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.”