[lit-ideas] Re: The Worst Verse Ever Written

It's good to see the old JL back at work.  : )

Mike Geary
Memphis



On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 10:41 AM, <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> ps on McEvoy's second point:
>
> In a message  dated 6/7/2011 12:17:03 P.M. , Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx writes:
> "Too subtle. "He  reasoned" does not necessarily mean "He reasoned well".
> The example of  a "sentence" is different as a well-formed formula will
> necessarily be  well-formed."
>
> ---
>
> Too subtle but yet interesting. What Grice (and indeed Philippa Foot, in
> "The grammar of good" -- posthumous) are considering is more ontological or
> metaphysical:
>
> an x
>
> a good x.
>
> Indeed, the 'sentence' example trades on 'well-formed formula'. But
> consider some ungrammatical stuff by e e cummings. Some of the lines of his
>  verse
> are not 'grammatical' sentences -- and this may have philosophical import
> -- cfr. Barfield Owen, on poet's meaning).
>
> ----
>
> But back to
>
> an x -- a mere x
>
> a GOOD x.
>
> Grice and Foot are arguing that 'good' has an unpredictable grammar. It
> pervades or imbues our most basic grammatical structures, like
>
> S is P  (subject predicate)
>
> a good S is a good P.
>
> ------
>
> It may be claimed that
>
> "All good children go to heaven"
>
> is a refutation in that
>
> "All children go to to heaven" is falsified (by who?).
>
> Foot's example is that of a 'tree'. Surely we wouldn't call a genetic
> mutation of a birch a 'birch'. A birch is a good birch. Her examples are
> mainly
> from botany. A good 'root' of a good birch is a root that feeds the tree. A
>  rotten root or a non-operating root is not a root, at all.
>
> Mutatis mutandis,
>
> 'poem'.
>
> ------
>
> Since 'good' is SUCH a complication, I suggested in my previous to
> elaborate on expansions (via implicature) of 'good':
>
> "This is a beautiful book -- the Bible."
>
> ----
>
> "I derive a lot of pleasure from reading, oddly, Masoch's* memoirs."
>
> ----
>
> And so on.
>
> Speranza
>
> * Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch (27 January 1836 – 9 March 1895) was an
> Austrian writer and journalist, who gained renown for his romantic stories
> of  Galician life."
>
> The term masochism is derived from his name.
>
> During his lifetime, Sacher-Masoch was well-known as a man of letters, a
> utopian thinker who espoused socialist and humanist ideals in his fiction
> and
>  non-fiction.
>
> Most of his works remain untranslated into English despite Geary's
> attempts.
>
> The novel Venus in Furs is his only book commonly available in English
> ("And it's now in paperback," Geary writes in his blog).
>
> Von Sacher-Masoch was born in the city then known as Lemberg, the capital
> of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, at the time a province of the
> Austrian  Empire (now Lviv, Ukraine), into the Roman Catholic family of an
> Austrian police  director of Spanish descent and Charlotte von Masoch, a
> Ukrainian
> noblewoman.[2]  He began learning German at age 12.
>
> He studied law, history and mathematics at Graz University, and after
> graduating moved back to Lemberg where he became a professor.
>
> His early, non-fictional publications dealt mostly with Austrian history.
> ("But I changed some of the names, so that 'history' is ironic").
>
> At the same time, Masoch turned to the folklore and culture of his
> homeland, Galicia. Soon he abandoned lecturing and became a free man of
> letters.
> Within a decade his short stories and novels prevailed over his historical
> non-fiction works, though historical themes continued to imbue his
>  fiction.
>
> Panslavist ideas were prevalent in Masoch's literary work, and he found a
> particular interest in depicting picturesque types among the various
> ethnicities  that inhabited Galicia.
>
> From the 1860s to the 1880s he published a number of volumes of Jewish
> Short Stories, Polish Short Stories, Galician Short Stories, German Court
> Stories and Russian Court Stories. ("I was going to write some Japanese
> short
> stories, but lacked the background.")
>
> His works were published in translation in Ukrainian, Polish, Russian and
> French -- and, oddly, in Japanese.
>
> In Ukraine his works were widely read and held in high esteem.
>
> In 1869 Sacher-Masoch conceived a grandiose series of short stories under
> the collective title Legacy of Cain that would represent the author's
> aesthetic  Weltanschauung.
