MARCH 2002



Brave new month...


Lost and found: person, place or thing once de-territorialized now re-territorialized.


A perceptive reader writes in:

bastion of peace and information? was not alamut the castle of the assassins? maybe you are being ironic? he, he.

so listen: a pistol is irony.


(Alamut link: When the keeper of the prison awoke and saw that the prison doors were open, he took a sword and would have killed himself, for he thought the prisoners had escaped. Acts 16:27)



The Notwist. I'm waiting to borrow their latest: Neon Golden (Pitchfork Review), from the local library. I'm patiently waiting because I've just discovered their earlier release (1998's Shrink) and feel all excellent and happy dancing around the room to the song 'Chemicals'.

Chemicals. Will hurt you. Chemicals. Will knock you down...

(It's a happier song than the lyrics indicate. Honest.)


Who isn't subject to waves? (31.05.00.)

"Waves are vibrations, shifting borderlines inscribed on the plane of consistency as so many abstractions."

(Deleuze and Guattari)

Why can't waves be another word-sign for angels?




Alamut is 4 years old today.

Last year on this day I wrote a letter to myself... to read today.


Caterina: "Animals are the unfallen. Like children without language."


Okay so here comes that flu...

Let It Come Down (Bowles).


Important calls with important people, including Mr. Boy telling me about 'Mr. Boy'*; Renee Turner, the aftermath of her grandmother's funeral; and she, her dream desk.

*In the course of our discussion of 'a casa e' o corpo' (the house is the body), Rogério's latest assignment to his students, he tells me about 'Mr. Boy', a novella by science fiction author James Patrick Kelly. What he describes is most interesting. While I can't find the novella online, I do find a reference to it on this page at MIT:

"Mr. Boy," another Kelly story, pushes this idea of body modification even further, depicting a world where parents have stunting operations performed on their children to keep their bodies forever infantile: "Even though it hurts, getting stunted is still the ultimate flash. As I unlived my life, I overdosed on dying feelings and experiences. My body was not big enough to hold them all; I thought I was going to explode...You do not have to worry about laugh lines after they twank your genes and reset your mitotic limits. My face was smooth and I was going to be twelve years old forever, or at least as long as Mom kept paying for my rejuvenation." The aptly named Mr. Boy, whose body is that of a child and whose mind searches constantly for adult stimulations, lives inside his mother, who has had her body transformed into a three-quarter scale replica of the Statue of Liberty and who speaks to her son only through a succession of cybernetic remotes, each of whom reflect one aspect of her core personality. He inhabits a world where physical bodies are transformed according to the latest fashion and the Freedom of Form is protected by the Thirtieth Amendment, where "privacy is twentieth century thinking" because all human experience has become information begging to be free, and where pictures smuggled out of the morgue are the ultimate pornography.

Along the way, Kelly gives us a glimpse of the future of the contemporary shopping mall, where poor families are purchased by franchises, live in the stores, and work around the clock. As with his best writing, "Mr. Boy" combines the elaborate sociological details that make for a plausible future society, with the psychological and emotional insight that results in well-drawn characters. Kelly is still proving that the old divides in science fiction are out-dated.


Noise Running

Today's marvel: haecceity* (thisness, individuality).

* Pronunced: 'HEKS' (Dutch for witch) 'SEE' - 'ITY'.

(Untitled (sickbed))

For I wonder when I read D. & G.'s proposal: "There is a mode of individuation very different from that of a person, subject, thing, or substance. We reserve the name haecceity for it." whether or not we can think of this 'haecceity' as something similar to James Gibson's or Gregory Bateson's 'ecologies' or Korzybski's adage 'Organism-As-A-Whole-In-An-Environment'; and I wonder at how it is not at all easy to perceive 'thisness' over 'thingness'; and wonder even more how my friend Norman ever got so wise as to once insist to me that (at least in aging and death) "The nouns are the first to go."


Good stuff.



Q: So why do you think that Luis Buñuel used two different actresses to portray the maid Conchita in his last film That Obscure Object of Desire (Cet Obscur Objet du Désir)?

Could this (this!) person-character be seen as an event, a haecceity?

See too: Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).


Current pleasure: Dettinger Oasis.


You Are an Angel

"You are longitude and latitude, a set of speeds and slownesses between unformed particles, a set of nonsubjectified affects. You have the individuality of a day, a season, a year, a life (regardless of its duration) -- a climate, a wind, a fog, a swarm, a pack (regardless of its regularity). Or at least you can have it, you can reach it."

