Monday, February 26, 2018

Nicolás Gómez Dávila...writing to fix one's thoughts

 Colombian philosopher, Nicolás Gómez Dávila ( 1913-1994) whose works consists almost entirely of aphorisms had this to say about  writing: 
" The pleasure of writing, when we lack all talent and ambition, is the pleasure of  knowing clearly our ideas.
Drafting our thinking is, perhaps, creating it; in any case, it is to acquire a full consciousness. The vague and confusing idea is a mere promise; a promise that is not fulfilled and that is soon forgotten if words do not detain and fix it.
It is true that almost all of our ideas seem to be diminished by being written and that, in the light of that changing, rich and fruitful context of thought, they lose the life that stirs them in the warm shadows of consciousness; but it is only when they are of verbal pulp that we can know them and like, reject, or welcome them according to their excellence."
 (*This  is translated from Spanish, which original version is included below. )

 I  know that experience, where the glow that appears warm and steady within  flickers in me as I attempt to drag my  thoughts word by word into daylight.  Is this all there was?  What was I thinking?   It is a pleasure, those glimpses I sometimes have, thoughts which seem in the moment most excellent while in a hot shower  or on my knees and my  hands muddied in the garden, or in those first waking moments  when the door to dreams is still open. It can be a bittersweet process, but clarity is worth struggling for.

Original  from Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Notas, (p. 106) (Villegas, 2003) (1a ed. 1954) 
"El placer de escribir, cuando carecemos de todo talento y de ambición, es el placer de conocer claramente nuestras ideas.
Redactar nuestro pensamiento es, quizá, crearlo; en todo caso, es adquirir de él una plena conciencia. La idea vaga y confusa es una mera promesa; promesa que no se cumple y que pronto se olvida si las palabras no la detie nen y la fijan.
Es cierto que casi todas nuestras ideas parecen disminuidas al ser escritas y que, al extraerlas de ese contexto cambiante, rico y fecundo del pensamiento, pierden la vida que las agita en las cálidas penumbras de la conciencia; pero es sólo cuando se revisten de pulpa verbal que las podernos conocer y, así, o rechazar, o acoger según su excelencia."

If you would like to read of Nicolás Gómez Dávila  there is a very organized page of English translations of his aphorisms here:<>


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dictation for a second draft!

I'm wondering if the music in the background, it's live guitar music,  will affect the ability of this program to work? I'm using the dictation program and it makes some interesting decisions as to what it is I've actually said. We are learning to get along with each other.  That is to say, I am learning to enunciate more carefully than I might otherwise.

As regards the last question I posted here, I decided to simply keep writing; cull a little and not burn it all.  Of course first drafts do need and get a rough chaffing up that could cause  enough friction to almost set them on fire.

Reading hand written pages into the microphone provides an initial smoothing out. If it doesn't read well out loud, it's likely needing clarification at the least.   I also find words missing that I thought but did not write down.

Pen on ink still seems to be the way feeling and less obvious elements are conceived and I need to be careful, while editing, to not squeeze the life out of any of that protoplasmic ooze.

I felt silly not having found the dictation on my iMac sooner, it was hidden in plain sight. All I needed to do was go to the keyboard preferences.  Once I chose whether I wanted to dictate offline on via the cloud, I chose offline and downloaded what was necessary, it is a simple matter of putting ones cursor in any text box and hitting the function key two times.  Of course  I also need to remember not to say anything I don't want typed into the box in question.  Ahem, clearing her throat, she wondered whether this tool would make new paragraphs on command?

Yes, it does.