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RE: [existlist] Nietzsche, Hegel, and Kierkegaard

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  • Eduard Alf
    or as they say, to return to the uncarved block eduard ... From: Anubis1130@aol.com [mailto:Anubis1130@aol.com] Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2001 4:49 PM To:
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 2, 2001
      or as they say, to return to the "uncarved block"

      eduard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Anubis1130@...
      [mailto:Anubis1130@...]
      Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2001 4:49 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Nietzsche, Hegel, and
      Kierkegaard


      In a message dated 9/2/2001 9:31:11 AM Central
      Daylight Time,
      yeoman@... writes:


      > hi Mark,
      >
      > you are well beyond me on this. I only dabble
      at
      > this stage and you lose me with words like
      > "phenomology", unless you mean "phenomenology".
      >

      Hello Eduard:

      Yeah my mistake for misspelling it, sorry.

      I guess my main pont of Taoism is that unlike the
      Greek systems in which the
      goal was to reach some outstanding state of Being,
      the goal of Taoism is to
      live by the Tao, it is a more passive and calm
      approach, the goal is actually
      the most natural state of Being. It is hard to
      explain.

      -Mark


      [Non-text portions of this message have been
      removed]


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    • Diana
      ... read the ideas, ingest them, and know how your conclusions and perspectives have been improved or strengthened by having read them? My interpretation of
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
        >> Is it more important to know what philosopher xyz thought, or to
        read the ideas, ingest them, and know how your conclusions and
        perspectives have been improved or strengthened by having read them?>>

        My interpretation of what you are saying is that reading philosophy
        is like reading a poem. You take from the text that which appeals to
        you. While reading it you explore your own world.

        So there's no point in trying to understand the original author? It
        still seems to me that such an attempt is not entirely artificial and
        useless. I may never understand that person completely, but the very
        attempt takes me deeper.
      • nothing@theabsurd.com
        ...
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
          --- In existlist@y..., "Diana" <da-sein@e...> wrote:
          << So there's no point in trying to understand the original author?
          It still seems to me that such an attempt is not entirely artificial
          and useless. I may never understand that person completely, but
          the very attempt takes me deeper.>>

          It would seem to me that attempting to understand a
          multi-faceted einstien in a clown-suit type personality might --
          might, mind you -- lead no closer to the meaning of the words
          than the words themselves. Understand that coming from my
          perspective (if I can make anything whatso-ever clear), you are
          creating a fictional account of the person whom you consider to
          be author anyway from what you do and don't know (in absurd,
          that would be don't and don't, but who's counting?). using this
          backdrop to understand the wording as to what you think the
          perspective might be could indeed compound errors even if
          trying to understand the author were the imperative (and I am not
          convinced that it is).

          I do believe this is similarly stated in deconstructive theory, but I
          understand it as: If you are to place the author and the author's
          meaning above the words and what you derive from them (the
          latter of which to me is far more interesting), you are putting your
          intellect lower than the author's -- or at least in comparison to. I
          feel that would only lead to the academic tit-for-tat (which is
          popular, but to me, useless) where you compare your thought to
          the authors and declair it right/wrong; in the reading I like to do
          there is much less disrespect -- or potential disrespect -- of the
          ideas, and no need to develop a heirarchy. In essence, the ideas
          become yours as you understand them, and to me that is much
          more involving -- and interesting. I am not much for history (in
          fact, I don't believe in it); the historical idea of attribution becomes
          a bit meaningless.

          On the other hand, I didn't mean to say that someone else needs
          to read the way I do (though doubtless it came out that way). I
          just think that there is no way for me to know another personality
          when mine changes so as per my discovery (and heap all my
          other absurd ideas in the mess -- and you get a mess). I could
          see how the exercise of creating a construct of the author
          mentally may be valuable to some. However, I could never
          consider my conclusions valid.

          Read like poetry? Perhaps. I think that won't fly with many though
          because of some attribute or perspective attached to these
          things that are called poems. I might simply suggest that it is
          just read -- that the unfolding of ideas is the thing that I watch for
          not unlike a movie. It allows for broader interpretations...and
          popcorn.