(D & G)

You are an angel in-fluidity, influence. You are an angel in your many affects.


Aristocracy. There! I said it. (Even though my friend R. gags whenever I use the term).


The Fall (Camus)

Recidual (McCarthy)

November 4, 1995: Deleuze's Death as an Event (Colombat)

Events and Names (Martin)


Swap Meet

A visit from Sato who comes to trade the following quote from Kafka...

"I can swim like the others, only I have a better memory than the others. I have not forgotten my former inability to swim. But since I have not forgotten it, my ability to swim is of no avail and I cannot swim after all."

... for a passage I'd read in 'The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge' (where Rilke's protagonist sees and follows a gentleman walking with a nervous-muscular anomaly).

After she's left, searching for an explanation for Rilke's passage (what was wrong with that strangely moving gentleman?), I find this article...

Physically Remembering Childhood (Phenomenology Online).

... which, though it doesn't answer my specific question, still provides me with a lot to think about. (Blood memory... Lygia Clark anyone? or Nabokov's eariest memories.)

"For Rilke ... the progression is rather from feelings through experiences through memories through forgetting to what can be called, adapting Rilke's own words, blood-remembering." (Mood, J.J.L., 1975)


Swap Meet Cont.

So okay this arrives in my 'IN' box:

If you are a time traveler or alien disguised as human and or have the technology to travel physically through time I need your help!

My life has been severely tampered with and cursed! I have suffered tremendously and am now dying!

I need to be able to:

  1. Travel back in time.

  2. Rewind my life including my age back to 4.

  3. Be able to remember what I know now so that I can prevent my life from being tampered with again after I go back.

I am in very great danger and need this immediately!

Although a search rules out the possibility that this mail has been directed at me personally (it is a well known spam) as a request for help I find it extraordinarily sympathetic.

What if we could suddenly 'jump' back to an earlier version of ourselves? (See Alamut entries...

22 June 2001: Just Say Yes. Stop.

23 June 2001: Retrospect Scripts. Stop.

24 June 2001: Hibernation. Stop.

... where for a period of 3 days I was convinced this was actually happening...)

A jump... ie. a discrete quantum movement (first here and then there) rather than an extremely fast passage (rewinding) from point B back to point A. A jump meaning we don't need to attempt (and who knows for sure? maybe it is impossible) to slowly decompose Rilke's progression:

experience -> feeling -> memories -> forgetting -> blood memories

A jump with a body that knows (with the magic of full knowledge such as in the request above, remembering "what we know now") into a body that does not know now. A jump where we simultaneously 'forget' and wake up with 'blood memory'. A jump from death to life, where we wake up our own Lazarus.

Rogério (contemplating his death and subsequent rebirth as a DreamCast avatar) writes on

"I remember something else: in his very entertaining autobiography 'Freedom in Exile' the Dalai Lama writes about when, after being identified as the reincarnation of the previous Lama and being moved into the Potala Palace, he finds a room containing telescopes and other optical equipment that belonged to one of his previous selves. He ponders that he (he) must have really enjoyed those objects. He doesn't remember. He accepts: this has been my home for many years and many lives; here I am again."


Swap Meet Cont.

"Children are Spinozists... Spinozism is the becoming-child of the philosopher."

(D. & G.)

For Andrea Paciotto

Dear Andrea,

Following our discussion last Sunday on human 'disinterest' and violence I've been reading bits and pieces -- mainly by Deleuze -- over Spinoza's Ethics. Deleuze not only manages to tweak one's curiosity about this philosopher (my own curiosity was tweaked trying to understand 'Memories of a Spinozist I' and 'Memories of a Spinozist II' in D & G's tenth plateau...) but he is also an excellent teacher of Spinoza's system. Deleuze's seminar from the 24th of January 1978 probably contains everything you will ever need to know but for your interest I've enclosed a few of the other references which I've been reading.

Looking forward to our meeting on Tuesday.


