On Fri, 01 Sep 2017 at 05:55 Redacted sender jlsperanza for DMARC <
T. Fjeld writes, punning,palma, apgs
"That's what happens when one cannot or will not take the advise to Think
About Something Else." This is iindirectly n reply to L. Helm, who writes:
""Antenna-forest"*: In this poem, the city has replaced the forests and
where there were trees, there are now antennas on roofs. The antennas
apparently look like crosses and at the end the poet asks "Who's resting
here / in these deep graves?" The implication being (I'm guessing) that by
replacing forests with cities, we are not only killing nature, replacing it
with unnatural structures, but by doing this we are sealing mankind's
doom." I like Helm's use of 'implication'. I would use 'implicature', but
you KNOW _me_! :)
Helm: "Considered from the roofs, the buildings are graves in which people
I don't agree with this very popular environmentalist position. It could
happen, but only if mankind does nothing to correct this trend. The
Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski) once infamously insisted that we return to a
pre-industrial life style and killed a few people with letter bombs to get
his manifesto read, but Kaczynski and perhaps Rolf Jacobsen take a short
view. I'm also an environmentalist, but don't believe it would be good to
abandon scientific and technological progress in favor of Luddite
existence." -- Oddly, Grice was an environmentalist -- but NOT a
mentalist! (Descartes was!)
Helm goes on: "Jacobsen doesn't say quite what Kaczynski does and maybe at
times I've been this pessimistic but given homo sapiens *modus operandi,
*so to speak, I anticipate that we will move to the moon, then to Mars
and from their perhaps to one of Saturn's moons." -- The implication being
that 'moon' is sometimes mispelt. The Romans called it "LVNA" with a
capital "L", but then it's very difficult to carve a small "l" on stone.
Strawson says that "The Moon" (where 'moon' has grown 'capitals') is a
definite description, whereas 'moon,' with a small "m" is what he rather
pretentiously called a 'common noun.' Popper applies the same Strawsonian
implicature to 'sun' (versus "Sun").
Helm: "In other words we are not
doomed (IMO) to die (as a species) in the sterile structures we have
replaced the forests with. At the present time we in our Liberal
Democracies still count on growing populations to finance our entitlements,
but if we can quit doing that we needn't turn the earth into something like
the planet Trantor from Isaac Asimov's *Foundation. *" -- Indeed. I wonder
whyy Asimov baptised his planet thus -- where I'm using 'baptise'
Helm then refers to another poem:
""Guardian Angel": *This poem begins a bit like a pessimistic
environmentalist poem. The Guardian Angel is the bird that knocks on your
window that you cannot know? Why can't you know it? Because you are
blind. The birds that knock at your window are "the blossoms that light up
for the blind." In the second stanza the Guardian Angel is the "glacier's
crest above the forests." There are no glacier crests above the
Californian forests, nor do we haven any cathedral towers (or at least not
many inasmuch as I've never heard of any here) so the Guardian Angel is
probably Norwegian." -- Indeed. An angel is an angel (Satan was one) and a
guardian is a guardian. I think Grice borrowed his concept of 'happiness'
from the Greek idea of eu-daimon. The Greeks thought that each person had
a 'daimon' (like Satan, but different). The 'eu-' ('good daemon')
implicates that Descartes has a reason in the future to speak of a
'malignant daemon' --. A kako-daimon would not be one's guardian angel.
Guardian angels are supposed to guard, following Grice's 'Personal
identity' one's both soul and body -- and if Ryle is right ("the ghost in
the machine") -- just the body, since it includes the soul -- but not vice
Helm: "The Guardian Angel declares that the (Norwegian)
reader of the poem loved this angel long ago, implying that the reader no
longer loves him even though the angel walks along side him by day and
speaks to his heart even though the reader doesn't know it." -- I loved
Helm's Griceian use of 'implying' -- i.e. suggesting, but in a cancellable
way. I.e. the poet is not making an EX-plicit claim, but merely throwing an
IM-plicit innuendo into the bargain (of reading poetry).
