287 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
      • The dominant literary trends have evolved toward an "essence" or "likeness"of literature. And the present of the author is expected.
      • Writing must be irregular, despite the ordinary being the most immersive form. It is writing itself that receives attention above story.
      • Alluding to profundity more alluring than creating profundity through examination. Like the reader wants the illusion of being moved for ease.
      • Being challenging is essentially to being good.

      I agree that these points do mark the current tone of acclaimed writing, but I also find the author to be bias in his readings of the past and the present.

      • I don't writing must be explicit to be good.
      • I think hooptedoodle can be evocative.
      • I think obscurity is a tool of a good author.
      • The list goes on and on.....

      I feel that he examines his examples through different lenses, that the same styling but different authors (one he praises on merit of tradition, one too nouveau) produce different opinions simply because. Previous eras of writing have also produced "superficially pleasing prose" or "a good sentence."

      Why can the well-paced, moving plot coexist with the challenging, self-conscious prose? Why not lift up the former rather than banish the latter?

  2. Jul 2024
    1. Someone once said that at least one in five people are writing a novel. I barely know anyone who isn’t. It is still a prestigious form. And so, despite social media – the junk food of communication – literature continues to adapt to the contemporary mood. Where there is digital overload, people are returning to this more relaxed, nutritious analogue mode - reading words on a page.
  3. Jun 2024
    1. : Digital Literature in Research and Teaching" (2010) explores how digital literature is changing how we read, write, and teach. The book discusses the impact of technology on storytelling, highlighting how digital tools create interactive and multimedia experiences. It shows how digital literature challenges traditional ideas about authorship and creativity, encouraging new forms of expression. The book also covers the role of digital literature in education, offering insights into how teachers can use it to engage students. Overall, it presents digital literature as a dynamic field that blends technology with traditional literary elements to create innovative works.

  4. Apr 2024
    1. "I made a great study of theology at one time," said Mr Brooke, as if to explain the insight just manifested. "I know something of all schools. I knewWilberforce in his best days.6Do you know Wilberforce?"Mr Casaubon said, "No.""Well, Wilberforce was perhaps not enough of a thinker; but if I went intoParliament, as I have been asked to do, I should sit on the independent bench,as Wilberforce did, and work at philanthropy."Mr Casaubon bowed, and observed that it was a wide field."Yes," said Mr Brooke, with an easy smile, "but I have documents. I began along while ago to collect documents. They want arranging, but when a question has struck me, I have written to somebody and got an answer. I have documents at my back. But now, how do you arrange your documents?""In pigeon-holes partly," said Mr Casaubon, with rather a startled air of effort."Ah, pigeon-holes will not do. I have tried pigeon-holes, but everything getsmixed in pigeon-holes: I never know whether a paper is in A or Z.""I wish you would let me sort your papers for you, uncle," said Dorothea. "Iwould letter them all, and then make a list of subjects under each letter."Mr Casaubon gravely smiled approval, and said to Mr Brooke, "You have anexcellent secretary at hand, you perceive.""No, no," said Mr Brooke, shaking his head; "I cannot let young ladies meddle with my documents. Young ladies are too flighty."Dorothea felt hurt. Mr Casaubon would think that her uncle had some special reason for delivering this opinion, whereas the remark lay in his mind aslightly as the broken wing of an insect among all the other fragments there, anda chance current had sent it alighting on her.When the two girls were in the drawing-room alone, Celia said —"How very ugly Mr Casaubon is!""Celia! He is one of the most distinguished-looking men I ever saw. He is remarkably like the portrait of Locke. He has the same deep eye-sockets."

      Fascinating that within a section or prose about indexing within MiddleMarch (set in 1829 to 1832 and published in 1871-1872), George Eliot compares a character's distinguished appearance to that of John Locke!

      Mr. Brooke asks for advice about arranging notes as he has tried pigeon holes but has the common issue of multiple storage and can't remember under which letter he's filed his particular note. Mr. Casaubon indicates that he uses pigeon-holes.

      Dorothea Brooke mentions that she knows how to properly index papers so that they might be searched for and found later. She is likely aware of John Locke's indexing method from 1685 (or in English in 1706) and in the same scene compares Mr. Casaubon's appearance to Locke.

    1. ur materials naturally fall into two classes,Materials Camples and literature; they represent oneand the same thing— commodities, the one inconcrete form and the other in abstract form. One is thecommodity and the other describes it.

      the definitions of samples and literature here are presumed and not well defined.

      In the case of note taking for text-based cases, one could potentially considers direct quotes as the "samples".

    Tags

    Annotators

  5. Mar 2024
    1. in literature notes, do you write all of the stuff from a single article/book/whatever in one note, or do you split them all into individual notes of their own, one little piece on each card/note?

      reply to u/oursong at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/1bideq7/literature_notes_question/

      My bibliographic/literature notes are my personal (brief) index of what I found interesting in the book. I can always revisit most of what the book contained by reviewing over it. When done I excerpt the most important and actionable items on their own cards with a reference back to the book and page/loc number. Depending on my needs I may revisit at later dates and excerpt other pieces from my indexed items if it turns out I need them.

      From an efficiency perspective, I find that it seems like a waste of time to split out hundreds of lower-level ideas when I may only need the best for my work.

  6. Feb 2024
    1. Contrary to a literature note, a fleeting note is usually comprised of your own thoughts, things you'd like to remember, a passing bead of "brilliance."

      Fleeting notes are loose thoughts and aren't part of a source.

  7. Jan 2024
    1. what kind of character type might he fit?

      Krishna is the incarnation of Vishnu. He's supposed to be the embodiment of a godlike character and hold many powerful qualities. He has many different character types he portrays in this story and is extremely accomplished. He urges the reader in a way to think about reincarnation which is obviously a big part of his character. "The place of the infinite spirit" (line 851) Krishna fits a representation of love, duty, honor and self control. Learning what type of character type Krishna is this early on is important to keep in mind as the story is read. If the reader doesn't understand the true depth of his character the story may not be as powerful. He shows many attributes of a fully developed character that knows the true power of who they are. In HIndu culture, a character like Krishna is all powerful but also shows a variety of character traits that make him a very admirable character.

    1. once you dissolve that boundary you can't tell whose memories or who's anymore that's kind of the big thing about um that that kind of memory wiping the the wiping the identity on these 00:06:18 memories is a big part of multicellularity

      for - key insight - multicellularity - memory wiping

      • key insight
        • individuals have information in their memories about survival
        • when they merge and join, they pool their information and you can't tell whose memories came from whom initially
        • this memory wiping is a key aspect of multcellularity

      investigate - salience of memory wiping for multicellularity - This is a very important biological behavior. - Perform a literature review to understand examples of this

      question - biological memory wiping - can it be extrapolated to social superorganism?

  8. Dec 2023
  9. Nov 2023
    1. How do you title your literature notes?

      reply to u/tenebrasocculta at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/17vejto/how_do_you_title_your_literature_notes/

      Like many, I prefer to call these reference notes. For ease of use and brevity I use the standard citekey from Zotero, which I also use to quickly generate bibliographies. Like others have mentioned this is typically the author's sir name and publication date, so something like Gessner1548, or for your particular example Weeks2015. I can then use these quickly as well on cards with quotes or notes relating to sources that get excerpted from them for linking back to them.

      Generally I'd caution that if its a topic you're really interested in that you don't do too much note taking from tertiary sources but instead delve into more primary sourcing like the book mentioned in the article by Amy Reading. You'll get a lot further a lot faster, and generally find more useful insight.

  10. Oct 2023
    1. But Alter, along with critics like Frank Kermode, Harold Bloom, David Damrosch and Gabriel Josipovici, has spent the past quarter-century rejecting both the preacherly and the historicist approaches to the Bible and devising one that would allow us to grapple with it as literature.
    1. Knowledge that is excluded from synthesis... .t3_17beucn._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionOr... what do you all do with expansive lit notes that have been taken from a textbook for future reference and broad understanding of a methodology, rather than for its direct relevance to research and synthesis of new ideas?It's too unwieldly to keep in current form - six chapters of highlighted paras + notes on how I might apply certain approaches, but it resists atomisation/categorisation. Maybe just chapter summaries?Not suggesting there's 'A' way of doing this, but interested in others' approaches to directly applicable/foundational 'textbook' knowledge that is unlikely to evolve.(Someone really should do a PhD in the epistemology of Zettelkasten!)Cheers,Chris

      reply to u/Admirable_Discount75 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/17beucn/knowledge_that_is_excluded_from_synthesis/

      What is your purpose/need/desire to turn all this material into individual zettels or atomic ideas? If you've read the material, taken some literature notes, and reviewed them a bit, don't you broadly now know and understand the methodology? If this is the point and you might only need your notes/outline to review occasionally, then there's nothing else you need to do. If you're comparing other similar methodologies and comparing and contrasting them, then perhaps it's worth breaking some of them out into their own zettels to connect to other things you're working on. Perhaps you're going to write your own book on the topic? Then having better notes on the subject is worthwhile. If you don't have a good reason or gut feeling for why you would want or need to do it, taking hundreds of notes from a book and splitting them all into interconnected atomic notes is solely busy work.

      It's completely acceptable to just keep your jumble of literature notes next to your bibliographic entry for potential future reference or quick review if necessary. Perhaps you've gotten everything you need from this source without creating any permanent notes? Or maybe only one or two of the hundreds are actually valuable to your potential long term goals?<br /> It's really only the material you feel that is relevant to your longer term goals, research, and synthesis needs that's worthwhile breaking out into permanent notes/zettels.

      syndication link: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/17beucn/comment/k5lr0mz/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

      Just as Adler and Van Doren (1972) suggest that most books are only worth a quick inspectional read and fewer are worth a deeper, analytical read, most (fleeting) notes, highlights, and annotations you make are only worth their quick scribble while vanishingly few others are worthy of greater expansion and permanent note status. You might also find by extension that some of the most valuable work you'll do is syntopical reading and the creation of high value syntopical notes which you can weave into folgezettel (sequences of notes) that generate new knowledge.

      Don't fall into the trap of thinking that everything needs to be a perfect, permanent note. If you're distilling and writing one or two good permanent notes a day, you're killing it; the rest is just sour mash.

      As ever, practice to see what works best for your needs.

  11. Sep 2023
    1. Shalini Misra, Patrick Roberts, Matthew Rhodes. (2020). Information overload, stress, and emergency managerial thinking. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction Volume 51, December 2020, 101762 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101762

    1. Does anyone use zettelkasten method for their university notes? .t3_16h0k5n._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/PumpkinPines at tk

      Your 1chapter1note idea is essentially what Ahrens called a "literature note" for your lecture. Many of the things you write down you'll either absorb or remember over time as you learn and you won't think twice about them. However there may be one or two interesting snippets you put into your lecture notes that are really intriguing to you and those you'll want to excerpt and expand on as more fleshed out "permanent notes" which will be the zettels in your zettelkasten. Over time these may grow into projects, papers, articles, a book, or other more explicit content.

      For more on this idea, try these recent discussions * https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/yf1e8j/help_a_newbie_difference_between_literature_notes/ * https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/162os2q/how_can_i_use_zettelkasten_as_a_high_school/

      A common make-work mistake is that everyone seems to think that they need to take each scrap they write down into some sort of "perfect" permanent note. Don't do this. You'll only exhaust yourself and die by zettelkasten.

    1. Your success in reading it is determined by the extent to which you receive everything the writer intended to com­municate.

      The difficult thing to pick apart here is the writer's intention and the reader's reception and base of knowledge.

