Friday, February 08, 2013

Thinking About Being

Everywhere Being Is Dancing: Twenty Pieces of ThinkingEverywhere Being Is Dancing: 
Twenty Pieces of Thinking 
by Robert Bringhurst

"It is an article of faith with me that music and poetry spring from the same root.  The space between them now is filled with words--and words, of course, are not to be trusted, because words have been betrayed." (p 33)

"Being speaks and means -- it has no choice --
because WHAT IS exists and WHAT ISN'T doesn't.
These are things I believe you should ponder.
"The Fragments of Parmenides", p 147

The essays in this book stretch the bounds of thought. For example, music is discussed in relationship to language, literature, myth, philosophy, painting, and even typography. This discussion is of typography in the modern (or post-modern) sense that those who in the twenty-first century participate in the computer revolution are likely to have an interest in typography. Thus on page 118 we find this statement:
"But typography isn't something to watch; it's something to do, like writing and reading and cooking and music and literature. It's an intrinsically rewarding, honest craft. And the nature of craft is that mental and physical ways of being stay in touch; they hold each other by the hand."
So, yes typography is like music in that sense and slowly, as you peruse the other essays (that quote was from an essay titled, "To Tell the Truth by Lying: Gorgias the Sicilian and a Theory You Can't Refuse") you become entwined in the connections that everything worth thinking about has with everything else. The quoted essay leads up to the riff on typography through a discussion of Homer, Socrates, and Plato - author of the Gorgias. In fact this essay is a microcosm of the collection as a whole; essays are included with specific titles but with amorphous paths of prose as they get to their point. The path the essays lay down for the reader leads from Mythology to Haida Oral literature and the poet Gary Snyder -- on the way there are excursions through the philosophy of poetry, the art of Joan Miro, and Bach as interpreted by Glenn Gould.  And that is just the tip of the proverbial ice cube.
 The underlying theme of the collection is presented in the title of the book and if you are interested in the nature of being you may be just the reader to delight in Robert Bringhurst's Dance.

Everywhere Being is dancing by Robert Bringhurst. Counterpoint, 2008

No comments: