northanger (northanger) wrote,

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Paratextual Noise

{started here: Coffee vs. Oil}

The_Blank_Space :: Gould re-invented Bach in a Northern manner, by means of minimalist reduction. He avoided the temptations of the experimental and avant-garde minimalism of John Cage, and the crowd-pleasing New Age minimalism of Philip Glass; Gould's "Northern" minimalism was a rigorous reduction to notes, an ascetic resignation. Gould's sound reminds one of a Northern landscape, subdued, uncolored and understated.6 The Canadian artist has transcended the sensual nature of the modern piano (therefore his habit of "singing", i.e. accompanying his piano playing with his voice which he explained as an attempt to overcome the mechanical imperfection of the piano, lowering the barrier between the music he heard in his imagination, and its actual sound in reality) and reached for the pure musical text. His music-making was a construction of immaculate uncorrupted textuality, and North was his natural medium.7 The North is textual per se; it is, in a sense, an Urtext, a white field, a blank space, a one-sided sheet of paper, a non-referential sign, a quintessential periphery questioning the dominant narratives of modernity. The North is an abode of schizophrenic solitude and unimpeded creativity. It is all about imagination and invention, a mischievous and playful blizzard, a creative lie. ++ Asteroid #2025 Nortia.

John St. John The Record of the Magical Retirement of G.H. Frater, O.'. M.'. :: The Universe of Magic is in the mind of a man: the setting is but Illusion even to the thinker. Humanity is progressing; formerly men dwelt habitually in the exterior world; nothing less than giants and Paynim and men-at-arms and distressed ladies, vampires and succubi, could amuse them. Their magicians brought demons from the smoke of blood, and made gold from baser metals. In this they succeeded; the intelligent perceived that the gold and the lead were but shadows of thought. It became probable that the elements were but isomers of one element; matter was seen to be but a modification of mind, or (at least) that the two things matter and mind must be joined before either could be perceived. All knowledge comes through the senses, on the one hand; on the other, it is only through the senses that knowledge comes. We then continue our conquest of matter; and we are getting pretty expert. It took much longer to perfect the telescope than the motor-car. And though, of course, there are limitations, we know enough to be able to predict them. We know in what progression the Power to Speed coefficient of a steamboat rises — and so on. But in our conquest of Nature, which we are making principally by the use of the rational intelligence of the mind, we have become aware of that world itself, so much so that educated men spend nine-tenths of their waking lives in that world, only descending to feed and dress and so on at the imperative summons of their physical constitution. Now to us who thus live the world of mind seems almost as savage and unexplored as the world of Nature seemed to the Greeks. There are countless worlds of wonder unpath'd and uncomprehended — and even unguessed, we doubt not. Therefore we set out diligently to explore and map these untrodden regions of the mind.

The Delights of Terror The Marvelous Horror Thriller :: In the more complex and contemporary fairy tale with a monster, King Kong (1933), we see a similar journey with a similar effect. Andrew Griffin argues that Kong represents the unconscious, specifically, Ann's sexual desire "just as big as she feared it would be if she ever gave in to it" (1). I think Kong is more complex, for he is also placed in the context of consumerist capitalism, where the arousal and satisfaction of primitive sexual energy are exploited for profit. Denham, the filmmaker in the movie, is involved in creating misogynous myths that help to sustain this exploitation. He tries to harnass Kong to these myths, but in the battle between Kong and the technological monsters of modern civilization over who will possess Ann, Denham destroys Kong. In this context, Griffin's conclusion about King Kong and monster films in general seems more provocative. He says the film shows its viewers that they are capable of handling their dangerous desires and reassures them that they need not fear "loss of control and loss of identity" in acknowledging and dealing with those desires (17). This interpretation seems on the mark with regard to the repressed lovers who escape an unhealthy, absolute repression of sexual desire in their journey to Skull Mountain and back. However, it misses the point of the second half of the film, the difficulty the lovers confront in New York, where they must maintain a healthy sexuality in the face of the repressive powers that crucify Kong on the Empire State Building.