      In particular a lot of imaginative literature is based on having a common level of shared context to get a potentially wider set of references and implied meanings which are almost never apparent in a surface reading. As a result literature may use phrases from other unmentioned sources which the author has read/knows, but which the reader is unaware. Those who read Western literature without any grounding in the stories within the Bible will often obviously be left out of the conversation which is happening, but which they won't know exists.

      Indigenous knowledge bases have this same feature despite the fact that they're based on orality instead of literacy.

  12. Aug 2023
    1. I'm not convinced that a Luhmann-style ZK is the right note-making method for school notes. Though, I'd be fine having my mind changed.

      reply to u/taurusnoises and u/Leander_znsnsj at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/162os2q/how_can_i_use_zettelkasten_as_a_high_school/

      I'm generally in the same boat as u/taurusnoises and don't think that a Luhmann-artig ZK is necessarily the right way to go—particularly at the lower levels.

      I would suggest that if interested students look closely at the overall set up, they'll find that the literature note portion is almost identical to that of the Cornell note-taking method. The primary differences between them are placing more emphasis on follow-up and review, forcing yourself to answer questions, and doing spaced repetition. (Of course, naturally, there's nothing wrong with doing all your Cornell Notes on index cards despite every version I've ever seen recommending sheets of paper!)

      If you do ultimately choose to go with the expanded zettelkasten workflow, I would recommend you spend more time focusing on your own thoughts on the facts and ideas as they relate to the the Cornell portion. Focus more on the area of your major (or particular interests if you're still unsure of your major) in which you're most likely to need to create writing or other particular outputs. One or two good main cards a day with a full class load is a solid start.

      Keep in mind that as you enter new areas, you will likely make lots of basic, factual, low level notes while you're learning. Don't worry about this (and don't ignore it either) as working with these ideas will help you to scaffold your knowledge and understand it better. You may not have lots of high quality main notes which will usually come as you get deeper into the nuances of your subject. You should still expect to find and generate insights though and these may be highly valuable as you need to execute projects or write papers.

      Good luck!

    1. How do you refer from and to multiple sources? .t3_15eljnf._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; }

      reply to u/IvanCyb at https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/15eljnf/how_do_you_refer_from_and_to_multiple_sources/

      Usually if I find a quote somewhere, I'll try to track down the original source, check the context and excerpt it from the original. If it's something mission critical, I might note that it was excerpted and used in other sources and whether it was well excerpted for their case or not. Sometimes, quoting can also help to make a solid case about the influence a work had and notes on that can be a useful thing. If I make multiple notes about the same sort of idea, that's fine, though I typically try to file them all next to each other for easy consultation and comparison, if necessary. As an example, I have quotes from multiple sources about note taking indicating that one should only write on one side of a(n index) card. Some quote earlier sources, some state it without attribution, some say they've learned to do so over time and with experience. Some give reasons why and some don't. The only way to track these practices over time is to note them all together for comparing and contrasting. It wasn't until I'd seen the third mention that I realized the practice was an interesting/important one and worth tracking, so I had to go back and dig up the originals which I had written briefly on their bibliographic cards with page numbers, so it made things easier to create main cards out of them. Because they're all stored together, there's only one index entry for them (for the first one), under "note taking" with the subheading "write only on one side". Alternately I might have made a single note card about the idea of the practice and created a list with pointers of those who used it (or didn't) and links to the sources where I originally found them. Do what makes most sense for you for tracking based on your own situation and needs. You may also find that these things happen frequently when doing literature reviews and things are repeated often within a field. Sometimes it's helpful to figure out who said a thing first and whether or not others are repeating/quoting them or coming to the same conclusion on their own. Is it a solid conclusion? What is the evidence or lack thereof? The only way to know is to start keeping track of these patterns in your reading and notes. Where and how you choose to track it in your zettelkasten is up to you. Sometimes it may be in brief notes with the original source, sometimes in a "hub note", and still others broken out into primary cards collected together.

  13. Jul 2023
    1. Morson, Gary Saul. “The Pevearsion of Russian Literature.” Commentary Magazine, July 1, 2010. https://www.commentary.org/articles/gary-morson/the-pevearsion-of-russian-literature/.

      You have to love the reference to perversion of Pevear's name in the title! Wonder how they'd translate this into Russian...

    2. readers typically turn to translations not to hear about culinary ephemera but to read literature.

      Part of literature is the Great Conversation, which often turns on the ability for writers to be understood and appreciated, often in translation. Gary Saul Morson takes P&V to task for their Russian translations which often focus on the incredibly specific nuances of direct translation, but which simultaneously lose the beauty and sense of literature. He says, "[...] readers typically turn to translations not to hear about culinary ephemera but to read literature."

  14. Jun 2023
    1. ha ricevuto il messaggio

      Levi’s encounter with Ulysses in Auschwitz centres around his painful yet exhilarating struggle to reconstruct Dante’s text from memory. But when Levi talks of his hope that, despite his inadequate rendering, Pikolo ‘got the message’, he is pointing at something other than pure philology. Uttered in the death camp, Dante’s words shine through the dust of school commentary. This estrangement effect triggers a kind of epiphany: ‘ha sentito che lo riguarda, che riguarda tutti gli uomini in travaglio, e noi in specie; e che riguarda noi due, che osiamo ragionare di queste cose con le stanghe della zuppa sulle spalle’. The momentary sense of liberation Levi derives from owning and sharing Dante’s sublime language has been interpreted as a celebration of humanist values that however fails to recognise the way in which these values are entangled with the very structures of domination that created the Lager (Druker 2004). Yet Levi never provides a univocal interpretation of ‘the message’ of Ulysses’ story. In fact, the episode has had a ‘bifurcated’ critical reception and its meaning has been contested since the Middle Ages (Barolini 2018). Moreover, the figure of Dante in general and his figuration of Ulysses in particular became central to Fascism’s nationalist cultural programme, something Levi could hardly have missed.

      As with other protagonists of the Inferno, the issue has been how to reconcile Ulysses’ heroic stature as a character with the fact that he is ultimately condemned as an unrepentant sinner. While the prevalent opinion among early commentators of the Commedia was that Ulysses was a transgressor, there were some who presented him as an admirable figure. Cristoforo Landino calls Ulysses’ speech ‘honest and honourable’. Bernardino Daniello notes that the ancient myth of the ne plus ultra was ‘a false and futile belief’. On the other hand, not all modern critics praise Ulysses’ daring. John Ruskin warily observes that humans are yet to learn the ‘danger of this novelty of wisdom’. Still, it is in the modern period that a more positive view of Ulysses’ intellectual hubris starts to gain traction.

      The frontispiece to Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum (1620) is often cited as the symbolic watershed between medieval deference to traditional beliefs and the modern project of exploration and innovation. This frontispiece depicts a ship which is about to pass through the pillars of Hercules, just like Dante imagined Ulysses and his crew dared to do. Another ship, near the horizon, is also approaching. Below the depiction of the ships, a Latin motto, taken from the Vulgate, recites: ‘Many shall pass through and knowledge shall be increased’. There is no indication of shipwreck; on the contrary, the ships move confidently ahead in full sail. The world has entered a new era and the ancient prohibition has become void: ‘these times may justly bear in their word […] plus ultra, in precedence of the ancient non ultra’ (Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)).

      To Horkheimer and Adorno, Bacon is the ‘herald’ of the modern belief that ‘knowledge, which is power, knows no limits’ – a principle that, taken to its extreme logical conclusion, leads to the gates of Auschwitz. Had Ulysses gone under, as Dante decreed, the world would have been a better place. However, the postmodern critique of rationalism disregards another, parallel line that connects Enlightenment conceptions of the human to emancipatory discourses in both politics and aesthetics. The revolutionary and Romantic era gave us many versions of the self-sacrificing heroes of knowledge, striving for the emancipation of humankind. Shelley’s Prometheus ‘gave men speech, and speech created thought | Which is the measure of the universe. | And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven | […] for which he hangs | Withering in destined pain’ (Prometheus Unbound). As Dante does with the Homeric story, Shelley rewrites and extends a classical myth in a way that challenges the idea that knowledge is sinful or transgressive. In the preface to Prometheus Unbound, Shelley declares he would ‘rather be damned with Plato and Lord Bacon than go to Heaven with Paley [eighteenth-century theologian] and Malthus’. Shelley also names Dante as one of the stylistic predecessors to his own use of imagery ‘drawn from the operations of the human mind’. In his readings of the Commedia, Shelley was particularly attracted to similes that illuminate ways of seeing and knowing. But a shadow of Dante’s ambivalence lingers in Shelley’s suggestion that his Prometheus is similar to Milton’s Satan, minus the ‘taints of ambition […] and personal aggrandisement’.

      From his long English exile, the Italian revolutionary and nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini contributed to making Dante into a national icon at the service of the Italian Risorgimento. In The Duties of Man, he defines humans as ‘creatures capable of rational, social, and intellectual progress’, warning his readers that ‘you descend to the level of brutes whenever you suppress, or allow to be suppressed any of the faculties that constitute human nature either in yourself or others’ (Mazzini 1892, 45). ‘Brutes’ (‘bruti’) is Dante’s term, and the passage as a whole reads like an extended paraphrase of Ulysses’ ‘orazion picciola’, whose rhetoric Mazzini puts to work here in support of ‘the emancipation of Woman [and] of the working man’ (146).

      Mazzini’s duties of man were recast into the Fascist doctrine of the primacy of the state over the individual. The canto of Ulysses was similarly enlisted to the cult of Italian exceptionalism and imperial conquest. Responding to a survey to establish which was the most popular passage of the Commedia, Mussolini apparently nominated the line ‘de’ remi facemmo ali al folle volo’. The quotation struck some as scarily apposite. In the clandestine paper ‘Il Ribelle’ of 31 October 1944, the anti-fascist priest don Giacomo Vender, writing under the pseudonym Sancio Empörer, used the same verse to expose il Duce’s seductive lies: ‘Fascism’s great accomplishment has been to dress its sick [‘folle’] idea of life, humanity, nation and religion in seductive attitudes. [Everything] was made into a wing to hurl ourselves […] beyond the pillars of Hercules…de’ remi facemmo ali al folle volo’.

      Levi leaves out the line altogether. His act of subversion is even more radical: as the Resistance fighters, he feels that Dante’s text is ‘about us’, but the role he chooses for himself is not that of the acquiescent victim, one of Ulysses’ anonymous crew. He writes himself and his fellow prisoner as the heroic, tragic protagonists of Ulysses’ ‘shipwreck with spectator’ (Blumberg). Far from being complicit with the master narrative of Fascism, Levi invokes Dante in the death camp to liberate and reclaim his words and restore to them all the force of their moral questioning.

      RMuc

    2. intuizione

      ‘Intuizione’ is the key word of the aesthetic philosophy of Benedetto Croce, the most influential Italian thinker of the first half of the twentieth century, the ‘Crocean half-century’, as this era in Italian culture has been described (Antoni, Mattioli 1950, 352). Croce insisted upon what he described as ‘la teoria dell’arte come pura intuizione’, and with it ‘la verità […] che l’intuizione pura è essenzialmente liricità’ (Croce 1923, 15, 22). Underlying his idealistic aesthetics, therefore, was ‘la semplicissima formola: che «l’arte è intuizione»’ (Croce 1923, 23). Widely - almost universally - adopted for decades in Italy, this formula influenced nearly all artistic creation and reception in Levi’s time. So far as I am aware, Levi’s only explicit reference to Crocean aesthetics is to be found in ‘La misura della bellezza,’ a sci-fi short story about a machine that provides an ‘objective’ judgement of beauty, wherein the narrator recounts how his wife fails to share his faith in the machine’s verdicts because she was ‘un caso disperato di educazione crociana’ (OC I, 592). Yet Croce’s influence on Levi’s thought is clear, and is attested clearly elsewhere in his work.

