Thursday, April 28, 2005

From behind 1.28

That era has passed.
Nothing that belonged to it exists anymore.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Spoil 1.30

He avoided his subject, avoided, in fact, talking of any subject, had squandered a decade of gray life on an erudite work dealing with a forgotten group of unnecessary poetasters, and kept a detailed diary, in cryptogrammed verse, which he hoped posterity would someday decipher and, in sober backcast, proclaim the greatest literary achievement of our time.
Pnin, 156

From behind 1.27

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

File 1.06

Subsec. 2.
Of the Force of Imagination
What Imagination is, I have sufficiently declared in my Digression of the Anatomie of the Soule. I will only now point at the wonderfull effects and power of it; which, as it is eminent in all, so most especially rageth in melancholy persons, in keeping the species of objects so long, mistaking, amplifying them by continuall and strong meditation, untill at length it produceth in some parties reall effects, causeth this and many other maladies.
R. Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 250

Subsec. 15.
Love of Learning, or overmuch Study. With a Digression of the Misery of Schollers, and why the Muses are Melancholy.
Because they cannot ride an horse, which every Clowne can doe; salute and court a Gentlewoman, carve at table, cringe and make congies, which every common swasher can doe [...]
Or if they be docile, yet all mens wills are not answerable to their wits, they can apprehend, but will not take paines; they are either seduced by bad companions and so spend their time to their friends griefe and their owne undoings.
Ibid., 305; 308

Arlanc 1.05 revised (what a beauty)

kindly post links to programs similar to the one below but aimed at humanities audiences.

"SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.

One useful purpose for such a program is to auto-generate submissions to conferences that you suspect might have very low submission standards. A prime example, which you may recognize from spam in your inbox, is SCI/IIIS and its dozens of co-located conferences (check out the very broad conference description on the WMSCI 2005 website). Using SCIgen to generate submissions for conferences like this gives us pleasure to no end. In fact, one of our papers was accepted to SCI 2005! See Examples for more details."


File 1.05 visual

File 1.05

Part I
Poseidon sass an seinem Arbeitstisch und rechnete. Die Verwaltung aller Gewaesser gab ihm unendliche Arbeit. Er haette Hilfskraefte haben koennen, wie viel er wollte, und er hatte auch sehr viele, aber da er sein Amt sehr ernst nahm, rechnete er alles noch einmal durch und so halfen ihm die Hilfskraefte wenig. Man kann nicht sagen, dass ihn die Arbeit freute, er fuehrte sie eigentlich nur aus, weil sie ihm auferlegt war, ja er hatte sich schon oft um froehlichere Arbeit, wie er sich ausdrueckte, beworben, aber immer, wenn man ihm dann verschiedene Vorschlaege machte, zeigte es sich, daa ihm doch nichts so zusagte, wie sein bisheriges Amt. Es war auch sehr schwer, etwas anderes fuer ihn zu finden. Nann konnte ihm doch unmoeglich etwa ein bestimmtes Meer zuweisen; abgesehen davon, dass auch hier die rechnerische Arbeit nicht kleiner, sondern nur kleinlicher war, konnte der grosse Poseidon doch immer nur eine beherrschende Stellung bekommen. Und bot man ihm eine Stellung ausserhalb des Wassers an, wurde ihm schon von der Vorstellung uebel, sein goettlicher Atem geriet in Unordnung, sein eherner Brustkorb schwankte. Uebrigens nahm man seine Beschwerden nicht eigentlich ernst; wenn ein Maechtiger sich quaelt, muss man ihm auch in der aussichtslosesten Angelegenheit scheinbar nachzugeben versuchen; an eine wirkliche Enthebung Poseidons von seinem Amt dachte niemand, seit Urbeginn war er zum Gott der Meere bestimmt worden und dabei musste es bleiben.
Kafka, Poseidon

Part I
Poseidon sat at his workdesk and computed. The administration of all the bodies of water supplied him with infinte labour. He might have had assistants, as many as he liked, and indeed he had very many, but since he took his office very seriously he would recompute everything personally and hence his assistants provided little aid. It cannot be said that he was happy with his work, rather, he executed it because he had been put in charge of it. Indeed, often he had applied for more cheerful work - this being his expression - but always when different suggestions were made to him it became evident that nothing really suited him quite like his current office. After all, it was very difficult to find something different for him. One could not possibly assign one specific ocean to him; disregarding the fact that even in this instance the work is not reduced but only more minute the great Poseidon could not but receive a leading position. And when offered a posting away from the water he would feel nauseous from the thought alone, his divine breathing lost order, his bronzed chest would heave. In any case, his complaints were not taken very seriously; when one of the mighty complains every effort has to be made to pretend to obey them even in the most hopeless affair; nobody really thought of an actual standing-down of Poseidon from office. Since the origin of time he had been destined as the god of oceans and this is how it had to remain.
Kafka, Poseidon

