Saturday, October 17, 2015

Contrapuntal Interweaving

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:28 AM

(Continued from day before yesterday.)

"Sondheim's story is a dense contrapuntal interweaving
of four main fairy-tale stories…."

— Vladimir V. Zelevinsky, 1998 review
     in The Tech  at MIT

Related material: "Weaver's Tale" last Sunday,
and the novel Weaveworld  in this journal.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Contrapuntal Interweaving

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 AM

The title is a phrase from R. D. Laing's book The Politics of Experience .
(Published in the psychedelic year 1967. The later "contrapuntal interweaving"
below is of a less psychedelic nature.)

An illustration of the "interweaving' part of the title —
The "deep structure" of the diamond theorem:

IMAGE- A symplectic structure -- i.e. a structure that is symplectic (meaning plaited or woven).

The word "symplectic" from the end of last Sunday's (Oct. 11) sermon
describes the "interwoven" nature of the above illustration.

An illustration of the "contrapuntal" part of the title (click to enlarge):

The diamond-theorem correlation


Sunday, November 15, 2020

In Memoriam

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:38 PM


“Mountain, not fountain.” — Nabokov

Friday, January 19, 2018


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:04 AM

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Matrix for Quantum Mystics

Filed under: G-Notes,General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:29 PM

Scholia on the title — See Quantum + Mystic in this journal.

The Matrix of Lévi-Strauss

"In Vol. I of Structural Anthropology , p. 209, I have shown that
this analysis alone can account for the double aspect of time
representation in all mythical systems: the narrative is both
'in time' (it consists of a succession of events) and 'beyond'
(its value is permanent)." — Claude Lévi-Strauss, 1976

I prefer the earlier, better-known, remarks on time by T. S. Eliot
in Four Quartets , and the following four quartets (from
The Matrix Meets the Grid) —


From a Log24 post of June 26-27, 2017:

A work of Eddington cited in 1974 by von Franz

See also Dirac and Geometry and Kummer in this journal.

Ron Shaw on Eddington's triads "associated in conjugate pairs" —

For more about hyperbolic  and isotropic  lines in PG(3,2),
see posts tagged Diamond Theorem Correlation.

For Shaw, in memoriam — See Contrapuntal Interweaving and The Fugue.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Upgrading to Six

This post was suggested by the previous post — Four Dots —
and by the phrase "smallest perfect" in this journal.

Related material (click to enlarge) —

Detail —

From the work of Eddington cited in 1974 by von Franz —

See also Dirac and Geometry and Kummer in this journal.

Updates from the morning of June 27 —

Ron Shaw on Eddington's triads "associated in conjugate pairs" —

For more about hyperbolic  and isotropic  lines in PG(3,2),
see posts tagged Diamond Theorem Correlation.

For Shaw, in memoriam — See Contrapuntal Interweaving and The Fugue.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Image Search

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

Click to enlarge.

See also the word  "contrapuntal" in this journal. 

Friday, March 1, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:24 PM

In memory of a 1961 graduate of
Beverly Hills High School who died today—

last night's Eiger post and a tall white mountain.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Revisiting

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 5:18 PM

Alan Cowell in the The New York Times ,
October 21, 2006— 

"Mr. Pinter played the role of Krapp,
a 69-year-old man revisiting
a tape recording he had made at 39…."

See also a weblog post by a 69-year-old man
revisiting a drawing he had made at 39.

The revisiting:

On Guy Fawkes Day 2011,
a return to Guy Fawkes day 2005—
Contrapuntal Themes in a Shadowland.

The drawing:

A clearer version, from 1981, of the central object below —

For commentary on the original 1981 drawing, see
Diamond-Faceted: Transformations of the Rock.

(A link in that page to "an earlier note from 1981
leads to remarks from exactly thirty years before
the 2011 post, made on another Guy Fawkes Day.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

By the Numbers

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:18 PM

The New York Lottery:

Draw Day: Twice Daily
Draw Time: Midday: 12:20 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Evening: 7:30 p.m. – 7:40 p.m. 