doesn't emphasize Guardian Angels, Roman Catholics do, or have.:" -- If I
am right, the Romans did this just out of respect of the Greek idea of an
eudaimon (cfr. the Etruscan 'lares')
Guardian Angel sounds a bit like the Holy Spirit. The last stanza
describes the angel as a "third arm" and "second shadow, the white one, /
whom you don't have the heart for and who cannot ever forget you." If
Jacobsen intends this as a Christian allusion it isn't quite orthodox in
Protestant theology although it might be acceptable in the Roman
Catholicism sense." -- Indeed. And perhaps Jacobsen read Weber, "Capitalism
and the spirit of protestant ethics" (or something).
Helm: "The Holy Spirit is described in the *New Testament*
as providing help to all those who belong to the Lord." -- I think in
Anglo-Catholic circles it is represented by a dove. Of course
Anglo-Catholics need triangular cucumber sandwiches so they need the
FATHER, the SON and the HOLY GHOST. Cfr. "Holy, Holy, Holy", the hymn
known as NICAEA (which in Italian is actually and almost the town of Nizza
were Garibaldi was born --).
Helm: "However, the
recipient of the Angel's poem is described as not having the heart for this
angel, and by extension the Holy Spirit; so if this is a Protestant
Christian allusion then the theology behind it is Universalistic, i.e, all
will be saved." -- Or at least those who have a guardian angel, I hope!
Cfr. Rimbaud, "A season in hell," in French.
Helm: "The two Protestant orthodox positions are (1) those whom
God chooses will be saved, and (2) those who choose God will be saved.
Perhaps the recipient is Catholic and is at least estranged from the
Catholic Church. But perhaps he belongs in some sense to the Catholic
Church "who cannot ever forget you."" -- Grice would ask, 'save from
_what_'? I was reading recently Ezra Pound (since he was mentioned in a
letter to the editor in last week's NYT book supplement), and he says that
Hell is inhabited by 'souls' who LIKE to inhabit it! Perhaps Pound should
have read Alighieri in some more detail, but then he was a bit of a nutcase
-- Pound was. Helm refers to a further poem:
"*"Sand": *This strikes me as a naturalistic poem which expresses the
Second Law of Thermodynamics and is not placing the blame for this entropy
on *homo sapiens. *"The starry worlds above our heads" are subject to
this Law as well as earth. I've attempted to keep up with the latest
cosmological theories and the cosmologists are not as certain of the
position expressed in this poem as Jacobsen is."
Good for you. I now more of cosmetics than cosmology. My Greek professor
(my professor of Greek, as Grice would prefer) used to joke that
'cosmetics' and 'cosmology' share the same root. A big hit on Broadway
these days is "War paint," between my beloved Helena Rubinstein and
Elizabeth Garden, both cosmologists, if ever there were two.
Helm: "*Note: *I didn't initially read Dag Solstad's comments but went
straight to the above three poems referenced in
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/390357.html I read Solstad's
comments afterward but they don't shed much light on the
individual poems." -- And I think Helm proceeded along the right lines.
Revd. Sidney would disapprove: "I never read a poem before reading his
exegesis; it prejudices a man so." -- But I guess he was trying to be funny
-- and failing! What Helm writes is in reply to Fjeld's comments:
"In the review "Rolf Jacobsen -- a sarcastic and bitter poet"
(Klassekampen, 1979) acclaimed and still living author Dag Solstad comments
on a then-recent collection of poetry by Jacobsen, _Think About Something
Else_ (Tenk på noe annet)." -- Norwegian can be almost like Friesian! Note
the way to say "Think about something else". The "tenk" sounds similar
enough to 'think' (and would pose less of a problem for a Frenchman who is
unable on principle to pronounce the 'th' of think (and say 'zink'
instead). What about the rest of the phrase? "Think about". The about is
"pa" -- I don't think it's a cognate. "Something" seems to be "noe" -- not
a cognate. And "Else" seems to be 'annet' which sounds like annex.
