Levi-Strauss & Derrida… for bloggers?

Here’s a little tale for your week-end…

Levi-Strauss, anthropologist, in The Savage Mind, talks about two ways, two “Types”.

  1. The Bricoleur, the DYIer who uses whatever he has in hand and imaginatively recombines them to create something new.
  2. The Engineer is more scientific, he has a project from A to Z, he uses rules and knowledge. He builds and he’s serious.

 

The Bricoleur is a savage mind, he steals, gleans, finds “things” and plays combinations games, tries, have fun. He’s casual, right? The Engineer is serious and follows something.

 

Derrida, philosopher, studied all this and wrote later that the “Engineer” is an ideal who doesn’t really exist. He can not be the master of all, he can not be at the origin of all his projects.

  • In a way, every Engineer is a Bricoleur, right?
  • Is the Engineer is a myth invented by Bricoleurs?
  • Are all Engineers Bricoleurs?

 

– Oh, well… I think I just bricoled this one… So sorry.
– No you’re not.
– …

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Bonne lecture et bonne journée !

 

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Instagram : penguinthemagpie

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Savage_Mind

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure,_Sign,_and_Play_in_the_Discourse_of_the_Human_Sciences#Bricolage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bricolage

Bricolage is a French loanword that means the process of improvisation in a human endeavor. The word is derived from the French verb bricoler (“to tinker”), with the English term DIY (“Do-it-yourself”) being the closest equivalent of the contemporary French usage. In both languages, bricolage also denotes any works or products of DIY endeavors

 

Levi-Strauss : 

[He or she] is adept at performing a large number of diverse tasks; but, unlike the engineer, he [or she] does not subordinate each of them to the availability of raw materials and tools conceived and procured for the purpose of the project. His [or her] universe of instruments is closed and the rules of his [or her] game are always to make do with “whatever is at hand,” that is to say with a set of tools and materials which is always finite and is also heterogeneous because what it contains bears no relationto the current project, or indeed to any particular project, but is the contingent result of all the occasions there have been to renew or enrich the stock or to maintain it with the remains of previous constructions or destructions.

 

the engineer is always trying to make his way out of and go beyond the constraints imposed by a particular state of civilization while the “bricoleur” by inclination or necessity always remains within them.

 

  • the “savage” is a bricoleur, assembling patchwork objects by adapting “the means at hand” (by adding, deleting, substituting and transforming them);
  • the “scientist” is an engineer, creating objects “out of nothing,” “out of whole cloth.”

 

Derrida : 

the odds are that the engineer is a myth produced by the bricoleur

 

 

 

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Stand up Blogging : “What begins commands” & Lost Branches

There are many ways to blog. You can write a novel chapter by chapter, or you can “react” to news in the world, or comment fashion, or new trends in food. You’re good.

My article talks about bloggers who needs ideas and inspiration. This is what I try to do, and I like this way, because it puts your brain in alert. You glean

Gleaning in loop : the “Gathering Seashells” Type

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

Blogger’s Words Horniness & consequences

You read a magazine, you talk with a friend, you got and email, you have a walk around the block, you bake, or you take a shower : Bim! (this is the sound of an idea coming to you).

Bim!

(The symbol is a bulb over your head, right?)

You hurry to sit in front of your computer. You click on “Write”, while your brain is already organizing things…

What begins commands. We all have our patterns, and when you start you more or less know where you’re going.

My tool here is :

Dial : Beware of “What begins commands”, because it’s too easy. You follow one path but :

  1. you could lose branch points
  2. you could ignore good bypasses
  3. your steam can hide possibilities.

Lever : Stand up, for blog’s sake! Finish your article if you’re too excited, but at one point, don’t publish. Stand up. I mean for real! Stand up and go away. Open a window. Wash a cup and a fork. Pet a cat. Breathe.

 

 

Flaubert, the French author who wrote Madame Bovary, had “un gueuloir”, a “scream room”. He was walking and yelling his texts in this room. It’s crazy? Not that much. You’ll have to find your own way. Just do something else while you think about your article or your page. Maybe print it and take a pen. You’ll find ideas, “furthers”, new branches, words, style nuggets, inversions, interesting bypasses, etc.

OK, go back writing now, you fool 😅

Thanks for reading!