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Thursday, April 21, 2005

From behind 1.26

Nabokov or Celan ?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


How Pnin came to the Soedinyonnie Shtati (the United States). "Examination on ship before landing. Very well! 'Nothing to declare?' 'Nothing.' Very well! Then political questions. He asks: 'Are you anarchist?' I answer 'First what do we understand under Anarchism? Anarchism practical, metaphysical, theoretical, mystical, abstractical, individual, social? When I was young,' I say, 'all this had for me signification.' So we had a very interesting discussion, in consequence of which I passed two whole weeks on Ellis Island."
Pnin, 11


...and his English was still full of flaws. That autumn he supplemented his Russian courses by delivering a weekly lecture in a so-called symposium ("Wingless Europe: A Survey of Contemporary Continental Culture") directed by Dr. Hagen. All our friend's lectures, including sundry ones he gave out of town, were edited by one of the younger members of the German Department. The procedure was somewhat complicated. Professor Pnin laboriously translated his own Russian verbal flow, teeming with idiomatic proverbs, into patchy English. This was revised by young Miller. Then Dr. Hagen's secretary, a Miss Eisenbohr, typed it out. Then Pnin deleted the passages he could not understand.
Pnin, 14-15


(thanks Der Ohlsen)

From behind 1.25

6. Oktober, 1967 Freitag
Gestern in Miami betraten fuenf maskierte Pistolenbesitzer das Haus der du Ponts (33 Zimmer, Plaetze fuer Golf, Tennis, Schwimmen) und verliessen es nach gemuetlichen zweieinhalb Stunden mit Werten bis zu anderthalb Millionen Dollar, immer hoeflich. Als den gefesselten du Ponts kalt wurde, bekamen sie Decken uebergelegt, und als es du Pont am Bein juckte, kratzte ihn einer der Herren. Die du Ponts sprechen nicht unfreundlich von ihnen.
Jahrestage, 146

October 6, 1967 Friday
Yesterday in Miami five masked men bearing firearms entered the residence of the du Pont family (33 rooms, golf course, tennis course, pool) and left again leisurely in the possession of valuables amounting to $1,5 Million after two and a half hours. They always showed courtesy. When the tied up du Ponts felt cold they were covered with blankets, and when du Pont felt an itch on his leg one of the gentlemen scratched it for him. The du Ponts express no ill will toward them.
Jahrestage, 146.
$1m silver coin unearthed in US
One of the world's rarest coins, an 1866 silver US dollar worth more than $1m and feared lost, has been found by a librarian in the United States.
It was stolen almost 40 years ago from the prestigious du Pont family in an armed raid in Miami, Florida.
The man who found it said it turned up amongst a hoard of coins given to him by an "eccentric friend", AP reported.

Monday, April 18, 2005

From behind 1.24


Was fuer ein Einfall habe er denken und was fuer ein jaemmerliches Ergebnis notieren koennen. Die Woerter ruinieren was man denkt, das Papier macht laecherlich, was man denkt, und waehrend man aber noch froh ist, etwas Ruiniertes und etwas Laecherliches auf das Papier bringen zu koennen, verliert das Gedaechtnis auch noch dieses Ruinierte und Laecherliche. Aus einer Ungeheuerlichkeit mache das Papier eine Nebensaechlichkeit, eine Laecherlichkeit, sagte Konrad. Die Woerter sind dazu geschaffen, das Denken zu erniedrigen, ja, er gehe sogar so weit zu sagen, die Woerter seien dazu da, das Denken abzuschaffen, was ihnen einmal hundertprozentig gelingen werde.

What an idea! he had been able to think to himself and what a wretched result! he had had to note. Words ruin our thoughts, paper renders ridiculous our thoughts, and while one still remains cheerful to be able to commit something ruined and ridiculous to paper our memory will lose even the ruined and ridiculous thoughts. Paper renders a monstrosity into marginalia, into triviality, said Konrad. Words were created to humiliate thought, indeed, he even would go as far as to claim that words existed in order to abolish thought, a fact which one day they would totally accomplish.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Boil 1.30

From behind 1.23

Heute mal ein Hoer/Leseexperiment.
Wenn ich folgende Woerter sage, was fuehlen Sie dann ?





und nicht zuletzt:

der Henrystutzen

Sollten Ihnen noch einige Vokabeln aus dem Apatschen Wortschatz gelaeufig sein, moechte ich Sie bitten diese im Kommentarbereich alsbald in Augenschein zu stellen.