NY Lottery this evening: 674 and 1252 —


Contrapuntal themes:

Related Log24 posts today—
at 11:30 AM ET  (see post 674 ) and
at 7 PM ET (see post 1252).

The Devil at Midday:

Interpreting the midday numbers,
172 and 7817, is more difficult. Perhaps 172
refers to a Zen page number in a post from 
the Feast of Saint Louis in 2003, and perhaps,
in a less saintly manner, 7817 refers to
two posts in which these four digits appear
in product numbers within links— namely,
the Garden Party  "Background" link and 
the Seven Bridges  "wild" link.

Then again, perhaps not.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Photo caption in NY Times  today— a pianist "preforming" in 1967. (See today's previous post.)

The pianist's life story seems in part to echo that of Juliette Binoche in the film "Bleu." Binoche appeared in this journal yesterday, before I had seen the pianist in today's Times  obituaries. The Binoche appearance was related to the blue diamond in the film "Duelle " (Tuesday morning's post) and the saying of Heraclitus "immortals mortal, mortals immortal" (Tuesday afternoon's post).

This somewhat uncanny echo brings to mind Nabokov

Life Everlasting—based on a misprint!
I mused as I drove homeward: take the hint,
And stop investigating my abyss?
But all at once it dawned on me that this
Was the real point, the contrapuntal theme;
Just this: not text, but texture; not the dream
But topsy-turvical coincidence,
Not flimsy nonsense, but a web of sense.

Whether sense or nonsense, the following quotation seems relevant—

"Archetypes function as living dispositions, ideas in the Platonic sense, that preform and continually influence our thoughts and feelings and actions." –C.G. Jung in Four Archetypes: Mother, Rebirth, Spirit, Trickster, the section titled "On the Concept of the Archetype."

That section is notable for its likening of Jungian archetypes to Platonic ideas and to axial systems of crystals. See also "Cubist Tune," March 18 —


Blue tesseract cover<br /><br />
art, blue crystals in 'Bleu,' lines from 'Blue Guitar'

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday June 19, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM
He wasn’t there
again today

Today’s New York Times:

NY Times ad for 'The God Who Wasn't There,' with  article on pages from medieval manuscripts

And then there are
gemlike numbers
   set free from words…

Today’s New York lottery:

NY Lottery Friday, June 19, 2009: Midday 354, Evening 431

 354, 431

These numbers also
name parts of a book
cited here Nov. 6, 2007:

                   … The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark….

— Wallace Stevens in
    Parts of a World, 1942

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday January 25, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
The Maker’s Gift

The Maker's Gift -- Sayers, 'The Mind of the Maker,' and Nabokov, 'The Gift'

Click on image for details.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesday June 3, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 AM
Faith, Doubt, Art
The New Yorker

On Faith:

“God is the original conspiracy theory….

Among the varieties of Christian monotheism, none is more totalitarian, none lodges more radical claims for God’s omnipotence, than Calvinism– and within America, the chief analogue of Calvinist theology, Puritanism. According to Calvin every particle of dust, every act, every thought, every creature is governed by the will of God, and yields clues to the divine plan.”

— Scott Sanders, “Pynchon’s Paranoid History

On Doubt:
“a Puritan reflex of seeking other orders beyond the visible, also known as paranoia

Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics, 1995), p. 188

On Art

The current annual fiction issue of The New Yorker has a section of apparently non-fictional memoirs titled “Faith and Doubt.”

I suggest that faith and doubt are best reconciled by art– as in A Contrapuntal Theme and in the magazine’s current online podcast of Mary Gaitskill reading a 1948 New Yorker story by Vladimir Nabokov.

