Miltonic Regression

John Milton’s Paradise Lost is the greatest work ever written in the English language. It might easily seem absurd, therefore, to spend time justifying its importance, especially when the question of justification is this work’s own most explicit topic, tested at the edge of impossibility, where the entire poem is drawn. Perhaps it makes more sense, preliminarily, to narrow our ambition, seeking only to justify the words of Milton to modern men, especially to those for whom modernity has become a distressing cultural problem.

In regards to what is today called the Cathedral, Milton is both disease and cure. Both simultaneously, cryptically entangled, complicated by strange collisions, opening multitudinous, obscure paths.

As the most articulate anglophone voice of revolutionary Puritanism, he arrives amongst Carlyleans in the mask of “the Arch-Enemy” (I:81) and “Author of Evil” (VI:262): a scourge of clerical and monarchical authority, a pamphleteer in defense of regicide and the liberalization of divorce, an Arian, and a Roundhead of truly Euclidean spheritude.

Yet his institutional radicalism was driven by a cultural traditionalism that will never again be equaled. Milton comprehensively, minutely, and unreservedly affirms the foundations of Occidental civilization down to their biblical and classical roots, studied with supreme capability in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, and vigorously re-animated through modulations in the grammar, vocabulary, and thematics of modernity’s rough emerging tongue. His devotion to all original authorities stretches thought and language to the point of delirium, where poetry and metaphysics find common purpose in the excavation of utter primordiality and the limits of sense.

Designed in compliance with “Eternal Providence” to “justify the ways of God to men” (I:25-6), the linguistic modernity of Paradise Lost soon required its own justification, in the form of a short prefatory remark entitled The Verse. Here, Milton characteristically insists that radicalism is restoration, breaking from a shallow past in order to re-connect with deeper antiquity.

… true musical delight … consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings — a fault avoided by the learned ancients both in poetry and in all good oratory. The neglect then of rhyme so little is to be taken for a defect, though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar readers, that it rather is to be esteemed an example set — the first in English — of ancient liberty recovered to heroic poem from the troublesome and modern bondage of riming.

English passes through a revolutionary catastrophe to recall things long lost. The rusted keys which still open the near future of the Cathedral also access dread spaces forgotten since the beginning of the world.

Before their eyes in sudden view appear
The secrets of the hoary deep, a dark
Illimitable ocean, without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, and height,
And time, and place, are lost, where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.

(II:890-897)

Among all the regressive Miltonic currents to be followed, those emptying into Old Night (I:544, II:1002) will carry us furthest …

[In case acute pedants lurk ready to pounce, the capitalization of ‘Old’ is an innovation — under compulsion — of my own]

May 13, 2013admin 146 Comments »
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146 Responses to this entry

  • northanger Says:

    Horned Noumena, eh?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Are you enthroning Satan upon the seat of Old Night? If so, you are exceeding even his own ambition.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Should, at the least, annotate Old Night at Rap Genius:
    http://rapgenius.com/John-milton-paradise-lost-book-1-lyrics

    PL is a moldbuggian kernel? (cure = moxibustion).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Missing line numbering at that site is a defect.

    “… a moldbuggian kernel?” (+ ? — sorry to be slow)

    northanger Reply:

    same with this comment system, see below.

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 12:00 am Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    .

    Among all the regressive Miltonic currents to be followed, those emptying into Old Night (I:544, II:1002) will carry us furthest ….

    All together now:

    Now flamed the dog-star’s unpropitious ray,
    Smote every brain, and wither’d every bay;
    Sick was the sun, the owl forsook his bower,
    The moon-struck prophet felt the madding hour:
    Then rose the seed of Chaos, and of Night,
    To blot out order, and extinguish light,
    Of dull and venal a new world to mould,
    And bring Saturnian days of lead and gold.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    An excellent reply, but you’d admit (?) by a mannered rhymester far inferior in profundity.

    Can we seek to know what we might not seek to promote? Milton understands the Christian tradition, essentially apprehended, as a negative response to this question. In any case, it determines whether we can discuss these ultimate matters at all, and besides: whatever innocence there might once have been is now definitively lost, the forbidden fruit consumed. Knowledge is our fate, even if it is a tragic one.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    You know – and I know this isn’t what you wish to hear – Byron composed most of Cain whilst drunk. He is quoted as saying, “when I reread it later, I was astonished”. Also:

    In the preface to Cain, Byron attempts to downplay the influence of poems “upon similar topics”, but the way he refers to Paradise Lost suggests its formative influence: “Since I was twenty, I have never read Milton; but I had read him so frequently before, that this may make little difference.”

    Anyway, I will try to stop prevaricating…

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “Byron composed most of Cain whilst drunk.”
    — I’d thought he did pretty much everything whilst drunk.

    fotrkd Reply:

    Maybe he wasn’t always astonished afterwards.

    Alex Reply:

    … you’d admit (?) by a mannered rhymester far inferior in profundity.

    True, but even the antichrist could have his fill of profundity:

    “This music appears perfect to me. It approaches lightly, flexibly, courteously. It is pleasant, it does not perspire. ‘That which is good is light, everything divine walks on tender feet’: the first premise of my aesthetic. This music is vicious, refined, fatalistic: with it, it stays popular — it has the refinement of a race, not that of an individual. It is rich. It is precise. It builds, it organizes, accomplishes its goal: with it, it represents the opposite to the musical polypus, to the ‘infinite melody’!”

    … besides: whatever innocence there might once have been is now definitively lost, the forbidden fruit consumed. Knowledge is our fate, even if it is a tragic one.

    Perhaps it’ll be a comic one. O felix culpa!

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, even Milton’s Light is heavy (although, of course, I love that about him).

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 12:17 am Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/04/jaroslav-haek-and-kernel-monitor-meme.html

    In the evening they received a visit from the pious chaplain who had wanted to serve the drumhead mass for the sappers that morning. He was a fanatic who wanted to bring everyone close to God. When he had been a catechist he had developed religious feelings in children by slapping their faces and there had appeared from time to time in various journals articles about ‘the sadistic catechist’, ‘the slapping catechist’. He was convinced that a child learns the catechism best with the help of the birch.

    He limped a little on one foot, which had been caused by a visit made to him by the father of one of his pupils, whose face he had slapped for having expressed certain doubts about the Holy Trinity. He got three slaps on the face himself. One for God the Father, a second one for God the Son and a third for the Holy Ghost.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m getting steadily more lost — although you already know that. Who’s getting slapped exactly?

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    this is not biblical exegesis, but a…

    sophisticated modern poem bringing to bear the remarkably protean tool of “mythical-epic” language to express a manifold of analytic procedures. It represents modern analyses of modern problems.

    nor is it a het reading [het=sin]

    i’ll throw this out…

    justify the ways of [the cathedral] to men

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 1:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    A propos of Milton and the discussion of ultimate matters. The promised post on “Deep Heritage” is up. Be warned it is of Moldbuggian length, with substantially less charm, but at least some (attempted) editing.

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Good stuff. Will read both parts later!

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 2:26 am Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    Milton’s Chaos and Old Night
    Walter Clyde Curry
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/27712836

    It is however apparent, that Night is according to Homer the greatest divinity, since she is reverenced even by Jupiter himself. For the poet says of Jupiter—”that he feared lest he should act in a displeasing to swift Night.”

