Happy Walpurgisnacht, continued:
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 10:30 AM
Happy Walpurgisnacht, Julie:
PARIS -- Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died Tuesday at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102.
a film by Julie Taymor,
Across the Universe:
Detail of the
Strawberry Fields Forever
"Shinin' like a diamond,
she had tombstones
in her eyes."
-- Album "The Dark,"
by Guy Clark
For related tombstones,
see May 16-19, 2006,
and April 19, 2008.
Art Wars for
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:00 AM
Annals of Philosophy, continued:
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:09 AM
Religious Art, continued...
Pauli as Mephistopheles
"The theory of poetry, that is to say, the total of the theories of poetry, often seems to become in time a mystical theology or, more simply, a mystique. The reason for this must by now be clear. The reason is the same reason why the pictures in a museum of modern art often seem to become in time a mystical aesthetic, a prodigious search of appearance, as if to find a way of saying and of establishing that all things, whether below or above appearance, are one and that it is only through reality, in which they are reflected or, it may be, joined together, that we can reach them. Under such stress, reality changes from substance to subtlety, a subtlety in which it was natural for Cézanne to say: 'I see planes bestriding each other and sometimes straight lines seem to me to fall' or 'Planes in color.... The colored area where shimmer the souls of the planes, in the blaze of the kindled prism, the meeting of planes in the sunlight.' The conversion of our Lumpenwelt went far beyond this. It was from the point of view of another subtlety that Klee could write: 'But he is one chosen that today comes near to the secret places where original law fosters all evolution. And what artist would not establish himself there where the organic center of all movement in time and space-- which he calls the mind or heart of creation-- determines every function.' Conceding that this sounds a bit like sacerdotal jargon, that is not too much to allow to those that have helped to create a new reality, a modern reality, since what has been created is nothing less."From a review of Rosalind Krauss's The Optical Unconscious (MIT Press hardcover, 1993):
-- Wallace Stevens, Harvard College Class of 1901, "The Relations between Poetry and Painting" in The Necessary Angel (Knopf, 1951)
Krauss is concerned to present Modernism less in terms of its history than its structure, which she seeks to represent by means of a kind of diagram: "It is more interesting to think of modernism as a graph or table than a history." The "table" is a square with diagonally connected corners, of the kind most likely to be familiar to readers as the Square of Opposition, found in elementary logic texts since the mid-19th century. The square, as Krauss sees it, defines a kind of idealized space "within which to work out unbearable contradictions produced within the real field of history." This she calls, using the inevitable gallicism, "the site of Jameson's Political Unconscious" and then, in art, the optical unconscious, which consists of what Utopian Modernism had to kick downstairs, to repress, to "evacuate... from its field."Rosalind Kraus in The Optical Unconscious (MIT Press paperback, 1994):
-- Arthur C. Danto in ArtForum, Summer 1993
For a presentation of the Klein Group, see Marc Barbut, "On the Meaning of the Word 'Structure' in Mathematics," in Introduction to Structuralism, ed. Michael Lane (New York: Basic Books, 1970). Claude Lévi-Strauss uses the Klein group in his analysis of the relation between Kwakiutl and Salish masks in The Way of the Masks, trans. Sylvia Modelski (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1982), p. 125; and in relation to the Oedipus myth in "The Structural Analysis of Myth," Structural Anthropology, trans. Claire Jackobson [sic] and Brooke Grundfest Schoepf (New York: Basic Books, 1963). In a transformation of the Klein Group, A. J. Greimas has developed the semiotic square, which he describes as giving "a slightly different formulation to the same structure," in "The Interaction of Semiotic Constraints," On Meaning (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 50. Jameson uses the semiotic square in The Political Unconscious (see pp. 167, 254, 256, 277) [Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981)], as does Louis Marin in "Disneyland: A Degenerate Utopia," Glyph, no. 1 (1977), p. 64.
In this representation, V is a normal subgroup of the alternating group A4 (and also the symmetric group S4) on 4 letters. In fact, it is the kernel of a surjective map from S4 to S3. According to Galois theory, the existence of the Klein four-group (and in particular, this representation of it) explains the existence of the formula for calculating the roots of quartic equations in terms of radicals.
Monday, April 28, 2008 7:00 AM
Annals of Aesthetics, continued:
Sunday, April 27, 2008 8:28 AM
Annals of Aesthetics, continued:
Saturday, April 26, 2008 10:31 AM
Annals of Aesthetics:
Friday, April 25, 2008 8:00 AM
ART WARS continued:
From the online
Harvard Crimson --
A figure from
Monday's entry --
June 30, 2007's
Annals of Theology,
with a link to a film:
The Center of the World.
The center referred
to in that film is the
same generic "center"
displayed at Harvard
and in the above
mandorla: not the
Center, but rather
the women's center.
See also Yeats --
"the centre cannot hold,"
"the center of resemblance,"
and Zelazny --
forms again elsewhere."
