[NetBehaviour] DHSI TALK 2016 RIVERRUN THEORY DHSI

Graziano Milano grazmaster at googlemail.com
Mon Jul 26 15:54:58 CEST 2021


Hi Max,

In Italy Dante has always been and still is very popular because alongside
Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) and Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) is the
Father of the Italian language as they all wrote their verses in the
vernacular, opting for Tuscan dialect in an era when poetry was generally
composed in Latin, meaning it was only read by the most educated readers.

During and after the Italian unification (1848-1871), also known as the
Risorgimento, their written Tuscan dialect started becoming the Italian
language. At that time the Italian poet, novelist and philosopher
Alessandro Manzoni stressed the importance of establishing a uniform
national language in order to better create an Italian national identity.
With the unification of Italy, Italian became the official national
language of the new Italian state, while the other ones came to be
institutionally regarded as "dialects" subordinate to Italian, and
negatively associated with a lack of education. However only 2.5% of
Italy's population could speak Italian at that time.

Italian dialects refer to a vast array of separate languages spoken in
Italy, most of which lack mutual intelligibility with one another and have
their own local varieties. Here is the map of the Italian dialects.

[image: ItalianDialectsMap.jpg]

As a child the first language I learned was the dialect of Cassano Jonio,
the Calabrian Southern Italian historical village where I was born and grew
up. A friend of my dad, Gino Bloise (1926-2001), used our local village
dialect to write a series of poems. In his dialectal poems Bloise took up
places, characters and legends of Cassano Jonio. In the poem *U Dirlogi*
(in Italian “L’Orologio”, in English “The Clock”), he talked about the
historical tower clock and its hundred strokes using my home village
dialect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cabmY7hv_8

All the best,
Graziano

On Mon, 26 Jul 2021 at 01:07, Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

