As Kathryn Dow
October 25, 2010
at The Rumpus
October 14, 2010
"...Other research highlights the hand's unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. Virginia Berninger,a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington,says handwriting differs from typing because it requires executing sequential strokes to form a letter, whereas keyboarding involves selecting a whole letter by touching a key.
"She says pictures of the brain have illustrated that sequential finger movements activated massive regions involved in thinking,language and working memory—the system for temporarily storing and managing information."
How Handwriting Boosts the Brain - Recent research illustrates how writing by hand engages the brain in learning. And in an interesting twist, new technology is starting to reinvigorate this age-old practice.
October 11, 2010
“I really was thinking about language, the power of it,” she said. “The power of David’s work, for example, which meant so much to people. But when you get as sick as he was, everything loses meaning.” After a lifetime of being a voracious reader and a lover of words, Ms. Green wanted to grapple with the more sinister, trickster side of language. The words on her canvases beckon, but as you get closer, you realize that they are a locked door.
“You can be charmed and fooled by language,” Ms. Green said. “It doesn’t stop, but it’s never enough."
-- Karen Green, widow of David Foster Wallace:
October 1, 2010
I did mean to be posting more regularly here about my progress through Faulkner's novels, all of which I intend to read over the next few months. I started this project in July and have set a goal of two Faulkner novels/month. So far so good. In fact, I'm a bit ahead of schedule – halfway through Light in August, which was set for the first half of October – because I've left myself time to read other books, too, and yet I'm not really interested in anything else, even after three months and six novels. I go from one to the next – greedy that way.
I haven't been writing about these novels, but I have been underlining passages and making notes in the margins and using them to inspire my own work, in sometimes astonishing (for me) ways. Mostly I've been interested in structure and, of course, point of view – using these two aspects of the work to begin to inform parts of my own. I don't want to explicate all of this here – really I think it's likely only interesting to me right now, and having to hear about it might be akin to having to hear someone else's dreams – always tiresome, in my opinion, no matter how beloved the dreamer…
Instead then, here are some of the lines I've underlined, as I've been reading, for one reason or another. Some are chestnuts, I know.
"'I speak for those of us who read books instead of writing them,' he explained. "It's bad enough to grow into the conviction after you reach the age of discretion that you are to spend the rest of your life writing books, but to have your very infancy darkened by the possibility that you may have to write the Great American Novel…'" (Mosquitoes)
"'Yes,' said Fairchild. 'Art reminds us of our youth, of that age when life don't need to have her face lifted every so often for us to consider her beautiful. That's about all the virtue there is in art: it's a kind of Battle Creek, Michigan for the spirit. And when it reminds us of youth we remember grief and forget time. That's something.'" (Mosquitoes)
"'Something if all man has to do is forget time,' the semitic man rejoined. 'But one who spends his days trying to forget time is like one who spends his time forgetting death or digestion. That's just another instance of your unshakable faith in words. It's like morphine, language is. A fearful habit to form: you become a bore to all who would otherwise cherish you. Of course, there is a chance you may be hailed as a genius after you are dead long years. But what is that to you? There will still be high endeavor that ends as always with kissing in the dark, but where are you? Time. Time? why worry about something that takes care of itself so well? You were born with the habit of consuming time. Be satisfied with that. Tom o' Bedlam had the only genius for consuming Time: that is, to be utterly unaware of it. But you speak for artists. I am thinking of the majority of us who are not artists and who need protection from artists, whose time the artist insists on passing for us. We get along quite well with our sleeping and eating and procreation, if you artists would only let us alone. But you accursed are not satisfied with the world as it is and so you must try to rebuild every floor you are standing on, you get us all fidgety and alarmed. So I believe that if art served any purpose at all, it would at least keep the artists occupied.'" (Mosquitoes)
"It is that Passion Week of the heart, that instant of timeless beatitude which some never know; which some, I suppose, gain at will; which others gain through an outside agency like alcohol, like tonight; – that passive state of the heart with which the mind, the brain, has nothing to do at all, in which the hackneyed accidents which make up this world – love, life and death and sex and sorrow – brought together by chance in perfect proportions, take on a kind of splendid and timeless beauty." (Mosquitoes)
"Then she said quietly: 'I danced a valse with him in Baltimore in '58,' and her voice was proud and still as banners in the dust.'" (Flags in the Dust)
"The meaning of peace; one of those instants in a man's life, a neap tide in his affairs, when, as though with a premonition of disaster, the moment takes on a sort of fixed clarity in which his actions and desires stand boldly forth unshadowed and rhythmic one with another like two steeds drawing a single chariot along a smooth empty road, and during whith the I in him stands like a tranquil deciduated tree above the sere and ludicrous disasters of his days." (Flags in the Dust)
Well, that's enough for now. More to come, soon…