Thursday, September 25, 2008


Subtext is one of those things that professional philosophers and academics seem to make more obscure in their writings rather than to clarify it's nature and use. I find it a very important element in reading Ancient Greek classics such as Plato's Euthyphro dialog in which Socrates is quite ironical. Apuleius' Metamorphoses and Juvenal's Satires are Ancient Latin classics where the subtext is also vital, although they are not as subtle as Socrates in the Platonic dialogs.

The best explanation of subtext I have found is from the dramatic actor's training:

The professional philosopher's approach:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Death's Jest Book

As a counterbalance to my Classics studies I read more modern works; currently, Death's Jest Book, a quite sophisticated and highly literate English 'who dunnit' by Reginald Hill. Here's a professional review:

The Dalziel & Pascoe novel sequence:

There was a 19th Century Death's Jest Book begun in Oxford University by Thomas Lovell Beddoes, which receives literary criticism as well as many allusions in Hill's 21st Century Death's Jest Book. The illustrations in the newer book are the old woodcuts in the earlier also.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Teresa Teng

Teresa Teng is a deservedly famous Chinese songstress. Asian Love Song
Rainy Night Flower

Friday, September 19, 2008

Physiology and Politics Correlations?

Could one's political position be due to one's physiology?

Scientific data suggests that physiological reactions may help predict variations in political beliefs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Emily Bronte's Poems (or otherworld portals)

Famous even among the unread moviegoing public for her gothic fictions, Emily Bronte is an enthralling lyric poet as well.

Emily's inner Heathcliffe

"Ἐν νυκτὶ λαμπρὸς, ἐν φάει δ' ἀνωφελής."
--Nekkid translation: "Brilliant in the darkness, but of no use by day."

"The School of Athens" by Raphael

Apocatastasis (Apokatastasis)

Of late I have been enjoying the 'secular' Latin of Juvenal's Satires and Apuleius' Golden Ass; now I feel drawn to the heterodox theology of apocatastasis as found in Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and the contemporary Christian Universalist Movement. I consider this may be my inherent homeostatic mechanism manifesting. But, as I already have a rather full load of Greek and Latin Classics studies, I shall defer this theological interest to some later time, or perhaps even some other metempsychosis. For the present, my current delights quite nicely suffice.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

White Priestess of the Old Yoruba Gods

This story seems like it might have come out of some Edgar Rice
Burroughs novel or Henry Rider Haggard's novels such as 'SHE'

The old Yoruba gods are said to be identical to the orishas who are 'fed' in Voodun, Hoodoo, and Santeria, more recent syncretisms.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sextuple Coordinating Conjunctions among the retired

Recent posts in my senior colleague's blog
about "Triple Coordinating Conjunctions" have induced me to peruse my copy of John Dewar Denniston's The Greek Particles in which I found on pp. 504 & 507 that our very senior colleague in classical curmudgeonry, viz., Xenophon, had been making quite free with those 'te's and 'eite's during his retirement.

Tiptoe thru the kaleidoscopix

Might the future be perhaps a cut-up reassemblage (a la Billy Burroughs) of the past?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Democritus (circa 438 - 370 BC)

"The cheerful man, who is impelled towards just and lawful actions, rejoices by day and by night, and is strong and free from care. But the man who ignores justice, and does not do what he ought, finds all such things disagreeable when he remembers any of them, and he is afraid and torments himself.... The right-minded man is he who is not grieved by what he has not, but enjoys what he has. He is fortunate who is happy with moderate means, unfortunate who is unhappy with great possessions.... If your desires are not great, a little will seem much to you; for small appetite makes poverty equivalent to wealth." Democritus

Democritus, we are told, was "highly esteemed by his fellow citizens" but deliberately overlooked or perhaps actively ignored by 'mainstream' philosophers of his era, such as Plato. Being a cheerful sort myself, I have experienced instances of shocked amazement on the part of some upon beholding my cheerfully radiant countenance. They are prone to ask, "What do you have to be so happy about?" or "Why is he so damn happy?".

'haec scripsi raptim' -- nekkid

Monday, September 01, 2008

Saotome Taichi

Saotome Taichi, a young Japanese man, is a superb dancer and actor and 'Onnagata Geisha'.

He has the ability to be convincingly feminine, or masculine -- or spectral as in Syabake or a more traditional Japanese dance:

or in this:

A sort of review of Syabake by 'sleepycat':

The Samurai Sword

The Samurai Sword is a practice of moving meditation and high art founded in mediaeval Japan.

A documentary on the Samurai Sword:

and as exquisite art by Saotome Taichi: