Archive for November, 2020

Second Vision of the Black toy wagon

November 30, 2020

The odd thing I noticed was that the first time I’d had a vision of the black toy wagon, my feet were positioned roughly as they are now — when I have just had the second “vision” of it.

When I had my first vision

I was stepping back and forth on the plush carpet, left foot forward, right foot forward, left foot back, right foot back, like this repeatedly. In a meditative mindset, I was conscious of the give of the mesh of the carpet fiber beneath my feet, which I felt was greater than the yield or give that my knee was giving to my thigh (that is, the carpet gave way before my feet far more nicely and gently than my knee gave way before my thigh) — and greater, too, than the yield or give that my foot gave to my ankle (my foot did not yield to my ankle nearly as gently as the carpet did before my foot). The ankle was like an equals sign, I distinctly remember having thought then, whose equation was all the weight of the body above it, added each to each, a kidney weighing this, a blood cell weighing this, the partially digested meal I had eaten and the song in my head also to be counted, weighed, divided by two; whose answer was the foot, or whose answer was on the foot; something like this– the foot was X and the solution for X was what was on the foot, and the ankle was like the equals sign. (And I, clenching my fists near my chest, raising my head as if screaming to the ceiling, was “the sum” — and that silent scream too was added to the x.)

Comparing, in other words, the give between myself and the floor (by which I mean the give between my feet and the floor but which for some reason denotes for me personally the “give” between my foot and head, my body indeed being defined as that very feeling of “give” that exists between the feet and head) and between various parts of myself and various other parts of myself, one revelation was (having suddenly realized that my head, my seemingly weightless head, was itself a physical presence that must weigh something and must rest on something, namely, the leg to which all the rest of my body was merely an ankle, so to speak; the head was not merely some sort of floating thought); one revelation of making these comparisons was that the “neck” wasn’t really its own separate anatomical part, but only looked like something separate, only looked as if it were its own part, and was actually just the upper end of the spine, a joint was what it was really, an elbow, an ankle… having revelations of this kind as I stepped back and forth on the carpet, making, by the way, very small steps (as you might step onto a scale to weigh yourself, for example, without, however, there being any elevation — stepping on and off this scale that was perfectly level with the floor, was how I moved), when I was suddenly overcome with the powerful flooding sense that while there was or could be “nothing I could understand of the world beyond what I could understand of myself” yet the “Myself” that was stretched around me, both “fleshily as the flesh” and mentally as the “static field of the flesh” (was the parlance I used) was fake and uninteresting; was trying and failing to be real and to get my attention; and I stepped forward into it and stepped backward into it, this falseness, a false feeling of life, and did this again and again, because, as they say, you have to do something with your life (and that was the general character of the mood I was in, that you have to do something with your life) and because maybe what I was doing was a little like something and because maybe with one of these steps I would step into my real self, the self that really felt like myself, that I would step into a life that was real; for these reasons or something very much like them, then, this is what I was doing when there first appeared to me the vision of the black toy wagon.

Now, however, on the second occasion of me having this vision, though I am, as in the first instance, looking down to my feet, there are several key differences: my feet are, first of all, stationary; they are, secondly, matched up evenly, toe to toe and heel to heel; and they are thirdly (and I wish also to say most importantly) lying flat upon the grass of a nearby grassy lot and not upon the plush fibers of my own dwelling’s carpet. Situated thus, I have had that “vision” again which hardly seems so important now, but for this, that it is now two times that I have had this same vision: a vision of a toy wagon painted entirely black and in appearance wholly sinister, which I doubted very much could be the toy of any human child. Small like a child’s toy but sinister like the toy of no person. If I were to ever have a third vision of it I would start to get seriously concerned, was how sinister it seemed to me — but I never did.

In which a defiant cry is heard

November 28, 2020

Submission? What do you mean ‘submission”? Submit my materials? my work? these reports? You want me to throw down my arms, throw up these other arms, and “submit”?

Alright, very well, I submit. I submit to you that I shall never submit! I submit that I shall never give in, never give up, never hand out, never send forth! That I shall unrelentingly beat whatever would have me submit until it submits, is what I submit!

I am indeed surprised by you all, who at the sound of the first shot, so to speak, will surrender and throw up your arms. Okay, okay, you’ve got me, they say.

No, no, my dear friends, I shall remain quite comfortable here, I assure you. Molwn labe, molwn labe! is my cry. That’s what I’ll tell you, folding these arms.


November 27, 2020

οὐ γὰρ οἷόν τ᾽ ἐπιτηδεῦσαι τὰ τῆς ἀρετῆς ζῶντα βίον βάναυσονθητικόν. [1278α20. Aristotle, Politics.] (for it is not possible to pursue living a life of virtue as an artisan or serf.) “Serf” is thetes, wikipedia:

The thetes (Greek: θῆτες, thêtes, sing. θής, thēs, “serf”) were the lowest social class of citizens. The thetes were those who were workers for wages, or had less than 200 medimnoi (or their equivalent) as yearly income.

