Shadow Of My Life - Steam Flow - Commonness (File, MP3, Album)
To him, the apron is like everything else, a muted shade of gray. His name, Old Blind Eye, a name he was given and of which he is more than a little ashamed, implies that he is sightless, but this is quite inaccurate; it is only colors Lao Mangzi cannot see. Other thingsmost things, in facthe sees quite as well as the next fellow. It was the dead of night when the envoy arrived on a galloping horse from Peking.
He carried a torch with a flame that soared, and he woke Lao Mangzi from a deep dream. I bring this decree from the great and glorious Guangxu emperor, the envoy said. He handed Lao Mangzi a scroll and a package wrapped in silk. The scroll was an imperial order for the summary execution of the scholar official whose name is Sai Anguo of Suzhou Prefecture, a man who was born in the seventeenth year of the illustrious Daoguang emperor.
Decapitation without delay, the envoy announced more loudly than was needed for Lao Mangzis ears to hear. The arrest is taking place right now, he said, and sleepy neighbors peeked out of their doorways to see who had come at this late hour. The envoys horse was magnificent; his boots were black, his helmet richly tasseled. Later, when Lao Mangzi had unwrapped the egg-yolk apron and held it out to show his wife, she shrank away from it.
Her eyes were round with fear. Lao Mangzi knows she doesnt like his line of work. But is he guilty, this kneeling, venerable mandarin? Does a man like this deserve the knife, the saw, the axethe sword? The boy, whose head has just rolled from his shoulders, whose 4. Guilty of stealing a meat bun. Guilty of having an empty belly. An executioner knows better than most that a bowl of rice is a bowl of rice, and a mans fate is a mans fate.
And yet, Lao Mangzi prides himself on knowing who is innocent and who is not. There is more to his craft than a swipe of the sword. The bowl of rice must be avenged, of course, but sometimes Lao Mangzi worries about the ghosts who are missing their heads when they pass to the spirit world in the Western Heaven.
Sometimes Lao Mangzi sees blood in his dreams, and he sees it then the way others see it always. He sees it as the mandarin sees the boys blood now: thick and rich and brightand red. Unlike the boy, the mandarin has been offered narcotics and a hood, both of which he declined, and a reed mat on which to kneel, which he accepted with a deep bow. He seems unafraid, something Lao Mangzi has never seen in one whose head he is about to cut off. The boy knelt hunched and shivering, and he drew his child-size shoulders sharply upward when Lao Mangzi signaled the final moment with a quick intake of breath and the raising of his two hands, sword in full swing.
That last shrug and the vulnerable scrunch of the neck always come when the sword is ready to plunge. But perhaps not this time. The quiet mandarin is different from the others, Lao Mangzi thinks.
He will not shrink back. This man is brave and dignified, someone to be honored. In his last moments the boy sobbed aloud, and he soiled himself, and Lao Mangzi decided to think of him as innocent. He knows just how tempting a meat bun can be.
He knows the way that hunger can tug at your guts and whisk away all notion of what it is to steal another mans possessions. This morning, the mandarins first wife sent for Lao Mangzi.
It was just before dawn, before the day had even begunit was after 5. Alexandra Curry her husbands arrest. Dry-eyed, mute, neither young nor old, with her face made strange by the flame of a lantern, she dropped a coin into his hand, and the coin gleamed more brightly even than the flame.
A bodhi-seed rosary darkened the womans wrist, and her eyes searched Lao Mangzis face. She said nothing, but he understood her meaning.
She wants a sharp sword. A single cut. A swift death for her husband. Lao Mangzi nodded and bowed, and he murmured, A mi tuo fo. A Buddhist blessing for the Buddhist wife. And he marveled at the great house in which the woman lives. Afterward, he honed the blade of his sword on a whetstone he turned with his callused toes and then tested it on the turnip his own wife will boil for supper.
Lao Mangzis stomach clenched at the sound of the blade slicing through crisp vegetable flesh, and with a single swipe the turnip split. It was his wife who bent down to pick up the pieces and carry them into the house. A new twinge in his belly reminds Lao Mangzi now that he need not waste his pity. This woman with the dark rosary whose husband kneels and waits for death will dine this evening on much better food than a poor turnip and a few grains of rice. She is lucky in some things, maybe in most.
And then Lao Mangzi thinks of something his late and virtuous mother said: A single happiness can scatter a thousand sorrows.
His thoughts go to the coin in his pocket, and to the slab of pork he will bring home to his cold dwelling to boil with the turnip, and to his worthless old wife, who will give him a rare smile when she sees what he has brought. And then his eyes crinkle, and he smiles broadly at the thought of his children with their bellies full of not just rice but pork-meat as well, and maybe a skewer of candied fruit.
Now the crowds are pressing closer, hungry to see blood. Five guards wearing dome-shaped helmets snap their whips to hold them back. And yet, Lao Mangzi knows that when he raises his sword 6. Almost, Lao Mangzi thinks, that quickly. And then, when the sword has fallen and the blood has spurted and the head has rolled like a cabbage onto the ground, the crowd will rush forward as one, every man wanting to dip a coin or two in the mandarins blood for good luck.
The black cockerel is blinking, and Lao Mangzi is thinking, not for the first time, that the lacquered creature is passing judgment. The bird steps in front of the mandarin and puts his profile on display, and his wide eye sees all.
Innocent, the executioner confirms, and he is certain of the truth of this. The cockerel is almost never wrong, and as everyone knows, in these times even chance remarks can lead to a public execution. The great bell at the Cold Mountain Temple is beginning to toll. Air is moving, and around the pagodas roof in nine umbrella layers the sky is a cheerful color that to Lao Mangzi is just another shade of gray.
It is time to shed the layers of imperial silk that cover his sword. They fall to his feet in a crumpled heap. The rooster ruffles his feathers, and the blade shines like a honed sliver of crescent moon, and Lao Mangzi runs his thumb across it one last time.
A thin line of blood beads, and he nods and thinks briefly how lucky he is to be color-blind in daylight. The sun is moving across the sky, and the shadow of the pagoda tilts, then bows over the crowd and darkens the mandarins face. Overhead, geese with wide wings and rough, untidy honks fly westward in a not-quite-perfect skein formationand the mandarin looks up and murmurs something so sad, so full of anguish, that years later Lao Mangzi will remember what he said and how he said it.
A poet can capture the 7. Alexandra Curry essence of birds, he says, with the choice of just a few words. If I had a single moment more to teach my tiny daughter, what are the words that I would choose?
What would I say to make her strong for the life she will live, alone and unprotected in these troubled times? He speaks so softly that only Lao Mangzi, bending to remove the mandarins glasses, can hear him.
The crowd is restless. The mandarin is facing west, his chin lifted. Drenched in sweat, the executioner tightens his grip on his sword, and closes his eyes, and repeats the blessing: A mi tuo fo.
May the Buddha protect you. His hands soar, and his shoulders heave, and Lao Mangzi is thinking of the tiny daughter who will live alone in troubled times, and who will not learn one more thing from her father. He knows that the quick, guttural grunt of his breath will be the last sound her father hears. That, and the cockerels all-knowing crow, and Lao Mangzi wonders, What will she do, this little child, when the mandarin father is dead?
The Day Before Jinhua Baba, when you went to visit the emperor did you see his dragon chair and his tiger sword with sharpness on two sides? Baba is sitting at the edge of Jinhuas bed. His face is gold from the glow of the lantern and marked with feathery lines. I did, Small Daughter, he answers, and the sound of his voice soothes her as it always does when it is late and time for bed.
I saw the dragon throne and the sword and much, much more. And to8. Outside in the garden, the crickets are singing because that is what crickets do in autumn before they die in winter, and the sound of them ebbs and surges like a vast ocean song, and the moon is huge and low and tinged with red.
Baba, the Forbidden City is very far away from here. I really, really wish you didnt have to go there ever again.
The distance is more than two thousand li, Baba says. And you know, Jinhua, that it is my duty to go whenever the emperor sends for me. That is whyit is the only reason whyI will ever go away and leave you. I know, Baba. You have to go because the Guangxu Emperor is the ruler and you are the subject, and because it is written in the Analects that the subject must do what the ruler says in the same way that I must do what you say, and what my husband will say when I marry, and what my sons will say when my husband is dead.
The lantern is putting dots like stars in Babas eyes, and he is smiling because Jinhua has learned what he has taught her about the way the world is orderedand she has remembered the Three Obediences. He takes the lantern in his hand, which means that he is leaving now and it is time to sleep.
Jinhua touches Babas sleeve. Since the emperor is only a child, Baba, when you go to his palace with the golden roofs, do you tell him stories the way you tell stories to me? No, Daughter, I do not, Baba answers. A story is a garden you can carry in your pocket. The stories we tell ourselves and each other are for pleasure and refuge. Like gardens they are small places in a large world. But, Jinhua, we must never mistake the stories we 9.
Alexandra Curry tell for the truth. The emperor must protect the empire of the Great Qing. He must be wise, and to be wise he must know what is true and what is not, and this is why, Jinhua, I tell him only what is real about the way things are. I do not ever tell him stories. Baba kisses Jinhua on the top of her head and pulls the warm red quilt all the way up to her chin, and Jinhua shivers under the silk because she knows that barbarian men from faraway places have come with ships and guns, and they are making Chinese people sick from opium and forcing them to worship barbarian godsand they are stealing silver and even whole cities from the empire.
She wants Baba to stay a while longer and to tell her that even though these men have come from the West, the emperor is strong and he will protect her, and Baba, and all of the people in China. She hears him sigh and knows that this must be her very last question. What will I do if the emperor calls for you and doesnt let you come back to me? Do not worry, Jinhua, about what has not yet happened. The future is long. Now, close your eyes and sleep, and do not allow today to use up the moments that belong to tomorrow.
Jinhua has one more thing to say, and she whispers it. I wish that you would disobey the emperor and stay here with me forever and for always. Babas stories begin in the same way, alwaysLong, long ago in ancient times, when just wishing a thing made it so.
Jinhuas favorite story is the one he tells about the goddess Nwa, who was just like Mama, and Baba says it is his favorite story, too, because Mama was Long, long ago in ancient times, when just wishing a thing made it so, there lived a goddessand here Baba always pauses, and he and Jinhua continue telling the story in unison because they have told it so often together that in each of their heads it is as ripe as a melon that rolls from the vine, and the words slip from their tongues in just that way.
And the goddess was curious and wise and virtuous, and her name was Nwa, and she wasjustlikeMama. The last part of thisthe words just like Mamathey always say slowly because the story is really about Mama, and their words Babas and Jinhuasfall precisely together like two bright cherries joined on a stem.
Jinhua wriggles with joy, hugging her pajama- covered knees to her chest. AndBaba continues the story by himself and Jinhua waits every time for every wordNwa explored the beautiful earth when there were no people, and there was East and West and North and South, and she went to all of these places, but she was lonely and sad. And that is why, on one very special day, she made thinking, laughing, dancing creatures out of golden clay to make the world alive. And then, Baba always adds, and Jinhua loves this part best of all, she made a little child like you, Jinhua.
In just the way that Mama made you. And this is how it really was long, long ago in ancient times. First Wife Timu First Wife feels no grief. How could she? Just like something flying past your earhuathat quickly a husband is dead and the servants have stolen away.
She had no warning. She supposes her husbandher honorable husbanddid not know himself that the emperor would order his beheading. When he returned from Peking he said nothing. And then she thinks that surely, almost certainly, he knew that this Shadow Of My Life - Steam Flow - Commonness (File happen and didnt say anything for the shame of it.
That would be like him, to shrink from the shame when really she needed him to tell her what to do when he was gone, how to live a life that is not the same as it was before, and what to do with the concubines child. He knows she isnt a strong woman. It was his long tongue, she supposes, that brought him this trouble.
The coffin makers boy came quickly. He came to the third gate and said, Lady, you will be needing a coffin. He smiled and had an eye that wandered and was rheumy, and she didnt speakof Alexandra Curry course. He dropped his gaze to the ground, where it lingered as though nothing were something. She sent him away with a wave of her hand. She is not prepared to do this thing, to order a coffin for her husband.
It is all so sudden, and there is so much to be thought about, so terribly much to be done. First Wife loops the bodhi-seed rosary around the loosely fisted fingers of her left hand. She positions it between the knuckle and joint of her forefinger in the place where the violet callus has bloomed from all her praying, and with her right hand she arranges the hem of her gown to kneel. One knee cracksit is the right knee that gives her trouble in the autumnand she lowers herself onto the flat, square cushion she uses when she sits in prayer.
Her anger is close, and enlightenment feels very far away. Of all the things, it is the child about which she is most angry. About being left with her, just the two of them and no one else. The fat key with which she locked the gate to the courtyard, the child inside, has left flecks of rust on the palm of her hand, and she notices this only now.
Her feet ache inside their bindings as she settles her weight on the cushion. It is evening, and at last the child has stopped calling for her father. She does not yet know that he will never come again. A bald nut drops from a branch and skitters along the lichen-pitted roof tiles, and this is the only sound First Wife can hear. With her thumb she presses on the first bead of the rosary and feels pain like a bruise.
I feel and hear and remember as though from the inside of my own grave, she is thinking. It has been this way for a long time even though sheunlike her husband, and unlike the concubine he loved so muchis alive and of this world. Freshly lit incense unleashes curling, potent veins of spice, and a dove calls out from the silver almond tree in the garden, where it is hiding under a pink sky.
