Log24

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Kind of Cross

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:00 PM

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."

Gravity's Rainbow

See also Heidegger + Rift in this  journal.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In Memoriam

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."
— Gravity's Rainbow

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday with the Nashes

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:00 PM

“For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross.” — Gravity’s Rainbow

“I don’t write exclusively on Jewish themes or about Jewish characters.
My collection of short stories, Strange Attractors , contained nine pieces,
five of which were, to some degree, Jewish, and this ratio has provided me
with a precise mathematical answer (for me, still the best kind of answer)
to the question of whether I am a Jewish writer. I am five-ninths a Jewish writer.”

— Rebecca Goldstein, “Against Logic

Midrashim for Rebecca: 

The Diamond Theory vs.  the Story Theory (of truth)

Story Theory and the Number of the Beast

The Palm Sunday post “Gray Space”

For those who prefer the diamond theory of truth,
a “precise mathematical” view of a Gray code —

IMAGE- Six-bit binary and Gray codes

For those who prefer the story theory of truth,
Thursday with the Nashes —

The actors who portrayed Mr. and Mrs. John Nash in
‘A Beautiful Mind’ now portray Mr. and Mrs. Noah…

IMAGE- At UMC.org, the actors who portrayed Mr. and Mrs. John Nash in 'A Beautiful Mind' now portray Mr. and Mrs. Noah.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five Ninths

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:48 PM

“For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross.” — Gravity’s Rainbow

“I don’t write exclusively on Jewish themes or about Jewish characters.
My collection of short stories, Strange Attractors , contained nine pieces,
five of which were, to some degree, Jewish, and this ratio has provided me
with a precise mathematical answer (for me, still the best kind of answer)
to the question of whether I am a Jewish writer. I am five-ninths a Jewish writer.”

— Rebecca Goldstein, “Against Logic

Related material:  The cross of five ninths, from Epiphany 2006.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Secular Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:30 AM

This morning's previous post, on sacred space,
linked to "Positively White Cube Revisited,"
an article by one Simon Sheikh.

Sheikh writes well, but he seems to be a disciple
of the damned Marxist lunatic Louis Althusser.

As Pynchon put it in Gravity's Rainbow ,
"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."

In this case, a video starring Sheikh on the exhibition "All That Fits"
suggests, by its filming date (May 27, 2011),  a Maltese  cross.

"The stuff that dreams are made of." — Bogart

IMAGE- 'Maltese Falcon' clip uploaded Oct. 25, 2012

(See also Oct. 25, 2012.)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Honors Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Tonight was Honors Night at the Kennedy Center.

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross." — Pynchon

From "Colin Wilson: The Persistence of Meaning"

"At a literary conference at SUNY New Paltz three years ago, among people who I thought would be positively disposed to Wilson, my mentioning of his name resulted in any number of arched eyebrows and suavely disparaging remarks. Now this might itself be, not an affirmation of justified oblivion, as one could easily assume, but rather a kind of indirect evidence for intrinsic merit. I stress the academic  character of the event and the self-assured oiliness of the dismissal. In context, the reference seemed to carry a distinctly un-PC valence so that the reaction to it, as I picture it in retrospect, resembled that of a patrician vampire to garlic."

—  Thomas F. Bertonneau on Thursday,
      May 7, 2009, in The Brussels Journal 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Crosses for Sherlock

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:15 PM

"Take a cube, and write the numbers 1,…,6 on its faces.
Now the pairs of numbers on opposite faces
form a syntheme. (Standard dice, for example, represent
the syntheme 12|34|56.) "
— Peter J. Cameron, weblog post of May 11, 2010 

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow

Monday, August 26, 2013

Spectrum

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:30 PM

From the weblog of Dr. David Justice today :

C.S. Lewis somewhere (in time, in retirement, I might recover
the passage) surveys the spectrum of plot-outlines, and notes
that that of Orpheus retains its power to spellbind, even in a
bare-bones form, whereas that of almost all worthy modern novels,
become as dust upon such summary.

We venture now  upon that territory where words fail ….

Related material :

C. S. Lewis on Orpheus (click to enlarge) —

Lewis, according to Justice, "surveys the spectrum of plot-outlines."

A related image (see, too, today's previous post) —

C. S. Lewis on myth —

"The stories I am thinking of always have a very simple narrative shape—
a satisfactory and inevitable shape, like a good vase or a tulip."

Conceptual Art

For concepts of prism, spectrum, and tulip combined, see Sicilian Reflections.

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Red October’s Sermon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 AM

For the Harvard Arts Weekend:

"Grids, You Say?" by Josefine Lyche, with
Lyche's quotation from Rosalind Krauss in October
(Vol. 9, Summer 1979) —

IMAGE- 'Grids, You Say?' by Josefine Lyche, with Lyche's quotation of Rosalind Krauss

See also last evening's Elevation of the Host, with Vampire Weekend.

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross." — Gravity's Rainbow

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Galois Space

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:00 PM

(Continued)

The previous post suggests two sayings:

"There is  such a thing as a Galois space."

— Adapted from Madeleine L'Engle

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."

Thomas Pynchon

Illustrations—

(Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Red October

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 PM

(Continued)

IMAGE- Klein-group picture by Rosalind Krauss in essay titled 'In the Master's Bedroom'

"In the master's bedroom, they gathered for the feast…."
— Suggested by the current film Hotel Transylvania

"For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross."
– Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Related material— the Feast of Saint Patrick in 2009.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brightness at Noon (continued)

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110316-MiraSorvino.jpg

Related material:
See a search for the author of
Venus on the Half-Shell .

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow

Saturday, January 8, 2011

True Grid (continued)

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

"Rosetta Stone" as a Metaphor
  in Mathematical Narratives

For some backgound, see Mathematics and Narrative from 2005.