      Appointed minister of education in 1920, Croce set in motion many of the school reforms that would subsequently be codified by the Fascist government (Rizi 2019, 6). As a result, Primo Levi’s schooling was profoundly - and to his mind negatively - influenced by Croce. This point emerges most clearly in Levi’s reflections on the education he received from Azelia Arici, who taught him Italian literature for three years, inspiring in him ‘una certa avversione’ for the subject, because Arici ‘era una gentiliana, una crociana, riteneva che le scienze naturali e la fisica e la matematica fossero materie accessorie, ausiliarie, di serie B’ (OC III, 1027). Levi elsewhere referred to those who upheld this Crocean anti-science bias in the Italian school system as ‘la congiura’, summarising the message they transmitted to him in particularly resonant terms: ‘Tu giovane fascista, tu giovane crociano, tu giovane cresciuto in questa Italia non avvicinarti alle fonti del sapere scientifico, perché sono pericolose’ (OC III, 484). Levi thus blamed Croce for what he called the ‘hegemony’ of humanistic culture in Italy (OC III, 255) and the resulting diminishment of science - and the dearth of science fiction writing - in the Italian cultural scene (OC III, 51). Moreover, he framed his own penchant for the sciences in explicitly anti-Crocean terms. In the ‘Idrogeno’ chapter of Il sistema periodico, he contrasts his youthful passion for chemistry with his humanistic schooling, absorbed by ‘metamorfosi inconcludenti, da Platone ad Agostino, da Agostino a Tommaso, da Tommaso a Hegel, da Hegel a Croce’ (OC I, 876).

      As for the potentially positive influence of Croce’s persistent anti-Fascism on Levi’s fledgling resistance to Mussolini’s regime, the evidence is mixed. In the ‘Potassio’ chapter of Il sistema periodico, Levi recounts how his generation had to ‘«inventare» un nostro antifascismo, crearlo dal germe, dalle radici. Cercavamo intorno a noi, e imboccavamo strade che portavano poco lontano. La Bibbia, Croce, la geometria, la fisica, ci apparivano fonti di certezza’ (OC I, 898). However, in a 1976 interview he recalled instead the ‘confusion’ of the interwar period, when countervailing voices were scarce: ‘Di antifascismo si aveva paura a parlare; Marx non esisteva e Croce veniva censurato’ (OC III, 916). To what degree Levi found political inspiration in Croce in addition to the frustration he faced as a result of Croce’s humanistic prejudices thus remains in doubt.

      What we can say with greater confidence is that the so-called ‘congiura’ that determined much of Levi’s schooling ensured that his reading of Dante was thoroughly Crocean. Indeed, scholars have demonstrated that the textbooks with which Primo Levi was taught his Dante emphasised Benedetto Croce’s analysis of the Commedia, based firmly on Francesco De Sanctis’s hegemonic nineteenth-century Storia della letteratura italiana (Pertile 2010, 30; Garullo, Rigo, Toppan 2020, 82). As he elaborated in the 1921 study La poesia di Dante, Benedetto Croce was largely uninterested in what he dismissed as the ‘bizzarre interpretazioni’ of the scholarly dantisti who dominated the academic interpretation of the Commedia, and who seized upon what he believed to be pointless questions of Medieval theology (Croce 1921, 25, 63, 197). Instead, and as a result of his aesthetic theory, Croce was interested exclusively in Dante’s poetic ‘intuizione lirica’ (31). This emphasis manifests itself in Croce’s famous distinction between the Commedia’s struttura, its historical and theological content, and its poesia, its inspired lyrical beauty (61-71). While questions of theology may have mattered to Dante, argued Croce, they need not trouble modern readers, who should treat them ‘con qualche indifferenza bensì, ma senza avversione e, soprattutto, senza irrisioni’ (204). The indifference to Dante’s religious beliefs allowed Croce to redeem in poetic terms many of those Dante had damned in theological terms.

      This emphasis is evident in Croce’s analysis of the figure of Ulysses. Quoting the same lines that Levi would recite to Jean - ‘Fatti non foste a viver come bruti | Ma per seguir virtude e conoscenza’ - Croce argues that Ulysses emerges as a positive figure despite Dante’s intentions. Ulysses, Croce insists,

      è una parte di Dante stesso, cioè delle profonde aspirazioni che la riverenza religiosa e l’umiltà cristiana potevano in lui contenere, ma non già distruggere. Donde la figura di questo Ulisse dantesco, peccaminoso ma di sublime peccato, eroe tragico, maggiore forse di quel che fu mai nell’epos e nella tragedia greca (97-98).

      Whether directly or, what is more likely, indirectly, this analysis may well have influenced Primo Levi’s reading of ‘Il canto di Ulisse’.

      Yet Levi goes further than Croce. With his ‘intuizione di un attimo’, Levi fixates not upon Dante’s fourteenth-century poetic intuition but instead upon his own admittedly ‘anachronistic’ discovery of the poem’s relevance to him and to Jean, ‘che osiamo ragionare di queste cose con le stanghe della zuppa sulle spalle’. With this intuition, Levi transcends the scholastic Dante drilled into him by the ‘congiura’ and discovers verses far more vital than those he had studied in school.

      CLL

    3. istrice

      This is not the only porcupine to appear in Levi’s writing. In The Truce, we learn that Levi’s companion Cesare, disappointed after a misadventure on the black market, spent two days ‘huddled on his bed, bristling like a porcupine’ (CW I, 338). In The Wrench, Faussone identifies a clearing in which ‘a porcupine was advancing cautiously, with brief stops and starts’ (CW II, 1025). These English translations suggest a possible connection to SQ that is less obvious in the original Italian, where the text refers not to an ‘istrice’ but rather to a ‘porcospino’. In La tregua, Cesare is described as ‘ispido come un porcospino’ (OC I, 417), and in La chiave a stella, Faussone points out that ‘un porcospino avanzava cauto, con brevi arresti e riprese’ (OC I, 1099).

      The terms ‘istrice’ and ‘porcospino’ refer to animals of the same family, Hystricidae, and identify the same species, Hystrix cristata, the crested porcupine, which is native to Italy. In the Grande dizionario italiano dell’uso, ‘porcospino’ is listed as a synonym of ‘istrice’, which is defined scientifically as a ‘piccolo mammifero con il corpo coperto di aculei appuntiti ed erettili’, with a second figurative meaning as a ‘persona intrattabile, scontrosa’ (805).

      Despite their similarity, there is a notable difference between the two synonyms with regard to their literary resonances. As the Tesoro della lingua Italiana delle Origini demonstrates, ‘istrice’ was the preferred term for medieval philosophers, historians, and poets, including Boccaccio, who used it in his Caccia di Diana and Ameto, where the husband’s beard is described as being ‘né più né meno pugnente che le penne d’uno istrice’ (Tutte le opera di Giovanni Boccaccio, 774). The Grande dizionario della lingua italiana attests subsequent citations from Parini, D’Annunzio, De Amicis, and Foscolo, with the latter two adopting the term metaphorically to refer to a person who is taciturn and cagey (615).

      I suspect that Levi had another literary reference in mind when he opted for ‘istrice’ rather than ‘porcospino’ in SQ. Here are the words with which the Ghost in Shakespeare’s Hamlet reveals both his identity and the infernal torments he suffers in the afterlife:

      I am thy father’s spirit,

      Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,

      And for the day confined to fast in fires,

      Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature

      Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid

      To tell the secrets of my prison-house,

      I could a tale unfold whose lightest word

      Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,

      Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,

      Thy knotted and combined locks to part

      And each particular hair to stand on end,

      Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:

      But this eternal blazon must not be

      To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list! (Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5, vv. 14-28)

      In standard Italian translations dating back at least to the early nineteenth century, Shakepeare’s ‘fretful porpentine’ is rendered as a ‘pauroso istrice’ (Amleto, 59). This word, and these lines, would seem to resonate remarkably well with Levi’s description of the hell of Auschwitz, which is the context for his invocation of ‘la difesa dell’istrice’.

      After all, Hamlet’s Ghost is compelled to speak quickly, in the brief interval he has been granted in his eternal suffering:

      My hour is almost come,

      When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames

      Must render up myself (Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5, vv. 5-7)

      Cannot Levi and Jean say the same thing? The ‘lungo giro’ that Jean has arranged buys them a brief respite, but this precious time has begun to disappear as soon as it arrives: ‘quest’ora già non è più un’ora’. Cannot Hamlet’s Ghost say the same thing?

      The moment of connection and communication at the heart of ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ can be said to have begun with Jean’s clever strategy to curry favour with cruel Alex, the Kapo Levi describes as ‘un bestione violento e infido’, who is won over by Jean’s ‘opera lenta cauta e sottile’, finally ceding to him the coveted role of Pikolo. It is this victory that Levi describes as penetrating ‘the porcupine’s defence’. And it is this victory that frees Jean to choose Levi for the task of fetching the daily soup ration, enabling the disquisition on Dante that gives the chapter its title.

      If I am correct that the reference to ‘la difesa dell’istrice’ is thus evidence that Levi and Jean’s Dantean voyage begins under the sign of Hamlet, this would be a particularly elegant literary manoeuvre, since the voyage concludes under the very same sign. As their hour runs out once they have reached the kitchen, Levi finds himself unable to say all that needs to be said and is forced to concede that ‘il resto è silenzio’, an unmistakable echo of Hamlet’s final words: ‘the rest is silence’ (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2, v. 395).

      If further evidence for a Shakespearean source text is warranted, I would note that Levi included in Ad ora incerta a poem that explicitly references Hamlet’s Ghost, who is referred to as an ‘old mole’ because he continues to speak from beneath the floorboards (Hamlet, Act I, Scene 5, v. 183). Italian translations render this line as ‘vecchia talpa’, words that Levi borrowed for the title of a 1982 poem, which literalises the reference - the poem is in fact written from the perspective of an old mole - while nevertheless conveying the sense of the original, with its profound intimations of the latent power of buried knowledge.

      In altri tempi seguivo le femmine,

      E quando ne sentivo una grattare

      Mi scavavo la via verso di lei:

      Ora non più; se capita, cambio strada.

      Ma a luna nuova mi prende il morbino,

      E allora qualche volta mi diverto

      A sbucare improvviso per spaventare i cani. (OC II, 727)

      The reference to an ‘istrice’ in ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ similarly suggests hidden depths.

      CLL

    4. Viene a galla qualche frammento non utilizzabile

      This recalls Giuseppe Ungaretti’s famous poem ‘Il porto sepolto’ (‘The Buried Port’). In the same way that Levi momentarily escaped from the Lager thanks to Dante’s verses, in ‘Il porto sepolto’, poetry allowed Ungaretti to evade the trenches of the Great War where he was fighting. However, Levi here seems to use this reference to object to Ungaretti’s poetics of the fragment, as well as to the role of ‘vates-poet’, able to unveil meanings otherwise hidden to common people. The fragments from Dante that Levi manages to share with Pikolo do not communicate an ‘inexhaustible secret’, but rather reveal the impossible struggle to find poetry in the Lager.

