I had a conversation with one of my clients on Wednesday (after the beginning discussion of Handke and "Goalie." I had previously told her about The Sorrows of Young Werther, however, in this conversation I found myself taking an enormous amount of time to say absolutely nothing. I could NOT find a way to convey to her the feeling and tone of Handke's writing that told the story. I tried to tell her of the depersonalization of the reader herself (me) in reading the depersonalization of Bloch himself. I tried to convey the structure of the sentences. I tried to explain how Handke narrates the mundanity of each action, observation or thought in a way that leaves you feeling empty and upended inside. I attempted to describe the slow emergence of Bloch's awareness with the present leading up to the conclusion...
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Posted by Carmell at 10:05 PM
Courtesy of Alex's remarks about Psycho in class I had to re-watch it with the parallels of language in the back of my mind. However trite it may be I couldn't help but relate language to the murders in the film. How many times do we butcher or slaughter what we feel and think by trying to say it. Bad writing/poor speech is the equivalent of "the shower scene." Or could it be the other way around? Spectacular writing is "the shower scene?" You decide.
Posted by Ty G at 10:02 PM
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick" was Austrian Peter Handke's first widely read novel. It was translated by Michael Roloff, who has a fantastic web site devoted to Handke and his work. You can access it HERE.
The photo above was taken by my friend Zarko Radakovic at a soccer game in what is now Serbia. Peter Handke is on the left, his friend Zlatko Bokokic on the right.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The campus photo can be found
Today's NYTimes Magazine has an article about Kafka's papers that contains this paragraph:
Kafka's life passed almost entirely within the space of a few city blocks in Prague, where he was born in 1883, attended school and university and, as an adult, lived with his parents and worked in an insurance agency. Kafka and Brod met in 1902, at Charles University, where both were studying law. Brod was 18 — one year younger than Kafka — but already a literary sensation. According to Brod’s biography of Kafka, the two met at a lecture Brod gave on Schopenhauer, during which Kafka objected to Brod’s characterization of Nietzsche as a fraud. Walking home together afterward, they discussed their favorite writers. Brod praised a passage from the story “Purple Death” in which Gustav Meyrink “compared butterflies to great opened-out books of magic.” Kafka, who took no stock in magic butterflies, countered with a phrase from Hugo von Hoffmansthal: “the smell of damp flags in a hall.” Having uttered these words, he fell into a profound silence that left a great impression on Brod.
[the rest of the article is HERE]
It is a serious business, I think, to Create. We do it constantly without thought or forethought or introspection. We begin, entitled to Create, and continue from that vantage point. We see Creation as an innately righteous endeavor in which outcomes with negative consequences are the result of other influences and not a result of a tacitly naive indulgence at the beginning.
I am only asserting that I think we are too quick to move and too slow to think. That good ideas do not necessarily make good realities and the difference between can often be apprehended at least in part from caution and hesitancy at the outset. Instead, we spend much of our time analyzing our creations and rationalizing, demonizing, deifying, or regretting them. Which amounts to our still not learning to reverence the gravity of the creative moment and look as far inside of it as we are able before the first step is taken.
This seems to necessitate an ethics of some kind in order to clarify to ourselves what our true motives are in beginning a Creation. Are we not so led by our egos? This can be either an emotional or a logical process of rationalization. And I don't know if people are truly able to not rationalize in any decision, to be honest. But perhaps we can curb the ego somewhat by considering the effects our creating can or will have on others. Beauvoir thought one's freedom could only be truly ethical when it required that one also esteem and work toward the freedom of the Other. The Tao Te Ching teaches that to understand one's life, one must look to the effects her actions have produced.
Seems a good beginning to mindful creating. And Frankenstein wasn't bad, just misunderstood and isolated. But that eventuality would have been obvious before forcing him into life.
Posted by Carmell at 12:31 AM
Friday, September 24, 2010
The precious Hugo von Hofmannsthal
The precocious, outstanding, gifted poet and frustrated conservative who sought to escape his Jewish roots
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I got a picture from my 4 1/2 year-old daughter that she drew recently. I asked her what she called it and she gave it a name, but I won't post it.
Below it is a picture I drew well before she was born, which does not have a name.
Both pictures were drawn with black pen.
Note the particular use of lines in each.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
A deleted scene from "The Sonosopher: Alex Caldiero in Life...in Sound." Alex explains his belief that words are living beings and then begins a spontaneous performance linked to his artwork.