>
> Hi Graziano,
>
> I figured out that my edition of the *Convivio *includes the
> "Complementary Odes" which are 4-14.  The *Convivio *proper was
> unfinished, and only went up to four treatises and three odes out of a
> planned 15 of each.  It's more than a little aggravating to see that this
> matches the 15 books of the Metamorphoses and of *War and Peace*.  🙂
>
> In general I'm finding, today especially, the difficult if not impossible
> nature of finding relevance for Leonardo and Dante in today's world by way
> of references, influences, and parallels.  There are so many, literally
> centuries worth, that there may not be any way to make sense out of them at
> this point.  It's interesting to find that Dante was highly valued until
> say 1600, then kind of out of favor, then brought back by Blake among
> others in the 1800's to enjoy high regard up through Eliot, Beckett, and
> others.  Is Dante's popularity still there now?  I guess it seems like not
> to me, but I don't read as much as I should.
>
> If Dante is in an ebb of popularity his work may not be a useful avenue,
> despite the 700th anniversary, for adding context to new hypotheses about
> Leonardo's paintings (which may also be undergoing an ebb in popularity in
> certain ways, despite the 500th anniversary).  Though I find the attempt
> quite interesting as a hobby, catching up on things I always wanted to read
> but didn't, I should be more careful not to present my musings as rigorous
> scholarship and probably not narrate my daily investigations quite so at
> length on list!
>
> The summary in Wikipedia of McLuhan's *War and Peace in the Global
> Village* (1968) is a helpful summary of what the thunder-words may mean:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_and_Peace_in_the_Global_Village
> I don't see a clear-cut group of four -- if in fact Alan was referring to
> a group of four -- unless we pick out the media-specific examples of
> television (tw10), movies (tw8), printing (tw5), and speech (tw1).  A bit
> interesting that clothing is considered a thunderclap!  It would be great
> if McLuhan's book could somehow help us bring more peace, but maybe the
> hopeful times of '68 are long since replaced by something much more sharply
> inclined toward conflict.  Maybe it can't hurt to still hope, with conflict
> something lessened by that choice?  In any event, television seems a very
> quaint "final" technology given what we see the internet getting up to
> nowadays.
>
> Very best,
>
> Max
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Max Herman via NetBehaviour <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
> >
> *Sent:* Sunday, July 25, 2021 3:22 PM
> *To:* Graziano Milano <grazmaster at googlemail.com>; NetBehaviour for
> networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Cc:* Max Herman <maxnmherman at hotmail.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [NetBehaviour] DHSI TALK 2016 RIVERRUN THEORY DHSI
>
>
> Hi Graziano,
>
> I know the Digital Dante and use it often!  I didn't know it had the
> original Convivio, but see it now, and alas I could be wrong about the
> Mountain Ode -- is it even from the *Convivio*?  My translation is not
> very helpful so I need to research some more.
>
> Thanks much for the helpful info!
>
> Max
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Graziano Milano <grazmaster at googlemail.com>
> *Sent:* Sunday, July 25, 2021 2:27 PM
> *To:* NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Cc:* Max Herman <maxnmherman at hotmail.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [NetBehaviour] DHSI TALK 2016 RIVERRUN THEORY DHSI
>
> Hi Max,
>
> The Digital Dante <https://digitaldante.columbia.edu> website by Columbia
> University (New York) offers original research and ideas on Dante: on his
> thought and work and on various aspects of his reception.
>
> The Text section features original research of a text-focused nature and
> it also houses a select library of Dante’s works in their original Italian,
> as well as English translations.
> https://digitaldante.columbia.edu/text/
>
> The Bookshelf section houses Dante’s *Convivio* and *Vita Nuova* in their
> original Italian, as well as English translations by Richard Lansing and
> Andrew Frisardi.
> https://digitaldante.columbia.edu/text/library/
>
> *The Divine Comedy* section features the Petrocchi edition of the Italian
> text, the Longfellow and Mandelbaum English translations, historical
> images, audio recording and the Commento Baroliniano.
> https://digitaldante.columbia.edu/dante/divine-comedy/
>
> Graziano
>
> On Sun, 25 Jul 2021 at 18:51, Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>
>
> Thank you for saying so Alan!  If only I did more of it.  🙂
>
> Finding interesting material about Joyce's self-definition as a "poetic
> engineer," making machine-like poems to engage the "machine age," etc.,
> germane to several topics of late so I should probably lapse into study
> mode awhile and would love to hear from any actual experts on the list!
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Sent:* Sunday, July 25, 2021 12:28 PM
> *To:* NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Cc:* Alan Sondheim <sondheim at gmail.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [NetBehaviour] DHSI TALK 2016 RIVERRUN THEORY DHSI
>
> Honest to God, I have Noh Idea!
>
> You should tell us, you do amazing close reading!
>
> Best, Alan
>
