Log24

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Perception of Coincidence

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:15 AM

Ellmann on Joyce and 'the perception of coincidence' —

"Samuel Beckett has remarked that to Joyce reality was a paradigm,
an illustration of a possibly unstatable rule. Yet perhaps the rule
can be surmised. It is not a perception of order or of love; more humble
than either of these, it is the perception of coincidence. According to
this rule, reality, no matter how much we try to manipulate it, can only
assume certain forms; the roulette wheel brings up the same numbers
again and again; everyone and everything shift about in continual
movement, yet movement limited in its possibilities."

— Richard Ellmann, James Joyce , rev. ed.. Oxford, 1982, p. 551

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Possible Permutations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:18 PM

John Calder, an independent British publisher who built a prestigious list
of authors like Samuel Beckett and Heinrich Böll and spiritedly defended
writers like Henry Miller against censorship, died on Aug. 13 in Edinburgh.
He was 91.

— Richard Sandomir in the online New York Times  this evening

On Beckett

http://www.log24.com/log/pix18/180819-Joyce-Possible_Permutations-Cambridge_Companion-2004-p168.gif

Also on August 13th

http://www.log24.com/log/pix18/180813-Knight_Moves-080116-page-top.gif

Saturday, June 16, 2018

For June 16

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

"But perhaps the desire for story
is what gets us into trouble to begin with."

Sarah Marshall on June 5, 2018

"Beckett wrote that Joyce believed fervently in
the significance of chance events and of
random connections. ‘To Joyce reality was a paradigm,
an illustration of a possibly unstateable rule
According to this rule, reality, no matter how much
we try to manipulate it, can only shift about
in continual movement, yet movement
limited in its possibilities’ giving rise to
‘the notion of the world where unexpected simultaneities
are the rule.’ In other words, a coincidence  is actually
just part of a continually moving pattern, like a kaleidoscope.
Or Joyce likes to put it, a ‘collideorscape’."

— Gabrielle Carey, "Breaking Up with James Joyce,"
Sydney Review of Books , 15 June 2018

Carey's carelessness with quotations suggests a look at another
author's quoting of Ellmann on Joyce

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Multifaceted . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

. . . Con Figuras de Espantar

"He Who Searches  is multifaceted in structure …"

Publisher's description of a Helen Lane translation
of "Como en la Guerra ," by Luisa Valenzuela
Also by Valenzuela —

Related material — An obituary from The Boston Globe  today
on the April 5 death of Borinsky's translator, and . . .

"He Who Searches" may consult also posts tagged Date.

Friday, December 29, 2017

On Becket’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:22 PM

For those who prefer Becket to Beckett
See a Log24 search for True Grid.

Update of 1:37 PM —

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Talent Scout

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:05 PM

"Looking for what was, where it used to be" — Wallace Stevens

Sunday, January 4, 2015

As It Were

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:00 PM

A search for antimetaphoric  yields

"And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder."

See also other instances of "As It Were" in this journal.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Confession of a Sucker

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Today's 11 AM (ET) post was suggested by a New York Times
article, online yesterday, about art gallery owner Lisa Cooley.

A check of Cooley's website yields the image below,
related to Beckett's Molloy .

For the relevant passage from Molloy , click the following:

"I took advantage of being at the seaside
 to lay in a store of sucking-stones.
"

For posts on Molloy  in this journal, click Beckett + Molloy .

Cynthia Daignault, 2011:
The one I shall now describe, if I can…
Oil on linen, in 2 parts: 40 x 30 inches, 96 x 75 inches

Related art theory —

Geometry of the 4×4 Square 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quad*

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 6:29 AM

IMAGE- The Klein Four-Group, 'Vierergruppe': the group's four elements in four colors. Blue, red, green arrows represent pairs of transpositions, and the four black points, viewed as stationary, represent the identity.

* Update of 8 PM Nov. 19:
   The title refers to a work by Beckett.
  "There is nothing outside itself that Quad
   might be about." — Sue Wilson.
   The Klein group is not so limited.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Four-Gated Song

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:29 AM

In the spirit of Beckett:

"Bobbies on bicycles two by two…" — Roger Miller, 1965

The Literary Field

A mathematics weblog in Australia today—

Clearly, the full symmetric group contains elements
with no regular cycles, but what about other groups?  
Siemons and Zalesskii showed that for any group 
G 
between PSL(n,q) and PGL(n,q) other than for
(n,q)=(2,2) or (2,3), then in any action of 
G, every
element of 
 has a  regular cycle, except G=PSL(4,2)
acting on  8 points.  The exceptions are due to
isomorphisms with the symmetric or alternating groups. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rated X

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM

New York Times  theater critic Ben Brantley
last night at 10 PM ET on the opening of a
play by Samuel Beckett —

"The cause of this incontinent mirth?
The dirtiest joke of all time. I mean life itself.

No playwright of the 20th century, and quite
possibly ever, has told this joke with the
clarity, simplicity and richness of Beckett."