Its call is a ruffled, throaty sound that makes her want to weep. Gulu, gulu, gulu. The dove calls out a second time from the same almond tree that the concubine planted when the child was plump in her belly. First Wife remembers angling her eye to the merest sliver of a crack in the gate and watching her. With her widening hips and the spill of her blue gown as she knelt to take the earth into her hands, the concubine was beautiful and virtuous and surrounded by people who loved her.
The tree was just a sapling then. Now First Wifes loathing blooms like a fresh boil, even though the concubines joy was as brief, almost, as a drink of tea. She died giving birth to the child, whom she has locked behind the gate, and that was seven years ago. First Wife wished then that it had been the child who had died.
She wishes it now. That would have been a just and equitable fate. Outside, the pink sky is disappearing quickly to the west.
It is getting dark and cold, and there is no servant left to light the lanterns or the brazier. No one to bring mimosa-bark tea to nourish First Wifes heart, or a simple meal for her supper. She overheard Lao Zhao, the cook, this afternoon warning the other servants. It is his habit to discuss things loudly, especially things that make him important in the eyes of others. He told the servants that a headless body cannot proceed in the proper way to the afterlife.
He smacked his lips at the delicious sound of his own voice, and First Wife could not close her ears to what he was saying. At the edge of the kitchen wall she kept herself hidden, and she ground the beads of the rosary painfully into her palm, and she listened.
She kept her eyes closed and heard cruelty in Lao Zhaos voice, and the creaking of the beads, and the os and as and ais of the servants. Lao Zhao said that the masters ghost was tormented, that he would be back this very night to disturb the household. Demand your wages and go, was his advice to the others.
He has such a large voice, and people listen to what Alexandra Curry he says, and he carried on for a long time. He said that he had gone to watch; he saw it happen, this terrible thing, and it took only one stroke of the sword to slice through the bone and tissues that joined the venerable masters head to his venerable body.
The executioner has earned his silver coin, and in this, at least, she has been a worthy wife. She has given her husband the kind of death that happens in an instant. But then she heard Lao Zhao asking, Who will fetch the pieces of the masters body? Will the lady do it? Does she have the strength? And then he asked another question. What will she do with the child, who is her sworn enemy?
It was while Lao Zhao was talking that First Wife decided to lock the gate to the childs courtyard. Just for a while, she told herself, so that she could turn this all over in her mind. So that she could decide what to do. No one asked her if she needed any last thing. Not a single one of them, even though she paid them twice what they were owed, or more.
She would not have answered if they had, of course. She has said nothing, not a word to anyone, since the day the childs mother was delivered in a red sedan chair, dressed as a real bride in vermilion, and carried to a bridal bed, a new one just for her that was littered with dates and eggs and pomegranate seeds to make her fertile.
On that day, First Wife swallowed once, and with that swallow she consumed her own voice. Forever and for always, she told herself. Since then she has uttered only soundless prayers and had nothing at all to say in the worldly realm. Now that everyone has gone and the child is locked away, First Wife moves her thumb to the third bead of the rosary and searches her memory for the words to the heart sutra, the way to a peaceful mind. A fly, orange eyed and glossy winged, alights on her wrist at the edge of her sleeve, and she cannot find the words to the sutra.
She has not yet ordered her husbands coffin or arranged to collect The fly meanders on pinprick legs along a vein on her hand, and First Wife is thinking of the child and wondering whether she has fallen asleep and reminding herself that she loathes her almost as much as she loathed the concubine, or maybe more.
And she is thinking, too, that she should be weeping blood for her dead husband, but instead she wants to feel his touch in a loving wayjust once more after all this time. Kneeling, she shifts her weight and the fly leaves her and she knows now more clearly than ever before that she, unlike the concubine, has not been loved enough in this life. The go-betweens vulture hands are what First Wife thinks of when she wakes from a brief sleep, her heart pounding.
She did not mean to close her eyes. The sky is black, and it is cold. She lights a lantern, ties a fresh knot in her hair, and tightens the bindings on her feet.
She is clumsy with these tasks that are normally done for her by others. First Wife didnt much like the look of the woman who came to the gate almost as swiftly as the coffin boy did when the news got out.
She was poor and ugly and unpleasant to look at. Mama dead. Baba dead, the woman said. Lady want sell little girl? She reached into the folds of her tunic with those awful hands, groping as though she were scratching herself. She pulled out a piece of paper, none too clean and badly folded, and held it up. Contract, she said. You look. Tomorrow I come back. We talk. Her eyes moved, taking in the view of all that lies inside the gate, and First Wife felt uneasy.
She allowed the woman to put that paper in her hand. Alexandra Curry There has been no evening meal, and there will be no breakfast this morningbut First Wife has left hunger far behind. The paper is on her writing table. It is just as it would be, of course: white, the color of mourning; grimy, like a contract to sell cabbages or chickens or pigs; awkwardly written, as by a near illiterate. She begins to read aloud, following the characters on the page with the pale tip of her fingernail.
After years of silence, her voice is clear and beautiful and surprising, and the words she reads are easily said aloud and her hands and her heart are steady. Mother and Father of Child are dead, as of yesterday morning by chopping off head in the case of Father, and a long time ago although no one has said exactly when in the case of Mother, and no one wants to keep the Child.
Therefore, First Wife is agreeing to sell her. The buying price is one silver tael per year, which is Seven Years Old. The Buyer, who is Li as is already said, has agreed to the price but before she pays the money she will check the Child for sickness and defects. After this, she will be sold as is. She will be taken away and no one can try to find her. It is hereunto agreed that after this Li will be allowed to sell the Child to any Buyer for any amount of coins and that the Buyer will be allowed to do anything to her that he wants, even punish her in any way or sell her to any other person.
If the Child is killed or has any accident, all people will agree that it is the Will of Heaven and not the fault of anyone. She is unwilling, but memories claw at her, and tonight, before she goes to her bed, she must visit one last time the large space in her mind in which her baby lived.
Something in her arms is cold and precious. She cradles it: the damp and almost weightless husk of her newborn son. The fluids of a new life glisten on the babys skin. His tiny fists are closed, as tight as walnuts; his eyelids, pink and petal thin, collapse in folds. He is all that matters, for a woman must bear her husband a son, and she has done this thing, and it was painful almost beyond endurance.
His future is long, she remembers thinking about the child in her arms, and mine is now assured. And then she felt Si Shen in the room, and the death spirit threatened her quietly, gently, and then he took the babys toes, his shoulders and his earlobes, his tiny elbows and his precious face.
He made them still and took away her babys life. First Wife remembers kneeling on the flat gray pillow, just as she is kneeling now. Her husbands soft slippers came; he placed his fine hand on her shoulder, and he, too, was weeping.
