His tables Tolletanes forth he brought
Ful wel corrected, ne ther lakked nought,
Neither his collect ne hise expans yeeris,
Ne his rootes, ne hise othere geeris,
As been his centris and hise argumentz,
And hise proporcioneles convenientz
For hise equacions in every thyng.
This blog is the outgrowth of a long held aspiration of mine to wed the study of philosophy and science with the concerns of aesthetics and art. My twitter tag line also contains a condensed formulation of the tension that I would would like to maintain and negotiate in my writing and thinking: rigor in whimsy. I hold rigorous whimsy as an aspiration and as an attitude which helps me negotiate what I see as a fact: science and art exist in a relationship.
Faustroll, my twitter character, is the fictional child of Alfred Jarry, a writer who aspired to create a science of sciences that he dubbed Pataphysics. Faustroll, the character is himself the wedding of two aspects of the human soul: one aspect we might call the Faust aspect, the passion for knowledge, or what might be called the spiritual and intellectual pole. The other aspect we might call the “roll” aspect, or the roly poly aspect, the comic belly and the comic circle. Jarry’s other most famous character, Ubu, is the pure embodiment of belly or of raw appetite and instinct and he is completely absurd. “The belly is the reason why man does not so readily take himself for a God. ” ~ F.N.
Faust has his tragic aspects; Ubu is only absurd. The combination of the two into one character and one sensibility is odd. The strangeness of this combination is, however, a side effect and not an intention or an aspiration. The languages of the sciences have their beauty and their “high mountain air”; these are qualities of the spirit which advance in us. The stomach rumbles on as it always has. The two, spirit and stomach, are combined in each and every person. Their relation is the stuff of every life, however sublime or absurd.