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“Sparkles and Garlands” : Drafts advices for bloggers

The drafts section on WordPress is something I love. It’s like a pile of useful drawers! I open them from time to time – and randomly – to :

  1. Check what it is about (written a long time ago : I forgot)
  2. Read over
  3. Throw a few new seeds into it
  4. Spill one or two sentences at the beginning, in it, or at the end
  5. Begin a new part/paragraph
  6. Pick up an extension, a branch : another article, therefore another draft, haha

 

Sometimes I forgot so much what it was about that I “reckon without” (dang : how to use this “reckon” verb?), and I trash the draft. Because a draft can be a title only, right?

In all “Advices for bloggers”, there’s this : << Write, write, and write >>. My advice here is : Draft, draft and draft again. I have more than 150.

Never be afraid to stupid-draft. Seeds are good, even if they growbecome into quirkytrees…

 

I do think that those who write (a blog or a book) have to exercise daily. So this is what I do : my bed is surrounded with books and magazines (and papered letters, these days). Every morning, before, while and after I coffee, I grab anything (made of paper) around, I gather two or three seeds until I can’t wait to sit in front of my computer.

If there’s nothing found, grab else, or go outside to breathe some air. Maybe it’ll come (and you could see the moon or hear the bird).

 

Oftentimes (oohhh that’s a word?), I create two or three new drafts. A title is enough sometimes (today : “Golem”). I likely spill one or two phrases into them. Then I let the windows opened : they are like little flowerpots.

Later when I kitchen or bathroom, I get sparkles and garlands which complete my pots. It’s likely that they become a couple of published articles during the day. Swell!

 

OK, I don’t know how to use the words likely, and reckon (without sounding Texan). And I use to spill too much. Sorry.

 

You can also read :

The Art of “Pause with Seeds”

 

Thanks for reading! Write well!

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French Hair Splitting & Writer’s Pleasure Seepage

Hi everybody, and Happy New Year 2018!

I was writing an article called “Can our New Year’s Resolutions become our Best Wishes for others?”, where I spilled that I mostly wanted to carry on writing my little articles.

I split hairs in some of them, and, well, I like it. I have pleasure thinking about these micro-tools, patterns and other useless French thingumbobs. Plenty of fun!

In French we call it “Couper les cheveux en quatre” : “To cut hairs in four” – as you maybe know, for us a hair is a strand of hair, as we have many, we have “hairs” on our head (DES cheveux).

I know you say “to split hair”, I suppose the image is you split a strand of hair all along the line, right? In France we just take a strand of hair and cut it in four pieces, haha.

 

If I blog, it’s because I like to share, and I hope an article-tool can maybe be useful for one or a few persons. But what I love the most, it’s when someone feels that an article talks about something one knew, but one had never seen it written anywhere before. A little crystallization. Like : “Heyyyy but he’s right!”.

Splitting hairs, why? I know it’s negatively charged, but I imagine it’s OK too. It talks about taking a magnifier, to focus, to take care of a concept so small that nobody thought it deserved a study. It’s quirky but smiling. Meticulousness. Méticulosité.

 

I got a key from a reader (hello SHESOU_HEHYOU!) a few days ago in an article about how to find the smile in Cioran or Bernhard : From frowny eyes to hilarity : When you have to “find the fun” – Cioran & Bernhard.

She wrote :

Perhaps, it is just as Barthes said, in the Le plaisir du texte (1973), of ‘Jouissance’ :
“If I read this sentence, this story, or this word with pleasure, it is because they were written in pleasure (such pleasure does not contradict the writer’s complaints).”

That’s a good key, my friends : write, write, and write. As long as you have pleasure, even if you split hairs, or complain : you’re on a good path.

 

Have a nice day!

Jean-Pascal

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Instagram : missfionahill

And also this : Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

 

 

Dwindling Ideas & Wobbly Recoveries for bloggers

Hi everyone!

In this penultimate day (and maybe article) of the year, I discovered this verb : “To peter out” (never heard this before); then “to dwindle”. That’s so charming that I played with them (aweeee “dwindling“) for my title.

Look at this Nietzsche quote :

A Sigh. I caught this notion on the way, and rapidly took the readiest, poor words to hold it fast, so that it might not again fly away. But it has died in these dry words, and hangs and flaps about in them and now I hardly know, when I look upon it, how I could have had such happiness when I caught this bird.

Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Fourth Book, 298

 

We bloggers sometimes catch a great idea at the weirdest moments : at work, when we drive, when we shower. Darn it!

And we all know this feeling : this idea is mixed up with a rush, a fast and blossoming urge to write it down, to develop it in a cool article to share. It’s a sigh, a wind, a light, a force. You are so happy you caught it…

Well, the most common event is that you will totally forget what it was about, as soon as you’re ready to write. You then have this terrible moment : you’re stuck in immobility, closing your eyes in silence, trying to find in your mind any string to pull, a path to it, anything. But the marvelous idea stays hidden in the deepest waters of your worn out brain…

Hopefully it’ll grow bigger until you catch it back, like the fish. Unlikely, right?