She turned away and knew it was forever; she knew then that she would become what she is now: a demon with an empty mouth for the rest of this miserable life that she has not yet finished living. The eighteen beads of the rosary cannot calm her today. She takes a breath into her demons body and then another, and she tells herself, The concubines child means less than nothing. This is not the truth; the child means everything. First Wifes gown is damp with sweat from the backs of her thighs, and the sweat is as heavy as blood and as heavy as the fluids of birth, and she wonders in a fleeting way whether the child, alone behind the locked gate, is afraid of the dark.
The words to the heart sutra come to her now and suddenly, and she needs them more than ever before. Alexandra Curry Go, go, go beyond. Go thoroughly beyond and establish yourself in enlightenment. She speaks the words aloud. She repeats them over and over, long into the night, and understands impermanence. And when it is morning, First Wife goes in search of scissors and a razor, telling herself, The child will be punished, but first I must begin to punish myself.
Jinhua A hacking cough in the distance is the night-soil man with the wobbly voice and opium in his throat. Jinhua lies still for a moment in her bed, busy with remembering. She has been waiting for Baba for one whole day and one whole night, calling his name until her voice hurt, waiting to tell him that she has lost her wiggling, jiggling tooth. She is hungry enough to eat the wind, and her eyes are fat from crying. She remembers now that the red gate was stuck shut yesterday for all the day.
No one has come to look after her. No one has come. Outside birds are twittering, jijizhazha, and now their conversation stops and the only noises are the sounds that Jinhua is making. She straightens a leg, shifts a hip tightly wrapped in bedding, and opens her eyes to a blank wall. She is not used to waking up alone. She is not used to putting herself to bed.
Last night when the sky turned black, she tried to think of a story to tell Baba when he comes. One that he has never heard Alexandra Curry before about the Monkey King, who is extremely strong and can leap a distance of one hundred and eight thousand li in a single somersault, and who traveled far, far to the west. She will invent a new and special story in which the Monkey King bravely defeats the barbarians in a great battle fought high up in the trees and then sends them and their ships, guns, and opium away from China, back to where they came from.
She held the book about the Monkey Kings journey in her lap but didnt open it. She lay down and curled herself around it. And then she told herself, Tomorrow everything will be the way it always has been.
Meiling, the maid, will come with breakfast rice and her soft, soft voice that is, Jinhua thinks, the way a real mothers voice would be. And Baba will come too, through the red gate, wearing his blue gown that smells like sweet tobacco and has the word shou for long life woven into the fabric in more places than Jinhua can countand she will run to him and Baba will catch her, and she will take his braided queue in her fingers and wrap it around her wrist as many times and as tightly as she can.
Andeven if the emperor calls for Baba he will Tomorrow all will be well, Jinhua told herself as her eyes fluttered shut and she drifted off to sleep. So now it is tomorrow, and the morning light is brown through wooden shutters, and the air smells of nothing. Jinhua turns toward the door. The bedding catches her hips like a belt tightening, and she gasps.
The door is open. Someone is here in the room. The person is not Baba. It is not Meiling or any of the other servants. It is someone she does not know. Someone without any hair. In a single day all has become empty, and enlightenment is near. Dark eyes glitter in a silver face, and the words are a chant, and the face belongs to a woman, as thin as a needle, dressed like a nun in dull gray. Jinhua waits. And now there is only emptiness without body or feeling or will.
Timus voice fades in and out, and she is as bald as a mushroom, and Jinhuas tongue explores the hard- edged gap where her tooth is lost. She doesnt move. She is a little afraid, but more than this she is astonished because Timu is talking, saying things out loud even though she has made a vow to never speak and to always be sad, and she made this vow a long, long time ago.
In one hand, Timu is holding something long and white; in the other she has something dark and strange. She begins to move the hand with the strange, dark thingit is Timus left handand she moves it very slowly. Look, Timu says. This is emptiness. Her prayer beads that she never doesnt wear slip at the edge of her sleeve.
There are no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, she is saying, and Timu is spreading her fingers carefully like a fan opening, tilting her hand, making the beads tremble at her wrist.
Look, look, look, she murmurs, and her face is scary, and she and Jinhua both watch as the dark thing falls, separating into clumps that drop to the floor and settle in mounds at Timus feet.
And now there is no hair. It was the last thing to hold me in the realm of earthly attachments, the last thing to make me a wife. Now it is gone, and so is your father. Air moves in the room, ruffling the mounds of Timus black hair freshly cut from her horrible, naked scalp. Jinhuas breath comes in small gasps, and Timu takes a step closer to the bed.
Tiny shoes peek out from the hem of her gown. They are watermelon red, embroidered bridal shoes. Your Baba has gone to the Western Heaven to join the ancestors, she says now.
The white thing hangs limply from Timus Alexandra Curry hand, not quite touching the floorand what is Timu saying? Jinhua sees loose threads, a coarse weave, a ragged hem, a sleeve.
She is shivering. It is a gown in Timus hand. It is white, the color for mourning, a xiaofu. It is what people wear to weep and wail when a person is dead.
Get up now, child. Put this on to show your grief, Timu says, and something as large as an egg lodges in Jinhuas throat. It feels as though it will be there for a long time, and the gown looks far too bigand Baba always comes back after a while. He always does, but where is he now? Timu is speaking quickly, and she is offering the xiaofu with two hands outstretched as though she were giving a gift, the prayer beads dangling at her wrist, the gown moving like a demon, a white one, slowly closer to Jinhua.
And Timu is talking, talking, talking, and her eyes and lips and teeth are leaping from her face, and now the prayer beads are as shrill as a whistle close to Jinhuas ear. Timu says that Baba is dead. Depth life-force, tantrums and bargaining blowjobs at first request in the interest the chance to smoke and all that. Representing the stretch of pregnancy I threw and did not smoke benefit of diverse year. Forex Strategies resources is a collection free resources for trading: trading method,forex strategies, binary options Strategies, trading system, indicators,chart.
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You mean my whole fallacys wrong? The main objective of McLuhan Galaxy Barcelona International Conference is to recover McLuhans ideas and to confront them with contemporary media ecosystem. More than a hundred scholars from different countries from Argentina to Estonia, from South Africa to Turkey, from Canada to Italy- will meet in Barcelona to discuss and developed an actualized view of Marshall McLuhans contributions to the study of communication in 21st Century.
Food for the mind is like food for the body: the inputs are never the same as the outputs. Scolari and Cristina Miranda de Almeida Marshall McLuhan is internationally considered as one of the most relevant media thinkers of 20th Century. Together with researchers like Harold Innis, Derrick de Kerckhove, Eric McLuhan and Robert Logan the scientific contributions of the School of Toronto are a reference for media and culture researchers around the world.