    RE: Miltonic regression, disease, cure &c…….. “regression in the service of the ego” ( = adaptive, vs plain vanilla “regression” = maladaptive; see ARISE)

    A term introduced into ego psychology by the US-based German psychologist Ernst Kris (1901–57) to denote the use of regression (2) as a means of facilitating creativity.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 2:30 am Reply | Quote
  • Aegis Says:

    A dissent on the question of verse and rhyme, from Samuel Johnson:

    ” ‘Rhyme,’ he says, and says truly, ‘is no necessary adjunct of true poetry.’ But, perhaps, of poetry, as a mental operation, metre or music is no necessary adjunct: it is, however, by the music of metre that poetry has been discriminated in all languages; and, in languages melodiously constructed with a due proportion of long and short syllables, metre is sufficient. But one language cannot communicate its rules to another; where metre is scanty and imperfect, some help is necessary. The musick of the English heroick lines strikes the ear so faintly, that it is easily lost, unless all the syllables of every line cooperate together; this cooperation can be only obtained by the preservation of every verse unmingled with another, as a distinct system of sounds; and this distinctness is obtained and preserved by the artifice of rhyme. The variety of pauses, so much boasted by the lovers of blank verse, changes the measures of an English poet to the periods of a declaimer; and there are only a few skilful and happy readers of Milton, who enable their audience to perceive where the lines end or begin. ‘Blank verse,’ said an ingenious critic, ‘seems to be verse only to the eye.’ Poetry may subsist without rhyme, but English poetry will not often please; nor can rhyme ever be safely spared, but where the subject is able to support itself. Blank verse makes some approach to that which is called the lapidary style; has neither the easiness of prose, nor the melody of numbers, and, therefore, tires by long continuance. Of the Italian writers without rhyme, whom Milton alleges as precedents, not one is popular; what reason could urge in its defence, has been confuted by the ear. But, whatever be the advantage of rhyme, I cannot prevail on myself to wish that Milton had been a rhymer; for I cannot wish his work to be other than it is; yet, like other heroes, he is to be admired rather than imitated. He that thinks himself capable of astonishing may write blank verse; but those that hope only to please must condescend to rhyme.”

    http://www.online-literature.com/samuel-johnson/3210/

    One can find volume one of Johnson’s Lives of English Poets here: http://archive.org/stream/livesofenglishpo01john#page/308/mode/2up

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Johnson is a man of robust common sense and sound judgment, approaching a writer of genius. Given the gulf that separates critic and poet, his estimation is wholly admirable: appropriately reverential, yet without a trace of servility.

    The survival of civilization would be impossible without the type illustrated by Samuel Johnson, but why should its survival be of any account, save for a rare John Milton? Johnson’s greatest merit is that he clearly sees this.

    “I cannot prevail on myself to wish that Milton had been a rhymer; for I cannot wish his work to be other than it is” — that is not dissent, but clarified recognition.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 2:30 pm Reply | Quote
  • Thales Says:

    Okay, if we’re going to start critiquing poetry around here, I’m grabbing the thermonukes ‘cuz why mess around?

    “There have been some latter-day poets who have been very specific about actual auditory hallucinations. Milton referred to his ‘Celestial Patroness, who . . . unimplor’d . . . dictates to me my unpremeditated Verse,’ even as he, in his blindness, dictated it to his daughters. And Blake’s extraordinary visions and auditory hallucinations — sometimes going on for days and sometimes against his will — as the source of his painting and poetry are well known. And Rilke is said to have feverishly copied down a long sonnet sequence that he heard in hallucination.

    But most of us are more ordinary, more with and of our time. We no longer hear our poems directly in hallucination. It is instead the feeling of something being given and then nourished into being, of the poem happening to the poet, as well and as much as being created by him. Snatches of lines would ‘bubble up’ for Housman after a beer and a walk ‘with sudden and unaccountable emotions’ which then ‘had to be taken in hand and completed by the brain.’ ‘The songs made me, not I them,’ said Goethe. ‘It is not I who think,’ said Lamartine, ‘it is my ideas that think for me.’ And dear Shelley said it plain:

    A man cannot say, ‘I will compose poetry.’ The greatest poet even cannot say it; for the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness . . . and the conscious portions of our natures are unprophetic either of its approach or its departure.

    Is the fading coal the left hemisphere and the inconstant wind the right, mapping vestigially the ancient relationship of men to gods?

    Of course there is no universal rule in this matter. The nervous systems of poets come like shoes, in all types and sizes, though with a certain irreducible topology. We know that the relations of the hemispheres are not the same in everyone. Indeed, poetry can be written without even a nervous system. A vocabulary, some syntax, and a few rules of lexical fit and measure can be punched into a computer, which can then proceed to write quite ‘inspired’ if surrealist verse. But that is simply a copy of what we, with two cerebral hemispheres and nervous systems, already do. Computers or men can indeed write poetry without any vestigial bicameral inspiration. But when they do, they are imitating an older and a truer poesy out there in history. Poetry, once started in mankind, needs not the same means for its production. It began as the divine speech of the bicameral mind. And even today, through its infinite mimeses, great poetry to the listener, however it is made, still retains that quality of the wholly other, of a diction and a message, a consolation and an inspiration, that was once our relationship to gods.”

    — Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness, pp 375-376

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Blake obliterates the difference between poetry and prophecy, with Milton as his supreme instance of literary revelation. If the poet evokes Providence, as Milton does, he must be either denounced as a blasphemer, or granted prophetic powers (or perhaps both). Is it already heretical beyond all prospect of redemption to take the Blakean path? It certainly seems to be strikingly consistent with Jaynes’ analysis.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Bicameral minds.. Caliban.. Cambions – this has the potential to get quite messy…

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 3:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    God is a slippery type. None of us can stay on target: Paradise Lost. I keep arriving at God=Caliban, which admittedly (language and dreams and savagery) seems fruitful, but doesn’t quite get me far enough. More promising(?) a Chinese restaurant sign, emblazoned in yellow on red (naturally): ‘Takeaway Entrance’… And God as a growing chasm between Chaos and Old Night, who when united presumably give you Nothing. But if we’re working on rungs I am still stuck firmly – where? – at the top or bottom anyway. Presumably, if we are trying to narrow ambition, some discipline is helpful if you want to climb any further in?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I trust you are laying no claims to theological orthodoxy.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I’m doing my best not to, but I’m not completely convinced about the Caliban link. I’ll pursue it, but I was away from the computer at the time so it’s trustworthiness is dubious. Before, when I thought the code was two I simply cancelled out zero and nine (’both reducible to zero’, I thought), but if two does create a circuit it’s going to be of zero and nine isn’t it. Anyway, I can carry on these preliminaries independently for now…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I take it back, the Caliban thing has legs!

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 3:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    “John Milton’s Paradise Lost is the greatest work ever written in the English language.”

    Nick, surely you’re going to need to revise your former opinion in light of MW’s searing prose?

    We need this in here, but to apply it to Warburton’s shorter poem:

    Oh, jesus, Admin, delete!

    Which in this context (Mark I’m 100% not taking the piss, I promise) is the best summary of my feelings just now. The road is icky; our love is God (let’s go get a slushie).

    [Reply]

    Mark Warburton Reply:

    *shrugs* :O

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I only know one smiley – 🙂 – what does your one mean?

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 6:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    “rhyme” & “riming”?
    https://www.google.com/#output=search&q=%22The+neglect+then+of+rhyme%22&oq=%22The+neglect+then+of+rhyme%22

    …in all good oratory &c:

    SY 2:3 Twenty-two letters are formed by the voice, impressed on the air, and audibly uttered in five situations, in the throat, guttural sounds; in the palate, palatals; by the tongue, linguals; through the teeth, dentals; and by the lips, labial sounds.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 8:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Setebos, a fictional god worshipped by Sycorax in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest;
    Setebos (moon), a moon of the planet Uranus, named for the fictional deity in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest;
    Setebos, an impact crater on Umbriel, a moon of the planet Uranus, named for the fictional deity in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

    “During the Renaissance, Urania began to be considered the Muse for Christian poets. In the invocation to Book 7 of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, the poet invokes Urania to aid his narration of the creation of the cosmos, though he cautions that it is “[t]he meaning, not the name I call” (7.5).”

