Saturday, August 29, 2020


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:46 PM

“What have they done to my song?”. . . C. S. Lewis might ask.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 4:38 AM

The previous post suggests a review.

Following the above reference to March 30, 2016 —

Following the above reference to Lovasz —

Monday, August 31, 2020

Seals:  Compare and Contrast

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Seal of the Bollingen Series 

Seal of the League

The Four-Diamond Seal

Saturday, August 29, 2020

To Wakanda

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 AM

      Update of 5:01 PM ET the same day —

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Commonwealth Tales, or “Lost in Physics”

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 PM

From Ulysses , by James Joyce —

John Eglinton, frowning, said, waxing wroth:

—Upon my word it makes my blood boil to hear anyone compare Aristotle with Plato.

—Which of the two, Stephen asked, would have banished me from his commonwealth?

Compare and contrast:

Plato's diamond in Jowett's version of the Meno dialogue

Fans of Plato might enjoy tales of Narnia, but fans of
James Joyce and Edgar Allan Poe might prefer
a tale by Michael Chabon from April 2001 about a
"doleful little corner of western Pennsylvania."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:29 AM

Yesterday was reportedly the dies natalis  (in the Catholic sense)
of a former president of New York University.

From the conclusion of The Chronicles of Narnia

"The term is over:  the holidays have begun. 
The dream is ended:  this is the morning."

Linda Hamilton's related hymn in the 1984 film "Children of the Corn" —

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpHeTcisyRo .

Monday, August 25, 2014

Plato Thanks the Academy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM


See Shadowlands in this journal.
The film so titled was directed by Richard Attenborough,
President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,
who reportedly died on Sunday, August 24, 2014.

It’s all in Plato, all in Plato:
bless me, what do  they
teach them at these schools!”
— C. S. Lewis

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday June 18, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 AM


Location, Location, Location:

Cambridge, Somerville, Charlestown

Mystic River and environs

Yesterday, Father's Day, was also the
anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Bunker Hill Community College
was the site yesterday of the
New England Fine Arts Fair.

A 2006 collage from Log24:

Shadowlands Illustrated

Sources: Log24 on 12/31/02 and 10/30/05,
and wainscoting from "Mystic River."

Meanwhile in Cambridge we have,
at Harvard's math department,
Noam Elkies's "Slummerville"

Harvard mathematician Noam Elkies

Folk are humpin'
And the chillun is high.
Oh yo' daddy's rich,
'Cos yo' ma is good lookin'

"By all means accept the invitation to hell, should it come.  It will not take you far– from Cambridge to hell is only a step; or at most a hop, skip, and jump.  But now you are evading– you are dodging the issue…. after all, Cambridge is hell enough."

Great Circle, a 1933 novel by Conrad Aiken (father of Joan Aiken, who wrote The Shadow Guests)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday September 23, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

“A corpse will be
transported by express!”

Under the Volcano,
by Malcolm Lowry (1947)



“It has a ghastly familiarity,
like a half-forgotten dream.”

 — Poppy (Gene Tierney) in
The Shanghai Gesture.”



The Star
of Venus


Joan Didion, The White Album:

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live….

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas‘ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”

From Patrick Vert,
The Narrative of Acceleration:

“There are plenty of anecdotes to highlight the personal, phenomenological experience of railway passage…

… a unique study on phantasmagoria and the history of imagination. The word originates [in] light-projection, the so-called ghost-shows of the early 19th century….

… thought becomes a phantasmagorical process, a spectral, representative location for the personal imagination that had been marginalized by scientific rationalism….

This phantasmagoria became more mediated over time…. Perception became increasingly visually oriented…. As this occurred, a narrative formed to encapsulate the phenomenology of it all….”

For such a narrative, see
the Log24.net entries of

From a Christian fairy tale:

Aslan’s last words come at the end of The Last Battle: ‘There was a real railway accident […] Your father and mother and all of you are–as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands–dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.’….

Aslan is given the last word in these quiet but emphatic lines. He is the ultimate arbiter of reality: “‘There was a real railway accident.'” Plato, in addition to the Christian tradition, lies behind the closing chapters of The Last Battle. The references here to the Shadowlands and to the dream refer back to an earlier explanation by Digory, now the Lord Digory:

“[…] that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always been here and always will be here: just as our world, England and all, is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan’s real world. [….] Of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or as waking life is from a dream. […] It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!”

Joy Alexander, Aslan’s Speech

“I was reading Durant’s section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)”

Whether any of the above will be of use in comforting the families of those killed in yesterday morning’s train wreck in Germany is not clear.  Pope Benedict XVI, like C. S. Lewis, seems to think Greek philosophy may be of some use to those dealing with train wrecks:

“Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: ‘In the beginning was the logos.‘ This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, syn logo, with logos. Logos means both reason and word– a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist.”