War’s where! Which war? The Twwinns

November 26, 2020

“Knock knock. War’s where! Which war? The Twwinns. Knock knock. Woos without! Without what? An apple. Knock knock.”

Trying to unpack this knock knock joke, which is actually two knock knock jokes… A knock knock joke should go: knock knock. Who’s there? (Answer). (Answer-who). Punch line.

These knock knock jokes go: knock knock. (Answer — from the one who should be asking the question.) (Answer who?– from the one who should be giving the answer and punchline). (Punchline.) Both jokes follow this form.

Another way you could look at it. The form goes, Knock, knock. (Who’s there, but transformed and punctuated as a statement or exclamation rather than as a question) (Answer, but stated as a question) (answer-who, elided) Punchline!

Notable: the answer and answer-who in each joke begin with ‘w’, maybe echoing the reduplicated ‘n’ and ‘k’ sounds of knock. Punchline one is “Twwinns.” The twins are of course warring characters in the book, Cain & Able types, the duplicate ‘w’s and ‘n’s further emphasizing twins and the jokes own ‘n’ and ‘w’ sounds. We can tease out the words ‘inns’ and ‘wins’ from ‘twwinns’ too, though I don’t know to what effect. The punchline to the second joke, ‘apple’, suggests Eve — who’s without an apple? Eve is. (I was thinking in terms of the fruit of the tree of good and evil; this page alerts me that an adam’s apple is meant.)

Knock-knock further suggests knocked up, which has meant to impregnate since no later than the early 19th century.  I think ‘woo’ is to be thought of as romantic wooing. Thus, the violence and hitting of war and of sex reflected in these two jokes.

Finally, rhetorically, there is a lot of chiasmus going on in these sentences, maybe two of them surrounded by a third?

Updated Dual-Language Proust Passages List

November 25, 2020

Grouping of the passages from La Reserche I looked into —

On Art, Writing

Pouvoir être éclaircie, elle qu’on vit dans les ténèbres
Une Patrie Inconnue
Si l’art n’est que cela, il n’est pas plus réel que la vie
Ce milieu que nous ne voyons pas
Le gisement lui-même
(Knowledge and Art)
dans un ridicule l’artiste voit une belle généralité

On Behavior / General

les autruches humaines
Le ton dubitatif pour les résolutions irrévocables
Une vie plus inanimée que celle de la méduse
Water Lily passage (stupidity multiplier)
,,,parce que nous mourons nous-mêmes
Ces hécatombes de régiments anéantis
(The well-being of not suffering)
le défilé d’une armée compacte
Une sanglante barrière
La pesée des âmes

November 24, 2020

Not able to understand what I’m hearing because I’m concentrating: just as I ask the customer whether he’d like medium or dark roast, I’m trying to understand if I’m holding $17.36 or $18.36 in my hand, and though I have heard the sounds he has made I can’t tell if those sounds mean “medium” or “dark”.

Customer insisted low or no-growth “steady state” economies were the only way forward, because standard GDP-based benchmarks for growth didn’t include true costs of ecological damage.

Customer ordered cinnamon bagel with cream cheese and small dark roast in mug for here.

(Chance Sweepings)

Knock Knock Jest

November 23, 2020

Finnegans Wake (330): “Knock knock. War’s where! Which war? The Twwinns. Knock knock. Woos without! Without what? An apple. Knock knock.”

November 22, 2020

yim’achay, (loosely) “take care”, al-e-kah “boss”, al-e-kah-yay “my boss”

November 21, 2020

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λια (0)awhere Fsi………….
ρῷ 1we are but ………..
ῥέειnow, R but………
, ἀand whe A\ t…….
μw e ha ve b.……
6 φὶbeen fo Zr.
δὲ κfive ye .Aa
……………….ρ θ᾽258 259, (0)
……………..ατι 1545462it’s
…………… ὕδ ((1))166(1);t
………..λια (0)awhere Fsi
…………. ρῷ 1we are but
………ῥέειnow, R but
……., ἀand whe A\ t
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aδὲ κfive ye .A

November 20, 2020

Not sure I knew anything about this: order of adjectives in English. (via.)

The well-being of not suffering

November 19, 2020

William Carter in his Marcel Proust, A Life (pp. 797) quoting from a Proust personal letter, written to his publisher a year before his death:

“‘Others… enjoy the entire universe. I can no longer move, speak, think, or simply enjoy the well-being of not suffering. Thus, expulsed from myself, so to speak, I seek refuge in my books, which I touch, being unable to read them, and I have for them the wariness of the burrowing wasp.’ Like the wasp, and ‘deprived of everything, my only care is to give my [books], through their absorption by other minds, the expansion that is refused me.”