>
> The cycle opened with the manifesto The Wanderer that brought out
> misogynist themes that became peculiar to Masoch's writings.
>
> (Judith Butler said, "A pain.")
>
> Of the six planned volumes, only the first two were ever completed.
>
> By the middle of the 1880s, Masoch abandoned the Legacy of Cain ("Rather,"
> he later wrote, "the Legacy of Cain abandoned me.")
>
> Nevertheless, the published volumes of the series included Masoch's
> best-known stories, and of them, Venus in Furs (1869) is the most famous
> today.
>
> It was set to music and turned into an Italian opera (Milano, 1973).
>
> The short novel expressed Sacher-Masoch's fantasies and fetishes
> (especially for dominant women wearing fur).
>
> He did his best to live out his fantasies with his mistresses and wives --
> not necessarily in that order.
>
> Sacher-Masoch edited the Leipzig-based monthly literary magazine Auf der
> Höhe. Internationale Review (At the Pinnacle. International Review), which
> was  published from October, 1881 to September, 1885. This was a
> progressive
> magazine  aimed at tolerance and integration for Jews in Saxony, as well as
> for the  emancipation of women with articles on women's education and
> suffrage.
>
> In his later years, he worked against local antisemitism through an
> association for adult education called the Oberhessischer Verein für
>  Volksbildung
> founded in 1893 with his second wife, Hulda Meister.
>
> On 8 December 1869, Sacher-Masoch and his mistress Baroness Fanny Pistor
> signed a contract
>
> making him her slave for a period of six months,
>
> with the stipulation that the Baroness wear furs as often as possible,
> especially when she was in a cruel mood.
>
> Sacher-Masoch took the alias of "Gregor," a stereotypical male servant's
> name, and assumed a disguise as the servant of the Baroness.
>
> The two traveled by train to Italy.
>
> As in Venus in Furs, he traveled in the third-class compartment, while she
> had a seat in first-class, arriving in Venice (Florence, in the novel),
> where  they were not known, and would not arouse suspicion.
>
> Sacher-Masoch pressured his first wife, Aurora von Rümelin, whom he married
>  in 1873, to live out the experience of the book, against her preferences.
>
> Sacher-Masoch found his family life to be unexciting, and eventually got a
> divorce and married his assistant.
>
> In 1875 Masoch wrote The Ideals of Our Time, an attempt to give a portrait
> of German society during its Gründerzeit period.
>
> In his late fifties, his mental health began to deteriorate, and he spent
> the last years of his life under psychiatric care.
>
> According to official reports, he died in Lindheim, Germany in 1895.
>
> It is also claimed, however, that he died in an asylum in Mannheim in 1905.
>  (Obviously, one of these two claims has to be ungrounded, since he
> couldn't have  had two deaths -- and in different years and places.)
>
> Sacher-Masoch is the great-great-uncle to the British singer and actress
> Marianne Faithfull on her mother's side, the Viennese Baroness Eva Erisso.
>
> The term masochism was invented in 1886 by the Austrian psychiatrist
> Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing (1840–1902) in his book Psychopathia
>  Sexualis:
>
> "I feel justified in calling this sexual anomaly "Masochism," because the
> author Sacher-Masoch frequently made this perversion, which up to his time
> was  quite unknown to the scientific world as such, the substratum of his
> writings. I  followed thereby the scientific formation of the term
> "Daltonism",
> from Dalton,  the discoverer of colour-blindness."
>
> (Ebbing also coined 'heterosexual').
>
> "During recent years facts have been advanced which prove that
> Sacher-Masoch was not only the poet of Masochism, but that he himself was
>  afflicted
> with the anomaly."
>
> "Although these proofs were communicated to me without restriction, I
> refrain from giving them to the public. I refute the accusation that 'I
> have
> coupled the name of a revered author with a perversion of the sexual
> instinct,'  which has been made against me by some admirers of the author
> and by some
>  critics of my book."
>
> "As a man Sacher-Masoch cannot lose anything in the estimation of his
> cultured fellow-beings simply because he was afflicted with an anomaly of
> his
> sexual feelings."
>
> "As an author he suffered severe injury so far as the influence and
> intrinsic merit of his work is concerned, for so long and whenever he
> eliminated
> his perversion from his literary efforts he was a gifted writer, and as
> such
>  would have achieved real greatness had he been actuated by normally sexual
>  feelings."
