Yonaguni was the westernmost isle of Japan and near Taiwan. Transnistria was a contested region between Moldova and Ukraine. Ukraine was the largest country by land area in Europe. I had the idea that a popular cookbook could be arranged on the basis of Aristotle’s Four Causes (on the cover a weird medieval style picture of a prone and satyr-like Aristotle, prostrate across a pentagram, with piping hot dishes balanced on each of his feet and hands): ingredient (material cause) recipe (efficient cause) presentation (formal cause) satisfaction of appetite (final cause). (Wasn’t sure whether to say Taste or Nutrition was the final cause and thus felt satisfaction of appetite embraced both. If one had an appetite for the nutritious one couldn’t be satisfied by the delicious, could one? But actually I wasn’t so sure about that — and so let’s cancel the book).

Looked up Paul Dirac, British physicist. Remembered painful phone conversation I’d had with my elderly father about how to reset the password to his Amazon account, a near exact repetition of the previous day’s painful conversation on the same topic, which caused me to stare off and rub my chin, because in a way that’s what I’d wanted this book “book” to be, an excruciatingly laborious account. (To what good? “Montaigne by way of Beckett,” I had said, but why? Groping aimlessly through pieces of knowledge as if through physical objects and landscapes — staring idly at the under carriage of a bicycle, but in fiction — but arriving at not firm opinions but a voice that firmly states the opinions it holds strongly, a voice desirous of “capturing life.”) And remembered that opera about the telephone…

To have an interior platonic monologue don’t you need also to have an interior platonic Socrates, a first among equals among the voices of the mind, one who has already thought these issues through? (I.e., Plato’s dialogues are actually his monologues, in a certain sense, written after he’s conceived his idea, whereas our monologues represent the stage before having that crystallizing idea, the stage when our mind is a quarreling turbulent crowd of equal notions, which may never find such a one…? ) You don’t have a point.

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