29 January, 2009

On Neologism, Part One

The Scottish physician Thomas Short, at the end of a parenthesis on diseases, in the middle of a long footnote, extending over several pages through a discussion of chalybeate waters, from his 1734 Natural, Experimental, and Medicinal History of the Mineral Waters of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire, writes with a twinkle:
The Causes we assign for these Diseases, we have borrowed from the ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphicks, as the incoercible Flatus, culinary Digestion, Evestrum vitae, Peroledi, Archeus, Gas, Blas, Deulock, &c. which we discourse of as distinct intelligent Beings in the human Body. These are things beyond the Ken of the present Age.—
It is a rare moment of linguistic fantasia in an otherwise unremarkable text: a series of lexical gobbets from the natural science of Paracelsus and Van Helmont, via his immediate source, William Simpson's Hydrologia Chymica (1669). Of all these charming arcanisms, only one has made it into popular currency, almost invisible in the cloud surrounding it here: gas. Of the others, only one, blas, has survived at all—revived a month ago, for instance, in the languagey sectors of the internet—thanks to a freak citation in the OED, handily cross-referenced in the etymology awarded its more famous twin: 'Van H. also invented the term BLAS'; although the OED's entry for blas rather bizarrely pairs it with an unrelated bit of Middle English dialect (sense 1), offering for sense 2 only, 'Van Helmont's term for a supposed ‘flatus’ or influence of the stars, producing changes of weather.' The OED clearly assumes no readers will come to blas except by way of gas: for while the latter entry clarifies which Van Helmont, the former does not. All the citations for blas, the phantom word, are Helmontian, except the last, a reference to Whitney's seminal Life and Growth of Language (1875). This is cited without quotation; but for you, reader:
Of the out-and-out invention of new words, language in the course of its recorded history. . . presents only rare examples. Sometimes, however, a case occurs like that of gas, already noticed as having been devised by an ancient chemist, as artificial appellation for a condition of existence of matter which had not before been so distinctly apprehended as to seem to require a name. Along with it, he proposed blas for that property of the heavenly bodies whereby they regulate the changes of time: this, however, was too purely fanciful to recommend itself to general use, and it dropped out of sight and was forgotten, while the other came to honor.
The full text of Life and Growth is online, although one word seems to have puzzled the OCR: that word, of course, being blas, which it renders Mas. So the OED defines blas as an influence of the stars on the weather, and Whitney, the old American windbag, defines it as an astral property that regulates time.
Stellae sunt nobis in signa, tempora, dies, & annos. Ergo patrant temporum mutationes, tempestates, atque vicissitudines. Quorsum opus habent duplici motu, locali scilicet, & alterativo. Utrumque autem, novo nomine Blas significo. . . Blas motivum stellarum, est virtus pulsiva, ratione itineris, per loca et secundum aspectus.

The stars for us are as signs, tempora, days and years. Therefore they effect the changes, tempestates and vicissitudes of the tempora. For this they require a double motion, that is locomotive and alterative. Both, however, I signify with the new name 'Blas'. . . Blas, the movement of the stars, is a propulsive power, by reason of their journey through places and according to their aspects.
The problem comes in the definitions of tempus and tempestas, which can mean time, season, occasion and weather. Either way, the Helmontian stars play a role in the astrological mechanism of the universe, which was wholly within the regular laws of natural science. Now the interesting question is: why has the OED preserved blas? Sure, it makes a nice rhyming twin with gas, and, as in Whitney, the two nicely illustrate the divergent possibilities of two initial bedfellows, a lexical version of Hawking radiation. That was the Liberman angle: 'it's too bad that 18th-century chemists couldn't find any real substance to which the reference of blas could be transferred, as the reference of gas was'.

But blas has no real substance as an English word: it exists in the penumbra of the lexicon, teasing us as a little jewel of potential meaning, but never so well-defined (time or weather? 'Both I signify. . .'), and never, more importantly, a true element in the inter-referential web of the vocabulary. It has no interaction with its fellows, except gas. It was only ever a parody of a word.