Yesterday's posts on mathematics and narrative discussed some properties
of the 3×3 grid (also known as the ninefold square ).

For some other properties, see (at the college-undergraduate, or MAA, level)–
Ezra Brown, 2001, "Magic Squares, Finite Planes, and Points of Inflection on Elliptic Curves."

His conclusion:

When you are done, you will be able to arrange the points into [a] 3×3 magic square,
which resembles the one in the book [5] I was reading on elliptic curves….

This result ties together threads from finite geometry, recreational mathematics,
combinatorics, calculus, algebra, and number theory. Quite a feat!

5. Viktor Prasolov and Yuri Solvyev, Elliptic Functions and Elliptic Integrals ,
    American Mathematical Society, 1997.

Brown fails to give an important clue to the historical background of this topic —
the word Hessian . (See, however, this word in the book on elliptic functions that he cites.)

Investigation of this word yields a related essay at the graduate-student, or AMS, level–
Igor Dolgachev and Michela Artebani, 2009, "The Hesse Pencil of Plane Cubic Curves ."

From the Dolgachev-Artebani introduction–

In this paper we discuss some old and new results about the widely known Hesse
configuration
  of 9 points and 12 lines in the projective plane P2(k ): each point lies
on 4 lines and each line contains 3 points, giving an abstract configuration (123, 94).

PlanetMath.org on the Hesse configuration

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110108-PlanetMath.jpg

A picture of the Hesse configuration–

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/grid3x3med.bmp” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

(See Visualizing GL(2,p), a note from 1985).

Related notes from this journal —

From last November —

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Story

m759 @ 10:12 PM

From the December 2010 American Mathematical Society Notices

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101113-Ono.gif

Related material from this  journal—

Mathematics and Narrative and

Consolation Prize (August 19, 2010)

From 2006 —

Sunday December 10, 2006

 

 m759 @ 9:00 PM

A Miniature Rosetta Stone:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/grid3x3med.bmp” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Function defined form, expressed in a pure geometry
that the eye could easily grasp in its entirety.”

– J. G. Ballard on Modernism
(The Guardian , March 20, 2006)

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance –
it is the illusion of knowledge.”

— Daniel J. Boorstin,
Librarian of Congress, quoted in Beyond Geometry

Also from 2006 —

Sunday November 26, 2006

 

m759 @ 7:26 AM

Rosalind Krauss
in "Grids," 1979:

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art  or The Non-Objective World , for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter.  They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete.

Or, to take a more up-to-date example…."

"He was looking at the nine engravings and at the circle,
checking strange correspondences between them."
The Club Dumas ,1993

"And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason."
Robert Plant ,1971

The nine engravings of The Club Dumas
(filmed as "The Ninth Gate") are perhaps more
an example of the concrete than of the universal.

An example of the universal*– or, according to Krauss,
a "staircase" to the universal– is the ninefold square:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"This is the garden of Apollo, the field of Reason…."
John Outram, architect    

For more on the field of reason, see
Log24, Oct. 9, 2006.

A reasonable set of "strange correspondences"
in the garden of Apollo has been provided by
Ezra Brown in a mathematical essay (pdf).

Unreason is, of course, more popular.

* The ninefold square is perhaps a "concrete universal" in the sense of Hegel:

"Two determinations found in all philosophy are the concretion of the Idea and the presence of the spirit in the same; my content must at the same time be something concrete, present. This concrete was termed Reason, and for it the more noble of those men contended with the greatest enthusiasm and warmth. Thought was raised like a standard among the nations, liberty of conviction and of conscience in me. They said to mankind, 'In this sign thou shalt conquer,' for they had before their eyes what had been done in the name of the cross alone, what had been made a matter of faith and law and religion– they saw how the sign of the cross had been degraded."

– Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy ,
   "Idea of a Concrete Universal Unity"

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
– Thomas Pynchon   

And from last October —

Friday, October 8, 2010

 

m759 @ 12:00 PM
 

Starting Out in the Evening
… and Finishing Up at Noon

This post was suggested by last evening's post on mathematics and narrative and by Michiko Kakutani on Vargas Llosa in this morning's New York Times .

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-StartingOut.jpg

 

Above: Frank Langella in
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Right: Johnny Depp in
"The Ninth Gate"

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101008-NinthGate.jpg

"One must proceed cautiously, for this road— of truth and falsehood in the realm of fiction— is riddled with traps and any enticing oasis is usually a mirage."

– "Is Fiction the Art of Lying?"* by Mario Vargas Llosa,
    New York Times  essay of October 7, 1984

* The Web version's title has a misprint—
   "living" instead of "lying."

"You've got to pick up every stitch…"

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Craft, continued

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:25 AM

Phoebe Halliwell of 'Charmed'

Phoebe Halliwell of "Charmed"

Review of a new film — "She’s Out of My League has moments of humor and insight, but it’s bogged down by excessive vulgarity and cartoonishness."

Sometimes that's what it takes

Janis Joplin sings 'Ball and Chain', illustrated by R. Crumb

Click to enlarge.

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow   

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday September 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:00 AM
A Pleasantly
Discursive Treatment

In memory of Unitarian
minister Forrest Church,
 dead at 61 on Thursday:

NY Times Sept. 27, 2009, obituaries, featuring Unitarian minister Forrest Church

Unitarian Universalist Origins: Our Historic Faith

“In sixteenth-century Transylvania, Unitarian congregations were established for the first time in history.”

Gravity’s Rainbow–

“For every kind of vampire, there is a kind of cross.”

Unitarian minister Richard Trudeau

“… I called the belief that

(1) Diamonds– informative, certain truths about the world– exist

the ‘Diamond Theory’ of truth. I said that for 2200 years the strongest evidence for the Diamond Theory was the widespread perception that

(2) The theorems of Euclidean geometry are diamonds….

