More gold from the Sensible Bond

11 09 2008

From this post

IĀ have a rule – and it’s one that I do not always follow! – that the credibility of a proposition is inversely proportionate to the number of abstract nouns it contains. I could get myself into trouble here, so let me just say that jargon can be an excuse for not explaining things properly, especially when the jargon has a certain fashionable valency. I wish I had a pound for every time I have heard a sentence like this:

‘Hybridity undermines and/or countermands the prevailing homogenous monolythic reading of the undeconstructed cultural syntagm.’ …

How much are our internet exchanges real ‘exchanges’, and how much are they dialogues with ourselves? Of course, that might also true of face-to-face conversations, as indeed of writing as a whole, but my point is that the internet medium helps while hindering. It puts us in contact and throws us back on ourselves. It creates a forum and leaves us isolated.

On reading Shakespeare to cats

11 09 2008

The first taste of art is spontaneously sensual, it is the discovery of an absorbing entertainment, an absorbing pleasure. If you ask anyone who enjoys ballet or any other art how he got started, he will tell you that he enjoyed it long before he knew what it meant or how it worked. I remember the intense pleasure reading Shelley’s Adonais gave me as a boy – long before I followed accurately the sense of the words; and once, twenty years later, I had two kittens who would purr in unison and watch me bright eyed when I read them Shakespeare’s sonnets, clearly pleased by the compliment and by the sounds they heard. Would they have enjoyed them better if they had understood them? The answer is, they enjoyed them very much. Many a college graduate might have envied them.

-Edwin Denby, from Dance Writings and Poetry

How we mutiliate, then, when we pretend to alter form and style under theĀ pretense that the content remains the same? In reality, we are just as moulded by the exterior of things as by their “profound” and “essential” meanings.