An old vexata questio indeed :: Now, why do we - we roleplayers - think that social situations have to be dealt with interpretation and that symbolism is not enough? Your take is that symbolism is not the best way to allow the player to feel his character (that's how I interpret what you write above). My take is a little different. People prefer interpretation over symbolist (and vice versa) depending on their experience of the situation and how it relates with the what's happening when they are roleplaying. When people are roleplaying we have several persons around a table verbaly interacting. Real combat, realy driving a car, jumping over a cliff, picpocketing, are things that are not done around a table through verbal interaction. Because of that we are more comfortable by playing them through symbols. Interpretation these actions is too contrieved and is obviously artificial. Now, social interaction is something we often do around a table through verbal interaction. Roleplaying is actually an instance of the set of social situations we can think about. Because of that in this type of game situations intepretation seems more natural to the players than resorting to symbolic representation.

Al Qaeda Shoggoth :: The most emphasis of the translation of AlQ has been as “The Base”. It has also been translated as “The Foundation” (other have described it as the Ford Foundation of Terrorism) and as the Precept or the Method. It sees itself as the vanguard of a revolutionary movement (much like Leninism) that seeks to mobilise and inspire others by its actions and words to copy them, somewhat like Ghost in the Shell’s Stand Alone Complex.

The Complete Guide to Shoggoth Sex :: 10 Reasons why a shoggoth is the perfect lover ... In general, retromoderation [('moderating' a group by cancelling articles)] merely means that one or more people cancel messages for some reason or other ... And the fear is that any set of rules are open to interpretation of what is on-topic. ++ Asteroid #370 Modestia.

moderate :: 1398, from L. moderatus, pp. of moderari "to regulate." Related to modus "measure" (see mode (1)), hence, "keeping within due measure." The verb is attested from 1432 in the sense "to abate excessiveness;" meaning "to preside over a debate" is first attested 1577.

modesty :: 1531, "freedom from exaggeration, self-control," from M.Fr. modestie, from L. modestia "moderation," from modestus "moderate, keeping measure, sober," from modus "measure, manner" (see mode (1)). Meaning "having a moderate opinion of oneself" is from 1553. Modest (adj.) is first recorded 1565.

mezzo :: "half, moderate," from It., lit. "middle," from L. medius. Also used in combinations such as mezzo-soprano (1753) and mezzotint (1738). ++ Asteroid #2229 Mezzarco.

Lovecraft In Quake :: Cthon - contrary to popular interpretation, the name Cthon is probably not directly from Cthulhu, but from Brian Lumley's mythos 'Chthonians' ++ Koth ... My own interpretaion is based directly on the construction methods of the Quake font. It's the symbol that pulses in the upper left of this site ++ Shub-Niggurath ... my personal interpretation ignores other writers, and is based more on the following: "Ia! Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat Of The Woods with a Thousand Young!" ++ Spawn - there are two obvoius canditates for the inspiration for these: Flying Polyps, and Shoggoths. Shoggoths are more likely; they are large, oily black and polymorphic. 'The Blob' is basically a Shoggoth with a movie contract. ++ Asteroids #3712 LoveKraft & #10747 Kothen.

The Lurker on the Threshold of Interpretation :: The publication of hoax editions of the Necronomicon — a fictional work used as a prop in the weird fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and other writers — may seem a simple matter. On closer examination this may no longer appear to be the case. It is not merely a question of the self-denying hoax — for the hoax versions are all either admitted spoofs, or indicate their nature as hoax by internal evidence — it is not merely that a hoax must not present itself as a hoax, in order for it to actually function as a hoax. Instead, the subject opens up onto a field that Gérard Genette has termed the paratext: roughly, the manner in which one text influences the interpretation of another text. The paratext may be a peritext, which appears alongside the text — examples include the title, author's name, preface, introduction, and so forth; or it may be an epitext, which appears in a physical location not directly connected to the text. Genette explains that "More than a boundary or a sealed border, the paratext is, rather, a threshold, or — a word Borges used apropos of a preface — a 'vestibule' that offers the world at large the possibility of either stepping inside or turning back" (2). Where the epitext is concerned, moreover, the paratext displays a "potential for indefinite diffusion" (346) as more and more texts become mutually relevant and interconnected. It is evidently this problematic which study of the hoax Necronomicons provides data for. ++ Asteroid #30252 Textorisova.

in·cu·na·ble :: An incunabulum; [French, from New Latin incu-na-bulum. See incunabulum.] incunable is mentioned in the following topics: Perceforest & Marburg.