As the news about non-Euclidean geometry spread– first among mathematicians, then among scientists and philosophers– the Diamond Theory began a long decline that continues today.

Factors outside mathematics have contributed to this decline. Euclidean geometry had never been the Diamond Theory’s only ally. In the eighteenth century other fields had seemed to possess diamonds, too; when many of these turned out to be man-made, the Diamond Theory was undercut. And unlike earlier periods in history, when intellectual shocks came only occasionally, received truths have, since the eighteenth century, been found wanting at a dizzying rate, creating an impression that perhaps no knowledge is stable.

Other factors notwithstanding, non-Euclidean geometry remains, I think, for those who have heard of it, the single most powerful argument against the Diamond Theory*– first, because it overthrows what had always been the strongest argument in favor of the Diamond Theory, the objective truth of Euclidean geometry; and second, because it does so not by showing Euclidean geometry to be false, but by showing it to be merely uncertain.” —The Non-Euclidean Revolution, p. 255

H. S. M. Coxeter, 1987, introduction to Trudeau’s book

“There is a pleasantly discursive treatment of Pontius Pilate’s unanswered question ‘What is truth?’.”

As noted here on Oct. 8, 2008 (A Yom Kippur Meditation), Coxeter was aware in 1987 of a more technical use of the phrase “diamond theory” that is closely related to…

A kind
 of cross:

Diamond formed by four diagonally-divided two-color squares

See both
Theme and
Variations
and some more
poetic remarks,

Mirror-Play
 of the Fourfold.

* As recent Log24 entries have pointed out, diamond theory (in the original 1976 sense) is a type of non-Euclidean geometry, since finite geometry is not Euclidean geometry– and is, therefore, non-Euclidean, in the strictest sense (though not according to popular usage).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday June 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:00 AM
And the ruby slippers
go to… Thomas Pynchon!

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
Pynchon

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday April 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:09 AM
April is Awareness Month

for both

Mathematics and Autism.

Welcome to the
Black Hole Café

"Our lifelong friendship made me not only an admirer of the depth, scholarship, and sheer energy of his mathematical work (and of his ceaseless activities as an editorial entrepreneur on behalf of mathematics) but one in awe of his status as the ultimate relaxed sophisticate."
 

The late Jacob T. Schwartz 
  on Gian-Carlo Rota

Psychoshop

by Alfred Bester
and Roger Zelazny:

His manner was all charm and grace; pure café society….

He purred a chuckle. "My place. If you want to come, I'll show you."

"Love to. The Luogo Nero? The Black Place?"

"That's what the locals call it. It's really Buoco Nero, the Black Hole."

"Like the Black Hole of Calcutta?"

"No. Black Hole as in astronomy. Corpse of a dead star, but also channel between this universe and its next-door neighbor."


"After Davis and Hersh,
it will be hard to uphold
the Glasperlenspiel
view of mathematics."
— Gian-Carlo Rota  

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon  

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09/090425-AutismPuzzlePiece.jpg

AutismGear.com
 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday April 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 PM
Where Entertainment
Is God

“For every kind of vampire,
  there is a kind of cross.”
  — Thomas Pynchon in     
    Gravity’s Rainbow   

“Since 1963, when Pynchon’s first novel, V., came out, the writer– widely considered America’s most important novelist since World War II– has become an almost mythical figure, a kind of cross between the Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis’s) and Caine in Kung Fu.”

Nancy Jo Sales in the November 11, 1996, issue of New York Magazine

A Cross Between

(Click on images for their
  source in past entries.)


In a Nutshell:

Plato’s Ghost evokes Yeats’s lament that any claim to worldly perfection inevitably is proven wrong by the philosopher’s ghost….”

— Princeton University Press on Plato’s Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics (by Jeremy Gray, September 2008)

“She’s a brick house…”
 — Plato’s Ghost according to   
Log24, April 2007 

“First of all, I’d like
to thank the Academy.”
Remark attributed to Plato

Jerry Lewis Wins an Oscar at Last-- TIME magazine



David Carradine displays a yellow book-- the Princeton I Ching.

Click on the Yellow Book.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday April 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:59 PM
Dinner at Eight
on TNT

'Underworld,' starring Kate Beckinsale

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
Gravity’s Rainbow 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday March 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Deep Structures

The traditional 'Square of Opposition'

The Square of Oppositon
at Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy


The Square of Opposition diagram in its earliest known form

The Square of Opposition
in its original form

"The diagram above is from a ninth century manuscript of Apuleius' commentary on Aristotle's Perihermaneias, probably one of the oldest surviving pictures of the square."

Edward Buckner at The Logic Museum

From the webpage "Semiotics for Beginners: Paradigmatic Analysis," by Daniel Chandler:
 

The Semiotic Square of Greimas

The Semiotic Square

"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 (Greimas 1987,* xiv, 49). The semiotic square is intended to map the logical conjunctions and disjunctions relating key semantic features in a text. Fredric Jameson notes that 'the entire mechanism… is capable of generating at least ten conceivable positions out of a rudimentary binary opposition' (in Greimas 1987,* xiv). Whilst this suggests that the possibilities for signification in a semiotic system are richer than the either/or of binary logic, but that [sic] they are nevertheless subject to 'semiotic constraints' – 'deep structures' providing basic axes of signification."

* Greimas, Algirdas (1987): On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory (trans. Paul J Perron & Frank H Collins). London: Frances Pinter

Another version of the semiotic square:
 

Rosalind Krauss's version of the semiotic square, which she calls the Klein group

Krauss says that her figure "is, of course, a Klein Group."

