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I Get W's Intent, Zwolf

This may turn out to be the best of my Wittgenstein anagrams.  It makes sense, and it also is self-referential the way the names that programmers make sometimes are, like: ZWEI = zwei was "eine" initially.

It it true I get it?  Well, maybe, but I have been on a long digression through Kant, Bergson, and Bencivenga before I get back to finishing W.

Bencivenga makes an interesting counterpoint to W.  His last proposition is:

8.  Only what we cannot speak about must we not pass over in silence.  (take that, W!)

In Bencivenga's world language exists to avoid violations of anticipated patterns that may result from the  emergence of new conspicuous events. Conspicuous events dominate in a kind of "survival of the fittest" and are more likely to repeat.  However, even to accept a Darwinian model is to collapse into a static historical view that falls short of the actual process-- the arrival of competing events, patterns-- which is not the same as "evolution."  It is more than that.  It is the totality of the emerging manifold. Calling it an evolution triggers the collapse of the "un-sayable reality" into a Darwinian instance of reality, an artificial subset of it. 

Thus B like W describes the process of making metaphysics with a view to the limits of language, but B brings a different "a priori" set of values to the investigation.  W. is one instance of metaphysics described.  B. is another instance, but B makes the point that it is not the philosopher's values that are applied to the metaphysics, but the values of the public consuming the metaphysics that allows either W or B to be dominant-- to be perceived as true.   B says perception is reality, and truth is, by default, the dominant pattern. Thus history, truth, meaning, become a sort of stock exchange in a very erratic market.

What I am getting from these investigations is that the exploration of  the limits of the knowable may be a valuable pursuit.  By attempting to approach the unknown from as many different ways as possible, the limits where the knowable and unknowable meet may give birth to an island-like entity,  a land that, while not seen, may have its contours explored and mapped.  And I think,  likening this to an exploration of the Mandelbrot set, there may be many breathtaking vistas along the edges.

Short model:   a novel is an artificially constructed pattern that attempts to dominate over other emergent patterns long enough to get read.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC)
That is really an awesome anagram.
Mar. 24th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
theories of the novel (as in novelty)
Just at the moment when I was about to write about my difficulty in reading fiction these days, not only do you post about the limits of knowledge and artificial patterns in a way that explicates my problem (the "long enough to get read" part) but another of my LF friends posts a discussion of "intrusion fantasy" vs. "immersive fantasy" that explicates part of my difficulty with the Hugo Award story that sparked my meditations.

But since we are going to press I may find myself correcting minor typographical errors and misspellings instead of writing that particular post.
Mar. 24th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
Re: theories of the novel (as in novelty)
I am thinking Bencivenga posits that many more events are happening than we humanly can, or choose, to notice. Thus some are made conspicuous, and only those are "events" from our perspective. In this sense all human perception is an "artificial" subset also, though we call it by default just "human nature."

I suspect that not all writing is up to your level for immersion. You (or perhaps I should say "you, if you experience anything like what happens to me"), may find yourself distracted by the application of your knowledge into a inquisition of the text and the assumptions the author has made, his reliability, and find yourself irked into debating, arguing, disbelieving. All this work is supposed to be part of the joy of reading-- except when it's not, when the work fails to please.

Another aspect of reading Crowley-- I am not drawn into a confrontation, an argument-- I am at peace with the narrative.
Mar. 24th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: theories of the novel (as in novelty)
Perhaps readers who depend on their non-fiction reading for livelihood may eventually find fiction, by habit, more difficult to get through?

Fiction must be written well enough to make the reader's arguments point to life and not the words themselves.

Or, as Buckaroo Bonzai might say: If you can't finish a work of fiction-- well, there you are...

Maybe the writer failed?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
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