PS. Ein weiser Mann hat mal gesagt: "Jeden Tag wenn die Sonne aufgeht geht sie ueber einer neuen Welt auf."

(many thanks Summi)

Friday, April 15, 2005



Ich habe den Bau eingerichtet und er scheint wohlgelungen. Von aussen ist eigentlich nur ein grosses Loch sichtbar, dieses fuehrt aber in Wirklichkeit nirgends hin, schon nach ein paar Schritten stoesst man auf natuerliches festes Gestein. Ich will mich nicht dessen ruehmen, diese List mit Absicht ausgefuehrt zu haben, es war vielmehr der Rest eines der vielen vergeblichen Bauversuche, aber schliesslich schien es mir vorteilhaft, dieses eine Loch unverschuettet zu lassen. Freilich manche List ist so fein, dass sie sich selbst umbringt.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

From behind 1.22

Kafka's afterlife
Of course he never died of TB. Popular myth though that is, here's an image of Kafka with his fiancé and baby daughter Laura. Kafka is reported to have said that literature failed to rouse his interests anymore. When asked what "all his texts really meant" he replied by stating that a closer scrutiny of Von den Gleichnissen ("On Parables") would reveal it all.
The Kafka family currently reside in the Lago Maggiore region where they devote their spare time to the local badger shelter.

From behind 1.21

Man schreibt das Jahr 1931 in Uwe Johnsons Jahrestage:
Das war in Itzehoe vor ein paar Wochen. Die Nazis hatten am Oesauer Berg eine Versammlung, und als die Kommunisten ueber sie herfielen, was hatten sie mitgebracht? Ja, Stielrungen, Mistgabeln, Fahrradketten, Stacheldrahtkeulen, Naegelstoecke, Gummiknueppel.
Jahrestage, 70
Immer nett mal wieder an daheim erinnert zu sein. Aber Johnson hat auch zu lange im anglophonen Ausland gelebt. Beweis Syntax: "Papenbrock mochte sich nicht anfreunden mit einem Mann, der trug keinen Hut." (S.70) Papenbrock didn't like being familiar with a man who wore no hat ?
Wie ist das denn mit dem Korrekturlesen bei Suhrkamp, hmmm ? Laut Cartoonist hat Suhrkamp nach dem Einverleiben der Arno Schmidt Werke noch keine anstaendige Webseite dafuer erstellt. Und der Schmidt war doch auch so anglophil...

Monday, April 11, 2005

Spoil 1.03 (update 02)

This is not NEWS, NEWS, or NEWS.
An ever growing reproach to Australia's chattering classes - or the current state of misinformation

This is not news
  • Australian celebrity visiting overseas
  • Australian celebrity reported pregnant
  • Australian celebrity nominated for award
  • Australian visiting overseas
  • World leader addressing kindergarten, boy scouts
  • Puppy fallen into well-shaft
  • Puppy rescued from well-shaft
  • Horse rescued from meat-cleaver
  • Sports personality's choice of vehicle
  • Sports personality's fashion products
  • Brad Pitt separates from wife Jennifer
  • Jennifer separates from husband Brad
  • Non-Australian celebrity reported pregnant
  • Australian actor stars in Hollywood production
  • Citizens frequenting public places
  • Australian actress "rumoured" to stand chances of an award
  • Former world leader undergoes routine surgery
  • (Exotic) animals reproduce in local Zoo
  • Politician visits Bollywood set
  • Pop Star reported pregnant
  • Future Pope's robes being tailored
  • Local Mansion sold [ABC]
  • Stay tuned, more to come...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Boil 1.29

Another wonderful solution found today: A one-click download of the internet:
Though more often than not, the majority of your time online is spent waiting. Waiting for pages to load and files to transfer. It is estimated that in America, several billion hours were wasted last year, as people waited for web sites to load. The waiting must stop. At last we have created the final solution.

Boil 1.28

the Rebuild Iraq Lego Set
(contains 908,324,108,457,223,584, 609,129,832 pieces).

if Beads, Things, and Flowers delight your soul see monochrome's newest social engineering agenda:

The Flower Currency - a "value exchange system".

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Boil 1.27

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 's dramatis personae now have personal blogs.
Marvin's blog sounds suitably depressed/laconic, if a little sparse. And a tongue-tied Marvin appears more distracted than usual.

(via Stoersignale)

PS. A film of HGTG has been made, and telling from the pictures it looks like an adopted Star-Wars aesthetics. Meh. Why, pray tell, would the ppl of the future adopt the potatoe-sack hessian garments of the middle ages ? Shouldn't dresses come with an extra pocket to store a towel ?

