Ezra Pound's daughter fights to wrest the renegade poet's legacy from fascists

 "He made mistakes and we have to take the good part of him, just as he did with others.--Mary De Rachewiltz
"De Rachewiltz has since fought a lifelong battle to separate Pound the poet from Pound the fascist and antisemite, which is why the emergence of CasaPound – now boasting 5,000 members – is so painful.
She rebuffs the suggestion that CasaPound's lionisation of him is no more than he deserves. "Pound just quoted what Mussolini said," she said. "This organisation is hiding behind Pound's name for intellectual cover," she added. "He made mistakes and we have to take the good part of him, just as he did with others. He fell into certain antisemitic clichés that were rampant in Europe and the US at the time."--http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/14/ezra-pound-daughter-fascism



“The scholar who works for a government intelligence agency ceases to be an independent spirit, a true scholar,” stated a Boston Globe editorial in the mid-1980s.

My Ezra Pound 'Google Alert' just alerted me to an article from the Yaledailynews by Ava Kofman that outlines the history of the CIA's relationships with Academia, and therefore criss-crosses with 'The Tale of the Tribe' material and helps to refresh our minds to Dr. Wilson's brilliant essay 'TSOG: The Thing that ate the Constitution, 2001' and information concerning Ezra Pound, James Jesus Angleton and the impact the Spycraft had on Modernism, poetry and the arts. Wilson writes:

But James J. Angleton was a pathological case of some sort himself; he often hid his middle name because it revealed his half-Hispanic genes. An exceptionally intelligent and sensitive student of modern literature while at Yale, Angleton adored Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, I.A. Richards, e e cummings and other SuperStars of Modernism; he met most of them personally. They collectively influenced Angleton's fascination with multiple perspectives, labyrinthine ambiguity and the eternal uncertainty of all inferences and "interpretations." These modernist tendencies, which also appeared in science and philosophy at the same time, blossomed into obsessions and, perhaps, raging madness when Angleton systematically applied them to the spy-game. After all, modernism really begins with Wilde's "The Reality of Masks" and Yeats's hermetic mystique the world we know emerging from interactions of Mask, Anti-Mask, Self, and Anti-Self: which may or may not fit all of us or all the world but certainly fits the world of spooks and snoops that Angleton created.--http://www.rawilson.com/tsog.html

Ava Kofman writes in ANNONYMOUS ACADEMICS:

"James Jesus Angleton ’41, breeder of rare orchids and disputably a paranoiac, founded and edited the short-lived but reputable literary magazine, Furioso, during his time as an undergraduate at Yale. Beginning a series of enthusiastic correspondences with Ezra Pound after the two met in Italy during the summer of 1938, Angleton published Pound’s poems along with the work of Cummings, MacLeish and Williams in his magazine the next year. But more ink has been spilled describing Angleton’s life than those of his beloved poets. Returning to Washington after World War II, Angleton would go on to help found the Central Intelligence Agency."http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

"Varsity crew coach Skip Waltz recruited for the OSS what he saw as the best of Yale’s white Anglophile protestant males from its population of mostly white Anglo-Saxon protestant males. Following the conclusion of war in 1947, OSS alumnus Walter L. Pforzheimer ’35 contributed to drafting the act that would establish the CIA.

And still today, some recent alumni from both campuses include CIA directors Porter J. Goss ’60, R. James Woolsey Jr. LAW ’68, and George H.W. Bush ’48. Now a visiting lecturer at the Jackson Institute, John Negroponte ’60 served as the first Director of National Intelligence under President George W. Bush ’68. William F. Buckley ’50, founder of the National Review, wrote one of the many aforementioned fictionalized accounts of Angleton’s life, and served a stint in the CIA as well." http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

 “Why learn how to write a policy memo on preventing nuclear proliferation if you can’t even convincingly make a case that the human race — much less the United States of America — is a good thing that’s worth protecting,” laments the anonymous source. “Does the U.S. government exist to merely protect us and clothe us and feed us or to foster public and private virtue? These are questions that the Yalies of yesteryear could tackle quite easily and eloquently. Today, almost no one can.” http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

The skills that most Yale majors teach students well — namely, close reading, critical thinking and strong writing — are the same valuable assets that make its graduates good analysts. Or for that matter, good at any job.