Related material — This journal yesterday.

See also Lead Balloon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Frame Tale

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:24 PM

From an academic's website:

IMAGE- Remarks by Paul Hertz, alias Ignotus the Mage

For Josefine Lyche and Ignotus the Mage,
as well as Rose the Hat and other Zingari shoolerim —

Sabbatha hanti, lodsam hanti, cahanna risone hanti :
words that had been old when the True Knot moved
across Europe in wagons, selling peat turves and trinkets.
They had probably been old when Babylon was young.
The girl was powerful, but the True was all-powerful,
and Rose anticipated no real problem.

— King, Stephen (2013-09-24).
     Doctor Sleep: A Novel
     (pp. 278-279). Scribner. Kindle Edition. 

From a post of November 10, 2008:

Twenty-four Variations on a Theme of Plato

Twenty-four Variations on a Theme of Plato,
a version by Barry Sharples based on the earlier
kaleidoscope puzzle  version of Steven H. Cullinane

The King and the Corpse  —

"The king asked, in compensation for his toils
during this strangest of all the nights he had
ever known, that the twenty-four riddle tales
told him by the specter, together with the story
of the night itself, should be made known
over the whole earth and remain eternally
famous among men."

Frame Tale: 

Finnegans Wake  —

"The quad gospellers may own the targum
but any of the Zingari shoolerim may pick a peck
of kindlings yet from the sack of auld hensyne."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Crossword Omen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:48 AM

August 30, 11:01 AM  Comment-Worthy

August 30, 12:00 PM  Hymn

August 30, 7:20 PM  Her

August 31, 8:23 PM  What Where

September 1, 5:48 AM  The Crossword Omen —

IMAGE- Crossword Nexus site, with top photo of word 'OMEN,' giving 'BUM' as the leading possible answer to the clue 'London derriere'

Related material: A critic's remarks on the missing character "Bum"
in Beckett's play "What Where" and Rimbaud on the vowel "U"—

(Click to enlarge.)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

What Where

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:23 PM

The news item at lower right in the above image, with the phrase "surprise U-turn,"
suggests some remarks related to this summer's Enniskillen festival.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Moran and Molloy

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM

MORAN

IMAGE- Story on jazz pianist Jason Moran in The New Yorker of March 11, 2013

MOLLOY

"I lived in the garden. I have spoken of a voice
telling me things. I was getting to know it better
now, to understand what it wanted. It did not
use the words that Moran had been taught
when he was little and that he in his turn had
taught to his little one. So that at first I did not
know what it wanted. But in the end I understood
this language. I understood it, I understood it,
all wrong perhaps. That is not what matters.
It told me to write the report. Does this mean
I am freer now than I was? I do not know.
I shall learn. Then I went back into the house
and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on
the windows. It was not midnight. It was not
raining."

Molloy , by Samuel Beckett

The above excerpts are in memory of some wordplay
in this journal on March 2, of a sneering joke in the 
Daily Princetonian  on March 11, and of a possible saint
who reportedly died around midnight on the night of
March 13-14. 

See also the morning of March 13.

Note, at the end of the Princetonian  piece, a comment
worthy of Beckett

"These words. They've been played on."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Westward

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:18 AM

"Fail better." — Samuel Beckett, "Worstward Ho"

"West. And slowly." — Stage direction for a Christmas carol

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Interpreter

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:11 PM

IMAGE- Obituaries featuring an 'intrepid interpreter of Beckett' who died Nov. 27, 2012

Related material: The Revisiting (December 3rd, 2012)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Contenders:

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 PM

A Meditation on Harvard, Pi, and Rhetoric

Recall that pi equals 3.14159… "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera." —The King and I

IMAGE- Oscar contenders- NY Times photos of 'Social Network,' 'Black Swan,' and 'King's Speech'

Related material—

When the Man Comes Around

"It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

More Pricks Than Kicks

Happy birthday from Samuel Beckett to Johnny Cash.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Now Lens (continued)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:48 AM

"…the farther back we manage to wiggle
 the more we need the loan of a lens…." —Finnegans Wake

For some background on the lens below, see the sermon on February 20th, 2011.

Image-- The Asterisk of Evil

Finnegans Wake

“The quad gospellers may own the targum but any of the Zingari shoolerim
 may pick a peck of kindlings yet from the sack of auld hensyne.”

The above "Zingari shoolerim" passage was quoted here in Frame Tales (November 10th, 2008).

That post concerned the Heinrich Zimmer tale "The King and the Corpse." Some related material—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110224-CorpseRiddle.jpg

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stations of the Clock

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Notices of the American Mathematical Society , March 2011

An Example

As a final example, here is a brief outline of curriculum
material based on certain games for the topic
of modular arithmetic….

The curriculum begins with a game called Winding
Around Positions. There are twelve stations
that could represent hours on a clock or the Chinese
years zodiac. A reference station is selected
(in general, selections are made by the class with
some input from the teacher), and one student
sits at that station throughout the game.

