Archive for January, 2013


January 31, 2013

Thomas Pynchon, Against The Day (722):

As it turned out, however, this was too much to expect of Derrick Theign, who, ordinarily a bit more taciturn, now flew without warning into high-tessitura dismay, the moment Cyprian arrived at the pensione in Santa Croce loudly ejecting what would soon amount to gallons of mucus and saliva […].

Tessitura: the general pitch level or average range of a vocal or instrumental part in a musical composition: an uncomfortably high tessitura. (Pensione.)


January 27, 2013

Melville, The Bell Tower:

The casting of such a mass was deemed no small triumph for the caster; one, too, in which the state might not scorn to share. The homicide was overlooked. By the charitable that deed was but imputed to sudden transports of esthetic passion, not to any flagitious quality. A kick from an Arabian charger; not sign of vice, but blood.

Flagitious/ villainous.

Points of interest concerning the tamarisk in the iliad

January 20, 2013

The four mentions of the tamarisk in The Iliad (none in the Odyssey): [6.37-50]; [10.465-468]; [21.17-26];[21.342-355].

–Each time the tamarisk is mentioned it is involved in a scene of supplication: a combatant is captured and seen pleading for his life.

–In each of the four mentions it is a Trojan who is the supplicant, and an Achaian being supplicated, never the other way.

–In three of the four mentions it is a single Trojan supplicating two Achaians.

–In at least three of the four mentions there seems an underlying ambiguity as to how the scene will turn out: will the supplicant be treated mercifully?

–In three of the four mentions mercy is denied to the supplicant, resulting in his execution.

How the fourth mention of the tamarisk fits in with the others requires some additional explanation. But the principal differences are:

— they are not Trojans and Achaians per se, but their representatives from among the immortals (Hera and Hephaistos for the Achaians, Xanthos for the Trojans).

— the supplicant’s plea is granted (Hera tells Hephaistos to leave Xanthos alone, and he does.)

Additionally, it’s notable that the tamarisk (along with other plants) is said to be burnt in this mention. (Does that symbolize an end of merciless treatment toward supplicants as well.)… The Greek word translated as ‘tamarisk’ is murikay (μυρίκη) (a further note on this subject here).

Hannah and her sisters chart

January 7, 2013

hannah chart

A graphic to help have an idea of the movie. By low, high and middle art, I mean: rock/ television; classical/ painting; Jazz/ drama. (Though not apparent from the graphic it’s notable how people associated with one art form will confront people associated with other genres; for instance, Fredryck, the painter, watches television and meets a rock star. Holly, a fan of rock music, goes to the opera, etc.) Also, people on the right side evince a sort of resistance toward Hannah’s self-reliance and control, while on the left they are admiring and appreciate the order she gives.

January 7, 2013

judder cannellini
Jugendstil…. Calgacus chaparral
junkettaceous ……………….. corny
Jambudvipa ………….. chryselephantine