Monday, January 22, 2007

The Speaking Child

Thinking and Writing
I continue gleaning gems from Paul Goodman's writing in this 1951 edition of Gestalt Therapy: "A child forming his personality by learning to speak is making a spectacular achievement, and from antiquity philosophers have felt that education is primarily learning humane speech and letters, e.g., 'grammar, thetoric, and dialectic' or 'classics and scientific method.'" [p. 321, Delta Books edition.]

What the Speaking Children Up to in Los Angeles?

Anthony Prudhomme was slain by members of the Avenues, a Latino street gang. But he was not a rival gang member, or a police informant, or a drug dealer. The Avenues did not target him for the content of his character, or even the contents of his apartment.

They targeted him for the color of his skin.

Here's the link to the rest of this scary story:

Seems like Mexican immigrants are being blamed for targeting blacks on order from the Mexican Mafia. Now what the hell does that mean? Isn't the Mexican Mafia a terrorist organization? So, hell, let's "surge" on Mexico! They have oil, too.

Herman Melville on Cats
From Typee: "[On seeing a "big black spectral cat" sitting erect in his Typee doorway] I am one of those unfortunate persons to whom the sight of these animals is at any time an insufferable annoyance."

Ever Hear of Hotan?
"Hotan is recently famous for the discovery of caucasoid mummies, which are evidence of long term inhabitation of the area by the Tocharians. The desert atmosphere has preserved perishable items such as wood and fabric, attracting archaeologists. The area is rich in archaeological sites that are buried beneath the desert sand." [from Wikipedia]

I am compiling a study of the Principality of Chach. My study starts in Western Turkestan, "the Transoxiana of the ancients," or so called by ancient numismatist, Richard Frye, in his American Numismatic Society publication, Notes on the Early Coinage of Transoxiana, published by the Society in 1949, when hardly anything at all was known about the Principality of Chach except that, yes, it had existed. In the Southern Tarim Basin in what now is Turkestan, formerly Western Turkestan, Tocharian A and B languages, also known as Chinese Turkestan back then, an area Frye called a "linguistic gold mine" with Tocharian A and B, Khotanese-Saka, Sogdian, Parthian, Pahlevi (Persian), Syriac (a language Pastor Melissa Scott knows), and later Turkish and Tibetan. In Western Turkestan it was Sogdian and a separate language: Khwarazm (modern Khiva), and another tongue spoken by the Hephthalites, called the White Huns, and who came from the East in the 5th Century AD.

Sogdian was an East Iranian language used by traders, colonists, and missionaries (Buddhists, Manichaeans, Christians) especially along that portion of the Silk Road that ran from the Middle East all the way to China. Chach was home to the Chachians, who, according to Chinese writers, were expert silver miners and silversmiths, especially expert coiners. A numismatist named Davidovich wrote in 1979 about Bukharan silver coins being minted in Chach. By the 7th century AD, the Chach were minting their own coins--23 types discovered to date. The Principality of Chach was located just northwest of the present city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, just outside of present-day Samarkand. The City of Tashkent (Tash for "Stone"/Kent for "City") started as an oasis on the Chirchik River at the foothills of the Colestan Mountains. In the 5th century AD, the Principality of Chach built a square citadel 8 km south of the Syr Darya River. Chach developed into a principality of 30 towns and controlled a network of 50 canals, also becoming a trade center on the Silk Road between Sogdians and Turkic nomads. Hsien-tsang called Chach "Che-Shih." During the Samarkand dynasty--Tashkent became Binkath, though the Arabs kept the old name "Chash," pronouncing it "Shash." Tashkent, "the City of Stone" comes from Kara-Kahnid rule in the 10th Century.

Whew, I'm glad I got all those notes collected and off my chest.

Denny Zeitlin
Denny Zeitlin was a San Francisco jazz pianist of phenomenal technical skills, a truly speedy pianist, who I believe was also a psychiatrist. I do know, Denny Zeitlin wrote the music for the new version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers--was the remake as good as the old one?

I hope I haven't bored you with my collective note taking. A raft of jots and tittles.

for The Daily Growler

No comments: