Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A slow question.


Blogger Poking-Stick Man said...

Uncle! Uncle!

Does the title mean I'm slow if I don't understand what the question is? Or is there no question? Or are you musing on the question of slowness?

4:42 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...


The title does not mean you're slow if you don't understand. You're not the first person not to understand. I like your last interpretation best, and it's a little bit what's going on here. Part of what it means is that I have you all, and now I'm going to see what I can get away with, playing with you all a little. But it also means that I liked the way the images looked together when I saw them all up last night, before I got ready to put the text in. And it also means other things that you won't know until later on.

But don't you love it?

A bird
A roof
A sign








a miss (as in, you could miss it if you're not careful, walking by)
a message

There are so many ways to make a slow question from those images, no? Try! See what you see.

After a day of discussing difficult authorial positions (i.e., authorial positions that are cognitively difficult to process), I'm particularly enjoying the tension and suspense here.

4:56 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Poking-Stick Man said...

Those authorial positions aren't the only things around here that are cognitively difficult to process...

12:41 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I hope you do not slight.

12:46 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Poking-Stick Man said...

Of course not. I've been puzzling over this for the last half an hour, trying to discern the pattern in the responses to the images. So far I've considered and rejected consonance, assonance, number of syllables, number of letters, and part of speech as guiding the selection of the words. My latest theory involves the multiple resonances of the word "sign" -- especially in its semiotic and providential senses. Is the sighting of a bird a sign? A sign that in turn somehow gives new significance to a sign signaling the need to stop -- or to proceed? Does the literal centrality of the structure -- its positioning between a bird and a sign -- render it figuratively central to this play of signs?

12:54 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Oh-ho! I see. I think you are overthinking, my friend: look just at surfaces to see what I was playing with. (But I do like your questions, because one of the reasons I liked the pictures so much is that they seemed loosely to like each other--the house with a directive to enter, the sign talking to the bird, the sign overriding the roof, the bird refusing the closeness of the roof's pattern, on and on.)

The surface stuff:

The bird: it is a bird!
The roof: it is a roof!
The sign: it is a (fragment of a) sign!

The sign is the revision, if revision you do want, since the full text is, of course, Do Not Enter.

Sky, house, word: all three nouns, all three more abstracted than before. Bird, House, Word would probably have been more satisfying, for the rhyme, but I was writing off the top of my head and had already used "bird."

Hanging, Housing, Haranguing: things that the things in the pictures are doing. (Also all verbal nouns/adjectives.)

Soar, shelter, suggest: consonance (kind of--the "sh" screws around a little), and verbs.

Amaze, a miss, a message--this one I liked best because it was playing on the sound of "amaze." The bird amazes. One misses the roof on that building, which is kind of nondescript. The sign offers a message.

My brain was just playing, because it's been that kind of week. I don't think today's post is going to clarify anything, which is why I'm trying to give some tiny clarity here.

1:06 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Poking-Stick Man said...

Fair enough. Then:

A half.
A half.
A half.

Half a bird (the belly). Half a roof (one side). Half a sign (the bottom part). Particularly appropriate in that this post splits the slow question off from its better half (the straightforward answer which never quite arrives).

1:27 AM, March 30, 2006  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Good one!

10:59 AM, March 30, 2006  

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