For the text of the story, see “Signs and Symbols.” For an excellent discussion of Nabokov’s art, see “The Signs and Symbols in Nabokov’s ‘Signs and Symbols,'” by Alexander Dolinin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday February 12, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 PM


“Kirk Browning… television director of ‘Live* From Lincoln Center,’ died on Sunday [Feb. 10, 2008] in Manhattan. He was 86.

The cause was a heart attack, his son, David, said.
Kirk Browning, TV director of 'Live from Lincoln Center'

… In addition to his ‘Live From Lincoln Center’ programs, 10 of which won Emmy Awards, Mr. Browning… directed, among other productions… the first TV show with Frank Sinatra as host (1957); and ‘Hallmark Hall of Fame’ music and drama specials (1951 to 1958).”

The New York Times

In Memoriam:

Shoe: 'Mort's Mortuary,' Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008

* The timestamp of this entry is, however, not live. The entry was actually produced at about 5:55 AM on Feb. 13.  The timestamp of the entry, 5:01 PM on Lincoln’s Birthday, is a veiled reference to Cemetery Ridge, to the meadow in “Readings for Candlemas” (see also the previous two entries) and to a Gettysburg address.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday January 25, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:04 AM

Requiem for a Curator

"There is a pleasantly discursive treatment
of Pontius Pilate's unanswered question
'What is truth?'"

  — H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987,
book introduction quoted
as epigraph to
Art Wars

"I confess I do not believe in time.
I like to fold my magic carpet,
after use, in such a way
as to superimpose
one part of the pattern
upon another."

Nabokov, Speak, Memory


Figure by Coxeter
reminiscent of the
Ojo de Dios of
Mexico's Sierra Madre

In memory of
National Gallery
of Art curator
Philip Conisbee,
who died on
January 16:

"the God's-eye
 of the author"


— Dorothy Sayers,
    The Mind
    of the Maker

  "one complete
and free eye,
which can
simultaneously see
in all directions"

— Vladimir Nabokov,
    The Gift   

A Contrapuntal Theme

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday November 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:25 PM
The Third Person

Of Modern Art

The New York Times
November 6, 2007

More on the Career of
the Genius Who Boldly
Compared Himself to God


“Picasso… once said…

‘… No wonder his [Picasso’s] style is so ambiguous. It’s like God’s. God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just keeps on trying other things. The same with this sculptor….’

The comparison to God, like the use of the third person, was deliberate, of course.”

Of Modern Poetry

The poem of the mind
    in the act of finding
What will suffice ….
                            … It has
To construct a new stage.
    It has to be on that stage,
And, like an insatiable actor,
    slowly and
With meditation, speak words
    that in the ear,
In the delicatest ear
    of the mind, repeat,
Exactly, that which it
    wants to hear, at the sound
Of which, an invisible
    audience listens,
Not to the play, but to
    itself, expressed
In an emotion as of
    two people, as of two
Emotions becoming one.
   The actor is
A metaphysician in the dark….

— Wallace Stevens in
    Parts of a World, 1942

Of Modern Metaphysics

“For every work [or act] of creation is threefold, an earthly trinity to match the heavenly.

First, [not in time, but merely in order of enumeration] there is the Creative Idea, passionless, timeless, beholding the whole work complete at once, the end in the beginning: and this is the image of the Father.

Second, there is the Creative Energy [or Activity] begotten of that idea, working in time from the beginning to the end, with sweat and passion, being incarnate in the bonds of matter: and this is the image of the Word.

Third, there is the Creative Power, the meaning of the work and its response in the lively soul: and this is the image of the indwelling Spirit.

And these three are one, each equally in itself the whole work, whereof none can exist without other: and this is the image of the Trinity.”

— Concluding speech of St. Michael the Archangel in a 1937 play, “The Zeal of Thy House,” by Dorothy Sayers, as quoted in her 1941 book The Mind of the Maker. That entire book was, she wrote, an expansion of St. Michael’s speech.

Related material:

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Wednesday April 5, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 PM
April is Poetry Month
Mathematics Awareness Month.