A short clip of Alex Caldiero performing his poem "Foam and Sand" in the film "The Sonosopher: Alex Caldiero in Life...in Sound." For more information on the film please visit thesonosopher.com.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Hey Language Scrapians... In the past I have, with many others, run a set of 'experiments' in photography, where we take pictures regarding a certain theme, and then publish them on a blog for all to see. The most recent of these experiments happens to have the theme: LANGUAGE. So Scott and I thought it would be of interest to people in this current class (as well as to interest of those from previous classes - and other readers of this blog). So, if you are interested in participating, see the following:
***DESCRIPTION OF EXPERIMENT (please read carefully and completely)***
1. With as creative an eye as possible, take a photograph of anything that fits the theme of 'LANGUAGE'. Language is an expansive albeit vague topic, which can encompass words, speech, bodies, and more... "think outside the box" as the saying goes, and... be as creative as possible when capturing 'language' on film.
2. Submit ONE picture to the email address (photoexperiments@hotmail.
3. Then, check the blog: http://theubiquitousnessof
Feel free too check the blog (at the link right above) to see other previous experiments.
LINK to the facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=155448924483952
Posted by Jorgen at 10:40 PM
Posted by Carmell at 10:36 PM
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
After class I was thinking about the discussion of natural language and the conventional language. Conventional language and those that are furthest away from natural language seem to involve the "mind" a lot more. Language can be a tool and the mind can also be a tool to get things figured out and understood. People who are run by the mind can not stop using language which is the tool of the mind. This also connects with the idea of trying to name the unnameable. The mind and language can only go so far on thier own. When they are used as tools one can better comprehend the concept of the Tao. Using your mind and using language are traits of someone who is more centered on "Being". I believe that being is coinsides with the natural language. I'm finding this very hard to express.
Posted by J.Garcia at 11:36 AM
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
More interesting philosophy ties! :)
"Though it may seem contradictory that the Absolute should be conceived
essentially as a result, it needs little pondering to set this show of
contradiction in its true light. The beginning, the principle, or the
Absolute, as at first immediately enunciated, is only the universal. Just
as when I say 'all animals', this expression cannot pass for a zoology, so
it is equally plain that the words, 'the Divine', 'the Absolute', 'the
Eternal', etc., do not express what is contained in them; and only such
words, in fact, do express the intuition as something immediate. Whatever
is more than such a word, even the transition to a mere
proposition, contains a becoming‑other that has to be taken back, or is a
mediation. But it is just this that is rejected with horror, as if absolute
cognition were being surrendered when more is made of mediation than in
simply saying that it is nothing absolute, and is completely absent in the
Absolute." ‑ Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Language is the armory of the human mind; and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future conquests. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Posted by Carmell at 9:45 PM
If you take the idea seriously, it also means that the creators of the first artificial life, the gods of new life, if you will, are Loki-like, mischievous computer hackers who mostly just wanted to mess around and experiment, and even make jokes. Consider - the first serious virus in the wild, as they say, was the Elk Cloner, which displayed a simple rhyme merely touting it's ability to clone itself and infect files. The earliest artificial life was literally a joke. Kind of a geeky, bad one.
Here are a few links to some interesting material on computer viruses as artificial life or not, which means in my mind, artificial life created purely from language.
Paper from Purdue University
Introduction to computer viruses
Scientist "infects" himself, via RFID chip, with a computer virus
Conficker: One of the world's largest worms.
Early discussion of "Self-Reproducing Automata"
Posted by Newlin at 12:44 AM
Friday, September 10, 2010
I keep thinking about something Alex said in class today; he stated that language is a vehicle. He said this vehicle can drive on land. Once we run out of land it can sail on water, and when we run out of water it can fly. However silly and trite it may be, but my mind instantly jumped to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is a vehicle that is unlike no other, it can drive, sail and fly. Bare with me...
Posted by Ty G at 2:55 PM
From Francis Bacon
..."There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Marketplace, on account of the commerce and consort of men there.For it is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar.And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies."
(Sort of like the idea of putting your foot in your mouth or searching for the "right" word)
Posted by Misty at 12:13 AM
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Now I am not going to say whether I am LDS or not because I think that might change what people think about what I think about what I read. Maybe I am not familiar even with the Mormon culture, maybe I am. Maybe I am the most devout Mormon ever. Either way, I am not from Utah and I have spent alot of time in other countries, Yes plural, countrieS, I am not talking about an LDS mission.... Anyways,...I also do not completely understand the Mormon culture here.
Posted by Richey at 8:59 PM
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Words Cannot Express
By DEREK BICKERTON
Published: September 3, 2010
Illustration by Serge Bloch
Posted by Scott Abbott at 7:07 AM
Thursday, September 2, 2010
We see three men standing around a vat of vinegar. Each has dipped his finger into the vinegar and has tasted it. The expression on each man's face shows his individual reaction. Since the painting is allegorical, we are to understand that these are no ordinary vinegar tasters, but are instead representatives of the "Three Teachings" of China, and that the vinegar they are sampling represents the Essence of Life. The three masters are K'ung Fu-tse (Confucius), Buddha, and Lao-tse, author of the oldest existing book of Taoism. The first has a sour look on his face, the second wears a bitter expression, but the third man is smiling.
