Saturday, July 01, 2023

608.    No supposition seems to me more natural than that there is no process in the brain correlated with associating or with  thinking; so that it would be impossible to read off thought-processes from brain-processes. I mean this: if I talk or write there is, I assume, a system of impulses going out from my brain and correlated with my spoken or written thoughts. But why should the system continue further in the direction of the centre? Why should this order not proceed, so to speak, out of chaos? The case would be like the following—certain kinds of plants multiply by seed, so that a seed always produces a plant of the same kind as that from which it was produced—but nothing in the seed corresponds to the plant which comes from it; so that it is impossible to infer the properties or structure of the plant from those of the seed that comes out of it—this can only be done from the history of the seed. So an organism might come into being even out of something quite amorphous, as it were causelessly; and there is no reason why this should not really hold for our thoughts, and hence for our talking and writing. 

609.    It is thus perfectly possible that certain psychological phenomena cannot be investigated physiologically, because physiologically nothing corresponds to them.

And John King, another former student, testifies to Wittgenstein's distaste for British (as opposed to American) movies precisely on the ground of their theatricality. "The Mill Road cinema . . . was the one he most favoured," King recalls, "and here he sat as far to the front as he could get, leant forward in his seat and was utterly absorbed by the film. He never would go to any British film; and if we passed a cinema advertising one he pointed out how the actors looked dressed-up, unnatural, unconvincing, obviously play-acting, while, in comparison, in the American films the actors were the part, with no pretence" ("Recollections of Wittgenstein," in Rhees, ed., Recollections of Wittgenstein, p. 71). 

Cooper's ability to project his personality onto his characters played an important part in his appearing natural and authentic on screen. Actor John Barrymore said of Cooper, "This fellow is the world's greatest actor. He does without effort what the rest of us spend our lives trying to learn – namely, to be natural."[88] Charles Laughton, who played opposite Cooper in Devil and the Deep agreed, "In truth, that boy hasn't the least idea how well he acts ... He gets at it from the inside, from his own clear way of looking at life."[88] William Wyler, who directed Cooper in two films, called him a "superb actor, a master of movie acting".[399]

In his review of Cooper's performance in The Real Glory, Graham Greene wrote, "Sometimes his lean photogenic face seems to leave everything to the lens, but there is no question here of his not acting. Watch him inoculate the girl against cholera – the casual jab of the needle, and the dressing slapped on while he talks, as though a thousand arms had taught him where to stab and he doesn't have to think anymore."[88]

Cooper's style of underplaying before the camera surprised many of his directors and fellow actors. Even in his earliest feature films, he recognized the camera's ability to pick up slight gestures and facial movements.[400] Commenting on Cooper's performance in Sergeant York, director Howard Hawks observed, "He worked very hard and yet he didn't seem to be working. He was a strange actor because you'd look at him during a scene and you'd think ... this isn't going to be any good. But when you saw the rushes in the projection room the next day you could read in his face all the things he'd been thinking."[174] Sam Wood, who directed Cooper in four films, had similar observations about Cooper's performance in Pride of the Yankees, noting, "What I thought was underplaying turned out to be just the right approach. On the screen he's perfect, yet on the set you'd swear it's the worst job of acting in the history of motion pictures."[401]

A novel is a thing crafted out of a plot, and judged as that. It's less an essay than a house. Language, as event and communication is an aspect of life. Philosophy and theology are parasitic on that. Literature, art, is both descriptive and formal. History, describing both art and the world, is observational and secular. 

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