See, if not blas, why not peroledi or peroledes? For this is another Helmontism:
Habet ergo aer suos, non minus quam terra, fundos, quos Adepti vocant Peroledos. Invisibile itaque Gas, variis aeris stratis hospitatur, si aquae sua sint barathra, suae voragines, suae portae sunt in Peroledis, quas periti Cataractas Coeli, & valvas dixere.

Therefore the air, no less than the earth, has its own grounds, which the adepts call 'Peroledi'. Thus the invisible Gas is a guest in the various layers of the air, if the waters have their abysses, their chasms, so its own gates are in the Peroledi, which the experts call the sluices and folding-doors of heaven.
Oh, you want it in period English? It's only Margaret Cavendish, the second most famous English writeress of the seventeenth century, in a Philosophical Letter:
But rather then your Author [Van Helmont] will consent to the transchanging of Water into Air, he will feign several grounds, soils or pavements in the Air, which he calls Peroledes, and so many Flood-gates and Folding-dores, and make the Planets their Key-keepers; which are pretty Fancies, but not able to prove any thing in Natural Philosophy.
Is it purely in deference to the cute historical narrative of gas and blas that the OED likes blas and not peroledes? And why is it so much less generous to Van Helmont than to Paracelsus, who is awarded several neologisms in the dictionary? (In addition to the uncontroversial gnome and nostoc, Paracelsus gets archeus too, with a wholly unsatisfactory etymology section.) What are the criteria for formal recognition in the lexicon? What does it take to be a word?

[Part Two here.]

22 January, 2009

One mania after another

A frightful majority of our middle-class young men are growing up effeminate, empty of all knowledge but what tends directly to the making of a fortune; or rather, to speak correctly, to the keeping up the fortunes which their fathers have made for them; while of the minority, who are indeed thinkers and readers, how many women as well as men have we seen wearying their souls with study undirected, often misdirected; craving to learn, yet not knowing how or what to learn; cultivating, with unwholesome energy, the head at the expense of the body and the heart; catching up with the most capricious self-will one mania after another, and tossing it away again for some new phantom; gorging the memory with facts which no one has taught them to arrange, and the reason with problems which they have no method for solving; till they fret themselves in a chronic fever of the brain, which too often urges them on to plunge, as it were, to cool the inward fire, into the ever-restless seas of doubt or of superstition.

— Charles Kingsley, Glaucus (1855). This is not the best sentence in the book, on a purely formal level—there are two or three better—but it is the most stinging.

18 January, 2009

Patience

'Old stone to new building. . .' Stephen Dillane pauses. He scrunches up his eyes, and clutches controlledly at the air, like some Chinese master channelling his ch'i. 'Old stone to new building—' The repetition is hardly jarring in the context. How many of us knew it was a mistake? Not me. After all, Eliot was never afraid of pointless repetition. Then: What's the line? I have heard that tone before. (Where?) Neither patient nor impatient, neither calm nor irritated. Old timber! snaps his invisible prompt, a woman, this one as if impatient, like a wife. Nary a flicker from him.
— Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth,
And so on. That was the only obvious mistake in Dillane's rendition of 'The Four Quartets', aside from pronouncing eviscerate (4.2) with a hard c, and, worse, figlio (3.4) with a hard g. But darling, this is Eliot, one doesn't quibble with the details! Well then. What of the whole? Nicholas de Jongh, lustily guzzling clichés, calls it an 'extraordinary performance', in which Dillane 'holds the audience in rapt silence'. I'm not sure if he was expecting conversation in the back rows. Remember, budding journalists: every stressed noun must have its adjective: 'It is a performance of riveting purity, under Katie Mitchell's inspired direction, which ought to restore the lost art of speaking poetry in public to a proper eminence.' Is the art of speaking poetry in public lost, indeed, or simply ineminent? Dillane has a 'voice of meditative calm, all extraneous emotion drained from it'; his hands 'weave' neither 'distracting patterns', nor, thankfully, 'flamboyant gestures'. And so he 'allows the philosophical ideas and lyrical beauties of The Four Quartets to speak for themselves.' You can see how de Jongh's mind turns: once the faucet is open, the water will follow a prepared course. De Jongh will never surprise you.

