Thursday, 14 January 2016

Holy Orders - अंत में मेरी शुरुआत है।

The purpose of the Index, and indeed of the Catalogue itself, has been to clarify some of the more obscure and unusual entries. However the whole structure and order of the selection has been coherent and obvious. As the cumulation of the work of the Tungsten Fellow in Speculative Cross-cultural Hermeneutics, it could never have been otherwise. Over the years however there has been concern over the significant bias towards a synthesis of  Vachika-vrata and Trappist doctrine. At the time therefore there was no surprise that the compilation of material and collection of esoterica ended suddenly when Professor Mundeign drifted towards the community of Radical Cruxicogentians.  In the decades following his taking of holy orders nothing was heard from the Professor until the final clue that emerged as a scribbled note hidden in a batch of ceramic garden gnomes. This short terse message written in that characteristic handwriting, and later verified by graphologists, simply said ‘í lok er upphaf mitt’. Translated from the Icelandic as ‘In the end is my beginning’, many experts interpreted it as ‘I believe Chairman Mao is managing affairs and that He doesn't need any advice from me. With Mao in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?’

Monday, 11 January 2016

And the stars look very different today

We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The outstretched arm

In its latter years, the Index of Professor Mundeign's Catalogue became the prized artifact, more than the catalogue itself (for obvious reasons). The 1953 Estonian translation (which began with the unforgettable declaration 'Las kõik, kes on näljased tulevad ja söövad' and ended with the single word 'Shpoch!' was notably the most expensive single volume ever sold at the Underwoods Auction in Felpersham.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Demiurge forbid!

By now it should be obvious that Professor Mundeign has considerable sympathy for Gnostic ideas, in particular its essential feminism and its stance in regard to the demiurge Yaldabaoth. Notwithstanding the earlier Sethian texts, Mundeign's index has many references to the gnostic rejection of institutionalised belief. There is an occasional mention of the Thomas Gospel.Carl Jung wrote a short Gnostic treatise called Seven Sermons to the Dead, which called Abraxas a God higher than the Christian God and Devil, and also suggested that Moby K Dick was also influenced by Gnostic ideas.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Cav Piranesi's Lipogram

A lipogram  is a kind of constrained writing or word game consisting of paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is avoided (e.g. A Void by Perec). Other types of constrained writing include limiting a text to a specific number of letters. For esoteric reasons Professor Mundeign's catalogue includes the life of Cav Piranesi, the brilliant Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric "prisons", as one of the texts in the catalogue limited to 100 words. The biothought appears as follows:

As a child Piranesi was introduced to ancient civilizations, and later studied as an architect. In Rome he learned etching and engraving, and from the mid 1740s produced a series of views of the city, such as Le Antichità Romane de' tempo della prima Repubblica e dei primi imperatori ("Roman Antiquities of the Time of the First Republic and the First Emperors"). After being elected to the Accademia di San Luca, he opened his own printing facility, and his publication of ingenious and bizarre designs established his reputation. He died in Rome in 1778 was buried on the Aventine Hill.

Although the text includes no instance of the letters J,K or X, it cannot be considered a lipogram since these are letters of low frequency in English.

(Incidentally, in 1767 Giovanni Battista Piranesi was created a knight of the Golden Spur, which enabled him henceforth to sign himself "Cav[aliere] Piranesi".)

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Voluntary diplomacy

 Whilst agreeing with the ASA that agronomy is the science and  practice of looking at agriculture from an integrated, holistic perspective, the Mundeign catalogue editor of matters biological would insist on adding the proviso that 'lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit'.  This was of course the essential origin of the dispute with the geosciences editor who took the opposite view, namely 'aenean commodo ligula eget dolor.' Eventually the conflict was resolve by mediation, when both editors agreed to take voluntary diplomacy, and the type-setter took over ad hoc responisibilties (though this resulted in problems with the proof-rading). 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The Mundeign Hoard

Few treasures have aroused so much interest as the Mundeign Hoard - a single piece of decorative truc the function of which remains to this day controversial. Conventional opinion suggests that it was worn as a breast-plate by priests of the Omnes cult - but carbon dating indicates that it is of an earlier origin - perhaps being created at around the same time as the original earthworks at Stonehenge (5000 years ago give or take a few months).

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Sadly the Cross-eyed Bear

In the '100 most useful inventions' section of Professor Mundeign's calatogue there is even a mention of Malvolio Claxendell, oddly not in relation to the infamous  Leecock-Proust mechanism but because of the lesser known (but some say more widely used) Malvolio Claxendell's Fractured Light Yield (MCFLY) used to counter the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (or BluFlu as it is commonly known). 6 out of 18 Swedish carpenters agree strongly that MCFLY is effective under controlled conditions.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Was Descartes?

Descartes insisted that everything is self-evident. He also mentioned in passing that he was amazed when he considered how weak his mind was and how prone to error. Therefore he could not be sure that everything is self-evident. Was he deceiving himself? He was probably wise to say that it is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived. Sadly he died on February 11, 1650 so we can't be sure he would agree with what is written above.