Light Traces (Studies in Continental Thought)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
What is the effect of light as it measures the seasons? How does light leave different traces on the terrain―on a Pacific Island, in the Aegean Sea, high in the Alps, or in the forest? John Sallis considers the expansiveness of nature and the range of human vision in essays about the effect of light and luminosity on place. Sallis writes movingly of nature and the elements, employing an enormous range of philosophical, geographical, and historical knowledge. Paintings and drawings by Alejandro A. Vallega illuminate the text, accentuating the interaction between light and environment.
way, neither to its promise nor to its peril. Traces are necessarily light. They are, like light itself, free of the weight of things materially present. Even when they are drawn or inscribed and thus transposed into a minimally present double, they retain much of their lightness. The triangle that is drawn in order to facilitate intuition must in effect erase itself in the course of the demonstration it serves. For it is not really an image or picture through which the triangle itself would be
again began to expand and soon obscured entirely the eastern horizon. It was then fully the time of the storm. It would extend into the evening hours, the fury of the storm gradually abating, until finally nightfall came to seal the darkness. 8 The Light Spread of Time Münstertal Baden June The day is exquisite as it spreads its light over the entire valley. The scattered clouds are as brilliantly white as the sky is intensely blue. From this brilliance and intensity along with the
enveloped by both the light that remains from the day and the darkness that, almost imperceptibly, descends upon it. Yet it is as if, in driving the light from the scene, the approaching darkness remains nonetheless distinct from it, the one receding precisely as the other supervenes upon the landscape. Though it is speech that conveys the seal, perceptiveness will also – almost always – concur. And yet, there are occasions, all too rare perhaps, when dark light is to be seen. Most often clouds
the patches of ground around us. For in the latter case the light is assimilated to the ground so that what one sees is simply illuminated ground. Although the sea, too, can appropriate light, as when it assumes the color of a sunset, the sparklings, these instantaneous, random-seeming shinings, are not assimilated by the sea but rather are given back, indeed in such a way that the surface of the sea itself goes unseen. In a flash they are gone without having revealed anything whatsoever of the
been replaced by the stands of trees across the way on the other side of the cove; as far as I could see from this spot not far from the southern end of the cove, the water appeared to be entirely enclosed by land, though I knew that to the north beyond (and obstructed by) Hopkins Island the cove turned southeastwardly toward the ocean. The early morning quiet was broken only by the occasional sound of crows. The sailboats and other small craft that later would glide across the cove had, at this