> On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 1:18 PM Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>
>
> Hi Alan,
>
> I am curious about the Four Thunders.  Might they compare at all to the
> following "modes of reading" which Dante expounds in *Convivio *II, in
> order to explain Ode 1?  (I am very unused to Dante's curious habit in *La
> Vita Nuova* and *Il Convivio* of writing a poem, then explaining what it
> means in prose, then another poem, another explanation, etc., not unlike a
> workshop or curricular method ironically!  Therefore I cast about trying to
> decipher Ode 1 without even reading the following page that explains it.)
>
> *Convivio *II.i states:
>
> "I say that, as was told in the first chapter, this exposition must be
> both literal and allegorical; and that this may be understood it should be
> known that writings may be taken and should be expounded chiefly in four
> senses.  The first is called the literal, and it is the one that extends no
> further than the letter as it stands; the second is called the allegorical,
> and it is the one that hides itself under the mantle of these tales, and is
> a truth hidden under beauteous fiction.  As when Ovid says that Orpheus
> with his lyre made wild beasts tame and made trees and rocks reproach him;
> which would say that the wise person with the instrument of their voice
> maketh cruel hearts tender and humble; and moveth to their will such as
> have not the life of science and of art; for they that have not the
> rational life are as good as stones.  And why this way of hiding was
> devised by the sages will be shown in the last treatise but one.  It is
> true that the theologians take this sense otherwise than the poets do, but
> since it is my purpose here to follow the method of the poets I shall take
> the allegorical sense after the use of the poets.  The third sense is
> called moral, and this is the one that lecturers should go intently noting
> throughout the scriptures for their own behoof and that of their
> disciples.  Thus we may note in the Gospel, when Christ ascended the
> mountain for the transfiguration, that of the twelve apostles he took but
> three; wherein the moral may be understood that in the most secret things
> we should have but few companions.  The fourth sense is called the
> 'anagogical,' that is to say 'above the sense'; and this is when a
> scripture is spiritually expounded which even in the literal sense, by the
> very things it signifies, signifies again some portion of the supernal
> things...."
>
> My apologies for citing this passage given that it mentions so many
> hot-button topics, nor do I wish in any way to condone the atrocities of
> medieval patriarchy which continue in strong force today, but to some
> degree in order to understand the Renaissance (or the birth of the modern
> by means of un-forgetting, to use Weiss' term, the ancient as a fulcrum
> with which to modulate the present), we must understand the necessity Dante
> faced of reconciling non-theological poetry, art, and science in its
> earliest re-appearance with certain cold realities of the machinery of his
> day (which was none the less mechanical for being procedural and textual --
> backed by castle, ship, and sword -- rather than the fabric-like apparatus
> of moving metal parts like cars and computers we associate with the term
> '"machine" today).  Joyce recognized, I think, the hazards of opposing
> fundamentalism always and only directly without respecting the full context
> of what goes on both pragmatically and in terms of human kindness, dignity,
> and hospitality.  The deeply-felt hostilities surrounding secular and
> traditional world views are no joke, and sometimes just hoping things can
> settle down a bit is the best or only option, but where reconciliation or
> comity -- dialogue even -- can be found there may be opportunities worth at
> least pondering.
>
> It would be interesting to know what Italian words Dante used for
> "mantle," "rational," "hiding," "sense," and the like above.  I am trying
> to learn bits of Italian here and there, but do not have the *Convivio *in
> the original and my translation is very old-fashioned (Dryden I think).
> Yet to me the Four Thunders might be a reasonable way to approximate the
> four ways of reading?  If I am not mistaken Joyce used the technique even
> older than history of allotting multiple references to a term or template,
> so the thunders could simultaneously allude to the compass points,
> historical eras, phases of an individual's age, physical elements like
> earth and air, etc.  In researching Dante I've found there was is a kind of
> tension between the numbers 4 and 3 in medieval times, 4 being more "pagan"
> as in the 4 seasons and 3 more doctrinally orthodox, so perhaps the
> selection of 4 as the number of thunders could be part of that context.
> Since I haven't read Finnegan's Wake however I should probably not talk too
> much about it!  🙂
>
> The last Ode in the *Convivio *(which means "Banquet," as in an attempt
> to share various branches of knowledge in summary form with non-scholars in
> vernacular Italian) is called the Mountain Ode.  It seems to discuss Dante
> not being able to return to his home city of Florence, having been banished
> when his political party was defeated in a kind of civil war, but is hard
> to fathom.  However it does use the metaphor of thunder prominently,