          What kind of fool am I
          -----------------------------
        • gamine22@aol.com
          In a message dated 9/3/01 3:55:29 PM, da-sein@excite.com writes:
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
            In a message dated 9/3/01 3:55:29 PM, da-sein@... writes:

            << So there's no point in trying to understand the original author? It
            still seems to me that such an attempt is not entirely artificial and
            useless. I may never understand that person completely, but the very
            attempt takes me deeper.
            >>

            in understanding the original author, you can also gain a deeper perspective
            or gain facts that embellish your original thoughts on the author's work. you
            can only gain from other people's knowledge and insight.

            dubstar
          • nothing@theabsurd.com
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
              << you can only gain from other people's knowledge and insight. >>

              Following that to a logical conclusion, there would never be any
              original thought. I would hope this is not the case.

              Quite often I learn either by writing or discussing. If I feel I gain
              something from my own meditations, are you suggesting I am deceiving
              myself? (I can't really argue the point that I wouldn't be anyway.)
              Limiting it to gain only from another source sort-a saps the internal
              mechanism, eh?

              Going nowhere.
              ---------
            • gamine22@aol.com
              In a message dated 9/3/01 8:00:32 PM, nothing@theabsurd.com writes:
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                In a message dated 9/3/01 8:00:32 PM, nothing@... writes:

                << Quite often I learn either by writing or discussing. If I feel I gain
                something from my own meditations, are you suggesting I am deceiving
                myself? (I can't really argue the point that I wouldn't be anyway.)
                Limiting it to gain only from another source sort-a saps the internal
                mechanism, eh? >>

                surely you can gain from yourself as well as gain from others. just because
                you have some added depth from another's perspective does not mean that you
                cannot speculate or develop upon your own ideas at the same time. i suppose i
                did not make my statement clear enough. there is always original thought, it
                cannot be helped. yet, suppose you read a poem plus an additional author's
                interpretation. not only would you gain the added insight of the author, but
                you would also retain your own first impressions and then further developed
                thoughts upon reading the addtional interpretation.

                consequently, one can gain from another's knowledge by choosing to oppose it.
                for example, take the knowledge of hitler. entire civilizations are
                benefitted by the knowledge that genicide is not and will not be tolerated.
                the knowledge of hitler, his theories, and his added insight on those
                theories all help us to understand and further see the wrong in his actions
                and visions.

                without the knowledge of others we could all certainly think and move forward
                in life. we would be able to function normally and discover theories of our
                own. yet, with the knowledge of others our own knowledge only expands,
                picking and choosing what we accept, reject, and feel indifference too. the
                thoughts of others build within us character and intellect, compounded with
                our own original foundations.

                dubstar
              • gamine22@aol.com
                In a message dated 9/3/01 8:00:32 PM, nothing@theabsurd.com writes:
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                  In a message dated 9/3/01 8:00:32 PM, nothing@... writes:

                  << << you can only gain from other people's knowledge and insight. >> >>

                  the only in that sentence was not meant to single out other people's
                  knowledge as the only source of insight. it was meant to say that your
                  intellect cannot be detracted from by other's insight. i suppose i should
                  have said the knowledge and insight of others can only add to your own
                  knowledge.
                • William Harris
                  I like pop music. More than once I have misunderstood lyrics and relagated a meaning to the song which was quite innapproiate. Yet I like my meaning so I will
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                    I like pop music. More than once I have misunderstood lyrics and relagated a
                    meaning to the song which was quite innapproiate. Yet I like my meaning so I
                    will keep it, after all, Its only rock and roll. Bill

                    gamine22@... wrote:

                    > In a message dated 9/3/01 8:00:32 PM, nothing@... writes:
                    >
                    > << << you can only gain from other people's knowledge and insight. >> >>
                    >
                    > the only in that sentence was not meant to single out other people's
                    > knowledge as the only source of insight. it was meant to say that your
                    > intellect cannot be detracted from by other's insight. i suppose i should
                    > have said the knowledge and insight of others can only add to your own
                    > knowledge.
                    >
                    >
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                  • Diana
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                      << ... you are creating a fictional account of the person whom you
                      consider to be author anyway from what you do and don't know (in
                      absurd, that would be don't and don't, but who's counting?) >>

                      I understand that I can never know if my account of that person is
                      valid. Though creating such an account is part of my experience when
                      I read the text.

                      But I like what I take to be the essence of what you are saying. I
                      think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's personality
                      is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person – instead of
                      subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
                      classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.


