Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Carter Kaplan wants you:

to do what Mack Hassler and Cara Gilgenbach did: Emanations for Special Collections.

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Subtle Line Between Merely Bad and Absolutely Terrible

"I think, therefore I am," quod he to me.
Said I, "But what happens if your mind goes blank?
And quoting others takes no thought, I think.
To put another's words in verse is worse than keeping silent,
or so I believe."

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Fictionalism

Scott Herschovitz wrote in a recent NYT issue (May 3, 2022) of an interesting question posed by his four-year-old son: "Is God real?"

His father turned the question back on the lad: "What do you think?"

He replied: "I think that for real God is pretend and for pretend God is real." His father asks for explanation, and the son says: "God isn't real, but when we pretend, he is."

This is called "fictionalism," Herschovitz tells us (assuming that he has understood his son), and it means that the statement "Dumbledore teaches at Hogwarts" is true because in that fictional world, Dumbledore does teach at Hogwarts.

Similarly, the statement "I teach at Harvard" is true because in my fictional world, I do teach at Harvard. So from now on, I'll introduce myself as follows: "Pleased to meet you. I'm Jeffery Hodges, and I'm a Harvard professor."

The onus is on them to realize that I'm speaking of the fictional world, a world in which I excel in many fields.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Wittgenstein: Silence and Confession

The NYT International Edition recently (April 13, 2022) ran a somewhat garbled piece (cf. paragraph eight) on Ludwig Wittgenstein, who experienced his writing as a burden, and "sexuality as a burden, too, writing "frankly (and frequently) about his masturbation (or lack thereof), an activity he associated with not getting enough exercise. Sometimes commentary on work and sex would run together: "--Will I find the redemptive thought? Will it come to me??!!--Yesterday & today I masturbated."

Elsewhere, Wittegenstein said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

I suggest: "Whereof one need not speak, thereof ought one adopt the prudence of silence."

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Divide and Put Difference (Revision):

The verb bāḏal (בָּדַל, pronunciation, baw-dal') occurs in both (baw-dal') Genesis 1:4 and Leviticus 10:10.

Genesis 1:4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided (בָּדַל) the light from the darkness.

Leviticus 10:10. And that ye may put difference (וּֽלֲהַבְדִּיל) (בְדִּיל)

between holy (קֹדֶשׁ) and common (חֹל), and

between impure (טָמֵא) and pure (טָהוֹר);

Regular readers here at Gypsy Scholar will be familiar with my position that Leviticus 10:10 is an example of Semitic parallelism and literary chiasm combined, something like an "X" inscribed within a rectangle (or square).

Note the context given in Genesis 1:1-3, namely, that God's initial act was to create the heavens and the earth. The earth at this point was formless and empty, a very odd statement, hard to grasp. Also, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This is the state of things at the initial moment of creation. The text merely describes a moment of anticipation. Nothing of substance has yet happened. At most, there is the slight trembling motion of hovering. God then acts to divide the light from the darkness. Why did he do this first? Was the darkness considered 'bad'? Apparently. The light was good. The darkness was not. These two must first be divided. We can post here:

heavens/earth

light/darkness

I'm making a scholarly inference here that these two opposing pairs reveal the correct way for arranging creation.

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Loss of Emails Late March, Early April, 2022

If you have been expecting a reply to an email that you recently sent to me, your email may have gone missing in a virus-induced loss of emails, and if you think that this may have happened, then send your email again.

Horace Jeffery Hodges

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Forehead to Keyboard

I nodded off while trying to type something:

D3qw Th

What in the world was I thinking?

Thursday, March 31, 2022

When we were young . . .

Who said this?

Old age is when we find out what happened to us when we were young.

Does this accord with the experience of you, my older readers?

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Divide and Put Difference

The verb bāḏal (בָּדַל, pronunciationbaw-dal') occurs in both Genesis 1:4 and Leviticus 10:10. 