    [Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise] “The song begins with a line from Psalm 23:4 from the Bible: As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but then diverges with: I take a look at my life / And realize there’s nothin’ left.”… If I could quote from google books – Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey connects via Urania and this Psalm to Paradise Lost, replacing “the Psalmist’s God” with Wordsworth’s Sister.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Adam = Horus
    Eve = Isis
    God = Osiris

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Satan *face palm* for God

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    sacre!

    fotrkd Reply:

    It actually gets better – the eye of horus, or the eyes of horus – one is the sun and one is the moon… Set, Osiris’ brother (presumably Satan… Cain and Abel…)… I need to check, but there’s a fight and one of Horus’ eyes is wounded/blinded so he can see. So presumably that’s the apple (of your eye?) being eaten…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Also see Harry Potter conversation with Foseti… For some reason Satan felt compassionate(? Surely not..) enough or motivated by another need to breed us back up… So this ties the theonomists and the ethno-nationalists together quite nicely (somehow).

    fotrkd Reply:

    Also Admin asking who was being slapped round the face 🙂

    fotrkd Reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z48rC3-4xM&sns=em

    northanger Reply:

    i just looked at the golden hawk & light/dark…. “apple of his eye” used by Charles Henry Stanley Davis–
    http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt/search?q1=apple;id=coo.31924091208326;view=1up;seq=16;start=1;size=10;page=search;orient=0

    To assme the form of a god who gives light and darkness. Words spoken by the Osiris scribe Ani, true of foice: I am the girdle of the cloth of the Celestial Ocean, white and shining, the guardian of his foreparts, brightening the darkness, uniting the two sister-goddesses who are in my body by the first great words of power of my mouth {The Papyrus of Ani, Chapter 80, Translated by Neil Parker}

    It turns out that preferences have a cost. Of course, some preferences also have important benefits – and can be crucial interface features. But each one has a price, and you have to carefully consider its value. Many users and developers don’t understand this, and end up with a lot of cost and little value for their preferences dollar. {Havoc Pennington, Free Software UI}

    Homage to you, lord of radience at the head of the temple, chief of total darkness. I have come before you; I am glorious; I am pure. My arms are behind you. Your ancestors are your portion. Give my my mouth so that I may speak with it. May I lead my heart in its hour of burning incense of night. {The Papyrus of Ani, Chapter 22}

    There’s a beautiful analogy between black holes and waterfalls. which actually lets us calculate all properties of black holes exactly. When you approach a waterfall, the river flows faster and faster. When you approach a black hole, it’s not the water that flows faster, it’s space itself. {Max Tegmark, MIT}

    northanger Reply:

    I am the creator of darkness, making his place in the limits of the sky, the ruler of infinity. I rejoice in the lord of the place. {The Papyrus of Ani, Chapter 84 (and 2nd half of Chapter 85)}

    en aporiais onta, kedomenos ina me keimastheis upo tarakes dialutheis eis ton tes anomoiotetos

    {Plato, Statesman [273δ]… ἐν ἀπορίαις ὄντα, κηδόμενος ἵνα μὴ χειμασθεὶς ὑπὸ ταραχῆς διαλυθεὶς εἰς τὸν τῆς ἀνομοιότητος ἄπειρον ὄντα [273ε] πόντον}

    …boundless sea of diversity… : or, (more fully) Therefore at that moment God [Zeus], who made the order of the universe, perceived that it was in dire trouble, and fearing that it might founder in the tempest of confusion and sink in the boundless sea of diversity, [273e] he took again his place as its helmsman, reversed whatever had become unsound and unsettled in the previous period when the world was left to itself, set the world in order, restored it and made it immortal and ageless.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0171%3Atext%3DStat.%3Apage%3D273

    northanger Reply:

    Turning Points: Essays in the History of Cultural Expressions
    Marshall Brown
    http://books.google.com/books?id=0Vo34jhf71EC&pg=PA11
    Errours Endlesse Traine

    In another dialogue, the Statesman, the Stranger relates to the young Socrates the myth that governs the dialectic conversion from pathlessness to path. He tells of a time when the universe rotated in the opposite direction from its present one under the direct impulse of Zeus; of the moment when Zeus released his hold and the universe, “in perplexities” (ἐν ἀπορίαις), was “in danger of sinking into the pathless (ἀπεῖρον) sea of unlikeness” (273d); and of the need for a terrestrial statesman to guide things into a stable path. Just as the seventh letter offers a political as well as an epistemological psychology, so here we clearly have an epistemological as well as a political myth. The moment when we swing back from subjection—whether under a dogma or a political leader—to independence is a period of turbulence when the movement of the soul and the movement of the world are no longer in alignment, a period of blindness and floundering before the new path is illumined.

    northanger Reply:

    I am the creator of darkness making his place in the confines of the sky. I come, my soul advanceth over the way of the Aged Ones. I make darkness in the confines of the sky, if I wish [I] arrive at their boundaries.

    I have an idea that the ‘Chemical Wedding’ may also have been a representation of an attempt to join the two houses of the Order of the Lily of the French house with the Order of the Rose of the English house.

    The song of Archilochos resounding at Olympia, that triumphal hymn swelling with three refrains, sufficed for Epharmostos to lead the way by Kronos’ Hill as he celebrated with his close companions.

    northanger Reply:

    ah…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliban_upon_Setebos

    and, yes, your infinite book might be of interest here
    >anagrammatically.com/2010/03/08/the-book-of-sand-el-libro-de-arena-by-borges-translated/

    milton does something with time, let me find a link… brb

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    No problem, I’m refreshing my memory:

    “If space is infinite, we are in no particular point in space. If time is infinite, we are in no particular point in time.”

    His musings irritated me.

    But we knew that…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Btw, one thing you may enjoy – Borges in interview:

    I must have been about—there were many things I didn’t understand—I must have been about ten or eleven. Before that, of course, I had read The Jungle Book, and I had read Stevenson’s Treasure Island, a very fine book. But the first real novel was that novel. When I read that, I wanted to be Scotch, and then I asked my grandmother, and she was very indignant about it. She said, “Thank goodness that you’re not!” Of course, maybe she was wrong. She came from Northumberland; they must have had some Scottish blood in them. Perhaps even Danish blood way back.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    loved it 🙂

    At diagonally opposite corners of the room are two large, revolving bookcases… books Borges frequently consults, all arranged in a certain order and never varied so that Borges, who is nearly blind, can find them by position and size. The dictionaries, for instance, are set together, among them an old, sturdily rebacked, well-worn copy of Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language and an equally well-worn Anglo-Saxon dictionary… Pelican Guide to English Literature… Harrap’s English Classics… His accent defies easy classification: a cosmopolitan diction emerging from a Spanish background, educated by correct English speech and influenced by American movies. (Certainly no Englishman ever pronounced piano as “pieano,” and no American says “a-nee-hilates” for annihilates.)… In this interview it has been attempted to preserve the colloquial quality of his English speech—an illuminating contrast to his writings and a revelation of his intimacy with a language that has figured so importantly in the development of his writing

    I’m going to deliver a course of lectures on poetry. And as I think that poetry is more or less untranslatable, and as I think English literature—and that includes America—is by far the richest in the world, I will take most, if not all of my examples, from English poetry.
    . . .
    My hope for English—for the English language—is America. Americans speak clearly. When I go to the movies now, I can’t see much, but in the American movies, I understand every word. In the English movies I can’t understand as well. Do you ever find it so?

    fotrkd Reply:

    Oh, and more Borges.

    fotrkd Reply:

    The Zahir is from the short story collection Aleph:

    The only letter that had refrained from urging its claims was the modest Alef, and God rewarded it later for its humility by giving it the first place in the Decalogue.

    The title work, “The Aleph”, describes a point in space that contains all other spaces at once. The work also presents the idea of infinite time… The story continues the theme of infinity found in several of Borges’ other works, such as The Book of Sand.

