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RE: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up...

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                    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 9 of 29 , Sep 6, 2001
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                      > 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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