                      To everyone: I'll be away from the list for the next few months –
                      need to get into some urgent things. Have fun all of you here
                      meanwhile. I look forward to being with you again at a later time.

                      Love,
                      Diana
                    • nothing@theabsurd.com
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                        << I think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's
                        personality is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person –
                        instead of subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your
                        own, classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.>>

                        While I wasn't thinking specifically of 'mystery' that is a fair
                        description. You can't claim to know every thought and inuendo
                        of an author noo matter how well studied...and there is nothing
                        wrong with the author jumping out of character to relate a point --
                        yet failing because it is not consistent. The author will always be
                        mysterious, no matter who claims to have the answer, key or
                        blueprint.

                        mystery me...
                        ------------------
                      • james tan
                        in psychiatric practice, it is done quite a lot of the time, i.e. to subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own, classifying him to a
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                          in psychiatric practice, it is done quite a lot of the time, i.e. to
                          "subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
                          classifying him to a particular type of personality etc." we do it by
                          looking for evidences in the person's behavioural & cognitive patterns.
                          depending on context, sometimes it does serve a function for assessment
                          purposes. it may not be very nice according to diana, but it is done in such
                          professional setting. of course, the issue is not about 'paying tribute to
                          the person' as in the context of the authorship. it is a different ball game
                          altogether.

                          james.






                          From: "Diana" <da-sein@...>
                          Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [existlist] Re: bow wow....the dog never shuts up.
                          Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 23:32:15 -0000

                          << ... you are creating a fictional account of the person whom you
                          consider to be author anyway from what you do and don't know (in
                          absurd, that would be don't and don't, but who's counting?) >>

                          I understand that I can never know if my account of that person is
                          valid. Though creating such an account is part of my experience when
                          I read the text.

                          But I like what I take to be the essence of what you are saying. I
                          think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's personality
                          is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person � instead of
                          subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
                          classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.


                          To everyone: I'll be away from the list for the next few months �
                          need to get into some urgent things. Have fun all of you here
                          meanwhile. I look forward to being with you again at a later time.

                          Love,
                          Diana




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                        • nothing@theabsurd.com
                          Message 12 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                            <<we do it by looking for evidences in the person's behavioural &
                            cognitive patterns. >>

                            Not to play with your profession (as I quite play with my own,
                            mind you), but is it not an assumption that you come to know a
                            person and perspective at all even in clinical study? Or have you
                            mapped out some sort of exacting science of mind?

                            curious, plus.
                            -------------------
                          • Eduard Alf
                            I have been following this discussion and this has really gotten to the point of absurdity. a person publishes a particular point of view [e.g. all cats are
                            Message 13 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                              I have been following this discussion and this has
                              really gotten to the point of absurdity.

                              a person publishes a particular point of view
                              [e.g. all cats are black at night]. So what if
                              you cant know every thought and innuendo of the
                              author. Perhaps he/she likes to drink pasteurized
                              milk. Or perhaps he/she is secretly the clown at
                              MacDonald's. You are broadening this out to the
                              point where it makes no sense. If an author says
                              something in print then that is what is of
                              importance. You can even label it such as Mr.
                              Smith's "Law of Cat Colour in the Night".

                              Now we are into "preserving some of the mystery of
                              the author's personality". Why even get into
                              this? Yes, perhaps Mr. Smith has a particular
                              inclination towards cats, and this may be
                              something that we wish to know, in order to assess
                              the basis his proposing the law, and our own
                              inclination to accept or reject it. All of that
                              is valid and is part of the manner in which one
                              might take into consideration an author's
                              pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                              to the author is going too far.

                              eduard

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: nothing@...
                              [mailto:nothing@...]
                              Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 10:12 PM
                              To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up...


                              << I think that preserving some of the mystery of
                              the author's
                              personality is the greatest tribute you could pay
                              to that person –
                              instead of subjecting him to a description and
                              evaluation of your
                              own, classifying him to a particular type of
                              personality etc.>>

                              While I wasn't thinking specifically of 'mystery'
                              that is a fair
                              description. You can't claim to know every thought
                              and inuendo
                              of an author noo matter how well studied...and
                              there is nothing
                              wrong with the author jumping out of character to
                              relate a point --
                              yet failing because it is not consistent. The
                              author will always be
                              mysterious, no matter who claims to have the
                              answer, key or
                              blueprint.

