Monday, 24 May 2010

Friday, 21 May 2010

note on mystery, coincidence and narrative

Ben Osborn sent me this on my birthday. Partly, i think, because he knew it was my kind of thing, and partly because he couldn't get away with putting it in the essay he was writing:

'The narrative of the mystery story is always dependent on coincidence, in the form of clues and leads. These objects, events, and characters are incidents separate in time and space from the crime itself, but they and the crime occupy the same epistemological incident. As such, they form a co-incidental (coincidental) detailing of the event. In the mystery story, for the sake of thematic economy and narrative unity, everything is potentially a clue. The paradox of this is that, within a predetermined narrative, there can be no coincidences: that is, as long as there is a controlling authorial or narrator-voice, everything is presented within an overall narrative structure, and thus nothing can be considered coincidental. This paradoxical relationship between narrative and reality is called realism.

MASHA. But what is the meaning of it?
TUZENBACH. The meaning… Look, it is snowing. What is the meaning of that? (Pause.)
(Chekhov, Three Sisters, Act II)

Tuzenbach’s rhetorical question in Chekhov’s Three Sisters says two things which add up the same sensation and thus the same meaning: pantheism or nihilism. Nihilism says that snow falls without meaning, i.e. everything occurs without meaning: pantheism says that the universe exists, which is a meaningful existence, i.e. everything has a meaning, everything is holy, and everything is God. Within a narrative structure (that of a conversation) this sensation is inevitable: anything and everything that occurs within that narrative structure will affect it simply by occurring; thus, either this event is meaningful, or the whole narrative structure is meaningless. How to respond to such possibility? Pause.

Pause. That is, be silent, wait. Tacet, as John Cage’s 4’33” instructs its musicians. Let other things happen, and experience them.'

Monday, 17 May 2010

Talkshow with Dominika Kieruzel and Steph Dickinson

I sincerley hope there will be more of these. We might finally get to the bottom of that age old question, is love an illuminarti plot?

Robert Wyatt - At Last I Am Free

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Mono no aware

Mono no aware
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the German musical group, see Mono No Aware.

Mono no aware (物の哀れ, mono no aware, literally "the pathos of things"), also translated as "an empathy toward things," or "a sensitivity of ephemera," is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of mujo or the transience of things and a bittersweet sadness at their passing. The term was coined in the eighteenth century by the Edo period Japanese cultural scholar Motoori Norinaga, and was originally a concept used in his literary criticism of The Tale of Genji, and later applied to other seminal Japanese works including the Man'yōshū, becoming central to his philosophy of literature, and eventually to Japanese cultural tradition.

The word is derived from the Japanese word mono, which means "things" and aware, which was a Heian period expression of measured surprise (similar to "ah" or "oh"), translating roughly as "pathos," "poignancy," "deep feeling," or "sensitivity." Thus, mono no aware has frequently been translated as "the 'ahh-ness' of things." In his criticism of The Tale of Genji, Motoori noted that mono no aware is the crucial emotion that moves readers. Its scope was not limited to Japanese literature, and became associated with Japanese cultural tradition (see also sakura).

The quintessentially "Japanese" director Yasujiro Ozu was well known for creating a sense of mono no aware, frequently climaxing with a character saying a very understated "ii tenki desu ne" (It is fine weather, isn't it?), after both a familial and societal paradigm shift, such as daughter being married off, against the backdrop of a swiftly changing Japan. Norwegian Wood by the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is an example of this feeling as well.

Some Western scholars have compared it to Virgil's term lacrimae rerum.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Nulepsy - Jess Rhinland

Me helping out on Jess's film shoot (photo Harley Weir, 2010)

Monday, 3 May 2010