Dillane was in fact calm, but not meditatively so. He spoke, rather, much in a tone of explanation, patiently, breaking now and then into reverie: 'And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly' (1.1). A dry light, full of measure. Then the tone was the tone of a sermon: 'Who then devised the torment? Love.' The tone was that of a sermon, because the words were those of a sermon. Oh, Eliot wants to tell you something, damn it, and he doesn't care if you know it.
A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments.
Just try reading that aloud: see if you can read it and sound meditative. I defy you. You will not sound meditative, you will sound like a bird who has swallowed a philosophical plate. When De Jongh writes that Dillane has let the ideas and beauties 'speak for themselves', he is not only verbally taking the road more travelled, he is repeating without consideration the myth that a plainness, or even, in this instance, a quietness of delivery, necessarily gives the sense better. (Ivan Hewett, in a possible coincidence, had said the same about Dillane's Quartets back in 2005: 'The lack of any "manner" meant that Dillane became a transparent vessel for Eliot's often complex tangle of philosophy and imagery to shine through.') It is the story that style is mere unnecessary ornament on substance. Same goes for the words themselves: Eliot could, after all, sell us his mystical profundities in simple language, for the people, without recourse to pompous archaisms like 'eviscerate', or pompous foreign cuckoos like 'Figlia del tuo figlio'. Or could he?

At any rate, we all agree that Dillane gave us a naked Eliot. Sam Marlowe, whose trend-bucking credentials are confirmed by his admiration for the 'Lord of the Rings' musical, nonetheless rates the Dillane as 'an austere expression of compressed passion'. (Marlowe clearly an alumnus of the same prose school as de Jongh, his own music clunkier but at least more varied.) Some more Marlovian adjectives—by which you will easily allocate Dillane's performance to the appropriate box—'chilly yet compelling control', 'uncompromising directness', 'a contained figure', 'focused intensity'. We were all listening. We all heard our Eliot. Dillane did not giggle when he had to say 'In order to arrive at what you are not / You must go through the way in which you are not'. We got what we came for. So that's Dillane done. But what did we come for?

*

My mother said, afterwards, 'What's it all about, then?' Let de Jongh tell you: 'Eliot. . . writes in terms very difficult to grasp. [But de Jongh grasps them.] Yet [why 'yet'?] these four poems—inspired by faith, by the history of places personal to Eliot, by the seasons of the year, by each of the four elements and the busy flux of time past and time present—arrest the emotions with their visionary strangenesses.' No, alright, that didn't tell you. Let Marlowe tell you: the poems 'are dense meditations on the implacability of time and humanity's struggle to find meaning in the flux of existence, couched in the rich language and symbolism of Christianity and mysticism'. Ah! Also: 'A complex picture of the self-perpetuating, ever-changing patterns of life emerges from his spoken words and from Eliot's plethora of literary and religious references.'

My father said, afterwards, in response to a request for his opinion, 'Sententious rubbish.' Certainly, it is hard for a cynic to take seriously all this zennish mumbo-jumbo, filched from St John of the Cross or the Bhagavad Gita or wherever. 'Time past and time future / What might have been and what has been / Point to one end, which is always present.' When Eliot wrote 'Prufrock', he sounded like a clever poet. When he wrote 'Burnt Norton' and the rest, he sounded like a poet trying to sound like a clever philosopher. It is a gambit that never works, unless you're Lucretius and can write a good, rough Latin hexameter. Why do poets do this? And painters too. Fine sound and composition is no longer enough: our artists must strive for something more than art. This shift seemed to happen between the wars. What is true of 'Prufrock' is true of Harmonium and The Bridge. What is true of the Quartets is true of 'Of Mere Being', and parts of "A". Eliot's poetry quickly lost its wit, a misunderestimated virtue. Contrast, for instance, two thoughts of superficial similarity. From 'Prufrock':
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
'That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant at all.'
But from 'Burnt Norton':
Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.
Likewise, from 'East Coker':
So here I am. . .
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it.
(That got a laugh, the slightest of laughs.) In 'Prufrock', Eliot can tarry with the difficulty of precise expression, in essence the most banal of concepts, and make it humane, charming. We do not believe him here; the irony is pleasant. In his Quartets the same banality becomes so much the more sincere, and the more pitiable. It is particularly pitiable for the fact that Eliot is, no, not a philosopher, but a poet: we are paying him for words—come on Tommy, give us some lovely words, won't you? A nice rhyme? No? A bit of onomatopoeia? No? Make it dance, can't you?—and certainly not to be told he can't do words. There is an indignity to it, as if we were to turn up at the football and hear Ronaldinho moaning about the difficulty of scoring goals, only moaning in the medium of missed goals; or as if we went to a gallery and found no nice paintings but only a bunch of flies stuck to a canvas. Up yours, Beauty! Indeed. This irony is hardly pleasant, only grating, and I have no patience for it.

