Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Immortal Memory

for Jamie and Lene

Burns, especially scalds from hot water and liquids,
Burns really work.

Poems are some of the most common childhood accidents.

O tread lightly on his grass.
Perhaps he was your father,
who brings us all together.

A burn is damage done to your body's tissues caused by heat,
chemicals, electricity, sunlight or radiation,
nutrition, dry and moist dogs.

Scalds from hot liquids and
some minor burns can be safely

The Independent is delighted to be able to offer

Robert Burns, the free encyclopedia!

Wherever you are in the world,
use the Beck Depression Inventory for assessing
Scotland's unique and special toast,

hospitalized with severe burns,
disentangling symptoms of depression from injury and ...
Everyone! I hope you enjoyed your meal
in celebration of this greatest of Scottish poets.

He is an honorary life
that began soon after his death
in 1796.

First Minister Salmond has revealed
that the writer Robert Burns is Mr. Salmond.

He described the famous
Categorizations: why body area location is significant,
and treatment for simple burns

just is

The Immortal Memory.

It celebrates Burns' enduring spirit.
The official gateway to Scotland provides, recognizes and
administers first aid for minor to serious burns.

First-degree burns are usually limited to redness (eythema),

a white plaque, a minor pain,
a site of injury.

These burns usually extend only into the News Archive,
are available in white and Fiesta Red colours, and come with a fitted
immortal memory of Robert Burns.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stretched Along Garrowby Hill

David Hockney's painting discloses the "there" of Garrowby Hill. More precisely, it captures the moment of "going up" it. "The 'there' is disclosed," says Heidegger (not about Hockney specifically of course), "in a way which is grounded in Dasein's own temporality as ecstatically stretched along, and with this disclosure a 'time' is alloted to Dasein; only because of this can Dasein, as factically thrown, 'take' its time and lose it" (Being and Time, H. 410).

In Hockney's painting, we might say, the hill (and, especially, the way over it, the road) is "resolutely there". This is not the case in a photograph of the hill.

Photographic perspective divorces the road up the hill from "what it is for", its equipmentality, and replaces it with what it looks like, its mere appearance. Hockney's painting recovers the Being of the landscape. Quite literally, he displays Being-in it or, more precisely, moving through it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Ideogram of the Pierced Heart 2

In his translation of the Great Digest, Ezra Pound seems to have translated the following:



"without its making him feel that a javelin were being thrust into his heart" (p. 65)

This free on-line translator, renders that same phrase as follows:


Writing this post suggests to me, as it has of course suggested to others, that we cannot begin to understand what language is until we understand the difference between Western and Chinese writing.

How (not that) both sets of signs evoke (because I assume it is possible to use both systems of writing to evoke the same sentiment) something as specific as the piercing of the heart with a javelin is, at this point, a mystery to me. (I mean this in the sense in which I feel no mystery about Czech, Russian or Greek translations of that sentiment, though I cannot begin to decipher sentences in those languages.)

I do recognize that this whole post may be nonsense, in part because electronic translators yield a lot of nonsense and in part because I have selected the passage I am alleging Pound translated from among a series of signs I don't understand, working only with a rudimentary online dictionary. I know this much (I think): "心" means "heart" ... or, well, "mind".

A Stretch of Road (elevation)

How steep, we may ask, is Garrowby Hill really? The answer can be seen here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Stretch of Road (aerial view)

Garrowby Hill is a real place in England, about 10 miles east of York.

Notice that Hockney's "stretched" image seems to occupy a plane of projection (Entwurf?) somewhere between the "photographic" perspective of its compression and the aerial view.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Stretch of Road

Here is David Hockney's "Going up Garrowby Hill" (2000):


Here is the same image compressed 50% along the vertical axis:

I hope we can all agree that this looks like standard photographic perspective. I want to analyse this effect using Heidegger's idea of "stretching" (Dehnung) in time. My working title is "Thrown up Garrowby Hill", of course.

Ideogram of the Pierced Heart

When Jonathan said he couldn't "get that slash to pierce the letter o" in my name, it immediately reminded me of Ezra Pound's various translations of the Book of Odes (Shi Jing). Specifically, Song 152 (Book I, 14). Pound's translation in The Classic Anthology reads:

Our lord, a unit of equity
hath heart of such constancy

For comparison, James Legge translated it as follows:

He is uniformly correct in his deportment,
His heart is as if it were tied to what is correct.

But in Pound's translation of the Ta Hsio (The Great Digest), where it is quoted, he renders it:

He practices equity without its making him feel
That a javelin were being thrust into his heart.

As one might pierce the letters of one's name?

I am posting this because if someone can send me a rough sketch of the ideograms Pound renders as "without its making him feel/that a javelin were being thrust into his heart" it would help me greatly. I don't have Chinese characters installed. I would need some sort of image file, or pdf.

tb dot lpf at cbs dot dk

Much appreciated.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Kulchural Studies III: Ereignis

I want to use the word Ereignis (event) to capture the process of metaphysical transformation or, as Heidegger puts it, the "adaptation" of Being (Sein) to changing cultural contexts. This is what makes it relevant to kulchural studies.

One of the most important metaphysical transformations is that of "modernity" (Neuzeit): the human being becomes a subject, the world becomes a picture (Gebild). Another is the technological "enframing" of human experience (Gestell).

"The danger is the epoch of Being coming to presence as enframing." ("The Turning", p. 43)

There is a "gathering" of pictures and structures that condition (both drive and restrict) our vision and our motion. We must understand their effect on us. (They constitute what Pound called "the process now going on" that we must "get wise to".) Today, we can safely call our (Western) societies something like technologically advanced liberal democracies. (I live in a so-called "social democracy", but the basic cultural assumptions are today much more those of "liberalism". In any case...)

This is what makes Ereignis both interesting and "dangerous" (in a sense that resonates with Heidegger's but is not quite what he means.) There is that infamous reference in the Introduction to Metaphysics to the "the inner truth and greatness" of National Socialism: "namely, the encounter between global technology and modern humanity" (IM 152).

Lewis and Pound also believed that there were alternatives to democracy as a response to "modern" conditions. Pound openly supported Italian fascism and Lewis wrote a sympathetic treatment of Hitler.

Pound talked about the "genius of Mussolini and Hitler". He was not simply "wrong" about this. It's a bit more complicated than that. Kulchural studies is based on the disturbing possibility that the "encounter" between humanity and technology is the "greatness" of fascism. Certainly, that encounter is still going on.