Genesis 1:4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided (בָּדַל) the light from the darkness.

Leviticus 10:10.  And that ye may put difference (וּֽלֲהַבְדִּיל) (בְדִּיל)

between holy (קֹדֶשׁ) and common (חֹל), and 

between impure (טָמֵא) and pure (טָהוֹר);

Regular readers here at Gypsy Scholar will be familiar with my position that Leviticus 10:10 is an example both of Semitic parallelism and literary chiasm.

Note the context given in Genesis 1:1-3, namely, that God's initial act was to create the heavens and the  earth. The earth at this point was formless and empty, a very odd statement, hard to grasp. Also, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This is the state of things at the initial moment of creation. The text merely describes a moment of anticipation. Nothing of substance has yet happened. At most, there is the slight trembling motion of hovering. God then acts to divide the light from the darkness. Why did he do this first? Was the darkness considered 'bad'? Apparently. The light was good. The darkness was not. These two must first be divided. We can post here:

heavens/earth

light/darkness

I'm making a scholarly inference here that these two opposing pairs reveal the correct way for arranging creation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Oceankind CEO Raises Alarm, But Why Not Louder?

Kim Yong-kyu warns of the danger posed by the massive trash-disposal problem created by the extra medical litter polluting Korea's beaches as a consequence of the ongoing pandemic.

Although Kim doesn't emphasize this point, I note that this pandemic is not just littering Korea's beaches, it's changing the behavioral habits of aquatic creatures.

In a recent Korea Herald interview (February 23), Kim mentions: "I once saw a fish that got stuck in a single-use plastic glove while scuba diving."

This is actually rather alarming and deserves more attention, for if the sea's pollution problem is so dire (e.g., limited vision, limited oxygen) that fish themselves need to use scuba gear when swimming, then we are far gone indeed.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Romantic Meal

On this Valentine's Day, February 14, 2022, I surprised my wife with toast-hearts in bed. I had attempted to cut some toast-bread into hearts, then toast the hearts till they were crisp and fresh. The heart shapes, however, were not consistently in the shape of hearts. Perhaps they could be considered misshapen hearts, hearts battered about by the slings of outrageous fortune. Be that as it may, my wife scarcely recognized the heart shapes and didn't cotton on to why she was receiving them till I reminded her of the meaning behind today's most secular of Christian holidays. She then laughed, broke off a large chamber of one of the hearts, and she did eat . . .

Friday, January 21, 2022

Derrida: Leviticus 10:10

Poking around in leftover thoughts scavaged on by the vultures of my intellect, I came upon this doctoral thesis by Adrian Platts:

Jacques Derrida, the Sacred Other and Seventh-day Adventism: Stumbling on the Creative Play of Différance in Genesis.

This seems to be the only text on the internet (as of first Google search) that uses Leviticus 10:10 and Derrida together:

What Derrida means when he uses the word "sacred" is not immediately evident nor is it necessarily consistent. The French - sacré - clearly sharing a common root with the English, provides no obvious additional insight. In a biblical context, one stumbles on the word "holy" - the Hebrew root being transliterated qdsh. Whether in the verbal form (qadash) or as a noun (qodesh), the idea of holiness or the sacred is denoted - including the idea of being separated or set apart. Hence, the sacred stands in direct contrast to that which is "common or profane" as in Leviticus 10:10: "You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the clean and the unclean" (NIV). Here "qodesh occurs as the antithesis of hol ('profane,' 'common')." (p. 36, ft. 144) (Platts adds another antithesis: blessing, curse. p. 36) 

See 144 Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), s.v. "1990.

The author of this doctoral thesis is Adrian Platts, and he wrote it in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, in November 2012.

Platts himself speaks correctly in noting that the basic meaning of "holiness" is that of being "set apart" or "separated," but I hesitate to give "blessing, curse" the same status. Not having read all of Platts's thesis, I don't know what he does concerning Derrida's inconsistency, but Leviticus 10:10 might offer some insight, given the verse's use of both parallelism and chiasm. 