To Kung Fu-tse (kung FOOdsuh), life seemed rather sour. He believed that the present was out step with the past, and that the government of man on earth was out of harmony with the Way of Heaven, the government of, the universe. Therefore, he emphasized reverence for the Ancestors, as well as for the ancient rituals and ceremonies in which the emperor, as the Son of Heaven, acted as intermediary between limitless heaven and limited earth. Under Confucianism, the use of precisely measured court music, prescribed steps, actions, and phrases all added up to an extremely complex system of rituals, each used for a particular purpose at a particular time. A saying was recorded about K'ung Fu-tse: "If the mat was not straight, the Master would not sit." This ought to give an indication of the extent to which things were carried out under Confucianism.
To Buddha, the second figure in the painting, life on earth was bitter, filled with attachments and desires that led to suffering. The world was seen as a setter of traps, a generator of illusions, a revolving wheel of pain for all creatures. In order to find peace, the Buddhist considered it necessary to transcend "the world of dust" and reach Nirvana, literally a state of "no wind." Although the essentially optimistic attitude of the Chinese altered Buddhism considerably after it was brought in from its native India, the devout Buddhist often saw the way to Nirvana interrupted all the same by the bitter wind of everyday existence.
To Lao-tse (LAOdsuh), the harmony that naturally existed between heaven and earth from the very beginning could be found by anyone at any time, but not by following the rules of the Confucianists. As he stated in his Tao To Ching (DAO DEH JEENG), the "Tao Virtue Book," earth was in essence a reflection of heaven, run by the same laws - not by the laws of men. These laws affected not only the spinning of distant planets, but the activities of the birds in the forest and the fish in the sea. According to Lao-tse, the more man interfered with the natural balance produced and governed by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble. Whether heavy or fight, wet or dry, fast or slow, everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties. When abstract and arbitrary rules were imposed from the outside, struggle was inevitable. Only then did life become sour.
To Lao-tse, the world was not a setter of traps but a teacher of valuable lessons. Its lessons needed to be learned, just as its laws needed to be followed; then all would go well. Rather than turn away from "the world of dust," Lao-tse advised others to "join the dust of the world." What he saw operating behind everything in heaven and earth he called Tao (DAO), "the Way."
Posted by J.Garcia at 10:56 PM
I was reminded of some words from a song in Chitty Chitty bang bang as we discussed what makes success possible and kept thinking of the lines " up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success"
Every Bursted Bubble Has A Glory!each Abysmal Failure Makes A Point!every Glowing Path That Goes Astray,shows You How To Find A Better Way.so Every Time You Stumble Never Grumble.next Time You'll Bumble Even Less!for Up From The Ashes, Up From The Ashes, Grow The Roses Of Success!grow The Roses!grow The Roses!grow The Roses Of Success!oh Yes!grow The Roses!those Rosy Roses!from The Ashes Of Disaster Grow The Roses Of Success! (Spoken)yes I Know But He Wants It To Float. It Will!for Every Big Mistake You Make Be Grateful!here, Here!that Mistake You'll Never Make Again!no Sir!every Shiny Dream That Fades And Dies,generates The Steam For Two More Tries!(Oh) There's Magic In The Wake Of A Fiasco!correct!it Gives You That Chance To Second Guess!oh Yes!then Up From The Ashes, Up From The Ashes Grow The Roses Of Success!grow The Roses!grow The Roses!grow The Roses Of Success!grow The Roses!those Rosy Roses!from The Ashes Of Disaster Grow The Roses Of Success!disaster Didn't Stymie Louis Pasteur!no Sir!edison Took Years To See The Light!right!alexander Graham Knew Failure Well; He Took A Lot Of Knocks To Ring Thatbell!so When It Gets Distressing It's A Blessing!onward And Upward You Must Press!yes, Yes!till Up From The Ashes, Up From The Ashes Grow The Roses Of Success.grow The Rogrow The Rogrow The Roses!grow The Rogrow The Rogrow The Roses!grow The Roses Of Success!grow The Rogrow The Rogrow The Roses!those Rosy Rothose Rosy Rothose Rosy Roses!from The Ashes Of Disaster, Grow The Roses Of Success!start The Engines!success!batten The Hatches!success!man The Shrouds!lift The Anchor!success!
Posted by Misty at 4:53 PM