Via Eric Johnson-DeBaufre, librarian at the Robbins Library of Philosophy at Harvard University, come a pair of audio recordings of J.L. Austin discussing performatives. The first is a lecture, and the second contains a question and answer session. The lecture took place in October, 1959, in Sweden. It’s currently unknown who recorded them.
from the end of John Bricuth’s brilliant poem (the speaker is either God, the President, everybody’s father, or a combination of the three):
I know you’ll laugh at this, my thoughts began
To clear. I had a kind of revelation, Fish,
That burst of level lighting one associates
With several types of Eastern wisdom–
The seven ways, the twelve steps, the four
Tops, the three pigs–I don’t know…
I know it had a number in it, Fox,
And with that blinding flash I knew, boys, nothing
Quite restores the rush of vigor to
The blood, the vital fire along the veins
And in the loins to rein the wild horses
Of desire, that taste of life’s late richness,
Its ultimate bouquet, its sauce supreme
That makes you feel, Fish, you could live forever,
No, nothing quite gives back that special thrill,
Seeing we’re Americans, like going
Out and killing something, something on
Two legs that’s short and foreign, name chock full
Of consonants, or something furred or feathered,
Or failing that, with scales. Fox, don’t you
Find that so? that nothing really beats
The heady moment of sweet contrast when,
To make a phrase, they’re laid out like a lox,
And you are not. And isn’t that when all life’s
Puzzles fit, mysteries fall flat?
Tell me, don’t you find it so, Fox? Fox?
Bird? Fish? Now where did those three go?
I have been on extended blog hiatus. Various reasons for that, lately the conference on Thomas Merton I organized as part of the term’s Philosophy and Religion Workshop activities. I gave a talk on Merton’s late long poem, Cables to the Ace. I will likely share a bit of it in the next few days or weeks.
I am about to get back to work on Wittgenstein–I have a new paper I need to get back to, and a number of old ones that need a bit of dressing up before they go out. I also have to write a new short paper on him (and poetry) for a talk later this Spring. So, I am guessing that I will be back to posting about him here this term, as I work on these projects.
I have also finished the manuscript of my new book of poems, Brown Studies. More about that soon.