Discovering

[Elias Hassos - The Sky/Heaven series]


I've recently found Google Notes. This is important because it means I no longer have to email myself excerpts, links and images at the end of each workday -- it also means I can keep all my lists in one place. And as attached as I am to multi-colored post-it notes, they're too often lost or crumpled beyond recognition by the time I am ready to follow up on them.

Volume 2 of Lines and Shapes arrived yesterday

As did my copy of CDR's Overheard in the Back of My Head (after a strange snafu where I ended up with a copy of the National Association of Psychiatric Health System's 75-year celebration book instead of what I had ordered)

I've also been reading an awful lot about Blanchot -- and thinking about his ideas in comparison to Cassirer and Kierkegaard. There seem to be a lot of similar and symbiotic concepts among the three. I have a lot of thoughts in general lately -- mostly unformed, mostly informed.

I also found CONTEXT via wood s lot today -- and am now happily expecting a handful of free back issues being sent my way. All contents are posted online and some of their selections are really fascinating. I've always loved excerpts -- especially in the context of class. I'll explain: oftentimes the teacher in a class will have some freedom at the end of the required reading list to select a few of their own favorite texts to be read and discussed in class. I've often found that those selections held the most interest for me -- I loved seeing what other people noticed. The concept of noticing is one which comes up in Cassirer as a sort of groundwork for the consequent denotation -- we name those things that we notice. So how do we explain why we notice what we do?

Some of my favorite selections were from my first semester in graduate school. At the end of the literature segment, our tutor selected some letters of John Keats, an excerpt from Lessing's Laocoon, and a short story by Isak Dineson -- Sorrowacre

This is one of the reasons why I always greet new issues of Cabinet magazine with enthusiasm -- they always hold a trove of wonderful selections -- in keeping with their founding concept -- the cabinet of curiosities.
Back to CONTEXT, I found the following brief pieces of especial interest:

I desired for music that freedom of which she is capable perhaps to a greater degree than any other art, as she is not confined to an exact reproduction of nature, but only to the mysterious affinity between Nature and the Imagination.

The paralleli of the achievements of Borges and Calvino are mostly obvious, the relevant anti-paralleli no doubt likewise. To begin with, both writers, for all their great sophistication of mind, wrote in a clear, straightforward, unmannered, nonbaroque, but rigorously scrupulous style. ”. . . crystalline, sober, and airy . . . without the least congestion” is how Calvino himself describes Borges’s style

There is not a single art which does not use other arts as materials without the least concern for the purity of essence which the philosopher must strive to extract because "quiddity" is the primary if not the ultimate object of his concern. The artist is free; no one is authorized to prescribe rules for him, nor impose upon him limits. The artist alone knows what he wants to do, and although the work almost always falls short of the desired end, partial success or failure are the only conceivable sanctions of his work. They come too late to affect it, and they are so uncertain that it is very difficult to say something intelligible about them.
And that's all just from the first few issues.