The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

May 15, 2018

being as such, sonification (sanshin)

the manifold of oneiric operations
holographic entanglement
broken diagrams, lost opportunities
nebula sonification
molcular stridulations

From the Index of Similes

Adam and Eve, after their fall, compared to the Americans, as
first seen by Columbus & Their repentance to Deucalion and
Pyrrha's address to restore human race after their flood, & Then
Adam caressing Eve to Jupiter with Juno (May-Flowers) & His
address to her sleeping to Zephyrus breathing on Flora & His
bower to Pomona's arbour & Desires to know the story of the
creation, prior to his own, to thirst unalloy'd increasing &
Awak'd after carnal fruition, the first effect of his fall, to
Sampson shorn by Dalilah & his sorrow on the vision of Noah's
flood, to a father's mourning his children all destroy'd in his
view at once &&

Angels coelestial, the spears (of the guardians of Paradise) to
ears of corn ripe for reaping & Their march against Satan's
army, to that of the birds in Paradise to receive their names
from Adam & Their hallelujahs to the sound of seas &&

Chaos, Atoms, their motion, to the Libyan quicksands & Confusion
there, to forming a town, to heaven and earth (suppos'd) falling

Death, and Sin, their making a bridge over Chaos to the world,
to polar winds, driving the ice together in the (suppos'd)
north-east passage & The work to Neptune's fixing the Isle of
Delos & to Xerxes making a bridge over the Hellespont &&

Death's instinct of Adam's fall to the flight of birds of prey
to a field of battle & His and Satan's frowns on each other to
two thunder-clouds meeting &&

Eve, her hair to the wine's tendrils & Her looks to the first
blush of morning & Her self to Pandora, To a wood-nymph or
Venus & To a Dryad, or Delia, (Diana), & To Pales or Pomona, &
To Ceres, & Her Temptation by Satan (alluded to by the story of
Ophion and Eurynome) &&

Raphael, his view of the world in his descent from heaven to
paradise, to that of the moon through an optick glass &&

Satan, First view of the world, to a scout's casual prospect
(after a dangerous journey) of a new country or city, &
Appearance in the sun's orb, to a spot in it differing from all
astronomical observations, & Meditation on his intended attempt
on the world, to a gun recoiling & His army against the
coelestials in number -- to the stars, To the dew-drops, &
Himself recoiling on a blow receiv'd from Michael, to a mountain
sinking by an earthquake & His combat with Michael to two
planets (the frame of nature, suppos'd, dissolv'd) rushing in
opposition to each other & View (in the serpent) of Paradise and
Eve there, to a citizen's taking the air in the country from his
home-confinement &&

Sin, her middle parts, to the (suppos'd) Dogs of Scylla, Of the
night-hag &&

Waters, their flux into seas & on the creation to drops on dust

-- from the Index of Similes to Paradise Lost, A Poem in Twelve
Books, John Milton, The Author, London, Printed for a Company of
Stationers, 1739 (includes Addison's commentary in the

Comment -

So that the description moves from the equivalence of simile to
a flat lid and doesn't survive. Satan dries, flakes, dissolves,
without the attendant mathematics, but with the thought. Smile
for the a minute; the smile's off.

To tear or torn there's no daily there; saying wait a minute the
simile's off, almost a smile. So that rather the link is
loosened. Let us argue for the simile, similitude, smile or
worse, and who knows the difference? The state of things - as if
the real were within the simile's uncanny smile into absence.


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