One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Frisch's "Man in the Holocene": The Clippings

Was thinking today about the novel (one of my faves and I need to get back), especially the "clippings" of knowledge that went up on Geiser's wall. Without digging up my text (or did I give it to someone--and now I only have the partial text in the German Library of Frisch's work?) I googled a bit and found 6 of the 7 final pieces in the final collage (I guess I'm missing the definition of erosion):

















Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flaubert to George Sand

From Letter #309 (according to my Kindle edition):
For, the moment that a thing is true, it is good. Obscene books likewise are immoral only because they lack truth. Things are not "like that" in life.
   And observe that I curse what they agree to call realism, althought they make me one of its high priests; reconcile all that.

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I believe I've posted a photo of Flaubert (many posts ago) but not George Sand. Though she was a bit cuter in Impromptu (Judy Davis falling for Chopin = Hugh Grant), this is an older version of the real thing. Flaubert often calls her "my master."


George Sand Pictures, Images and Photos


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Joseph de Maistre

Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre (French pronunciation: [də mɛstʁ][1] 1 April 1753 – 26 February 1821) was a French-speaking Savoyard philosopher, writer, lawyer, and diplomat. He was one of the most influential spokesmen for a hierarchical monarchal state in the period immediately following the French Revolution of 1789. Despite his close intellectual and personal ties with France, Maistre remained throughout most of his life a subject of the King of Piedmont-Sardinia, whom he served as member of the Savoy Senate (1787–1792), ambassador to Russia (1803–1817), and minister of state to the court in Turin (1817–1821).[2]
Maistre, one of the key intellectual figures of the Counter-Enlightenment, regarded monarchy as both a divinely sanctioned institution and as the only stable form of government. He called for the restoration of the House of Bourbon to the throne of France and also for the ultimate authority of the Pope over temporal governments. According to Maistre, only governments founded upon a Christian constitution, implicit in the customs and institutions of all European societies but especially in Catholic European monarchies, could avoid the disorder and bloodshed that followed the implementation of rationalist political programs, such as the Revolution of 1789. Maistre was an enthusiastic defender of the principle of hierarchical authority, which the French Revolution sought to destroy: he extolled the monarchy, he exalted the privileges of the Papacy, and saw the state as ultimately accountable to the Divine Providence. Armenteros (2011) challenges Maistre's reputation for dogmatism and emphasizes his influence on both conservative political thinkers and left-wing intellectuals like the Utopian Socialists.

[From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_de_Maistre]


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Joseph de Maistre (1753 - 1821)
Painting by Karl Vogel von Vogelstein
[From Wikimedia Commons]


Isaiah Berlin's "The Counter-Enlightenment"

This passage comes from Isaiah Berlin's anthology of essays titled The Proper Study of Mankind: the essay is "The Counter-Enlightenment" (apparently Berlin is given credit, at least by some, for coining Counter-Enlightenment):
   One of the darkest of the reactionary forms of the fight against the Enlightenment, as well as one of the most interesting and influential, is to be found in the doctrines of Joseph de Maistre and his followers and allies, who formed the spearhead of the counter-revolution in the early nineteenth century in Europe. Maistre held the Enlightenment to be one of the most foolish, as well as the most ruinous, forms of social thinking.The conception of man as naturally disposed to benevolence, co-operation and peace, or, at any rate, capable of being shaped in this direction by appropriate education or legislation, is for him shallow and false. The benevolent Dame Nature of Hume, Holbach and Helvetius is an absurd figment. History and zoology are the most reliable guides to nature: they show her to be a field of unceasing slaughter.

Enlightenment, Haskalah, and the Dangers of Reason

Rereading Foucault's "What is Enlightenment?" I was struck by this observation:



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Are there others who think this way and/or are suspicious of Reason?

Two passages from Darrin M. McMahon "Sweep of reason" (Boston Globe, June 22, 2003):






Saturday, October 22, 2011

Belmont Shore: 2nd Street: Sidewalk Chalk Art

In the "old days" they'd let them put chalk right on the sidewalk. This year they're taping some paper to the sidewalk and working on paper. I guess, at the end of the day, they take the artwork with them (I spoke to one young lady and that was her understanding). Too bad. I used to like to watch the chalk fade away.

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2nd Street: Sidewalk Chalk Art

2nd Street: Sidewalk Chalk Art




2nd Street: Sidewalk Chalk Art

2nd Street: Sidewalk Chalk Art



2nd Street: Sidewalk Chalk Art


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Colorado Lagoon: Getting Ready for the Xmas "Float"

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Just for Photobucket Fun II

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She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

Beach Biker:

Belmont Shore Biker


Trash sweep:

Belmont Shore: Trash Sweep

Crossroads:

Belmont Shore: Crossroads


Lucky #8:

Belmont Shore: Lucky #8



My ship is coming in:

Belmont Shore: My Ship



Birds, Pier, City:

Belmont Pier, Birds, Downtown



Sails:

Belmont Shore: Sails



Buoys & Bridge:

Belmont Shore: Buoys & Bridge



Swimmer:


Belmont Shore: Swimmer


Just for Photobucket Fun

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At the Feet of a Eucalyptus

This one demanded its own space.