                              mystery me...
                              ------------------


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                            • james tan
                              hi nothing (are u the one who is previously known as bookdoc?), to answer your question, yes, it is an assumption or perspective. but 1) there have to be some
                              Message 14 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
                                hi nothing (are u the one who is previously known as bookdoc?),

                                to answer your question, yes, it is an assumption or perspective.

                                but 1) there have to be some assumptions to do any work 2) if those
                                assumptions u base your work keep producing reliable results, u just have
                                more faith in those assumptions, until such times when the assumptions do
                                not work in some new or special cases, then u just admit the limitation of
                                those assumptions. but that doesn't mean those assumptions are entirely
                                useless.

                                well, well, this is not related to the existential, i suppose?! just to
                                satisfy your curiousity.

                                james.




                                From: nothing@...
                                Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [existlist] Re: shuts up.
                                Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 04:04:13 -0000

                                <<we do it by looking for evidences in the person's behavioural &
                                cognitive patterns. >>

                                Not to play with your profession (as I quite play with my own,
                                mind you), but is it not an assumption that you come to know a
                                person and perspective at all even in clinical study? Or have you
                                mapped out some sort of exacting science of mind?

                                curious, plus.
                                -------------------



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                              • nothing@theabsurd.com
                                Dear Sir Duard simplifier extraordinaire, It always seems to,
                                Message 15 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                  Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                                  <<I have been following this discussion and this has really
                                  gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                                  It always seems to, to me...

                                  << So what if you cant know every thought and innuendo of the
                                  author...If an author says something in print then that is what is
                                  of importance... All of that is valid and is part of the manner in
                                  which one might take into consideration an author's
                                  pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect to the author
                                  is going too far.>>

                                  If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some of the
                                  author's meaning is necessarily hidden or 'mysterious.' As
                                  words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more often
                                  inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this before in
                                  color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed out that red is
                                  not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or some group of
                                  someones -- decided on, and which there can be variance from
                                  in experience. Of course none of that set you wavering). And
                                  further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or is it flecked with
                                  hints of other things the author has read and experienced and/or
                                  heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And then might word
                                  choice be affected, at times containing the author's meaning,
                                  and at others containing internal referants -- which perhaps even
                                  the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all the favor of not
                                  getting into genetic transfer of thought, experience and idea.)

                                  Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as cut and dried and
                                  hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to pretend I know what
                                  the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a very long study of
                                  his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I know is what I think
                                  I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                                  interpretation of what it seems to me the author was doing, and
                                  even that may be pushing it (depending on how absurd you want
                                  to get). and in the long run, what of the thing which the author
                                  meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me which is far
                                  more interesting than whatever the intent was (if either of those
                                  can be defined). Should I shun what I think and seek out the idea
                                  of the author which I can never attain? And should I attain it
                                  (though I think it impossible) there I have grabbed the flag on the
                                  mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                                  acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why is the
                                  author important at all?

                                  I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just happens.

                                  Reduxio
                                  -----------
                                • nothing@theabsurd.com
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                    << 1) there have to be some assumptions to do any work ... until
                                    such times when the assumptions do not work in some new or
                                    special cases, then u just admit the limitation of those
                                    assumptions. but that doesn't mean those assumptions are
                                    entirely useless ... well, well, this is not related to the existential, i
                                    suppose?! >>

                                    I think it is related.

                                    If one tries not to make assumptions, where does that lead?

                                    ------------------------
                                  • Eduard Alf
                                    If you can t know every thought and innuendo, some of the author s meaning is necessarily hidden or mysterious. that is true, but as james implied, there is
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                      "If you can't know every thought and innuendo,
                                      some of the author's meaning is necessarily hidden
                                      or 'mysterious."

                                      that is true, but as james implied, there is point
                                      at which you have to get off the pot and deal with
                                      what the author actually said, rather than to try
                                      to delve forever into the multitude of layers of
                                      the "mysterious". I do not suggest that there can
                                      not be a further level of understanding, to either
                                      accept, reject, or amend the statement. But this
                                      reduction to absurdity does not provide any
                                      benefit to the discussion.