Here is a more explicit figure representing the Klein group:

The Klein Four-Group, illustration by Steven H. Cullinane

There is also the logical
    diamond of opposition

The Diamond of Opposition (figure from Wikipedia)

A semiotic (as opposed to logical)
diamond has been used to illustrate
remarks by Fredric Jameson,
 a Marxist literary theorist:

"Introduction to Algirdas Greimas, Module on the Semiotic Square," by Dino Felluga at Purdue University–

The semiotic square has proven to be an influential concept not only in narrative theory but in the ideological criticism of Fredric Jameson, who uses the square as "a virtual map of conceptual closure, or better still, of the closure of ideology itself" ("Foreword"* xv). (For more on Jameson, see the [Purdue University] Jameson module on ideology.)

Greimas' schema is useful since it illustrates the full complexity of any given semantic term (seme). Greimas points out that any given seme entails its opposite or "contrary." "Life" (s1) for example is understood in relation to its contrary, "death" (s2). Rather than rest at this simple binary opposition (S), however, Greimas points out that the opposition, "life" and "death," suggests what Greimas terms a contradictory pair (-S), i.e., "not-life" (-s1) and "not-death" (-s2). We would therefore be left with the following semiotic square (Fig. 1):

A semiotic 'diamond of opposition'

As Jameson explains in the Foreword to Greimas' On Meaning, "-s1 and -s2"—which in this example are taken up by "not-death" and "not-life"—"are the simple negatives of the two dominant terms, but include far more than either: thus 'nonwhite' includes more than 'black,' 'nonmale' more than 'female'" (xiv); in our example, not-life would include more than merely death and not-death more than life.

* Jameson, Fredric. "Foreword." On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory. By Algirdas Greimas. Trans. Paul J. Perron and Frank H. Collins. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1976.

"The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job, a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary, it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game, we call the Game Dhum Welur, the Mind of God."

The Gameplayers of Zan, by M.A. Foster

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon,
 Gravity's Rainbow

Crosses used by semioticians
to baffle their opponents
are illustrated above.

Some other kinds of crosses,
and another kind of opponent:

Monday, July 11, 2005

Logos
for St. Benedict's Day

Click on either of the logos below for religious meditations– on the left, a Jewish meditation from the Conference of Catholic Bishops; on the right, an Aryan meditation from Stormfront.org.

Logo of Conference of Catholic Bishops     Logo of Stormfront website

Both logos represent different embodiments of the "story theory" of truth, as opposed to the "diamond theory" of truth.  Both logos claim, in their own ways, to represent the eternal Logos of the Christian religion.  I personally prefer the "diamond theory" of truth, represented by the logo below.

Illustration of the 2x2 case of the diamond theorem

See also the previous entry
(below) and the entries
  of 7/11, 2003.
 

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Mathematics
and Narrative

 
Click on the title
for a narrative about

Nikolaos K. Artemiadis

Nikolaos K. Artemiadis,
 (co-) author of

Artemiadis's 'History of Mathematics,' published by the American Mathematical Society
 

From Artemiadis's website:
1986: Elected Regular Member
of the Academy of Athens
1999: Vice President
of the Academy of Athens
2000: President
of the Academy of Athens
Seal of the American Mathematical Society with picture of Plato's Academy

"First of all, I'd like to
   thank the Academy…"

— Remark attributed to Plato

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday March 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:32 AM
Straight

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon in  
Gravity’s Rainbow

This entry is continued
from yesterday evening,
from midnight last night,
and from an entry of
 February 20 (the date
four years ago of
 Hunter Thompson’s death)–
  “Emblematizing the Modern“–

Emblematizing the Modern

Note that in applications, the vertical axis of the Cross of Descartes often symbolizes the timeless (money, temperature, etc.) while the horizontal axis often symbolizes time.

T.S. Eliot:


“Men’s curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint….”

“I played ‘Deathmaster’ straight….
 The best villains are the ones who are
 both protagonist and antagonist.”
The late Robert Quarry

“Selah.”
The late Hunter Thompson

'Deathmaster' Robert Quarry and gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson, who both died on a February 20

Yesterday afternoon’s online
New York Times:

NY Times online front page, 5 PM March 2, 2009-- graph of stock market plunge

Today’s online New York Times:

Footnote

Descending financial graph's arrow strikes man's pants cuff, immobilizing him

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday February 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:00 PM
A Kind of Cross

Descartes portrait

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."

— Thomas Pynchon in  
Gravity's Rainbow

Descartes's Cross

Click for source.

Related material:

A memorial service
held at 2 PM today at the
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
in Huntsville, Alabama, and
 today's previous entry.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday February 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:00 AM
"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow

Quaternion in finite geometry

Quaternion

Happy St. Bridget's Day.
 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday January 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM
A Kind of Cross

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
Gravity’s Rainbow  

Page 16 of the New Directions 'Stephen Hero,' 1963

The above text on Joyce’s theory of epiphanies:

“It emphasizes the radiance, the effulgence, of the thing itself revealed in a special moment, an unmoving moment, of time. The moment, as in the macrocosmic lyric of Finnegans Wake, may involve all other moments, but it still remains essentially static, and though it may have all time for its subject matter it is essentially timeless.”

— Page 17 of Stephen Hero, by James Joyce, Theodore Spencer, John J. Slocum, and Herbert Cahoon, Edition: 16, New Directions Publishing, 1963

Related epiphanies —

Detail from
the above text:
The word 'epiphanies' followed by a footnote dagger
Cover of
a paperback novel
well worth reading:

Dagger on the cover of 'Fraternity of the Stone,' by David Morrell

Related material:

“Joyce knew no Greek.”
— Statement by the prototype
of Buck Mulligan in Ulysses,
Oliver St. John Gogarty,
quoted in the above
New Directions Stephen Hero

Chrysostomos.”
— Statement in Ulysses
by the prototype
of Stephen Dedalus,
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce

See also the link to
Mardi Gras, 2008,
in yesterday’s entry,
with its text from
the opening of Ulysses:

“He faced about and
blessed gravely thrice
the tower,
the surrounding country
 and the awaking mountains.”