> regarding the love of philosophy, art, science, etc.:
>
> "When I arise and look upon the wound
> Which undid me when I was struck
> I may not so assure myself
> But that I tremble all for fear;
> And my discoloured face declares
> what was the thunder bolt that leaped upon me;
> For though 'twas a sweet smile that launched it
> Long time thereafter it abides darkened,
> In that the spirit cannot trust itself.
> V.
> Thou hast dealt with me, O Love, amongst the alps,
> in that river's vale
> On whose banks thou hast ever been strong upon me.
> Here living or dead at thy will thou handlest me
> in virtue of that fierce light
> that makes a thunder-crashing path...."
>
>
> All best and apologies for sub-scholarly musings here, use grains of salt
> aplenty please!
>
> Max
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* NetBehaviour <netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org> on
> behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Sent:* Sunday, July 25, 2021 9:28 AM
> *To:* NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
> *Cc:* Alan Sondheim <sondheim at gmail.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [NetBehaviour] DHSI TALK 2016 RIVERRUN THEORY DHSI
>
> Hi Anthony,
>
> I think you miss what I'm "on about" to use an antiquated phrase.
> In terms of natural rivers, I know them probably better than most; we
> lived near the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, which from about the 18th
> century through 2010, flooded over 90 times. Our house was inundated at
> times. Coal mines further up the river collapsed in the 1950s, miners died.
> The cemetery a couple of miles from us flooded out with coffins floating
> down the river. Azure and I went into riparian areas almost every time we
> were there  (Kingston, PA), searching for slime molds and fungi. Elsewhere
> we studied the Johnstown Flood in Pennsylvania in which 2000 people were
> killed as a reservoir gave way. In Colorado, we spent a lot of time in the
> riparian areas of a reservoir, studying muskrats and red-winged blackbirds.
> But this is different than say chess, which has specific rules, or a
> computer program. With programs, glitches have always interested me (I was
> on a glitch panel in Austin at SXSW), where at best one might find fractals
> or percolations at work. Early on I wrote on the difference between
> "definable" mathematical operations, and the messiness of "immersive ones."
> Riverrun, the title, is from Joyce's Finnegans Wake, the first word; it
> also references for me the four thunders in the book.
> In the DHSI (Digital Humanities Summer Institute) conference in Victoria,
> B.C., I spoke in various kinds of spaces; "gamespace" refers to a
> rule-governed space including various kinds of hacks; "edgespace"
> references spaces where anomalies appear - for example "phantom" objects
> that appeared when I pushed the boundaries of a virtual world, or anomalies
> that appear when we hacked or pushed the boundaries of motion capture
> equipment - another example might be the Pentagon's release of "UFO" images
> recently. Then there's "blank space" which I use to refer to uncharted and
> potentially unchartable territories, such as the Arctic regions up through,
> say, the 18th century - when the imaginary takes over, when that's all
> there is. I'd put religious imagery there, the "Heere bee dragonnes" of
> medieval maps, dream work, all sorts of anomalies; a lot of my work is
> concerned with this.
>
> I've worked with the concept of the "liminal" for a long time - I think it
> was Victor Turner who came up with it (his son also taught at UTD in a
> program I was also in), and that's fascinated me; I think the concept
> itself might be liminal, might need to be further "blurred" -
>
> A number of artists I've been associated with (or try to be!) are
> concerned with these areas; I think even Vito Acconci's performances
> operated within these territories, as well as Adrian Piper and Laurie
> Anderson - these artists and others were in an early anthology I did,
> "Individuals: Post-Movement Art in America" - the title referring to
> eliminating boundaries and stop defining movements in order to experience
> what artists were actually doing outside boundaries.
>
> Can you say more how the liminal or edge/border applies to NFTs? I can see
> how ownership is blurred, but then isn't it (re)defined in terms of the
> contract and purchase, perhaps morphing but not challenging the concept?
>
> thanks greatly, Alan
>
> On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 9:38 AM Anthony Stephenson via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>
> Alan,
> Might inclusion of the liminal help in organizing these thoughts? It seems
> that you are employing a hard-edged concept of the edge. After all, logic
> allows for not only this or that, but both or some of both and more.
> Perhaps you are referring to something that I'm unfamiliar with when you
> speak of Riverrun, but the edge of almost every natural river is liminal.
> The edge or border is something that I've been interested in as it applies
> to Art. I haven't bothered to prop up cryptocurrencies by placing a bet on
> NFTs, but I suppose defining ownership as such may be one of the latest
> expressions of this subject.
>
> --
>
> - *Anthony Stephenson*
>
>
>
> *http://anthonystephenson.org/ <http://anthonystephenson.org/> *
>
>
>
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