poets who spoke in poetic characters’ Vico and the artificer

While modern theories of knowledge begin with something present to the mind – e.g., Descartes begins with self-evidently true, clear, and simple innate ideas – Vico, begins by asking how it is that the mind comes to have anything present to it at all (Verene, 1981).
And it is precisely to this question that Vico claims to have an answer, indeed, it is the master key of his science. “We find,” he says,

“that the principle of these origins both of languages and of letters lies in the fact that the early gentile people, by a demonstrated necessity of nature, were poets who spoke in poetic characters. This discovery, which is the master key of this Science, has cost us the persistent research of almost all our literary life, because with our civilized natures we moderns cannot at all imagine and can understand only by great toil the poetic nature of these first men” (para.34, my emphasis).

But to understand what he means here by saying that the early people were, by necessity, poets (where the word “poet” is from the Greek poitetes = one who makes, a maker, an artificer), we must divide the process of making involved into two parts: i) the first, to do with the forming of a sensory topic, and ii) the second, with the forming of an imaginary universal which, from a ‘rooting’ in it, ‘lends’ the topic a determinate form.–John Shotter, CMN/UNH, http://pubpages.unh.edu/~jds/VicoNotes.htm

Fenollosa Pound Olson and the Chinese written character


“The first was Ernest Fenollosa’s provocative essay ‘The Chinese Wriiten Character as a Medium for Poetry.’ He found the Pound-edited text of the essay in the latter’s book Instigations and excitedly copied out its main arguments into his notebook that June. Fenollosa’s account of the exhaustion of poetic qualities in modern discourse resulting from a degeneration of the original capacity of language to mime the physical processes, and his implicit advocacy of a return to the state of primal verbal immediacy, with words once again becoming instrumental to the creation of ‘a vivid shorthand picture of the operations of nature,’ held for Olson the same appeal it had for Pound before him.–Tom Clark, Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet’s Life. pg. 103.


Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language

Sounds to me like a book title useful to describe some ideas about Bucky Fuller and James Joyce too. x fly

” Since “individual freedom” and “individual greatness” mean nothing to you, while “national freedom” and “national greatness” stimulate your vocal cords in very much the same way as bones bring the water to a dog’s mouth, the sound of these words makes you cheer. None of these little men pays the price that Giordano Bruno, Jesus, Karl Marx, or Lincoln had to pay for genuine freedom. They don’t love you, little man, they despise you because you despise yourself. — Wilhelm Reich, Listen Little Man. http://www.listenlittleman.com/ http://books.google.nl/books?id=3AwiNeYULfwC&lpg=PR7&ots=mTOwm6o1wo&dq=giordano%20bruno%20cyberspace&lr&pg=PR10&output=embed

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

Semanto-phonetic writing systems

The symbols used in these semanto-phonetic writing systems often represent both sound and meaning. As a result, these scripts generally include a large number of symbols: anything from several hundred to tens of thousands. In fact there is no theoretical upper limit to the number of symbols in some scripts, such as Chinese. These scripts could also be called logophonetic, morphophonemic, logographic or logosyllabic.
Semanto-phonetic writing systems may include the following types of symbol:
Examples of pictographic glyphs from the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Chinese scripts

Pictograms and logograms

Pictograms or pictographs resemble the things they represent. Logograms are symbols that represent parts of words or whole words. The image on the right shows some examples of pictograms from the Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Chinese scripts. The Chinese characters used to look like the things they stand for, but have become increasingly stylized over the years.


Ideograms or ideographs are symbols which graphically represent abstract ideas. The image below shows a number of ideographic Chinese characters.
Some ideographic Chinese characters

Compound characters

The majority of characters in the Chinese script are semanto-phonetic compounds: they include a semantic element, which represents or hints at their meaning, and a phonetic element, which shows or hints at their pronunciation. Below are a few such compound characters which all share a semantic element meaning ‘horse’.
Some examples of Chinese semanto-phonetic compound characters
Sometimes symbols are used for their phonetic value alone, without regard for their meaning, for example when transliterating foreign names and loan words.

Semanto-phonetic writing systems currently in use

Chinese (Zhōngwén)
Japanese (Nihongo)

Semanto-phonetic writing systems used mainly for decorative, ceremonial or religious purposes

Naxi script (sər33 tɕə21 lʏ33 tɕə21)

Semanto-phonetic writing systems that are no longer used

Akkadian (Cuneiform)
Ancient Egyptian Demotic script
Ancient Egyptian Demotic
Ancient Egyptian Hieratic script
Ancient Egyptian Hieratic
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglypic script
Ancient Egyptian Hieroglypic
Chu nom
Linear B
Linear B
Sumerian (Cuneiform)
Tangut (Xīxìa/Hsihsia)
Tangut (Xīxìa/Hsi-hsia)

Please note

transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are used extensively throughout this website. The IPA transcriptions are the letters and other symbols which appear in square bracketts, like this [b], [p]. etc.
You can learn which sounds are represented by these letters and symbols at:
http://www.unil.ch/ling/page12580.html (en français)

Other types of script

Abjads, Alphabets, Syllabic alphabets, Syllabaries, Semanto-phonetic writing systems, Undeciphered scripts, Alternative writing systems, Your con-scripts, A-Z index, Direction index, Languages by writing system, Language index

Vico’s age of heroes and the age of men…

Great big thanks to BOBBY CAMPBELL for putting this one up. Cheers:

Title: Vico’s age of heroes and the age of men in John Ford’s film ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.’ (Giambattista Vico)
Author(s): Vittorio Hosle and Mark W. Roche
Source: CLIO. 23.2 (Winter 1994): p131. From Literature Resource Center.
Document Type: Article
Vico, the father of historicism, discovered that the nature of man changes: the archaic man feels, thinks, acts in a way completely different from modern man. In Vico’s scheme of the necessary evolution of every culture, three phases are distinguished: the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of men. The age of gods is characterized by a theocratic government: it is anterior to any differentiation of the various aspects of curlture such as religion, politics, or art. The age of heroes, on the other hand, is dominated by the conflict between classes, the heroes and the plebeians. This age does not yet have a state; therefore, force and violence reign. The right of the stronger is the main ground of legitimacy. Two types of relations are characteristic of this age: the relation between enemies who fight each other, risking their own lives and those of their combatants, and the relation between master and servant. The duel, a fight between two heroes accompanied by their servants, is the symbolic action of the heroic age. In it the value of a person is proved, even constituted. Relations toward wives in the age of heroes are clearly asymmetric: women are not yet recognized as having the same human nature as men. “Love of ease, tenderness toward children, love of women, and desire of life” are alien to the heroes, so Vico once sums up his view of the heroic age.(1)  CONTINUED