Divided Minds

Sea Scroll 4Q248, previously entitled "Pseudo History" We can't go on together / with divided minds.—Pseudo Elvis Last time on @4Q248, i.e. PA.blogspot.com: We're not saying life makes people schizo, we're talking excessive frustration left unprocessed, or regular baseline frustration amplified by unstable parents [and] chaotic environments, charges vectors in the direction of schizo process.… Continue reading Divided Minds

Valerie, No

i.  dry 35° / lavender / wet west gust Before anything else, Oval (Elvia Wilk, 2019) is an idea novel. Anecdotes, ruminations, political monologues, thought experiments pushing the usual simulations of scifi into something almost philosophy. Its subjects are ecology, government systems, and that ambiguous word neoliberalism (here meant in the sense of blurring private sector and state,… Continue reading Valerie, No

Poets are Intelligence Assets

As I understand it, the idea in Benjamin Hoffman's "Poets are intelligence assets" is that there's all this ambient information about specific cultural moments which is packed into a text unintentionally. My impression is past theorists have called this, loosely, "ideology," though the word carries deep-politic connotations. "Worldview" may be a better term, but I'm not… Continue reading Poets are Intelligence Assets

Metric Prose in Austen’s Emma

Rhetorician Fred Scott divides writing into what he dubs the “motative” and “nutative” styles. Nutative writing, as its name implies, has a rhythm which nods; it was, contemporaneous with Austen, synonymous with verse and poetry. Motative writing, meanwhile, moves: Scott describes it as having the rhythm of the tides, moving shore-ward with each successive rising and falling wave, then receding back again in a similar fashion. It is writing which has climaxes and troughs but which bases its dynamicism on  content. (Pound's distinction between the "musical" and the "metronomic" comes to mind.) Motative writing is primarily communicative; it encompasses the essay, the argument, the novel — essentially, prose writing.

New Fiction is Psychic Occupation

Fiction—or more generally, longform narrative text—has long been the handyman of culture, serving whatever functions are most urgently needed at a historical moment. The Greek oral tradition, famously, functioned in part to preserve cultural histories and customs—hence the sprawling lists of names and figures, or lengthy descriptions of hospitality, in Homer. Arabic maqamas synthesized and… Continue reading New Fiction is Psychic Occupation

Mental Imagery 1

Disclaimer: Most of the insights in this post have already been addressed by semiotics, and won't strike anyone familiar with that discipline as novel. This is more just an attempt to reframe and re-analogize a process than to advance actual arguments. Delving into the world of machine learning has me interested in encoding as an… Continue reading Mental Imagery 1

Valencia/Rectify/Film/Television/Literature

I. James Nulick's Valencia opens with an HIV diagnosis. Nulick, protagonist, is dying. He has traveled to the southern coast of Spain to stay at the hotel which gives the novel its name. He has traveled there to hasten his death, to preempt the prolonged and painful corporal vulnerability which immunodeficiency entails. He has brought with him… Continue reading Valencia/Rectify/Film/Television/Literature

Effect Ideas and Close Encounters

Gabriel Duquette of Liposuction has raised a number of objections to my insertion of effect-ideas into his maps/chords dualism. Either effect-ideas are not real, he argues, or they are not significant. They are trivial in that they are wildly personal, unpredictable, and unengineerable. Read rather than written into texts, they are the creations of readers… Continue reading Effect Ideas and Close Encounters