Related material—

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110216-Exagmination.jpg

See also Crucified on the Wheel of Time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Class of 64

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Samuel Beckett on Dante and Joyce:

"Another point of comparison is the preoccupation
  with the significance of numbers."

"If I'd been out 'til quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?"

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100710--HustonBoard.GIF

Happy birthday to Sue Lyon (Night of the Iguana, 1964)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday October 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:00 AM
Wakes


This morning’s New York Times
reports the deaths of Nuremberg interrogator Richard W. Sonnenfeldt and of avant-garde novelist and Beckett scholar Raymond Federman.

Symbols from this journal on the dates of their deaths:

For Sonnenfeldt, who died
 on Friday, Oct. 9,
a symbol from that date:

The 3x3 grid as religious symbol


For connotations of the symbol appropriate to the name Sonnenfeldt, see the link to A Sunrise for Sunrise in the entry of Saturday, Oct. 10.

For Federman, who died
 on Tuesday, Oct. 6,
a symbol from that date:

Black monolith

A quotation that appeared here on Wednesday, Oct. 7, seems relevant to Federman:

But I am a worker, a tombstone mason, anxious to pleace averyburies and jully glad when Christmas comes his once ayear. You are a poorjoist, unctuous to polise nopebobbies….

— James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday February 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:22 PM
Another Manic Monday
McGee and Smee 

Project MUSE —

and interpretations, “any of the
Zingari shoolerim [gypsy schoolchildren]
may pick a peck of kindlings yet from the
sack of auld hensyne” (FW 112.4-8).

— Patrick McGee, “Reading Authority:
Feminism and Joyce,” MFS: Modern
Fiction Studies
— Volume 35, Number 3,
Fall 1989, pp. 421-436, The Johns Hopkins
University Press

McGee Thanks the Academy:

“The ulterior motive behind this essay [“Reading Authority,” above], the purpose for which I seize this occasion, concerns the question or problem of authority. I stress at the outset my understanding of authority as the constructed repository of value or foundation of a system of values, the final effect of fetishism– in this case, literary fetishism. [Cf. Marx, Das Kapital] Reading– as in the phrase ‘reading authority’– should be grasped as the institutionally determined act of constructing authority….”

Wikipedia:

“[In Peter Pan] Smee is Captain Hook’s right-hand man… Barrie describes him as ‘Irish’ and ‘a man who stabbed without offence‘….”

Background: In yesterday’s morning entry, James Joyce as Jesuit, with “Dagger Definitions.”

A different Smee appears as an art critic in yesterday’s afternoon entry “Design Theory.”–

Smee Stabs Without Offence:

“Brock, who has a brisk mind, is a man on a mission. He read mathematical economics and political philosophy at Princeton (he has five degrees in all) and is the founder and president of Strategic Economic Decisions Inc., a think tank specializing in applying the economics of uncertainty to forecasting and risk assessment.

But phooey to all that; Brock has deeper things to think about. He believes he has cracked the secret of beautiful design. He even has equations and graphs to prove it.”

A Jesuit in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:

“When may we expect to have something from you on the esthetic question?”

Beckett Bethicketted:

“Our entanglement in the wilderness of Finnegans Wake is exemplified by the neologism ‘Bethicket.’ This word condenses a range of possible meanings and reinforces a diversity of possible syntactic interpretations. Joyce seems to allude to Beckett, creating a portmanteau word that melds ‘Beckett’ with ‘thicket’ (continuing the undergrowth metaphor), ‘thick’ (adding mental density to floral density)…. As a single word ‘Bethicket’ contains the confusion that its context suggests. On the one hand, ‘Bethicket me for a stump of a beech’ has the sound of a proverbial expletive that might mean something like ‘I’ll be damned’ or ‘Well, I’ll be a son of a gun.’….”

Stephen Dilks

Winslet, Penn, and Cruz at the Oscars, 2009

At the Oscars, 2009

Related material:

Frame Tales and Dickung

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — 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.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday November 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:31 AM

Frame Tales

From June 30

("Will this be on the test?")

Frame Tale One:

Summer Reading

The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil

Subtitle:
Tales of the Soul's
Conquest of Evil

Frame Tale Two:

Barry Sharples
on his version of the
  Kaleidoscope Puzzle

Background:

"A possible origin of this puzzle is found in a dialogue
 between Socrates and Meno written by the Greek philosopher,
 Plato, where a square is drawn inside
a square such that
the blue square is twice the area  of the yellow square.

Plato's Diamond

Colouring the triangles produces a starting pattern
which is a one-diamond figure made up of four tiles
and there are 24 different possible arrangements."

Twenty-four Variations on a Theme of Plato

The King and the Corpse  —

"The king asked, in compensation for his toils during this strangest
of all the nights he had ever known, that the twenty-four riddle tales
told him by the specter, together with the story of the night itself,
should be made known over the whole earth
and remain eternally famous among men."

Frame Tale Three:

Finnegans Wake

"The quad gospellers may own the targum
but any of the Zingari shoolerim may pick a peck
of kindlings yet from the sack of auld hensyne."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday June 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM
Random Walk with
X's and O's

Part I: Random Walk

NY Lottery June 23, 2008: Mid-day 322, Evening 000

Part II: X's

3/22:

Actor contemplating the Chi-rho Page of the Book of Kells

"Shakespeare, Rilke, Joyce,
Beckett and Levi-Strauss are
instances of authors for whom
chiasmus and chiastic thinking
are of central importance,
for whom chiasmus is a
generator of meaning,
tool of discovery and
  philosophical template."
 
— Chiasmus in the
Drama of Life

Part III: O's —

A Cartoon Graveyard
in honor of the late
Gene Persson

Today's Garfield

Garfield cartoon of June 24, 2008

See also
Midsummer Eve's Dream:

"The meeting is closed
with the lord's prayer
and refreshments are served."

Producer of plays and musicals
including Album and
The Ruling Class

Lower case in honor of
Peter O'Toole, star of
the film version of
The Ruling Class.

(This film, together with
O'Toole's My Favorite Year,
may be regarded as epitomizing
Hollywood's Jesus for Jews.)

Those who prefer
less randomness
in their religion
 may consult O'Toole's
more famous film work
involving Islam,
as well as
the following structure
discussed here on
the date of Persson's death:

5x5 ultra super magic square

"The Moslems thought of the
central 1 as being symbolic
of the unity of Allah.
"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday November 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:44 AM
Death on a Friday

and the
Magic of Numbers

PA Lottery Friday, Nov. 16, 2007: Midday 717, Evening 419

Above: PA Lottery on
Friday, November 16th,
the date of death
for noted leftist attorney
Victor Rabinowitz

“Mr. Rabinowitz was a member
of the Communist Party
from 1942 until the early 1960s,
he wrote in his memoir,
Unrepentant Leftist (1996).
He said the party
seemed the best vehicle
to fight for social justice.”

The New York Times,
 Nov. 20, 2007

Related material:

7/17,
4/19,
and
 Friday.

From the Harvard Crimson on Friday:

“Robert Scanlan, a professor of theater
who knew Beckett personally,
directed the plays….
He said that performing Beckett as part of
the New College Theatre’s inaugural series
represents an auspicious beginning.”

From Log24 on 4/19–
Drama Workshop“–
a note of gratitude
from the Virginia Tech killer:

“Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ,
to inspire generations of the weak
and the defenseless people.”

“It’s not for me. For my children,
for my brothers and sisters…
I did it for them.”

Manifesto of Cho  

Party on, Victor.

For further drama, see

The Crimson Passion.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday November 16, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:07 PM
Sacralizing the Place:
Love, Age, and a Face

Yesterday evening was, according to today’s Harvard Crimson, “the opening night of three usually neglected works by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. The three plays, originally produced in April 2006 to commemorate what would have been Beckett’s 100th birthday, were part of the inaugural series for the New College Theatre. Robert Scanlan, a professor of theater who knew Beckett personally, directed the plays…. He said that performing Beckett as part of the New College Theatre’s inaugural series represents an auspicious beginning. ‘I personally think it sacralizes the place to perform Beckett here,’ he said.”

“The first play, ‘Words and Music,’ displayed the frustrations of the creative process: a writer, Joe, and Bob, a character personified by [a] musical trio, worked with and against each other to create art.

The duo first tried to capture love through words, but Joe’s attempts quickly descended into clichés.

Then, Joe and Bob tried to capture age, but they failed there too.

Finally, they tried to capture ‘the face’– a vision of a lost love. While they were able to achieve some meaning, this soon came to an abrupt end when the elderly man who’d been leading their creative endeavor simply stood up and walked away.”

BONNIE J. KAVOUSSI

Related material:

Log24 on
Holy Thursday 2006
:
the alleged centenary
of Beckett’s birth

Catholic Tastes

Pasta Monster Gets
Academic Attention

(Today’s NY Times)

An Elderly Man

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday April 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Today's sermon

Samuel Beckett on Dante and Joyce:

"Another point of comparison is the preoccupation with the significance of numbers. The death of Beatrice inspired nothing less than a highly complicated poem dealing with the importance of the number 3 in her life. Dante never ceased to be obsessed by this number. Thus the poem is divided into three Cantiche, each composed of 33 Canti…. Why, Mr. Joyce seems to say, should…. the Armistice be celebrated at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? He cannot tell you because he is not God Almighty, but in a thousand years he will tell you… He is conscious that things with a common numerical characteristic tend towards a very significant interrelationship. This preoccupation is freely translated in his present work…."

— "Dante… Bruno. Vico.. Joyce," in James Joyce/Finnegans Wake: A Symposium (1929), New Directions paperback, 1972

See also Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday March 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM
Chess Letter:
x

Queen sacrifice

Click on a picture
for the meaning of
the chess notation.
 
