2021-03-04 20:55:33 UTC
‘A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery.’ - Dedalus
Ambisinister Droeshout Figure - Figuring Oxfordian Errancy
Definition of ERRANT -
1a behaving wrongly
b straying outside the proper path or bounds
c moving about aimlessly or irregularly
2 traveling or given to traveling
Above from Merriam-Webster
Errant has a split history. It comes from Anglo-French, a language in which two confusingly similar verbs with identical spellings ("errer") coexisted. One _errer_ meant "to err" and comes from errare, meaning "to wander" or "to err." The second _errer_ meant "to travel," and traces to the Latin _iter_, meaning "road" or "journey." Both "errer" homographs contributed to the development of "errant" which not surprisingly has to do with both moving about and being mistaken. A "knight-errant" travels around in search of adventures. Cowboys round up "errant calves." An "errant child" is one who misbehaves. (You might also see "arrant" occasionally - it's a word that originated as an alteration of 'errant" and that usually means "extreme" or "shameless."
(need to have faces made of brass -
Error in Shakespeare - Alice Leonard
...Samuel Johnson famously recognized Shakespeare's errancy, presenting him as a linguistic wanderer. He set out his irritation in the 'Preface' to his edition of Shakespeare (1765): 'A quibble is to Shakespeare, what luminous vapours are to the traveller; he follows it at all adventures, it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure to engulf him in the mire.' Shakespeare, following the quibble, threatens to become lost in his own meaning. Yet Johnson's 'traveller' can function as author or audience - both risks being distracted by the strange 'luminous vapours' and becoming lost in the deviancy of meaning. Johnson's 'mire' is Jonson's 'bog'; they both signify what can potentially be lost when meaning has a tendency astray, which is where Johnson accuses Shakespeare of leading it. This threat to clear sense motivates classical and early modern rhetoricians to caution restraint in language. Contrary to Jonson and Hoskins, Sir Philip Sidney looks sharply on any kind of linguistic digression, instead counselling a return to the 'proper' way: in "acknowledging ourselves somewhat awry (my note - see ambisinister), we may bend to the right use of both of matter and manner: whereto our language gives us great occasion, being, indeed, capable of any excellent exercising of it.' Sidney argues that when we find ourselves 'awry' we should bend back towards the 'right use'; rather than exploring the errant alternative. Instead of entering Jonson's delightful fields or wandering into Hoskin's confines, Sidney claims that the vernacular English is 'capable of any excellent exercising' of language as it should be used, without recourse to errancy, figurative or otherwise. While Sidney cautions against the possibilities of wandering, Jonson makes a rare exception in acknowledging its benefit, and Hoskins sees it as germane to metaphor. These are the diverse responses to the fine line between achieving eloquence through the use of figures and not pushing them into error.
Among these varying ideas about errancy and correctness, Jonson stands out as the model of prescriptive rectitude in early modern literature. While he makes one rare concession to the benefit of wandering error, in practice he restrains characters such a Miles Metaphor, Demetrius, Crispinus and others (my note Amorphus/Oxford) from creating poetic value through linguistic digression in order to mock them. This is motivated by his fidelity to the classical model, foregrounded by Cicero of an unbreakable connection between mistake and immorality: 'all things just are proper; all things unjust, like all things immoral, are improper.' Whereas Jonson's drama operates on the border between entertainment and instruction, the drama of Shakespeare is much less concerned with moral or linguistic correction. Especially in his dramatic poetry, Shakespeare breaks the connection between mistake an immorality which informs all of Jonson's writing.
.....For Jonson, the main point of the unities is not so much
verisimilitude as proportion. As he writes in Discoveries,
"In every action it behoves the poet to know which is his utmost bound,
how far with fitness, and a necessary proportion, he may produce, and
determine it…For, as a body without proportion cannot be goodly, no
more can the action, either the comedy, or tragedy, without his fit
Boundedness is the condition of all proportion and fitness; nothing
can be good without its proper limits. It is a principle that goes
beyond poetics, informing for example these comedies’ preoccupation
with the idea of humor. Asper, the authorial mouthpiece of Every Man
Out, defines humor as “whatsoe’er hath flexure and humidity, / As
wanting power to contain itself,” and explains that the medical humors
(choler, melancholy, and so on) are so called “By reason that they
flow continually / In some one part, and are not continent” (“Grex,”
ll. 96-101). The follies we are about to see, then, are types of
incontinence, ugly and absurd because of their lack of any limiting
principle. A comedy that wandered whimsically from country to country
would be complicit with the humors it displayed. Rather, it should
emulate the wise men who rule their lives by knowledge, “and can
becalm / All sea of HUMOUR with the marble trident / Of their strong
spirits” (The Poetaster, 4.6.74-76). Although his plays were not
written for a Serlian stage, Jonson reproduces its boundedness at the
level of their construction through his self-imposed limitations of
place and time. The classical architecture of the dramatic form, with
its firm symmetries and commanding point of view, stands in for the
perspective scene. (note - attribution?)
