April 4th, 2010



certain things can't be said unless you have a general idea of the response you'll elicit.

without knowledge, intentionality is a game of chance.
  • Current Music
    johnny took a walk with your sister the moon (bythos showing off)
let it be written. i. am an ass.

in vino veritas / ἐξίσταται γὰρ πάντ' ἀπ' ἀλλήλων δίχα

(it seems to me that derrida in context is even worse than derrida out of context.)

of course, northrop frye published fearful symmetry in 1947.

see also: "it is right," he declares, "that the first effort of critical apprehension should take the form of a rhetorical or structural analysis of a work of art. but a purely structural approach has the same limitation in criticism that it has in biology." that is, it doesn't develop "any explanation of how the structure came to be what it was and what its nearest relatives are. structural analysis brings rhetoric back to criticism, but we need a new poetics as well . . ." (archetypes 1447).

and also

"carnival is the past millennia's way of sensing the world as one great communal performance" (mikhail bakhtin, whom, it's no surprise to learn, michael holquist has written extensively on)

and finally:

contemporary scholars including frye classify the following works as menippean satires:

* françois rabelais, gargantua and pantagruel (1564)
* john barclay, euphormionis satyricon (1605)
* joseph hall, mundus alter et idem (1605)
* robert burton, the anatomy of melancholy (1621)
* jonathan swift, a tale of a tub (1704) and gulliver's travels (1726)
* voltaire, candide (1759)
* thomas love peacock, nightmare abbey (1818)
* thomas carlyle, sartor resartus (1834)
* charles kingsley, the water-babies (1863)
* lewis carroll, alice's adventures in wonderland (1865)
* aldous huxley, point counter point (1928)
* flann o'brien, at swim-two-birds (1939)
* thomas pynchon, gravity's rainbow (1976)

as a type of discourse, "menippean” signifies a mixed, often discontinuous way of writing that draws upon distinct, multiple traditions. it is normally highly intellectual and typically embodies an idea, an ideology or a mind-set in the figure of a grotesque, even disgusting, comic character.

i would add a confederacy of dunces (1980) to the list.
  • Current Music
    it's quiet now / the universe is standing still
let it be written. i. am an ass.

term of art

found text

there are, indeed, some learned casuists, who maintain that love has no language, and that all the misunderstandings and dissensions of lovers arise from the fatal habit of employing words on a subject to which words are inapplicable; that love, beginning with looks, that is to say, with the physiognomical expression of congenial mental dispositions, tends through a regular gradation of signs and symbols of affection, to that consummation which is most devoutly to be wished; and that it neither is necessary that there should be, nor probable that there would be, a single word spoken from first to last between two sympathetic spirits, were it not that the arbitrary institutions of society have raised, at every step of this very simple process, so many complicated impediments and barriers in the shape of settlements and ceremonies, parents and guardians, lawyers, jew-brokers, and parsons, that many an adventurous knight (who, in order to obtain the conquest of the hesperian fruit, is obliged to fight his way through all these monsters), is either repulsed at the onset, or vanquished before the achievement of his enterprise: and such a quantity of unnatural talking is rendered inevitably necessary through all the stages of the progression, that the tender and volatile spirit of love often takes flight on the pinions of some of the επεα πτεροεντα, or winged words which are pressed into his service in despite of himself.

people didn't understand that true intimacy did not consist of sexual intercourse, which could be done with strangers and in a state of total alienation; intimacy consisted of talking for hours about what was most important in one's life.

(k.s. robinson)