“Shakespeare, Rilke, Joyce,
Beckett and Levi-Strauss are
instances of authors for whom
chiasmus and chiastic thinking
are of central importance,
for whom chiasmus is a
generator of meaning,
tool of discovery and
  philosophical template.”
 
— Chiasmus in the Drama of Life

Friday, August 4, 2006

Friday August 4, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 PM
Quad
by
Samuel Beckett:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060804-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click on the
figure for details.

“I am always about
in the Quad”
–God

(Rhyme attributed to
Monsignor Ronald
Arbuthnott Knox)

Related material:
the previous entry,
an article subtitled
Beckett’s Private Purgatories
in this week’s New Yorker,
Quine in Purgatory,
and Logos and Logic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday June 27, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:31 AM
Chinese Jar
Revisited

In memory of
Irving Kaplansky,
who died on
Sunday, June 25, 2006

“Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.”

T. S. Eliot


Kaplansky received his doctorate in mathematics at Harvard in 1941 as the first Ph.D. student of Saunders Mac Lane.

From the April 25, 2005, Harvard Crimson:

Ex-Math Prof Mac Lane, 95, Dies

Gade University Professor of Mathematics Barry Mazur, a friend of the late Mac Lane, recalled that [a Mac Lane paper of 1945] had at first been rejected from a lower-caliber mathematical journal because the editor thought that it was “more devoid of content” than any other he had read.

“Saunders wrote back and said, ‘That’s the point,'” Mazur said. “And in some ways that’s the genius of it. It’s the barest, most Beckett-like vocabulary that incorporates the theory and nothing else.”

He likened it to a sparse grammar of nouns and verbs and a limited vocabulary that is presented “in such a deft way that it will help you understand any language you wish to understand and any language will fit into it.”

A sparse grammar of lines from Charles Sanders Peirce (Harvard College, class of 1859):

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/PeirceBox.bmp” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/PeirceSymbols1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

It is true of this set of binary connectives, as it is true of logic generally, that (as alleged above of Mac Lane’s category theory) “it will help you understand any language you wish to understand and any language will fit into it.” Of course, a great deal of questionable material has been written about these connectives. (See, for instance, Piaget and De Giacomo.) For remarks on the connectives that are not questionable, see Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (English version, 1922), section 5.101, and Knuth’s “Boolean Basics” (draft, 2006).

Related entry: Binary Geometry.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday March 18, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:07 PM

ART WARS:
The Crimson Passion continues…

How to Grow
a Crimson Clover

Published in the Harvard Crimson
on Thursday, March 16, 2006, 6:24 PM
by Patrick R. Chesnut,
Crimson staff writer


Stephen Dedalus, James Joyce’s literary alter ego, once described the trappings of Irish culture as nets that hold a soul back from flight. By his standards, Harvard has soared.

Irish culture has been an indelible part of Boston, but the names on our red-brick buildings tell a different story: Adams, Lowell, Winthrop. It would be easy to assume that for Harvard students, Irish culture consists of little more than guzzling alcohol in Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub or at St. Patrick’s Day Stein Club.

Recently, however, a small but lively Irish subculture, centered on Celtic music and language, has been developing at Harvard. But despite its vivacity, it remains largely unnoticed by the broader student body.

Efforts by groups like the Harvard College Celtic Club and by the producers of the upcoming Loeb mainstage of J.M. Synge’s “The Playboy of the Western World” may be just the sort of first step needed to finally make Harvard a place where Irish artistic culture lives….

REACHING OUT

“The Playboy”– which will run from April 28 through May 6– revolves around the disruption of life in a provincial Irish village when an outsider arrives with an extravagant story. All points converge at this play’s production: members of the Celtic Club coordinated and will perform the play’s music, the producers hope to draw Boston’s Irish community, and the production will present Harvard’s students with a script deeply entrenched in Irish history, but that boasts a universal appeal.

As Kelly points out, the Irish roots of “The Playboy” are clearer than in the plays of the nominally Irish, but Francophone, absurdist writer Samuel Beckett. And unlike the plays of Sean O’Casey, which are extremely rooted in Irish culture, “The Playboy” boasts a visceral appeal that will be accessible to Harvard students.

From a site linked to in yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day sermon as the keys to the kingdom:

“In the western world, we tend to take for granted our musical scale, formed of whole tone and half tone steps. These steps are arranged in two ways: the major scale and the minor.”

From the obituary in today’s online New York Times of fashion designer Oleg Cassini, who died at 92 on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2006:

“… he was always seen in the company of heiresses, debutantes, showgirls, ingenues. Between, before or after [his first] two marriages, he dated young starlets like Betty Grable and Lana Turner and actresses like Ursula Andress and Grace Kelly, to whom he was briefly engaged.

