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Re: shuts, see, hear, no more...

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  • nothing@theabsurd.com
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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