    Which also links to your John Dee related(?) “a sharp, stable point becomes the parent, and king of all the planets”.

    northanger Reply:

    The Romantic Legacy of “Paradise Lost”: Reading Against the Grain, Jonathan Shears
    http://books.google.com/books?id=wKJPRBfSR-0C&pg=PA206&vq=%22between%20remembered%20happiness%20and%20present%20torment%22

    The readings of both Kendrick and Welch suggest that to view Paradise Lost, as I have at times, in a purely linear fashion is perhaps an oversimplified reading. Amy Boesky has recently suggested that Milton’s purpose is actually to awaken the reader’s perception of the limited efficacy of his narrative model, ‘even as the possibility that the poem can be understood sequentially is being established, the idea of sequence is tested and exposed as flawed’.85 Boesky draws on the opening of Paradise Lost and argues, as I have done myself, that the reader is primarily made aware of the presentness, almost lyrically so, of time in Pandemonium: ‘a temporal moment that defies sequence’.86 Welch also makes the point that time in Pandemonium is complicated because ‘Milton imagines time here as movement without change, duration without sequence. As the devils “roll” on the burning lake, they also roll backward and forward through time; tossed between remembered happiness and present torment’.87 [Anthony Welch, “Reconsidering Chronology in Paradise Lost“, p. 4] The dominant mood is one of loss indicating the past, but experienced by Satan in the present as mental anguish and physical pain. Boesky focuses on the shift in tenses in the opening of the poem that make it difficult for the reader to establish a linear pattern of events.
    – – –
    There can be little argument with this: ‘Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift/ Than time or motion’ (PL, VII.176-7). The problem is partly one of Milton’s own making, in that God is made an actual presence within the poem, a character… Milton asks the reader to… focus… on his own God within the narrative …the reader comes to understand, initially through a process of over-familiarity, that God, and Heaven and Pandemonium, cannot be described in terms of narrative, and that narrative is itself a construct falsely imposed by man upon actual time.

    41st volume of Milton Studies
    >rmmla.innoved.org/ereview/58.1/reviews/rasmussen.asp
    First is Anthony Welch’s “Reconsidering Chronology in Paradise Lost,” which argues for seeing the timelines of PL in terms of the various settings in the poem — heaven, hell, chaos, and Paradise before and after the Fall — rather than as a single unbroken and continuous movement in time from Book One to Book Twelve. Milton “is deliberately exploiting the imaginative power of experiential over chronometric time” (13).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    These references are fabulous — strictly speaking: meta-fabulous. Especially this: “narrative is itself a construct falsely imposed by man upon actual time.” It needs to be taken further, though, because ‘imposition’ is a modern, secular, and subjectivistic label for a topic that is more originarily about the analogical bonds between God and man, and creationist metaphysics. ‘Narrative’ does not proceed from the human subject.

    northanger Reply:

    Anthony Welch
    http://english.utk.edu/peopletwo/anthony-welch/

    northanger Reply:

    ‘imposition’ is a modern, secular, and subjectivistic label

    from a paper on Pythagorean coins & whether they were used to “surreptitiously propagate their teachings”:

    “surreptitious propaganda is a bad way to design coins, symbolism in coins should be overt, reinforcing the collective message for the entire issuing political body, not just one faction”

    ‘Narrative’ does not proceed from the human subject

    @fotrkd quoting yeats somewhere on this page:

    Have not all races had their first unity from a mythology, that marries them to rock and hill?

    fotrkd Reply:

    Add a moon before thinking on Jupiter. Caliban is also a moon of Uranus.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Descend from Heav’n Urania, by that name
    If rightly thou art call’d, whose Voice divine
    Following, above th’ Olympian Hill I soare,
    Above the flight of Pegasean wing.

    (VII:1-4)

    Releasing the sand… turns back time!
    And only the holder of the dagger is aware of what’s happened.
    He could go back and alter events, change time.
    And no one knows but him.
    (Prince of Persia)

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 8:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    absolutely: Snape is the most sentimental, but consider Ken Burns’ “sentiment” / “sentimental” distinction. perhaps reactionary Snape is sentimental; the persona interacting with Harry [cf. hauntology & nostalgia (“homesickness” — Satan in PL, &c)]. you find Snape’s sentiment where Rowling is the most luminous.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I didn’t give you much to go on there – think I even got my f-men mixed up. What thread is it? I posted something else at the bottom – Harry and Ginny are Osiris and Set lines recombined…

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Harry Potter and the Dark Enlightenment is here:
    http://www.xenosystems.net/reaction-points-5/

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yeah – here:

    Yeats himself asks:

    Might I not, with health and good luck to aid me, create some new Prometheus Unbound; Patrick or Columbkil, or Oisin or Fion, in Prometheus’ stead; and instead of Caucasus, Cro-Patrick or Ben Bulben? Have not all races had their first unity from a mythology, that marries them to rock and hill?

    (Prometheus=Enki=Ptah; (Wiki quote:) “Ptah-Seker (who resulted from the identification of Ptah with Seker), god of re-incarnation, thus gradually became identified with Osiris, the two becoming Ptah-Seker-Osiris” – for some reason linking Oisin to Osiris feels important (no idea why)).

    So… (after all that nonsense)..you could develop and feed this into the eugenics variation: Snape, Lily, James and Harry all belong to the Oisin tribe – the dominant, Celtic clan found in the UK. Snape’s love for Lily is actually a misplaced feeling of kinship, which is his true motivation for protecting Harry (which he can’t admit to – sort of like a Nietzschean Hamlet bound by a code he longs to be free of?). That Harry goes on to marry Ginny (patronus: horse) is also highly intriguing from the Yeats/Oisin perspective (“horseman pass by!”), and through the importance of horses in Hittite (and Celtic) culture, not just militarily, but also e.g. horse burial. In fact horses are connected to the Hyksos god Baal who becomes linked to Seth, the brother (and murderer) of Osiris! Oh, it’s all too messy…

    (Seth = Set)

    northanger Reply:

    Harry Potter and English Lit., Et al, etc etc
    http://www.xenosystems.net/miltonic-regression/#comment-3613

    Ridley Scott: “Engineers… they are dark angels”
    >www.prometheusforum.net/discussion/1575/ridley-scott-engineers-they-are-dark-angels/p1

    http://www.movies.com/movie-news/ridley-scott-prometheus-interview/8232
    Movies.com: So Milton was one of your influences for the Engineers?

    Ridley Scott: That sounds incredibly pretentiously intellectual. But in a funny sort of way, yes. I started off with a title called Paradise. Either rightly or wrongly, we thought that was telling the audience too much. But then with Prometheus – which I thought was bloody well intellectual – that wasn’t my idea. It was Fox’s notion, It came from Tom Rothman, who’s a smart fellow. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a good idea. This is about someone who dares and is horribly punished. And besides, do you know something? A little bit of an education at the cinema isn’t such a bad thing.

    northanger Reply:

    Harry Potter and the Book of Sand, begins here
    http://www.xenosystems.net/death-on-the-nile/#comment-1689

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Did Harry come up here? I need to put my dogs away (it’s dark)… Hang on.

    northanger Reply:

    No.

    btw, is Osiris-Isis-Horus the trichonomic map here? or Osiris-Horus-Set?

    northanger Reply:

    Isis-Nephthys-Horus = Lily Potter-Petunia Dursley-Harry Potter
    Dumbledore recognized the blood-bond protection mechanism

    northanger Reply:

    Harry and Ginny are Osiris and Set lines recombined

    from Milton to Tolkien to Yeats to Rowling…

    I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought, and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands. There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic, Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but nothing English, save impoverished chap-book stuff. Of course there was and is all the Arthurian world, but powerful as it is, it is imperfectly naturalized, associated with the soil of Britain but not with English; and does not replace what I felt to be missing.

    http://www.thetolkienwiki.org/wiki.cgi?The__History__of__Middle-earth

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Harry_Potter

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few who possess the predisposition, I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death. Then again, maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay attention! Mr. Potter. Our new celebrity. Tell me, what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood? You don’t know? Well, let’s try again. Where, Mr. Potter, would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?… And what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?… Pity. Clearly, fame isn’t everything, is it, Mr. Potter? –J.K. Rowling, “The Potions Master”, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

    omg! No, I had not seen that. I definitely had not seen that, dude. I started it, but I can’t just … do it. Bataille’s voice, man! What will they did up next – a recording of Baudelaire? I mean, in a way, I don’t want to see Bataile calmly answering questions in his librarian’s suit. Surely the interviewer should have said, fuck it and gotten Bataille to read passages from Le Bleu du ciel. Like the passage about the banners Troppman sees in Vienna that announce the coming of the fascists: “Elle ne tombait pas: ellle claquait dans le vent avec un grand bruit a hauteur du toit; elle se deroulait en prenant des formes tourmentees; comme un ruisseau d’encre qui aurait coule dans les nuages. L’incident parait etranger a mon histoire, mais c’etait pour moi comme si une poche d’encre s’ouvrait dans ma tete et jetais sur, ce jour-la, de mourir sans tarder.” An image that has haunted me since I first read it, in 1989. –Roger Gathman, philosopher-villains

