Archive for October, 2016

October 31, 2016


Spanish demonstrative pronouns this morning— throughout my endeavoring through an introductory Spanish grammar book I consistently conflated este and ese in my written exercises. Now I wrote them repeatedly on a sheet of paper, este, esta, esto/ ese, esa, eso,/ aquel, aquella, aquello/– the stubborness with which I would not, could not understand; the stubbornness with which I nevertheless attempted understanding –looked again, looked again, wrote down–; and these two resolves, one intentional and one not, one supposedly intelligent one supposedly idiotic, never meeting to form an actual understanding of basic Spanish — not any understanding at all. —I lived in Peru for a year/ I was living in Peru for a year. —


What are the criticisms of the character of the writer as expressed in The Cain Mutiny (the movie) (1) the writer speaks of what he does not really know (or “knows” in some amateur way — in this case, about psychology); (2) the writer misleads others by doing this; (3) the writer doesn’t stand with those he has mislead, but hides behind ambiguity, his “mights”, “may haves”, and other such disingenuous qualifying remarks. … (Brings to mind somewhat the falsifying journalist of The Wire.)

October 26, 2016

Interesting, the use of ‘ground zero’ was in the ascendant well before 9-11. (n-gram viewer)

Nietzsche note

October 24, 2016

Idea that instead of contrasting Nietzsche with other philosophers, especially those he speaks of most often, he is to be best contrasted with the literary figures of around his time –Joyce, Kafka, Proust, I’m thinking of (perhaps a generation after)– in being “autobiographical.”

But where Joyce, Kafka, Proust, etc. are (you could say) “autobiography plus the novel” (their lives and manners and situations are the subject, the novel is their means or form or excuse) (that is a debatable proposition yet it’s at least clear that their novels resemble their own biographies more than they do some other person’s biography and it may well be asked why should that be?), Nietzsche is –and perhaps just as explicitly as they are– “autobiography plus the philosophical treatise.”

Idea that he was giving us first and foremost a personal philosophy, a return to something more like Montaigne; a philosophy about his person; that it is his christianity he addressed; his Kant (“Kant qua Nietzsche”), his Christ, Stendhal, and so forth; — the idea that Nietzsche never actually addresses a thing outside his own thought or a person who is not himself.

October 22, 2016

The String Quartet in D major is the only string quartet composed by César FranckString Quartet in D major (Virtuoso Quartet, 1925)

October 20, 2016

Dreams. John Latta at his computer (he’s cheerfully erasing material that seems to me very good) — an extraordinary cliff face and a palace or carving upon it — Jacopo curled up in the round cat litter box — he fits there perfectly though way too large — looks sheepish and shakes the litter off as I order him to get out. No, Jacopo, no!

October 17, 2016

Agamemnon, 92-96 [Chorus]:

….. ……… ἄλλη δ᾽ ἄλλοθεν οὐρανομήκης
….. ……… λαμπὰς ἀνίσχει,
….. ……… φαρμασσομένη χρίματος ἁγνοῦ
….. ……… μαλακαῖς ἀδόλοισι παρηγορίαις,
….. ……… πελάνῳ μυχόθεν βασιλείῳ.


“Now here, now there, the flames rise high as heaven, yielding to the soft and guileless persuasion of holy ointment, the sacrificial oil itself brought from the inner chambers of the palace.”

….. ………

Le gisement lui-même

October 13, 2016

Je savais très bien que mon cerveau était un riche bassin minier, où il y avait une étendue immense et fort diverse de gisements précieux. Mais aurais-je le temps de les exploiter ? J’étais la seule personne capable de le faire. Pour deux raisons : avec ma mort eût disparu non seulement le seul ouvrier mineur capable d’extraire les minerais, mais encore le gisement lui-même […] Le Temps Retrouvé (


Andreas Mayor: “I knew that my brain was like a mountain landscape rich in minerals, wherein lay cast and varied ores of great price. But should I have time to exploit them? For two reasons I was the only person who could do this: with my death would disappear the one and only engineer who possessed the skill to extract these minerals and — more than that– the geological formation itself.” (Time Regained, pp. 458]

October 10, 2016

……….Cin a
………bsworld awash
……..No…. in savings,
…….r…..a world in
……Gl ……..which someone who
………..iei ………..decides to spend less
………..>us………….and save more makes
………..E………..the whole world poorer. That’s
………..ἣ μὲ 63 23 90 (0); 100 54(1)not the
…………..ν γά 37 1) ;; 99 (090 **0normal….
-__ .–.-` ;-_.–.- -_.. -‘-|
.-| .–.-` ;-_.–.- -_.. -‘)
. ;-_) .–.-` ;-_.–.- -. \
.–.-`.–.\ .–.-` ;-_.–._.(
.–.-` ;-_- –\ .–.-` ;-_- –\
.–.-` ;-_.–._.( .–.-`.–.\
.–.-` ;-_.–.- -. \ . ;-_)
.–.-` ;-_.–.- -_.. -‘) .-|
.–.-` ;-_.–.- -_.. -‘- \– .

October 9, 2016

“It ill befits anyone to make himself known save him who has qualities to be imitated, and whose life and opinions may serve as a model.” (Montaigne, Of Giving the Lie — trans. Frame)

Goal to become “painfully aware”

October 6, 2016

Excerpt from the Pope’s encyclical on climate change from a bit ago, — I’ve put in bold some few items of it, probably more or less randomly.

Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity but to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening in the world into our own personal suffering…

People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive.

As often occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions, we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear. Superficially, apart from a few obvious signs of pollution and deterioration, things do not look that serious, and the planet could continue as it is for some time. Such evasiveness serves as a licence to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and consumption. This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen.

The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and who alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality.

Jesus worked with his hands, in daily contact with the matter created by God, to which he gave form by his craftsmanship. It is striking that most of his life was dedicated to this task in a simple life which awakened no admiration at all: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mk 6:3).

This paradigm exalts the concept of a subject who, using logical and rational procedures, progressively approaches and gains control over an external object. This subject makes every effort to establish the scientific and experimental method, which in itself is already a technique of possession, mastery and transformation. It is as if the subject were to find itself in the presence of something formless, completely open to manipulation. Men and women have constantly intervened in nature, but for a long time this meant being in tune with and respecting the possibilities offered by the things themselves. It was a matter of receiving what nature itself allowed, as if from its own hand. Now, by contrast, we are the ones to lay our hands on things, attempting to extract everything possible from them while frequently ignoring or forgetting the reality in front of us.

It becomes difficult to pause and recover depth in life. If architecture reflects the spirit of an age, our megastructures and drab apartment blocks express the spirit of globalized technology, where a constant flood of new products coexists with a tedious monotony.

from encyclical


October 4, 2016

Saddam Hussein’s removal would have “enormous positive reverberations on the region,” Netanyahu told Congress in 2002. POST

Frustration aside, Rimbaud’s procurement of weapons for Menelik II may have been his greatest contribution to modern African history. Scholars reckon that the guns he sold in 1887 likely helped the emperor defeat Italy in 1896 when the country’s troops tried to invade Ethiopia. As a result of the rout at Adwa, Italy signed a treaty recognizing Ethiopia as an independent nation.TIMES