-- Paul

Deleuze's Seminars on Spinoza at Vincennes:

14 January 1974

24 January 1978 <--- Wow!

13 January 1981

Gilles Deleuze, Spinoza, Practical Philosophy

Roger Scruton, Spinoza (The Great Philosophers Series)

Roger Scruton, Spinoza (Past Masters Series, Oxford Univ. Press)


46 Things (Part I)

  1. Calling just before midnight being the first thing.

  2. Offering a choice between two presents being the second.

  3. Your voice when I called from the train.

  4. You looking so great at the station.

  5. The double-take of the ticket seller.

  6. Rice waffles.

  7. Flip-down seats.

  8. A cement factory.

  9. A tunnel.

  10. That man who was talking to you.

  11. The sound of the church bell.

  12. A rifle range on the edge of town. (We turned back.)

  13. The slate-sided train station.

  14. The tourist information office.

  15. The bicycle helmet conspiracy.

  16. Pennsylvania.

  17. The stuck gate.

  18. Easter egg tree.

  19. (...)

  20. Concerning social control in small towns.

  21. Ristorante Portofino.

  22. The cook.

  23. Beneath the stars.


46 Things (Part II)

  1. The wheeze of an old dog (beneath the window).

  2. Flying carpet.

  3. Eggs.

  4. Honey.

  5. A dappled landscape (study in green).

  6. A bit of mud and a windy roman ruin.

  7. Ponies (which should have been horses).

  8. A wind-up bird.

  9. Pine needle 'sumie-e'.

  10. Tree climbing.

  11. Deer trails.

  12. Shooting huts.

  13. Pine cones.

  14. Cold hands.

  15. The cry of a hawk.

  16. The sun (bursts of warmth on raised faces).

  17. A dirt road, a river, train tracks.

  18. A bumble-bee.

  19. Something about the way the road-bank looked (which I didn't understand).

  20. One hundred years of childhood.

  21. Just 24 hours.

  22. Tunnel (and cement factory).

  23. Chemistry experiments.


An Arabian Nights Short List

(Orientalism revisted. Ontological vertigo. Tales within tales within tales.)

  1. Irwin, Robert. The Arabian Nightmare.

  2. Irwin, Robert. The Arabian Nights - A Companion.

  3. Mahfouz, Naguib. Arabian Nights and Days.
    (Dilemma stories?)

  4. Pasolini, Pier Paolo. Arabian Nights.

  5. Potocki, Jan. The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (1813).

    Has, Wojciech. The Saragossa Manuscript (film 1965).
    (Bright Lights Film Journal review of the above.)



Bruce Barone writes:


Re: your lists, thought you'd find this of interest from yesterday's New York Times Book Review: (a review of a new collection of essays from William H. Gass including) "I've Got a Little List."


"Of the first group of essays, 'I've Got a Little List' is the most audaciously conceived: a meditation on the list as a narrative strategy ("The list is the fundamental rhetorical form for creating a sense of abundance, overflow, excess"). From 'The Mikado' to 'Don Giovanni,' from the humble grocery list to the latest batch of New Year's resolutions, from Thomas Hobbes to Gertrude Stein -- Gass finds inspiration in nearly every form of listmaking, and in the process argues persuasively that by filling blank sheets of paper with our wants, wishes, dislikes, past loves and the things that go bump in the night, we aspire to teach death a thing or two about the brilliant stuff of life."

Thanks Bruce... I love lists and the community of people who make them (Amazon's Listomania, and have long intended to address the state of lists here (one of my favorite programming languages being John McCarthy's Lisp).

Isn't a weblog simply an annotated list?


Oh Fuck

Saul William's Amethyst Rock Star.

Hoo-doo. Delirious. The track Robeson:-- (with shady recollections of the garden of the summer of the litany of P. Smith's 'Horses' and the cello of L. Reed's 'Street Hassle' and the afternoon when the gay ex of my ex-landlady defined forever for me the word 'ephemeral' as "like a butterfly...")

"... and there is no greater crime. I will never commit it again."

This is the true bodacious kiddo. The righteous rime.

"We do hereby declare reality unkempt by the changing standards of dialogue."

Life... life...


1001 Nights

Gerhardt, Mia. The Art of Storytelling: A Literary Study of The Thousand and One Nights. 1963.

Ghazoul, Ferial Jabouri. The Arabian Nights: A Structural Analysis. 1980.

Irwin. R. The Arabian Nights: A Companion. 1994.

Naduff, (or Naddaff) S. Arabesque: Narrative Structures and Aesthetics of Reception in 1001 Nights. 1991.

Pinault. D. Story Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights. 1992.


Contemplating stories and story telling beneath one's 600th full moon.

(16,809 / 28 = 600.32)



February 2002

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