“An analyst job is like writing a paper except its called an intelligence report,” said a senior government official, who requested to remain anonymous citing government policy. “But instead of using a book or a person as your evidence, you’re using classified intelligence.” He points to this as to why Yale turns out so many journalists and policy makers as well. The only difference in what those jobs consist of, the senior official argued, is in the subject matter and sourcing of what they’re writing on. http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/
"In 2001, following the attacks of September 11, around 750 students expressed an interest in the CIA when they passed through the agency’s career fair booth. For some years thereafter, interest in the agency was at a new high.  http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

"With the rise of cyber-espionage, it would seem that the CIA’s interest in Computer Science and Math majors who can write and break code might balloon.
Regardless of their background — whether it be in C++, the classics or both — applicants need to be realists and understand, the senior official warned, that for many it’s a “desk job.”
“Your cover is going to be a dark close-up of the shadow of Nathan Hale’s face,” a senior government official teased, “but the reality is that people [in the CIA] work in cubicles that look like a Proctor and Gamble office — and it’s mostly a bunch of Mormons.” The senior official paused dramatically, letting the reality of his vision of the CIA sink in.http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

 Borrowing a phrase from T.S. Eliot’s Gerontion, Angleton often described the inner workings of the agency as a “wilderness of mirrors.” Angleton’s means of ordering the world moved along so many deceptions that it ceased to be real.  http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

One that could recast, for better or worse, the arbitrary boundaries drawn between literature and the classroom, reality and a dream, poetry and analysis. Our fascination with the CIA, with its mythical figures and failures, as a national legend — as a genre of fiction — may be of just as much interest for learning about the intuitions of the modern mind — as it is for learning about the institution itself. http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

The spy world then, turns accident into meaning and so frees us to imagine and presume in broad leaps and strokes.
“For in [the spy] profession there is no such thing as coincidence,” writes Le Carre in the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
And consider an illustration of these two approaches to thinking: Most of the American public would prefer to watch say, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a fictionalized account of the spy world, than read the continually growing number of now declassified documents made readily available, or, for that matter, the adapted book. http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/jan/13/academics-anonymous/

Grand Deft Mamalujo and Joycean computer games 2012

My google alert just alerted me to a New Yorker artcle by Mark O'Connell called 'has James Joyce been set free?' which overviews the recent changes and probable ramifications of the copyright expiring on some-but-not-all of his work.

Towards the end of the article Mark writes something very interesting to me, today, whereby he describes how his off-handed joke to a friend about a James Joyce first-person-shooter game, gestates into pipe-dreams about a Ulysses inspired game. A little bit like Grand Theft Auto, but set in a Joycean world.

Yes, yes, I say YES. This 'Joycean computer game world' might be the best idea, next to my own, of course, that I have heard this year so far...once again...Joycean computer games, or to explain a bit more precisely: the interactive visual translation of his languaging engine could lead us into a literary inspired exploration of great literature, a new way of reading, a whole new style, and have it begin with the great master and grand architect James Joyce.--Steve.

"Sean Latham agrees that there will now be somewhat less quality control on Joyce publications, but sees it as not such a terrible development, pointing out that no one is much concerned about there being too many editions of Dickens or Shakespeare. As with most advocates of Joyce’s work, he thinks anything that might bring it to a wider readership should be welcomed. When I made a joke about the possibility of a first-person-shooter video game of “Finnegans Wake” hitting the stores in 2012, he mentioned that he himself has had pipe dreams about a “Ulysses” game. “I have an undergraduate student,” he said, “and we fantasize about exactly how such a thing might be devised. I know there is a Jane Austen video game being designed, so a ‘Ulysses’ video game can’t be far behind.” If any game developers happen to be reading this, I hope they take note. A simulated ramble around Edwardian Dublin—a sort of Grand Theft Auto without the theft or the autos—could make for a powerfully immersive gaming experience. It would almost be worth doing just to see how Stephen Joyce might react.--

."...and their farthing dip and read a letter or two every night before going to sleep in the twilight, a capitaletter for further auspices on their old one page codex book of old year's eve 1132, M.M.L.J. old style, their Senchus Mor by Mrs Shemans, final buff lunch edition, and Lally through their gangrene spentacles and all the good they did in their time for Roe and O'Mulconry a Conry ap Mul or Lap ap Morion and Buffler ap Matty Mac Gregory for Marcus on Podex by Daddy de Wyer, old bagabroth, and one by one and sing a mamalujo.--James Joyce, the Mamalujo vignette, taken from an early draft of Finnegans Wake.