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    In a world governed by chance the ancient Chinese sought not only the “meaningful coincidences (most of them were the historical events since the immemorial past)” but the “significant symbols” of either the natural phenomena, or qualities of things or images to strengthen his psyche at the moment when a final decision was announced. We must realize that the mental process of decision-making is complex. No matter how much information and data are piped into the headquarters of the army, the Chief Commander has to make hasty decisions as situations develop. In our lifetime situations force us to make vital decisions in the nick of time. We can hardly exercise our “free choice” by assorting and evaluating the information and data. Rather, we make decisions based upon our convictions. “Synchronicity” provided a “chance hit” device for the ancient Chinese; but the conviction that whatever a man does will affect heaven and earth, and that how ever the heaven and earth behave will affect man induced them to consult the I Ching. —Shih-Chuan Chen, How to Form a Hexagram and Consult the ‘I Ching’

    The night reached such a depth of velvety blackness that he might have been suspended in limbo between Disapparition and Apparition. He had just held up a hand in front of his face to see whether he could make out his fingers when it happened. A bright silver light appeared right ahead of him, moving through the trees. Whatever the source, it was moving soundlessly. The light seemed simply to drift toward him. He jumped to his feet, his voice frozen in his throat, and raised Hermione’s wand. He screwed up his eyes as the light became blinding, the trees in front of it pitch-black in silhouette, and still the thing came closer… And then the source of the light stepped out from behind an oak. It was a silver-white doe, moon-bright and dazzling, picking her way over the ground, still silent, and leaving no hoofprints in the fine powdering of snow. She stepped toward him, her beautiful head with its wide, long-lashed eyes held high. Harry stared at the creature, filled with wonder, not at her strangeness, but her inexplicable familiarity. —J.K. Rowling, “The Silver Doe”, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 9:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    my new book title (if anyone is wondering): Unanswered Questions: A Dark and Dialectical Discourse

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 10:15 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    @northanger

    Still haven’t done my dogs. Osiris is Horus in many ways (and Isis is both Sister and ‘wife’ of Osiris/Mother and wife of Horus(?)). I was just wondering if we need to regress the trichotomy a level – just as Isis is also Mary (and Osiris/Horus are God/Jesus – which begs the ghost question) – how does Satan-God/Set-Osiris link with Old Night and Chaos (there is another Egyptian level, but my knowledge isn’t good. Perhaps other routes?)

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Snape’s love for Lily is actually a misplaced feeling of kinship, which is his true motivation for protecting Harry (which he can’t admit to – sort of like a Nietzschean Hamlet bound by a code he longs to be free of?).

    imo, Snape’s love for Lily is what defined him, it is not misplaced. It’s what generated his “feeling of kinship” [however, “kinship” might not be a word i’d use] toward Harry. Remember The Epilogue and the naming of Harry’s children and the discussion on Houses.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    They’re half brothers aren’t they… “Now, gods, stand up for bastards!”

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Add some gender variation or some hermaphrodites in while I’m gone…

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Χαός [Chaos], Βαβαλον [Babalon], Ἔρως [Eros], Ψυχή [Psyche]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Intriguing.. We have butterflies then.

    northanger Reply:

    Curry’s “Milton’s Chaos and Old Night”, see link above, discusses the intelligible triad, which may provide clues on the structure of all these triads (including trichotomy).

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 10:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    Intriguing.. We have butterflies then.

    that’s one form of the Star Ruby by Aleister Crowley (see The Black Lodge of Santa Cruz and also KAOS 14 for discussion on Chaos & Babalon).

    http://www.biroco.com/kaos/kaos14.html

    yes, the English do it better.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 11:18 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    imo, Snape’s love for Lily is what defined him, it is not misplaced. It’s what generated his “feeling of kinship” [however, “kinship” might not be a word i’d use]

    I’ve not read it so that’s probably holding me back. But you’d say clarity is generated by eros then? I was one of the people confused by the film into thinking Snape might be Harry’s father… Is that where we’re going with the house/naming thing?

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    “Albus Severus Potter, you were named after two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was the bravest man I ever knew.”

    James Potter was Harry’s father. Snape knew Lily before their first year at Hogwarts. The Epilogue shows Harry & Ginny’s children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, Lily Luna.

    note: first separation between Snape and Lily happened at the Sorting Hat: Snape to Slytherin, Lily to Gryffindor (where James went also); second occurred because of Snape’s interest in the Dark Arts.

    Hogwart’s four Houses were supposed to be equally balanced to develop specific magical traits. perhaps, due to Salazar Slytherin’s mistrust of muggles & such, Slytherin House eventually developed a darker reputation, accepting only pure-bloods &c. interest in the Dark Arts is natural in Slytherin, but became unbalanced due to Voldemort’s influence. by the time of The Epilogue, however, Slytherin was back in balance with the other four houses…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEKA6rmVfW8

    http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizards/lily.html

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 11:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Hmm.. I didn’t know that (either):

    A millennia-old explanation for Cain being capable of murder is that he may have been the offspring of a fallen angel or Satan himself, rather than being from Adam.[2][3][4] Allusions to Cain and Abel as an archetype of fratricide appear in numerous references and retellings, through medieval art and Shakespearean works up to present day fiction.[5]

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 14th, 2013 at 11:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    Philip M. Taylor, The Projection of Britain: British Overseas Publicity and Propaganda, 1919-1939
    http://books.google.com/books?id=BXU8AAAAIAAJ

    Just as Sir Stephen Tallents, who made famous the phrase ‘the projection of England’ after publishing a pamphelt with that title in 1932, made no apologies to the Scots, the Welsh or the Irish, because, he wrote, ‘they may be counted on to take their full share in the study and practice of the new art’ for which he pleaded, so also do I make no apologies for adapting his phrase for my purposes, because, without Tallents and people like him who were prepared to convert unfashionable theory into unpopular practice, this book would never have been made possible.
    – – –

    “To-day, as the result of scientific discovery, a people is known to its fellows by the impression which it makes upon them through the cable and the printing press, on the air and on the screen. If a nation would be truly known and understood in the world, it must set itself actively to master and employ the new, difficult and swiftly developing modes which science has provided for the projection of national personality. Moreover, whereas in the age of shadows countries were mainly self-contained, and derived from outside prestige little save power, pride and luxury, to-day they depend upon each other alike for their break and for their peace. No civilized country can to-day afford either to neglect the projection of its national personality or to resign its projection to others. Least of all countries can England afford either that neglect or that resignation.” –S.G. Tallents, The Projection of England

    His argument was that if England was to maintain her commercial prosperity and prestige, it was essential to inaugurate the serious study and practice of what he called, ‘the new art of national projection’. Tallents believed that the widespread use of the English language… provided conditions ‘very favourable to the effective projection and sympathetic receipt of England’s image’… For these reasons he believed that England must,

    “In the first place, project upon the screen of world opinion such a picture of herself as will create a belief in her ability to serve the world under the new order as she had served it under the old. This role implies neither self-advertisement, as distinct from honest self-expression, nor self-righteousness, as distinct from honest confidence.” –S.G. Tallents, The Projection of England

    The Projection of England
    http://northanger.livejournal.com/399495.html

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 12:16 am Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    “preferences have a cost”. Krugtron the Invincible!: Psychological Roots of Austerity

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 4:55 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    With caution I’m going to add in a few leftovers for future reference. Caliban as “calvaluna or mooncalf” wasn’t explored, but links with Hathor (horned noumena?) in Egypt:

    “From the Old Kingdom Period, the tyet knot was also fused with the bovine faces of the goddesses Bat or Hathor… Combined with the cow-eared face of the goddess Hathor, the tyet is commonly depicted as an amuletic pendant slung low from the belt in statues dating from the Third Intermediate Period on.”

    Read more: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/tyet.htm#ixzz2TM6GRl52

    And (Sea) Cows in the Sky.

