Saints Stars & Selfies Essay

02/22/2014 - 04/02/2014

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Trembling Allusion: Context Out of Context
Annie Fischer

“Human TK” redirects here. For non-human entities that take on the appearance of being human, see human disguise (disambiguation).

Allusion is an economical device. Quotations are used for a variety of reasons: to illuminate the meaning or support the arguments of the work being quoted; to provide direct information about the work being quoted (whether to discuss it positively or negatively); to pay homage to the original work or author; to make the user of the quotation seem well-read; and/or to comply with copyright law. Allusion can draw upon the ready stock of ideas, cultural memes, or emotion already associated with a topic in a shorter space. In an allusion to “the city that never sleeps,” New York will be recognized. Recognizing the figure in this condensed puzzle-disguise serves to reinforce cultural solidarity between the maker of the remark and the hearer: their shared familiarity with the Big Apple bonds them. If they can do this in an open and comfortable way, they can become quite intimate in an intellectual area. Hyperlinks can be bidirectional: they can be followed in two directions, so both ends act as anchors and as targets. More complex arrangements exist. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them. Allusion moves in one direction. It is not possible to predetermine the nature of all the new meanings and intertexual patterns that an allusion will generate. Adagio – slow and stately (literally, “at ease”): Fra Angelico was born Guido di Pietro at Rupecanina in the Tuscan area of Mugello, near Fiesole, toward the end of the 14th century. Nothing is known of his parents. He was baptized Guido or Guidolino. All of his many paintings were of divine subjects, and it seems that he never altered or retouched them, perhaps from a religious conviction that, because his paintings were divinely inspired, they should retain their original form. In November 2006, two missing masterpieces by Fra Angelico turned up, having hung in the spare room of the late Jean Preston, in her “modest terrace house” in Oxford, England. The paintings’ previous owners had consulted Preston in the 1960s in her capacity as an expert medievalist. Preston recognized them as being high-quality Florentine renaissance, but it never occurred to anyone, even all the dealers she approached on behalf of the owner, that they could possibly be by Fra Angelico. There was almost no demand at all for medieval art at the time and no dealers showed any interest, so Preston’s father bought them almost as an afterthought, along with some manuscripts. The manuscripts turned out to be high-quality Victorian forgeries by the Spanish Forger, the name given to an unidentified individual who, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, created a large number of forgeries of medieval miniatures. The Spanish Forger’s works were painted on vellum or parchment leaves of genuine medieval books, using either blank margins or scraping off the original writing. His works fooled many experts and collectors and are today themselves collected, selling for several thousand dollars each. Although he was originally thought to be Spanish, it is now believed he may have been French. One of the main disparities between humans and animals is that humans have a much higher capacity for imitation. A 2009 study found that babies mimic their parents’ pitch contour. French infants wail on a rising note. The Germans favor a falling melody. If someone’s chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don’t turn around and shout, “Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.” Chasing comes from the French word chasser, meaning to drive out, which is what the artists are doing as they “chase” the forms on their metal in order to create their final design. An example from antiquity is the late Eighteenth Dynasty mummy mask of Tutankhamun. The lapis lazuli and other stones were inlaid in chased areas after the height of the form was completed. Sets of precious substances may form hierarchies that express conventional perceived relative value or merit. The measurement of sales of popular music starts high relative to the wedding anniversary scale, concentrating on gold and platinum. Credit card companies usually have a “gold card” and a “platinum card.” Standard Chartered Bank has introduced a “titanium card” as a grade higher than platinum. It is a sardonic comment on the tendency to put excessive trust in “computerized” data, and on the propensity for individuals to blindly accept what the computer says. The person having ordinary skill in the art (often abbreviated PHOSITA in the United States) is a legal fiction found in many patent laws throughout the world. This fictional person is considered to have the normal skills and knowledge in a particular technical field, without being a genius. If it would have been obvious for this fictional person to come up with the invention while starting from the prior art, then the particular invention is considered not patentable. The man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical reasonable person, used by the courts in English law where it is necessary to decide whether a party has acted as a reasonable person would. In Australia, the “Clapham omnibus” expression has inspired New South Wales and Victorian equivalents. In Hong Kong, the equivalent expression is “the man on the Shaukiwan Tram.” The reasonable person standard is by no means democratic in its scope; it is, contrary to popular conception, intentionally distinct from that of the “average person,” who is not necessarily guaranteed to always be reasonable. For non-human entities that take on the appearance of being human, see human disguise. An average person is generally seven-and-a-half heads tall (including the head). This can be illustrated to students in the classroom using paper plates to visually demonstrate the length of their bodies. An ideal figure, used for an impression of nobility or grace, is drawn at eight heads tall. A heroic figure used in the depiction of gods and superheroes is eight-and-a-half heads tall. Most of the additional length comes from a bigger chest and longer legs. The everyman character is constructed so that the audience can imagine itself in the same situation without having to possess knowledge, skills, or abilities that transcend human potential. A space selfie is a selfie that is taken in space. Today, a “Cassandra” refers to someone who predicts disasters or negative results, especially someone whose predictions are disregarded. Today, when someone is said to be experiencing his or her “15 minutes of fame,” the allusion is to Andy Warhol’s famous remark. Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna at age 13 was one of the first teenagers to take her own picture, using a mirror, to send to a friend in 1914. In the letter that accompanied the photograph, she wrote, “I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard as my hands were trembling.”