"Jacobsen was at the time recognised as one of his country's foremost
voices of modernist poetry, a position he had held ever since his first
ground-breaking collection appeared in the 1933. _Earth and Iron_ (Jord og
jern)" --- "Jern" and "Iron" are cognate! And so are "jord" and "earth" --
GOOD FOR BOTH NORWEGIAN AND ENGLISH! Lovely languages!
""brought technology into Norwegian literature," the encyclopaedia SNL
comments (https://snl.no/Rolf_Jacobsen).(*) He had a crucial blot on his
reputation, however: as a newspaper editor he had supported the German
occupation, after having joined the national-socialist Quisling party
National Front in 1940. For this he was sentenced to three and a half years
of hard labour in 1945 and barred from membership in the Author's Guild
until 1953." -- Oddly, something similar happened to Pound while in Italy
-- "The Pisan Cantos". Only Pound was a bit of a nutcase. I was reading his
biography, and I loved that bit when he tells his daughter that he has a
mistress with whom he had another daughter. "She felt more pity than
anger," Pound recalls.
"In Solstad's review (don't forget that the Nazis murdered communists, and
Solstad was a card-carrying member of the Maoist AKP party at this time)
Jacobsen's early futurist poems, supplemented as they were by verse that
hailed nature and a simple life, are contrasted with the voice of the most
recent collection, thus:
"As in all his recent poetry, Rolf Jacobsen describes excessive Western
society and its pursuit of the wind: Western excessive society's desire for
gold and profit. The Western World is unnatural, evil, and noisy. And it is
so powerful that it has subdued the earth and its nature, and destroyed it."
-- I'm not sure how Popperian would go to provide a conceptual dialysis (he
hated the word 'analysis') of an "excessive" society. He did open of open
and closed societies, so it's not like the topic was extravagant to him.
"Jacobsen "despises" modern civilization, writes Solstad; he [Jacobsen,
that is] is a "grumpy misanthropist." Finally, it is Jacobsen's lack of
faith in humanity that serves as the cause of what it is that distinguishes
Jacobsen's analysis of our current predicament from Solstad's:
"It is something about his _attitude_ that's unbearable; not the fact
that he is disappointed, disillusioned and bitter. ... He observes our
planet's life with a sarcastic, sly grin that may have as its basis a
tragic attitude, but which also gives voice to a cold contempt for the tiny
human creep who lives his life in stupidity, without a coherent meaning
that can bring together his fragmentary existence and his bleak destiny."
-- This is NOT the 'meaning' that H. P. Grice talks about in his "Meaning".
Grice's Meaning is Peirceian in nature! (cfr. Monty Python, "The meaning of
"So much for Solstad and his Jacobsen. What remains, as one poet observed,
is the human being and what he consumes to stay alive." -- As in the Bee
Gee song, "Stayin' alive' -- who needs the final "g" when you sing?
Fjeld: ":(*)In Norway Jacobsen is mostly known for poetry from his oft
anthologised collection _Secret Life_ (Hemmelig liv, 1954). Note, for
instance, this verse from Secret Life, translated by Roger Greenwald:
“Landscape with Steam Shovels”: "De spiser av skogene mine.
Seks gravemaskiner kom og spiste av skogene mine. Gud hjelpe meg for en
skapning på dem. Hoder uten øyne og øynene i baken." Fjeld provides the
translationL: "They’re eating up my woods.
Six steam shovels came and started eating up my woods. God help me! what
creatures they are. Heads without eyes and eyes in their rumps.*
Three more Jacobsen poems translated by Greenwald into English here:
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/390357.html." -- I note
cognates in: Norwegian "mine" (English "my"), "seks" (English "six"), "kom"
(English "came"), Gud (Englsih "God"), "hjelpe" (English "help"), "meg"
(English "me"), "dem" (English "they" -- actually English has "they"
because of the Vikings, which were from Norway), "hoder" (English "head"),
"uten" (the "out" of English "without"), and oeyne" (English "eyes").
Grice is a minor poet. Barbara Grice I mean. Cheers,