Sunday, August 28, 2016

Anne Tibbitts writes

Something to consider

The biggest problem in this country is not about economics and jobs

That is not all there is to this whole thing called LIFE and being unique human beings 

We r not all cut from the same kind of cloth

And yet everyone pretends like we can all wear the same size

The deeper more pervasive problem is that 





Oh how great it is to be called a reader



Ever thinks 

about the writer 

behind the book or tv show or essay or memoir be it whatever

How a craziness of whirlwind 

Overtakes u

How u live some of the parts of ur characters how u say lots of stuff out loud like practicing hours at the piano looking for the just right turn of phrase

A word

And how the lines blur and those around u get confused or upset even angry 

so u sacrifice 

and suffer

So others can boast about how well read they r

Never minding the clutter of broken crippled sapped out tapped out sad erratic tired crying basket case writers

People who write should matter more than the display of proud people's bookshelves

Their collections like dusty coffins holding many of the pieces of writers' lives left reeling rasping for enough air to breathe

If ur really quiet u can sit by ur bookshelf and hear the screams of writers going insane to create something for u to do

The sobbing can break through steel

Yet most readers' hearts go untouched
Theseus and Procrustes -- Douglas Blanchard


  1. “One size fits all.” Prokroustes ("the stretcher [who hammers out the metal]") was a son of Poseidon who resided on Mt. Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. He invited passersby to spend the night in a bed of his own devising, claiming that its length would exactly match whoever slept in it. When they were too short, however, he used his blacksmith’s hammer to stretch them to fit; when too tall, he amputated the excess length from their legs. But Theseus forced him to lie in his own bed and fatally adjusted him to it. Therefore, a “Procrustean bed” is any arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced. A Procrustean solution is the practice of tailoring data to fit some preconceived structure; in statistics, for example, instead of finding the best fit line to a scatter plot of data, the analyst chooses the line he wants and selects only the data that fits it, disregarding data that does not "prove" his hypothesis. However, a Procrustes analysis is also the process of performing a shape-preserving Euclidean transformation to a set of shapes, removing variations in translation, rotation, and scaling across the dataset in order to put them into a common frame of reference as the precursor to further statistical analysis. A related problem in linear algebra is the orthogonal Procrustes problem of finding the closest orthogonal matrix to any given matrix. In computer science, a fixed-length Procrustean string has strings of varying length placed in it; if the inserted string is too short it is padded out with spaces or null characters, if too long it is truncated.

  2. Blanchard’s paining provides a postmodern take on the Greek mysth, with Prokroustes is depicted as a kind of “mad scientist” trying to force his victim’s actual body into Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, his visual depiction of the correlation of ideal human proportions with geometry as proposed by the 1st-century Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. Perhaps this view is based on Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn's ideas in his 1943 book, “The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large,” his analysis of the negative effects of egalitarianism as a political philosophy, in which state power is used to force individuals to fit the standards designed by politicians and intellectuals, or perhaps to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms,” which uses the bed as a metaphor for the contemporary fear of randomness. Indeed, Prokroustes is at the very heart of postmodernist thought, as reflected in discussions of “The Purloined Letter,” in which Edgar Allan Poe's prototype detective, Dupin, called the police’s overly rigid method of looking for clues Procrustean; a century later, one of the weekly seminars Jacques Lacan held to urge "a return to Freud" by concentrating on the linguistic nature of psychological symptomatology (and to lay the groundwork for a structural approach to literary analysis) presented a detailed analysis of the permutations of meaning and sign in that short story, observing, “Cut a letter in small pieces, and it remains the letter it is;” in response, in “The Purveyor of Truth,” one of the central deconstructionist critiques to Lacan’s structural approach, Jacques Derrida denounced the technique: "By framing in this violent way, by cutting the narrated figure itself from a fourth side in order to see only triangles, one evades perhaps a certain complication." Slavoj Žižek then drew upon the metaphor to critique poetic form itself: “The most elementary form of torturing one’s language is called poetry—think of what a complex form like a sonnet does to language: it forces the free flow of speech into a Procrustean bed of fixed forms of rhythm and rhyme,” prompting Hollis Robbins to write his “Acrostic”:

    Perhaps the old brigand had it right
    Resisting individuality
    Of height. Speaking now poetically,
    Consider length. Fit is often tight,
    Requiring amputation ne'er polite,
    Unless one smiths imaginatively,
    Swaging feet to tenuous degree
    Till sense succumbs to structure's greater might.
    Every poem bears scars of this dispute.
    All poets keep a rack and handsaw near.
    Not only must each line be cut to suit
    But rhyme conform as well to eye or ear.
    Each claim that verse comes from the poet's heart
    Denies the role of iron cots in art.


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