Walden Pond - Concord, MA.jpg

Quotable

The most perfect philosophy of the natural kind only staves off our ignorance a little longer: as perhaps the most perfect philosophy of the moral or metaphysical kind serves only to discover larger portions of it. Thus the observation of human blindness and weakness is the result of all philosophy, and meets us at every turn, in spite of our endeavors to elude or avoid it. — David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, IV.i

Henry James: Cognitive Introspector-in-Chief

I look forward to unpacking and reflecting on this passage from Henry James’s The American:

His smile went through two or three curious phases. It felt, apparently, a momentary impulse to broaden; but this it immediately checked. Then it remained for some instants taking counsel with itself, at the end of which it decreed a retreat. It slowly effaced itself and left a look of seriousness modified by the desire not to be rude.

Soon…

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“Rip Van Winkle’s Lilac” – Melville’s Premonitory Vision of Posthumous Fame

Herman Melville read and studied the poetry of the great romantics. And so he likely had read, at least once, John Keats’s sonnet, “When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be.”

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And feel that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

Compare Keats’s sonnet with these lines of verse that conclude Melville’s prose-and-verse piece, “Rip Van Winkle’s Lilac.” Keats, young; Melville, elderly; both writing in verse to express their hope for posthumous literary fame and glory. Neither knew wide-spread fame while alive, but because of the few friends and family who did understand and appreciate their work, they each flourished creatively.

                                Came about
That neighbors, unconcerned before
When bloomed the tree by lowly door,
Craved now one little slip to train;
Neighbor from neighbor begged again.
On every hand stem shot from slip,
Till, that region now is dowered
Like the first Paradise embowered,
Thanks to poor, good-for-nothing Rip!

Some think those parts should bear his name;
But, no, — the blossoms take the fame.
Slant finger-posts by horsemen scanned
Point the green miles–To Lilac Land.
Go ride-there down one charmful lane,
O reader mine, when June’s at best,
A dream of Rip shall slack the rein,
For there his heart flowers out confessed.
And there you’ll say,–O, hard ones, truce!
See, where man finds in man no use,
Boon Nature finds one–Heaven be blest!

Imaginarium: Sightings, Galleries, Sightlines – A New Book of Poetry by A. Robert Lee

 

imaginarium-book-preview-covers-300

A. Robert Lee

has just published another volume of poetry:

Imaginarium: Sightings, Galleries, Sightlines

This is his latest collection of poetry and is published by 2Leaf Press.

From the publisher’s website:

The term “imaginarium” refers to a “place” devoted to stimulating and cultivating the imagination, towards scientific, artistic, commercial, recreational, or a spiritual end. In this collection, Lee explores two connecting keynotes: imagination and sight that explores the way we go about imagining as much as seeing reality. Lee goes about this using an ekphrastic approach by commemorating a dozen or so celebrated visual artists and their works, among them J.M.W. Turner and Frida Kahlo. He extends the usual meaning of the term to include vantage-points like a French archeological cave, and then expertly frames a run of personal encounters within the heights and widths of buildings and landscapes.

To learn more about Lee’s new poetry volume, click here to visit the 2Leaf Press website.

This is A. Robert Lee’s third recent volume of published poetry. For more about the other two recent volumes – Ars Geographica and Portrait and Landscape – published by Printed Matter Press, click here.

Ars Geographica
Portrait and Landscape

 

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Archives

Culture, Philosophy, Humor

Steven Pinker - Linguistics as a Window to Understand the BrainOne of the things I first enjoyed when I was introduced to philosophy was its recursive nature: we c [...]

In ancient Greece, when visitors went to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the very first thing they e [...]

Beyond Freakonomics: Musings on the Economics of Everyday LifeFor most of its history, economics has been an esoteric discipline concerned with abstract concepts [...]

Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies!With unprecedented access to the vast accumulation of knowledge of the world at our fingertips, it i [...]

Pawel Kuczynski's Thought-Provoking IllustrationsAs you've seen in this fascinating lecture by Slavoj Žižek, the logic of the reigning corporati [...]

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Word CrimesYou may remember that about a year ago Robin Thicke's song "Blurred Lines" created a [...]

Slavoj Žižek - On IdeologyOne of the more interesting lessons Hegel's dialectical method has contributed to our understan [...]

Sean Carroll vs William Lane Craig - God and CosmologyDoes the universe need an explanation for its existence, or can it be understood as a self-containin [...]

