Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:00 PMBaez Link
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:00 PMOn the Brighter Side...
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:11 AM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 3:48 AM
Friday, June 9, 2006 10:31 AM
"And we may see
the meadow in December,
icy white and crystalline."
Friday, June 9, 2006 8:00 AMUrsprache Revisited
Thursday, June 8, 2006 7:11 AM
Today's birthday: Harrison Ford is 61.
7-11 Evening Number: 000.
From the conclusion of
"I know what 'nothing'
Thursday, June 8, 2006 12:00 AM
Wednesday, June 7, 2006 10:00 AM
By JULIE RAWE
kids and obscure words are not the stuff of big-time TV, but this
year's Scripps National Spelling Bee was an improbable nail-biter. One
of the 13 finalists got reinstated after judges made a spelling error,
a Canadian came in second--who knew foreign kids could compete?--and
KATHARINE CLOSE, 13, prevailed in her fifth year. The eighth-grader
from Spring Lake, N.J., won with ursprache. It means protolanguage. Now
try to use it in conversation."
|"Lps. The keys to. Given!
A way a lone a last
a loved a long the
-- James Joyce,
Tuesday, June 6, 2006 7:20 PM
Tuesday, June 6, 2006 6:00 AMFrom Jan. 1, 2006:
Tuesday, June 6, 2006 5:01 AM
Und was fur ein Bild des Christentums
ist dabei herausgekommen?
Tuesday, June 6, 2006 4:29 AM
Sunday, June 4, 2006 3:24 AM
Jeremy Pearce in this morning's New York Times:
Fritz Klein, a psychiatrist and sex researcher who studied bisexuals
and their relationships and later helped start a foundation for
promoting bisexual culture, died on May 24 at his home in San Diego. He
was 73. The cause was a heart attack, said his companion, Tom
"The Waste Land,"
a 1922 poem by T. S. Eliot:
|The sea was calm, your heart
would have responded
|Gaily, when invited, beating obedient|
|To controlling hands|
|I sat upon the shore|
|Fishing, with the arid plain behind me|
|Shall I at least set my lands in order?||425|
Eliot's note on line 424:
"V. Weston, From Ritual to Romance;
chapter on the Fisher King."
"The Fisher King,"
a 1991 film by Terry Gilliam:
"Did you lose your mind
all of a sudden,
or was it a slow,
"Well, I'm a singer by trade.
Summer stock, nightclub revues,
that sort of thing.
And God, I absolutely lived for it.
I can do Gypsy, every part.
I can do it backwards.
Then one night, in the
middle of singing 'Funny'...
...suddenly it hit me.
What does all this mean?
I mean, that,
plus the fact
that I'd watched all my friends die."
Friday, June 2, 2006 4:23 PM
The Baroque sensibility of ruin emphasizes a meaninglessness that too many possibilities deliver. Aimlessness and malaise make life into exhausting toil in the absence of coherence. In overdetermined realities, meaning appears arbitrary and erratic, as the world's connection to God seems lost or withheld. At the extreme, everyday life is as full of noise and commotion as it is devoid of intrinsic meaning. Connections among people wither with the onset of overabundance and despair. Recognition of this condition induces acedia, a weariness of life. Here the malaise of modernity and ruins ties to Benjamin's interest in Trauerspiel, German tragic drama, and the tragedies of Shakespeare. All respond to a plague of lost spiritual connections and a meaningless earthly existence where incessant toil and trouble -- "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" -- contribute to a chronic, wearing sense of pain.
Benjamin's interest in this form of melancholia, from suffering a sort of spiritual exile, is evident in his 1916 essay "On Language as Such and On the Language of Man." In this text, he explains that the Ursprache, our "original" language, is "blissful" precisely because it lacks the arbitrariness that results from overdetermination. Ur-speech is Adamic language, the linguistic power that God gives to Adam to confer identity on the material world. It contains no arbitrary component, but reveals the unity between God's divine plan and the world as it exists. Before ruins and fragments, there is no overdetermination to induce the melancholy of acedia. Instead the originary language implies a unity of transcendent and immanent realms. "With the creative omnipotence of language it begins, and at the end of language, as it were, assimilates the created, names it. Language is therefore both the creative and the finished creation; it is word and nature."6
This blissful state between the world and its creator as expressed in Adamic language has its end, of course, in the Fall. The "ignorance" introduced into the world that ultimately drives our melancholic state of acedia has its inception with the Fall away from the edenic union that joins God's plan to the immediacy of the material world. What ensues, says Benjamin, is an overabundance of conventional languages, a prattle of meanings now localized hence arbitrary. A former connection to a defining origin has been lost; and an overdetermined, plethoric state of melancholia forms. Over-determination stems from over-naming. "Things have no proper names except in God. . . . In the language of men, however, they are overnamed." Overnaming becomes "the linguistic being of melancholy."7
6 Walter Benjamin, "On Language as Such and On the Languages of Man," Edmund Jephcott, tr., Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume I: 1913-1926, Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings, eds., Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 68.
7 Ibid., p. 73.
For a Christian perspective on Adamic
language, see Charles Williams's The
Place of the Lion.
Float like a butterfly,
sting like a
Friday, June 2, 2006 6:23 AM
Thursday, June 1, 2006 5:19 PM