Tuesday, August 14, 2012

mildly mathematical: not your usual taxicab geometry.

absurdists and existentialists certainly have a way with words.

apparently sartre, like camus, had no objection to hone his descriptions with mathematical metaphors .. but mainly as a means of expressing cold, inhuman abstraction.

"Pure space suddenly appears. I imagine that if a triangle were to become aware of its position in space it would be frightened at seeing how accurately it was defined and yet how, at the same time, it was simply any triangle ..
.. My glance no longer lingers on facades seeking a house which, impossibly, would not be like every other house. It goes at once to the horizon and looks for the buildings which, hidden in mist, are nothing but volumes, nothing but the austere framework of the sky. If you know how to look at the two uneven rows of buildings that line the thoroughfare like cliffs, you are rewarded: they achieve their fulfillment below, at the end of the avenue, in simple harmonious lines, and a patch of sky flows between them."

~ from jean paul sartre's "manhattan: the great american desert"

i've always found mathematics comforting, myself. it was the one place which ever made any sense to me, an oasis in the deserts of philosophy.

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