Maybe . . .

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Make a distinction . . .

Derrida speaks of difference, of distinction between this and that, and somewhere that the sacred and the profane are distinguished as of between clean and unclean, which reminds us of the original act of separation between light and darkness, but why meaningless separations such as those demanded in Leviticus?

Or has Derrida said nothing of the sort?

Wittgenstein said that in the presence of that before which we cannot speak, we usst remmust werg emsinrem . . .

Sunday, January 09, 2022

A wordy world? A worldly word?

Yeah, it's . . .

Language Games

I. Pour Derrida:

This word is strictly about
whatever this word keeps out.

II. Für Wittgenstein:

This world is solely within
whatever this world keeps in.

Another reworking?

Derrida asks: "What's the difference?"

"It's all the same," Wittgenstein replies.

Friday, January 07, 2022

Is this Game Serious?

Here is the most current version of whatever it is that I'm doing these days:

Language Games

I. Pour Derrida:

This word is strictly about
whatever the word it leaves out.

II. Für Wittgenstein:

This world is solely within
whatever the world it leaves in.

According to Pynchon, if the world is just all that the case is, that's a pretty discouraging basis upon which to place any kind of romance.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Worldly Word

I first worked on this short, two-point poetic work many years ago, during my early times in Germany. This current version is rather different from the one back then and also from the one posted a couple of blog entries ago. Here is the current version:


Hermeneutics of Suspicion

I. Pour Derrida:

This poem is strictly about
whatever in word it leaves out . . .

II. Für Wittgenstein:

The world is solely about
whatever in case it leaves out . . .

Chronology apart, are the two parts coherent? Note also the apparent etymological connection between "pour" and "für." Are they linked? In a post like this one, you can bet on a good deal of trickery.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Expletive Undeleted?

Perhaps that limerick I finished would work better without the profanity and a few other words I used. You judge:

Krypticket

Heading home through a thick, thickety thicket
got me a dadgummed low-speed, speeding ticket
for driving too slow,
so I floored it to go,
and flew faster than lickety split it!

You can see the original profane word a couple of blog entries back, one of those "expletive-undeleted" cases in which the speaker regrets having spoken what was spoken by the speaker. Kind of like in the sentence preceding this sentence that I am right 'now' writing . . .

Monday, January 03, 2022

Word and World

Deconstructive Hermeneutics

I. Pour Derrida:

This poem is strictly about
whatever
in word it leaves
out . . .


II. Für Wittgenstein:

The world is solely about
whatever
in case it leaves
out . . .

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Happy New Year, 2022

Perhaps the limerick that I've been laboring on would work better with a few small changes:

Krypticket

Heading home through the thick, thickety thicket
got me a goddamn low-speed, speeding ticket
for driving too slow,
so I floored it to go,
and flew faster than lickety split it!

And here we are, on January 1, 2022, housebound in Seoul due to a ten-day quarantine placed upon travelers to South Korea arriving from the United States. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Lickety Split

This poem probably works as a limerick now:

Krypticket

Heading home through the thickety thicket,
got a goddamned low-speed, speeding ticket
for driving too slow,
so I floored it to go,
and flew faster than to lickety split it!

December 29th, 2021 has arrived, so we will soon be in Memphis, then again in Seoul (as we now are, on January 1, 2022).

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Good Cheer For All

I've finally gotten somewhere with my paean to alcohol:

Drunk Gratitude

I've had but little alcohol at all,
such awesome stuff as Skunk Butt's Hind-end Ale,
and nothing drives truth home like alcohol,
for standing vigil in this dreary vale.

Thanks then to liquor's years of keeping me
from making awful messes of myself,
kept firm in its strong grip with dignity,
a jug placed safe upon the sundries shelf.