Remarks of the Pope at the University of Regensburg on Sept. 12, 2006

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Wednesday December 31, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:07 PM

Personal Jesus

Columnist Cal Thomas
on Politician Howard Dean: 

What exactly does Dean believe about Jesus, and how is it relevant to his presidential candidacy? “Christ was someone who sought out people who were disenfranchised,” he told the Globe, “people who were left behind.” Dean makes it sound as if He might have been a Democrat. “He fought against self-righteousness of people who had everything,” the candidate continued. “He was a person who set an extraordinary example that has lasted 2,000 years, which is pretty inspiring when you think about it.”

Not really. If that is all Jesus was (or is), then he is just another entry in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, to be read or not, according to one’s inspirational need.

C.S. Lewis brilliantly dealt with this watered-down view of Jesus and what He did in the book “Mere Christianity.” Said Lewis, who thought about such things at a far deeper level than Howard Dean, “I’m trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I can’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God – or else a madman or something worse.”

For an excellent dramatic portrayal of C. S. Lewis, see the film “Shadowlands,” starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.

For Sir Anthony Hopkins
on his birthday

Your Own Personal Jesus:

Mark Vonnegut in
British Columbia, 1970

The Jesus figure above is,
if not the Son of God,
the son of novelist Kurt Vonnegut
not a bad alternative.

As for “the sort of things Jesus said,”
consider this from a summary of
the younger Vonnegut’s
The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity —

“At one point, he decides that
his thoughts are responsible for
an earthquake in California….”

See the rather similar remarks of Jesus
in Mark 11:23.

For further notes on
theology, lunacy, and earthquakes,
see the previous entries, starting with
The Longest Night, Dec. 21, 2003,
and ending with the two Dec. 28 entries
below, both related to the recent Iran
earthquake (and, by implication, to the
quote from Robert Stone in the entries
Stone, not Wood, and Riddle). 

Sunday, December 28, 2003  7:29 PM

Season’s Greetings from the
Institute for Advanced Study,
in keeping with the theme of
the previous entry.


“Warren Ellis’ Die Puny Humans….
  Worth looking at.”

DPH leads to Sohma G. Dawling

who in turn leads,
 via r. sakamoto, to

Oppenheimer’s Aria.
For the aria, after you click on
the above link, click on the
picture at the resulting site

Sunday, December 28, 2003  2:00 PM

Hostages Freed, Iran Says

The Associated Press,
December 28, 2003, 11:46 AM EST

TEHRAN, Iran — Three European hostages seized in southeastern Iran earlier this month have been released, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Sunday.

The $6 million ransom demand was not paid, another Iranian official said.

Drug smugglers seized the hostages — two from Germany and one from Ireland — Dec. 2… as they bicycled to the city of Zahedan from



Thank you, Ma’am.

(See The Magdalene Code, 12/26.
For the “Wham,” see Rosebud, 12/22,
and later entries.)

Another entry not without relevance
is that of 3/07.

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Tuesday December 31, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 PM

To Sir Anthony Hopkins
on His Birthday

From “The Wardrobe Wars,” by Paul Willis:

“I was back at Wheaton for a conference just a couple of years ago. During a period of announcements, a curator from the Wade Collection invited the conference participants to visit the collection and see the many books and papers that had belonged to Lewis and his associates. At the end of her announcement, she told us, ‘We also have the wardrobe that served as the original for the one in the Narnia Chronicles.’

There it was, that definite article again. In a remarkable display of maturity I put up my hand and said, ‘Excuse me, but the wardrobe is at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.’

The woman gave me a long, hard look of the ‘we are not amused’ variety. That was all. I wasn’t able to find her after the session was over to clear things up.

Not that we could have, really. Of course, if pressed, I suspect we would both admit the wardrobe we are really concerned with exists only within the covers of a book, and that not even this wardrobe is so important as the story of which it is a part, and that the story is not so important as the sense of infinite longing that it stirs within our souls, and that this longing is not so important as the One—more real than Aslan himself—to whom it directs us. But that would be asking too much of either the curator or myself. To worship at our respective wardrobes, whether they be in Jerusalem or Samaria, is indeed to live in the shadowlands. And that is where we like it.

Lewis himself would doubtless say that the physical wardrobes in our possession are but copies of a faint copy. He might even claim, to our horror, that no single wardrobe inspired the one found in his book. Then he might add under his breath, like the professor in The Last Battle who has passed on to the next life, ‘It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!'”

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