Log24

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rhyme

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM

For the late poet Thomas Lux ,
who reportedly died on February 5 
(See posts tagged Bewitchment) —

"A darker riddle with no answer looms 
. . . .
For those who linger on among the tombs"

John Hollander, from a poem in A Draft of Light

Those who enjoy dark riddles with no answers
may search the Web for "Sefer Yetzirah" + Cube.

I prefer a purely mathematical approach to the cube.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

After Eliot

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:30 AM

The New Yorker , May 19, 1997 issue, page 52

See also Hollander in this  journal.

(This post was suggested by a search for 
"Barry Mazur" + "Two-Faced.")

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nowhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

From this morning’s post:

“Beyond Noplace, far into wide Nowhere” — John Hollander

Vide  Le Guin Geometry.

Fashion Statements

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:28 AM

From Monday in this journal —

Related news this morning —

Anne Hollander, Scholar of Style, Dies at 83
By William Yardley in The New York Times ,
10:26 PM ET July 8, 2014

Anne Hollander, a historian who helped elevate
the study of art and dress by revealing the often striking
relationships between the two, died on Sunday at her home
in Manhattan. She was 83.

The cause was cancer, said her husband, the philosopher
Thomas Nagel.
. . . .
She received a degree in art history from Barnard College
in 1952. The next year she married the poet John Hollander.
Their marriage ended in divorce.

Related material from this journal last year —

“Be serious, because
The stone may have contempt
For too-familiar hands”

Adrienne Rich in “The Diamond Cutters” (1955)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tale

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM

IMAGE- NY Times online front page with caption- 'Thereby hangs a tale.'

The tale is not Thomas Nagel's remarks on philosophy
summarized above, but rather the late John Hollander's
remarks on Nowhere:

"We all know where it is they've gone, the dead:
Beyond Noplace, far into wide Nowhere."

See also Nagel's book The View from Nowhere .

Noon

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Last midnight's post quoted poet John Hollander
on Cervantes—

"… the Don’s view of the world is correct at midnight,
and Sancho’s at noon."

The post concluded with a figure that might, if
rotated slightly, be regarded as a sort of Star of
David or Solomon's Seal. The figure's six vertices
may be viewed as an illustration of Pascal's
"mystic hexagram."

Pacal's hexagram is usually described
as a hexagon inscribed in a conic
(such as a circle). Clearly the hexagon
above may be so inscribed.

The figure suggests that last midnight's Don be
played by the nineteenth-century mathematician
James Joseph Sylvester. His 1854 remarks on
the nature of geometry describe a different approach
to the Pascal hexagram—

"… the celebrated theorem of Pascal known under the name of the Mystic Hexagram, which is, that if you take two straight lines in a plane, and draw at random other straight lines traversing in a zigzag fashion between them, from A in the first to B in the second, from B in the second to C in the first, from C in the first to D in the second, from D in the second to E in the first, from E in the first to F in the second and finally from F in the second back again to A the starting point in the first, so as to obtain ABCDEF a twisted hexagon, or sort of cat's-cradle figure and if you arrange the six lines so drawn symmetrically in three couples: viz. the 1st and 4th in one couple, the 2nd and 5th in a second couple, the 3rd and 6th in a third couple; then (no matter how the points ACE have been selected upon one of the given lines, and BDF upon the other) the three points through which these three couples of lines respectively pass, or to which they converge (as the case may be) will lie all in one and the same straight line."

For a Sancho view of Sylvester's "cat's cradle," see some twentieth-century
remarks on "the most important configuration of all geometry"—

"Now look, your grace," said Sancho,
"what you see over there aren't giants,
but windmills, and what seems to be arms
are just their sails, that go around in the wind
and turn the millstone."
"Obviously," replied Don Quijote,
"you don't know much about adventures.”

― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Midnight in the Garden

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

(Continued)

From a 2003 interview by Paul Devlin (PD) with poet John Hollander (JH),
who reportedly died Saturday

PD: You wrote in the introduction to the new edition of  Reflections on Espionage that whenever you have been "free of political callowness" it was partly as a result of reading W.H. Auden, George Orwell, and George Bernard Shaw. Do you think these writers might possibly be an antidote to political callowness that exists in much contemporary literary criticism?

JH: If not they, then some other writers who can help one develop within one a skepticism strongly intertwined with passion, so that each can simultaneously check and reinforce the other. It provides great protection from being overcome by blind, true-believing zeal and corrupting cynicism (which may be two sides of the same false coin). Shaw was a great teacher for many in my generation. I started reading him when I was in sixth grade, and I responded strongly not only to the wit but to various modes, scene and occasions of argument and debate as they were framed by various kinds of dramatic situation. I remember being electrified when quite young by the moment in the epilogue scene of Saint  Joan  when the English chaplain, De Stogumber, who had been so zealous in urging for Joan’s being burned at the stake, returns to testify about how seeing her suffering the flames had made a changed man of him. The Inquisitor, Peter Cauchon, calls out (with what I imagined was a kind of moral distaste I’d never been aware of before), "Must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those who have no imagination?" It introduced me to a skepticism about the self-satisfaction of the born-again, of any persuasion. With Auden and Orwell, much later on and after my mental world had become more complicated, it was education in negotiating a living way between a destructively naïve idealism and the crackpot realism—equally inimical to the pragmatic.

PD: Would you consider yourself a "formal" pragmatist, i.e., a student of Peirce, James, Dewey, Mead (etc.) or an "informal" pragmatist – someone taking the common-sense position on events…or someone who refuses to be pigeon-holed politically?

JH: "Informal" – of the sort that often leads me to ask of theoretical formulations, "Yes, but what’s it for ?"

PD: Which other authors do you think might help us negotiate between "naïve idealism" and "crackpot realism"? I think of Joyce, Wallace Stevens, perhaps Faulkner?

JH: When I was in college, a strong teacher for just this question was Cervantes. One feels, in an Emersonian way, that the Don’s view of the world is correct at midnight, and Sancho’s at noon.

Then there is mathematical  realism.

A post in this journal on Saturday, the reported date of Hollander's death,
discussed a possible 21st-century application of 19th-century geometry.
For some background, see Peter J. Cameron's May 11, 2010, remarks
on Sylvester's duads  and synthemes . The following figure from the 
paper discussed here Saturday is related to figures in Cameron's remarks.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Wednesday December 18, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 AM

For the Dark Lady

On this midnight in the garden of good and evil, our new site music is “Nica’s Dream.”

From a website on composer Horace Silver:

“Horace Silver apparently composed Nica’s Dream (1956) for Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter-Rothschild, an English aristocrat and a very dear friend of his. She was known to the New York press as the Jazz Baroness and to the black musicians for whom she was something of a patron, simply as Nica. Her apartment in the fashionable Hotel Stanhope on Fifth Avenue became a ‘hospitality suite for some of the greatest jazz players of the day, whom she treated generously.’ (Jack Chambers, Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis, University of Toronto Press, 1985, 1:248)

This music is not unrelated to the work of Thomas Pynchon.  From an essay by Charles Hollander:  

“There are some notable parallels between Nica and the woman Stencil knows as V., who started her career with ‘…a young crude Mata Hari act.’ (V.; 386)….  Not that V. is Nica in any roman a clef sense: she is not. But the resonances are powerful at the level of the subtext. Nica is a Rothschild whose life reflects the issues Pynchon wants us to attend in V.: disinheritance, old dynasty vs. new dynasty, secret agents and couriers, plots and counter-plots, ‘The Big One, the century’s master cabal,’ and ‘the ultimate Plot Which Has No Name’ (V.; 226)….” 

See also my journal entry for the December 16-17 midnight, “Just Seventeen.”

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