Friday, January 22

Fibonacci's Sequence: Series I: poems, days, death

doves exist, dreamers and dolls;
killers exist, and doves, and doves;
haze, dioxon, and days; days
exist, days and death; and poems
exist; poems, days, death

- From alphabet by Inger Christensen

The length of each section of Inger Christensen's alphabet is based on Fibonacci's Sequence, a mathematical sequence beginning 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21..., in which each number is the sum of the two previous numbers.

Thursday, January 21

Three Pizza Boxes and a Sharpie

I got three motorboats and every damn one's got a hole in it. Is this thing on? Working through negative technique in three different ways. Line's been in the water for a while. I can feel the weight. The challenge is to see if I can get it to the surface. What I want is this: 'Waterfall and Monkeys' by Shibata Zeshin. (Did you notice that monkey with his ass to you, balls hanging out, bottom center? Beautiful.) Got a lot of line to pull in before I can get it in the boat.

Wednesday, January 20

The Key to the Cathedral

I know that no one is going to get this. But with this one, I figured it out. It is the key to the Cathedral.

Wednesday, January 13

Burroughs on Wilson: Mind Parasites Will Now Destroy You

[ source ]

When I first encountered Colin Wilson's The Mind Parasites, it made an indelible impression upon me. While it is certainly not one of the best books that I have ever read, it is one of the most influential. About halfway through, I remember calling up a friend and telling him, all serious, "This book is an allegory for the crisis of Modern Man. The Mind Parasite are real!"

It is one of the few books that I consistently reread, partly to remind myself of how fired it got me when I first encountered it, but also because I still believe in its allegorical validity.

So it was refreshing to discover a review of The Mind Parasites by William Burroughs on the RealityStudio site. I've quoted a brief excerpt below. It is worth reading in its entirety.

There is considerable inferential evidence to indicate the actual existence of such a parasitic instance as this book postulates. An Italian sociologist said if you want to get to the bottom of any situation that seems on the surface inexplicable ask yourself the simple question ‘who profits?’ Who would profit from blocking every basic discovery about the human mind? Techniques are now available to alter consciousness and effect the hypothalamus directly. In a recent Mayfair article I described the experiments of doctor Miller who has demonstrated that any mammal can learn to control such seemingly involuntary processes as brain waves, blood pressure, rate of heart beats, his whole state of mind and body. Doctor Miller had great difficulty in raising funds for his experiments. The importance of these experiments was completely missed by the press. The means are at hand to conquer inner space but they are not being used. Despite impressive technical advances the planet is still in the stone age psychologically. Who would profit from turning the clock all the way back to the stone age and keeping man out of space? A parasitic entity that lives in the human body and could not survive space. Only in the last two hundred years have technological advances made space exploration a possibility. By maintaining control of inner space the parasites can block any discovery or destroy anyone who suspects their existence.
                  - William Burroughs

Thursday, January 7

Ephemera: This Is The Skull of Adam

I saw the Prophet Eliseus descend into these caverns, I cannot say whether in reality or only in a vision, and I saw him take out a skull from a stone sepulchre in which bones were resting. Some one who was by his side—I think an angel—said to him, ‘This is the skull of Adam.’ The prophet was desirous to take it away, but his companion forbade him.
           - Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

From Ephemera

Saturday, January 2

The Red and The Black in The Reader: My Bell Rung with Mozart

Still have a few dollars in credit at Henderson's- the local used bookstore. Bought The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. Oprah stain on the front redeemed by Steiner quote on the back. Looked for Hamsun's Hunger. Anything by Thomas Bernhard. Bookstore. Nada. Library. Nada. Also picked up Auerbach's Mimesis. Lost most of my books in the Great Sell Off.

Started The Reader, little ways into it, trying to discern the architecture of it, was suddenly reminded of Stendahl's The Red and the Black - which I read about 20 years ago. One of the few books that I brought up here from Austin. Found it on the shelf and started re-reading it. Up to Chapter VI: Boredom with the epigram from Mozart's Figaro:

Non so piĆ¹ cosa son, cosa faccio.
I no longer know what I am, what I'm doing.

I  set Stendahl down and went back to The Reader, hoping that it would "get to the meat" before my patience ran out. Reading where I left off, turned the page (40) and had my bell rung with this sentence:

But I identified more with Julian Sorel's relationship with Madame de Renal than his one with Mathilde de la Mole.

I'm not placing cosmic significance upon the synchronicity of  this. I just note it here for future reference.

Finished The Reader. I do not share all of Steiner's enthusiasm ("A masterly work.... The reviewer's sole and privileged function is to say as loudly as he is able, 'Read this' and 'Read it again.'") It would be my "privileged function" to say, rather quietly, "Read this and that should be enough."

The novel is divided into three parts. Written in an engaging simple style, the first part concerns a young man's falling in love with an older woman and her mysterious disappearance. This was the most tedious part of the book for me - and I set it down several times to return to Stendahl. But I persisted, slogging through to the second part, the woman now on trial for crimes committed in the service of the Nazis during the war. About halfway through this part, the young man discovers the core "secret" of the woman's character. And it is from this point on that the novel gains traction and depth. The elegiac final section is beautiful and redeemed the juvenal banality of the first. Read it - then read The Red and the Black.

A novel is a mirror carried along a high road. At one moment it reflects to your vision the azure skies at another the mire of the puddles at your feet. And the man who carries this mirror in his pack will be accused by you of being immoral! His mirror shows the mire, and you blame the mirror! Rather blame that high road upon which the puddle lies, still more the inspector of roads who allows the water to gather and the puddle to form.

- The Red and The Black, Ch. XIX