tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post8182441578164015529..comments2021-05-07T09:19:25.487-04:00Comments on GROGNARDIA: Pulp Fantasy Library: Dreams in the Witch HouseJames Maliszewskihttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00341941102398271464noreply@blogger.comBlogger33125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-57175928449734880322011-10-02T18:16:53.141-04:002011-10-02T18:16:53.141-04:00@anonimous
You're quite welcome!
And thank y...<b>@anonimous</b><br /><br />You're quite welcome!<br /><br />And thank <b><i>you</i></b> for not only being willing to consider the validity of positions other than your own, but also being persuadable by reason, and even graciously admitting when you've been mistaken, too! All those are admirable qualities that are sadly rare these days.<br /><br />(By the way, I read the Ambrose Bierce story you linked to and enjoyed it very much, too. Thanks!)https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-83161278712170322352011-10-01T05:48:40.473-04:002011-10-01T05:48:40.473-04:00Thanks to Ed Dove for his clarifications. Not that...Thanks to Ed Dove for his clarifications. Not that I like DitWH more than I used to do, but looks like my critics were misaimed.anonimous, emperador en la sombrahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13204169087393199959noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-53502383989324636572011-09-19T00:05:52.407-04:002011-09-19T00:05:52.407-04:00"You don't understand why someone who has...<b><i>"You don't understand why someone who has devoted themselves to the study of mathematics, who has gloried over Cantor's handling of the infinite and been stunned by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, might be a little miffed, if, on those rare occasions when the great mathematicians are actually lauded, to hear physicists lauded in their place?"</i></b><br /><br />When the physicists are lauded for their contributions to theoretical physics -- not mathematics -- no.<br /><br />It just sounds like you're peeved that DitWH is about something you don't know much about -- theoretical physics -- instead of something you know lots about -- mathematics. And there's just no point in getting upset about something being what it is instead of something completely different that you'd prefer. That's like getting upset because an apple isn't a ham sandwich.https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-43423627014413553822011-09-18T23:48:55.859-04:002011-09-18T23:48:55.859-04:00"...in DitWH *every* conceivable mathematical...<b><i>"...in DitWH *every* conceivable mathematical principle manifests itself and affects the physical world."</i></b><br /><br />Well -- every mathematical principle that the story actually mentions -- yeah. But, of course, that can't even possibly be every *conceivable* mathematical principle. But I do think that Lovecraft probably did assume that every conceivable mathematical principle would manifest itself in the form of some physical reality within the story's milieu.<br /><br /><br /><b><i>"Since Maths are the language the Creation is written in, mastering Maths means that you can shape reality."</i></b><br /><br />Not exactly. It's not enough to master just mathematics. Nor is it necessary to master all mathematics. To shape reality in some way, you have to understand how some specific mathematical principle manifests itself in the form of physical reality. And the more mathematical principles you understand that way, the more you can shape reality.<br /><br /><br /><b><i>"...black holes being depicted in rightful mathematical terms (by Oppenheimer & Synder) would have made black holes real."</i></b><br /><br />Black holes already *are* real. But, if what you meant is that understanding how the mathematical principles that describe black holes manifest themselves in the form of actual black holes would allow one to make black holes, then yeah.<br /><br /><br /><b><i>"...Keziah Mason mathematical skills allow her to bend time and space by devising brand new theorems."</i></b><br /><br />Not exactly. Her understanding of how mathematical principles manifest themselves in the form of physical reality allows her to bend time and space by devising brand new theorems that she understands that way. Mathematics alone isn't enough. It's understanding the connection between mathematics and physical reality -- theoretical physics -- that's necessary.<br /><br /><br /><b><i>" She's a sorceress who casts equations rather than spells!"</i></b><br /><br />Exactly!<br /><br /><br /><b><i>"This is an amusing concept for a tale if properly played with."</i></b><br /><br />I agree.<br /><br /><br /><b><i>"But Lovecraft's treatment in DitWH is below my standards."</i></b><br /><br />Fair enough. Personal standards are just that -- personal.<br /><br />Myself -- I think DitWH is far from being the best possible treatment of this idea. But it's still good enough for me, personally, to enjoy though.https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-86798353970644477592011-09-17T06:40:49.671-04:002011-09-17T06:40:49.671-04:00@Ed Dove: You don't understand why someone who...@Ed Dove: You don't understand why someone who has devoted themselves to the study of mathematics, who has gloried over Cantor's handling of the infinite and been stunned by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, might be a little miffed, if, on those rare occasions when the great mathematicians are actually lauded, to hear physicists lauded in their place?Prosfilaeshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08567819936724569257noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-29317543434223523952011-09-17T05:51:16.862-04:002011-09-17T05:51:16.862-04:00"Theoretical physics is (...) the attempt to ...<b><i>"Theoretical physics is (...) the attempt to determine which mathematical principles (...) actually manifest themselves in the form of physical reality."</i>--Ed Dove</b> <br /><br />OK, I think I've got it. My point is, in DitWH *every* conceivable mathematical principle manifests itself and affects the physical world. Since Maths are the language the Creation is written in, mastering Maths means that you can shape reality. V.gr. black holes being depicted in rightful mathematical terms (by Oppenheimer & Synder) would have made black holes real. Thus, Keziah Mason mathematical skills allow her to bend time and space by devising brand new theorems. She's a sorceress who casts equations rather than spells! <br /><br />This is an amusing concept <i>for a tale</i> if properly played with. But Lovecraft's treatment in DitWH is below my standarts.anonimous, emperador en la sombrahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13204169087393199959noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-69901657378823971042011-09-16T13:50:39.950-04:002011-09-16T13:50:39.950-04:00@Prosfilaes
