Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Revenons à nos moutons: another dam installment of Make It New, Already!



Conflict - Battle - Bottle. Pissing in a Bottle. Kissing in a bottle, in a B. Botom (Bum) Rum (this made me laught) Pirates. 15 on d. man's chest. From Rumm to Bokhara one monarch the calif. Tried to write Bokk. Boc. A drink. We keep getting to drinks. Rum and milk. Milk bottle. Milk battle. Rattle. A conflict over milk silk. Sick. I evidently was in trouble before the age of six, for already at that time I tried to die of dysentery. Wine. Dis-entry. De sentry. To die of dis-entry. Failure to enter. Silk. Sick. Six. Beating. Carpets. To enter what? Car-Ker-K? My mother's name was K for Con. Failure to enter Con. What about the B. Bottom. Bum? Failure to materialise (state) here. Stale. Tail ('s tail).


why did I write "laught"?
Laughton
Lost-on
looked on
hooked on
Jews
Circumcision.
Rum made me circumcised
Milk did.
Liquids did.
My penis was cut because I had liquids. Having liquids results in being
cut.
Ostracised.
Dead end.


[This extraordinary writing is an excerpt of marginalia by T.H. White (author of The Once and Future King) found in his copy of C.G. Jung's Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (1928). You can read more of it in H.J. Jackson's superb Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books.]

*
I recently wrote about Mary Oppen's wonderful book, Meaning. Here's a link to a piece by Joy Katz about George Oppen's "silences" that really caught my attention. A sample:

"Much has been written about Oppen’s decision to quit writing and work as an agitator for the communists, and later to fight in World War II. But was conscience the biggest reason for his silence? It’s hard to imagine now, because our politics does not make demands on our poems. Most of us strive mainly to meet aesthetic demands, not that that burden is light. But communism told poets what to write. True, Oppen chose to quit writing. But for him, and for readers of this essay, one assumes, given the same circumstances, there would be no choice. How many of us would stop writing if all the publishers, the prize-givers, the journals, the editors we know, all of our peers, said: Your poetry must not be about your mother’s nipples; your Letters to Wendy’s are an ethical failure; your poems about robots are punishable unless you make clear that the robots represent the plight of the worker. Would we write the poems asked of us, even for a revolution we believed in?"

*

Only the latest research for you, my reader(s)! Recently, we reported the proof that there's no such thing as "chance." More support for the completely obvious can be found in the following article, "Connections From Kafka: Exposure to Meaning Threats Improves Implicit Learning of an Artificial Grammar."


For those who don't have time to read much, here's the abstract:

ABSTRACT — In the current studies, we tested the prediction that learning of novel patterns of association would be enhanced in response to unrelated meaning threats. This prediction derives from the meaning-maintenance model, which hypothesizes that meaning-maintenance efforts may recruit patterns of association unrelated to the original meaning threat. Compared with participants in control conditions, participants exposed to either of two unrelated meaning threats (i.e., reading an absurd short story by Franz Kafka or arguing against one's own self-unity) demonstrated both a heightened motivation to perceive the presence of patterns within letter strings and enhanced learning of a novel pattern actually embedded within letter strings (artificial-grammar learning task). These results suggest that the cognitive mechanisms responsible for implicitly learning patterns are enhanced by the presence of a meaning threat.

3 comments:

Jordan said...

"Meaning threats," you say...

John Latta said...

Oh, one person's "meaning threat" is just another person's "meaning treat."

Don Share said...

Must be some kinda technical term.