragments

"You must attend to the commencement
of this story, for when we get to the end
we shall know more than we do now about
a very wicked hobgoblin; he was one of the
very worst, for he was a real demon." 

Houghton Mifflin edition of 1880, Riverside Press, Cambridge

Click the above illustration for related posts in this journal.

* Also dated the following day, to correspond to the 00.01 GMT publication
  time of The Guardian 's Sunday version, The Observer , in which it appeared.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Mirror of Understanding

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 PM

From The Snow Queen , by Hans Christian Andersen

SEVENTH STORY. What Took Place in the Palace of the Snow Queen, and What Happened Afterward

The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent! Mirth never reigned there; there was never even a little bear-ball, with the storm for music, while the polar bears went on their hindlegs and showed off their steps. Never a little tea-party of white young lady foxes; vast, cold, and empty were the halls of the Snow Queen. The northern-lights shone with such precision that one could tell exactly when they were at their highest or lowest degree of brightness. In the middle of the empty, endless hall of snow, was a frozen lake; it was cracked in a thousand pieces, but each piece was so like the other, that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this lake sat the Snow Queen when she was at home; and then she said she was sitting in the Mirror of Understanding, and that this was the only one and the best thing in the world.

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold; but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible ways, for he wanted to make something with them; just as we have little flat pieces of wood to make geometrical figures with, called the Chinese Puzzle. Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated, for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding. In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful, and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this. He found whole figures which represented a written word; but he never could manage to represent just the word he wanted–that word was "eternity"; and the Snow Queen had said, "If you can discover that figure, you shall be your own master, and I will make you a present of the whole world and a pair of new skates." But he could not find it out.

"I am going now to warm lands," said the Snow Queen. "I must have a look down into the black caldrons." It was the volcanoes Vesuvius and Etna that she meant. "I will just give them a coating of white, for that is as it ought to be; besides, it is good for the oranges and the grapes." And then away she flew, and Kay sat quite alone in the empty halls of ice that were miles long, and looked at the blocks of ice, and thought and thought till his skull was almost cracked. There he sat quite benumbed and motionless; one would have imagined he was frozen to death. ….

Related material:

This journal on March 25, 2013:

Images of time and eternity in a 1x4x9 black monolith

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

See More Glass

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM

The first story of "The Snow Queen, in Seven Stories"
by Hans Christian Andersen (1845) (see yesterday morning)—

Story the First,
Which Describes a Looking-Glass
and the Broken Fragments

You must attend to the commencement of this story, for when we get to the end we shall know more than we do now about a very wicked hobgoblin; he was one of the very worst, for he was a real demon.  One day, when he was in a merry mood, he made a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever. The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach, and the people became hideous, and looked as if they stood on their heads and had no bodies. Their countenances were so distorted that no one could recognize them, and even one freckle on the face appeared to spread over the whole of the nose and mouth. The demon said this was very amusing. When a good or pious thought passed through the mind of any one it was misrepresented in the glass; and then how the demon laughed at his cunning invention. All who went to the demon’s school—for he kept a school—talked everywhere of the wonders they had seen, and declared that people could now, for the first time, see what the world and mankind were really like. They carried the glass about everywhere, till at last there was not a land nor a people who had not been looked at through this distorted mirror. They wanted even to fly with it up to heaven to see the angels, but the higher they flew the more slippery the glass became, and they could scarcely hold it, till at last it slipped from their hands, fell to the earth, and was broken into millions of pieces. But now the looking-glass caused more unhappiness than ever, for some of the fragments were not so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about the world into every country. When one of these tiny atoms flew into a person’s eye, it stuck there unknown to him, and from that moment he saw everything through a distorted medium, or could see only the worst side of what he looked at, for even the smallest fragment retained the same power which had belonged to the whole mirror. Some few persons even got a fragment of the looking-glass in their hearts, and this was very terrible, for their hearts became cold like a lump of ice. A few of the pieces were so large that they could be used as window-panes; it would have been a sad thing to look at our friends through them. Other pieces were made into spectacles; this was dreadful for those who wore them, for they could see nothing either rightly or justly. At all this the wicked demon laughed till his sides shook—it tickled him so to see the mischief he had done. There were still a number of these little fragments of glass floating about in the air, and now you shall hear what happened with one of them.

 "Was there more to come? Was I done?
I wondered if I had dreamed
the connectedness of Being
the night before, or if now, awake,
I dreamed distinctions.
I didn’t know where I was for an instant."

"Alethia," by Charles Johnson, as
     quoted by Eve Tushnet on Aug. 22, 2013

Tushnet on Johnson —

"Somebody–I hope a commenter will remind me who it was–
has suggested that the Left typically thinks in terms of an
opposition between oppression and liberation, whereas
the right typically thinks in terms of an opposition between
civilization and barbarism. I would reframe the latter opposition
as order vs. chaos; if we do that, it’s obvious that both
oppositions are unrelentingly relevant, yet few thinkers or artists
are able to hold both conflicts before our eyes at once.

I just finished Charles Johnson’s 1986 short-story collection 
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Tales and Conjurations ,
a bag of broken glass which is equal parts liberationist and
reactionary, yearning for freedom and knuckling under to fatalism." 

Related material —

Saturday Night Live, Dec. 11, 1976

Consumer Reporter: Alright. Fine. Fine. Well, we'd like to show you another  one of Mr. Mainway's products. It retails for $1.98, and it's called Bag O' Glass. [ holds up bag of glass ] Mr. Mainway, this is simply a bag of jagged, dangerous, glass bits.

Irwin Mainway: Yeah, right, it's you know, it's glass, it's broken glass, you know? It sells very well, as a matter of fact, you know? It's just broken glass, you know?

Consumer Reporter: [ laughs ] I don't understand. I mean, children could seriously cut themselves on any one of these pieces!

Irwin Mainway: Yeah, well, look – you know, the average kid, he picks up, you know, broken glass anywhere, you know? The beach, the street, garbage cans, parking lots, all over the place in any big city. We're just packaging what the kids want! I mean, it's a creative toy, you know? If you hold this up, you know, you see colors, every color of the rainbow! I mean, it teaches him about light refraction, you know? Prisms, and that stuff! You know what I mean?

Tommy Lee Jones perhaps knows what Mainway means.
Kristen Wiig (see Aug. 22, 2013, in this  journal) perhaps does not.

See also Tushnet on The Man in the High Castle  as well as
Tommy Lee Jones and Hexagram 61.

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