All petered out, off, down, whatever.

But the subject of this article is different : it’s when you remembered your weaved “idea & rush”, you drove this pack down into words on your computer, but… it’s parked dead in the end. It dwindled into a “WTF I don’t care anymore”. You lost it. The idea is there, but the steam is not. No life. You lost something but you don’t know what. Dry words. Article incompleteness.

In the end, you can trash it, or let it macerate in your draft section on WordPress. Maybe wait the day after? Sometimes it works. Next morning, jump up from your bed, have a coffee and read over your mess. Maybe (maybe) you’ll hear the engine pre-roar… You go girl!

What will happen likely is that you will publish this wobbly and patched article, like it is. A bit bitter unhappy, but hoping it’ll inspire something to someone somewhere.

 

If you’re lucky, an hour later, while you commute to work, you’ll feel a lightbulb over your head, une ampoule électrique : you found the rush back, it’s now full of light, at least!

Until you’re back in front of your computer?

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

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Instagram : jasonnocito666

Coding & Composing : What are your lost Kingdoms?

I call a Lost Kingdom an activity you loved in the past, and you don’t do anymore today.

For me it’s coding (I programmed a lot when I was maybe 15) and composing (from 20 to 25). Today, it’s over.

But :

  • In 1993 I had to learn HTML because I wanted to have a clean code for my http://www.maison-page.net – it was delightful, and I have to say I felt this really weird feeling to put on these old shoes. Coding is building something, with immediate tests and gratifications. It’s a little mathematics too. Logic. It puts your brain in a grid of logic, building, making tools. I love it so much! De facto, my page was and stays very fast. Sorry, no PHP or Java here…
  • Five years ago I bought a midi keyboard and began to work with GarageBand. It amazed me, gave me pleasure, and I composed maybe 20 or 30 new tracks. And I remember now… not the music, but the state I was in when I was working on them.

 

The idea of Lost Kingdoms leads me to this idea. Some activities push us in different states. You can play Lego, have a clever conversation for hours, write a poem, take your cam in the countryside, watch a mantis praying, build a cabin in your garden : it’s a “way of thinking”, and your brains knows and recognizes it. Your grow from this.

Lamenting on Kingdoms lost is useless, I agree. Go back to it. Or find new ones : learn an instrument, travel Italy, begin Chinese or horseback riding (question : why not simply “horse riding”??). Bake new cakes . Put your brain in new grids. It’s good, believe me.

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

 

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Instagram : teget

 

 

Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

Paul Valéry writes in one of his Notebooks a dozen lines about… writing. I translate it – sorry for my English :

One must work for Someone; and not for unknowns. One must aim somebody, and the more you aim this someone clearly, the best is the work and the yield of the work. The work of spirit is entirely determined – only if someone is in front of it. The one who addresses, aims at someone, addresses to all. But the one who addresses to everybody addresses to nobody.
It is all about finding this someone. This somebody gives the tone to the language, gives the extent to explanations, measures the attention one can ask.
To picture someone is the great skill of the writer.

Again : sorry for my English. It’s very hard, here. I bolded the bold.

This declaration has a strange effect on me. It’s like being inside the head of a thinker (and in fact, that’s it).

  • You want to say “Noooo that’s NOT that simple”.
  • You want to say : “One must care about an audience”.
  • Or maybe “You must write to please yourself, and the audience will come”.

Questions for bloggers, right?

But somewhere there’s a bell in my head saying “He’s right”. Some of us maybe invent a human someone, aggregating people we know, people we imagine, followers and readers, old friends, until we have this strange modeled golem : our Reader.

 

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!

Jean-Pascal

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

Il faut travailler pour Quelqu’un ; et non pour inconnus. Il faut viser quelqu’un, et plus nous le visons nettement, meilleur est le travail et le rendement du travail. L’ouvrage de l’esprit n’est entièrement déterminé que si quelqu’un est devant lui. Celui qui s’adresse à quelqu’un, s’adresse à tous. Mais celui qui s’adresse à tous ne s’adresse à personne.
Il s’agit seulement de trouver ce quelqu’un. Ce quelqu’un donne le ton au langage, donne l’étendue aux explications, mesure l’attention qu’on peut demander.
Se représenter quelqu’un est le plus grand don de l’écrivain.