The concept of 'proper limits' is bound up with the classical ideal of decorum (propriety in manners and conduct). Quintilian writes that ‘'A good man (vir bonus) will see that everything he says is consistent with his dignity and the respectability of his character (dignitate ac verecundia); for we pay too dear for the laugh we raise if it is at the cost of our own integrity
Jonson paraphrases this passage at the close of his epigram
"To My Book” (probitas – integrity, honesty, uprightness)
Holding/Restraining/Ruling Shakespeare's Quill:
From To the Deceased Author of these Poems (William Cartwright)
by Jasper Mayne
...And as thy Wit was like a Spring, so all
The soft streams of it we may Chrystall call:
No cloud of Fancie, no mysterious stroke,
No Verse like those which antient Sybils spoke;
No Oracle of Language, to amaze
The Reader with a dark, or Midnight Phrase,
Stands in thy Writings, which are all pure Day,
A cleer, bright Sunchine, and the mist away.
That which Thou wrot'st was sense, and that sense good,
Things not first written, and then understood:
Or if sometimes thy Fancy soar'd so high
As to seem lost to the unlearned Eye,
'Twas but like generous Falcons, when high flown,
Which mount to make the Quarrey more their own.
For thou to Nature had'st joyn'd Art, and skill.
In Thee Ben Johnson still HELD SHAKESPEARE'S QUILL:
A QUILL, RUL'D by sharp Judgement, and such Laws,
As a well studied Mind, and Reason draws.
Thy Lamp was cherish'd with suppolied of Oyle,
Fetch'd from the Romane and the Graecian soyle. (snip)
Chapman, Revenge Bussy D'Ambois (Act III, Sc. iv)
Renel. Goe on; Ile take no care what comes of you;
Heaven will not see it ill, how ere it show.
But the pretext to see these battailes rang'd
Is much your honour.
Clermont. As the world esteemes it.
But to decide that, you make me remember80
An accident of high and noble note,
And fits the subject of my late discourse
Of holding on our free and proper way.
I over-tooke, comming from Italie,
In Germanie a great and famous Earle85
Of England, the most goodly fashion'd man
I ever saw; from head to foote in forme
Rare and most absolute; hee had a face
Like one of the most ancient honour'd Romanes
From whence his noblest familie was deriv'd;90
He was beside of spirit passing great,
Valiant, and learn'd, and liberall as the sunne,
Spoke and writ sweetly, or of learned subjects,
Or of the discipline of publike weales;
And t'was the Earle of Oxford: and being offer'd95
At that time, by Duke Cassimere, the view
Of his right royall armie then in field,
Refus'd it, and no foote was mov'd to stirre
Out of his owne free fore-determin'd course.
I, wondring at it, askt for it his reason,100
It being an offer so much for his honour.
Hee, all acknowledging, said t'was not fit
To take those honours that one cannot quit.
Ren. Twas answer'd like the man you have describ'd.
Cler. And yet he cast it onely in the way,105
To stay and serve the world. Nor did it fit
His owne true estimate how much it waigh'd;
For hee despis'd it, and esteem'd it freer
To keepe his owne way straight, and swore that hee
Had rather make away his whole estate110
In things that crost the vulgar then he would
Be frozen up stiffe (like a Sir John Smith,
His countrey-man) in common Nobles fashions;
Affecting, as't the end of noblesse were,
Those servile observations.
Ren. It was strange.115
Cler. O tis a vexing sight to see a man,
Out of his way, stalke proud as hee were in;
Out of his way, to be officious,
Observant, wary, serious, and grave,
Fearefull, and passionate, insulting, raging,120
Labour with iron flailes to thresh downe feathers
Flitting in ayre.