That's really reaching -- and gra...<b>@Prosfilaes</b><br /><br />That's really reaching -- and grasping at straws.<br /><br />And it conveniently ignores your unrationalizable <i>"painting skills beyond that greatest of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven"</i> comparison too.<br /><br />And you're still talking about <i>"skills"</i> when what Lovecraft actually wrote was <i>"insight"</i> and <i>"delvings".</i><br /><br />So what you're saying still doesn't make a wit of sense.<br /><br />And, even if all that weren't true, I still wouldn't understand why comparing someone's mathematical skills to those of great <i>theoretical</i> physicists would get under your skin anyway.https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-78396531417885234592011-09-16T09:32:41.990-04:002011-09-16T09:32:41.990-04:00And I stand by my statement; maybe she also has li...And I stand by my statement; maybe she also has literary skills beyond the greatest writings of Hitchcock, Lucas and Spielberg. All three of those people wrote major screenplays; you can't tell me the writing didn't matter. If you have a problem with comparing someone's literary skills to great movie people, maybe you should understand why comparing someone's mathematical skills to great physicists gets under my skin.Prosfilaeshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08567819936724569257noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-88813119445996434652011-09-12T21:23:37.086-04:002011-09-12T21:23:37.086-04:00"...DitWH worst fault: its so-called 'sci...<b><i>"...DitWH worst fault: its so-called 'scientific' explanation mistakes physics with mathematics. AFAIK, this is a mistake sadly common between illustrated people. It's also entirely irrational, akin mistaking facts with fiction or life with literature."</i>--anonimous</b><br /><br />"Dreams in the Witch House" doesn't confuse physics with mathematics. It's about theoretical physics, which is also known as "mathematical physics".<br /><br /><b>"Theoretical physics is a branch of physics which employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. The importance of mathematics in theoretical physics is sometimes emphasized by the expression 'mathematical physics'."</b><br /><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoretical_physics" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoretical_physics</a>https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-32198948643566134272011-09-12T17:37:06.179-04:002011-09-12T17:37:06.179-04:00@Prosfilaes
1) While it's true that all scien...<b>@Prosfilaes</b><br /><br />1) While it's true that all scientists do <i>use</i> mathematics, theoretical physicists do much more than just that. They try to figure out if there's any intrinsic relationship between any mathematics -- either already known or that they can devise -- and physical reality. So theoretical physics is about mathematics as much as it is about physical reality because it's the attempt to determine which mathematical principles, rather than being mere abstract concepts, actually manifest themselves in the form of physical reality. And Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein and de Sitter all were theoretical physicists.<br /><br />2) Neither Lovecraft nor I mentioned anything about any of those guys <i>creating</i> any mathematics. He wrote, <i>"an insight into mathematical depths perhaps beyond the utmost modern delvings of Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein, and de Sitter".</i> So we're talking about <i>"insight"</i> from <i>"delvings" "into mathematical depths"</i>, not creating mathematics. And, as some of the greatest of theoretical physicists, those guys certainly did have <i>"insight"</i> into the nature of physical reality from their <i>"delvings" "into mathematical depths".</i>https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-79936584932046123702011-09-09T20:31:03.844-04:002011-09-09T20:31:03.844-04:00@Ed Dove: Physicists, like all scientists, use mat...@Ed Dove: Physicists, like all scientists, use mathematics. They, as a rule of thumb, don't create mathematics. There are many exceptions, but Planck, Heisenberg, and Einstein weren't mathematics, and studied, didn't create, mathematics. If you want to talk about mathematical depths, talk about Poincaré, who actually did much of the math that Einstein used.Prosfilaeshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08567819936724569257noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-53948963603722186972011-09-09T09:25:16.359-04:002011-09-09T09:25:16.359-04:00I feel a deep aversion for DitWH because somehow i...I feel a deep aversion for DitWH because somehow it managed to ruin a perfectly good idea. <br /><br />Check the following link for an example of <i>almost</i> the same idea properly delivered (by Ambrose Bierce, no less):<br><br><a rel="nofollow">http://bierce.thefreelibrary.com/Present-At-A-Hanging-And-Other-Ghost-Stories/4-4</a>anonimous, emperador en la sombrahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13204169087393199959noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-44841777891812189142011-09-08T05:45:53.226-04:002011-09-08T05:45:53.226-04:00This comment has been removed by the author.anonimous, emperador en la sombrahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13204169087393199959noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-62227695321761432892011-09-08T05:35:02.396-04:002011-09-08T05:35:02.396-04:00@Prosfilaes