The explosion of new interactive media, the convergence between old and new media and the development of innovative communication practices in the last two decades have demonstrated the strength of the School of Torontos approach. The McLuhans perspective a conception of media that integrates subjective and social dimensions- is a real alternative to a hyper-specialized and fragmented media research practice to better understand the paradigms of our contemporary information society.
In this context the project will revive McLuhans ideas a hundred years after his birth and confront them with the contemporary media ecosystem, addressing specific issues to highlight the actual contributions of the Canadian thinker to an academic environment and to a wider public. The aim is, on the one hand, to bring together researchers, scholars and McLuhan Fellows to reflect on different aspects of McLuhans contribution. On the other hand, we would like to disseminate and promote different aspects of his updated contribution.
The conference in Barcelona is networked to a series of conferences each one with a different and complementary character- that are going to take place in Toronto, Berlin, Naples, Poland and Rome. The programme is structured into thematic areas or topics. The five topics were inspired on one or more of McLuhans quotes relating the subject. Around these topics, keynote conferences, round tables presentations and parallel sessions and activities are organized.
The five main topics that structure the conference are:. Topic 1: McLuhan in the global village To be a good prophet never predict anything that has not already happened. Topic 2: Education beyond the book What is indicated for the new learning procedures is not the absorption of classified and fragmented data, but pattern recognition We seem to be approaching the age when we shall program the environment instead of the curriculum The business of school is no longer instruction but discovery.
Topic 3: Social Media, networks and life The user is the content The more they know about you the less you exist This has become the main business of mankind, just watching the other guy and invading privacy. Everybody has become porous. Topic 4: Extension and sensorial dimension In the electronic age we wear all mankind as our skin. Topic 5: The global Big-bang Inflation is money having an identity crisis In the electronic age The conference treats these topics in two different complementary ways, one academic.
In order to treat the subjects in these two ways the conference is held in two different venues. The activities developed in the latter are free, open to public and count on simultaneous translation available. The academic conference includes keynote sessions, parallel sessions for discussion groups based on the participants papers and a Round Table for a scientific audience.
Prestigious international speakers invited to the academic conference in the UPF- address these issues and for a broader audience. McLuhan Galaxy Conferences Credits The organizers of the McLuhan Galaxy Conference would like to thank very much all institutional partners, co-funders, participants, speakers, peer reviewers, presenters and management collaborators for their time, effort, interest, generosity and support that made the event possible.
Without the support of this McLuhan Galaxy network of contributors and friends we could not have explored the immense intellectual weight of this author, under a new light, in the way we are doing. We trust that the result of this event is useful to help society to deal with the global and local scales of our contemporary condition.
Scientific Committee - Josep M. Scolari, Imma Tubella. Scolari UPF. Logan University of Toronto. Press Support Marc Permanyer. Short Curricula Keynote speakers and round table participants alphabetical order 3.
He has received Honorary Doctorates from 15 universities in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia as well as several honorary professorships and university medals. He has authored 23 books, including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culturepublished by Blackwell and translated in 23 languages. He has also co-authored and edited additional 22 books. He was an associate of the Centre for Culture and Technology from to and worked with Marshall McLuhan for over ten years as translator, assistant and co-author.
The Skin of Culture Somerville Press, is a collection of essays on the new electronic reality, which stayed on Canadian best-sellers lists for several months. Connected Intelligence Somerville, introduced his research on new media and cognition. English, Stanford University, ; M. She specialized in contemporary American and European literature and literary theory; her major fields of interest are theories of modernization, postmodernization and globalization, ecology and ecocriticism, literature and science, narrative theory, science fiction, and media theory.
She is the author of a book on the postmodern novel, Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, Postmodernism Cambridge University Press, and, more recently, a book on environmentalism, ecocriticism, and globalization, Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global Oxford University Press, She is currently working on two book projects. The Avantgarde and the Forms of Nature, currently in progress, deals with the role of biological form in works of the European, Latin American and North American avantgardes of the twentieth century.
Levinsons novels, short fiction, and non-fiction works have been translated into twelve languages. He has given lectures in classes and conferences at many universities including the London School of Economics, Harvard University, New York University, and the University of Toronto and authored over scholarly articles. Robert K. Logan is a well-known media ecologist.
After two post-doctoral appointments at University of Illinois and University of Toronto he became a physics professor in at the University of Toronto professor emeritus since He worked as a journalist in several Spanish media, including Radio Nacional de Espaa. He taught in the Universidad del Pas Bascoand is currently teaching at the Universitat Pompeu of Barcelona, where he also coordinates the activities of Cibermedia, a journalism research group.
He has leaded several research groups and a network Brazil-Spain that conducts a comparative study of online daily journals.
Her fields of research in linguistics are Language Ecology Relationship between language, landscape and worldviews ; Discourse and Conversation analysis; Pragmatics and Cross-cultural communication; Second language acquisition and Computer-supported cooperative work CSCW. Other areas of study include semiotics and the important role of voice in public speeches: radio and television broadcasting, business communication, advertising, political and legal discourse.
Her current work in Law is related to the laws of media and freedom of expression. Her research aims at assessing the impact of media on cultural and language policies in politi.
Her research entails the development of an interactive database of the written and unwritten constitution in Canada on language rights. The study will offer a real time visualization of discourse on the politics of the Canadian model in constitutional theory. She is a consultant in North America and Europe in cross-cultural communication and knowledge management.
Consulting work, research and managerial positions at the University of Toronto and York University in Canada engaged her in exploring the nature and dynamics of human and non-human communication and the various media and technologies that enhance the understanding of information practice and knowledge building.
She believes that only this understanding will lead to the recognition of the possibilities afforded by new configurations of perception.
Scolari is professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona. He has a Ph. He organised seminars and workshops about semiotics of digital interactions, media ecology and interaction design in different European and Latin American universities and institutions.
His best-known works are Hipermediaciones. Hacia una sociosemitica de las interacciones digitales. Program on Information and Knowledge Society. During her career, she taught courses and seminars in different Spanish universities and cultural institutions, and I also have been Visiting Scholar of the Centre for Visual Anthropology, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Currently, she collaborates in the Master of Creative Documentary at the UAB, and participated as voting member in various Cinema Festivals and as member of the Scientific Committee in several academic conferences.
She carried out fieldwork among the gypsy community of Granada, in Afro-American communities of Los Angeles, and in the Courts of Justice of Barcelona. Currently she is doing research about the Internet, new media, online sociability and Cyberculture.
Today she is working with different researchers trying to develop a research line to interweave two main fields: media anthropology and science, technology and society. Politecnico of Milano, Department of Industrial Design and Multimedia Communication with a thesis titled Bottom-up management of online information.