in·cu·nab·u·lum :: 1. A book printed before 1501; an incunable; 2. An artifact of an early period; [New Latin incunabulum, from sing. of Latin incunabula, swaddling clothes, cradle : in-, in; see in–2 + cunabula, cradle, infancy (from cunae, cradle).]

incunabula plural of incunabulum [Late Lat.,=cradle (books); i.e., books of the cradle days of printing], books printed in the 15th cent. The known incunabula represent about 40,000 editions. The books include products of more than 1,000 presses, including such famous printers as Gutenberg, Jenson, Caxton, and Aldus Manutius and give evidence as to the development of typography in its formative period. These books were generally large quarto size, bound in calf over boards of wood, decorated with red initials (rubricated) and ornamental borders, and carrying a colophon but no title page. Notable European collections of incunabula are in Paris, London (British Museum), Oxford (Bodleian Library), Vienna, Rome, Milan, Brussels, and The Hague. Notable American collections are in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress), New York City (Morgan Library and others), Providence (John Carter Brown Library and Annmary Brown Memorial), San Marino, Calif. (Henry E. Huntington Library), and in the libraries of Harvard and Yale Univ. For an introduction to incunabula and a guide to further study, see Margaret B. Stillwell, Incunabula and Americana 1450–1800 (2d ed. 1961).. ++ Asteroid #777 Gutemberga.

The incunable title-page The Role of paratextual elements :: Title pages on a separate page (or leaf) developed slowly. In the beginning it provided little book-identifying information; this means that there is relatively little purpose in recording and describing title pages by themselves. Consequently, their relationship to other paratextual elements is of some significance. We therefore defined the data entry scheme for our data records in such a way that it not only takes into account the position of the title in the layout of the book, but also the competition between the title page and the first page of text often observable in early printed books. Furthermore, all book-identifying elements present in the colophon, which seems to have retained its importance through to the beginning of the 16th century, have been described. Based on our observations, the early title page in its initial, separate position competed with both the opening page and the colophon, both of which are carry overs from the manuscript tradition. Solely in the course of a long and laborious process, as it were, was the title page able to lay claim to its future prominent place in which paratextual elements are oth assembled and preferably illustrated with woodcuts and typographical decorations. ++ Asteroid #12477 Haiku & 1165 Imprinetta.

Perceforest :: The prose romance of Perceforest with lyrical interludes of poetry, in six books, appears to have been composed in French in the Low Countries between 1330 and 1344, forming a late addition to the cycle of narratives with loose connections both to the Arthurian cycle and to the feats of Alexander the Great, who having conquered Britain according to this accounting of origins, departs for Babylon, leaving Perceforest in charge. Perceforest, king of Britain, introduces Christian faith and establishes his Franc Palais of free equals, the best knights, with clear parallels to the Round Table. "Thus the romance would trace back the model of ideal civilization that it proposes, a model also for the orders of chivalry created from the 14th century onwards, to a legendary origin where the glory of Alexander is united with the fame of Arthur." ++ Asteroids #2598 Merlin, #2597 Arthur, #2483 Guinevere, #2054 Gawain, #2082 Galahad, #2041 Lancelot, #3180 Morgan, #9503 Agrawain, #15522 Trueblood, #94 Aurora.

Marburg an der Lahn :: or Marburg, city (1994 pop. 76,582), Hesse, Germany, on the Lahn River. It is chiefly known for its Protestant university, founded in 1527 by Philip of Hesse. Tourism is its largest industry; manufactures include chemicals, pottery, and precision instruments. Marburg grew in the 12th cent. around a castle; it was chartered in 1227 and, at intervals during the 13th to 17th cent., served as the residence of the landgraves of Hesse. Marburg became part of the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau in 1866. The castle, which still dominates the picturesque city, was the scene of the famous Marburg Colloquy, held (1529) under the auspices of Philip of Hesse; it failed to bring about agreement between Luther and Melanchthon on the one side and Zwingli on the other. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is buried in the fine Gothic church (13th–14th cent.) dedicated to her; the remains of Field Marshal Hindenburg and of Frederick William I and Frederick II of Prussia were transferred to the church soon after World War II.++ Asteroid #565 Marbachia, #7906 Melanchton, #5708 Melancholia, #1303 Luthera, #9762 Hermannhesse, #2844 Hess.

google: text singularity marburg revulsion

Who Owns History Anyway?

