- Oct 2023
Alter's translation puts into practice his belief that the rules of biblical style require it to reiterate, artfully, within scenes and from scene to scene, a set of "key words," a term Alter derives from Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, who in an epic labor that took nearly 40 years to complete, rendered the Hebrew Bible into a beautifully Hebraicized German. Key words, as Alter has explained elsewhere, clue the reader in to what's at stake in a particular story, serving either as "the chief means of thematic exposition" within episodes or as connective tissue between them.
Aunity can be variously stated
Every book, while holding the same words, will be different based on the context and needs of the individual reader.
"This," says Aristotle, "is the essence of the plot; the rest isepisode."
Aristotle on the unity of a work.
You have not graspeda complex unity if all you know about it is how it is one. Youmust also know how it is many, not a many that consists of alot of separate things, but an organized many. If the partswere not organically related, the whole that they composedwould not be one. Strictly speaking, there would be no wholeat all but merely a collection.
This is also an art of putting notes together to make an article or book.
If it requires too many words, you have not seen theunity but a multiplicity.
How are they defining "multiplicity" here? There seems to be a tacit definition with respect to being in opposition to "unity" (of a work), but not an explicit one. It also seems to be a shaded meaning with respect to the more common one.
unity: essence, core, coherence, oneness
They use the word "multiplicity" in the usual sense of large number or multitude on p55: "The multiplicity of the rules indicates the complexity of the one habit to be formed, not a plurality of distinct habits."
They also revisit it in the upcoming section: "Mastering the Multiplicity: The Art of Outlining a Book" on p88
Perhaps its just me but there's a linguistic "softness" of the uses of unity and multiplicity here with respect to 2023. Though these two opposites fit the dictionary definitions of their words, is it possible that this softness is the result of a sort of historical linguistic shift I'm feeling in these words? I can't quite put my finger on it, but perhaps it's the relationship of unity to religion? Neither seem to be frequently used these days.
The Ngram Viewer shows peaks for the use of unity in 1660 and 1960 of almost 75% higher usage compared to a broader historical average. It is generally waning since. Multiplicity has about 1/4 the use of unity and has remained flat over time. What caused the peaks in the use of "unity" during these periods? This 1972 use was on the downslope of the 1960s peak. Was it used in the 1940 version?
The 20th century increase in the use of unity begins around 1914 and may have been related to political shades of meaning going into WWI with another marked rise in the lead up to WW2.
Youmust apprehend the unity with definiteness. There is only oneway to know that you have succeeded. You must be able totell yourself or anybody else what the unity is, and in a fewwords. ( If it requires too many words, you have not seen theunity but a multiplicity. ) Do not be satisfied with "feeling theunity" that you cannot express. The reader who says, "I knowwhat it is, but I just can't say it," probably does not even foolhimself.
Adler/Van Doren use the statement of unity of a work as an example of testing one's understanding of a work and its contents.
(Again, did this exist in the 1940 edition?)
Who do McDaniel and Donnelly 1996 cite in their work as predecessors of their idea as certainly it existed?
Examples in the literature of this same idea/method after this: - https://hypothes.is/a/TclhyMfqEeyTkQdZl43ZyA (Feynman Technique in ZK; relationship to Ahrens) - explain it to me like I'm a 5th grader - https://hypothes.is/a/BKhfvuIyEeyZj_v7eMiYcg ("People talk" in Algebra Project) - https://hypothes.is/a/m0KQSDlZEeyYFLulG9z0vw (Intellectual Life version) - https://hypothes.is/a/OyAAflm5Ee6GStMjUMCKbw (earlier version of statement in this same work) - https://hypothes.is/a/iV5MwjivEe23zyebtBagfw (Ahrens' version of elaboration citing McDaniel and Donnelly 1996, this uses both restatement and application to a situation as a means of testing understanding) - https://hypothes.is/a/B3sDhlm5Ee6wF0fRYO0OQg (Adler's version for testing understanding from his video) - https://hypothes.is/a/rh1M5vdEEeut4pOOF7OYNA (Manfred Kuenh and Luhmann's reformulating writing)
RuLE 3. SETFORTH THE MAJOR PARTS OF THE BOOK, AND SHOW HOW THESEARE ORGANIZED INTO A WHOLE, BY BEING ORDERED TO ONE .(\NOTHER AND TO THE UNITY OF THE WHOLE,
RULE 2. STATE THE UNITY OF THE WHOLE BOOK IN A
SINGLE SENTENCE, OR AT MOST A FEW SENTENCES ( A SHORT PARAGRAPH )
The unity of a novel is not the sameas the unity of a treatise on politics; nor are the parts of thesame sort, or ordered in the same way. But every book without exception that is worth reading at all has a unity and anorganization of parts.
first appearance of "unity" in the book (outside of community and opportunity).
- writing to test understanding
- Feynman Technique
- maintenance rehearsal versus elaborative rehearsal
- people talk (pedagogical device)
- knowledge scaffolding
- organizing force of wars
- writing for understanding
- historical linguistics
- reading practices
- writing advice
- art of note making
- reformulating writing
- unity of a work
- elaborative rehearsal
- testing understanding
- analytical reading
- World War I
- World War II