Some context:

(Click on images for details.)

'The Prisoner,' Episode One, frame at 7:59, map of The Village

and

Escher's 'Metamorphose III,' chessboard endgame

“In the process of absorbing
the rules of the institutions
we inhabit, we become
who we are.”

David Brooks, Jewish columnist,
in today’s New York Times

The Prisoner,
Episode One, 1967:
I… I meant a larger map.”

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday June 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:20 PM
Lying Rhymes

Readers of the previous entry
who wish to practice their pardes
may contemplate the following:

NY Lottery June 9, 2008: mid-day 007, evening 563

 
The evening 563 may, as in other recent entries, be interpreted as a page number in Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics, 1995). From that page:

“He brings out the mandala he found.
‘What’s it mean?’
[….]
Slothrop gives him the mandala. He hopes it will work like the mantra that Enzian told him once, mba-kayere (I am passed over), mba-kayere… a spell […]. A mezuzah. Safe passage through a bad night….”

In lieu of Slothrop’s mandala, here
is another, from the Dante link
in today’s previous entry:

Christ and the four elements, 1495

Christ and the Four Elements

This 1495 image is found in
The Janus Faces of Genius:
The Role of Alchemy

in Newton’s Thought,
by B. J. T. Dobbs,
Cambridge University Press,
2002, p. 85


Related mandalas:

Diamond arrangement of the four elements

and

Logo by Steven H. Cullinane for website on finite geometry

For further details,
click on any of the
three mandalas above.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon, quoted
here on 9/13, 2007

(As for today’s New York Lottery midday number 007, see (for instance) Edward Rothstein in today’s New York Times on paradise, and also Tom Stoppard on heaven as “just a lying rhyme” for seven.)

Time of entry: 10:20:55 PM

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday June 8, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:35 PM
The System

Pennsylvania Lottery
Sunday, June 8, 2008:

Mid-day 638
Evening 913

Midrash:

638 —

“It’s the system that matters.
How the data arrange
themselves inside it.”

Gravity’s Rainbow,
page 638

913 —

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon, quoted
here on 9/13, 2007

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday May 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Lottery Sermon

"And take upon's
the mystery of things
 as if we were God's spies"
King Lear  

PA Lottery Sunday, May 4, 2008: mid-day 170, evening 144

From Log24 on Aug. 19, 2003
and on Ash Wednesday, 2004:
a reviewer on
An Instance of the Fingerpost::

"Perhaps we are meant to
see the story as a cubist
   retelling of the crucifixion."

From Log24 on
Michaelmas 2007:

Kate Beckinsale (in 'Pearl Harbor') pointing to an instance of the number 144

Google searches suggested by
Sunday's PA lottery numbers
(mid-day 170, evening 144)
and by the above
figure of Kate Beckinsale
pointing to an instance of
the number 144 —

Click to enlarge:

Search for the meaning of 170 and 144, the PA lottery numbers of Sunday, May 4, 2008

Related material:

Beckinsale in another film
(See At the Crossroads,
Log24, Dec. 8, 2006):

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow  
 
Kate Beckinsale in Underworld: Evolution

 

Kate Beckinsale, adapted from
poster for Underworld: Evolution
(DVD release date 6/6/6)
 
There is such a thing
as a tesseract.

"It was only in retrospect
that the silliness
became profound."

— Review of  
Faust in Copenhagen

From the conclusion of
Joan Didion's 1970 novel
  Play It As It Lays

Cover of 'Play It As It Lays'

"I know what 'nothing' means,
and keep on playing."

From Play It As It Lays,
the paperback edition of 1990
  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) —

Page 170:

"By the end of a week she was thinking constantly
about where her body stopped and the air began,
about the exact point in space and time that was the
difference between Maria and other. She had the sense
that if she could get that in her mind and hold it for

170  

even one micro-second she would have what she had
come to get."

"The page numbers
are generally reliable."

Michaelmas 2007   

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday September 13, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:02 AM
Lease Renewed


The New York Times
,
Thursday, September 13, 2007–

Burt Hasen, Artist Inspired
by Maps, Dies at 85

Burt Hasen, a New York painter who drew inspiration from his experience working with maps as a military technician during World War II, died on Friday [September 7, 2007] in Manhattan. He was 85 and lived in Lower Manhattan….

During the war he served in the Air Force in the Pacific, where his duties involved close study of aerial maps, an activity that lastingly influenced his work. His densely worked canvases often had an overhead perspective….Toward the end of his life, many of his seemingly abstract paintings were based directly, and in detail, on maps….

In 2006 Mr. Hasen, his wife and the other tenants of a five-story building at 7 Dutch Street near the South Street Seaport made news when they organized against their landlord’s attempt to evict them from the rent-regulated lofts they had occupied for more than 30 years. They subsequently had their leases renewed.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07A/070913-Map.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
Gravity’s Rainbow

Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday December 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:01 AM
Tools
of Christ Church

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
— Thomas Pynchon

Cover of Thomas, by Shelley Mydans: Sword and its shadow, a cross

Click on picture for details.

Today is the feast
of St. Thomas Becket.

In his honor, a meditation
on tools and causation:

“Lewis Wolpert, an eminent developmental biologist at University College London, has just published Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a pleasant, though rambling, look at the biological basis of belief. While the book focuses on our ability to form causal beliefs about everyday matters (the wind moved the trees, for example), it spends considerable time on the origins of religious and moral beliefs. Wolpert defends the unusual idea that causal thinking is an adaptation required for tool-making. Religious beliefs can thus be seen as an odd extension of causal thinking about technology to more mysterious matters. Only a species that can reason causally could assert that ‘this storm was sent by God because we sinned.’ While Wolpert’s attitude toward religion is tolerant, he’s an atheist who seems to find religion more puzzling than absorbing.”

