Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New novel, etc.

Postscript Jan 2: Well, it's out. Fun fact: I was lying awake last night and realized I'd overlooked a minor plot point. So if you already ordered a copy, there are now 45–50 added words that aren't included in your version. Trust me, you probably won't notice—but it literally kept me up at night. It's never over. (If you finish the book and are curious, drop me a line and I'll tell you what the change was.) Incidentally, I noticed a typo while I was interpolating the new content. It will never be over.

Well, I wrote a sequel to The Zeroes.¹ It was published (read: made available for purchase on Amazon) on December 28.

I haven't placed a link on the sidebar yet because I'm not done futzing with it. Over the last 36 hours I've repeatedly pulled up and skimmed the document, invariably finding something to correct—a phrase that suddenly embarrasses me (even though my eye passed over it unoffended four or five or six times already) or a random typo I never noticed. Just now I found a line of text that really ought to have been italicized, so I've fixed it and have to wait for the change to set on whatever monstrous database governs the Phyrexian print-to-order facility Amazon set up in Middletown, Delaware. I think tomorrow night I'll drink a few beers, scroll the thing for four consecutive hours, make whatever piddling changes seem necessary, and then force myself to close out of Word and get on with my life.

If you're motivated to find the book on Amazon yourself, it's probably not hard. Somebody already has, and I've sent an email apologizing for the unitalicized text and an unwieldy description on page 666(!) he'll have to suffer through. If you're interested in reading it, I'd ask that you wait a couple of days. Once I'm "finished" with the document, you'll see a purchase link appear on the right of the page.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Twelve Rounds with Kant (Part 7)

 RenĂ© Magritte, Natural Encounters (1945)¹

This is going to be the last time I post about Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (1781–87) for the foreseeable future. Thank god. I'm ready to be done with it—even though I doubt it's done with me. This is a book one can exhaust a lifetime studying, and I still haven't plumbed it to the uttermost depth of its mysteries. But there are other books to read and ideas to ponder, and it's about time I moved on.

I feel I should reiterate that I'm not writing this to lecture an imaginary audience about Kant, but to help myself get my own head around the Critique. Don't take anything I say as authoritative, and do please correct me if you have some familiarity with the material and catch me misinterpreting it. 

Our last post about Kant is about the Transcendental Dialectic—which is, in fact, twice as long as the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Analytic. Fortunately, it's a lot easier to understand on the whole—though in its particulars, it's as deep a rabbit hole as the other two sections.

While the Transcendental Aesthetic was a statement of the principles underlying Kant's transcendental logic, and the Analytic was a statement of those principles, the Dialectic applies them to some of the pressing metaphysical and philosophical questions of Kant's time—or, rather, to some of the proposed answers to those questions.

This brings us to something really scary about the Critique of Pure Reason: you have to give a close reading to three hundred pages of dense, onerously-phrased epistemology before arriving at the "critique" part. As a matter of fact, nothing that we've glanced at in the last six posts about this damn book have had anything to do with the Transcendental Dialectic.²