josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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11 Jun '07 06:39:53 AM

'This fantasy of surveying is a late version [...] of a quest myth, in which the goal of the quest is an understanding of the origin of the quest itself, of the dream that dispatches you. I assume that a piece of writing able to accept itself within a known genre would not have to contain or project such a myth of its own origin. It is a quest for authority in one's speech in the absence of the authority of genre, of a shared present, a grant of history. This quest for authority naturally tends toward the autobiographical, and since the self in question is not given, it presents itself as lost. Therefore the landscape through which the journey progresses will present itself as something distant, gone. The issue is one of inhabitation, placing yourself. But placing a lost self in a land that is gone is an exercise of mourning.'

9 Jun '07 06:29:44 AM

Today on the bus I overheard someone use 'wang dang doodle' in casual conversation.

(I am not sure if I should hyphenate that or not.)

7 Jun '07 08:18:04 AM

Tonight on the bus there was a caterpillar on my back. The couple in the seat behind me called it to my attention and I tossed it out the window (after dropping it a couple of times).

4 Jun '07 11:51:23 AM

'We have Goethe's warrant / for idling when no theme presents itself / or none that can be handled suitably: / I fall back on that high word.'

1 Jun '07 10:19:08 AM

'They are already afraid the floodgates are opening.'

1 Jun '07 10:07:27 AM

'And I want you to know something of what I think essential to what I do - for example, to spend the next two dozen hours it would take to go sensibly over the opening half-dozen pages of the Philosophical Investigations and come to an end somewhere.'

30 May '07 10:50:31 AM

I wish I could hear the sound of the trains passing all night long.

30 May '07 10:34:29 AM

'Commanding, questioning, storytelling, chatting, are as much a part of our natural history as walking, eating, drinking, playing.'

25 May '07 07:59:47 AM

'This friendliness has a functional Aristotelean role (see Nic. Ethics 8-9) in Frye's approach to literature in general. One of the qualities of friendship is that it implies taking the friend's style, accomplishments, daily doings, and so on, for granted. With close acquaintance it is not really necessary to recall always, and for all audiences, that one's friend or neighbor has done this and not done that - the facts are known to the community, and let's not dwell on the obvious. On the other hand, there is a style by which the character of an intimate may be publicly revealed, and it is the style we usually associate with comedy and comic portrayal. As long as one is humorous about it, one can praise one's friend, or even one's beloved, to an unfamiliar audience. By the same token, a critic can convey what and how he knows about his subject, when he and his author have intertwined their minds, if only he can preserve a comical distance between himself and his subject. Comedy is required, if not irony.'