At the Feet of a Eucalyptus


"To the Finland Station": Lassalle

Sandwiched between sections dominated by Marx and Engels, we find two sections titled "Historical Actors."

The first is Historical Actors: Lassalle. Though Wilson labels Lassalle the "great spokesman of the next phase of German socialism," both Wilson and Marx agree that he's intellectually inferior to Marx.

Marx considers Lassalle's written works--e.g., the Workers' Program--bad vulgarizations of his own works, but, at least according to Wilson, Lassalle was a force to reckon with:
He had also begun talking to the liberals in terms of Marxist social dynamics: constitutional questions, he told them, were "not legal questions but questions of power"; they could never get themselves a constitution by filling up a sheet of paper with words, but only by changing the relationships of power.

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Good to a point. However, the cynic in me sees only a somewhat Viconian and unending exchange of "power" with "power."

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Ferdinand Lassalle
[From the Wikimedia Commons]

Friday, October 21, 2011

George Sand to Gustave Flaubert: On Criticism

I have never been able to see what good it is to the author criticised. Criticism always starts from a personal point of view, the authority of which the artist does not recognize.

"The Valley of Horrors": The Origin of the Alphabet (1900 B.C.)

http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/home99/nov99/alpha.html

http://www.brainchannels.com/news/evolution/firstalphabet.html


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The Chauvet Cave: Art from CA. 30,000 B.C.

Chauvet Cave [Horse Panel] replica (ca 30,000 BC) Pictures, Images and Photos

This is a replica of the "horse panel"

The Hyoid Bone (60,000 BP): Kebara Cave, Israel

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v338/n6218/abs/338758a0.html

"To the Finland Station": "Reading" History Has Its Problems

   This conflict has been productive of more paradoxes and absurdities perhaps than any other aspect of radical thought--Shaw's defense of the British policy in South Africa on the basis of the backwardness of the Boers; the position of those American socialists who approved the participation of the United States in the World War on the ground that in order to achieve socialism it was necessary to save capitalism first; and the contention of their former critics, the Communists of the Soviet Union, that the alliance desired by the Kremlin would somehow contribute to the proletarian revolution which the Kremlin was sabotaging in Spain. So that in contrast to much that has happened since, the handling by Marx and Engels of these problems--and especially in view of the fact that they were pioneers in international thinking--seems remarkably conscientious and sagacious. They did, however, land themselves in some conspicuous contradictions. They denounced the imperialistic designs of Russia and the exploitation of Ireland by England; yet their own attitude toward the Danes and the Czechs was much like that of the English toward the Irish: they tended to regard them as troublesome little peoples whose pretensions to civilizations of their own were not to be taken seriously. The unification of Germany at that time was an essential part of their revolutionary program, and unification led to making short shrift of the claims of non-German neighbors in regions where Germans, too, were involved. The only submerged neighbors of Germany to whose demands they paid attention were the Poles, because they were afraid of the domination of Poland by Russia; and even here their public championship of the Poles against the exploitation of the Prussians in the days of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung did not a little later prevent Engels from writing to Marx--on May 23, 1851--a letter proposing a hair-raising policy of German Realpolitik in Poland, according to which, "under the pretext of defending them," the Germans were to "occupy their fortresses, especially Posen," and "take away from the Poles of the West everything that we can." "The more I reflect upon history, the more clearly I see that the Poles are completely foutu as a nation and that they can only be useful as a means to an end up to the time when Russia herself is drawn into the agrarian revolution. From that moment Poland will no longer have any raison d'etre whatever. The Poles have never done anything in history except commit courageous quarrelsome stupidities. It would be impossible to cite a single occasion when Poland, even as against Russia, has successfully represented progress or done anything whatever of historical significance. Russia, on the other hand, has shown herself genuinely progressive against the East," etc. Engels also approved when the "energetic Yankees" took California away from the "lazy Mexicans," because he believed that the former were better fitted to work the country and open up the Pacific.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Trip to Oak Glen, CA

Within our family we usually jokingly call it Apple Valley (there is a Cherry Valley back in there but most of the action is around Oak Glen), because once a year, in the fall, we go up there to pick pumpkins and/or apples and get a "fallsy" feel (I know, it's hard in Southern CA). There's also great food--barbecue, pie, cider--and "fitting" entertainment (mostly bluegrass or country). You can also easily leave the crowds behind and get a little taste of nature.


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Oak Glen CA



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