Since he is in charge of the course New languages in information science as adjunct professor at Universit Statale of Milano. Research fellow linked to REPLICA Reti Evolute Per LInterazione e la Comunicazione Aziendale advanced networks for companys interaction and communication in to promote the transmission of knowledge from academic to working environment and viceversa. Research fellowship in the project NERV Neural Environment for Recombinant Visualization that aims to design new kinds of visual interfaces for data management in complex environments.
His research topics are mainly founded on the webs information topography and on design. Cruciani, C. Il pensiero in rete e le reti del pensiero, ; The space between. Designing bottom-up knowledge in an interconnected society, with A. Master in Communication and Development Universidad Iberoamericana. Seminar in Ebusiness University of Montana. Prize extended in Venezuela Stephen Kovats Transmediale Berlin Canadian born media researcher and architect Stephen Kovats is artistic director of transmediale, Berlins festival for art and digital culture.
Through these organisations and independently he has applied his interest in the dynamic relationships between media, political, and electronic space in projects, conferences and festivals which aimed at strengthening the role of art and technology upon the active transformation of societal and cultural landscapes.
In the 90s he initiated and directed ostranenie - the international electronic media forum at the Bauhaus Dessau which examined the role of media art and broadcast culture within the transformation process in Eastern and Central Europe. She has taught courses in analysys of television in different universities. While attending Harvard University he organized a conference on the materiality of print in early modern Europe, translated a book on garden designer Andr Le Ntre, assisted information designer Edward R.
Tufte with his book Beautiful Evidence, and completed a doctoral dissertation on the origins of the catalogue raisonn in early print albums. As a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University he battled for academic freedom and taught classes in the histories of collecting, print and landscape representation. In Ottawa he has reinstalled the national collection of European and American Art, expanded his department to include art of the 20th century, and greatly enhanced the commitment to provenance research.
Johns, Newfoundland. His next project surveys the Canadian reception of post-war American art during the s. Funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Future Cinema Lab is a state-of-the-art digital media research facility devoted to new stories for new screens. Marchessault is investigating how the information society is redefining the artists role and shaping urban contexts. Inherent in her work is the development of new research methods that use advanced media technologies to interpret the cultural ecologies of cities, with the ultimate goal of proposing new planning and policy strategies.
Currently, Professor Marchessault is researching the cultural and political practices of artists in urban contexts and new forms of translocal citizenship in Toronto, Havana and Helsinki. Another research focus is the culture of suburbs. Marchessault has two book projects in progress. Ecstatic Worlds: 20th Century Utopian Film Projects examines collective experiments with film and media that have been driven by aspirations for universality. Urban Mediations: Art, Ethnography and Material Culture, an interdisciplinary collection that she is co-editing, situates different historical and methodological currents in urban media studies.
Some Publications: Book El rbol del Arte. Matriz trans-sensorial e intersubjetiva para el arte no visual y el silencio del yo artstico ; The Silence of the Artistic I. The results of her individual and collective research have been presented in different in.
Alejandro Piscitelli U. He is a consultant on Internet and digital communication. Since hes been co-editor of the Interlink Headline News, one the firsts electronic journals in Argentina. He has published the following books: Nativos Digitales. Dieta cognitiva, arquitecturas de participacin e inteligencia colectiva. Buenos Aires; Santillana, ; Internet. Imprenta del siglo XXI. En la era de las mquinas inteligentes. Buenos Aires: Paidos, ; La generacin Nasdaq.
Apogeo y derrumbe? Conocimiento, creencias y cultura. Buenos Aires: Ediciones del Riel, Powe University of York Canadian writer, poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher, and teacher. He continues to teach the first year introduction to literature course. She coordinated the following research projects: Televisin y deliberacin poltica. La construccin del espacio pblico a travs de los gneros televisivos de la realidad en Espaa, Anlisi de la diversitat de la programaci televisiva and Construcci dun protocol danlisi de la diversitat de la programaci televisiva Last publications: La Televisin de calidad.
Contenidos y Debates y Analizar la diversidad de la programacin televisiva. Identificacin de dimensiones y construccin de indicadores Vincenzo Susca U. Director of the publishing house Cahiers europens de limaginaire, Cnrs, Paris. Introduction Marshall McLuhan began his Prologue to The Gutenberg Galaxy by stressing that his field and mosaic approach to media was complementary to the work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord on the emergence of literate culture out of orality.
Havelock and Walter J. Ong concerning Plato. Referencing the scholarship of these colleagues, McLuhan compared the oral-formulaic style of Homers Iliad and Odyssey with the language and style of Platos philosophical prose dialogues. Finding no sign in Plato of the circular formulaic patterns of organization that characterize Homers verse, McLuhan concluded that oral-formulaic composition is imitative or mimetic: the entire message is traced and retraced, again and again, on the rounds of a concentric spiral.
According to McLuhan, the content of a medium is always another medium McLuhanp. A new technology tends to take as its content the old technology as indeed Plato did with the dialogue. It was the old oral culture McLuhanp. Hence Plato lived in a double world he straddled the written and oral traditions [and] translated the tribal encyclopedia of the preceding culture into the written, classified form McLuhan Thus the contrast between the circular formulaic patterns in Homers epic poetry and the linear prose style in Platos dialogues served as evidence of a basic division between oral and written, and represented the way that messages are conveyed through the form of the mediumand not solely through the contentas well as how the content of a new medium is made up of prior media.
This division highlights the underlying assumption that the advent of a new medium is associated with new forms of mentality and society that are more advanced than the ones associated with the prior medium. In fact, scholars such as Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Krokerp. By extension, the ancient Greek model that serves as the foundation of media theory continues to inform a number of discussions today concerning digital divides.
It persists as the basis for the assumption that every subsequent innovation in communication technology is an advance over the prior technology, creates a more highly developed cognitive capacity, and is associated with societies that are more civilizedin fact betterthan the technologies and societies associated with the previous medium.
However, there is an inconsistency between the hypothesis concerning the radical division between poetic and philosophical forms as epitomized by Homer and Plato and the hypothesis of a zone of merging and interaction with Platos dialogues as the site of this double world. The argument concerning contrasting forms is not consistent with the theory that the new medium takes as its content the previous media.
Two fundamental premises of the arguments concerning media are at odds: the premise of contrasting oral and written forms; and the claim that the new medium takes as its content the previous media. If the theory is correct, and the message is communicated by the medium, and previous media become the content of the new medium, and Platos writings are representatives of literate prose philosophy that have as their contents the prior forms, then there should be evidence in the dialogues of the circular oral-derived formulaic technique that characterizes the plot pattern in Homers epics.
In addition, we should expect the messages in Platos dialogues to be communicated through the interaction of form and content, and not solely through the content. In fact, it turns out that Platos writings do manifest the sorts of circular and spiraling forms known as ring compositionthat characterize the oral-formulaic style, not only in Homer, but in a number of other works of ancient literature, as studies over the last two decades have demonstrated Barney ; Brannpp.