Review by H. Allen Orr in
The New York Review of Books,
Vol. 54, No. 1, January 11, 2007    


“An odd extension”–

Wolpert’s title is, of course,
from Lewis Carroll.

Related material:

“It’s a poor sort of memory
that only works backwards.”
Through the Looking-Glass

An event at the Kennedy Center
broadcast on
December 26, 2006
(St. Steven’s Day):

“Conductor John Williams, a 2004 Honoree, says, ‘Steven, sharing our 34-year collaboration has been a great privilege for me. It’s been an inspiration to watch you dream your dreams, nurture them and make them grow. And, in the process, entertain and edify billions of people around the world. Tonight we’d like to salute you, musically, with a piece that expresses that spirit beautifully … It was written by Leonard Bernstein, a 1980 Kennedy Center Honoree who was, incidentally, the first composer to be performed in this hall.’ Backed by The United States Army Chorus and The Choral Arts Society, soprano Harolyn Blackwell and tenor Gregory Turay sing the closing number for Spielberg’s tribute and the gala itself. It’s the finale to the opera ‘Candide,’ ‘Make Our Garden Grow,’ and Williams conducts.”

CBS press release

See also the following,
from the conclusion to

Mathematics and Narrative

(Log24, Aug. 22, 2005):

Diamond on cover of Narrative Form, by Suzanne Keen

“At times, bullshit can
only be countered
   with superior bullshit.”
Norman Mailer

Many Worlds and Possible Worlds in Literature and Art, in Wikipedia:

    “The concept of possible worlds dates back to at least Leibniz who in his Théodicée tries to justify the apparent imperfections of the world by claiming that it is optimal among all possible worlds.  Voltaire satirized this view in his picaresque novel Candide….
    Borges’ seminal short story El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (“The Garden of Forking Paths“) is an early example of many worlds in fiction.”

Il faut cultiver notre jardin.
— Voltaire

“We symbolize
logical necessity
with the box (box.gif (75 bytes))
and logical possibility
with the diamond (diamond.gif (82 bytes)).”

Keith Allen Korcz 

Diamond in a square

“The possibilia that exist,
and out of which
the Universe arose,
are located in
     a necessary being….”

Michael Sudduth,
Notes on
God, Chance, and Necessity
by Keith Ward,
 Regius Professor of Divinity,
  Christ Church College, Oxford
(the home of Lewis Carroll)

For further details,
click on the
Christ Church diamond.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wednesday December 20, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:26 AM
Spike

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon  

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061220-Spike.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"Also on the card is Adrien Brody ('The Thin Red Line') as a poseur proto-punk who lives in his parents' converted garage and strips at an underground gay club. He takes heat from his former friends– the aforementioned neighborhood toughs– for affecting an English accent and wearing a mohawk…."

Rob Blackwelder review of Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam" (1999)

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061220-BrodySign.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"With its white community focus, Summer of Sam is something of a departure for Lee. But with its immaculate script, faultless acting and Lee's own cameo performance, it is a typical Spike Lee film. Plenty of rapid-fire, wise-cracking dialogue and hectic crowd scenes make it fraught with tension from beginning to end. Hectic, inventive, gritty, witty, edgy and provocative, no detail is too small to escape Lee's attention and no issue too large as the film's perceptive dissection of human nature moves effortlessly between humour and horror."

Andrea Henry review

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061222-BrodyDiner.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"At another end of the sexual confusion spectrum, there's Vinny's childhood friend, now turned spiky-haired punk rocker, Ritchie (Adrien Brody). Recently he's started dating Ruby (Jennifer Esposito), erstwhile neighborhood tramp. They are both redeemed by their relationship, which at least at first, involves no sex, technically. Where Vinny struggles with his culturally instilled madonna-whore complex, Ritchie's just back from a stint living in the Village, looking for an identity that's distinct from his Italian gotta-be-macho upbringing. Eventually, he gets a gig at CBGB's ('How do you spell that?' wonders Vinny), but in order to make ends meet (and pay for his new guitar), he's dancing and turning tricks at Male World, a decrepit gay club where he performs fellatio with a life-sized dummy on stage, and, you assume, with clients offscreen."

Cynthia Fuchs revew (title: "Sex and the City")
 

Oscar's War on Women: 

Susan G. Cole on the  
75th Annual Academy Awards,
presented March 23, 2003 —

"I watched Halle Berry wipe her mouth off after Adrien Brody, in the heat of his excitement, laid the lip-lock on her for five full excruciating seconds. She was stunned, and seemed to have no idea what had happened to her. I'll tell you what happened, Halle: it's called sexual assault."

Mephisto vs. the X-Men, Vol. 1, No. 3

The Kiss…

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061220-Kiss.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Where's the Oscar
for the mouth-wipe?

Friday, December 8, 2006

Friday December 8, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM
An Instance
of the Fingerpost
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06B/061208-Date.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
"CRUCIAL (from Lat. crux, a cross),
that which has the form of a cross…
 From Francis Bacon's expression
instantia crucis (taken, as he says, from
the finger-post or crux at cross-roads)"
 
Encyclopaedia Britannica,
the classic 11th edition (1911)
 
"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
Gravity's Rainbow  
 
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060614-EvolutionBegins2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Kate Beckinsale, adapted from
poster for Underworld: Evolution
(DVD release date 6/6/6)

 
There is such a thing
as a tesseract.
A Wrinkle in Time  
 
Related material:
 
The tesseract on the cover of
The Gameplayers of Zan
(All Hallows' Eve, 2005), and
 
A Last Stitch in Time…or
A Map of the Map
of Kierkegaard's World:

"Appropriating the Button-molder's
words to Peer Gynt, he would say,
'We'll meet at the next crossroads…
and then we'll see–
I won't say more.'"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday November 26, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:26 AM

Rosalind Krauss
in "Grids," 1979:

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art or The Non-Objective World, for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter.  They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete.