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the Media's Bullshit Coverage of Malaysian Flight 370The recent, and now tragic, disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370, somehow turned into a journalisti [...]

Edward Snowden - Here's How We Take Back the InternetWhatever our feelings about Edward Snowden as a person are, and what his actions say about him (hero [...]

Right Living, Thinking, Etc

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In this video, life coach and blogger JP Sears gives some tips on how to be ultra spiritual, includi [...]

Earlier this month, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Theravada teacher and accomplished Buddhist translator, gave a ta [...]

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Wisdom Publications, the not-for-profit, ecumenical publisher of Buddhist books, has hired a new dir [...]

We posted recently about a Japanese temple that is using “cute-sexy” anime depictions of deities to [...]

Ashoka Mukpo is cured of Ebola. Yesterday evening, he posted on Twitter, "Just got my results. [...]

Who is the Dalai Lama? The Dalai Lama Foundation wants to answer that question simply and definitely [...]

Insight teacher Gina Sharpe is working to create a truly inclusive sangha. The place to start, she s [...]

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(NaturalNews) Ebola is now confirmed in New York City. I've just finished watching the press co [...]

(NaturalNews) Hyped-up Ebola fears have descended into the Western World, splattered all over the me [...]

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Science News

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These days we see photos of our planet taken from space literally every day. Astronauts living aboar [...]

As Comet Siding Spring passed close by Mars on Sunday (Oct. 19), NASA’s newest Mars spacecraft took [...]

While you can’t smell in space — there is no medium to carry the molecules, the same reason you can’ [...]

Standing on the ground, we’re used to seeing the bolts and flashes of lightning during epic thunders [...]

China launched a robotic mission to the Moon today (Oct. 23 EDT/Oct. 24 BJT) that will test a slew o [...]

“The Sun looks like it has a bite taken out of it!” said one enthusiastic viewer of the partial sola [...]

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Jet! The comet that the Rosetta spacecraft is visiting is shedding more dust as machine and Solar Sy [...]

Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast! We record Astronomy Cast as a live [...]

We’ve seen spectacular images of Comet Siding Spring from Mars spacecraft, showing just how close th [...]

The Last Gasp of a Black HoleFriday Oct 17, 2014 New research from Perimeter shows that two of the s [...]

Teachers Who Inspired Great ScientistsThursday Oct 02, 2014 A great teacher can change the world. [...]

Are Weak Values Quantum? Don't Bet On ItTuesday Sep 23, 2014 New work asserts that a key techni [...]

New Results Cloud Earlier Gravitational Wave ClaimsTuesday Sep 23, 2014 New measurements of galactic [...]

From Faraday to Present DayThursday Sep 18, 2014 How a curious 19th century mind shaped our world.  [...]

New Perimeter Researcher Probes Nature's Building Blocks in Novel WaysTuesday Sep 09, 2014 Raff [...]

Turok Elected to Royal Society of Canada Friday Sep 05, 2014 Perimeter Institute Director Neil Turok [...]

ISSYP: A Decade of InspirationFriday Aug 29, 2014 Happy Birthday, ISSYP! Perimeter’s theoretical phy [...]

Schrödinger’s Cat: Wanted Dead and AliveThursday Aug 07, 2014 We present a unique look at the most f [...]

The Black Hole at the Birth of the UniverseWednesday Jul 30, 2014 Our universe may have emerged from [...]

The Ebola virus disease epidemic already devastating swaths of West Africa will likely get far worse [...]

3-D map of the adolescent universeUsing extremely faint light from galaxies 10.8-billion light years away, scientists have created one [...]

Florida lizards evolve rapidly, within 15 years and 20 generationsScientists working on islands in Florida have documented the rapid evolution of a native lizard spec [...]

Highest altitude archaeological sites in the world explored in the Peruvian Andes: Survival in extreme environmentsResearch conducted at the highest-altitude Pleistocene archaeological sites yet identified in the wo [...]

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Reminiscing can help boost mental performanceEngaging brain areas linked to so-called 'off-task' mental activities (such as mind-wander [...]

Precise, programmable biological circuitsSeveral new components for biological circuits have been developed by researchers. These components [...]

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Thermal paper cash register receipts account for high bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humansBPA from thermal paper used in cash register receipts accounts for high levels of BPA in humans. Sub [...]

Highly effective new anti-cancer drug shows few side effects in miceA new drug, OTS964, can eradicate aggressive human lung cancers transplanted into mice, scientists r [...]

Readers share their experiences of the October 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse.The post Partial Solar [...]

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