                                      As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                                      absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not
                                      only frustrating but quite pointless.

                                      eduard



                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: nothing@...
                                      [mailto:nothing@...]
                                      Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:51 AM
                                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and
                                      can see and hear no
                                      more...


                                      Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                                      <<I have been following this discussion and this
                                      has really
                                      gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                                      It always seems to, to me...

                                      << So what if you cant know every thought and
                                      innuendo of the
                                      author...If an author says something in print then
                                      that is what is
                                      of importance... All of that is valid and is part
                                      of the manner in
                                      which one might take into consideration an
                                      author's
                                      pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                                      to the author
                                      is going too far.>>

                                      If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some
                                      of the
                                      author's meaning is necessarily hidden or
                                      'mysterious.' As
                                      words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more
                                      often
                                      inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this
                                      before in
                                      color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed
                                      out that red is
                                      not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or
                                      some group of
                                      someones -- decided on, and which there can be
                                      variance from
                                      in experience. Of course none of that set you
                                      wavering). And
                                      further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or
                                      is it flecked with
                                      hints of other things the author has read and
                                      experienced and/or
                                      heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And
                                      then might word
                                      choice be affected, at times containing the
                                      author's meaning,
                                      and at others containing internal referants --
                                      which perhaps even
                                      the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all
                                      the favor of not
                                      getting into genetic transfer of thought,
                                      experience and idea.)

                                      Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as
                                      cut and dried and
                                      hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to
                                      pretend I know what
                                      the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a
                                      very long study of
                                      his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I
                                      know is what I think
                                      I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                                      interpretation of what it seems to me the author
                                      was doing, and
                                      even that may be pushing it (depending on how
                                      absurd you want
                                      to get). and in the long run, what of the thing
                                      which the author
                                      meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me
                                      which is far
                                      more interesting than whatever the intent was (if
                                      either of those
                                      can be defined). Should I shun what I think and
                                      seek out the idea
                                      of the author which I can never attain? And should
                                      I attain it
                                      (though I think it impossible) there I have
                                      grabbed the flag on the
                                      mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                                      acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why
                                      is the
                                      author important at all?

                                      I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just
                                      happens.

                                      Reduxio
                                      -----------


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                                    • nothing@theabsurd.com
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                        << that is true, but as james implied, there is point at which you
                                        have to get off the pot and deal with what the author actually said
                                        >>

                                        I am sorry but I don't believe it is true that what the author intends
                                        makes any difference. And to some extent, the reader would not
                                        be required to 'deal' with anything. One would assume that be
                                        the act of reading one is involving themselves with words only --
                                        NOT that they give a hoot what the author intends.

                                        << But this reduction to absurdity does not provide any benefit to
                                        the discussion...As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                                        absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not only frustrating but
                                        quite pointless.>>

                                        So I am asked to follow the 'Duard-o-meter to the magical land of
                                        benefit? I must say, I am also not convinced that there can be a
                                        benefit to discussion. I'm afraid I am attached to the hip of
                                        frivolity, or that I cannot judge benefit. If you could explain to me
                                        just once what 'beneficial' is and how one goes about having a
                                        'productive' discussion, I would be grateful, because then I can
                                        achieve better things.

                                        I suppose saying that my intended contributions are pointless is
                                        somehow a benefit? And I suppose i should see your
                                        suggestion as beneficial and flag my own, logically, as
                                        detriment? And the suggestion is that my repeatedly absurd
                                        posts are nothing but pests on the flystrip as it were? And
                                        everyone who utters here utters for purpose -- as such great
                                        musings about ducks and mountains I have heard that seem to
                                        this limp chimp to have no tangent to the discussion at all?
                                        Forgive me for responding ... it obviously was and is
                                        inconsiderate. I should type to myself and not post as I can never
                                        gauge the worth before I do, and I would assume, as I am
                                        unable to do so, I should assume the restraint will be more
                                        healthy than endulgence -- and therefore not saying anything at
                                        all would be the greater benefit?

                                        Sounds absurd to me...shutting up benefits the discussion? If
                                        we all shut up, what a wonderful discussion we would have as
                                        we might all benefit the more — another scoop of benefit for
                                        every mouth that closes! The less we say, the better the
                                        discussion?!

                                        Please clarify, as I do not have your wealth of vision.