In ring composition, the plot is organized into a series of topics that progress from a beginning through a prescribed series to a central turning-point after which the initial series of topics is repeated in reverse order until the story returns to the starting point.
In a number of recent works, I have examined Platos dialogues in light of the research on ring composition and have shown that recognizing this form as a medium of communication is crucial to the understanding and interpretation of the philosophical content Gibson a, b, Similarly, in the years since McLuhan and other thinkers who helped pioneer the field of media studies first published their work, subsequent researchers have amassed a body of studies relying on the field approach.
These studies support the hypothesis of a frontier zone of interaction between formsand falsify the notion of a Great Divide between orality and literacy. Strong evidence from field studies from different cultures and time periods shows that oral traditional expression continues in tandem with and into written texts.
Instead of a total break between oral. Thus the application of the field studies method has demonstrated fairly conclusively that the meeting of traditional and textual cultures results in a gamut of expressive forms, from ongoing oral traditions, to oral traditions that endure together and in interaction with literate forms, to highly textual compositions that still have residues of their origins in oral tradition.
Even as the premise of Platos pivotal role in the Literate Revolution and the premise that the contents of a new medium encompass prior forms have stood the test of time, the latest research indicates that the conclusions concerning contrasting forms are inaccurate and need to be revised.
If Platos writings manifest the circular forms of organization that have been identified with Homers formulaic language and style, what is the significance of this finding for reading and interpreting the philosophical content in the dialogues? How does the presence of ring composition in Plato change the field or mosaic approach to media studies that McLuhan and other early media theorists premised on a radical contrast between traditional and textual forms?
In the pages that follow, I highlight the passages concerning the banishment of the poets in Book X of the Republic that Havelock offered as evidence for the argument that Plato was a representative of literacy, and that McLuhan referenced in his arguments concerning the radical contrast between oral and literate forms.
I show that Plato vanquishes the poets not because he is rejecting the imitative mindset that Homeric education engenders and as a consequence of his literacy, but rather, in order to advocate for the system of education offered by the Pythagoreans, which at that time was a long and venerable school of thought with roots extending back into the pre-literate era Gibson forthcoming.
In addition, I show that the very passages cited by Havelock to support his arguments that Plato was rejecting the imitative oral-formulaic technologies utilized by the Homeric poets are organized into the ring composition for the definition of imitation. Further, I will argue that evidence of ring composition in the Republic indicates that Plato represents not a break with tradition but a break boundarya site of assimilation and interplay between poetry and philosophy, and between traditional and textual media, systems, cognitive styles, and cultures.
I argue that Platos dialogues are a hybrid form, amalgamating formulaic modes of organization with a fully literate prose modality. My argument is that the messages in Platos dialogues are not conveyed solely through the philosophical content, but rather, through the way in which that content is ordered into a total configuration. Straightening out discrepancies in the theory lays the ground for a set of premises that are more in line with the evidence and that provide a superior method for the comparative study of media Gibson In the sections that follow, I first outline the contributions to the theory and method offered by Parry, Lord, Innis, Havelock and Ong, contributions that McLuhan drew upon when formulating his field or mosaic approach.
Next, I highlight the statements in the passages in the Republic that show that Socrates was not arguing for an education based on literacy, as Havelock, Ong, and then McLuhan suggested.
Rather, he was arguing for the education offered by the Pythagoreans, a different branch of the Greek tradition that was over two hundred years old at the time the dialogues were composed. I then present a brief description of the features used by scholars to. I point to the statements at the beginning of Book X of the Republicthe key passage in the argument concerning Platos rejection of formulaic technologieswherein Socrates asks for a definition of imitation mimsis, or representationbut no explicit definition is given.
After that, I turn to Platos Sophist, a dialogue that does present the definition for imitation that is described as being comprehensive. Based on the instructions explained in the Sophist, I set forth in graphic format the series of topics in the definition of imitation.
This diagram shows that the definition has all the features that characterize a ring composition. Then, I turn once again to the sections of Book X of Platos Republic wherein Platos Socrates banishes the poets, and show that this passage is organized into a ring composition that conforms to the pattern for the definition of imitation outlined in the Sophist.
The identification of ring composition in the passages in Book X of the Republic that banish the poets, together with the demonstration that Socrates is advocating the education associated with the centuries old Pythagorean tradition, makes it even more unlikely that Plato is rejecting the imitative methods of education used by the Greek poets in order to promote literacy.
Finally, I explain why removing incongruencies in the philosophical foundations of the theory of media puts the method on a more solid basis, paves the way to a more powerful explanatory model that conforms more accurately to the evidence, and leads to a more enlightened view of oral cultures, both in the past, and in todays Global Village.
The hypotheses concerning the origins in oral tradition of the Homeric epics became a major critical method for the study of ancient, medieval, and contemporary literatures, and continues to serve as a theoretical basis for comparative studies of media that span different academic divisions, geographies, and historical periods Foleypp. Comparative analysis of parallel situations at different points in history is the contribution to the method proposed by Innis.
History, argued Innis, provides a lab for studying the relations between technology and culture. The central communication technology in a civilization is a powerful force that impinges on nearly every facet of life. Identifying the predominating medium in a culture makes it possible to discover what the physical and social pattern of that culture has to be, he asserted, cautioning that this central form and all its powers are frequently masked from. The dominant communication technology, he maintained, creates a bias or a kind of blindness and these effects are imperceptible to those living in that technological and cultural environment.
Innis stated that observing how media impacted different cultures at various points in history may enable us to see more clearly the bias of our own Innisp. While the postulates relating to Homer in McLuhans method and theory were based on the scholarship of Parry and Lord, the arguments pertaining to Platos part in the transfer from formulaic techniques to writing in Greek culture were contributed by Havelock and Ong.
Havelocks Preface to Plato and other works argued that ancient Greek society was wholly oral and that after the introduction of the phonetic alphabet, there was a long period of resistance to the use of letters, so that Athenian culture did not become literate for about three centuries.
After Homer, he emphasized, the methods for transmitting the culture began to change as Greek education gradually reoriented around literate forms of communication and instruction. Even up to Platos time, he said, the introduction of the alphabet made little practical difference to the educational system or to the intellectual life of adults Havelockp.
Following a comparative analysis of the language and style found in Homers Iliad and Odyssey with that observed Platos dialogues, Havelock pointed to the lack of formulaic patterning in Platos writings. Underscoring the sections of Book X that banish the poets and their poetry Rep. Plato was urging that his own philosophy replace Homer as the central literature in Greek education.
With the ascendance of literacy, Havelock argued, more and more of the cultural heritage was set down in writing, and traditional ways were challenged.