Or, to take a more up-to-date example…."

"He was looking at
the nine engravings
and at the circle,
checking strange
correspondences
between them."
The Club Dumas,1993

"And it's whispered that soon
if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us
to reason."
Robert Plant,1971

The nine engravings of
The Club Dumas
(filmed as "The Ninth Gate")
are perhaps more an example
of the concrete than of the
universal.

An example of the universal*–
or, according to Krauss, a
"staircase" to the universal–
is the ninefold square:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/grid3x3.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"This is the garden of Apollo,
the field of Reason…."
John Outram, architect    

For more on the field
of reason, see
Log24, Oct. 9, 2006.

A reasonable set of
"strange correspondences"
in the garden of Apollo
has been provided by Ezra Brown
in a mathematical essay (pdf).

Unreason is, of course,
more popular.

* The ninefold square is perhaps a "concrete universal" in the sense of Hegel:

"Two determinations found in all philosophy are the concretion of the Idea and the presence of the spirit in the same; my content must at the same time be something concrete, present. This concrete was termed Reason, and for it the more noble of those men contended with the greatest enthusiasm and warmth. Thought was raised like a standard among the nations, liberty of conviction and of conscience in me. They said to mankind, 'In this sign thou shalt conquer,' for they had before their eyes what had been done in the name of the cross alone, what had been made a matter of faith and law and religion– they saw how the sign of the cross had been degraded."

— Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, "Idea of a Concrete Universal Unity"

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon   
 

Sunday November 26, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:25 AM
The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/SmallSpaces.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material from March 2004:
Anschaulichkeit (3/16) and
Readings for St. Patrick’s Day.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”
— Thomas Pynchon,
Gravity’s Rainbow

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday June 14, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:11 AM
For a
Dark Lady
 
The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060614-Beckinsale.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060614-HypercubeAndCube.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Hypercube and Cube

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060614-Unfolding.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Hypercube and Cube
Unfolding

For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.
Gravity’s Rainbow

The above crosses are from an animation that “illustrates… unfolding of the nets of a hypercube (left) and cube (right).” — Christopher Thomas

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060614-EvolutionBegins2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Kate Beckinsale, poster for
Underworld: Evolution
(DVD release date 6/6/6)

evolve:
1641, “to unfold, open out, expand,”
from L. evolvere “unroll,” from ex- “out”
+ volvere “to roll” (see vulva).
Online Eymology Dictionary 

Related material:

Introduction to Multispeech,
All Hallows’ Eve, 2005

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday May 22, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 1:06 PM
A Kind of Cross

Google Maps image
of the isle of Delos,
birthplace of Apollo:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060522-Delos.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“I faced myself that day with
the nonplused apprehension
of someone who has
come across a vampire
and has no crucifix in hand.”

— Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,”
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon,
  Gravity’s Rainbow

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060522-DelosCross1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

Mathematics and Narrative,

Secret Passages

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Thursday April 27, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:08 PM
Charmed

From today’s online
Harvard Crimson:

The image “http://log24.com/log/pix06/060427-McCafferty.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From an Amazon.com review
of McCafferty’s latest book:

Charmed Thirds was a HUGE disappointment! The main character I once loved has turned into someone vulgar and annoying. Far from the intelligent young woman she was in the first two books, she is now a cliche: a drunken, promiscuous, directionless bubblehead of a college coed.”

See also the previous entry, Charm,
which quotes Thomas Pynchon —

“For every kind of vampire,
 there is a kind of cross.”
 — Gravity’s Rainbow

— and an entry of April 8
that contains the following
“kind of cross” —

3 PM
Good
Friday

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wednesday April 26, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Charm
At Decision Time,
Colleges Lay On Charm
– Today’s New York Times

Also in today’s Times:

“‘Lestat,’ the maiden Broadway production of Warner Brothers Theater Ventures, is the third vampire musical to open in the last few years, and it seems unlikely to break the solemn curse that has plagued the genre. Directed by Robert Jess Roth from a book by Linda Woolverton, the show admittedly has higher aspirations and (marginally) higher production values than the kitschy ‘Dance of the Vampires’ (2002) and the leaden ‘Dracula: The Musical’ (2004), both major-league flops.” — Ben Brantley

Related material:

See Log24,
St. Patrick’s Day 2004:

“I faced myself that day with
the nonplused apprehension
of someone who has
come across a vampire
and has no crucifix in hand.”

— Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,”
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon,
  Gravity’s Rainbow

Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Inner Truth,
Hexagram 61

See also

  Transylvania Bible School.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Monday October 4, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:15 PM

Today’s birthday: Anne Rice.

Vampire Quality

To Jacques Levy, cont. 

and

to Richard Avedon, cont.

 Levy directed “Red Cross,”
a Sam Shepard play that is
said to be about
the vampire quality
of language
.”
_____________________

From Under the Volcano,
Chapter II:

Hotel Bella Vista
Gran Baile Noviembre 1938
a Beneficio de la Cruz Roja.
Los Mejores Artistas del radio en accion.
No falte Vd.

Jesse McKinley in today’s New York Times:

“In a surprise entry to the fall season, Sam Shepard – actor, playwright and sexagenarian heartthrob – has written a new, sharp-elbowed farce….

The play, ‘The God of Hell,’ was written over the summer by Mr. Shepard, 60, who wanted to stage it before the Nov. 2 election….

In a telephone interview on Friday, Mr. Shepard said that the play was ‘a takeoff on Republican fascism, in a way,’ and that he thought it would be more pertinent if seen during the presidential campaign.”