>
> "In this respect he is a remarkable example of the powerful influence
> exercised by the vita sexualis be it in the good or evil sense over the
> formation and direction of man's mind."
>
> Sacher-Masoch was not pleased with Kraft-Ebbing's assertions, but again,
> 'pleased' should be taken with a pinch of salt, since masochism is
> paradoxical  in that it equates, ultimately, 'pain' with 'pleasure' (hedone
> and lupe
> in  Greek).
>
> Nevertheless, details of Masoch's private life were obscure until Aurora
>  vo
> n Rümelin's memoirs, Meine Lebensbeichte (1906), were published in Berlin
> under the pseudonym Wanda v. Dunajew.
>
> The following year a French translation, Confession de Ma Vie (1907), by
> "Wanda von Sacher-Masoch" was printed in Paris by Mercure de France.
>
> An English translation of the French edition was published as The
> Confessions of Wanda von Sacher-Masoch (1991) by RE/Search Publications.
>
> References:
>
> 1858 A Galician Story 1846.
> 1865 Kaunitz.
> 1866 Don Juan of  Kolomiya.
> 1867 The Last King of Hungary.
> 1870 The Divorced Woman.
> 1870 Legacy of Cain. Vol. 1: Love. (includes his most famous novella Venus
> in Furs)
> 1872 Faux Ermine.
> 1873 Female Sultan.
> 1873 The Messalinas  of Vienna.
> 1873-1874 Russian Court Stories: 4 Vols.
> 1873-1877 Viennese  Court Stories: 2 Vols.
> 1875 The Ideals of Our Time.
> 1875 Galician  Stories.
> 1877 The Man Without Prejustice.
> 1877 Legacy of Cain. Vol. 2:  Property.
> 1878 The New Hiob.
> 1878 Jewish Stories.
> 1878 The Republic  of Women's Enemies.
> 1879 Silhouettes.
> 1881 New Jewish Stories.
> 1883  The Godmother.
> 1886 Eternal Youth.
> 1886 Stories from Polish Ghetto.
> 1886 Little Mysteries of World History.
> 1887 Polish Stories.
> 1890  The Serpent in Paradise.
> 1891 The Lonesome.
> 1894 Love Stories.
> 1898  Entre nous.
> 1900 Catherina II.
> 1901 Afrikas Semiramis.
> 1907 Fierce  Women.
>
> See also
> BDSM
> Sadism and masochism in fiction
> Story of O
>
> Biale, David, "Masochism and Philosemitism: The Strange Case of Leopold Von
>  Sacher-Masoch," Journal of Contemporary History 17 (1982), 305-323.
>
> Regarding personal names: Ritter is a title, translated as Knight, not a
> first or middle name. There is no equivalent female form.
>
> Hyams, Barbara (2000). "Causal Connections: The Case of Sacher-Masoch". In
> Finke, M.C.; Niekirk, C.. One Hundred Years of Masochism. Rodopi. ISBN
> 9042006579.
>
> Schlemowitz, Joel (1999). "About the novel Venus in Furs by Leopold von
> Sacher-Masoch". New York: homepage.newschool.edu.
>
> Weinberg, Thomas S.. Erwin J. Haeberle. ed. SACHER-MASOCH, LEOPOLD RITTER
> VON. Garland Publishing.
> _
> http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/SEN/CH22.HTM#b1-SACHERMASOCH,%20LEOPOLD%20RITTER%20VON_
> (
> http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/GESUND/ARCHIV/SEN/CH22.HTM#b1-SACHERMASOCH,%20LEOPOLD%20RITTER%2
> 0VON) .  Retrieved October 6, 2009.
>
> Krafft-Ebing, Richard von. "Psychopathia Sexualis". Internet Archive.
> _
> http://ia350608.us.archive.org/1/items/psychopathiasexu00krafuoft/psychopathiasex
> u00krafuoft_djvu.txt_
> (
> http://ia350608.us.archive.org/1/items/psychopathiasexu00krafuoft/psychopathiasexu00krafuoft_djvu.txt)
> .  Retrieved October 6,
> 2009.
>
> The complete text of Venus in Furs from Project Gutenberg
> The  Bookbinder of Hort, part of an anthology, Stories by Foreign Authors
> The  Letawitza
> Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
> Leopold von Sacher-Masoch article  from Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia
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