‘He was a true playboy, in the Hollywood sense,’ said Diane von Furstenberg, the fashion designer and a friend of Mr. Cassini’s. ‘Well into his 90’s, he was a flirt.'”

“How strange the change from major to minor…
      Ev’ry time we say goodbye.”
   — Cole Porter

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Thursday June 2, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:00 PM
The Barest Vocabulary
at the Altar of Facts

From Log24,
April 28, 2005:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050310-hex.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(See also Log24,
April 5, 2005.)
 
Compare this diagram with that of
Samuel Beckett in Quad (1981):
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050428-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Related quotation:

Barry Mazur on a seminal paper of algebraist Saunders Mac Lane:

The paper was rejected “because the editor thought that it was ‘more devoid of content’ than any other he had read.  ‘Saunders wrote back and said, “That’s the point,”‘ Mazur said.  ‘And in some ways that’s the genius of it. It’s the barest, most Beckett-like vocabulary that incorporates the theory and nothing else.'”

Other related material:



The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050602-Duif.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From Reuters:

“Members of the ballot commission manually count EU referendum votes in the Duifkerk in Amsterdam June 1st, 2005. Dutch voters soundly rejected the European Union constitution in a referendum on June 1…..  Photo by… Ronald Fleurbaaij”

Background reading on the new
Prime Minister of France:

“M. de Villepin positively worships Napoleon, and models himself after his hero. In a 600-page biography, Villepin wrote admiringly about the difference between great men like Napoleon and the ‘common run’ of men. It is worth reading every word carefully.

‘Here we touch on that particular essence of great men, on what distinguishes Napoleon or Alexander, Caesar or de Gaulle, from the common run. It is excess, exaltation, and a taste for risk that forms their genius. It is why they are often better understood in their élan by writers and poets, who are possessed of the same thirst for the absolute, than by those who pray at the altar of facts.’
(New Republic)

And in praise of French nationalism, de Villepin wrote,

‘The Gaullist adventure renewed the élan of [Napoleon’s] Consulate through the restoration of a strong executive and the authority of the State, the same scorn for political parties and for compromise, a common taste for action, and an obsession with the general interest and the grandeur of France.’

Those words come straight from 1800. Napoleon’s ‘genius,’ his ‘thirst for the absolute,’ ‘excess, exaltation, and a taste for risk,’ ‘a strong executive and the authority of the State,’ ‘his ‘scorn for political parties and for compromise,’ and ‘an obsession with the grandeur of France’ — it is all classic national hero worship. But today that kind of thinking is used to promote a new vision of destiny, the European Union.”

James Lewis at The American Thinker,
   Jan. 4, 2005

Monday, May 2, 2005

Monday May 2, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
A Dance Results

 

Roger Kimball on Rosalind Krauss's
The Optical Unconscious:

"Professor Krauss even uses many of the same decorations with which she festooned earlier volumes. Bataille’s photograph of a big toe, for example, which I like to think of as her mascot, reappears. As does her favorite doodle, a little graph known as a 'Klein Group' or 'L Schema' whose sides and diagonals sport arrows pointing to corners labeled with various opposing pairs: e.g., 'ground' and 'not ground,' 'figure' and 'not figure.' Professor Krauss seems to believe that this device, lifted from the pages of structuralist theory, illuminates any number of deep mysteries: the nature of modernism, to begin with, but also the essence of gender relations, self-consciousness, perception, vision, castration anxiety, and other pressing conundrums that, as it happens, she has trouble distinguishing from the nature of modernism. Altogether, the doodle is a handy thing to have around. One is not surprised that Professor Krauss reproduces it many times in her new book."
 

From Drid Williams,
The Semiotics of Human Action,
Ritual, and Dance:

A Klein four-group in the context of dance

This is closely related to
Beckett's "Quad" figure

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Jungian on this six-line figure:

"They are the same six lines
that exist in the I Ching….
Now observe the square more closely:
four of the lines are of equal length,
the other two are longer….
For this reason symmetry
cannot be statically produced
and a dance results."
 
— Marie-Louise von Franz,
Number and Time (1970)

and to the Greimas "semiotic square":

"People have believed in the fundamental character of binary oppositions since at least classical times. For instance, in his Metaphysics Aristotle advanced as primary oppositions: form/matter, natural/unnatural, active/passive, whole/part, unity/variety, before/after and being/not-being.*  But it is not in isolation that the rhetorical power of such oppositions resides, but in their articulation in relation to other oppositions. In Aristotle's Physics the four elements of earth, air, fire and water were said to be opposed in pairs. For more than two thousand years oppositional patterns based on these four elements were widely accepted as the fundamental structure underlying surface reality….

The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the 'logical square' of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully…."

 

Daniel Chandler, Semiotics for Beginners.

* Compare Chandler's list of Aristotle's primary oppositions with Aristotle's list (also in the  Metaphysics) of Pythagorean oppositions (see Midrash Jazz Quartet).
 