      Il porto sepolto

      Mariano il 29 giugno 1916

      Vi arriva il poeta

      e poi torna alla luce con i suoi canti

      e li disperde

      Di questa poesia

      mi resta

      quel nulla

      d’inesauribile segreto

      EL

    5. il resto è silenzio

      ‘The Canto of Ulysses’ records a truly remarkable feat of cultural memory, as Levi recalls and recites Dante amidst the ruin of Auschwitz. He does so to teach Italian to his campmate Jean. But as he recites the words of Dante, Levi also feels his past come back to him. He begins to recover something of his identity and his humanity in the degraded world of the Lager, to feel again that he is ‘a man’.

      Dante is not, however, the only canonical writer to appear in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’. So too does Shakespeare. <br /> Levi admits to ‘gaps’, ‘holes’, and ‘lacuna[e]’ in his memory as he recites Dante, some of which would seem to be ‘irreparable’. Unable to recall his Dante, Levi is forced to confront ‘silence’:

      I would give today’s soup to know how to connect ‘the like on any day’ to the last lines. I try to reconstruct it through rhymes, I close my eyes, I bite my fingers – but it is no use, the rest is silence [il resto è silenzio]. Other verses dance in my head: ‘…The sodden ground belched wind …’, no, it is something else. [Woolf’s translation.]

      ‘[T]he rest is silence’: Levi is quoting the last words that are spoken by Hamlet, before he dies:

      O, I die, Horatio!

      The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.

      I cannot live to hear the news from England.

      But I do prophesy th’election lights

      On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice.

      So tell him, with th’occurrents more and less

      Which have solicited – the rest is silence.

      With his ‘spirit’ succumbing to the ‘potent poison’ Claudius and Laertes have used to kill him, Hamlet undertakes the impossible: to testify to his own death, to ‘tell’ in words his fall into deathly silence. This is his ‘dying voice’.

      What is Hamlet doing in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’? Why does Levi place it where he does, in ‘the caesura’, the abyssal gap between Auschwitz and his cultural identity and memory, embodied by Dante? It is certainly ironic that Levi draws once again on the Western canonical literary tradition to record the moment of its ostensible breakdown. What emerges from the lapse, the silence that Levi testifies to, is another tie to his compromised past, and the literary culture that would seem to have been obliterated by the Holocaust – even if Levi does not choose to bring obvious notice to his allusion by using quotation marks or by writing, ‘as Hamlet says’. The poetry of Hamlet appears to be among the ‘other verses’ Levi has confusedly ‘dancing in his head’ while he tries to fill the gaps in his memory.

      By quoting Hamlet, Levi would appear to again testify to the power of literature as a mainstay of culture and humanity, evincing his commitment to humanist ideals. This is certainly the positive interpretation of Hamlet in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’. I would make the case, however, that Levi is using Shakespeare for an altogether more challenging purpose. By appropriating the ‘dying voice’ of Hamlet, Levi records the place where his memory and his identity collapse, testifying to the reduction of the camp inmate to silence and oblivion. Bryan Cheyette writes that ‘even when his memory self-consciously fails him’, Levi is always ‘at pains to bear witness to those moments of failure’ (Cheyette 1999, 64). Levi seeks to testify to the silence, to show that ‘something has occurred even if it cannot be understood’ (Druker 2009, 64). This is the role played by Hamlet in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’. Levi does not use the play to testify to the endurance of the human spirit in the camps, but to silence, to a ‘world of negation’ (OC I, 235). Hamlet, perhaps ironically given its near-unrivalled canonical and cultural status, marks the space beyond language and culture, into which Levi is at risk of falling. This, as Levi called it, is the ‘black hole’ of Auschwitz (OC II, 1663).

      Through his allusion to Hamlet, Levi rewrites Shakespeare from the perspective of Auschwitz, endowing the play with new meanings as he confronts the lacunae and voids produced by the world of the concentration camp. Levi uses the play to record the disintegration of humane values in Auschwitz, as memory and language are brought to the point of collapse. Jacques Derrida does much the same in his own work on the play. He draws Hamlet into conversation with Holocaust testimony when he compares the play to the poetry of survivor Paul Celan in his 1995 piece ‘The Time is Out of Joint’. Derrida contends that the paradox of testimony is that the witness must uncannily ‘outlive his life’ (3.2.117) – or ‘survive’ that which is not ‘survivable’: the collapse of all meaning and death (Derrida 1995). This is the sense in which Hamlet is a play about the ‘impossible possibility of testimony’, as Derrida calls it. Hamlet has ‘seen the worst’ and is ‘the witness of the worst disorder, of absolute injustice’, writes Derrida. Hamlet has witnessed too much for words – but testimony, ‘though it hath no tongue, will speak’ (2.2.546).

      Levi must also confront and testify to the painful death of memory, the destruction of human identity and culture, before the event of physical death itself – or as Jacques Lacan would call it, ‘symbolic’ before ‘actual’ death, the death of the self before physical death. Lawrence Langer uses the phrase ‘deathlife’ to name the same phenomenon, of ‘dying while one is living’ (Langer 2021, 13). Not unlike the melancholic prince, Levi attempts the impossible of testifying to his own demise. He deploys Hamlet to record his fall into a place beyond humanity and beyond culture – even beyond language. It is, to adopt the words of Jean Améry, an act of both resignation and revolt: resignation to silence, and a determined revolt against oblivion, by testifying to it. It is an astonishing moment.

      RA

    6. Darei la zuppa di oggi per saper saldare «non ne avevo alcuna» col finale.

      In this sentence we are encountering a barter of survival, biological survival versus the survival of memory. What matters most in this exceptional moment, a state of exception within the state of exception of the Lager, is not keeping one’s body alive but restoring life to a handful of verses. Can literature be against survival?

      MAM

    7. O forse è qualcosa di piú

      Among many other layers to this chapter and its revelations, the ‘qualcosa di piú’ is also a reference to poetry as a means to escape Auschwitz. Poetry itself becomes the means to resist the process of bestialisation and reification.

      MJ

    1. il resto è silenzio

      ‘The Canto of Ulysses’ records a truly remarkable feat of cultural memory, as Levi recalls and recites Dante amidst the ruin of Auschwitz. He does so to teach Italian to his campmate Jean. But as he recites the words of Dante, Levi also feels his past come back to him. He begins to recover something of his identity and his humanity in the degraded world of the Lager, to feel again that he is ‘a man’.

      Dante is not, however, the only canonical writer to appear in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’. So too does Shakespeare. <br /> Levi admits to ‘gaps’, ‘holes’, and ‘lacuna[e]’ in his memory as he recites Dante, some of which would seem to be ‘irreparable’. Unable to recall his Dante, Levi is forced to confront ‘silence’:

      I would give today’s soup to know how to connect ‘the like on any day’ to the last lines. I try to reconstruct it through rhymes, I close my eyes, I bite my fingers – but it is no use, the rest is silence [il resto è silenzio]. Other verses dance in my head: ‘…The sodden ground belched wind …’, no, it is something else. [Woolf’s translation.]

      ‘[T]he rest is silence’: Levi is quoting the last words that are spoken by Hamlet, before he dies:

      O, I die, Horatio!

      The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.

      I cannot live to hear the news from England.

      But I do prophesy th’election lights

      On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice.

      So tell him, with th’occurrents more and less

      Which have solicited – the rest is silence.

      With his ‘spirit’ succumbing to the ‘potent poison’ Claudius and Laertes have used to kill him, Hamlet undertakes the impossible: to testify to his own death, to ‘tell’ in words his fall into deathly silence. This is his ‘dying voice’.

      What is Hamlet doing in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’? Why does Levi place it where he does, in ‘the caesura’, the abyssal gap between Auschwitz and his cultural identity and memory, embodied by Dante? It is certainly ironic that Levi draws once again on the Western canonical literary tradition to record the moment of its ostensible breakdown. What emerges from the lapse, the silence that Levi testifies to, is another tie to his compromised past, and the literary culture that would seem to have been obliterated by the Holocaust – even if Levi does not choose to bring obvious notice to his allusion by using quotation marks or by writing, ‘as Hamlet says’. The poetry of Hamlet appears to be among the ‘other verses’ Levi has confusedly ‘dancing in his head’ while he tries to fill the gaps in his memory.

      By quoting Hamlet, Levi would appear to again testify to the power of literature as a mainstay of culture and humanity, evincing his commitment to humanist ideals. This is certainly the positive interpretation of Hamlet in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’. I would make the case, however, that Levi is using Shakespeare for an altogether more challenging purpose. By appropriating the ‘dying voice’ of Hamlet, Levi records the place where his memory and his identity collapse, testifying to the reduction of the camp inmate to silence and oblivion. Bryan Cheyette writes that ‘even when his memory self-consciously fails him’, Levi is always ‘at pains to bear witness to those moments of failure’ (Cheyette 1999, 64). Levi seeks to testify to the silence, to show that ‘something has occurred even if it cannot be understood’ (Druker 2009, 64). This is the role played by Hamlet in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’. Levi does not use the play to testify to the endurance of the human spirit in the camps, but to silence, to a ‘world of negation’ (OC I, 235). Hamlet, perhaps ironically given its near-unrivalled canonical and cultural status, marks the space beyond language and culture, into which Levi is at risk of falling. This, as Levi called it, is the ‘black hole’ of Auschwitz (OC II, 1663).

      Through his allusion to Hamlet, Levi rewrites Shakespeare from the perspective of Auschwitz, endowing the play with new meanings as he confronts the lacunae and voids produced by the world of the concentration camp. Levi uses the play to record the disintegration of humane values in Auschwitz, as memory and language are brought to the point of collapse. Jacques Derrida does much the same in his own work on the play. He draws Hamlet into conversation with Holocaust testimony when he compares the play to the poetry of survivor Paul Celan in his 1995 piece ‘The Time is Out of Joint’. Derrida contends that the paradox of testimony is that the witness must uncannily ‘outlive his life’ (3.2.117) – or ‘survive’ that which is not ‘survivable’: the collapse of all meaning and death (Derrida 1995). This is the sense in which Hamlet is a play about the ‘impossible possibility of testimony’, as Derrida calls it. Hamlet has ‘seen the worst’ and is ‘the witness of the worst disorder, of absolute injustice’, writes Derrida. Hamlet has witnessed too much for words – but testimony, ‘though it hath no tongue, will speak’ (2.2.546).

      Levi must also confront and testify to the painful death of memory, the destruction of human identity and culture, before the event of physical death itself – or as Jacques Lacan would call it, ‘symbolic’ before ‘actual’ death, the death of the self before physical death. Lawrence Langer uses the phrase ‘deathlife’ to name the same phenomenon, of ‘dying while one is living’ (Langer 2021, 13). Not unlike the melancholic prince, Levi attempts the impossible of testifying to his own demise. He deploys Hamlet to record his fall into a place beyond humanity and beyond culture – even beyond language. It is, to adopt the words of Jean Améry, an act of both resignation and revolt: resignation to silence, and a determined revolt against oblivion, by testifying to it. It is an astonishing moment.

      RA

    2. Viene a galla qualche frammento non utilizzabile

      This recalls Giuseppe Ungaretti’s famous poem ‘Il porto sepolto’ (‘The Buried Port’). In the same way that Levi momentarily escaped from the Lager thanks to Dante’s verses, in ‘Il porto sepolto’, poetry allowed Ungaretti to evade the trenches of the Great War where he was fighting. However, Levi here seems to use this reference to object to Ungaretti’s poetics of the fragment, as well as to the role of ‘vates-poet’, able to unveil meanings otherwise hidden to common people. The fragments from Dante that Levi manages to share with Pikolo do not communicate an ‘inexhaustible secret’, but rather reveal the impossible struggle to find poetry in the Lager.

      Il porto sepolto

      Mariano il 29 giugno 1916

      Vi arriva il poeta

      e poi torna alla luce con i suoi canti

      e li disperde

      Di questa poesia

      mi resta

      quel nulla

      d’inesauribile segreto

      EL

    3. Darei la zuppa di oggi per saper saldare «non ne avevo alcuna» col finale.

      In this sentence we are encountering a barter of survival, biological survival versus the survival of memory. What matters most in this exceptional moment, a state of exception within the state of exception of the Lager, is not keeping one’s body alive but restoring life to a handful of verses. Can literature be against survival?

      MAM

    4. ha ricevuto il messaggio

      Levi’s encounter with Ulysses in Auschwitz centres around his painful yet exhilarating struggle to reconstruct Dante’s text from memory. But when Levi talks of his hope that, despite his inadequate rendering, Pikolo ‘got the message’, he is pointing at something other than pure philology. Uttered in the death camp, Dante’s words shine through the dust of school commentary. This estrangement effect triggers a kind of epiphany: ‘ha sentito che lo riguarda, che riguarda tutti gli uomini in travaglio, e noi in specie; e che riguarda noi due, che osiamo ragionare di queste cose con le stanghe della zuppa sulle spalle’. The momentary sense of liberation Levi derives from owning and sharing Dante’s sublime language has been interpreted as a celebration of humanist values that however fails to recognise the way in which these values are entangled with the very structures of domination that created the Lager (Druker 2004). Yet Levi never provides a univocal interpretation of ‘the message’ of Ulysses’ story. In fact, the episode has had a ‘bifurcated’ critical reception and its meaning has been contested since the Middle Ages (Barolini 2018). Moreover, the figure of Dante in general and his figuration of Ulysses in particular became central to Fascism’s nationalist cultural programme, something Levi could hardly have missed.

      As with other protagonists of the Inferno, the issue has been how to reconcile Ulysses’ heroic stature as a character with the fact that he is ultimately condemned as an unrepentant sinner. While the prevalent opinion among early commentators of the Commedia was that Ulysses was a transgressor, there were some who presented him as an admirable figure. Cristoforo Landino calls Ulysses’ speech ‘honest and honourable’. Bernardino Daniello notes that the ancient myth of the ne plus ultra was ‘a false and futile belief’. On the other hand, not all modern critics praise Ulysses’ daring. John Ruskin warily observes that humans are yet to learn the ‘danger of this novelty of wisdom’. Still, it is in the modern period that a more positive view of Ulysses’ intellectual hubris starts to gain traction.

      The frontispiece to Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum (1620) is often cited as the symbolic watershed between medieval deference to traditional beliefs and the modern project of exploration and innovation. This frontispiece depicts a ship which is about to pass through the pillars of Hercules, just like Dante imagined Ulysses and his crew dared to do. Another ship, near the horizon, is also approaching. Below the depiction of the ships, a Latin motto, taken from the Vulgate, recites: ‘Many shall pass through and knowledge shall be increased’. There is no indication of shipwreck; on the contrary, the ships move confidently ahead in full sail. The world has entered a new era and the ancient prohibition has become void: ‘these times may justly bear in their word […] plus ultra, in precedence of the ancient non ultra’ (Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)).

      To Horkheimer and Adorno, Bacon is the ‘herald’ of the modern belief that ‘knowledge, which is power, knows no limits’ – a principle that, taken to its extreme logical conclusion, leads to the gates of Auschwitz. Had Ulysses gone under, as Dante decreed, the world would have been a better place. However, the postmodern critique of rationalism disregards another, parallel line that connects Enlightenment conceptions of the human to emancipatory discourses in both politics and aesthetics. The revolutionary and Romantic era gave us many versions of the self-sacrificing heroes of knowledge, striving for the emancipation of humankind. Shelley’s Prometheus ‘gave men speech, and speech created thought | Which is the measure of the universe. | And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven | […] for which he hangs | Withering in destined pain’ (Prometheus Unbound). As Dante does with the Homeric story, Shelley rewrites and extends a classical myth in a way that challenges the idea that knowledge is sinful or transgressive. In the preface to Prometheus Unbound, Shelley declares he would ‘rather be damned with Plato and Lord Bacon than go to Heaven with Paley [eighteenth-century theologian] and Malthus’. Shelley also names Dante as one of the stylistic predecessors to his own use of imagery ‘drawn from the operations of the human mind’. In his readings of the Commedia, Shelley was particularly attracted to similes that illuminate ways of seeing and knowing. But a shadow of Dante’s ambivalence lingers in Shelley’s suggestion that his Prometheus is similar to Milton’s Satan, minus the ‘taints of ambition […] and personal aggrandisement’.

      From his long English exile, the Italian revolutionary and nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini contributed to making Dante into a national icon at the service of the Italian Risorgimento. In The Duties of Man, he defines humans as ‘creatures capable of rational, social, and intellectual progress’, warning his readers that ‘you descend to the level of brutes whenever you suppress, or allow to be suppressed any of the faculties that constitute human nature either in yourself or others’ (Mazzini 1892, 45). ‘Brutes’ (‘bruti’) is Dante’s term, and the passage as a whole reads like an extended paraphrase of Ulysses’ ‘orazion picciola’, whose rhetoric Mazzini puts to work here in support of ‘the emancipation of Woman [and] of the working man’ (146).

      Mazzini’s duties of man were recast into the Fascist doctrine of the primacy of the state over the individual. The canto of Ulysses was similarly enlisted to the cult of Italian exceptionalism and imperial conquest. Responding to a survey to establish which was the most popular passage of the Commedia, Mussolini apparently nominated the line ‘de’ remi facemmo ali al folle volo’. The quotation struck some as scarily apposite. In the clandestine paper ‘Il Ribelle’ of 31 October 1944, the anti-fascist priest don Giacomo Vender, writing under the pseudonym Sancio Empörer, used the same verse to expose il Duce’s seductive lies: ‘Fascism’s great accomplishment has been to dress its sick [‘folle’] idea of life, humanity, nation and religion in seductive attitudes. [Everything] was made into a wing to hurl ourselves […] beyond the pillars of Hercules…de’ remi facemmo ali al folle volo’.

      Levi leaves out the line altogether. His act of subversion is even more radical: as the Resistance fighters, he feels that Dante’s text is ‘about us’, but the role he chooses for himself is not that of the acquiescent victim, one of Ulysses’ anonymous crew. He writes himself and his fellow prisoner as the heroic, tragic protagonists of Ulysses’ ‘shipwreck with spectator’ (Blumberg). Far from being complicit with the master narrative of Fascism, Levi invokes Dante in the death camp to liberate and reclaim his words and restore to them all the force of their moral questioning.

      RMuc

    5. O forse è qualcosa di piú:

      Among many other layers to this chapter and its revelations, the ‘qualcosa di piú’ is also a reference to poetry as a means to escape Auschwitz. Poetry itself becomes the means to resist the process of bestialisation and reification.

      MJ

  15. May 2023
  16. Apr 2023
    1. Armstrong, Dorsey. King Arthur: History and Legend (Course Guidebook). Great Courses 2376. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2015.

      King Arthur: History and Legend. Streaming Video. Vol. 2376. The Great Courses: Literature and Language. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2015. https://www.wondrium.com/king-arthur-history-and-legend.

    1. How do I store when coming across an actual FACT? .t3_12bvcmn._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionLet's say I am trying to absorb a 30min documentary about the importance of sleep and the term human body cells is being mentioned, I want to remember what a "Cell" is so I make a note "What is a Cell in a Human Body?", search the google, find the definition and paste it into this note, my concern is, what is this note considered, a fleeting, literature, or permanent? how do I tag it...

      reply to u/iamharunjonuzi at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/12bvcmn/how_do_i_store_when_coming_across_an_actual_fact/

      How central is the fact to what you're working at potentially developing? Often for what may seem like basic facts that are broadly useful, but not specific to things I'm actively developing, I'll leave basic facts like that as short notes on the source/reference cards (some may say literature notes) where I found them rather than writing them out in full as their own cards.

      If I were a future biologist, as a student I might consider that I would soon know really well what a cell was and not bother to have a primary zettel on something so commonplace unless I was collecting various definitions to compare and contrast for something specific. Alternately as a non-biologist or someone that doesn't use the idea frequently, then perhaps it may merit more space for connecting to others?

      Of course you can always have it written along with the original source and "promote" it to its own card later if you feel it's necessary, so you're covered either way. I tend to put the most interesting and surprising ideas into my main box to try to maximize what comes back out of it. If there were 2 more interesting ideas than the definition of cell in that documentary, then I would probably leave the definition with the source and focus on the more important ideas as their own zettels.

      As a rule of thumb, for those familiar with Bloom's taxonomy in education, I tend to leave the lower level learning-based notes relating to remembering and understanding as shorter (literature) notes on the source's reference card and use the main cards for the higher levels (apply, analyze, evaluate, create).

      Ultimately, time, practice, and experience will help you determine for yourself what is most useful and where. Until you've developed a feel for what works best for you, just write it down somewhere and you can't really go too far wrong.

  17. Mar 2023
  18. Feb 2023
    1. Vandiver, Elizabeth. Classical Mythology. Audible (streaming audio). Vol. 243. The Great Courses: Western Literature. Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2013.


      Vandiver, Elizabeth. “Classical Mythology: Course Guidebook.” The Teaching Company, 2013. https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/classical-mythology.

    1. Der Zettelkasten wird in der Ausstellung „Serendipity – Vom Glück des Findens“ in der Kunsthalle Bielefeld gezeigt, 11. Juli bis 11. Oktober

      google translate:

      The Zettelkasten will be shown in the exhibition “ Serendipity – From the Luck of Finding ” at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, July 11 to October 11

      In addition to having appeared in the Marbach zettelkasten exhibition in 2013, Niklas Luhmann's zettelkasten also appeared in the exhibition "Serendipity: From the Luck of Finding" at Kunsthalle Bielefeld from July 11 - October 11, 2015.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/lNF9RKvTEe28Rqcr9qzi8w

    1. Hennemann, Alexa. “Ausstellungseröffnung am 4. März: »Zettelkästen. Maschinen der Phantasie« Mit Navid Kermani, Norbert Miller und Meike Werner. Zum 250. Geburtstag von Jean Paul.” Deutches Literatur Archiv Marbach, February 13, 2013. https://www.dla-marbach.de/presse/presse-details/news/pm-11-2013/.

    1. a permanent note (according to Ahrens) is actually the name for both "zettels" (what Ahrens calls "the main notes in the slip box," or what many are now calling "zettels") and literature notes.

      a subtle catch about Ahrens' terminology

    1. Proust writes, with only the faintest irony, “Real life, life at last laid bare and illuminated—the only life in consequence which can be said to be really lived—is literature.”

      source? Swann's Way?

      Definitely from a literacy forward perspective!

  19. Jan 2023
  20. Dec 2022
    1. Is the ZK method worth it? and how it helped you in your projects? .t3_zwgeas._2FCtq-QzlfuN-SwVMUZMM3 { --postTitle-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postTitleLink-VisitedLinkColor: #9b9b9b; --postBodyLink-VisitedLinkColor: #989898; } questionI am new to ZK method and I'd like to use it for my literature review paper. Altho the method is described as simple, watching all those YT videos about the ZK and softwares make it very complex to me. I want to know how it changed your writing??

      reply to u/Subject_Industry1633 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/zwgeas/is_the_zk_method_worth_it_and_how_it_helped_you/ (and further down)

      ZK is an excellent tool for literature reviews! It is a relative neologism (with a slightly shifted meaning in English over the past decade with respect to its prior historical use in German) for a specific form of note taking or commonplacing that has generally existed in academia for centuries. Excellent descriptions of it can be found littered around, though not under a specific easily searchable key word or phrase, though perhaps phrases like "historical method" or "wissenschaftlichen arbeitens" may come closest.

