palais de mari, tv altars, etic/emic

I finished reading this book of poetry this morning. It was written by a pianist I heard perform recently.

Oni Buchanan is also a founder of Ariel Artists.


They represent my new bud Rhonda Edgington.

Oni’s poetry is worth reading.



This is an excerpt of a poem that caught my attention. When I read it, I didn’t realize “Palais de Mari” was a composition by Morton Feldman.

It follows that I didn’t know he himself was inspired by a photograph he saw at the Louvre by the same name. (Found this all out this morning by googling. Couldn’t find the photo online.)

But still I was drawn into Buchanan’s imagery. An earlier book of her work I ordered happened to arrive in the mail yesterday.

I also finished J. G. Ballard bizzare little novel, Kingdom Come, yesterday.

Still processing it, but have to say it has more to recommend it than not. Ballard is dealing with the consumerism that has engulfed the US and UK society. The plot climaxes when a thousand plus hostages are trapped in the mall by the mall staff and a bunch of insane people.

Before it is over the survivors are kneeling at make shift altars of video players and big screen tvs and wearing bar codes on themselves.

Pretty bizzare show.

Finally a little interesting etymology thing.

I ran across two words I didn’t know in Peter Burt’s The Music of Takemitsu.

“Emic” and “Etic” are anthropological terms. Burt was talking about an observation Toynbee had made about Japan as it responded and adapted to the incursion of Western countries into its isolation.

This latter diagram shows the meaning pretty clearly. “Etic” is supposedly a neutral perspective and “emic” either consciously or unconsciously reflects the perspective of the context.


If you can read it, the above entry from wikipedia says that the two terms are derived from the linguistic terms phonemic and phonetic which are “in turn derived from Greek roots.”


I find this kind of thing informative and fascinating and immediately looked up the etymologies of the two linguistic terms.


I found that there is no real Greek meaning to “etic” and “emic” in “phonetic” and “phonemic.” In both cases “ic” is a pretty broad Greek suffix.


The “e’ is derived from the roots, “phone” and “phoneme.” So the anthropological terms split one letter from the linguistic root term and add it to the suffix to come up with “etic” and “emic.” (citations from the OED)

I can’t help it. I think that’s interesting.


Why Partisans Can’t Explain Their Views –

So if we try to “justify” our views, we tend not to actually think about them. But if we are asked to explain the basic policy ideas we are talking about, simply describing them, we tend to be more likely to modify our views and our behavior.


The Foreign Policy Debate –

Written before the presidential debate last night about its topic. If on the off chance you are interested in this substance, it provides a bit of insight.


Connecting the Dots in Libya –

Margaret Sullivan, public editor at the New York Times, writes about this controversy, its coverage, and reader response.


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