Friday, October 15, 2004 8:48 PM
Friday, October 15, 2004 7:11 PM
Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:14 PM
Lest the reader of the previous entry mistakenly take Katherine Neville's book The Eight
more seriously than Fritz Leiber's greatly superior writings on
eightness, here are two classic interpretations of Leiber's "spider" or
"double cross" symbol:
The 8 trigrams
the I Ching,
This symbol consists of
male and female,
fire and water,
up and down,
etc., etc., etc.
For some deeper properties
of the number eight, see a
Log24.net entry of 4/4/03.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 2:56 PM
according to Fritz Leiber
(Leiber's "Changewar" is my
From the Changewar story
"No Great Magic" (1960) Part V:
Even little things are
turning out to be great things
and becoming intensely interesting.
Have you ever thought about
the properties of numbers?
-- The Maiden
"I've had this idea-- it's just a sort of fancy,
remember-- that if you wanted to time-travel and, well, do things, you
could hardly pick a more practical machine than a dressing-room and a
sort of stage and half-theater attached, with actors to man it...."
For the remainder of this section
of Leiber's story, see
The previous entry,
The Eight, and
Now We See Wherein
Lies the Pleasure.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 2:23 AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 12:07 AM
An alternate version of
the previous entry's illustration:
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 11:11 PM
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 10:10 PM
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 4:30 PM
The Last Enemy
(See April 30)
"I was also impressed... by the intensity of Continental modes of literary-critical thought....
On the Continent, studies of Hölderlin and Rousseau, of Poe,
Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Rilke, of Rabelais, Nietzsche, Kafka, and
Joyce, challenged not only received ideas on the unity of the work of
art but many aspects of western thought itself. Derrida, at the same
time, who for nearly a decade found a home in Yale's Comparative
Literature Department, expanded the concept of textuality to the point
where nothing could be demarcated as 'hors d'œuvre' and escape the
literary-critical eye. It was uncanny to feel hierarchic boundaries
waver until the commentary entered the text—not literally, of course,
but in the sense that the over-objectified work became a reflection on
its own status, its stability as an object of cognition. The
well-wrought urn contained mortal ashes."
-- Geoffrey Hartman, A Life of Learning
In memory of
Jacques Derrida and James Chace,
both of whom died in Paris on
Friday, Oct. 8, 2004... continued...
(See previous three entries.)
"The last enemy
that shall be destroyed is death."
-- Saul of Tarsus, 1 Cor. 15:26
courtesy of V. Nabokov:
Sir John Falstaff
(See Chimes at Midnight.)
Sunday, October 10, 2004 10:35 PM
Introduction to Aesthetics
"Chess problems are the
hymn-tunes of mathematics."
-- G. H. Hardy,
A Mathematician's Apology
| || |
"We do not want many 'variations' in the proof of a mathematical theorem: 'enumeration of cases,' indeed, is one of the duller forms of mathematical argument. A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.
A chess problem also has unexpectedness, and a certain economy; it is essential that the moves should be surprising, and that every piece on the board should play its part. But the aesthetic effect is cumulative. It is essential also (unless the problem is too simple to be really amusing) that the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer. 'If P-B5 then Kt-R6; if .... then .... ; if .... then ....' -- the effect would be spoilt if there were not a good many different replies. All this is quite genuine mathematics, and has its merits; but it just that 'proof by enumeration of cases' (and of cases which do not, at bottom, differ at all profoundly*) which a real mathematician tends to despise.
* I believe that is now regarded as a merit in a problem that there should be many variations of the same type."
(Cambridge at the University Press. First edition, 1940.)
Brian Harley in
Mate in Two Moves:
"It is quite true that variation play is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the soul of a problem, or (to put it more materially) the main course of the solver's banquet, but the Key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings, and if it fails in piquancy the following dinner is not so satisfactory as it should be."
(London, Bell & Sons. First edition, 1931.)
Sunday, October 10, 2004 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 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
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
-- Open Chess Diary, 1999,
by Tim Krabbé, Amsterdam
For an appropriate bishop, see
Saturday, October 9, 2004 6:40 PM
"Jacques Derrida, the Algerian-born, French intellectual who became one of the most celebrated and unfathomable philosophers of the late 20th century, died Friday at a Paris hospital, the French president's office announced. He was 74."
-- Jonathan Kandell, New York Times
"There is no teacher but the enemy."
-- Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game,
Tor paperback reprint, 1994, p. 262
Saturday, October 9, 2004 2:22 AM
KERRY: "I'm going to be a president who believes in science."
