Chapter 9: The labyrinth
-P. 107 footnote X : stop p. 107 footnote 135
-P. 114 footnote 135 : stop p 114 footnote 129
-p 111 footnote 129 : skip 137 : Stop p 112 footnote 130
-p 112 footnote 130 : stop p 112 footnote 131
p 112 footnote 131 : stop p 113 footnote 132
p 113 footnote 132 : stop p 113 footnote 133
end path one: Dead End
Path one Summary:
The General idea of this path is one of centering. Centering of one’s being (spiritual), center of a place or thing (physical) and center of ideas (societal).
Path one Analysis:
Opening with the three quotes, all translated in footnote X, laid out in a semi arch makes me think of the scene from Dante’s Inferno where before entering hell Virgil reads the quote above the entrance “Abandon ye all hope who enter” or some such. An approiate image to preface the “entrance” to this labyrinth.
Footnote 135: Here is an appropriate time to address the significant differences between a maze and a labyrinth. Labyrinths were created as very simple structures that had one or more paths that would all wind around in simple non crossing paths all leading to the same place: the center. The idea behind a labyrinth was to serve as a visual and physical metaphor for a pilgrimage where as the pilgrim would enter the labyrinth and by the end of the “journey” find their inner/spiritual center at the outer/physical center of this labyrinth. The labyrinth both confines one in that one has only one path and one destination but allows one to wonder at will because no matter how one wonders or where or how fast, they will eventually reach the center.
A maze on the other hand is a intentionally complex structure or pattern with multiple cross paths and choices that may or may not have a center. Source
Footnote 129: I generally understand what Derrida is saying here, but it’s too complex for me to re explain with out loosing something significant, however I found this brilliant explanation of Derrida’s concept of deconstructionism from the work quoted in here “Structure, Sign, and Play” here.
Footnote 133: Both Escher and Lissitzky were artists who challenged fundamental ideas in art and expression. Escher’s lithography Relativity is particularly appropriate in this footnote in that in the analysis of the lithograph the idea of gravity wells are explored which is show cased in the behavior of gravity/gravitaion of characters relative to their environment.
Gravity wells are a concept originally proposed by Albert Einstein in that the cosmos can be thought of as a fabric and the larger an object the more deeply it presses on that fabric and that “well” created expresses it’s relative gravity.
There’s also the obvious of how this picture is relevant to this chapter in how the picture explores perspectives, uncanny/impossible structures, and decentralization.
Lissitzky on the other hand takes a very different approach to art in. Founded a movement called Suprematism where he, essentially states that objects and visual pictures in art are over complications of the mission of the piece because it’s the essence or the feeling that should be conveyed that matters and all else is just a distraction. This reminds me of the idea proposed by Derrida of Bricolage where he, Lissitzky, uses symbols [tools] on hand to express his ideas. Tools that weren’t specifically crafted for said idea, the symbols he uses are usually geometric symbols of monochromatic features. Very interesting stuff, it’s also particularly worth of note since Lissitzky’s suprematism was a rebelion against the constructionalism movement that basically did the stark opposite: establish art in a way that specifically tailored it self to the needs and uses of the intention at hand.
Of the 3 pages Johnny mentions, the most significant one to mention (not to say they’re not all worth a gander since now given our new found perspective, we can view these pages and passages in a new light) is page 356 lines 9-17 explaining the concept of Zeno’s Arrow which, to me, is a good visual concept to apply to Derrida’s deconstructionalism. It’s not perfect, but it (I think) is a good starting off point.
- Chapter 9: Labyrinth (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- chapter 8 page 99 (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- Walking the Labyrinth (sha-mom.com)
- Chapter 8 footnotes 117 and 119 Johnny’s story (houseofleavesblog.wordpress.com)
- LOL=Labyrinth of Life ? (thenotquitefreespirit.wordpress.com)