Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Toward a cultural history of mirrors

1. From the NYT:
Why a buck would want to crash through a school window remains a mystery, at least to the students who are usually pushing in the other direction. But James Armstrong, a professor of wildlife science at Auburn University in Alabama, said the buck might have confused the image in the window with a rival.

“It may be seeing its reflection somehow,” Mr. Armstrong said. “It’s getting toward breeding season, and bucks can become a lot more aggressive and they’re trying to compete for does out there. They’re trying to establish their dominance. Or it just wants to go to school.”

2. H.P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider"

3. The Claude glass ("black mirror")

4. Borges, "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius":

Then Bioy Casares recalled that one of the heresiarchs of Uqbar had declared that mirrors and copulation are abominable, because they increase the number or men. I asked him the origin of this memorable observation and he answered that it was reproduced in The Anglo-American Cyclopaedia, in its article on Uqbar. The house (which we had rented furnished) had a set of this work.



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