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Sunday May 1, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:11 PM
Logos

Harvard’s Barry Mazur on
one mathematical style:

“It’s the barest, most Beckett-like vocabulary
that incorporates the theory and nothing else.”

Samuel Beckett, Quad (1981):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Jungian on this six-line logo:

“They are the same six lines
that exist in the I Ching….
Now observe the square more closely:
four of the lines are of equal length,
the other two are longer….
For this reason symmetry
cannot be statically produced
and a dance results.”
 
— Marie-Louise von Franz,
Number and Time (1970),
Northwestern U. Press
paperback, 1979, p. 108

A related logo from
Columbia University’s
Department of Art History
and Archaeology
:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-ArtHist2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
Also from that department:

Rosalind Krauss,

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Krauss.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Meyer Schapiro Professor
of Modern Art and Theory:

“There is no painter in the West
who can be unaware of
the symbolic power
of the cruciform shape
and the Pandora’s box
of spiritual reference
that is opened
once one uses it.”

“In the garden of Adding
live Even and Odd…”
— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in
City of God
, by E. L. Doctorow


THE GREEK CROSS

A cross in which all the arms
are the same length.

Here, for reference, is a Greek cross
within a nine-square grid:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-GrCross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 Related religious meditation for
    Doctorow’s “Garden of Adding”…

 4 + 5 = 9.

Types of Greek cross
illustrated in Wikipedia
under “cross“:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/GrCross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From designboom.com:

THE BAPTISMAL CROSS

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-BaptismalCross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

is a cross with eight arms:
a Greek cross, which is superimposed
on a Greek ‘chi,’ the first letter
of the Greek word for ‘Christ.’
Since the number eight is symbolic
of rebirth or regeneration,
this cross is often used
as a baptismal cross.

Related material:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Symm-axes.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Fritz Leiber’s “spider”
or “double cross” logo.
See Why Me? and
A Shot at Redemption.

Happy Orthodox Easter.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thursday April 28, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Black Moses

For an explanation of the title, see
the previous entry and
Robert P. Moses and The Algebra Project.

For another algebra project, see
Log24 entries of April 14-25 as well as
the following “X in a box” figure

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050310-hex.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

from March 10, 2005 and
April 5, 2005.

Those interested in artistic rather than mathematical figures may compare this diagram with that of Samuel Beckett in Quad (1981):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050428-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Related quotations:

Barry Mazur on a seminal paper of algebraist Saunders Mac Lane:

The paper was rejected “because the editor thought that it was ‘more devoid of content’ than any other he had read.  ‘Saunders wrote back and said, “That’s the point,”‘ Mazur said.  ‘And in some ways that’s the genius of it. It’s the barest, most Beckett-like vocabulary that incorporates the theory and nothing else.'”

J. Peter May, a professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago quoted in the Chicago Tribune:

“There are some ideas you simply could not think without a vocabulary to think them.”

Amen.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Monday April 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:31 AM

Mathematical Style:
Mac Lane Memorial, Part Trois

(See also Part I and Part II.)

“We have seen that there are many diverse styles that lead to success in mathematics. Choose one mathematician… from the ones we studied whose ‘mathematical style’ you find most rewarding for you…. Identify the mathematician and describe his or her mathematical style.”



Nell

— Sarah J. Greenwald,
take-home exam from
Introduction to Mathematics
at Appalachian State U.,
Boone, North Carolina

From today’s Harvard Crimson:

Ex-Math Prof Mac Lane, 95, Dies

[Saunders] Mac Lane was most famous for the ground-breaking paper he co-wrote with Samuel Eilenberg of Columbia in 1945 which introduced category theory, a framework to show how mathematical structures relate to each other. This branch of algebra has since influenced most mathematical fields and also has functions in philosophy and linguistics, but was first dismissed by many practical mathematicians as too abstract to be useful.

Gade University Professor of Mathematics Barry Mazur, a friend of the late Mac Lane, recalled that the paper had at first been rejected from a lower-caliber mathematical journal because the editor thought that it was “more devoid of content” than any other he had read.

“Saunders wrote back and said, ‘That’s the point,'” Mazur said. “And in some ways that’s the genius of it. It’s the barest, most Beckett-like vocabulary that incorporates the theory and nothing else.”

He likened it to a sparse grammar of nouns and verbs and a limited vocabulary that is presented “in such a deft way that it will help you understand any language you wish to understand and any language will fit into it.”

Beckett-like vocabulary
from April 24:

.


Also from Appalachian State University

(with illustration by Ingmar Bergman):

“In my hour of weakness,
that old enemy
tries to steal my soul.
But when he comes
like a flood to surround me
My God will step in
and a standard he’ll raise.”

