Thursday, December 15, 2005

"...a clatter of gnomic utterances..."

. . . and a clutter of nomic utterances if one attempts to put all of their advice into practice.

I refer to aphorisms.

Those words clattering enigmatically across the entry heading above come from pen of anthropologist Clifford Geertz, whose article "Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight" I first read in Martin Jay's graduate course on intellectual history at Berkeley many years ago and loaned to Al Termini, the Italian guy who drove the Gutenberg Express shuttle between the Stanford and Berkeley libraries and loved to gamble and who became a good friend after reading the article.

On thing leads to another in a seemingly unending, meaningless continuum, but aphorisms crystallize meaning into discrete, discreet thoughts.

I've borrowed the "clatter" from Greg of Seven Roads, who in turn borrowed it from Scholar Island's self-explanation, where it is quoted from Bernhard Lang's The Hebrew God: Portrait of an Ancient Deity, which quotes Geertz.

The original source can be found online in Geertz's "Common Sense as a Cultural System." One can also find at the same online site the article that gained Al's friendship.

That site, HyperGeertz©WorldCatalogueHTM: Clifford Geertz, is well worth a link. Consider linking. Remember:

"A link of thine saves mine."

That's an aphorism. No joke. Or maybe both.


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