    Also consider various images: Isis-Horus and Mary-Jesus (also a grown Caliban suckling from his mother’s teat in Derek Jarman’s Tempest)…

    Srila Prabhupada: But consider the cow: we drink her milk; therefore, she is our mother. Do you agree?

    Cardinal Danielou: Yes, surely.

    Srila Prabhupada: So if the cow is your mother, how can you support killing her? You take the milk from her, and when she’s old and cannot give you milk, you cut her throat. Is that a very humane proposal? In India those who are meat eaters are advised to kill some lower animals like goats, pigs, or even buffalo. But cow killing is the greatest sin. In preaching Krishna consciousness we ask people not to eat any kind of meat, and my disciples strictly follow this principle. But if, under certain circumstances, others are obliged to eat meat, then they should eat the flesh of some lower animal. Don’t kill cows. It is the greatest sin. And as long as a man is sinful, he cannot understand God. The human being’s main business is to understand God and to love Him. But if you remain sinful, you will never be able to understand God — what to speak of loving Him.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Caliban as cannibal…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Wrong goddess – I wanted Nut didn’t I.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Sorry – cows.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 10:45 am Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    Book X: Milton is dilating on lines 842-844

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Adam does a lot of whinging. If the expression ‘beta male’ wasn’t already in circulation, it would need to be conjured up to describe his “This Woman, whom thou mads’t to by my help [dragged me into this mess]” finger-pointing (X:137-43).
    This pitiable buck-passing immediately receives a holy spanking:
    “‘Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey …” (X:145) — that’s accusing him of disastrous betatude before the Fall. Patriarchal traditionalists have their work cut out for them.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Northanger quoting Curry (above):

    it is however apparent, that night is according to homer the greatest divinity, since she is reverenced even by jupiter himself. for the poet says of jupiter—”that he feared lest he should act in a displeasing to swift night.”

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    And:

    By the New Kingdom, the symbol was clearly associated with Isis, perhaps due to its frequent association with the djed pillar. The two symbols were therefore used to allude to Osiris and Isis and to the binary nature of life itself. The association of the sign with Isis leads to it being given the names, “the knot of Isis” (as it resembles the knot which secures the garments of the gods in many representations), “the girdle of Isis” and “the blood of Isis.”

    So back on Time.

    admin Reply:

    That quote is extremely interesting, but it seems a bit glitched.
    “… he feared lest he should act in a way displeasing to swift night.”?

    northanger Reply:

    that’s from Proclus

    northanger Reply:

    “that he feared lest he should act in a manner displeasing to swift Night”

    northanger Reply:

    On receiving an interrupt, decrement the counter to zero

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    that’s assbackward

    fotrkd Reply:

    I’m getting conflicting messages – focus; stop; conviction; clarity. Zero in this context is confusing. Bin it all? Go actually read some PL?

    northanger Reply:

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/intro/text.shtml#marriage

    Paradise is lost after Adam chooses to disobey God, choosing, in Milton’s imagination, Eve instead. Milton’s Adam exclaims to Eve: “How can I live without thee, how forgoe / Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn’d” (PL 9.908-9). In response to this choice, the Son demands: “Was shee thy God” (PL 10.145)?
    – – –
    “the key to unlocking Milton’s attitudes toward gender and sexuality” … “a merger of Neoplatonic friendship and Christian marriage”
    – – –
    …Milton’s “project” is “to redefine heteroerotic marriage using the terms and principles of classical friendship, and then to promote this newly dignified version of marriage as the originary human relation and, therefore, the bedrock of social and political culture in Protestant Christendom” (Single Imperfection 1-2).

    note: тАж = …

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears / And horrors hast thou driv’n me (PL X:842-844)

    ΣΤΙΛΒΩΝ acvmine stabili consvmmatus omnivm planetarvm parens et rex fit [“a sharp, stable point becomes the parent, and King of all the planets” {Mercury}]

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    “Boundless The Deep”: Milton, Pascal, And The Theology Of Relative Space
    Catherine Gimelli Martin

    Milton’s God will acquire many of the mathematical properties reminiscent of Pascal’s still more hidden deity: he will appear and act essentially like a Zero.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 10:52 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    [Note to self on the Northanger-Fotrkd phenomenon]
    Invoke Old Night, prepare for Chaos

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    it’s a type of error handling.

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    to save Man is one thing, to save Satan is another

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    The web address for ‘Egypt: The Temple of Seti I and the Osireion at Abydos’ is:

    http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/setiabydos.htm

    Seti at Abydos = Setebos

    Ted Hughes also writes about Setebos.

    northanger Reply:

    in other words, Satan–as the personification & author evil–cannot “exit” his state

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yes. I can’t shake the Egyptian thing. This is extraordinary (in any context).

    northanger Reply:

    google– “paradise lost” milton egyptian mythos

    “Have you ever read Milton, Captain?”

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 12:21 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    (Getting there):

    Throughout history Seth’s reputation grew steadily worse, until he became Seth, the abominable. In the Book of victory over Seth the god is expelled from Egypt. Magic is invoked against him, his effigy is burned, and he is delivered to the Devourer. Even his mother Nut is driven to repudiate her son:

    “Is there a mother who consumes her child?
    Is there a woman who draws her knife against him who emerged from her?”
    I have opened (my) mouth in order to eat,
    I have drawn (my) knife in order to commit slaughter
    against that wretched Seth and his following,
    (against him) who was not mild, who grasped in evil
    against the eldest of my body, of mild manners,
    who emerged with the royal serpent on his head from (my) body,
    who was crowned before he was born,
    (against him) who created evil against the body cleaver,
    who was hard hearted against the benefactor,
    who brought about unequalled crimes.

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 2:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    “Isis is the Egyptian image of Ninmah whom Enoch (Set; Snape) loved in their youth back on their own planet, but whom Ninmah spurned for his more dashing half brother El (Osiris).

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Fuck. I need to read some Harry Potter after all!

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    [Please Setebos make it stop]

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    I think I may have wandered into “foolish wand-waving” again, but thought you might like this:

    Adepts are scattered throughout Weyard, although most tend to be located near sources of great Psynergy. Often this source is a deposit of Psynergy Stones, such as those within Mt. Aleph and the Elemental Rocks. Another possible source is the Elemental Lighthouses, giving birth to the Mercury Clan and explaining why everyone in Prox is a Mars Adept (Prox is just south of Mars Lighthouse) despite the cold climate. The most notable exception is Lemuria: all Lemurians are Mercury Adepts, yet there is no obvious source for this Psynergy.

    As for making it stop – I’m working on it (despite appearances). But I may be reaching temporary burnout.

    Cleopatra – Isis – Venus
    Mark Antony – Set – Mercury
    Caesar – Osiris – Mars

    Not sure whether to stick to Snape or go planetary?

    fotrkd Reply:

    Came up with this weeks (months?) ago:

    MARK ANTONY:
    Be a child o’ the time.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR:
    Possess it, I’ll make answer

    fotrkd Reply:

    So, more old thoughts, Cleopatra in relation to:

    …where eldest Night
    And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold

    Tempest @ etymology dictionary:

    violent storm,” mid-13c., from Old French tempeste (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *tempesta, from Latin tempestas (genitive tempestatis) “storm, weather, season,” also “commotion, disturbance,” related to tempus “time, season” (see temporal). Sense evolution is from “period of time” to “period of weather,” to “bad weather” to “storm.” Words for “weather” were originally words for “time” in languages from Russia to Brittany. Figurative sense of “violent commotion” is recorded from early 14c.

    ‘Evolution’ is reminiscent of abominable Seth’s decline…

    fotrkd Reply:

    Can we do Shakespearean regression instead?

    northanger Reply:

    Be a child o’ the time.

    MARK ANTONY

    It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad
    as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is,
    and moves with its own organs: it lives by that
    which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of
    it, it transmigrates.

    northanger Reply:

    numberwise, “Adepts are scattered…” = 1st paragraph of FIN-2013-G001

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 2:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    I’m stopping. but the following – Why does Snapes’s love of lily extend to protecting Harry? Harry has his mother’s eyes… leads here: http://www.whale.to/b/horus.html

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Really should be cooking.

