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RE: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and can see and hear no more...

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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
          -----------


          ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups

          Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
          (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)

          TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
          existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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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 4 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 5 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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