      Some of the more interesting examples of it being spelled out in academe include:

      For academic use, anecdotally I've seen very strong recent use of the general methods most compellingly demonstrated in Obsidian (they've also got a Discord server with an academic-focused channel) though many have profitably used DevonThink and Tinderbox (which has a strong, well-established community of academics around it) as much more established products with dovetails into a variety of other academic tools. Obviously there are several dozens of newer tools for doing this since about 2018, though for a lifetime's work, one might worry about their longevity as products.

    1. Thank you - I'm impressed, once again.I still find it baffling that the evolutionary tree of zettelkasten practices doesn't seem to show some sort of Cambrian explosion starting directly with Luhmann. There are people around him, eyewitnessing a productivity of barbaracartlandian proportions, and no one seems to make relevant attempts at imitating and adapting his specific methods? - I would like to understand the reasons for this.PS: Do you know the interview (five short parts, in German) the Suhrkamp publishing house has conducted with Andre Kieserling, Luhmann's successor at Bielefeld University, and Johannes Schmidt, the zettelkasten curator? https://youtu.be/q0LdmKMbJCw - I haven't found it in your hypothes.is annotations.Btw, I'm living in Stuttgart near Marbach, and after visiting the 2013 exhibition with its perenially inspiring title "Zettelkästen. Maschinen der Phantasie" and reading its catalogue, I've sent my copy to Professor Kuehn. I miss his Taking Note blog.

      reply to https://www.reddit.com/user/thomasteepe/

      Luhmann's method is certainly an evolution on prior methods, but only has a few differences. Sadly there aren't a broader array of other options that are open in the solution space to create an actual Cambrian explosion here. At the end of the day, one still has to do actual reading, note taking, thinking, and work to make the system go. It this hurdle of work that most often dampens people's spirits and despite it's ability to be more easily sustainable, it's really not very sexy, so people move on to the next shiny, new thing.

      I'm aware of that series of videos and a few others, though my German is almost non-existent which makes them a slow slog. I suppose I should use Google's auto-transcription/translation, but that often muddies things further. I've had a few people translate pieces of things like that for me, but it becomes cost prohibitive after a while.

      I wish Manfred Kuehn had left his site up, but I understand why he did it. I still delve back into Archive.org every now and then to find new things. If I had some extra time, I'd contact him to see if he'd be willing to publish archived versions of his blog as a book and do the collation/editing to get it out, but it's a lot of work, even with large portions automated.

      One of these days I'll find a copy of the Marbach catalog to read...

  21. Nov 2022
  22. Oct 2022
    1. https://www.explainpaper.com/

      Another in a growing line of research tools for processing and making sense of research literature including Research Rabbit, Connected Papers, Semantic Scholar, etc.

      Functionality includes the ability to highlight sections of research papers with natural language processing to explain what those sections mean. There's also a "chat" that allows you to ask questions about the paper which will attempt to return reasonable answers, which is an artificial intelligence sort of means of having an artificial "conversation with the text".

      cc: @dwhly @remikalir @jeremydean

    1. Les murs du cabinet de travail, le plancher, le plafond même portaient des liasses débordantes, des cartons démesurément gonflés, des boîtes où se pressait une multitude innombrable de fiches, et je contemplai avec une admiration mêlée de terreur les cataractes de l'érudition prêtes à se rompre. —Maître, fis-je d'une voix émue, j'ai recours à votre bonté et à votre savoir, tous deux inépuisables. Ne consentiriez-vous pas à me guider dans mes recherches ardues sur les origines de l'art pingouin? —Monsieur, me répondit le maître, je possède tout l'art, vous m'entendez, tout l'art sur fiches classées alphabétiquement et par ordre de matières. Je me fais un devoir de mettre à votre disposition ce qui s'y rapporte aux Pingouins. Montez à cette échelle et tirez cette boîte que vous voyez là-haut. Vous y trouverez tout ce dont vous avez besoin. J'obéis en tremblant. Mais à peine avais-je ouvert la fatale boîte que des fiches bleues s'en échappèrent et, glissant entre mes doigts, commencèrent à pleuvoir. Presque aussitôt, par sympathie, les boîtes voisines s'ouvrirent et il en coula des ruisseaux de fiches roses, vertes et blanches, et de proche en proche, de toutes les boîtes les fiches diversement colorées se répandirent en murmurant comme, en avril, les cascades sur le flanc des montagnes. En une minute elles couvrirent le plancher d'une couche épaisse de papier. Jaillissant de leurs inépuisables réservoirs avec un mugissement sans cesse grossi, elles précipitaient de seconde en seconde leur chute torrentielle. Baigné jusqu'aux genoux, Fulgence Tapir, d'un nez attentif, observait le cataclysme; il en reconnut la cause et pâlit d'épouvante. —Que d'art! s'écria-t-il. Je l'appelai, je me penchai pour l'aider à gravir l'échelle qui pliait sous l'averse. Il était trop tard. Maintenant, accablé, désespéré, lamentable, ayant perdu sa calotte de velours et ses lunettes d'or, il opposait en vain ses bras courts au flot qui lui montait jusqu'aux aisselles. Soudain une trombe effroyable de fiches s'éleva, l'enveloppant d'un tourbillon gigantesque. Je vis durant l'espace d'une seconde dans le gouffre le crâne poli du savant et ses petites mains grasses, puis l'abîme se referma, et le déluge se répandit sur le silence et l'immobilité. Menacé moi-même d'être englouti avec mon échelle, je m'enfuis à travers le plus haut carreau de la croisée.

      France, Anatole. L’Île Des Pingouins. Project Gutenberg 8524. 1908. Reprint, Project Gutenberg, 2005. https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8524/pg8524.html

      Death by Zettelkasten!!

      (Coming soon to a theater near you...)

      In the preface to the novel Penguin Island (L'Île des Pingouins. Calmann-Lévy, 1908) by Nobel prize laureate Anatole France, a scholar is drowned by an avalanche of index cards which formed a gigantic whirlpool streaming out of his card index (Zettelkasten).

      Link to: Historian Keith Thomas has indicated that he finds it hard to take using index cards for excerpting and research seriously as a result of reading this passage in the satire Penguin Island.<br /> https://hypothes.is/a/rKAvtlQCEe2jtzP3LmPlsA


      Translation via: France, Anatole. Penguin Island. Translated by Arthur William Evans. 8th ed. 1908. Reprint, New York, NY, USA: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1922. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Penguin_Island/6UpWAvkPQaEC?hl=en&gbpv=0

      Small changes in the translation by me, comprising only adding the word "index" in front of the occurrences of card to better represent the historical idea of fiches used by scholars in the late 1800s and early 1900s, are indicated in brackets.

      The walls of the study, the floor, and even the ceiling were loaded with overflowing bundles, paste board boxes swollen beyond measure, boxes in which were compressed an innumerable multitude of small [index] cards covered with writing. I beheld in admiration mingled with terror the cataracts of erudition that threatened to burst forth.

      “Master,” said I in feeling tones, “I throw myself upon your kindness and your knowledge, both of which are inexhaustible. Would you consent to guide me in my arduous researches into the origins of Penguin art?"

      “Sir," answered the Master, “I possess all art, you understand me, all art, on [index] cards classed alphabetically and in order of subjects. I consider it my duty to place at your disposal all that relates to the Penguins. Get on that ladder and take out that box you see above. You will find in it everything you require.”

      I tremblingly obeyed. But scarcely had I opened the fatal box than some blue [index] cards escaped from it, and slipping through my fingers, began to rain down.

      Almost immediately, acting in sympathy, the neighbouring boxes opened, and there flowed streams of pink, green, and white [index] cards, and by degrees, from all the boxes, differently coloured [index] cards were poured out murmuring like a waterfall on a mountain-side in April. In a minute they covered the floor with a thick layer of paper. Issuing from their in exhaustible reservoirs with a roar that continually grew in force, each second increased the vehemence of their torrential fall. Swamped up to the knees in cards, Fulgence Tapir observed the cataclysm with attentive nose. He recognised its cause and grew pale with fright.

      “ What a mass of art! ” he exclaimed.

      I called to him and leaned forward to help him mount the ladder which bent under the shower. It was too late. Overwhelmed, desperate, pitiable, his velvet smoking-cap and his gold-mounted spectacles having fallen from him, he vainly opposed his short arms to the flood which had now mounted to his arm-pits . Suddenly a terrible spurt of [index] cards arose and enveloped him in a gigantic whirlpool. During the space of a second I could see in the gulf the shining skull and little fat hands of the scholar; then it closed up and the deluge kept on pouring over what was silence and immobility. In dread lest I in my turn should be swallowed up ladder and all I made my escape through the topmost pane of the window.

    1. Blu-menberg’s first collection of note cards dates back to the early 1940s butwas lost during the war; the Marbach collection contains cards from 1947onwards. 18

      18 Von Bülow and Krusche, “Vorla ̈ ufiges,” 273.

      Hans Blumenberg's first zettelkasten dates to the early 1940s, but was lost during the war though he continued the practice afterwards. The collection of his notes housed at Marbach dates from 1947 onward.

    1. Kaube, Jürgen. “Zettelkästen: Alles und noch viel mehr: Die gelehrte Registratur.” FAZ.NET, June 3, 2013. https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/geisteswissenschaften/zettelkaesten-alles-und-noch-viel-mehr-die-gelehrte-registratur-12103104.html

    2. Nicht wenige Kästen sind nur für ein einziges Buch angelegt worden, Siegfried Kracauers Sammlungen etwa zu seiner Monographie über Jacques Offenbach, das Bildarchiv des Historikers Reinhart Koselleck mit Abteilungen Tausender Fotos von Reiterdenkmälern beispielsweise oder der Kasten des Romanisten Hans Robert Jauß, in dem er für seine Habilitationsschrift mittelalterliche Tiernamen und -eigenschaften verzettelte.

      machine translation (Google)

      Quite a few boxes have been created for just one book, Siegfried Kracauer's collections for his monograph on Jacques Offenbach, for example, the photo archive of the historian Reinhart Koselleck with sections of thousands of photos of equestrian monuments, for example, or the box by the Romanist Hans Robert Jauß, in which he wrote for his Habilitation dissertation bogged down medieval animal names and characteristics.

      A zettelkasten need not be a lifetime practice and historically many were created for supporting a specific project or ultimate work. Examples can be seen in the work of both Robert Green and his former assistant Ryan Holiday who kept separate collections for each of their books, as well as those displayed at the German Literature Archive in Marbach (2013) including Siegfried Kracauer (for a monograph on Jacques Offenbach), Reinhart Koselleck (equestrian related photos), Hans Robert Jauß (a dissertation on medieval animal names and characteristics).

