ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve started a free Substack — “The Cormac Jones Journal” — which I’m committing to posting on once a week. If you’re here, you’ll want to be there, too. There are things I can do here that I can’t do there (Bible fractals), and things I can do there that I can’t do here (social interaction), so the two sites should make a good tandem.
“More than a dozen times a day according to the Horologion (or ‘Book of Hours’) of the Eastern Rite, the Church prays the Trisagion prayers as part of its services. By Trisagion prayers I refer not just to the ‘thrice holy,’ the prayer of the angels found first in Isaiah 6:3, but to the whole set of prayers that begins there and concludes with the Our Father. Each service starts with these prayers, and then returns to them at various points. They form a chiastic structure, like so...”
A five-part article on domes, covering the Pantheon in Rome, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the Russian onion dome, and Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence. These are really big ideas that I’ve had in mind to write about for twenty years, and it has finally happened.
An essay on the Presocratic philosophers written long ago but to which I return continually in my thoughts. In it I trace the origins of dialectical philosophy and show how it conforms to the same pattern of innovation in vase painting (which occurred first, but is near contemporary).
The pattern of this way of looking at the world I believe can also be found in the activity of the lower passions of the soul, the thymos and epithymia. This connection opens up a world of possible ideas that hopefully I’ll be able to write about one day.
In his Biograph shorts of 1908–1913, D.W. Griffith invented the grammar of narrative cinema as we know it. In Griffith/Simone I create a montage of elements from these films to create a new narrative in tense dialogue with the music of Nina Simone. Both Griffith (from Kentucky) and Simone (from North Carolina) drew from Appalachian folk traditions to create their art. Both knew poverty, hardship, and success on a global level. Yet their experiences and perspectives are so painfully at odds.
MODEL OF A HOUSE:
An Essay on Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice
An essay both critical and creative, Model of a House presents a closely woven vision of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s most enigmatic work, his last, The Sacrifice. While raising and exploring all the film’s subjectivity and ambiguity, the author effects an interpretation which aspires to harmonize the uncertainties of an at times bewildering, if ever affecting and moving, story of images and ideas.
Here The Sacrifice is placed within the director’s oeuvre and his aberrations from his previous successes are considered. After the sublime catharses reached by Tarkovsky in Mirror and Stalker, the filmmaker finds himself a traveler in exile, drawn by spiritual necessity into a strange collision of art and religion. Rebelling against the inhumanity of modern civilization, but also confronting the limitations of the humanism current in his age, he questions the role of God in this world and the possibility of faith. Model of a House provides a reading of The Sacrifice that also looks towards these questions, an essay in film criticism richly textured and uplifting.
81 pages. Available on Lulu.com