Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What you would know, you must first understand. Who you would master, you must first obey.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Do not think you can understand if you feel you cannot obey.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

To know a thing, we must understand its nature. To master people, we must obey their culture.

(And what of our own selves, you ask? And what of our bodies? "In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.")

All science is natural science. All politics is cultural politics.

Cf. Jonathan Mayhew.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The facts determine the results of our acts. Acts, we might say, resolve themselves into facts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Poetry," said Auden, "might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings." Philosophy is the tenuous* expression of distinct thoughts.

*I tried a "intense", "terse" and "coherent", before hitting on this. The pangrammatical supplement of "clarity" is "intensity". The words tenet, tense, and tenuous share the same root, namely, "to stretch". So we can here capture the pangrammatical point, and also reproduce the "tension" (!) between "clear" and "mixed". Very satisfying exercise.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Learn to understand your reasons. This is wisdom. Be free to obey your passions. That is love.

Friday, January 13, 2017


When life is, literally, the search for lost time.


When life is a man's self-imposed exile from a country that never let him in.


When life is a play something like the murder of a king put on by a prince as part of an elaborate attempt to avenge the death of his father.


When life is the story of a man who thinks he is a knight written by a man who thinks he is a novelist.

The hand is to the eye as the heart to the mind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

William Carlos Wittgenstein

We make ourselves a picture

the red wheel

If you can

imagine the white

we'll grant you
all the rest.

Art improves imagination.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Between the act and fact,
the seen and done, the concept
and emotion, between the feeling
and the thought, slips the image.

Wisdom is the stillness of the mind in which things are what they are.

Love is the movement of the heart through which we become ourselves.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The purpose of poetry is to make us feel better. A poem doesn't always make us feel good, but a good poem makes us better able to feel.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Friday, January 06, 2017

The need for a genius in any age is as regrettable as the need for a tyrant.

Genius is the tyranny of knowledge. A tyrant is a genius of power.

Thursday, January 05, 2017