March 12, 2017

"God or the universe or whatever one chooses to label the great systems of balance and order does not recognize Earth-time."

"To the universe four days is no different than four billion light-years."

Art or literature or whatever one chooses to label the great systems of taste and reason does not recognize best-sellerism. And light year measure distance, not time. But lots of people thrill to writing like "The Bridges of Madison County," whose author Robert James Waller, has died.

"I am the highway and a peregrine and all the sails that ever went to sea."

Fly on, good peregrine!

29 comments:

Achilles said...

"To the universe four days is no different than four billion light-years."

Does the universe hold measures of time as different than measures of distance?

Only a literary critic would know.

The Cracker Emcee said...

So, no Rod McKuen anthology at Mead and Ann's pad?

Big Mike said...

@Achilles, you beat me too it.

F said...

But does the universe spring ahead and fall back every year?

sane_voter said...

I preferred "The Ditches of Edison County".

n.n said...

Time is a virtual dimension that reflects motion or energy. It is perceived as a progression (i.e. monotonic change) by humans whose awareness is logically and actually restricted to four logical domains, including the highly constrained scientific domain, where accuracy is inversely proportional to time and space offsets from an observer's frame of reference.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I read it at the time because it was so wildly popular and I wanted to see what it was all about. Bad writing but a good story was what I thought. I've always thought that Meryl Steep was a terrible choice for the movie. I've really never thought she was that great to begin with, other than her earlier smaller parts, but really terribly cast for that movie.

Michael K said...

I liked her in the part as she does accents well.

Eastwood made the movie work.

traditionalguy said...

Splendor in the Corn Fields.

What do you do with a true love that is lost. You have to go on and see all of the new things springing up that God has planned in advance for your life. But you still treasure the memory.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Althouse stops overnight somewhere in Iowa and applies her bad art tag to a dead native son. The Des Moines Register has better quotes:

"The old dreams were good dreams; they didn't work out but I'm glad I had them."

"I am open to rational discussion. If you don't like the book and can say why, I am willing to listen. But the criticism turned to nastiness. ... I was stunned."

Before all that there was basketball; a seven-year era of achievement and acclaim. He views it as a wasted seven years. "I would have been much better off spending that time reading poetry," he said, rejecting the traditional claims that athletics build character, teach sportsmanship and prepare people for the competitiveness of life.

Joan said...

Excellent deployment of tags today, Professor!

Lewis Wetzel said...

Waller did not put it well, but he is correct.
It is hard to believe that people think that their lives are spent experiencing a real, objective universe. We imagine the rational, orderly, universe that we know, into being. Every moment we exist, we are sub creators that are below God, but a little higher than the angels.

Quaestor said...

To the universe four days is no different than four billion light-years.

Evidence that failing to distinguish ones rectal orifice from an excavation is no impediment to a successful literary career.

Quaestor said...

I am the highway and a peregrine and all the sails that ever went to sea.

The are highways and highways, lots of them. Why the definite article? There are falcons and falcons, lots of them Why the indefinite article? ...and all the sail that ever went to sea All? That 20th century poetry for ya. Me. Me. Me. Your fulsome praise of me ain't fulsome enough, Chucko... Allow me, the Expert, to do the job for ya.

Break me a fucking give.

Just once I'd like to hear poet fail to praise himself. I'd thrill to hear a four-line elegy on why the poet was such a shithead for fifty years after winning that Pablo Neruda. Be that as it may one must admit that chicks love that stuff. To chicks poetry is like the neutrino. It comes in one ear and out the other without tickling a single neuron in between. If the poetry is embedded in a novel, all the better.

rehajm said...

What was his position on the Kessel Run?

tim in vermont said...

I've always thought that Meryl Steep was a terrible choice for the movie. I've really never thought she was that great to begin with,

Like a lot of things, once Trump says it out loud, people begin to admit that it is true.

tim in vermont said...

To the universe four days is no different than four billion light-years

Since the universe does not seem to be self-aware or sentient in any way whatsoever, this sentence is probably technically correct.

tim in vermont said...

Watch Ricky and the Flash if you doubt Trump on Meryl Streep. That could have been a pretty good movie with Rick Springfield's most excellent garage band, had they had an actress that could have carried the movie in that role. Hint: She would have to have been at least good looking enough to be plausible in the role, that would have been a start. Instead you spend the whole movie wondering what Springfield's character sees in her, which suggests that she completely failed as an actress to bring the kind of likeability to the role that would have made up for her other lacks.

I bet Flo could have played that role and people would have thought it was great. Flo is not a hottie, if you get my point.

Humperdink said...

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. (2 Peter 3:8)

Bob Ellison said...

John Denver in 1971:

I am the eagle, I live in high country
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky
I am the hawk and there's blood on my feathers

rhhardin said...

The universe does not care about units.

rhhardin said...

Literarily, light years are long ago and far away.

Michael K said...

"What do you do with a true love that is lost. "

Once in a while, if you are very lucky, you find them again.

John Tuffnell said...

"Before all that there was basketball; a seven-year era of achievement and acclaim. He views it as a wasted seven years. "I would have been much better off spending that time reading poetry," he said, rejecting the traditional claims that athletics build character, teach sportsmanship and prepare people for the competitiveness of life."

More me me me-ism.

Athletics does these things for most people, not all. He's not rejecting any traditional claim simply because sports didn't do that for Robert J Waller.

I've been out to those covered bridges. They are not very interesting. Much preferred the brew pubs of Madison County. True poetry and craftsmanship in those.

mockturtle said...

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

II Peter 3:8.

Quaestor said...

rehajm wrote: What was his position on the Kessel Run?

The best spice pirates took a detour through Madison County, hiding on the bridges when probe driods were in evidence.

Bruce Hayden said...

"To the universe four days is no different than four billion light-years."

This bothered me too - the first is a measure of time, the other of distance. So, they are different. Somewhat interrelated, but different. But, the universe really doesn't care, because it doesn't care about anything - it just is.

The interesting thing though is that time doesn't appear to be constant over distance, nor, then, the inverse, distance over time. Probably. And, maybe even time doesn't stay constant over time, or some such. Partially it is speed (velocity), partly it is distance, and partly, it is gravity - time changes rates at higher velocities, and higher gravity. So, an astronaut may lose a second or so if in orbit long enough, and time seems to come to a stop at the event horizon of a black hole. Except that this all may be wrong, and the black matter that balances out our universe may involve time instead of mass. Never to worry though - relativity has been repeatedly been corroborated, but Euclidian geometry and Newtonian physics work just fine for us, for living our lives, stuck at the bottom of this gravity well.

Physics at that level was fun, but really over my head. I enjoyed calculating, for example, the effects of relativity on time, given velocity, but knew that I was nowhere near smart enough to keep up in that field and ever make a contribution. I think that my kid came to the same realization, which is probably why they moved from physics as an undergrad to something more concrete for grad school.

Chuck said...

I am so terribly late to this post, and the comments thread. But it does my heart good, to see what the very first post was.

Zach said...

It's trite to say that the movie was better than the book, so I'll try and develop the thought a little.

There are some stories -- heavily emotional, simple plots, not much dialogue -- that are easier to stage than to write. Everything in that movie is also in the book. The movie owes a lot to the performances and the direction, but the emotional core was there all along.