Hewett, writing on Dillane's earlier Quartets, makes a preposterous claim about the poems:
What this performance proved is how, in a mere 60 years, the Quartets have woven themselves into our consciousness. Every line had that feeling of a half-remembered quotation. . .
I cannot imagine why anyone should want to claim such a thing for the Quartets. Is it true for you? (The only part that has woven itself, or grafted itself, into my consciousness is that wretched doggerel about 'knowing the place for the first time', which has wound up as an epigram for every other self-regarding science or history book.) Then comes the great cliché: 'Never before had I realised just how "musical" the quartets are. They're full of recurring refrains, variations on themes, contrapuntal weaves.' Hewett later remarks that 'Eliot tries to get beyond words'. Why do we want our poetry to be musical? Why would we want a confection of words to get beyond words, in Hewett's sense of it? Irving Babbitt, ironically one of Eliot's own mentors, thought that desire a result of the modern romantic disease, and I am inclined to agree. The Quartets are full, not of 'refrains' and 'weaves', but simply of repetitions. Some of these repetitions ('And a time for living and for generation / And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane') are those of a sermon: they have the rhythms not of music but of oratory. Others ('where you are is where you are not', 'In my (end/beginning) is my (beginning/end)') have no rhythm, only the flat mock-wit of a koan.

Our stage journalists are too soft. They are slightly in awe of this new thing, these words of a Great Poet, bare and direct, or apparently so, and have no calculus for judging it. They call the Quartets complex, but they mean only that the Quartets are long. Perhaps the Quartets are complex, and perhaps their complexity does not make them any good. It is not hard to write a few hundred lines of verse, with a slew of repetitions, and a slew of quotations from, or allusions to, the Bible, the Mahabharata, Dante, and so on. What is the use of your 'philosophical ideas', your 'meditations on the implacability of time', if you reach no conclusions of interest? If your lyricism cannot rise above the humdrum of rose-gardens, yawn, of twittering birds, yawn, of the yew-tree, the 'womb, or tomb', the 'parched soil' of mid-century ennui? If you have to rhyme 'food' with 'blood' and 'good', like you're Shakespeare or something? On Eliot's grave should be inscribed, Poeta, ne ultra verba. Poets, do what poets can do.

11 January, 2009

Lens Grinding

In Skye I snapped away at the ice and frost quite happily, and at my comrades, who themselves snapped, with their crappy iPhones, at tree and face with wanton abandon. Only one of us demurred. Some of us, he snorted, prefer to use our minds. I was not unsympathetic to his response. After all, it was only a few years ago, at sunset, on one of the bridges from Cambridge into Boston, that I had said the same to another friend, only not, I hope, with such preening pomposity. The essential complaint is given loudest voice by one Becca Bland, founder of 'No Photography Day', who seems to have required a few books about Zen Buddhism to reach her conclusion, that photographers are
missing out on so much of the given moment through their obsession, an act of possession—of wanting to own the appearance of the place, as if this was all it had to give and photographs were their way of taking it.
Richard at Castrovalva comments (almost three years ago, mind):
Originally, I felt that photography was a mechanical way of viewing the world, which only served to dim the immediacy of experience. Since then, I've come to see it as a way of slowing experience and regaining observation of intricacy and detail. I'm thinking of how neuroscience has come to describe consciousness as a series of individual moments, which like a flickbook are asembled to create the illusion of a continuous stream; photography or painting return us to the moment that lies underneath the illusion.
As I believe I replied at the time—though since Richard has blanked out the comments, damning dialogue to the memoryhole, it is hard to be certain—this sort of aesthetic would strongly favour a photography of people, of living, or at least of moving subjects. But Richard is the snapper of buildings par excellence: he has even published. Even with a bit of sophistry, it isn't easy to defend the photography of architecture as 'a way of slowing experience', or as a recapturing of moments beneath the maya of continuous phenomena. Nor is it obvious how a good clean shot of, say, the Victoria Tower is 'as contrived a representation of reality as impressionist or cubist painting'. These are the sorts of things, in my own experience, that photographers have to say to defend and justify their own activity as an Art Form.