John Kerry by
Richard Avedon

 
Devil’s
Advocate

See The Script:
“Vanity is definitely my favorite sin.”

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday September 30, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:25 PM

Out for Blood
____________________

Dedication added on
Oct. 4, 2004, 2:10 PM:
To Jacques Levy,
who died on Sept. 30, 2004.
Levy directed “Red Cross,”
a Sam Shepard play that is
said to be about
the vampire quality
of language
.”
_____________________

Kerry “shouldn’t be looking to score
technical points like this is
Harvard-Yale debate society.”

— Chris Lehane, quoted in
today’s Washington Post

From today’s Harvard Crimson:

Ben and Jerry:

Affleck

Bruckheimer

“I know I’m in the minority,
but I like Bush.”

Jerry Bruckheimer,
quoted in the
New York Daily News
of April 11, 2004

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Wednesday March 17, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:31 PM

Readings for
St. Patrick's Day

Books:

Finnegans Wake (1939)

Gravity's Rainbow (1978)

Masks of the Illuminati (1981)

Quotations:

"Nature does not know extinction;
all it knows is transformation.
Everything science has taught me,
and continues to teach me,
strengthens my belief in
the continuity of our
spiritual existence
after death."

Wernher von Braun

"I faced myself that day
with the nonplused apprehension
of someone who has
come across a vampire
and has no crucifix in hand."

— Joan Didion, "On Self-Respect,"
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

 

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.
"

— Thomas Pynchon,
Gravity's Rainbow

Inscribed
Carpenter's Square:

In Latin, NORMA

Multa renascentur quae iam cecidere, cadentque
quae nunc sunt in honore uocabula, si uolet usus,
quem penes arbitrium est et ius et norma loquendi.

Horace, Ars Poetica

Many terms will be born again
that by now have sunk into oblivion,
and many that are now held in respect
will die out if that is what use should dictate
in whose power is the judgment and the law
and the rule of speech.

All, all must perish — but, surviving last,
The love of Letters half preserves the past;
True — some decay, yet not a few revive,
Though those shall sink, which now
     appear to thrive,
As Custom arbitrates, whose shifting sway
Our life and language must alike obey.

Hints from Horace

"Norma was the latin word for what we now call a carpenter's square. It was used to construct lines which were at right angles to another line, so the created line was said to be 'normal.'  The norma was also used as a standard to compare if objects, like a wall, might be erect (perpendicular to the ground) and so those that met the standard were called 'normal' and this use extended to the 'typical' element of any type of set. Eventually normal came to mean anything that 'met the standard.' "

Pat Ballew on mathematical usage

 

"317 is a prime,
not because we think so,
or because our minds are shaped
in one way rather than another,
but
because it is so,
because mathematical reality
is built that way."

— G. H. Hardy,
A Mathematician's Apology

Friday, December 13, 2002

Friday December 13, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:24 PM

ART WARS:
Shall we read? — The sequel

Two stories related to my recent entries on the death of Stan Rice (Sequel, 12/11/02) and the career of Jodie Foster (Rhyme Scheme, 12/13/02)  —

From BBC News World Edition,
Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 15:34 GMT
 

Entertainment Section

  • Poet Stan Rice dies

    Stan Rice, the poet, painter and husband of author Anne Rice, has died of brain cancer at the age of 60….

    He met his wife, the author of the Vampire Chronicles, when the pair studied journalism together.

  • Abba hit tops dance music poll

    Dancing Queen by Abba has been voted the top dancefloor tune of all time, according to viewers of cable music channel VH1.

That’s Entertainment!

See also my entry of December 5, 2002,
Key (for Joan Didion’s birthday):

I faced myself that day
with the nonplused apprehension
of someone who has come across a vampire
and has no crucifix in hand.

— Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,”
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Divine Comedy

Didion and her husand John Gregory Dunne
(author of The Studio and Monster
wrote the screenplays for
the 1976 version of “A Star is Born”
and the similarly plotted 1996 film
Up Close and Personal.”

If the incomparable Max Bialystock 
were to remake the latter, he might retitle it
Distant and Impersonal.”
A Google search on this phrase suggests
a plot outline for Mel Brooks & Co. 

Thursday, December 5, 2002

Thursday December 5, 2002

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Key

Today is Joan Didion’s birthday.  It is also the date that the first Phi Beta Kappa chapter was formed, at the College of William and Mary.

A reading for today, from a web page called Respect:

“In her book Slouching Toward Bethlehem Didion writes about being a student in college. She says she expected to be voted into Phi Beta Kappa but discovered she didn’t have the grades for it. She says: ‘I had somehow thought myself [as being] exempt from the cause-effect relationships which hampered others.’ But, Didion continues:

Although even the humorless nineteen-year-old that I was must have recognized that the situation lacked tragic stature, the day that I did not make Phi Beta Kappa nonetheless marked the end of something, and innocence may well be the word for it. I lost the conviction that lights would always turn green for me, the pleasant certainty that those rather passive virtues which had won me approval as a child automatically guaranteed me not only Phi Beta Kappa keys but happiness, honor, and the love of a good man. I lost a certain touching faith in the totem power of good manners, clean hair, and proven competence on the Stanford-Binet scale. To such doubtful amulets had my self-respect been pinned, and I faced myself that day with the nonplused apprehension of someone who has come across a vampire and has no crucifix in hand.

What Joan Didion discovered in the wake of this incident was that self-respect, although it was of importance, had to come from something inside her, rather than from the approval of others. She says she learned that self-respect has to do with ‘a separate peace, a private reconciliation,’ and at the heart of it is a willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life, whatever its rewards or lack of them. Didion says:

… people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things…. People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues.

— Comments by David Sammons

For more of Didion’s essay, click here.

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