KERRY: "I'm a Catholic - raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life, helped lead me through a war, leads me today."
BUSH: "Trying to decipher that."
Friday, October 8, 2004 5:07 PM
Behush the Bush
James Joyce statue, Zurich
"There's where. First.
We pass through grass
behush the bush to."
-- Final page of
"... we all gain an appreciation of how each of us
can provide readings that others are blind to and how each of us is
temporarily blind to other feasible readings. Reading the text becomes
a communal act of discovery....
No one has much to say, for now, about the grass reference...."
-- Reading Finnegans Wake (1986)
The phrase "snake in the grass" seems relevant, as does the opening of Finnegans Wake:
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's....
Joyce and Tao,
Serpent's Tail Publishing,
and, for Matt Damon,
whose birthday is today --
The Joyce Identity.
Thursday, October 7, 2004 6:30 PM
Absolute Full Spin Mode
In today's news:
"Kerry... said Bush and Cheney
were in 'absolute full spin mode.'"
California lottery number:
Star Wars and
Matrix of the Death God.
For similar theological remarks,
Spin the Numbers.
Thursday, October 7, 2004 3:33 PM
This years's Nobel Prize for literature goes to Elfriede Jelinek.
Thursday, October 7, 2004 1:00 AM
"Logocentrism is... described by Derrida as a 'metaphysics of presence.'"
Hickory dickory dock...
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Spin the Numbers
IN NOMINE PATRIS...
2/24 Log24.net entry:
ET SPIRITUS SANCTI...
'The ruler whose prophecy
occurs at Delphi
oute legei oute kryptei,
neither gathers nor hides,
alla semainei, but gives hints.'"
-- An Introduction to Metaphysics,
by Martin Heidegger,
Yale University Press paperback,
1959, p. 170
"The lord whose oracle is in Delphi
neither indicates clearly nor conceals,
but gives a sign."
-- Adolf Holl, The Left Hand of God,
Doubleday, 1998, p. 50
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 3:28 PM
The Joyce Identity,
or Treadstone vs. Blarneystone
From The Bourne Identity:
ABBOTT: Can you really bring him in?
CONKLIN: I think we're past that, don't you? What, do you have a better idea?
ABBOTT: Well, so far, you've given me nothing but a trail of collateral damage from Zurich to Paris. I don't think I could do much worse.
CONKLIN: Well why don't you go upstairs and book a conference room. Maybe you can talk him to death.
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 12:00 AM
On Janet Leigh,
who died Sunday:
MARCO -- What's your last name?
ROSIE --- El Dorado 5-9970. Can you remember that?
MARCO -- Yes.
On the redesigned
Museum of Modern Art,
11 West 53rd Street:
"... the ultimate judgment will have to wait: Taniguchi himself told a MoMA curator who'd complimented him that considering the building without the art in it is like admiring the tea cup without the green tea. Next month the museum will have art on the walls and crowds in the galleries—and then the tea ceremony will begin."
-- Cathleen McGuigan, Newsweek,
issue dated Oct. 11, 2004
Review of A Man and His Art, a book of paintings by Frank Sinatra:
"... he's a solid abstractionist with an excellent eye for color, composition and geometric precision."
-- Booklist (Jan. 15, 1992)
"Blue Eyes took his Sunday painting seriously."
-- Eric Banks in Artforum Magazine,
Monday, October 4, 2004 4:15 PM
Today's birthday: Anne Rice.
To Jacques Levy, cont.
to Richard Avedon, cont.
Levy directed "Red Cross,"
a Sam Shepard play that is
said to be about
"the vampire quality
From Under the Volcano,
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."
See The Script:
"Vanity is definitely my favorite sin."
Friday, October 1, 2004 12:00 AM
Dedication added on
Oct. 4, 2004, 2:25 PM:
To Richard Avedon, who died
on Oct. 1, 2004. He said that
"All photographs are accurate.
None of them is the truth."
On originality-- See
A bag of Fritos to John Kerry...
"Kerry contributed most of the night's fairly original phrases, including the suggestion that invading Iraq in retaliation to Sept. 11 was like Franklin Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor."
-- Noel Holston at Newsday.com
Log24.net illustration following Whoopi Goldberg's "bush" remarks and John Mellencamp's "bandito" song at a Kerry fundraiser last summer:
Log24.net two years ago on this date:
... y el no estar del todo en una acción
y es el Cantar de los Cantares
y es el amor que te ama