I find myself reaching for the camera, now, to photograph buildings, like Richard. Only I do not wait for the sun, and have neither a good camera, nor any interest in adding yet another image of the Victoria Tower or other London icons to the world's collection. So I walk the back streets of the city, in that grey with which all its architectures must compete, and take down anything which strikes my fancy; rarely the pretty or the glamorous, but rather that which speaks, and usually the incongruous, in particular—


You will see here, probably, that I have made some attempt at framing the picture for aesthetic effect. The first-floor windows snuggle neatly against the frame, the door is trig in the middle, indicated most obviously by the proximity of its flanking windows to either edge of the image, and the gates in the foreground provide a sense of depth. Moreover, the whole result has been tweaked to lessen the blue, so as to give you a better sense of how I seemed to see, or perhaps wanted to see, the subject in question. A Richard will say, There, your impressionist painting, your picture contrived straight out of reality.

But I think this is to attribute too much to the adjusting hand and eye. I deny that this is art; it is simply artisanry, at best. Something in my soul—is it a Platonism?—wants to safeguard the category of art. I cannot explain the mood, cannot give good reason for it. Still, it is there. I want to reserve art for the Rembrandts and Picassos—and for the bad artists too, the Renoirs and Rothkos—but not for the Richards and Conrads out for a jolly day around town with the old SLR. To efface that distinction, to deny any barrier between tekhnē and empeiría, science and knack, art and craft, is to have become blind to the value inherent in each. A programmer once said to me, quite unguardedly, that he was creative, but not artistic, an admission in which I find a very admirable modesty: and by modesty I mean not the false humility of so many intellectuals, but a true understanding of the nature and the limitations of one's own endeavours. Photography, and especially the photography of the static, like programming, is a creative activity, but not an artistic one: it aspires to be elegant and to give pleasure—but not to genius.

*

So I bring the above picture to your attention, and of course it is only an example, not so that you can admire my flair for composition, but only because I wanted you to see what I had seen, and wanted you to see it well. The beauty or interest in the image is entirely the work of other men. I aim for a handsome record of experience. But what of this aim? Is it worthwhile?

I try to avoid the false pride of the photographer: to retain my admiration or concern for the subject, not the image; but this is not always easy. I had long wondered why Owen Hatherley, who spends much of his time online writing about architecture, should offer his readers photographs of such poor quality: ill-framed, ill-lit, and unedited. It could not be a lack of talent, though he seems to suggest just that at the end of a post on Paternoster Square. No, I think he has deliberately given us bad pictures to remind us that they are pictures, not artistic end but utilitarian means within an argument. (I once recommended clunky translations for a related purpose.) Perhaps this is a more honourable choice for the purpose of recording an engagement with the world. I have praised the beauty of pylons, impossible to photograph elegantly: experience resisting formulation, sublimity transcending façade.

Moreover, the snapping process contributes to the slow but alarming devolvement of human faculties onto technology: the Thamus Effect. Just as we now let our Wikipedia remember facts for us, so we have long let our photographs remember experiences for us. In making our inner life communicable to others, whether by alphabets or cameras, we lose a little of it. For the pleasure of public admiration one sacrifices the pleasure of walking high and alone. And my memory, indeed, becomes fragmented; more precise in places, but perhaps a little less rich, or less sublime. The hand inside my pocket for the camera has come to be, I confess, too automatic. I press the button, in the immoral hope of obtaining a fine composition, but I do so with misgivings, like the recidivist smoker peeling the plastic from a new pack of fags, or the child with his fingers in a jar of candies, clever enough, but fat nonetheless.