Joni Mitchell
on the Trinity:

He is three
One’s in the middle unmoved
To show what he sees
To the other two

Related material:

Perichoresis, or Coinherence,

Is Nothing Sacred?, and

A Contrapuntal Theme.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Monday March 20, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 PM

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060320-Masks.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From last year’s
Guy Fawkes Day entries:

Contrapuntal Themes
in a Shadowland” and

“Area Catholics Receive
St. Thomas Aquinas Awards.”

From last year’s
Halloween season:

The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051019-TwoSides.jpg� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The Judeo part:

“It was like a 1930s comic book
set in the future,”
[producer Joel] Silver says.
“I can’t say what it was, but
there was something about it
that made me think
it would work as a movie.”

USA Today 

The Christian part:

“Joseph Goebbels was brought up
in a devoutly Catholic home.
His parents hoped he
would be a priest….”

Catholic Nazi Leaders   

Flashback to March 18, 2003:

“It’s Springtime for Esther and Israel!”

and to Grammy night, 2006:

The image �http://www.log24.com/log06/saved/060216-Madonna.jpg� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


 Happy vernal equinox.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday February 27, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:30 AM

Point Counter Point

From the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, 1911:

COUNTERPOINT (Lat. contrapunctus, “point counter point,” “note against note”)

“In music, the art happily defined by Sir Frederick Gore Ouseley as that ‘of combining’ melodies….

Double Counterpoint is a combination of melodies so designed that either can be taken above or below the other. When this change of position is effected by merely altering the OCTAVE (from Lat. octavus, eighth, octo, eight) of either or both melodies (with or without transposition of the whole combination to another KEY), the artistic value of the device is simply that of the raising of the lower melody to the surface. The harmonic scheme remains the same, except in so far as some of the chords are not in their fundamental position, while others, not originally fundamental, have become so. But double counterpoint may be in other intervals than the octave; that is to say, while one of the parts remains stationary, the other may be transposed above or below it by some interval other than an octave, thus producing an entirely different set of harmonies.”

See also Sybille Bedford’s
biography of Aldous Huxley

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060227-Huxley.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

and the entry below.
Related material:
A Contrapuntal Theme.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Friday February 3, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
Washington Ballet

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060203-Dream.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

   At the still point…

Related material:

Log 24, Sunday, January 29, 2006,

and links in the previous entry–

A Contrapuntal Theme and
Good Will Writing.

Beauty is momentary in the mind–
The fitful tracing of a portal;
But in the flesh it is immortal.

The body dies; the body’s beauty lives.
So evenings die, in their green going,
A wave, interminably flowing.
So gardens die, their meek breath scenting
The cowl of winter, done repenting.
So maidens die, to the auroral
Celebration of a maiden’s choral.

— Wallace Stevens,
   “Peter Quince at the Clavier”

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Thursday February 2, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM
Our True Intent

In memory of
Christopher James Makins,
2nd Baron Sherfield,
Fellow of All Souls:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060202-RR1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

Good Will Writing,
A Contrapuntal Theme,
Ideas, Stories, Values,
as well as
Toot! Toot! Off we go!

Monday, November 7, 2005

Monday November 7, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Tick Tick Hash

On Saturday, November 5, 2005,
author John Fowles died.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051107-Aristos.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
From Log24
on the date of
Fowles’ death: 
and Design

Related material:
The Collector and
Speak, Memory

From Log24
on the date of
Fowles’ death:
in a Shadowland

Related material:
The Aristos

Two years after The Collector had brought him international recognition and a year before he published The Magus, John Fowles set out his ideas on life in The Aristos.  The chief inspiration behind them was the fifth century BC philosopher Heraclitus.  In the world he posited of constant and chaotic flux the supreme good was the Aristos, ‘of a person or thing, the best or most excellent of its kind.'”

Random House Australia

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Saturday November 5, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:24 PM

Contrapuntal Themes
in a Shadowland

(See previous entry.)