Platos attack on the poets was, he asserted, a rejection of the oral tradition in which the bards merely imitated and copied words and phrases without any genuine knowledge of what they were doing. Platos assault, he maintained, was a denunciation of the formulaic style produced by the Greek oral mentality, a state of mind that was in tension with new modes of thought made possible by the effects of the alphabet.
Though the claims about the ground-breaking importance of the technology of the phonetic alphabet presented a challenge to established conceptions of Greek culture and generated major controversy when they first appeared in the midth century, the argument about the gradual nature of the modulation to literacy is no longer in question.
Researchers have found significant evidence of a protracted phase of interplay between formulaic habits and literate modes of expression that stretched on for centuries after Plato Robbp. The argument that Homeric poetry has it origins in orality has gained broad acceptance as well. The claim that Plato is an exemplar of literacy and an author in the way we conceive that role in contemporary culture has rarely been scrutinized. Field studies of contemporary oral cultures demonstrate that traditional language and poetics persist for a long time after writing is introduced.
Composers and their communities of reception do not automatically forsake traditional forms and immediately adopt literate modes of expression when writing first appears on the scene. Initially, the familiar language and style that is understood by both composers and spectators continues to be employed.
Oral-formulaic language and organizational patterns are recorded in writing and signal to readers the same meanings and messages that guided spectators understanding in oral performance culture, even though the pre. In spite of the research that has confirmed that the Greek oral tradition lasted for hundreds of years after Plato, the notion that the dialogues are representatives of alphabetic writing only, and that Plato was an authorin the modern sensehas rarely been given a second thought.
While the contrast between Homers orality and Platos literacy in Havelocks Preface to Plato was initially trumpeted to an unreceptive world Thomasit turns out that this resistance focused on the now largely discredited argument that it was the introduction of the alphabet that led to the development of science, philosophy and the true beginning of consciousness Nunbergp.
The argument that Plato is a representative of literacy has formed a tacit assumption that continues to justify reading the dialogues as authored books and solely through the lens of literary-critical methods of exegesis. However, not only is the argument that Platos dialogues mark a sudden shift to literacy at odds with both the evidence and the arguments in the theory that describe the lengthy and gradual nature of the change of medium, but there are also significant problems with the view that Platos banishment of the poets was a rejection of the formulaic patterns of thought and education.
The assumption that Platos condemnation of the poets represents a denunciation of the formulaic style is problematic, and cannot be supported by statements in the dialogues. In the Republic, Plato has Socrates criticize the education of the poets in an effort to instate his own system as a substitute.
However, the system he was trying to establishas is stated outright in Book X of the Republic ae and confirmed by Aristotles report of Platos teaching Metaphysics I. Plato was for the most part a Pythagorean, states Aristotle, and he supplemented their teachings with some ideas from Heraclitus and Socrates and added in some ideas of his own. Plato was not advocating for literacy. Havelock read the passages concerning the banishment of the poets as proof that Plato was dismissing the oral tradition as represented by Homer.
However, this section of the dialogue presents a lengthy comparison of two traditions in order to determine which one offers the best education, the tradition associated with Homer and his tribe, or the one associated with Pythagoras and his followers. At every stage of the discussion, Platos Socrates establishes that the tradition and way of life inaugurated by Pythagoras provides the superior training.
The comparison in this passage Rep. The square bracket indicates a topic that is not stated explicity. Pythagoras Pythagoreans knows arts, virtue, vice, and divine things works with reality [ ] produces the exemplar devotes himself to real things leader among men can see forms and colors leaves noble deeds and works is the theme of praise transmitted a Pythagorean way of life a good legislator credited with public service a guide in education, i.
As is quite clear, in the comparison with the Homeric tribe, the competition turns out to be the Pythagoreans, not a new tradition based on the technology of the alphabet that Plato was in process of creating. According to the Republic, the Homeric tradition is not dismissed in order to advocate its replacement by writing. It is rejected and in its stead, Plato champions his own philosophy, which is said to belong to the tradition that was transmitted to posterity by the students of Pythagoras.
Havelock, Ong, and then McLuhan, located Plato on the writing side of the turning point between the oral tradition and the literate mentality and saw the dialogues as representing a discontinuous leap into literacy. This assumption is betrayed by Havelocks statement that Plato was writing at the crucial moment of transition from orality to literacy Havelockp. However, since studies show that in the initial stages of the move from speech to text, prose at first conformed to the previous rules for the poetic, as Havelock himself notedp.
The theory leads us to anticipate that Platos writings would reflect this kind of hybridity and reciprocity between poetry and philosophy. Havelock emphasized the notion of a hybrid form when he said that prose at first conformed to the principles of poetic composition, that initially, writing was utilized as a tool for preserving what had been shaped for preservation orally, when he concluded that letters were for a long while used to inscribe an orality which was slowly modifying itself in order to become a language of literacy, and when he said that Plato was the first to adapt sustained oral teaching into continuous written discourse Havelockp.
McLuhan stated that Plato straddled the oral and the written and lived in a double world. Even as Ong urged a discontinuity in the tradition, he maintained that initially at least, prose writing contained a residue of the set expressions and formulaic organization that epitomize formulaic composition.
Further still, Ong went on to identify a number of characteristic features of the traditional style that were carried over into written texts as a vestige of formulaic patterning, naming as specific examples the system of places or topics that developed over time into ring composition Ongp. Ong said that if we find in written texts the formulaic tendency to repeat at the end of an episode elements from the episodes beginning, then we may be certain that these symmetrical patterns are residues of traditional composition Ibid.
Still, the possibility that Platos writings might manifest traditional patterning did not appear on the radar, even though both the theory and the evidence lead to the expectation that Platos dialogues are a merger of traditional and textual systems and cultures, and not just an artefact of the technology of writing. Juxtaposing statements from McLuhan, Havelock, and Ong highlights these incongruencies and oppositions in the theory.
While the theory creates the expectation of the dialogues hybridity, when the theory was applied to Plato, the dialogues became an exception to the rule. While Ong theorized the transformation of the word as a continuum that followed a developmental progression from formulas to places literally, topicsto the headings of literate categories Ongpp.
While Havelock argued that in the development of human thought, Platos theory of forms was a transition between the concrete image-thinking of oral poetry, and the arrangement under general headings or categories of the abstract concepts of philosophy Havelockpp. The heart of the matter is that there is a tension and inconsistency at the very foundations of media theory. The hypotheses concerning Platos authorship and promotion of literacy cannot be supported, either by the evidence or by other premises of the theory.
Methodology: Ring Composition Let me now describe the features that characterize ring composition in Shadow Of My Life - Steam Flow - Commonness (File and other ancient Greek textsfeatures that may be used to identify similar circular formulaic patterns in Platos dialogues.
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