I think that's got it, despite its being quite different than initially envisioned.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Goody-Goody Great Cheer

This poem probably still needs more (un)working, even as a limerick:

Cryptic Ticket

Heading home through the thickety thicket,
got a goddamned low-speed, speeding ticket
for driving too slow,
so I floored to go,
and flew faster than lickety split it!

Still awaiting Christmas, we (my family and I) will hang on till December 29th, 2021 in Salem, Arkansas, my Ozark boyhood home.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Vitasta's India

I contacted Vitasta to learn more about her poem:

I've been re-reading your poem and comprehending it better, but I want to be sure before I post any more blog entries. You start with Coleridge, a silly poet who identifies himself and Britain with the Mughal Empire, the Mongols who converted to Islam and conquered Hindustan, destroying its learning, its schools, its culture, and its architecture. The ancient trade routes were all but obliterated. And Kashmir, your Fatherland, underwent artillery siege. Something like that? (By the way, I liked the sudden shift from plain to rhymed couplets. Or near rhymes.)

She agreed, more or less, with my reading:

I suppose so, it's a bit of fantasy as well. The first wave of refugees from Kashmir during the Mongol Era settled in Varanasi. But yes it's largely the current state of the homeland with the violence.

That current violence is between Muslims and Hindus. (Mostly.) Knowing the details above enables us better to understand the poem. (Obviously.)

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Cryptic Still

Still before Christmas . . . the poem still needs more (un)working, perhaps as a limerick:

Cryptic Ticket

Heading home back through Thickety Thicket,
I got a damned low-speed, speeding ticket
for driving too slow,
so I floored to go,
and flew faster than let on in cricket!

Still unworking, my family and I spend our December 2021 in my boyhood home of Salem in the Arkansas Ozarks . . .

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Tales from the Cryptic

Still before Christmas . . . the poem needs more (un)working, perhaps as a limerick:

Cryptic Ticket

Heading home back through Thickety Thicket,
I got a damned low-speed speeding ticket
for driving way too slow,
so I floored the board at go,
and went so fast its speed simply wasn't cricket!

Still unworking as my family and I spend our December 2021 in my boyhood home of Salem in the Arkansas Ozarks . . .

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

In Title Meant

Before Christmas . . . the poem needs more (un)working.

Cryptic Poetic

On the way home through Thicket,
I got a low-speed ticket
for driving way long too slow;
so, I floored the board at go,
went gone so fast at length last
through light-speeds beyond space passed.

Still unworking as my family and I spend our December 2021 in my boyhood home of Salem in the Arkansas Ozarks . . .

Monday, November 29, 2021

No Time to Work

A Little Trial . . .

Cryptic Poetic

On the way home through Thicket,
I got a low-speed ticket
for driving way long too slow;
so, the board I floored at go,
went gone so fast at length last
through light-speeds beyond space past.

Still a lot of work to do. Or unwork.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Warp-Speed Ticketing of the Future

Another Attempt at Authorship . . .

Cryptic Poetic

On the way home through Thicket,
I got a low-speed ticket
for driving way long too slow;
So floored I the board at go,
went gone so fast at length last
through light-speeds beyond space past.

It's sounding more like a poem every day. I'll have to do something or other about that . . .

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Trying Again

Another Attempt at Authorship . . .

Cryptic Poetic

On the way home through Thicket,
I got a speeding ticket
for driving way long too slow,
so I floored the board at go,
went gone so fast at length last
through light-speeds beyond space past.

I'm getting there, I think. I think I'm getting there. But where is the there I'm coming from?

Friday, November 26, 2021

Thicketed?

Verb used as adjective? Looks like an adverb.

Where once had lain open field now surged upward and at length and great breadth a thicketed realm.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Getting There

Cryptic Poetic

On my way home through thicket,
I was given a ticket
for driving way much too slow,
so I floored to the board go
went gone too fast at long last
at light-speeds beyond pace past.


Getting There? There's a Chance you'll make it if we tend to our garden . . .