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Re: Nietzsche and snails and dogmas, bow wow.

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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 1 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
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      >> 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 2 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
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        --- 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 3 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
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          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 4 of 29 , Sep 3, 2001
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            << 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 5 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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              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 6 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                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 7 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                  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 8 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                    << ... 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 9 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                      << 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 10 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                        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 11 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                          <<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 12 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                            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 13 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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                              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 14 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                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 15 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                  << 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 16 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                    "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 17 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                      << 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 18 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                        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 19 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          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 20 of 29 , Sep 6, 2001
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            > 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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