Friday, September 01, 2006

Adornoment, Feuilletonism, Futility

Well, if Jeremy Denk reads Theodor Adorno, and Musik-freak approves, I suppose it's worth a try.
The first chapter of "Notes to Literature" is titled "Titles" and discusses the problem of naming one's works.
It brings immediatly to mind Shel Silversteinn's seminal work on the same subject titled "A boy named Sue" which examines the life altering effects that labeling can have on the social contract.
For instance:
"Metamorphosis" is obviously going to be about something turning into something else.
"A dissertation on the amelioratation of transubstantialistic sub-genericism"
Will be too silly to bother with.
"Chevrolet Corvette" Is obviously about a French pirate.
I have trouble naming my music.
The flippant "work in progress" titles I come up with seem to stick to the finished piece.
For further instance:
"Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit" really has nothing to do with a lifeless rodent, although perhaps critics might feel the music resembles same.
"Another Sad Song Littering the Highway of Life" Is too meditative and lovely to be considered "litter" Here again, critics may differ.
"12 Variations on a Fake Folk Song" is an apt description but contains no clue as to it's Bach-like intellectual depth.
"Quasimodo's Dream Waltz" A "waltz"? In 5/4? Go figure.
"36 Variations on a theme of Diabelli"? Hah! Anything Beethoven can do, I can do more of.
Much further instance:
My mother titled me after a famous general and a famous movie star and yet I am not famous.
"Palmer" is from the french "paumer" which means "pilgrim to the holy land"
The name is first recorded in 1176, which happens to be my phone number, coincidence?
Legend has it that palmers carried palm leaves to put beneath the feet of Jesus as he was led to the cross so as to make the journey a little more pleasant.
I hope that this gibberish makes your painful stroll to the abyss a little less agonizing.
Just doin' my job.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Liz said...

Doug, What an amazing mind you have. I love what you wrote about your name. I am so happy you are finding so many ways to express your many-faceted creativity. Liz

2:56 PM  
Blogger solitudex said...

Thought-provoking essays Adorno had written, hadn't he? A apparently simple task of naming one's work with a meaningful title can have the artiste cracking his head for hours, days or even weeks.

Are we artistes just trying to make things difficult, or are these simplest tasks not as easy as they seem?

9:42 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

solitudex, we are trying to make complex things, not simple, but visible,audible,or understandable.
Sometimes the simplest task is the most difficult to describe.
A centipede, when asked by a snail how he managed to know which leg went first, started thinking about it and never walked again.
Naming an art work is like that.
I have noticed, too, that starting with a clever title gets you nowhere.

8:54 AM  
Blogger butch said...

Doug:

I extracted this from one of your postings.

My mother titled me after a famous general and a famous movie star and yet I am not famous.
"Palmer" is from the french "paumer" which means "pilgrim to the holy land"
The name is first recorded in 1176, which happens to be my phone number, coincidence?
Legend has it that palmers carried palm leaves to put beneath the feet of Jesus as he was led to the cross so as to make the journey a little more pleasant.
I hope that this gibberish makes your painful stroll to the abyss a little less agonizing.
Just doin' my job.

Doing some more of my detective work, I have found that PALMER is actually quite a grand old handle. I suppose you should be proud. It is much nicer to wear all your life rather than BUTTKUS.

1. Palmer, AK: in the striking Matanuska Valley.
2. Palmer, MA, town of Seven Railroads.
3. Chateau Palmer Vineyards on Long Island, NY.
4. Palmer LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) Center in Antarctica.
5. Palmer Musical Instruments.
6. Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University.
7. Palmer House Hotel on the loop in Chicago, IL.
8. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
9. Palmer Candy Company; established in 1878.
10. Palmer’s Restaurant & Tavern in Andover, MI.
11. The Qur’an, Part I (Sacred Books of the East), the Palmer Edition.
12. Palmer Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
13. Palmer College of Chiropractics in San Jose, CA.
14. Palmer Episcopal Church in Houston, TX.
15. Palmer, Bill: Magician.
16. Palmer, Arnold: Golfer.
17. Palmer, David: World Squash Champion.
18. Palmer House Inn at Cape Cod.
19. Palmer House Brewery & Smithy.
20. Palmer’s Oz Politics: Australia.
21. Palmer’s List of Merchant Vessels.

And I am sure that this modest list of your notoriety is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to post this comment under your own auspices either out of interest or boredom, or both.

Glenn

11:05 AM  

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