Douglas Hofstadter on his magnum opus:

"… I realized that to me, Gödel and Escher and Bach were only shadows cast in different directions by some central solid essence. I tried to reconstruct the central object, and came up with this book."

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/GEBcover.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Hofstadter's cover

Here are three patterns,
"shadows" of a sort,
derived from a different
"central object":

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

For details, see
Solomon's Cube.

Related material:
The reference to a
"permutation fugue"
(pdf) in an article on
Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Saturday November 5, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:06 PM
and Design

Headline from a local newspaper this morning:

Area Catholics Receive
St. Thomas Aquinas Awards

Headline from today’s New York Times:

Closing Arguments Made
in Trial on Intelligent Design 

Taken together, these headlines suggest that the following link (pdf) may be appropriate for today:

Neutral Evolution
and Aesthetics:
Vladimir Nabokov

and Insect Mimicry.

Related material
on Nabokov and theology:

A Contrapuntal Theme

Today’s birthday:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051105-Swinton2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tilda Swinton,
angel in

“Gnostic also is the preposterous stage-direction at the end of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Drama of Exile

The stars shine on brightly while ADAM and EVE pursue their way into the far wilderness. There is a sound through the silence, as of the falling tears of an angel.

‘How much noise,’ inquires G. K. Chesterton with brutal common sense, ‘is made by an angel’s tears? Is it a sound of emptied buckets, or of mountain cataracts?'”

— Dorothy Sayers,
   The Mind of the Maker, Chapter 10

For the answer, see

A Contrapuntal Theme.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Friday May 6, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 7:28 PM


"To improvise an eight-part fugue
is really beyond human capability."

— Douglas R. Hofstadter,
Gödel, Escher, Bach

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/cube2x2x2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Order of a projective
 automorphism group:

"There are possibilities of
contrapuntal arrangement
of subject-matter."

— T. S. Eliot, quoted in
Origins of Form in Four Quartets.

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Grid4x4A.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Order of a projective
 automorphism group:

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Tuesday March 16, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:06 PM


In memory of John W. Seybold, who died at 88 on Sunday, March 14, 2004….

Seybold is said to have originated the application of the phrase “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) to computerized typesetting.

The date of Seybold’s death was also the date of Einstein’s birth.

The entry “Clarity and Certainty” for that day contains a discussion by Einstein of the fact that the altitudes of a triangle have a point in common.

A March 14 search for a clear diagram of that fact yielded the above illustration, to which I returned today after reading of Seybold’s WYSIWYG philosophy.  The illustration is taken from an article by a British teacher of geometry that contains the following:

“Dick Tahta wrote… of geometry as involving the direct apprehension of imagery, gazing as into the eyes of a beloved and a certain intuition-seeing (Anschauung)…..

His sentences have tremendous power, and yet the terms he uses are slippery and seem unexplainable. What is, or what might be, ‘direct apprehension of imagery’? What is evoked by the powerfully metaphorical ‘gazing as into the eyes of a beloved’? ‘Intuition’ is a tremendously difficult term…. The combination ‘intuition-seeing’ seems to represent an attempt to convey a meaning for the German ‘Anschauung,’ and echoes the original title of the text Anschauliche Geometrie by Hilbert and Cohn-Vossen which was published in English as Geometry and the Imagination.”

From the same article:

“… for Lacan ‘mathematics … is constantly in touch with the unconscious’….

Commentators on Lacan frequently write that… he argued that the human being is captivated by an image….

The object, in a sense, gazes back.”

From a discussion group:

“Anschaulichkeit” is in my Cassell’s German-English dictionary, with the meanings “visual or graphic quality, clearness, vividness, perspicuity.”

For “anschaulich,” this dictionary gives “visual, clear, vivid, graphic, concrete; (Phil.) intuitive, perceptual.”

