Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sermon for Nabokov

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

"In linear algebra, the basis of a vector space
is an alphabet in which all vectors
can be expressed uniquely. The thing to remember
is that there are many such alphabets."

—  "A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel,"
       by Yoon Ha Lee

See also Starflight in this journal.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Starflight Problem

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:31 AM

"Nabokov's problem, in its simple prettiness and purity, suggests he has just invented starflight himself."

Tim Krabbé, Open Chess Diary, Entry 9— July 1, 1999

Related— New York Lottery on October 10, 2010—

Midday 137,
Evening 701.

Some context for the Halloween season—

137: Jung, Pauli, and the Pursuit of a Scientific Obsession

Skeleton Crew  by Stephen King

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101011-137JungPauli-sm.jpg   http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101011-SkeletonCrew.jpg

See also Saturday evening's post in this journal, Jaunt 701.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Figures of Speech

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

See posts now tagged Starbursts,
and a search for Nabokov + Starflight.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Supplement to Logic

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

For the Janus-Faced Human Race

Related material —

Strange Myths and The Starflight Problem.

Synchronicity check —

"On the afternoon of October 10, 2013,
an unusually cold day, the streets of downtown
Dublin were filled …." — "How Stories Deceive"

See also this  journal on October 10, 2013.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Monday October 10, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 AM

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“The crème de la crème
of the chess world in a
show with everything
 but Yul Brynner”

One Night in Bangkok

Mate in 2,
 V. Nabokov, 1919,
Starflight” theme

Today is the feast of St. Yul Brynner,
who died on this date in 1985.

“Head bent down over the guitar,
he barely seemed to hum;
 ended “all come home”;
Yule– Yul log for the
Christmas-fire tale-spinner–
of fairy tales that can come true.
 Yul Brynner.”

— Marianne Moore,
“Rescue with Yul Brynner”

Related material:

Starflight, a year ago today

Pleiades, by Ivan Bunin, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1933, whose birthday is today

Natasha’s Dance (Log24, Jan. 8, 2004)

Star! by John Gregory Dunne (NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2004)

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sunday October 10, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:48 PM


In memory of
Jacques Derrida and James Chace,
both of whom died in Paris on
Friday, Oct. 8, 2004, and of
Orson Welles, who died
on this date in 1985


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041010-Welles.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Orson Welles

Mate in 2 

V. Nabokov, 1919

"The black king has three white flight squares, without mates being provided for these flights, which suggests giving him a fourth. 1. Bg2 therefore presents itself, especially when you notice that it prepares mates for all the flights, and for the king remaining on its original square.

1. Bg2

Kxc6 2. Nfe5 mate
Ke6   2. Nd4  mate
Kc4   2. Nd2  mate  
Ke4   2. Nd4  mate  
fxg3  2. Ng5  mate

The five variations together are the theme,  'starflight.'  (With orthogonal squares it is called plus- or cross-flight.)"

Open Chess Diary, 1999,
   by Tim Krabbé, Amsterdam

See also the entries of
Oct. 8, 2002 and
Oct. 8, 2004, and
related remarks on
the "double cross," or
"king's moves" symbol:

For an appropriate bishop, see


Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Tuesday October 8, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:08 AM
Starflight Theme

On Graham Greene’s novel
The Human Factor:

“Greene, always the master of economy, never wrote a tighter or more beautifully focused novel.”
Steve Robertson

“The main character is Maurice Castle, the head of the Africa station for a branch of British intelligence….  [the] writing is sparse and neat rather than languid or flowery….”
Kevin Holtsberry 

From Chapter I: 

“Castle could see that telling the truth this time had been an error of judgement, yet, except on really important occasions, he always preferred the truth.  The truth can be double-checked.”

On fiction and truth: 

Here is a short story that is
tight, focused, sparse, and neat.

The story is also true.

Mate in 2 
V. Nabokov, 1919

This problem embodies the “starflight” theme;
for details, see Tim Krabbé’s
 Open Chess Diary, entry 9.

As the example of Nabokov shows, a taste for truth (as in chess or geometry) may accompany a taste for fiction.  This applies also to Krabbé, as shown by the following reviews of his novel The Cave:

New York Times
“Krabbe’s carefully constructed narrative has a geometry so precise that the patterns buried under the surface emerge only in the final pages.”

Library Journal
“A diamond of a book- perfectly proportioned, multifaceted, and containing not one wasted word”

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