Cybernetics as a discipline was firmly established by Wiener, McCulloch and others, such as W. Ross Ashby and W. Grey Walter. Walter was one of the first to build autonomous robots as an aid to the study of animal behaviour. Together with the US and UK, an important geographical locus of early cybernetics was France.

In the spring of 1947, Wiener was invited to a congress on harmonic analysis, held in Nancy, France. The event was organized by the Bourbaki, a French scientific society, and mathematician Szolem Mandelbrojt (1899–1983), uncle of the world-famous mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot.
John von Neumann
During this stay in France, Wiener received the offer to write a manuscript on the unifying character of this part of applied mathematics, which is found in the study of Brownian motion and in telecommunication engineering. The following summer, back in the United States, Wiener decided to introduce the neologism cybernetics into his scientific theory. The name cybernetics was coined to denote the study of "teleological mechanisms" and was popularized through his book Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine (Hermann & Cie, Paris, 1948). In the UK this became the focus for the Ratio Club.

In the early 1940s John von Neumann, although better known for his work in mathematics and computer science, did contribute a unique and unusual addition to the world of cybernetics: Von Neumann cellular automata, and their logical follow up the Von Neumann Universal Constructor. The result of these deceptively simple thought-experiments was the concept of self replication which cybernetics adopted as a core concept. The concept that the same properties of genetic reproduction applied to social memes, living cells, and even computer viruses is further proof of the somewhat surprising universality of cybernetic study.

Wiener popularized the social implications of cybernetics, drawing analogies between automatic systems (such as a regulated steam engine) and human institutions in his best-selling The Human Use of Human Beings : Cybernetics and Society (Houghton-Mifflin, 1950).

While not the only instance of a research organization focused on cybernetics, the Biological Computer Lab at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, under the direction of Heinz von Foerster, was a major center of cybernetic research for almost 20 years, beginning in 1958.


Connections to other disciplines

General semantics has important links with analytic philosophy and the philosophy of science; it could be characterized without too much distortion as applied analytic philosophy. The influence of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, and of early operationalists and pragmatists such as Charles Sanders Peirce, is particularly clear in the foundational ideas of general semantics. Korzybski himself acknowledged many of these influences.

The concept of "silence on the objective level" attributed to Korzybski and his insistence on consciousness of abstracting are parallel to some central ideas in Zen Buddhism. Korzybski is not recorded to have acknowledged any influence from this quarter, but he formulated general semantics during the same years that the first popularizations of Zen were becoming part of the intellectual currency of educated speakers of English. On the other hand, later Zen-popularizer Alan Watts was influenced by ideas from general semantics.

L. Ron Hubbard is widely believed to have used the theory in his creation of Dianetics and later to have incorporated it into Scientology, and acknowledges this in several texts; the first of these two movements in turn introduced General Semantics to a wider audience in the early 1950s, including popular science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, personal growth theorist Harvey Jackins and his movement Re-evaluation Counseling and movements like Gestalt therapy. The founders of these movements did not themselves credit Korzybski for their ideas.

Albert Ellis (1913-2007), who developed Rational emotive behavior therapy, acknowledged influence from general semantics and delivered the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture in 1991. The Bruges (Belgium) center for Solution Focused Therapy operates under the name Korzybski Instituut Training and Research Center.[42]

During the 1940s and 1950s, general semantics entered the idiom of science fiction, most notably through the works of A. E. van Vogt, The World of Null-A and its sequels, and Robert A. Heinlein, Gulf. The ideas of general semantics became a sufficiently important part of the shared intellectual toolkit of genre science fiction to merit parody by Damon Knight and others; they have since shown a tendency to reappear (often without attribution) in the work of more recent writers such as Samuel R. Delany, Suzette Haden Elgin and Robert Anton Wilson. In 2008, John Wright extended van Vogt's Null-A series with Null-A Continuum.