For “Anschauung” it has

  1. visual perception…..
  2. mode of viewing, way of looking at or seeing, idea, conception, notion, opinion, (point of) view, outlook
  3. (Phil.) perception…..
  4. (Theol.) contemplation.

The final meaning above, theological contemplation, suggests that the altitude-intersection diagram above may be used for a meditation on the Trinity.  This is, of course, silly, but no sillier than the third-rate lucubrations of the damned charlatan Lacan.

And so let us pray that Einstein on his birthday was joined by Seybold in rapturous contemplation of the Trinity as revealed in the physicist’s “holy geometry book.”

For a less silly geometrico-theological metaphor, see “Scalene Trinities” from The Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy Sayers.

For a related revelation, see A Contrapuntal Theme.

Sunday, October 5, 2003

Sunday October 5, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:01 PM


Born on this date:
Producer Joshua Logan.

March 9, 1975:
Broadway Tribute to Joshua Logan

March 9, 2000:
Is Nothing Sacred?

“Of course there is nothing afterwards.”
Thoughts of a dying man in Nabokov’s The Gift

“There is nothing like a dame.”
— Oscar Hammerstein II, South Pacific

For more on the religious significance of the date March 9, see

Art Wars.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Saturday September 20, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

Contrapuntal Structure

Click here for a web page based on my Sept. 16 entry The Form, the Pattern.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Tuesday September 16, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 PM

The Form, the Pattern

"…the sort of organization that Eliot later called musical, in his lecture 'The Music of Poetry', delivered in 1942, just as he was completing Four Quartets: 'The use of recurrent themes is as natural to poetry as to music,' Eliot says:

There are possibilities for verse which bear some analogy to the development of a theme by different groups of instruments [‘different voices’, we might say]; there are possibilities of transitions in a poem comparable to the different movements of a symphony or a quartet; there are possibilities of contrapuntal arrangement of subject-matter."

— Louis L. Martz, from
"Origins of Form in Four Quartets,"
in Words in Time: New Essays on Eliot’s Four Quartets, ed. Edward Lobb, University of Michigan Press, 1993

"…  Only by the form, the pattern,     
Can words or music reach
The stillness…."

— T. S. Eliot,
Four Quartets

Four Quartets

For a discussion of the above
form, or pattern, click here.

Friday, September 6, 2002

Friday September 6, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:11 AM

Santa’s Wit

Edmund Gwenn, actor, died on September 6, 1959.

When asked if he thought dying was tough, Gwenn reportedly said,

“Yes, it’s tough, but not as tough as doing comedy.”

This may or may not be true; if it is, Gwenn may be the true source of a quotation variously attributed to Edmund Kean, Edwin Booth, David GarrickDonald WolfitWilliam Holden, and Groucho Marx, Marcel Marceau, Noel Coward, and Oscar Wilde:  

“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”

A very dubious version of the Gwenn story attributes the “comedy is hard” part to Jack Lemmon:

The lesson is best illustrated in a story involving Jack Lemmon, whose best work was in comedy. He visited the British actor Edmund Gwenn, suffering in a hospital. Gwenn is said to have lifted the flap on the oxygen tent and said, ”It’s really tough to die.” And Lemmon responded, ”It’s not as tough as doing comedy.”
— Elvis Mitchell in The New York Times Week in Review, Sunday, August 25, 2002

David Bruce, an English instructor at Ohio University, supplies another version of the Gwenn story, from Movie Anecdotes, by Peter Hay. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990:

Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar playing Santa Claus in the movie Miracle on 34 Street. As he lay dying, Jack Lemmon visited him and asked if dying was dead. [sic]  Gwenn replied, “Oh, it’s hard, very hard indeed. But not as hard as doing comedy.”

Santa might appreciate the above misprint, as would Vladimir Nabokov

“Life Everlasting–based on a misprint!”
Pale Fire 

and John Donne

“And death shall be no more, Death, thou shalt die.”
Holy Sonnets

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