The Political Assault on North American Social History

Let's begin with some widely disseminated 'truths'. Today, the writing of history in North America is dominated by social historians. These social historians have concentrated on documenting people's 'limited identities' - primarily their class, race, ethnicity and gender - and have repudiated narrative, nationalism and the study of politics. Because of their focusing on the diversity of human experience, we no longer have a unifying theme (a national myth) and the large canvas has given way to the miniature. Further, in concentrating on those traditionally left out of the historical narrative, social historians have created the misleading image that conflict, oppression and suffering have dominated the cultural record. Unfortunately, in making their case social historians have also produced work that is widely considered trivial and boring. The concentration on small groups, localities and individual moments in time has restricted the historian's ability to formulate overarching interpretations; the experiences of Italian immigrants in Buffalo, New York, for example, might differ from those of Italians in Cleveland, Toronto and New Orleans so markedly as to bedevil efforts to draw general conclusions about the lives of Italians (let alone all immigrants) in North America. More troubling still, the subjects of all this social history, the victims of historical neglect are, as a group, historically 'irrelevant'. To paraphrase conservative historian J.P. Diggins, where traditional history had great men and a few geniuses, social history has only got averages. To this one might add, when social history does treat individuals, they are more often than not failures. Finally and apparently most offensively, social historians have become a thought-police, powerful defenders of political correctness and tyrannical oppressors of the remaining traditional historians who have become a disparaged minority, a repressed collectivity whose work is not taken seriously, whose teaching positions are not replaced, whose contribution to university life is not welcomed. As one self-declared victim, Canadian military and political historian J.L. Granatstein, fumes:

"The new historians have effectively and efficiently taken over history, setting up new journals or assuming control of the old. They ascended to the presidencies of the scholarly associations and set up specialized associations of their own, driving out all those who did not follow the mandated approach. They rewarded themselves with the prizes and fellowships that were under the control of historians ... They took over the hiring processes in their departments, thus guaranteeing that they could replicate themselves at will, and they trained graduate students to do the kind of work they preached and practiced. They freely denounced the political historians as second rate; teaching unimportant subjects and publishing shoddy work."

Well, the old white males have rallied themselves and are now fighting back and they have some unusual allies. In this paper, I will discuss the concerted assault that has been launched on the credibility of social history, both from within the university and from beyond it. The struggle for dominance within history has in the last decade entered the public arena and I will try to demonstrate that the contest has actually already undermined the position of social history within the intellectual community. In fact, though social historians continue to occupy key positions on granting agencies and professional associations in certain niche fields, such as Canadian history, in the broader North American context their dominance has already been shattered.

The problem for social historians is that they have since the 1980s been waging a war on three fronts. On the one side, they have been wrestling to contain the corrosive influence of cultural studies; on the other, they have faced in the 1990s a rear-guard action on the part of traditional historians.2 More seriously, while they have been so preoccupied, the gains they had won outside the university — their influence over school curricula, the writing and airing of popular history and student interests — have been eroded.

Internal divisions and self-doubts have contributed to these troubles. Though few North American social historians were Soviet marxists, the existence of an alternative to capitalism grounded their dissent from traditional history and their criticism of dominant power structures. Superpower confrontation lent a certain credibility and relevance to the argument that history involved a struggle between oppressor and oppressed. The collapse of global alternatives and the fracturing of the left under the body blows of feminism and multiculturalism served to confuse social historians and to undermine their unity. This crisis has found reflection in the social-historical canon whose more recent elements seem strikingly bereft of purpose. The great interpretative frameworks that were established in the 1960s and early 1970s continue to preoccupy too many of their number, confining their thoughts to the well-worn grooves. Though scholars are producing endless studies that qualify, localize, nuance or correct existing models, they are not developing frameworks that might serve as launching pads to new heights. With the collapse of confidence in alternatives to bourgeois capitalism their work has taken on an almost surreal irrelevance. The cultural studies invasion since the mid-1980s has uprooted the rest.

Asteroids #9255 Inoutadataka, #8080 Intel & #2365 Interkosmos.

{ended here: The Exploding Milk Bottles of Marburg}{Dear American Friend}


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