Ren. What one considers this,
Of all that are thus out? or once endevours,
Erring, to enter on mans right-hand path?
Cler. These are too grave for brave wits; give them toyes;125
Labour bestow'd on these is harsh and thriftlesse.
If you would Consull be (sayes one) of Rome,
You must be watching, starting out of sleepes;
Every way whisking; gloryfying Plebeians;
Kissing Patricians hands, rot at their dores;130
Speake and doe basely; every day bestow
Gifts and observance upon one or other:
And what's th'event of all? Twelve rods before thee;
Three or foure times sit for the whole tribunall;
Exhibite Circean games; make publike feasts;135
And for these idle outward things (sayes he)
Would'st thou lay on such cost, toile, spend thy spirits?
And to be voide of perturbation,
For constancie, sleepe when thou would'st have sleepe,
Wake when thou would'st wake, feare nought, vexe for nought,140
No paines wilt thou bestow? no cost? no thought?
Ren. What should I say? As good consort with you
As with an angell; I could heare you ever.
In Memory of Mr. William Cartwright.--John Berkenhead
But Thou art gone: and groveling Trifles crawl
About the World, which but confirm thy Fall.
The Belgick Floud, which drank down fifty Townes,
At dead-low water shews their humble Crowns:
So, since thy flowing Brain ebb'd down to death,
Small Under-witts do shoot up from beneath.
They spread and swarm, as fast as Preachers now,
New, Monthly Poets (and their Pictures too)
Who, like that Fellow in the Moon, look bright,
Yet are but Spots because they dwell in Light.
For thy Imperiall Muse at once defines
Lawes to arraign and brand their weak strong lines,
Unmask's the Goblin-Verse that fright's a page
As when old time brought Devills on the Stage.
Knew the right mark of things, saw how to choose,
(For the great Wit's great work, is to Refuse,)
And smil'd to see what shouldering there is
To follow Lucan where he TROD AMISS.
Thine's the RIGHT METTALL, Thine's still big with Sense,
And stands as square as a good Conscience.
No Traverse lines, all written like a man:
Their Heights are but the Chaff, their Depths the Bran:
Gross, and not Great; which when it best does hit
Is not the strength but Corpulence of Wit:
Stuft, swoln, ungirt: but Thine's compact and bound
Close as the Atomes of a Diamond.
Substance and Frame; Raptures not Phrensies grown;
No Rebel-Wit, which bears its Master down;
But checks the Phansy, tames that Giant's Rage
As he that made huge Afcapart his Page.
Such Law, such Conduct, such Oeconomy,
No Demonstrator walks more steadily.
Nothing of Chance, Thou handled'st Fortune then
As roughly as she now does Vertuous men.
Yet not meer Forme and Posture, built of SLIME;
'Tis Substantive with or without its Rime.
Nor were these drunken Fumes, Thou didst not write
Warm'd by male Claret or by female White:
Their Giant Sack could nothing heighten Thee,
As far 'bove Tavern Flash as Ribauldry.
Thou thought'st no rank foul line was strongly writ,
That's but the SCUM or SEDIMENT of Wit;
Which sharking Braines do into Publike thrust,
(And though They cannot blush, the Reader must;)
Who when they see't abhor'd, for fear, not shame,
*TRANSLATE their BASTARD to some Other's NAME.*
No rotten Phansies in thy Scenes appear;
Nothing but what a Dying man might hear.
Slime/Scum/Sediment - Addle?
...meer Forme and Posture, built of SLIME;
'Tis Substantive with or without its Rime.-- Holland
Him and my other harts-halfes I account
Intire assemblies, and thinke they surmount
A GLOBE of ADDLE Gallants: I averre
One judging Plato worth a Theater. -- Berkenhead
History and Etymology for addle
Middle English adel- (in adel eye "putrid egg"), attributive use of Old English adela "filth, filthy or foul-smelling place," going back to Germanic *adela-, *adelōn- (whence Middle Dutch ael "liquid manure," Middle Low German ādel, ādele, Middle High German —east Upper German— adel, regional Swedish adel, al "animal urine"), of obscure origin
SYNONYMS & ANTONYMS FOR MIRE
guck (or gook), muck, mud, ooze, slime, slop, sludge, slush
befoul, begrime, bemire, besmirch, blacken, daub, dirty, distain [archaic], foul, gaum [dialect], grime, muck, muddy, smirch, smudge, soil, stain, sully
Billy in the Darbies - Melville
Fathoms down, fathoms down, how I'll dream fast asleep.
