Monday, August 14, 2006


"Think now
She gives when our attention is distracted
And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
That the giving famishes the craving.”

With surgical accuracy and hauty acuity, TS Eliot, who simultaneously fascinates and repels me, says this about confusions piled on, about articulations which add nothing but more clutter to the thinking process. I find Eliot's verbal expression ("famishes the craving") as stunning as it is dead-on.

I like to read my weekly horoscope from a certain sourse. It's very poetic and by that I mean, no vision is offered, no advice is given. Just some interesting nugget to mull over. Yesterday's portion described the following:

Physicists at Washington University in St. Louis have found that introducing disorder into certain messy situations may actually spawn order. It happened as they worked with a network of interconnected pendulums that were all waving around chaotically. When they brought random forces to bear on the tumult, the pendulums locked into sync.

I like to draw from physics to the humanities, whenever I can. Some terms come very handy in defining and explaining cetain literary and linguistic peculiarities, the kind that post-modern theories like to expose. So I drew a connection from this play between the chaos and haphazard forces, to the way some discussions or debates develop. Clarity can be achieved, as random forces and varieties of intellect are brought to bear on a discussion. The intention, conscious or not, may be the increase of confusion and distraction, away from clarity. But eventually, the "famish[ing] of craving" is only a different way en route to method, order, and beauty.


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