[de] scriptions

Words, at once, consist of both truth and falsehood. Words on their own, have meaning and truth. As soon as they are strung together in language, they become a network of lies, things that mean other things, and are not as they first appear. Words can reveal many things which are not there, just as they can obscure things which are there. Lines too consist of Truth and falshood. They can describe things that exist as well as things imagined. They can reveal patterns and structure just as they can cover up the truth of a thing. What are things if they are not described by either lines or words. How can we know something exists if we cannot desceibe it in some way? Can anything truely exist without its description? Conversely, does anything truely exist if it can be described, since any description contains some falshood.

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Half-Cities

The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death ride with its crouched motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the places, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half-city.

And so every year the day comes when the workmen remove the marble pediments, lower the stone walls, the cement pylons, take down the ministry, the monument, the docks, the petroleum refinery, the hospital, load them on trailers, to follow from stand to stand their annual itinerary. Here remains the half-Sophronia of the shooting galleries and the carousels, the shout suspended from the cart of the headlong roller coaster, and it begins to count the months, the days it must wait before the caravan returns and a complete life can begin again.

– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Representations of thought

Consider this: the written word

Realize the power of thoughts captured on paper

Ideas described, memories recorded, feelings reflected

The written word is heavier than the paper

The written word seems more real than the thought itself

 

Consider this: the moving picture

Compositions of moving light and color

Capturing a moment, but taking the place of one of the senses

Telling stories, images of the past

 

Consider this: the painted portrait

Capturing more than just reality, capturing the soul

Every stroke records a detail, never to be seen in a photograph

Captures something more real than reality

 

Consider this: the written note

Melody written without words

Vibrations of air, recorded as marks on paper

Simple and elegant, but dense and full of information

Meaningless without an instrument

Virtues of Poetry

The Beauty of wax is its power to yield

To the finger’s skillful touch;

Thus taught, it can shape the god of War,

Chaste Wisdom or Love or her son.

The secret springs quench a flame,

Or gladden the flowers and fields;

So the mind of man, through the gentle arts

Is taught the wisdom of change.

— Pliny the Younger, Letter to Fuscus Salinator on the virtues of intellectual exercise through writing, extolling poetry as a means of exercising the mind.