*thank you, it has been a pleasure to open myself for you*

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Boil 1.26

Happiness is a cooling gun.

Spoil 1.27

Here, in the world's most liveable city (or second most -depending on who you ask) the quotidian has become an unending series of indirect exchanges of pleasantries...

Monday, April 04, 2005

Arlanc 1.05

This Call for Papers sailed into my inbox this morning: “The Event, Culture and Contingency”
Its description articulates the conference theme thus:

Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true, is made true by events. Its verity is in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-fication. ­ William James

Integral to understanding changes in both ourselves and our world, ‘the event’ is a concept attracting increased critical attention. Described as “a difference that makes a difference”, an event may happen, or be
manufactured, affect us and be effected by us, and thus emerges from the impossible cusp between contingency and necessity.

Just to recap ... "as a difference that makes a diference...and emerge between the impossible cusp between contingency and necessity."

My CFP to all of you OUT THERE is to respond to the CFP above with abstracts that satirize or hoax 'the event'.
Examples given:
Eventfulness: the inocular grasp between idiocy and clemency
In my paper I propose to investigate the dependency of the event on hegemonic structures and social normative parameters. Since the advent of modernity the event has been marginalised through legislative and executive monopolisation of eventfulness. The media controls and domesticates events for the purposes of population control. Yet, the event holds an explosive and messianic promise, since its boundaries easily and unpredictably overflow the frames of control exerted. It can transgress reason, power, order and the reality principle. Thus the event is the other side of the coin of sovereignty and as such ought to be accorded theoretical recognition.
As an example of this challenge to sovereignty I will discuss the recent democratic revolution in Ukraine as the re-entry (in Spencer-Brown's and Luhmann's sense of the word) of the included excluded subject of modernity.

Dirty Dancing, Footloose and Porno Karaoke - On the margins of Event-representation
Of the different cultural forms of the Event dance and voice performance are the most radical. Dance and voice performance effect, in Bakhtin's terms, a diachronic carnivalesque suspension of the interpellative force of normalcy. That is to say that the event-full-ness of dance and voice as they traverse the moment of the performance cannot in their momentariness and momentum be invaded by the power/knowledge nexus and its panoptic technologies. This has been the case at least since the French Revolution, which, after all, began through the unvoidable speech of Mirabeau before parliament and the King's bailiff. At that time Mirabeau, as Kleist would have it, perfected 'the gradual completion of thought during speech'. Currently dance and the voice are the cultural forms that can operate outside order(s), while they produce their own, temporal and spatial inside(s).
In my paper I will demonstrate this argument by reading the films Dirty Dancing and Footloose in relation to dance, and the phenomenon of Porno Karaoke in relation to voice.

Spoil 1.26

Just when you think you've discovered something new, you find that it is old enough to have been parodied.
While Cory 'Digital Rights Arrrgh!' Doctorow and Crew's Boing Boing is neither new nor unknown, the parody sites still exude a strange effect.
A postmodern moment will occur when people see the parody sites before the original. But again, this is not all that new. Just watch the Simpsons regularly, and when one day you come across the 'original' reference for a Simpsons gag you will feel that uncanny, creepy sensation.
My favourite is an item that is a spoof on tech-progressivist jargon that works very well irrespective of the Boing Boing genre:

Ingenious wallmod allows items to be stored on vertical surfaces

This guy (warning: site has no pop-ups) modded the wall over his bed with several shelves -- three, to be exact. The lack of visible shelf brackets is very futuristic (although brackets can give a shelf a cool steampunky look). If you want to try it yourself, step-by-step instructions are here. Sweet! Link (Thanks, Francis!)
posted by Xeni Jardin at 10:04:23 AM permalink | blogs' comments

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Der Ohlsen again.

Friday, April 01, 2005

From behind 1.20

This period of my imaginary Americanization, during which I crisscrossed the entire United States, now on horseback, now in a dark brown Oldsmobile, peaked between my sixteenth and seventeenth years in my attempt to perfect the mental and physical attitudes of a Hemingway hero, a venture in mimicry that was doomed to failure for various reasons that can easily be imagined.
The Emigrants, 70

File 1.08

View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.

(thanks Dachveed)

Spoil 1.25

Bliss is this: Royalty without subjects, Universities without students and staff, schools without pupils, democracies without voters, museums without visitors, consumers without desires, users without knowledge, manufacturers without workers, economy without competition, society without socialists, etc. asf.
Case study:
"I hate doing this," he muttered under his breath and, "Bloody people," as he smiled wryly, apparently blissfully unaware that microphones on the ground in front of him were picking up every murmur. [...] "I can't bear that man anyway. He's so awful, he really is. I hate these people," Charles added as a not so sotto voce running commentary to his sons...