Neil Postman, founder of New York University's media ecology program in 1971, edited ETC.: A Review of General Semantics from 1976 to 1986. Postman's student Lance Strate, a co-founder of the Media Ecology Association,[43] served as executive director of the Institute of General Semantics from 2007 to 2010.



Joyce Pound Shaw and Ulysses in Porno-mags

SNIPPET FROM: An end to bad heir days: The posthumous power of the literary estate

By Gordon Bowker

The question of rights in Joyce's work was a fraught one even during his lifetime. Fearing prosecution, no one would publish Ulysses complete and unabridged until Sylvia Beach, the American bookseller in Paris, bravely did so in 1922. But Joyce's notoriety attracted pirates , and at one time he was unprotected by good contracts or good law. In November 1925, he found that without his permission Ulysses was being published serially in the magazine Two Worlds by Samuel Roth, the New York pornographer. His protests went unheeded. Roth simply sent a cheque for $1000 which Joyce refused to cash.

Among his literary friends and supporters, only Ezra Pound and Bernard Shaw were unsympathetic. Pound said that Joyce had only himself to blame for not registering his copyright in America. He advised him "to write letters to the press denouncing Roth", or alternatively, "organise a gang of gunmen to scare [him] out of his pants". But Roth, he warned, was a ruthless capitalist driven by avarice, not easily stopped.

Joyce was incensed, and with the aid of friends composed a letter of protest which was circulated among writers, attacking unjust American copyright law. Pound refused to sign, as did Shaw, who suspected a Joycean stunt.




Semanto-phonetic writing systems

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

The symbols used in these semanto-phonetic writing systems often represent both sound and meaning. As a result, these scripts generally include a large number of symbols: anything from several hundred to tens of thousands. In fact there is no theoretical upper limit to the number of symbols in some scripts, such as Chinese. These scripts could also be called logophonetic, morphophonemic, logographic or logosyllabic.
Semanto-phonetic writing systems may include the following types of symbol:
Examples of pictographic glyphs from the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Chinese scripts

Pictograms and logograms

Pictograms or pictographs resemble the things they represent. Logograms are symbols that represent parts of words or whole words. The image on the right shows some examples of pictograms from the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Chinese scripts. The Chinese characters used to look like the things they stand for, but have become increasingly stylized over the years.


Ideograms or ideographs are symbols which graphically represent abstract ideas. The image below shows a number of ideographic Chinese characters.
Some ideographic Chinese characters

Compound characters

The majority of characters in the Chinese script are semanto-phonetic compounds: they include a semantic element, which represents or hints at their meaning, and a phonetic element, which shows or hints at their pronunciation. Below are a few such compound characters which all share a semantic element meaning 'horse'.
Some examples of Chinese semanto-phonetic compound characters
Sometimes symbols are used for their phonetic value alone, without regard for their meaning, for example when transliterating foreign names and loan words.

Semanto-phonetic writing systems currently in use

Chinese (Zhōngwén)
Japanese (Nihongo)

Semanto-phonetic writing systems used mainly for decorative, ceremonial or religious purposes

Naxi script (sər33 tɕə21 lʏ33 tɕə21)

Semanto-phonetic writing systems that are no longer used

Akkadian (Cuneiform)
Ancient Egyptian Demotic script
Ancient Egyptian Demotic
Ancient Egyptian Hieratic script
Ancient Egyptian Hieratic
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglypic script
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglypic
Chu nom
Linear B
Linear B
Sumerian (Cuneiform)
Tangut (Xīxìa/Hsihsia)
Tangut (Xīxìa/Hsi-hsia)

Please note

transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are used extensively throughout this website. The IPA transcriptions are the letters and other symbols which appear in square bracketts, like this [b], [p]. etc.
You can learn which sounds are represented by these letters and symbols at:
http://www.unil.ch/ling/page12580.html (en français)

Other types of script

Abjads, Alphabets, Syllabic alphabets, Syllabaries, Semanto-phonetic writing systems, Undeciphered scripts, Alternative writing systems, Your con-scripts, A-Z index, Direction index, Languages by writing system, Language index