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[Xmca-l] Re: Culture, nature, and children




Thank you, David, and Peter previously.  Best, ag


On Wed, February 5, 2014 1:07 am, David Kellogg wrote:
> (Haydi--thanks for the offer. I think, but I am not sure, that I
> solved the problem--with much generous help from Andy. If you don't
> see this on the list, we can try reposting again. For any other who
> are having this problem, what you have to do is to use some email
> provider that allows you the option of sending naked HTML text--e.g.
> "plain text" in gmail. My previous web-based Korean provider made this
> impossible.)
>
> Dear Professor Goncu:
>
> I just finished writing a book which is about one third fables, and
> while I was proofreading it I was struck by Vygotsky's distinction
> between lyrical treatments of nature and proverbial ones.
>
> To connect this with a concurrent thread, the late Jacob Bronowski,
> referred to by David Preiss, once wrote a poem (part of a Socratic
> dialogue) that goes like this (if I can remember it rightly):
>
> The force that makes the winter grow
> Its feathered hexagons of snow
> And drives the bee to match at home
> Their calculated honeycomb
> Is abacus and rose combined
> Their icy sweetness fills my mind
> Reminded that in thing and wing
> Lie taut yet living, coiled, a spring
>
> The abacus is science--concerned with nature. The rose is human
> values--that is, human art. But of course an abacus is a man made
> object, and a rose is a natural one (as Bronowski points out).
>
> Vygotsky finds something similar in the fable--the "lyrical" ones may
> be naturalistic in content, but they are formally not so much
> concerned with nature as with human artifice. The proverbial ones are
> formally "natural" (in the sense that they are evolved rather than
> designed in their grammar and their phonology). But in their content
> they are not simply concerned with human values but also with getting
> along with nature.
>
> To give a single example, in Korea the lyrical meaning of a tiger is a
> rather stupid, brutal animal, something like a jackass with claws, and
> the obvious analogy (for most Koreans) is a minor official, a village
> bully or a particularly thuggish and thick headed policeman. But
> proverbially, (that is, in proverbs, particularly in proverbs of
> Chinese origin) the tiger is a totem of natural strength, grace,
> beauty, and bravery.
>
> Here's an example from my own, anglophone, culture. In English we say
> "the early bird gets the worm", is almost a fable: the bird is not a
> bird and the worm is not a word. But we also say: "Early to bed, early
> to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise". This is less
> fabulous and more proverbial, more prosaic: the man is a man, and
> "early to bed" really means go to bed.
>
> Halliday, as usual, has an explanation. With "forest" cultures, folk
> wisdom tends to the quite literal: when you talk about catching worms,
> it's probably in the context of eating them or using them to fish.
> With "farming" cultures, the animals take on a much more human guise,
> and the proverbs become much more like fables. It is only with our
> own, "factory" culture that nature becomes something to drive your
> American made automobile through.
>
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>
>
> On 4 February 2014 22:32, Haydi Zulfei <haydizulfei@rocketmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi David
>> Mine still blank ! You can act as before ; send to my personal address ;
>> it will be ok ; In any case I like and have to read it ; then what
>> remains to be worried about if I take just a second to resend it .
>> Best
>> Haydi
>>
>> From: kellogg <kellogg59@hanmail.net>
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> Sent: Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 9:50:19
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Culture, nature, and children
>
>


Artin Goncu, Ph.D
Co-editor, Mind, Culture, and Activity:An International Journal
Professor Emeritus,
University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Education M/C 147
1040 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, IL 60607