    In Jewish Mythology Lilith was the first wife of Adam, she was beautiful and seductive. However, she refused to be subserviant to Adam but insisted on being on top during sex. Adam refused to grant her equality and she flew off to the Red Sea where she collected a family of demon children around her. God would not accept such rebellion and sent three angels to bring her back to Adam to be a good wife but she refused. She was a rebellious character, living her own life and staying true to herself, yet being defamed and demonized as a result. She is related to darkness but is not evil, rather is outside the concept of black and white, good and evil.
    She was said to steal men’s semen via nocturnal emissions (succubus motif) in order to create a demon brood and of snatching away new-born babies – girls until the 21st day and boys until the 8th day of death were considered her prey. The 8th day is the day of circumcision for a boy in Jewish tradition.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That description of Lilith sounds as if it was taken from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Guide to Demons, Ghouls, Abominations, and Other Victims of Heteronormative White Patriarchal Capitalism

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    simplest reason: harry was a horcrux

    Snape, however, probably didn’t know that with certainty in HP1. Harry’s scar and the fact he survived Voldemort’s attack provide a lot of clues.

    great question. “Remorse is [a] sure-fire method for eliminating Horcruxes”
    contrast with Satan’s lack of in PL
    http://www.mugglenet.com/levelnine/horcruxes/howtheywork.shtml

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    contrast Voldemort’s seven horcruxes:

    Seven Souls by William S. Burroughs
    http://opalblack.livejournal.com/58699.html
    Ren – Sekem – Khu – Ba – Ka – Khaibit – Sekhu

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Wow, OK – I’ve been here, but without the HP link. I’d connected them to seven ‘Mary’s’, which actually included Jane Austen (via Mary Bennet); Isis; Theotokos; Mary Wordsworth; Mary Wollstonecraft; Lily Yeats and Mary Lamb. Not sure what that means now – maybe it was more useful for getting to this point? – but all seven could be connected via social/family connections. One for the morning…

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Sorry – Mary Shelley not Wordsworth!

    northanger Reply:

    another mary: Milton’s first wife Mary Powell

    fotrkd Reply:

    Nothing’s really happening just now. If you want another Mary, I can give you St Francis. But I don’t think a full breakthrough is going to happen through Milton, or at least not yet.

    northanger Reply:

    the ‘eye’ of a ‘spiral templex.’

    Burroughs & Ccru
    http://www.ccru.net/archive/burroughs.htm

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    This eye? I need to flip something or spot the obvious.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yeah, right… Bit of both (*face palm* for Satan).. Snape betrayed Voldemort, got it:

    The lack of love goes through all his relationships. He doesn’t have a biological family, and those whom he calls his “real family” don’t actually love him. They aren’t even his friends, or even his equals, they are his servants. They stay with him because of different reasons, like fear, power and sadistic pleasures or adoration of the evil he represents, not because they genuinely like him. And he knows it. He knows even more now, since his fall and rebirth, that the majority of his “friends” are people who don’t even care if he’s alive or dead. Even the ones who did sacrifice themselves for him by going to Azkaban aren’t motivated by love. They worship his power. They love what he gives them, not who he is. They don’t even know who he is. Nobody does.

    northanger Reply:

    lots of stuff related to this, actually. good link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_Horus

    >http://www.endomail.com/articles/ad13rx.html
    how eye of horus related to ℞ ♃ (i’d include ☥)

    northanger Reply:

    spirals & stuff

    oops. in moderation. two or more links do that :/
    google saturn hexagon animation.

    Wringing out Water on the ISS – for Science!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8TssbmY-GM

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 6:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    I am now (consciously) flailing. However, on the first wife thing and knowing you’re a fan I’ll add this for inspiration:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p62rfWxs6a8&sns=em

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 8:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    We’re everything that didn’t happen aren’t we?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Great sentence. (Somewhat cryptic, however.)

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Yes. I don’t want to get the next bit wrong, and I understood it more sentimentally than in any clearly expressible way. I fell asleep which suggests this is a point to pause, but a few related thoughts (before I go back to bed)…

    “Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
    ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

    It seems that fleeting moment without a name is the connection between all these different couples and why within history they fail or don’t exist. There was a strong Heidegger pull here, but I’ve not got out of bed to explore that path (my understanding is very overgrown and not particularly well developed in the first place). But Snape loved Lily as Lily. You want her to stand [insert Heidegger terminology], but the ability to let that happen… impossibly fleeting. Consuming or consummating the love is the first instantiation of power or dominion; the first imposition of order on time (or the tempest). Snape can’t/doesn’t want to do that and that’s why he loses (her). But the imposition in the end is what takes us from infinite possibility to… what? I don’t know what to call it, but Hell is filling up; there’ll be nothing left.

    P.S. How cool is the music video imagery? It wouldn’t work on YouTube til I embedded it here, so it was a pleasant, revelatory surprise 🙂

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    See also Northanger’s preferences have a cost

    northanger Reply:

    you win this entire thread 🙂

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 15th, 2013 at 8:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    Macaulay’s Essay on Milton (1895)
    http://archive.org/details/cu31924010389868

    That from which the public character of Milton derives its great and peculiar splendour still remains to be mentioned. If he exerted himself to overthrow a forsworn king and a persecuting hierarchy, he exerted himself in conjunction with others. But the glory of the battle which he fought for the [“that”, in some versions] species of freedom which is the most valuable, and which was then the least understood, the freedom of the human mind, is all his own. Thousands and tens of thousands among his contemporaries raised their voices against Ship-money and the Star-Chamber. But there were few indeed who discerned the more fearful evils of moral and intellectual slavery, and the benefits which would result from the liberty of the press and the unfettered exercise of private judgment. These were the objects which Milton justly conceived to be the most important. He was desirous that the people should think for themselves as well as tax themselves, and be emancipated from the dominion of prejudice as well as from that of Charles. He knew that those who, with the best intentions, overlooked these schemes of reform, and contented themselves with pulling down the King and imprisoning the malignant, acted like the heedless brothers in his own poem, who, in their eagerness to disperse the train of the sorcerer, neglected the means of liberating the captive. They thought only of conquering when they should have thought of disenchanting.

    “Oh, ye mistook! Ye should have snatched his wand
    And bound him fast. Without the rod reversed,
    And backward mutters of dissevering power,
    We cannot free the lady that sits here
    Bound in strong fetters fixed and motionless.”

    (Comus, 815-819)

    To reverse the rod, to spell the charm backward, to break the ties which bound a stupefied people to the seat of enchantment, was the noble aim of Milton. To this all his public conduct was directed.

    – – –
    Priori Incantatem” is the Reverse Spell Effect in HP revealing prior spells/charms performed on a magic wand in reverse order. HP’s “seat of enchantment” is Voldemort’s horcruxes (the source of his power).

    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Muggles%27_Guide_to_Harry_Potter/Books/Deathly_Hallows/Analysis

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    “Without the rod reversed,
    And backward mutters of dissevering power,
    We cannot free the lady that sits here
    Bound in strong fetters fixed and motionless.”

    OK. That whole post was extremely useful. I will get to work (just let me sleep once in awhile).

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    “This not only implies that the essencing of the tragic must suffer and celebrate the unbridgeable abyss of the sign = zero, the impossibly pure because empty form of time, but it also names the ever dirempted yet consummately achieved relation (Verhältnis) of the humble to the great, the singular to the whole, the bridal festival of the four fold to the round dance of spirits.” {Mathias Warnes, Heidegger and the Festival of Being}

    your 7 mary’s could be useful — Mary Bennet:

    http://sharpelvessociety.blogspot.com/2013/03/mary-bennet-jane-austen-students-of.html

    Then Michael Chwe, author of a new and very interesting book about Jane Austen entitled Jane Austen, Game Theorist, chimed in as follows:

    Michael: “My own interpretation is kinder to Mary. Music notation is a “technical” way to understand music (according to Alfred Crosby, the music staff was “Europe’s first graph”), and indeed Mary’s studying of it seems to indicate her geekiness. My take is that by placing thorough bass together with human nature, Austen suggests the possibility of understanding human behavior using a technical, mathematical approach (as in game theory).”