Thank you very much for your example...<b>@Prosfilaes</b> <br /><br />Thank you very much for your examples! They enlight DitWH worst fault: its so-called "scientific" explanation mistakes physics with mathematics. AFAIK, this is a mistake sadly common between illustrated people. It's also entirely irrational, akin mistaking facts with fiction or life with literature.anonimous, emperador en la sombrahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13204169087393199959noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-50239015696375197312011-09-07T09:00:23.212-04:002011-09-07T09:00:23.212-04:00@Prosfilaes
Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein and de S...<b>@Prosfilaes</b><br /><br />Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein and de Sitter were physicists <i>and mathematicians.</i> They had to be because physics is the description of physical reality <i>with mathematics.</i> So insights in physics are <i>based on insights in mathematics</i> or <i>lead to insights in mathematics</i> or both.<br /><br />So, no -- Lovecraft <i>didn't</i> make an ignorant mistake.https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-89687371915601688972011-09-07T03:33:14.992-04:002011-09-07T03:33:14.992-04:00"an insight into mathematical depths perhaps ..."an insight into mathematical depths perhaps beyond the utmost modern delvings of Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein, and de Sitter"? Maybe she also has literary skills beyond the greatest writings of Hitchcock, Lucas and Spielberg? Or painting skills beyond that greatest of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven?Prosfilaeshttps://www.blogger.com/profile/08567819936724569257noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-25481339677069773252011-09-06T18:23:44.276-04:002011-09-06T18:23:44.276-04:00This story was turned into a dynamite episode of &...This story was turned into a dynamite episode of "Masters of Horror" by Stuart Gordon. He takes it in his own direction, of course, and that's bound to upset purists, but it makes a smashing 1-hour yarn.Stevehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11677895164302972957noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-81986408486191112552011-09-06T14:01:30.462-04:002011-09-06T14:01:30.462-04:00Dreams in the Witch House is pretty brilliant. I t...Dreams in the Witch House is pretty brilliant. I think that it's almost as radical in its conception of horror as Call of Cthulhu. Imagine if a generation of writers had taken up Dreams as the story to emulate and expand upon. The closest modern equivalent to Dreams that I can think of is some of J.G. Ballard's work.Jeffrey Fleminghttps://www.blogger.com/profile/11330429093758634994noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-90860651055470021972011-09-06T13:55:28.320-04:002011-09-06T13:55:28.320-04:00This comment has been removed by the author.anonimous, emperador en la sombrahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/13204169087393199959noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-71370271912688163192011-09-06T11:27:05.826-04:002011-09-06T11:27:05.826-04:00This is one of my favorite HPL tales and, like tho...This is one of my favorite HPL tales and, like those above, I always associated the crucifix's effect as a combination fo the geometry and Mason's personal aversion to what it represents... not any implied divine force.<br /><br />And yeah, anyone who doesn't listen to the H.P. Lovecraft Literary podcast are really missing out.Osskorreihttps://www.blogger.com/profile/14408780872015323307noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-12504569443810215742011-09-06T04:20:05.473-04:002011-09-06T04:20:05.473-04:00I always found a bit juvenile the hype he puts on ...I always found a bit juvenile the hype he puts on some mathematics concept, like 4th dimension, freakish curvature etc. which seem to denote his probably scarce literacy in the argument, and are also probably a product of the times, when these concepts (already well established since the 19th century) were made public by physicists rather than mathematicians.Antoniohttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17258180992723371727noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-27834980812235842342011-09-05T23:07:42.231-04:002011-09-05T23:07:42.231-04:00"I don't know why it's not esteemed m...<b><i>"I don't know why it's not esteemed more."</i></b><br /><br />Maybe few people understand it well enough to esteem it. Most people don't esteem things they don't understand because they assume their inability to understand them means they don't make sense.https://www.blogger.com/profile/14398295844409607075noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-52282965088203515112011-09-05T18:42:18.386-04:002011-09-05T18:42:18.386-04:00I *love* this story--I don't know why it's...I *love* this story--I don't know why it's not esteemed more. I think the plot is interesting, the characters are pretty well drawn, and I find it far scarier and creepier than most of HPL's stuff.Akivahttps://www.blogger.com/profile/17962605092009953080noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-9687782732633040922011-09-05T18:15:43.904-04:002011-09-05T18:15:43.904-04:00Timely, as I believe that this will be the next st...Timely, as I believe that this will be the next story discussed on the <a href="http://hppodcraft.com/" rel="nofollow">H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast</a>. What's that, you haven't been foolowing that podcast? Well you should, you should! Go, listen now, whatever else you were doing can wait.PCBhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/03645647030605683608noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7487871339000666216.post-39464127862243157522011-09-05T17:51:39.329-04:002011-09-05T17:51:39.329-04:00Considering the cross is a symbol used by the guys...Considering the cross is a symbol used by the guys who <i>almost killed her</i> several times over her centuries of aberrant life, maybe it just has some bad associations for her? Keziah Mason is not presented as the most stable of individuals.huthhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/16502682297320819595noreply@blogger.com