David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

15 October 2009

Cynthia and Cyril listen to Thomas and Gerald talking on the wireless.

When not listening to the Ubuweb stream, via WFMU, the team at bLOGOS/HA HA are most likely tuned to ABC Radio National.

Two RN programs greatly enjoyed here in recent days are Peter Mares' interview with writer Gerald Murnane on The Book Show ('Gerald Murnane and the Barley Patch' : here ) and Natasha Mitchell's interview with Thomas Metzinger ('You are not a self! Bodies, brains and the nature of consciousness' : here ) on All in the Mind. bL commends both programs to you, dear reader.

Peter Mares: No, but you want us as readers to be conscious...

Gerald Murnane: I don't want you to think that Cynthia and Cyril are real. I want you to be aware all the time that Cynthia and Cyril are fictional personages, and they're part of a trio; that the third person of the trinity is the personage behind the text, not necessarily the author but this ghostly shadow that you see as you read.

Natasha Mitchell: So it's not a little man or woman inside our heads...

Thomas Metzinger: ...that looks at pictures. But the experience of looking, of being directed to one's own feelings or to one's sensory perceptions of the outside world, this is itself an image. There is nobody looking at the image, it's like the camera is part of the picture or the viewing is itself a part of the process of viewing. This is how a first-person perspective emerges in our own case, the question is, okay, if it's not a thing, if it's not something in the brain, what kind of a process is it? And I think it's a process, as philosophers say, of representing, that is of making an image, and that process is not there all the time. You know you have a conscious self in dreams, you have one in your waking life. During anaesthesia or during dreamless sleep there is no such thing as this process of self-ing, if I may call it like that.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something . . .