                                        clueless in blindness and hock
                                        -------------------------------------------
                                      • james tan
                                        have not been following this tread closely, but let me just throw in my two cents worth. of course it is not meant to be factual , only my interpretation, & i
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                          have not been following this tread closely, but let me just throw in my two
                                          cents worth. of course it is not meant to be 'factual', only my
                                          interpretation, & i can't seems to see anything beyond my own perception or
                                          interpretation, & i've no way to guarantee my perception is the same as
                                          'reality'. as for reader reading a text by an author: as for scientific
                                          reading, it is paramount that clarity of meaning is maintained at all time,
                                          so that any disagreement is only a disagreement of the hypothesis, & not on
                                          what does the hypothesis says. before one can reject or fail to reject any
                                          hypothesis, it is assumed that one knows what the hypothesis is saying in
                                          the first place. aspects of the hypothesis is operationalized & measurable
                                          (a number can be attached to it). there is no ambiguity of meaning here. as
                                          for literary reading, things are not so clear cut, i think. some authors are
                                          pretty straightforward, such as charles dicken, but some are very ambiguous,
                                          such as kafka. as for me, i am always puzzled by what kafka was 'really'
                                          trying to say, & end up as confused as the characters inside his novels,
                                          such as "the trial", "the castle", etc. there are social critique novel,
                                          such as dickens, orwell or jane austen, existentialist novelist such as
                                          camus & dostoyevski, phenomenologist such as sartre, etc, etc, but i can
                                          never quite put my finger on kafka. kafka's mystery did not shut up, & most
                                          probably will never; there is a mysterious horizons he seemed compelled to
                                          search, but never quite get it, & like the land surveyor (in "the castle")
                                          tried to measure, hence comprehend, the horizons of truth. there is a
                                          certain richness in the possibilities to interpret his works, so that it
                                          allows various perspectives on it. in the end, whether eduard or nothing
                                          read it, both are legitimate in their interpretation, because quite apart
                                          from the key chosen to read it or just because of the very choice that the
                                          interpretation makes, it reveals itself to be the secret way of bringing an
                                          author close to one's inner world. his texts challenges the readers to
                                          understand it on a level that goes beyond the simple & immediate reading.
                                          kafka speaks in parables & metaphors, if only because any attempts to
                                          describe it directly is bound to fail. words block our paths. truth changes
                                          into deceit just as soon as one tries to interpret it rationally, to put
                                          into a objective framework. truth is subjectivity. illusion is thick. the
                                          problem comes when one attempts to impose the paradigm of science onto
                                          everything else, but it doesn't work because reality is much richer than
                                          what that framework allows. man need models, frameworks, or paradigm to
                                          understand the world or reality, & although they are useful in certain
                                          respects, they are inherently limited, & it is ridiculous & blind to make
                                          sweeping judgment about reality based on those models. if one is not blind,
                                          one always admits one's strength together with one's limitation. there are
                                          no facts, only interpretations, to quote nietzsche. this goes for text
                                          reading as well, especially one like kafka.

                                          james.




                                          From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
                                          Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                          To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and can see and hear no
                                          more...
                                          Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 16:12:20 -0400

                                          "If you can't know every thought and innuendo,
                                          some of the author's meaning is necessarily hidden
                                          or 'mysterious."

                                          that is true, but as james implied, there is point
                                          at which you have to get off the pot and deal with
                                          what the author actually said, rather than to try
                                          to delve forever into the multitude of layers of
                                          the "mysterious". I do not suggest that there can
                                          not be a further level of understanding, to either
                                          accept, reject, or amend the statement. But this
                                          reduction to absurdity does not provide any
                                          benefit to the discussion.

                                          As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                                          absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not
                                          only frustrating but quite pointless.

                                          eduard



                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: nothing@...
                                          [mailto:nothing@...]
                                          Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:51 AM
                                          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and
                                          can see and hear no
                                          more...


                                          Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                                          <<I have been following this discussion and this
                                          has really
                                          gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                                          It always seems to, to me...

