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Essaying to be

by Robert Minto

Exordium

 

To begin again: this blog is about reading and walking, writing and thinking.

Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebooks as faithfully as the authorities keep their register of aliens. — Walter Benjamin

This blog is committed to collage, juxtaposition, randomization, and automatism. This blog might be a surrealist. It is an ongoing experiment in treating observations from long-distance walks, ideas from unguided reading, and objects encountered in their historical and material being, as if they were secretly related, as if this blog’s job was to uncover and make manifest that secret.

The Musings of the Solitary Walker, by Rene Magritte: 1926.

Do not see in a town merely houses, but human life and history. Let a gallery or a museum show you something more than a collection of objects, let it show you schools of art and of life, conceptions of destiny and of nature, successive or varied tendencies, of technique, of inspiration, of feeling. Let a workshop speak to you not only of iron and wood, but of man’s estate, of work, of ancient and modern social economy, of class relationships. Let travel tell you of mankind; let scenery remind you of the great laws of the world; let the stars speak to you of measureless duration; let the pebbles on your path be to you the residue of the formation of the earth; let the sight of a family make you think of past generations; and let the least contact with your fellows throw light on the highest conception of man. — Antonin Sertillanges

This blog pretends to receive a revelation which it knows not to exist.

Then I dare; I also will essay to be. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Comments

What a fascinating, wonderful mission statement! It seems to me that many literary blogs write in reaction to a tendency from and on the internet to only find knowledge in certain ways of sorting and analyzing large amounts of empirical data and emphasize instead a very deep and close form or personal observation.

But what strikes me about this is how ways to use data to simulate the human so far (see this article and the chat logs https://www.theverge.com/a/luka-artificial-intelligence-memorial-roman-mazurenko-bot) gain their significance through randomness, and how individuals interpret that randomness.

Your thoughts?

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