Agreeable eye.

an eudæmonistarchives

More specifically concerning: learning

16 July

It’s deeply complex: it’s not what you see. There’s a tension between what you are and what you know. One must read behind the phenomena, the surfaces; one could take hours, days, months to comprehend one column capital, working over the surfaces with a magnifying glass in search of scratches. This is scientific. Then there’s […]

Observation

One muddles oneself with thinking, succumbing too easily to the temptation to compare what is with what might be — learn to be insensate, let things, let people, be as they are, and do not expect what cannot be given. Kerameikos and the haze of the Acropolis in the background. Athens, Greece (31 July 2001; […]

27.02.02 – Wednesday

Hmm. Tired. Woke this morning to the smell of perfectly toasted bread and scrambled eggs — from someone else’s apartment. Overheard: ‘I only like art that I agr-ee with…’ — the words ‘art’ and ‘agree’ being intoned through the nose. ‘And yeah, like, Harvard is really cool and everything, but I just don’t know… and, […]

An Observation (3)

Be suspicious of anyone who claims to be an intellectual. Especially if they say anything to the effect of: ‘I like to think of myself as something of an intellectual…’1 Be suspicious of anyone who makes you feel stupid. You probably are stupid, but that’s not the point. The sort of person who makes you […]

Terrible learning, Mr. Newman

Correctly,—ah, but what is correctness in this case? This correctness of his is the very rock on which Mr. Newman has split. He is so correct that at last he finds peculiarity everywhere. The true knowledge of Homer becomes at last, in his eyes, a knowledge of Homer’s ‘peculiarities, pleasant and unpleasant.’ Learned men know […]

introductory

…once we have recognised that knowledge in itself is good for man, we shall need to invent no pretexts for studying this subject or that; we shall import no extraneous considerations of use or ornament to justify us in learning one thing rather than another. If a certain department of knowledge specially attracts a man, […]

Pnin

ars academica

periplum

Postcard (from the editor of the text to his godmother) found in a copy of ‘Urne Buriall’ and ‘The Garden of Cyrus’ … according to the notion I have of reason, neither the written treatises of the learned nor the set discourses of the eloquent are able of themselves to teach the use of it. […]

Citation (26)

eccentric employments.

noted

Started reading The Museum of Unconditional Surrender by Dubravka Ugrešić. The novel proper begins as follows: 1. ‘Ich bin müde,’ I say to Fred. His sorrowful, pale face stretches into a grin. Ich bin müde is the only German sentence I know at the moment (3).1 I note this only because ‘Ich bin müde’ was […]

… of undarkness

The adequacy of the cultural categories of, in this case, university England, to provide a frame of intelligible reasonings, creditable values, and familiar motivations for such oddities as poison oracles, ghost marriages, blood feuds, and cucumber sacrifices recommends those categories as of somehow more than parochial importance. Whatever personal reasons E-P may have had for […]

Ho yuss! Vurry true.

Properly, we shd. read for power. Man reading shd. be man intensely alive. The book shd. be a ball of light in one’s hand (55).1 Reading Pound’s Guide to Kulcher, I was perplexed; partially because it is an odd book, aimed at those who don’t mind attending the university of the brain of Ezra Pound […]

a cross bearing

We had mock language proficiency interviews the other day, just so our instructors could get a better sense of where we were in our language interview and whether they need to panic about our chances of passing the actual language proficiency interview at the end of training.1 The format was simple, the first part being […]

pseudaphoristica (16)

grammar.

ha eli

You reach a point in learning a language – usually sometime shortly after you can successfully ask and understand the way to the lavatory – when one word, usually a little word, will trip you up in supposed subtleties, tumble you into an ecstasy of confusion out of all proportion to its importance in actual […]

to have done

…in the course of the years the study of foreign languages had become almost a mania with Chwostik, indeed a sort of collector’s mania (as exemplified by his acquiring Armenian as a particularly exquisite ‘piece’)… – Heimito von Doderer(The Waterfalls of Slunj, p. 144) This is how we spent our morning: sitting on the floor […]

lezvi masin

From Imagined Communities: It is always a mistake to treat languages in the way that certain nationalist ideologues treat them – as emblems of nation-ness, like flags, costumes, folk-dances, and the rest. Much the most important thing about languages is their capacity for generating imagined communities, building in effect particular solidarities. (133) But also: If […]

Citation (40)

I always thought that he did himself injustice in his account of what he had read, and that he must have been speaking with reference to the vast portion of study which is possible, and to which few scholars in the whole history of literature have attained; for when I once asked him whether a […]

aydqan mard es

The more languages you know, the more of a (hu)man you are.

dining out

the importance of reading long books.

goats and sheep

books and souls, sheep and goats.

wide of the mark

I suppose after all that no one whose mind was not, to put it mildly, abnormal, ever yet aimed very high out of pure malice aforethought. I once saw a fly alight on a cup of hot coffee on which the milk had formed a thin skin; he perceived his extreme danger, and I noted […]

Montaigne 1.25

We labour but to cram our memory, and leave the understanding and the conscience empty. Even as the birds sometimes fly in search of grain, and bring it in their beaks without tasting it, to feed their young, so do our pedants go picking knowledge out of books, carrying it at the end of their […]

Montaigne 1.26

Vanity & Vexation And besides, I do not compete wholesale with those old champions, and body to body; I do so by repetitions, by frequent and light attacks. I do not stubbornly grapple with them, but only try their strength, and if I try to keep pace with them, I do so hesitatingly. If I […]

what counts

The walk to work takes an hour to cover approximately three miles. This is a bit slow, perhaps, but given the uncertain state of draw bridges, traffic signals, and my own ambling pace, it feels about right. It gives me plenty of time to think – about the day ahead, about anything at all. The […]

upbuilding and edification

A helpful illustration from Swimming Scientifically Taught (1912) For my part I can well describe the movements of faith, but I cannot make them. When one would learn to make motions of swimming one can let oneself be hung by a swimming-belt from the ceiling and go through the motions (describe them, so to speak, […]

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