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    “the struggle of the new gods against the old is being fought. The work of language…does not speak about this struggle; rather, it transforms the saying of the people so that every essential word fights the battle and puts up for decision what is holy and unholy, what great and what small, what brave and what cowardly, what precious and what fleeting, what master and what slave (cf. Heraclitus, Fragment 53)” {Heidegger’s Aesthetics}

    permet une oscillation libre du balancier

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 16th, 2013 at 2:17 am Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    @fotrkd: During the Renaissance, Urania began to be considered the Muse for Christian poets. [and christian cabalists?]

    Postscript to The Natural Philosophy of Love by Rémy de Gourmont
    >www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/pound/gender.htm

    “Il y aurait peut-être une certain corrélation entre la copulation complète et profonde et le développement cérébral.”
    – – –
    Not only is this suggestion, made by our author at the end of his eighth chapter, both possible and probable, but it is more than likely that the brain itself, is, in origin and development, only a sort of great clot of genital fluid held in suspense or reserve [@fotrkd: Tyet, knot of Isis; Papyrus of Ani, 156]; at first over the cervical ganglion, or, earlier or in other species, held in several clots over the scattered chief nerve centres; and augmenting in varying speeds and quantities into medulla oblongata, cerebellum and cerebrum.
    – – –
    I offer an idea rather than an argument; yet if we consider that the power of the spermatozoid is precisely the power of exteriorizing a form… [“Chokmah is the phallus which ejaculates continuously into the womb of Binah, and Binah in turn gives birth to phenomenal reality”] I offer only reflections, perhaps a few data; indications of earlier adumbrations of an idea which really surprises no one, but seems as if it might have been lying on the study table of any physician or philosopher.

    There are traces of it in the symbolism of phallic religions, man really the phallus or spermatozoid charging, head-on, the female chaos; integration of the male in the male organ. Even oneself has felt it, driving any new idea into the great passive vulva of London, a sensation analogous to the male feeling in copulation.

    Double Talk: The Erotics of Male Literary Collaboration, by Wayne Koestenbaum

    These are the Poems of Eliot
    By the Uranian Muse begot;
    A Man their Mother was,
    A Muse their sire.

    – – –
    Pound’s talk of sperm here is not an isolated indulgence. Six months earlier, in June 1921, in a postscript to Remy de Gourmont’s The Natural Philosophy of Love,34 which Pound had translated, he expatiates on the relation between creativity and sperm, and describes sperm as a shaping force not unlike Coleridge’s “esemplastic power.” Pound writes: “the brain itself, is, in origin and development, only a sort of great clot of genital fluid held in suspense or reserve,” and “creative thought is an act like fecundation, like the male cast of the human seed.” Pound asserts that the male has a privileged power to “exteriorize” forms—to create works of art: man is master of “the new upjut, the new bathing of the cerebral tissues in … la mousse of the life sap.” The fact that “the mind is an up-jut of sperm” has a particular bearing on the situation of a literary man in London in the 1920s, for Pound likens the phallus “charging, head-on,” into “female chaos,” to the frustration of “driving any new idea into the great passive vulva of London.” Trying to create a revolution in poetry was a phallic act.

    Pound’s genital essentialism, in the context of his siring of Eliot’s poem, and his self-description as source of “foaming and abundant cream,” implies a scene of homosexual intercourse between Pound and Eliot. Such a scene clarifies the nature of Eliot’s “Uranian muse”: the phrase not only refers to Milton’s muse, but to the Uranian poets, avowedly homosexual, of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.35 Rendered “hopeless and unhelped” by the spectacle of Eliot’s magnificent (and now manly) Waste Land, Pound is “wracked by the seven jealousies,” and condemns his own verse as effeminate, decadent “nacre” and “objets d’art”: he confesses to Eliot, “I go into nacre and objets d’art.”36

    – – –
    Book of Thoth, Atu IX. The Hermit
    >hermetic.com/crowley/book-of-thoth/atu.html#hermit
    [the Son develops theory into praxis as he “draws strength from solitude and emerges alone but not lonely, a man who has transformed the …single imperfection’ of loneliness into the site of recovered manliness, liberty and godliness” (Single Imperfection 2)]

    On the Four Major Operations of the Microcosmic Star
    >www.facebook.com/notes/aleister-crowley/on-the-four-major-operations-of-the-microcosmic-star/10150551714461631

    Cornel West noted “’Whiteness’ is a politically constructed category parasitic on ‘Blackness.’” [my emphasis]. extending this to patriarchy: Maleness is parasitic on Femaleness (passive vulva?). who knows? could be the corpus of English literature describes all this and more — PL being Exhibit “A” — and that “Elites” know their English Lit.]

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    should also note: “Double Talk” also explores Uranian verse, its poets and their readers

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    Menstruation and Psychoanalysis
    Mary Jane Lupton

    The fluid metaphor, foreshadowed in the letters to Fliess and observable in the Language of Flowers Dream, intensified during Freud’s articulation of the theory of libidinal energy. In the correspondence, Freud had associated the menstrual migraine with periodicity, toxic emanations, and olfactory stimuli; a further characteristic of the menstrual migraine was its inability to “discharge”: the toxic effects were “produced by the sexual stimulating substance when this cannot find sufficient discharge.”

    There are numerous references to a menstrual economics of buildup and discharge in his early remarks about menstruation; in an 1896 letter to Fliess he argued that “during menstruation and other sexual processes the body produces an increased Q of these substances and therefore of the stimuli.” The increased Q, or excitation, generated a language of buildup and discharge, of damming and facilitation. These scientific abstractions — substance, Q, increase, discharge, libido — formulated and refined during the 1890s, have Fliessian reverberations; it seems fairly certain that during the height of his association with Fliess, Freud had assimilated a good deal of Fliess’s theory of periodicity and that menstruation became a hidden metaphor in many of his later theories and in his dreams. The scientific language used to express his theory of menstrual migraine and menstrual increase in the above passages is also the language used by Fliess in the theory of periodicity. This mutual way of thinking became, in the conceptualization of the sexual instincts, intertwined with Freud’s writings on the menstrual stages in women’s lives; it simultaneously affected his theory of libido.

    The term “libido” is one of the most difficult in Freud’s vocabulary; although many psychoanalytic critics use the word to imply something like “sex drive,” in Freud’s writings “libido” is surrounded by an aura of indeterminacy. In a letter to Fliess dated 17 December 1896, he called it a “28-day anxiety substance,” a definition that reiterated Fliess’s concept of menstrual periodicity. “Anxiety,” Freud wrote, “would arise through the somatic deployment of the female 28-D substance if the sexual discharge is denied to it.” His exploration of menstrual discharge climaxes in this letter — the same letter in which he hoped to blend his contributions with Fliess “to the point where our individual property is no longer recognizable.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on May 17th, 2013 at 1:20 am Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    Can I put this here for later?

    The Orphic and Eleusinian Mysteries featured Eros as a very original god, but not quite primordial, since he was the child of Night (Nyx).[2] Aristophanes (c. 400 BC), influenced by Orphism, relates the birth of Eros and then of the entire human race:

    At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night (Nyx), Darkness (Erebus), and the Abyss (Tartarus). Earth, the Air and Heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love (Eros) with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in the deep Abyss with dark Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the first to see the light.[6]

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    That’s very welcome, thanks. (I’ll think about this system carefully before returning to Old Night — target date earlyish July.)

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    If you can hold off a few days I’ll have finished PL (one advantage of being offline – been reading it in conjunction with a biography of Borges which throws up a neat coincidence via the Divine Comedy (Borges seemed to view every love as Beatrice and himself as a potential Dante; also talks of “Milton’s dark vision” in relation to their blindness (shared with Homer); and sheds light on your ‘After the Law’ essay – I did not know of Kafka’s ‘Before the Law’ (there is far too much to (re)read!))

    Thought on Borges: I can see why he was spurned so many times. What did you say about Adam? Lots of whining.

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 24th, 2013 at 12:03 pm Reply | Quote

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