  23. Sep 2022
    1. Inreality, many students focus on the publication sections, such asabstract, methods, results, and discussion, instead of evaluating themain argument, which is the root of poorly constructed literaturereviews described by Boote and Beile (2005).
    2. A review of the early scholarship on social annotationconcluded that the benefits to learners are positive overall (Cohn,2018). A more recent comprehensive review of social collaborativeannotation in the published literature included 249 studies, of whichthe authors analyzed 39 studies with empirical designs. Most ofthese studies focused on undergraduate or K-12 classrooms, andonly two studies focused on graduate students (Chen, 2019; Hollett& Kalir, 2017). Interestingly, both studies with graduate studentscompared, in different ways, two social app tools, Slack (SanFrancisco, CA) and Hypothes.is (San Francisco, CA), for annotationgeneration and management. Both studies found increasedengagement with academic texts and high quality discussionsrelated to use of the social app tools.

      Research on social annotation

    1. Agarwal, Pooja K., Ludmila D. Nunes, and Janell R. Blunt. “Retrieval Practice Consistently Benefits Student Learning: A Systematic Review of Applied Research in Schools and Classrooms.” Educational Psychology Review 33, no. 4 (December 1, 2021): 1409–53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-021-09595-9

    1. Yolanda Gibb: How a mindset of Ambidextrous Creativity can get you generating AND exploiting your ideas?

      https://lu.ma/poo355tg

      Ambidextrous creativity is having a balance between exploration and subsequent exploitation of those explorations.

      Small companies and individuals are good at exploration, but often less good at exploitation.

      Triple loop learning<br /> this would visually form a spiral (versus overlap)<br /> - Single loop learning: doing things right (correcting mistakes)<br /> - double loop learning: doing the right things (causality)<br /> - triple loop learning: why these systems and processes (learning to learn)

      Assets<br /> Relational capital * Structural capital - pkm is part of this<br /> there's value in a well structured PKM for a particualr thing as it's been used and tested over time; this is one of the issues with LYT or Second Brain (PARA, et al.) how well-tested are these? How well designed?<br /> * Structural capital is the part that stays at the office when all the people have gone home * Human Capital

      Eleanor Konik

      4 Es of cognition<br /> * embodied * embedded * enacted * extended<br /> by way of extra-cranial processes

      see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7250653/

      Yolanda Gibb's book<br /> Entrepreneurship, Neurodiversity & Gender: Exploring Opportunities for Enterprise and Self-employment As Pathways to Fulfilling Lives https://www.amazon.com/Entrepreneurship-Neurodiversity-Gender-Opportunities-Self-employment/dp/1800430582

      Tools: - Ryyan - for literature searches - NVIVO - Obsidian - many others including getting out into one's environment

      NVIVO<br /> https://www.qsrinternational.com/nvivo-qualitative-data-analysis-software/home

      a software program used for qualitative and mixed-methods research. Specifically, it is used for the analysis of unstructured text, audio, video, and image data, including (but not limited to) interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media, and journal articles.

      Ryyan<br /> https://www.rayyan.ai/<br /> for organizing, managing, and accelerating collaborative literature reviews

  24. Aug 2022
    1. Update now that I'm three years in to my PhD program and am about to start on my lit reviews and dissertation research... Holy Forking Shirtballs, am I glad I started my ZK back in 2020!!! * I cannot tell you how often I've used it to write my course papers. * I cannot tell you how often I've had it open during class discussions to back up my points. * I cannot tell you how lazy I've gotten with some of my entries (copying and pasting text instead of reworking it into my own words), and how much I wish I had taken the time to translate those entries for myself.
    1. I like to highlight verbatim and add manual notes while I read. Later, when reviewing the literature note to create permanent notes, I rewrite and summarize them in my own words. Ahrens (2017) says to keep literature notes concise by being selective and using your own words while consuming the content.
      • highlights seems to save a copy
      • should I save the copy into my notebook or just save its metadata?
      • permanent notes are the note I rewrite from my comprehension, this is the core of ZK

      • another question is we always forget the context of the highlights...

  25. Jul 2022
    1. Even physicists,when they leave equations behind and try to describetheir discoveries to the rest of us in plain English, findthemselves employing analogies, metaphors, and theother language tools we all use

      Within mathematical contexts one of the major factors often at play is the idea of abstraction: how can one use a basic idea and then abstract it to other situations to see what results.

      The idea of abstraction in mathematics is analogous to analogy and metaphor in literature.

    2. AuthorW.H. Auden demystified both literature and criticismwhen he said, “Here is a verbal contraption. How doesit work?”

      Auden himself kept a commomplace book of his own notes which was published as A Certain World: A Commonplace Book #, so we can read some of his notes! :)

    3. Summarize and paraphrase (and only rarelyquote) this information into a Source Note;

      Dan Allosso's definition of a "source note".

      This seems roughly equivalent to what Ahrens calls a "literature note".

    1. Backing out was not too difficult, but did take some work. I encountered the same obstacles as when I went in. After I wiggled my hips out of the hole, which took some time, I had trouble getting my shoulders out. Both arms were overhead at this point. My shirt was getting caught on the rocks and my shoulders were brushing the sharp rocks. After struggling to find a good position I gave up and just pulled my upper body out. SCRAAAAPE! My shirt pulled up over my head, and I had some nice scrapes on my shoulders, but I didn't care. To me this trip was a success. I had pushed myself beyond what I though was possible. I kneeled at the entrance and looked into the narrow passage I had just been in. The rock wall was now at the 11 foot mark (I had pushed it a little with my forward arm). The smallest point was at the 9 foot mark. We were close. Between the work and the excitement I was tired. I just sat on the rope bag, grinning. Whew! What a trip!
    2. The entire time you are lying there you think about how you are going to get back out. And, what if...?
    3. While lying in the darkness, in a passage deep within a cave, one is in a unique position to ponder. A mountain literally resting on top of me, the entire earth lying below. One tiny movement of earth and I would cease to exist. Or worse, to recognize the fear shared by Floyd Collins as he lay there, trapped for days deep within the heart of Mother Earth, incapable of freeing himself from his earthen prison.
    4. My little trip into the passage represented a major milestone in my caving "career". When I began caving I did not feel overly comfortable going through tight spaces. Even the little squeeze at the beginning of this cave was an obstacle to overcome. By pushing myself and forcing myself to try the narrow passages I have become much calmer about tight spaces. Still, this passage represented a new benchmark in small spaces. I had not been faced with anything this small. I don't remember having to take off my helmet before now. With this passage, it is mandatory. As I mentioned before, not only do I have to take off my helmet, but I have to turn my head to the side in order to fit.
    5. I CANNOT believe that we were so willing to get right back into the cave after hearing the scream. Part of the reason I went along with the idea was because B seemed so indifferent to any possible dangers. Even if it were an animal (which I did not believe, but could offer no better explanation), weren't we possibly putting ourselves in harms way? In retrospect I still have difficulty understanding our thought process at that time. We were just too eager to discover virgin cave passages. I now think it can be summed up with one word: testosterone!
    6. I still harbor the fantasy that there is a hidden entrance to the other side of the passage and years ago Spanish explorers hid their treasures in the cave and sealed up the entrance. And it has remained untouched until we find it! B has a more realistic, although more mundane theory. He figures there is more cave on the other side. We'll see who is right.
    7. It is always fun to tell people about the tight squeeze we are going to have to go through to get into the passage. Most people have little desire to voluntarily subject themselves to incredibly tight places. Actually neither do I, but I will do it in order to get to the other side. Good motivation.
    1. In retrospect I can't believe how casual we were about everything that was happening in the cave. At the time the only thing we could think about was getting into the passage. Everything else was just a minor distraction. I do recall thinking that it would be nice to get in and see how the mechanics of the cave worked (where the wind was coming from, what was making the noise, etc.) Now, weeks later, I think of my ignorance and naivete, and shiver.
    2. Then something bizarre happened that I can't quit explain. The dog began exploring as soon as we let her off the rope. She was in hog heaven, sniffing and darting about around our feet. She would run from one person to the other as we made our way back to the work site. At the point the cave splits into four passages the dog seemed to run out of juice. She just stuck right by either B or me. That seemed kind of odd. As we progressed further into the cave she would only stay by B. She seemed edgy. Like she saw something she didn't like. As we approached the short drop-off before the hole, she stopped and would only come further after we coaxed her. The hair on her back stood on end. Finally, as we got to within 20 feet of the hole she began to whimper, and hide behind B. Her tail was between her legs and she was cowering down on the ground. Strange! I have seen her square off with dogs twice her size, but now she acted as if Satan himself was lurking in the darkness. I figured there must have been animals that used the cave as a home, and Whip smelled their scent. Too bad it upset her, because there was no way she was going into the passage. We decided that with this new development (the nervous dog) one of us would work while the other stayed with the dog a few feet away from where we normally rested. We got right back into our routine of drilling, hammering, etc. With our extra supply of batteries we were able to really push hard on the drill and not have to worry about using up the batteries. This did not make our work any easier, but it did speed things up a little bit. Progress was still SLOW. I really didn't mind, though. My journal goes on for a while about the progress we were making. The entire time we worked, Whip did not move. She just laid there on a rope-bag, shivering. She would whimper from time to time. One thing I didn't think about at the time was that she would not take her eyes off the hole. We should have been more observant of this intuitive animal.

      The good old obvious "animal notices something is wrong" red flag.

    1. I remember that I frequently looked and the hole and thought, "Hey, it's big enough. I think I can squeeze through" only to be disappointed in my attempt. However, even after the first attempt and failure I knew that I would keep working on the hole until I got through. This despite the fact that I knew it would take many more hours of hard work. It actually became an obsession with me. I tried to get out to the cave and work as often as I could. I hoped that the passage led to a larger undiscovered cave that we would be the first ones to enter. I guess the explorer in me wanted to find a new frontier there in the cave. Since B is such an avid caver he was motivated by the same desire to find a new unexplored cave. What we did find was not at all what I expected...
    2. As has been my tradition for all the years I've been caving, the party reaches a point in the cave, usually at the deepest part of the cave, that all lights are extinguished. Complete blackness fills the eyes. For a moment the individual caver strains the eye muscles, focusing in and out with the expectation of catching a crumb of light somewhere in the false night. After several futile moments the caver turns his head at a sound- perhaps another caver- only to have the other senses return, and then heighten. The sounds, smells and feelings that have been overlooked to this point come racing to the caver in perfect detail. The pain of their own behind sitting on the cave floor. The smell of dust, sweat, guano. The sound of modern material shifting on age-old rock as cavers attempt to find comfort on this solid foundation. At the back of every caver's mind at this time is "What if?". What if a person HAD to climb out of the cave with no light. Would he make it? Would he find all of the turns and bends which got him to this place? If not, would a rescue party find him in time? The depth of darkness recognized at this time is something that is rarely experienced outside a cave. Many first time cavers erroneously declare that they have to hold their hand to within 2 or 3 inches of their face before they can see it. The truth is the human eye is incapable of seeing in an absence of light. If they did not hear something coming toward them, they would feel it before they saw it. COMPLETE and TOTAL dark! This exercise is a great way to remind people to take backup lighting.
    1. We even thought about using liquid nitrogen to freeze the rock and make it more brittle!
    1. Ha Ha! In retrospect it is funny how simple I thought it was going to be. I figured a few hours work and we would be in. Had I known how long it was going to take I doubt I would have even begun the project. Had I known what I was going to experience in the cave I never would have returned.
  26. May 2022
    1. Most of the early books for children were didactic rather than artistic, meant to teach letter sounds and words or to improve the child's moral and spiritual life. In the mid-1700s, however, British publisher John Newbery (1713–1767), influenced by John Locke's ideas that children should enjoy reading, began publishing books for children's amusement. Since that time there has been a gradual transition from the deliberate use of purely didactic literature to inculcate moral, spiritual, and ethical values in children to the provision of literature to entertain and inform. This does not imply that suitable literature for children is either immoral or amoral. On the contrary, suitable literature for today's children is influenced by the cultural and ethical values of its authors. These values are frequently revealed as the literary work unfolds, but they are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Authors assume a degree of intelligence on the part of their audience that was not assumed in the past. In this respect, children's literature has changed dramatically since its earliest days.

