quinta-feira, maio 18, 2006

Yea, Yea; Nay, Nay.

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Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarMatthew says, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." This little verse, placed right at a major nexus of scriptural importance - being immediately beside the nut of the new testament as it were, is one of those verses I have been baffled by and wondered about many times.

James says something the same, "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."

Tonight it came to me as I was thinking about one of the formulations of the Golden Rule - I had it for a while as the banner on this blog: "All the trouble in the world happens because I do not say what I think and I do not do what I say."

Strange to me that both of them should end their verses, anchor them so to speak, in 'evil' and 'fall into condemnation' respectively. A little gleam of light coming off those white cliffs of Dover for all that.

There are those that say that Thomas Pynchon was just a drug-crazed freak and that his Gravity's Rainbow is nothing more than demented and extended verbal diarrhoea. Some say the same of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. What do I know? I read them because they touch me. Northrop Frye mentions Pynchon once that I can remember, in The Great Code I think - I wish they would put these books up on the net in their entirety so you could search them.

Frye said something about paranoia in Pynchon as a positive creative force. I don't quite understand that, but as I have been re-reading Gravity's Rainbow in the last week I came across these Proverbs for Paranoids,
1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.
2: The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.
3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
4: You hide. they seek.
5: Paranoids are not paranoids because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarI fetched up finally against one of the anchors in my personal little Canon, Introduction to Geometry by H.S.M. Coxeter, where he says at the end of Chapter 11 on the Golden (or divine) proportion, "Thus we must face the fact that phyllotaxis is really not a universal law but only a fascinatingly prevalent tendency."