Underlinings (#52)

Florian Cramer:

The Pythagorean project consists of the extraction and application of a universal numerical code that organizes both nature and art. This code allows the creation of a correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm and describes harmony, in the sense of beautiful numerical proportions, as the guiding principle of the world. And for the first time, it allows the computation of nature and art. Any natural and symbolic system can be broken up into numerical proportions and values which in turn may be compared to the numerical proportions and values of another observed system. It is this principle of universal similarity and correspondence which Eco calls the “hermetic paradigm” and sums it up under the maxim “sicut superius sic inferius,” “as above, so below” to describe a correspondence of macro- and microcosm. In Pythagorean and later hermetic thinking, numerical proportions can be universally equated to geometrical proportions and musical intervals. Letters, likewise, can be computed as numbers and set into relation to the numerical intervals which are thought to be the foundations of the cosmos. Pythagorean thought therefore first coined and systematically expressed the idea that a symbolic-mathematical source code underlies the universe and describes nature and culture alike.



Carmela Ciuraru on the multiplicitous Fernando Pessoa:

For some authors, the task of writing is a descent into the self. Pessoa ventured in the opposite direction, using his heteronyms as a means of escape and claiming that within his mini-populace, he was the least “real” and compelling of the bunch. The others were constellations swirling around him. In the context of psychoanalysis, a split identity is seen as a wound that needs healing. But in Pessoa’s mind(s), there was nothing disorienting about it. “I’ve divided all my humanness among the various authors whom I’ve served as literary executor,” he explained. “I subsist as a kind of medium of myself, but I’m less real than the others, less substantial, less personal, and easily influenced by them all.”

A Poem (#2)

The Main-Sequence of the prime series, in which each number is the index (or ordinate) of the next, proceeds: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 31, 127 …

This numerical sequence is the architectonic principle of Nazareth Modo’s ‘Modular Poetics’. The consummation of the form is found in the Echelon Module, a composition of – exactly – five verses, eleven lines, thirty-one words, and one hundred and twenty-seven letters, containing (as its final part) a module of three verses, five lines, eleven words, and thirty-one letters, containing (as its final part) a module of two verses, three lines, five words, and eleven letters, containing (as its final part) a module of one verse, two lines, three words, and five letters, containing (at the end of its final verse) a module of one line, two words, and three letters.

The first line provides the title.

As an example, here is Modo’s When that which remains, which is thought to be his first achieved instantiation of an Echelon Module (and thus — almost certainly — the first to exist on this earth):

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According to Wikipedia, is a poetic form based on the Fibonacci series (counting syllables). “The typical fib is a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8.”

The example given (written by Gregory K. Pincus) is helpfully self-reflexive:

Spiraling mixture:
Math plus poetry yields the Fib.