      Children's Literature began as a means of teaching letter and sounds and words. It also began with the purpose to improve the child's moral and spiritual life.It began in John Newberry's idea that reading should be fun for children.

  27. Apr 2022
    1. Zettelkasten notes are little atomic Feynman Technique experiences.

      The creation of literature notes for one's zettelkasten are atomic instances of the use of the Feynman technique to test one's understanding.

    1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-02346-4

      https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02346-4

      Oddly this article doesn't cover academia.edu but includes ResearchGate which has a content-sharing partnership with the publisher SpringerNature.

      Matthews, D. (2021). Drowning in the literature? These smart software tools can help. Nature, 597(7874), 141–142. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-02346-4

    2. ResearchRabbit, which fully launched in August 2021, describes itself as “Spotify for papers”.

      Research Rabbit is a search engine for academic research that was launched in August of 2021 and bills itself as "Spotify for papers." It uses artificial intelligence to recommend related papers to researchers and updates those recommendations based on the contents of one's growing corpus of interest.

    3. Connected Papers uses the publicly available corpus compiled by Semantic Scholar — a tool set up in 2015 by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, Washington — amounting to around 200 million articles, including preprints.

      Semantic Scholar is a digital tool created by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, Washington in 2015. It's corpus is publicly available for search and is used by other tools including Connected Papers.

    4. Open Knowledge Maps, meanwhile, is built on top of the open-source Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, which boasts more than 270 million documents, including preprints, and is curated to remove spam.

      Open Knowledge Maps uses the open-source Bielefeld Academic Search Engine and in 2021 indicated that it covers 270 million documents including preprints. Open Knowledge Maps also curates its index to remove spam.


      How much spam is included in the journal article space? I've heard of incredibly low quality and poorly edited journals, so filtering those out may be fairly easy to do, but are there smaller levels of individual spam below that?

    5. Google Scholar does not disclose the size of its database, but it is widely acknowledged to be the biggest corpus in existence, with close to 400 million articles by one estimate (M. Gusenbauer Scientometrics 118, 177–214; 2019).

      Google Scholar was estimated to cover 400 million articles in 2019. It's acknowledged to be the largest research corpus, but the company doesn't publicly publish the size of its database.

    6. Besides published articles, Google Scholar might also pick up preprints as well as “low-quality theses and dissertations”, Tay says. Even so, “you get some gems you might not have seen”, he says. (Scopus, a competing literature database maintained by the Amsterdam-based publisher Elsevier, began incorporating preprints earlier this year, a spokesperson says. But it does not index theses and dissertations. “There will be titles that do not meet the Scopus standards but are covered by Google Scholar,” he says.)

      Scopus primarily covers regularly published journals with ISSN numbers and began including preprints in 2021, while Google Scholar has a broader net that also includes theses, dissertations, preprints, and books.

    7. Aaron Tay, a librarian at Singapore Management University who studies academic search tools, gets literature recommendations from both Twitter and Google Scholar, and finds that the latter often highlights the same articles as his human colleagues, albeit a few days later. Google Scholar “is almost always on target”, he says.

      Anecdotal evidence indicates that manual human curation as evinced by Twitter front runs Google Scholar by a few days.

    8. Another visual-mapping tool is Open Knowledge Maps, a service offered by a Vienna-based not-for-profit organization of the same name. It was founded in 2015 by Peter Kraker, a former scholarly-communication researcher at Graz University of Technology in Austria.

      https://openknowledgemaps.org/

      Open Knowledge maps is a visual literature search tool that is based on keywords rather than on a paper's title, author, or DOI. The service was founded in 2015 by Peter Kraker, a former scholarly communication researcher at Graz University of Technology.

    9. In 2019, Smolyansky co-founded Connected Papers, one of a new generation of visual literature-mapping and recommendation tools.

      https://www.connectedpapers.com/

      https://twitter.com/ConnectedPapers


      Something about the name Connected Papers reminds me of the same sort of linking name that Manfred Kuehn gave to his note taking software ConnectedText.

    1. Iliad was typical of early works such as the Epic of Gilgamesh of Mesopotamia or the Mayan Popol Vuh. This epic literature served as common reference points for entire cultures, telling their audiences where they came from and who they were.
  28. Mar 2022
    1. There are some additional interesting questions here, like: how do you get to the edge quickly? How do you do that across multiple fields? What do you do if the field seems misdirected, like much of psychology?
      1. How do you get to the edge quickly?

      I think this is where literature mapping tools come in handy. With such a tool, you can see how the literature is connected and which papers are closer to the edge of understanding. Some tools on this point include Connected Papers, Inciteful, Scite, Litmaps, and Open Knowledge Maps.

      1. How do you do that across multiple fields?

      I think this requires taking an X-disciplinary approach that teeters on multiple disciplines.

      1. What do you do if the field seems misdirected, like much of psychology?

      Good question. It is hard to re-orient a field unless you can find a good reason (e.g., a crisis) for a paradigm shift. I think Kuhn's writing on [The Structure of Scientific Revolutions(https://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/Kuhn.html) may be relevant here.

    1. நீங்கள் எழுத்தாளர்களிடம் உரையாடுவதென்பது இரண்டு காரணங்களுக்காகவே தேவையானது. ஒன்று, இங்கே ஓர் அறிவியக்கம் நிகழவேண்டும் என்றால் அதற்குரிய பொது உரையாடல் நடந்துகொண்டிருக்கவேண்டும். நீங்கள் அதில் பங்கெடுக்கையில் அது உயிருடன் இருக்க தேவையான ஒன்றைச் செய்கிறீர்கள். இரண்டு, உங்கள் அகவுலகை செம்மை செய்துகொள்ள நீங்கள் வெளிப்பட்டும் ஆகவேண்டும். உள்ளே செல்லும் சொற்கள் திரும்பி வருகையிலேயே அவை நம்முடையவை. இலக்கியம் பற்றிப் பேசுவதும் எழுதுவதும் இலக்கியத்தை ஆழமாக அறியும் வழி. மூன்றாவதுதான் எழுத்தாளர் அடையும் ஊக்கம்.

      Reader's benefit in writing Literary critic Letter to writer/author

    1. ஒரு நல்ல படைப்பை அடையாளம் கண்டுகொள்ள சில அவதானிப்புகளைச் சொல்கிறேன். முதலில், எது அதிகம் பேரால் பகிரப்படுகிறதோ அது நல்ல படைப்பாக இருக்க வாய்ப்பே இல்லை. இரண்டாவது, ஒரு நல்ல படைப்பு பெரும்பாலும் நம்மைத் தேடி வராது; அதைத்தான் நாம் தேடிச் செல்ல வேண்டும். வேறுவிதமாகச் சொல்வதானால், வாசிக்கச் சுலபமாய் இருக்கும் ஆக்கங்கள் பெரும்பாலும் குப்பைகளாகவே இருக்கும். வாசிக்கச் சிரமம் தருபவையும், பல்துறை ஞானத்தைக் கோருபவையுமே நல்ல படைப்புகளாக இருக்கும். மூன்றாவது, வாசித்து முடிந்தவுடன் மறந்து போவது நல்ல படைப்பாக இருக்க வாய்ப்பில்லை அல்லது தற்காலிக மகிழ்ச்சியைத் தருவதும் நல்ல படைப்பாக இருக்காது.

      Literary Findings

    1. கவிதை எனும் இலக்கிய வடிவத்தின் பலம் இரண்டு தளங்களில் இருக்கிறது. ஒன்று கவிதை பிற புனைவு அல்புனைவு வடிவங்களின் அலகுகளில் ஒன்றை போல ‘எடுத்துச் சொல்ல’ வந்தது அல்ல. ‘எப்படிச் சொல்கிறது’ என்பதே அதன் அடிப்படைத் தொழில். இரண்டாவதாக அதன் உடனடித் தன்மை. இந்த உடனடித் தன்மையை காலம் இடத்துக்கு கட்டுப்படாத தனக்கே உரிய பிரத்யேக தனி மொழி கொண்டு வாசகனின் புலன்களை உணர்வை நேரடியாக தீண்டுவதன் வழியே கைக்கொள்ளுகிறது.

      Poetry - Literary Analysis

  29. Feb 2022
    1. The hermeneutic circle (German: hermeneutischer Zirkel) describes the process of understanding a text hermeneutically. It refers to the idea that one's understanding of the text as a whole is established by reference to the individual parts and one's understanding of each individual part by reference to the whole. Neither the whole text nor any individual part can be understood without reference to one another, and hence, it is a circle. However, this circular character of interpretation does not make it impossible to interpret a text; rather, it stresses that the meaning of a text must be found within its cultural, historical, and literary context.

      The hermeneutic circle is the idea that understanding a text in whole is underpinned by understanding its constituent parts and understanding the individual parts is underpinned by understanding the whole thereby making a circle of understanding. This understanding of a text is going to be heavily influenced by a text's cultural, historical, literary, and other contexts.

    1. Academic writing in itself is not a complicated process thatrequires a variety of complicated tools, but is in constant danger ofbeing clogged with unnecessary distractions. Unfortunately, moststudents collect and embrace over time a variety of learning andnote-taking techniques, each promising to make something easier,but combined have the opposite effect.

      Not highlighted in this context but it bears thinking about, Ahrens is looking at writing in particular while many note taking techniques (Cornell notes, SQ3R, SQ4R, etc.) and methods geared at students are specific to capturing basic facts which may need to be learned, by which I mean memorized or at least highly familiar, so that they can later be used in future analysis.

      Many of these note taking concepts are geared toward basic factual acquisition, repetition, and memorization and not future generative thought or writing applications.

      It's important to separate these ideas so that one can focus on one or the other. Perhaps there are contexts within which both may be valuable, but typically they're not. Within the zettelkasten context the difference between the two may be subtly seen in the conception of "literature notes" and "permanent notes".

      Literature notes are progressive summarizations which one may use to strengthen and aid in understanding and later recall. These may include basic facts which one might wish to create question/answer pairs for use in spaced repetition programs.

      Permanent notes have a higher level of importance, particularly for generative writing. These are the primary substance one wants to work with while the literature notes may be the "packing peanuts" or filler that can be used to provide background context to support one's more permanent notes.

      Compare this with: https://boffosocko.com/2021/12/22/different-types-of-notes-and-use-cases/

    2. Make literature notes.

      Related to literature notes, but a small level down are the sorts of basic highlights that one makes in their books/reading. For pedagogy's sake they're a sort of fleeting note that might be better rewritten in a progressive summarization form. Too often they're not, but sit there on the page in a limbo between the lowest form of fleeting note and a literature note.


      Hierarchy of annotations and notes: - fleeting notes - highlights - marginalia marks: ?, !, ⁕, †, ‡, ⁂, ⊙, doodles, phatic marks, tags, categories, topic headings, etc., - very brief annotations - literature notes (progressive summaries) - permanent notes

    3. Make literature notes. Whenever you read something, make notesabout the content. Write down what you don’t want to forget or thinkyou might use in your own thinking or writing. Keep it very short, beextremely selective, and use your own words.

      Literature notes could also be considered progressive summaries of what one has read. They are also a form of practicing the Feynman technique where one explains what one knows as a means of embracing an idea and better understanding it.