Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ineluctable modality of the visible.

Falling orange leaves
Nudge resistant butterflies -
Metaphors at war.

I was unaware of the word "ineluctable" until I came upon it while I was trying to come up with a closing line for this haiku. Further "Googling" led me to the phrase that became its title. I have never read James Joyce's Ulysses, nor do I intend to -- especially now.

In James Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's character) goes for a walk on the beach, and closing his eyes as he walks along remarks "Ineluctible modality of the visible": i.e. it dominates our experience. (

Although there is probably no exact source that Joyce used for the opening words of the chapter ("Ineluctable modality of the visible"), the subject matter of the following allusions is found in Aristotle's De Anima. Aristotle taught that we are first aware of bodies through their translucence or transparency (diaphane), then through their colors. (

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