JSTOR: Killing Time
with Mark Twain's Autobiographies
|From Log24 on April 21, the date of Mark Twain's death--
Psychoshop, by Alfred Bester and Roger Zelazny:
His manner was all charm and grace; pure cafe society....The Pennsylvania Lottery
yesterday, April 24, 2008:
Mid-day 923, Evening 765....and hence Log24, 9/23 (2007), and page 765 of From Here to Eternity (Delta paperback, 1998):
He stayed that way for eight days, never what you could really call drunk, but certainly never anywhere near sober, and always with a bottle of Georgette's expensive scotch in one hand and a glass in the other. He did not talk at all except to say "Yes" or "No," mostly "No," when confronted with a direct question, and he never ate anything when they were there. It was like living in the same house with a dead person.
Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:00 AM
Philosophy Wars continued:
"No culture has a pact with eternity," he says. "The conditions which made possible the giants of the western poetic, aesthetic, philosophic tradition no longer really obtain." Steiner doesn't believe "there can be a Hamlet without a ghost, a Missa Solemnis without a missa," and if you say that the questions addressed by religion are "nonsense or baby talk or trivial, I don't believe that certain dimensions will be available to you. Particularly today, when the atheist case is being put, if I may say so, with such vulgarity of mind."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:00 AM
Happy Shakespeare's Birthday:
|"Rebecca Goldstein’s 1983 novel The
Mind-Body Problem has been widely admired among mathematicians for
its authentic depiction of academic life, as well as for its
exploration of how philosophical issues impinge on everyday life. Her
new book, Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel,
is a volume in the 'Great Discoveries' series published by W. W.
In March 2005 the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley held a public event in which its special projects director, Robert Osserman, talked with Goldstein about her work. The conversation, which took place before an audience of about fifty people at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, was taped....
A member of the audience posed a question that has been on the minds of many of Goldstein’s readers: Is The Mind-Body Problem based on her own life? She did indeed study philosophy at Princeton, finishing her Ph.D. in 1976 with a thesis titled 'Reduction, Realism, and the Mind.' She said that while there are correlations between her life and the novel, the book is not autobiographical....
She... talked about the relationship between Gödel and his colleague at the Institute for Advanced Study, Albert Einstein. The two were very different: As Goldstein put it, 'Einstein was a real mensch, and Gödel was very neurotic.' Nevertheless, a friendship sprang up between the two. It was based in part, Goldstein speculated, on their both being exiles-- exiles from Europe and intellectual exiles. Gödel's work was sometimes taken to mean that even mathematical truth is uncertain, she noted, while Einstein's theories of relativity were seen as implying the sweeping view that 'everything is relative.' These misinterpretations irked both men, said Goldstein. 'Einstein and Gödel were realists and did not like it when their work was put to the opposite purpose.'"
"'What is this Stone?' Chloe asked.... 'It is told that, when the Merciful One made the worlds, first of all He created that Stone and gave it to the Divine One whom the Jews call Shekinah, and as she gazed upon it the universes arose and had being.'"
-- Many Dimensions,
by Charles Williams, 1931
For more on this theme
appropriate to Passion Week --
Jews playing God -- see
in conversation with
Tuesday, March 22.
Wine and cheese
reception at 5:15 PM
(San Francisco time).
"The image [above]
The caption of the
'That most divine and beautiful
The caption of the
'A shadow, likeness, or
Monday, April 21, 2008 11:07 AM
Final Arrangements, continued:
"Been somewhere interesting? Tell us about it for a chance to win a trip for 2 to Paris."Country song, quoted here Dec. 17, 2003--
"Give faith a fighting chance."Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano--
"I sit now in a little room off the bar at four-thirty
in the morning drinking ochas and then mescal and writing this on some
Bella Vista notepaper I filched the other night.... But this is worst
of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my
soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace. Or
is it because right
through hell there is a path, as Blake well knew, and
though I may not take it, sometimes lately in dreams I have been able
to see it? ...And this is how I sometimes think of myself, as a great
explorer who has discovered some extraordinary land from which he can
never return to give his knowledge to the world: but the name of this
land is hell. It is not Mexico of course but in the heart."
"He always brought a very fresh
perspective on philosophical issues."
-- Father Robert Sokolowski
His manner was all charm and grace; pure cafe 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."
"Here? In Rome?"
"Sure. They drift around in space until they run out of gas and come to a stop. This number happened to park here."
Saturday, April 19, 2008 5:01 AM
Philosophy Wars continued:
Saturday, April 19, 2008 4:30 AM
From the Labyrinth of Solitude:
"Mexico is a solar country--
but it is also a black country,
a dark country. This duality
of Mexico has preoccupied
me since I was a child."
Friday, April 18, 2008 9:00 AM
Annals of Religion, continued:
Thursday, April 17, 2008 8:28 AM
Annals of Religion, continued:
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 10:10 AM
Annals of Religion, continued...