Archive for January, 2019


January 31, 2019

Paraphrasing Heidegger’s expressed thought;

Why might I think Heidegger’s “True Meaning” is different from Heidegger’s “Expressed Thought”;

(What about his expressed thought, in translation, has suggested something more true that is unexpressed)

(What is it about the reader, myself, that is dissatisfied with the thought as expressed in translation, believes there’s ‘something more to it.’)

(The sense is it can be made more succinct and in being made more succinct being made also more true.)

How is it that I sense, when paraphrasing Heidegger’s expressed thought, I’m saying more than he would have? (In being more succinct have I left something important out?)

How (when paraphrasing Heidegger’s thought) do I differentiate between a thought that is interesting because it is a new thought to me, “an interesting idea”, and a thought that is interesting because it is indeed Heidegger’s (I’ve succeeded in expressing otherwise Heidegger’s thought) and a thought that is interesting because it is an especially interesting idea of Heidegger’s;

(As I say, dealing not with Heidegger nor with Heidegger’s thought nor with Heidegger’s expressed thought but with a published translation of his expressed published thought.)

(A minor or basic observation about Heidegger’s “published expressed thought” is that to get at being, as he understands it, requires a scholastic enterprise, and scholarly apparatus, — one can’t get at being by merely being by say ‘meditating.’)

That is, reading is required; meditation is not so much required.

(In the experience of being isn’t the answer to the meaning of being. One couldn’t describe being by “being truly” and then describing what it was…. One has to understand being to be? The concept of being must be understood before the thing itself can? Being must involve the history of its concept?)

One rather needs ontology as it has come down through written history –through tradition– Aristotle, The Scholacists, Descartes, Kant — in fact, H. expressly states the necessity of tradition in the understanding of one’s ‘historicity’.)


A Glass Bowl Suspended by Three Chains II

January 8, 2019

I posted on the literary reddit (“A glass bowl suspended by Three Chains“) about two rather similar seeming light fixtures in The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, but now I’m thinking that I buried the lede somewhat and that the real story is that the sentences as a whole, including the light fixture they describe, are so similar. Here, again, are the two sentences:

The Big Sleep (pp.722), in the offices of Harry Jones: “I found the light switch and light glowed in a dusty glass bowl hanging from the ceiling by three brass chains.”
The Maltese Falcon (pp.398), in Sam Spade’s room: “A switch clicked and a white bowl hung on three gilded chains from the ceiling’s center filled the room with light.”
(Page numbers refer to the appropriate volume of the Library of America edition.)

And here are the similarities I see between them:
— both composed of two independent phrases joined by conjunction “and”;
— both with first phrase referring to the light switch being turned on;
— both with second phrase referring to the light activated by the switch;
— both with a “switch” operated light in a “bowl” “hanging”/ “hung” “(on/by) three (brass/ gilded) chains” “from the ceiling” / “from the ceiling’s center”
— neither contains significant information excluded by the other
— in sum, this could easily be two different people describing the same light or the same person describing the same light at different times.

Some differences:
— in Sleep, the first independent phrase employs the passive voice, while Falcon employs the active;
— in Sleep, “light” (as in “the dual nature of”) is the subject of the second independent phrase, with “bowl” appearing as the object of a preposition; while in Falcon it is the “bowl” that is the subject, and “light” that is the object of the preposition.
— the light in Sleep “glows”, while the light in Falcon “fills the room with light” creating the impression that, in general,
— the light in Sleep is dimmer than that of Falcon.

There would almost be a question of plagiarism if the thing in question were in any way worth plagiarizing, or if there were any other such examples. A friend has suggested it could be a homage, yet it would seem an obscure homage. Maybe it’s nothing.

January 3, 2019