Iain Cameron's Diary
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2003-12-25 - 9:28 a.m.

A couple of musicals on TC – White Christmas today and Singing in the Rain yesterday. Both had extraordinary dancing but perhaps the WC score was slightly richer – the film was just a couple of years after SITR. I like the piece that poked fun at the idea of choreography taking over dancing.

I joined E-bay so that I could in a bid for Nico’s Desertshore CD and browsed around the samplers that were on offer – something I have never owned. I remained confused about them.

In Tescos I bumped into Philip Spencer – we briefly compared notes on applying for jobs.

I have bought home Deleuze’s “the fold” and I had a little go at it without much success. I can understand that there could be a connection between the representation of folded cloth that you find in Baroque sculpture and painting ( even the dissolution of the solid surface that you find in Baroque architecture) and the mathematics of complex functions that interested Newton and Leibniz. I can even go as far as entertaining the thought that the point of “inflection” might be a key notion joining the different domains together. One sees in Pascal, for example, transitions between algebra, geometry and metaphysics. But Deleueze takes his argument forward somewhere between poetry and logic and I find it too much to follow him.

There are some incredible ideas in Leibniz – especially the “monad” – a kind of centre of conciousness which derives its individuality through its perspective on the world. Within this perspective certain things seem to be very closely linked with my identity (as a monad) – my body and my sense organs, for example – but the point of view is more fundamental. When the poet begins to work on these ideas I fail to follow all too quickly!

For example each monad – each individual point of view – contains the whole world but expresses only part of the world – as Deleuze puts it “ a borough of the City”.

“In sofar as it is filled with folds which stretch to infinity, the soul can always unfold a limited number of them inside itself – those that make up its subdivision or its borough”. Of course this kind of metaphoric logic is what we expect of Continental philosophy.

I have come across the idea that the City is densely folded with meaning before – say compared with the countryside. About 30 years ago Jonatham Raban wrote Soft City” that I have somewhere on the shelves. The softness of the city allows for folding and unfolding and accumulated meanings – squashed together in a small space. The folding makes different bits of meaning rub up against each other.

Gilbert mailed a Christmas greeting and I sent a reply. I also wrote a note to Paul W with a few thoughts on the passages of 2003. I posted a hopeful review of developments in Africa during the year onto the Highveld site. Its on the news page under the link at the top of the page.

I am very surprised at the way that volumes have kept up all the way to Christmas Eve. On a couple of measures the December totals have already topped the November ones – making it the sixth month in a row where the volume has increased. We will certainly top 14,000 distinct visitors over the life of the site by the end of the year. Brazil and Austria are countries which are moving up to the threshold of “1000 requests”.

Yvonne, Vita, James and I played the Christmas game – Cranium – which James and Vita won despite my faithful portrayal of Austin Powers.

We all went to midnight mass – Robert preached a sermon about person to person connections in which he referred to someone he met in a Johannesburg shanty town looking after her grandson

Happy Chrismas to any readers.

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