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Remapping the Territory
Volume 1, Number 2
Electronic Edition, Summer 1995


  1. Every Text an Elephant Trap
  2. JhS
  3. The Aristotelian Telescope

TARP: Popular Anthropology
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12161 Berlin

Every Text an Elephant Trap

When travelling I (usually) don't write; but don't I travel when I am writing?--travel along texts, along images providing the--perhaps unconscious--fuel for spinning deeper and deeper around my own significance, into the random house of my writing self?

Writing, that's what this turn means; and the wheels of this vehicle graze the space of sense under the steps of a text that as a false bottom gives in without ground.

Every text an elephant trap! Every step a slippage, every slip a way towards an objective for which language overshoots its mark, sacrificing its corpus for the sake of an imaginary arrival at this, say, public house where pressure from the deep has moved all the blind windows out into the big wide world:

Such writing cannot be but a voyage to the already mentioned. And even if it should grasp itself as something unmentioned, wouldn't it prove the usefulness of the venture? Or is my writing just as futile as most travels? Will the double meaning of every word describe even this voyage as dangerous and adventurous?--Yes, it is a double game to be resolved in a question: Do we all travel and write for the sake of arriving, in the double sense of that word? Franz Josef Czernin
(Preface to: Die Reisen, Salzburg and Vienna: Residenz Verlag, 1987)

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Sunday evening, January 7th, 1554, fell down and sprained my shoulder and my arm and stayed sick and stayed at Bronzino's house for six days; then back home and stayed sick until carnival, which was on February 6th, 1554.

Sunday noon, March 11th, 1554
dinner with Bronzino
chicken and veal and I was well
(To tell the truth, when he arrived I was
still in bed, it was quite late
and when I got up I felt stuffed and swollen, it was
a nice day); in the evening, a small portion of cold roast beef
and I was thirsty
and on Monday evening, white cabbage and a pancake.
Tuesday evening one half of a little goat's head
and vegetable soup.
Wednesday evening the other fried half and a good measure of grapes
and bread for five cents and capers with salad.
Thursday morning dizziness
which lasted the whole day,
and I was in an entirely bad state since
and my head was weak;
Thursday evening a soup of good mutton and
beet salad.
Friday evening beet salad and a pancake of two eggs.
Saturday I fasted. Sunday evening, it was Palm
Sunday, some cooked mutton and
some salad and had to eat
bread for three cents.
Monday evening felt very strong
and good after dinner: I had eaten
lettuce salad, a soup of good mutton
and bread for 4 cents.
Tuesday evening lettuce salad
and pancake.
Wednesday evening before Easter almonds for 2 cents
and a pancake and nuts,
and made the figure above the skull:
Thursday evening lettuce salad and
some caviar and one egg;
the duchess came to San Lorenzo,
the duke came, too.
Friday evening a pancake, beans
and a bit of caviar and bread for four cents.
Saturday evening, I ate two eggs.
Sunday, which was Easter morning and Lady Day,
went to lunch with Bronzino and dinner, too.
Monday evening I ate wild salad
and a lemon half
and a pancake of two eggs.
Tuesday evening, I had a sore throat and ate a piece
of rosemary flavoured raisin bread and a pancake
and salad and dried figs.
On Wednesday, I fasted.
Thursday evening, a piece of raisin bread, a pancake from one egg, salad and bread for 4 cents in toto.
Friday evening salad, green pea soup and a pancake and bread for 5 cents.
On Saturday butter, salad, sugar and pancake.

Sunday, April 1st, lunch with Bronzino and no dinner in the evening. Monday evening a mashed bread with butter and a pancake and 2 ounces of pie. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday I went to a tavern for salad and pancake and cheese, and I felt good. On Sunday lunch and dinner with Bronzino. On Monday, a cooked loin of good veal. On Tuesday, two fried eggs and salad. Wednesday Thursday evening, bread for 4 cents, salad, badly cooked veal. In the evening of Friday the 13th, cooked chicory, bread for 4 cents and a pancake. Saturday evening. Sunday evening. cooked veal and seethed salad and cheese.

Wednesday, May 23rd, meat for dinner. Thursday, which was Corpus Christi Day, lunch with Bronzino: I had Greek wine, meat and fish; and an ounce of meat pie in the evening, and little appetite.

Saturday evening, June 2nd, obtained the chair which costed me 16 lira. June 9th, 1554, Marco Moro began to brick up the choir and to plaster at St. Lorenzo.

Today, the 18th, St. Luke's eve, slept downstairs under the new quilt for the first time.
October 19th, felt sick, like having a cold, and after that,
could no longer throw up
and it took me several nights to get the hard stuff out
like it happened to me before in summer,
I don't know whether it was the same since the weather has been very nice, and I ate well all the time;
so I began to look a little more after myself and toughened myself with 3 of 30 ounces of bread,
that is 10 ounces a meal, that is, I ate once a day, without drinking much: before the 16th of the month, I had bottled 6 casks of Chianti.
Today, the 22nd of the month, 1554, came back home and stayed alone there waiting for the landlord until
11 p.m., then ate a pancake, eight ounces of bread, a nut and a dried fig
and two pieces of cooked cod.
In the evening of the 23rd, a soup of cooked mutton, and two baked apples and ten ounces of bread
and a quarter cup of wine, and I began
to broach the cask.

And Monday evening with Bronzino, who had Luca Martini and Tasso as visitors, chicken and hare and
eight ounces of bread.
Tuesday evening, ate some mutton and ten ounces of bread and began to develop a taste
for Piero's wine, slept well at night.
Wednesday evening, the first day of Lent, I fasted, my mouth still feeling bad and dried out.
Thursday evening, St. Thomas' Eve, seethed wild salad and two eggs; and
Friday evening, as if it were two evenings, I ate 27 ounces of bread.
And Saturday evening, I fasted; until Sunday evening, I ate some roast beef.
On Monday, Christmas Eve, dined at Bronzino's house and stayed until the evening
and ate, without drinking anything besides, a snipe; on the second holiday, I dined there again in the morning as well as in the evening,
and on St. John's Day, a good dinner at Daniello's house, a fried moorhen and eight ounces of bread.

Friday and Saturday, 30 ounces of bread,
eggs, butter and other things at home.
Sunday evening, roast pork and 16 ounces of bread.

Monday: wild salad and a pancake
and 13 ounces of bread.

To be continued

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The Aristotelian Telescope

If ingenuity consists in joining distant and separate imagination, this is right the task of transportation and not anything else. Drawing one's mind and language from one area right into another, it discloses a stance by the means of a very different one, finding similarity in dissimilar items. Hence our author comes to conclude that effecting transport is the work of a perspicacious and most versatile mind. (...) If transportation is so admirable, it must be both amusing and pleasant. For pleasure arises from admiration, as is to be seen in sudden scene changes and never-seen spectacles. Moving our mind from one area to another, transportation enables us to see more than one objective through a single token.
Emanuele Tesauro
(Il cannochiale Aristotelico, Venice, 1663, p. 245)

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Translations: F. Cramer (Berlin, Germany) Advisory Board: A. Berkoff, UAS Development & Research (Almelo, The Netherlands), F. Lott (Konstanz, Germany), Philosophers Union (Baltimore, USA)

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