Jesus Be a Fence

Related material:
The Crimson Passion
 

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thursday November 11, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:11 AM

11/11 11:11:11

Samuel Beckett on Dante and Joyce:

“Another point of comparison is the preoccupation with the significance of numbers. The death of Beatrice inspired nothing less than a highly complicated poem dealing with the importance of the number 3 in her life. Dante never ceased to be obsessed by this number. Thus the poem is divided into three Cantiche, each composed of 33 Canti…. Why, Mr. Joyce seems to say, should…. the Armistice be celebrated at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month? He cannot tell you because he is not God Almighty, but in a thousand years he will tell you… He is conscious that things with a common numerical characteristic tend towards a very significant interrelationship. This preoccupation is freely translated in his present work….”

— “Dante… Bruno. Vico.. Joyce,” in James Joyce/Finnegans Wake: A Symposium (1929), New Directions paperback, 1972

See also my entry from five years ago on this date:

Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Wednesday February 26, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

The Eight Revisited

“…search for thirty-three and three…”

The Black Queen in The Eight, by Katherine Neville, Ballantine Books, January 1989, page 140 

Samuel Beckett on Dante and Joyce:

“Another point of comparison is the preoccupation with the significance of numbers….  Thus the poem is divided into three Cantiche, each composed of 33 Canti….”

— “Dante… Bruno. Vico.. Joyce,” in James Joyce/Finnegans Wake: A Symposium (1929), New Directions paperback, 1972

Into the Dark Woods:  

“– Nel mezzo del bloody cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai in…”
Under the Volcano, by Malcolm Lowry, 1947, beginning of Chapter VI

Dante Alighieri Academy:

“‘The Divine Comedy’ celebrates Dante’s journey of knowledge to God through life: hell, purgatory and paradise. Dante Alighieri Academy continues Dante’s Christian philosophy of education….”

Chorus of the Damned:

I don’t know where it is we’re goin’
and God knows if I ever will,
but what a way this is to get there.
I got those archetypal, rubber-room,
astral-plane Moebius strip blues.
I got those in-and-out, round-about,
which way’s out Moebius strip blues.

© 1997 by C.K. Latham

Added March 3, 2003, 6:00 AM:

For a less confused song, click this Glasgow site.

Friday, November 29, 2002

Friday November 29, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 PM

A Logocentric Archetype

Today we examine the relativist, nominalist, leftist, nihilist, despairing, depressing, absurd, and abominable work of Samuel Beckett, darling of the postmodernists.

One lens through which to view Beckett is an essay by Jennifer Martin, "Beckettian Drama as Protest: A Postmodern Examination of the 'Delogocentering' of Language." Martin begins her essay with two quotations: one from the contemptible French twerp Jacques Derrida, and one from Beckett's masterpiece of stupidity, Molloy. For a logocentric deconstruction of Derrida, see my note, "The Shining of May 29," which demonstrates how Derrida attempts to convert a rather important mathematical result to his brand of nauseating and pretentious nonsense, and of course gets it wrong. For a logocentric deconstruction of Molloy, consider the following passage:

"I took advantage of being at the seaside to lay in a store of sucking-stones. They were pebbles but I call them stones…. I distributed them equally among my four pockets, and sucked them turn and turn about. This raised a problem which I first solved in the following way. I had say sixteen stones, four in each of my four pockets these being the two pockets of my trousers and the two pockets of my greatcoat. Taking a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, and putting it in my mouth, I replaced it in the right pocket of my greatcoat by a stone from the right pocket of my trousers, which I replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my trousers, which I replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my greatcoat, which I replaced by the stone which was in my mouth, as soon as I had finished sucking it. Thus there were still four stones in each of my four pockets, but not quite the same stones….But this solution did not satisfy me fully. For it did not escape me that, by an extraordinary hazard, the four stones circulating thus might always be the same four."

Beckett is describing, in great detail, how a damned moron might approach the extraordinarily beautiful mathematical discipline known as group theory, founded by the French anticleric and leftist Evariste Galois. Disciples of Derrida may play at mimicking the politics of Galois, but will never come close to imitating his genius. For a worthwhile discussion of permutation groups acting on a set of 16 elements, see R. D. Carmichael's masterly work, Introduction to the Theory of Groups of Finite Order, Ginn, Boston, 1937, reprinted by Dover, New York, 1956.

There are at least two ways of approaching permutations on 16 elements in what Pascal calls "l'esprit géométrique." My website Diamond Theory discusses the action of the affine group in a four-dimensional finite geometry of 16 points. For a four-dimensional euclidean hypercube, or tesseract, with 16 vertices, see the highly logocentric movable illustration by Harry J. Smith. The concept of a tesseract was made famous, though seen through a glass darkly, by the Christian writer Madeleine L'Engle in her novel for children and young adults, A Wrinkle in Tme.

This tesseract may serve as an archetype for what Pascal, Simone Weil (see my earlier notes), Harry J. Smith, and Madeleine L'Engle might, borrowing their enemies' language, call their "logocentric" philosophy.

For a more literary antidote to postmodernist nihilism, see Archetypal Theory and Criticism, by Glen R. Gill.

For a discussion of the full range of meaning of the word "logos," which has rational as well as religious connotations, click here.

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