It is only when I find a subject that will speak, not only for itself—for that it will do without the lens—but for me, that I seize it with impunity. When with words I can give a thing life it has not in the wild, domestication is an ennobling act. It is the rarest of chances.

[By the way, lots of photographs better spotted than mine, and much better taken, at my colleague M. W. Nolden's project, Rabbit Meets Hat. Update 17/1/09: James Sligh also comments.]

04 January, 2009

Cryography

Well, a happy arbitrary point dividing two periods approximately corresponding to orbits of the Earth about the sun to all my readers, and I trust you all enjoyed yourselves in the appropriate, or at least appropriately inappropriate, manner. I returned from Skye on the second, to my treasured city; wife's loving arms; restless and neglected cat; white shirt turned lavender by careless lavendry, that is, ruined in the wash; two chapters of a book still to edit; and a postcard S. kindly sent me from Varanasi, bearing on it a rather painterly photograph of two riverside crematoria. On the drive home—eleven hours in the back seat of a car, followed by three and a half on a bus—I struggled to read Jacques Roubaud's The Great Fire of London, a book aiming for Oulipian wit and playfulness, and perhaps for a fragmentary approach to encyclopaedism, à la Perec, but in fact monumentally boring, mired in the enumeration of banal detail, à la Robbe-Grillet. My last creative act at the cottage in Skye was a stoking of the hearth fire, a process of fadging, progging, scraping, jiggling, variably-sized lumps of coal, sticks of wood, and firelighters, without burning my hands, though leaving my fingers black enough to require two bouts with the sink and soap. On December 31, as our cellphones beeped midnight, in the black wastes of the countryside, under constellations bright and enormous, a celestial scurf—not unknown to the Londoner, but at least utterly unfamiliar—we experimented with fireworks. What with the pyres, the Roubaud, the hearth, the rockets, one might think the dominant motif of the holiday was fire. But it was not.


It was the ice. O, the most marvelous ice you did see, friends. White and dark, in frost and hoar, on rocks and grasses, in tendrils and stars, razor-straight and sinuous, anfractuous, fragile tendons and crude unbreakable masses, whole and fragmentary: the ice of royal treasuries.


On the third day, after following the tourists up to the ruined Duntulm Castle on the northwest coast of Trotternish, and before joining the tourists again at the Kilt Rock waterfall, we drumbled upon a little lake secluded by low mountains and frozen over: it was not enough to walk on, and the sheets of ice were broken up at the shore (above), and littered with discarded wheels and engine parts, moulded and solidified into the surface. We cast rocks against and along the ice, and made the most remarkable sounds thereby, like pinball, or space invaders:

video

Early on in the trip we discovered the icicles hanging under a ridge by the road, hundreds of them, and, like FfRS, began to experiment with force and resistance, carving ice with rock, calving ice with ice. Eventually two of our number broke off specimens large enough to fence with. Gloves doffed, I took pictures as long as I could manage before my hands went numb and started to burn. It was so cold you could have pissed snow. At the end of our session the ridge resembled Shane MacGowan's mouth, and we sped off, the violence of youth expended harmlessly on Nature's most transient objects.

On the journey home we paused in the car on the mountains just above the clouds of mist obscuring a loch beneath, a floor of vapours burning spectrally in the naked sun. Then we drove down into the haze, through the forest at Achadhluachraich, all grey five metres from your face, and clambered down the slope on foot, to the lake, a ringed and perfect carpet of ice in three shades. (Fifth picture, above.) Alas, the surface was still too frail to walk upon, but we skimmed stones again, and watched them vanish, imperceptibly, from one grey into another, the ice into the water, or simply into the mist. Further still, out of the basin, in the highlands near Fort William, we found another frozen loch, and this one—finally—was deep and thick enough, several inches, at least at the lines of fracture between plates, to tread safely. On this we walked and slid out to the islands, and played with shadows in the clearer ice, and the sky was empty, a cold blue, and the car seemed a hundred miles away, and the dreadful voyage impending, forgotten; it was our last call of freedom, as our collective friendship, fissuring underneath, had begun to show its lines of stress at the surface, little kingdoms delineated translucently: unaided by sun or stamping feet above, we moved apart of our own accord.

And onward, into year four of the Varieties.