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On the Principles of the New Logic

Ellen Hinsey




New A Priori

The hinges of logic are malleable; man-made. Only simple tools are necessary to pry them apart.


A Recent Type of Proof

The mere fact of logic’s vulnerability proves the arbitrariness of its nature.


Further Theorems of the New Logic

Conclusively establishing a “sequence of events” is now suspected to be a cryptic form of oppression.


Postulate under Consideration

Relinquishing the ability to determine a “sequence of events” is seen to be a sign of greater sophistication of intellect.


Question of Consequence

Who is establishing the precepts of the New Logic and exactly what they intend.









[2.]
The Facts




Prior Truism

The Facts, previously accustomed to their modest identities, merely hoped to serve, like willing, reliable relatives.


Late Discovery

It is now known that The Facts are suspiciously unreliable: Their loyalties can never be entirely counted upon.


Unexpected Event

To their astonishment, The Facts have found themselves on the no-fly list.


Further Transmutation

The Facts, alarmed by their sudden notoriety, don’t understand why they are sighted in hostile crosshairs.


Peculiar Development of Consequence

After reflection, The Facts have taken shelter in a survivalist bunker.


Banal Cliché Held by Many

The Facts must never be allowed to get the upper hand.









[3.]
The Argument




Significant Addendum

Those who are availed of The Facts—like The Facts themselves—are by association suspect.


Dangerous Corollary

To develop an Argument is to take matters into one’s own hands.


Analogous Fate

Upon leaving its house, the Argument finds itself hustled into a black van, duct tape plastered to its mouth.


Devolution

Without the Facts, the Argument risks becoming an extremist, trafficking in recycled words gleaned from handbills blowing down the empty street.


Red Flag

Discernment is the most dangerous enemy of the New Logic.


Surreptitious Warning

Remember to approach The Facts discreetly in an old overcoat: lest your presence be detected and noted.









[4.]
Surveillance




Fortuitous Conditions

In order to widen its scope, the New Logic has struck up a deal with Surveillance.


Reassuring Given

Thankfully, the sophisticated tools of Surveillance will never be used for dishonorable purposes.


Perplexing Nevertheless

Why the hand trembles producing its documents, why the miracle of the eye’s whorl is asked to denounce itself.


Observed by Some with Clearance

In the engine room of Surveillance, the world’s being turns to frothing matter, churned like paper pulp below a dam.


Naïve Theological Query

Does anyone still observe Surveillance from Afar?


Minor, but Reassuring Nevertheless

Human movement still rustles unpredictably across the electronic grid.









[5.]
Press Releases




Notification

Please be advised:
You are no longer encouraged to grasp the greater operation.


Forewarning

Don’t be surprised if, above your head, the white drone of aircraft blots out the words.


By-Product of the New Logic

On the infrared grid: the inert, the stilled, the no longer recognized by the living.


Unclear of How this Came To Pass

No Lord, we stood before the dead and dying and felt nothing.


Available Option

Remain at home beside the bedside lamp and cultivate a private relationship with The Facts.


New Logic’s Future

Essential theorem to be learned by heart: “From this time forth our mutual annihilation is entirely without significance.”




Ellen Hinsey is the author of six books of poetry, dialogues, and literary translation, including Update on the Descent, The White Fire of Time, and Cities of Memory, which was awarded the Yale University Series Prize. She is also the coauthor of Magnetic North: Conversations with Tomas Venclova (forthcoming in 2015 from Suhrkamp Verlag). Her work has appeared previously in the Conjunctions online magazine, as well as in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Irish Times, The Paris Review, and Poetry; excerpts have appeared in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Serbian translation. A former Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, she is the international correspondent for The New England Review and teaches at Skidmore College’s Program in Paris.