                                          << So what if you cant know every thought and
                                          innuendo of the
                                          author...If an author says something in print then
                                          that is what is
                                          of importance... All of that is valid and is part
                                          of the manner in
                                          which one might take into consideration an
                                          author's
                                          pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                                          to the author
                                          is going too far.>>

                                          If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some
                                          of the
                                          author's meaning is necessarily hidden or
                                          'mysterious.' As
                                          words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more
                                          often
                                          inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this
                                          before in
                                          color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed
                                          out that red is
                                          not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or
                                          some group of
                                          someones -- decided on, and which there can be
                                          variance from
                                          in experience. Of course none of that set you
                                          wavering). And
                                          further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or
                                          is it flecked with
                                          hints of other things the author has read and
                                          experienced and/or
                                          heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And
                                          then might word
                                          choice be affected, at times containing the
                                          author's meaning,
                                          and at others containing internal referants --
                                          which perhaps even
                                          the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all
                                          the favor of not
                                          getting into genetic transfer of thought,
                                          experience and idea.)

                                          Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as
                                          cut and dried and
                                          hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to
                                          pretend I know what
                                          the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a
                                          very long study of
                                          his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I
                                          know is what I think
                                          I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                                          interpretation of what it seems to me the author
                                          was doing, and
                                          even that may be pushing it (depending on how
                                          absurd you want
                                          to get). and in the long run, what of the thing
                                          which the author
                                          meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me
                                          which is far
                                          more interesting than whatever the intent was (if
                                          either of those
                                          can be defined). Should I shun what I think and
                                          seek out the idea
                                          of the author which I can never attain? And should
                                          I attain it
                                          (though I think it impossible) there I have
                                          grabbed the flag on the
                                          mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                                          acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why
                                          is the
                                          author important at all?

                                          I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just
                                          happens.

                                          Reduxio
                                          -----------


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                                        • Eduard Alf
                                          hi james, the fact is what the author puts forth as his/her opinion. You may wish to make an interpretation of
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                            hi james,

                                            << there are no facts, only interpretations>>

                                            the "fact" is what the author puts forth as
                                            his/her opinion. You may wish to make an
                                            interpretation of this opinion or accept/reject it
                                            outright. But ultimately, one has to come the
                                            point of recognizing that this opinion is
                                            something which is attached to the author. It is
                                            the author's opinion and on that basis can be
                                            taken to be a "fact". The discussion had gotten
                                            off onto a tangent, in trying to focus upon some
                                            "mystery" behind the fact or perhaps some yet
                                            unknown characteristic of the author which may
                                            help us to understand this "fact".

                                            I do not disagree with the idea that one should
                                            get to know the author. This may indeed be
                                            beneficial understanding facts/opinions that may
                                            be stated in the form of parables. But the
                                            tangent that we got on, was that there could never
                                            be an understanding, because instead we would be
                                            too busy trying to find out more and more about
                                            the mystery. This leads to absurdity.

                                            eduard
                                          • nothing@theabsurd.com
                                            ... I find this a claustrophobic situation, limiting, and horrifically disinteresting. If this were made law, I would never read again. ... I do. I don t see
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Sep 6, 2001
                                              > the "fact" is what the author puts forth as
                                              > his/her opinion. You may wish to make an
                                              > interpretation of this opinion or accept/reject it
                                              > outright. But ultimately, one has to come the
                                              > point of recognizing that this opinion is
                                              > something which is attached to the author. >>

                                              I find this a claustrophobic situation, limiting, and horrifically
                                              disinteresting. If this were made law, I would never read again.

                                              > I do not disagree with the idea that one should
                                              > get to know the author. >>

                                              I do. I don't see the point or benefit. Except in satisfying an
                                              interest or curiosity -- if you have it.

                                              > But the tangent that we got on, was that there could never
                                              > be an understanding, because instead we would be
                                              > too busy trying to find out more and more about
                                              > the mystery. This leads to absurdity.

                                              There is nothing wrong with admitting to the impossible.

                                              What I think many fail with and why they continually search to
                                              something else is that they find their perspective and interest not
                                              good enough and not well justified on its own. For some reason
                                              it needs validation. Validation can be saught by capturing what
                                              the author meant as that is the ultimate is it not? I suggest it isn't.
                                              And I suggest I can add far more to a work without the limitation
                                              of the author as 'god' having devine right over meaning.

                                              I think the need for security in 'vision' is what forces so many to
                                              find an umbrella...and there consistently miss the joys of the
                                              rain.

                                              unthinking.
                                              ---------------
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