I feel it stealing now. Sentry, are you there?
Just ease these darbies at the wrist,
And roll me over fair.
I am sleepy, and the oozy weeds about me twist.
Review: Heidegger's Comedy of Errancy
Review by: Richard Findler
In the last section, entitled "The Dark Comic World of Martin Heidegger," Bruns concludes that the step back into language involves a "renunciation of techne" and a "letting-go of language". For Bruns, the renunciation means letting go of "language as logos, that is, as the power of framing representations" and instead allowing oneself to be open to estrangement. For Bruns, the openness to estrangement means that poetry releases thinking from philosophy, since poetry "exposes thinking to the otherness of language," or what is uncontrollable. Bruns surmises that perhaps poetry takes thinking "into that elsewhere where madfolk are". As such, poetry and thinking are not modes of homecoming, i.e., they are not orphic. Instead, they are hermetic modes of "wandering". What Heidegger ends up offering us is a comedy of discordance.
(Reviewed Work Heideggers Estrangements, Gerald L. Bruns)
Jonson, Cynthia's Revels
Ear spark of Beauty, make not so fast away.
Mercury. Stay, let me observe this Portent yet.
Amo. I am neither your Minotaure, nor your Centaure,
nor your Satyre, nor your Hyæna, nor your Babion, but
your meer Traveler, believe me.
Ecc. Leave me.
Mer. I guess'd it should be some travelling motion
pursu'd Eccho so.
Amo. Know you from whom you flye? or whence?
Amo. This is somewhat above strange! a Nymph of her
Feature and Lineament, to be so preposterously rude! well,
I will but cool my self at yon' Spring, and follow her.
Mer. Nay, then I am familiar with the issue: I'll leave
Amo. I am a Rhinoceros, if I had thought a Creature
of her symmetry, could have dar'd so improportionable,
and abrupt a digression. Liberal, and divine Fount,
suffer my prophane hand to take of thy Bounties. By
the Purity of my taste, here is most ambrosiack Water;
I will sup of it again. By thy favour, sweet fount.
See, the Water (a more running, subtile, and humo-
rous Nymph than she) permits me to touch, and handle
her. What should I infer? If my Behaviours had been
of a cheap or customary garb; my Accent or Phrase
vulgar; my Garments trite; my Countenance illite-
rate, or unpractis'd in the incounter of a beautiful and
brave attir'd Piece; then I might (with some change
of colour) have suspected my Faculties: but know-
ing my self an essence so sublimated, and refin'd by
travel; of so studied, and well exercis'd a Gesture; so
alone in Fashion; able to render the face of any States-
man living; and so speak the meer extraction of Lan-
guage; one that hath now made the sixth return upon
ventuer; and was your first that ever inricht his Coun-
trey with the true Laws of the duello; whose optiques
have drunk the spirit of Beauty, in some Eight score
and eighteen Princes Courts, where I have resided, and
been there fortunate in the amours of Three hundred
forty and five Ladies (all Nobly, if not Princely de-
scended) whose names I have in Catalogue; to con-
clude, in all so happy, as even Admiration her self doth
seem to fasten her kisses upon me: Certes, I do neither
see, nor feel, nor taste, nor favour the least steam, or
fume of a reason, that should invite this foolish fastidi-
ous Nymph, so peevishly to abandon me. Well, let the
Memory of her fleet into Air; my thoughts and I am
for this other Element, Water.
humour, flux, flow - fountain of error
With an host of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air
To the wilderness I wander.
By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summoned am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end:
Methinks it is no journey.
Yet I will sing, Any food, any feeding,
Feeding, drink or clothing;
Come dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.
Samuel Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare
A quibble is to Shakespeare, what luminous vapours are to the traveller; he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure to engulf him in the MIRE. It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible. Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents, or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him, and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career, or stoop from his elevation. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight, that he was content to purchase it, *by the sacrifice of reason, propriety and truth*. A quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, *and was content to lose it*.