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sherapop

Perfumes, Persons, and Poems. A Triangular Investigation.

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by , 26th September 2011 at 01:39 AM (1356 Views)
[B]Preamble[/B]

[INDENT][B](1) [/B]While reflecting upon reformulation and my futile attempts to come to terms with some recent disappointments, I eventually wound up concluding that, although some of our favorite perfumes will continue to disappear due to forces entirely beyond our control, we can rest assured that new ones will be born. In reasoning thus, I appear to have been trying (vainly) to derive solace from the oft-invoked refrain of folk wisdom according to which sometimes the best course of action is to “let bygones be bygones,” to simply pick up the pieces and move on. Suddenly it dawned on me: I was thinking of perfumes as persons, in two distinct ways![/INDENT]


[INDENT][B](2)[/B] Several years ago, when asked to give an oral presentation in a French Poetry class, I offered up a little theory of sorts, “[I]Un parfum est un poème[/I],” which probably left some people in the room wondering whether I might have a screw loose. But the more I have reflected upon this thesis, the more I have come to believe in it. The similarities which I presented to my classmates and professor were largely structural, but the deeper one delves into the nature of poems and the nature of perfumes, the more overlaps one discovers...[/INDENT]

Is it possible to reconcile these two apparently preposterous and seemingly incompatible beliefs, that perfumes are persons, and that perfumes are poems? I am sure that every intellectually curious reader—and, above all, those of Parmenidean persuasion—will readily aver that is high time that someone in this universe undertook to investigate the tripartite ontology of Perfumes, Persons, and Poems. Fortunately, sherapop has arrived on the scene to get the ball rolling...
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  1. Birdboy48's Avatar
    As to (1) I think it's fair to say that perfumes have personalities, just as do roses, birds and even certain bugs. Art in all it's forms has personality as well. We can think of those things in human terms, and respond emotionally as they come and go through our lives, but are they people, or simply the sum of their actions, added to the feelings and reactions they evoke in us ? But personalities; and ones we can emotionally respond to...I can go with that.

    Perfumes are olfactory poems (2), just as music and art are poemistic ( <-- spell-check hates that ) too. One can certainly probe the depths of this idea, and parallels are easy to make.

    I suspect these two conceptualizations are not incompatible.

    But I have substituted the concept of personality for your concept of person-hood, which would seem to be a much more specific descriptor.

    So I suspect I'll have to just set back and observe the path of your reconciliations.
  2. sherapop's Avatar
    [QUOTE=Birdboy48;bt5843]As to [B](1)[/B] I think it's fair to say that perfumes have personalities, just as do roses, birds and even certain bugs. Art in all its forms has personality as well. We can think of those things in human terms, and respond emotionally as they come and go through our lives, but are they people, or simply the sum of their actions, added to the feelings and reactions they evoke in us ? But personalities; and ones we can emotionally respond to...I can go with that.

    Perfumes are olfactory poems [B](2)[/B], just as music and art are poemistic ( <-- spell-check hates that ) too. One can certainly probe the depths of this idea, and parallels are easy to make.

    I suspect these two conceptualizations are not incompatible.

    But I have substituted the concept of personality for your concept of person-hood, which would seem to be a much more specific descriptor.

    So I suspect I'll have to just set back and observe the path of your reconciliations.[/QUOTE]

    Hello [B][COLOR="darkorchid"]Birdboy48[/COLOR][/B], and welcome back! (Just out of curiosity, are there 47 other Birdboys, or does 48 have some sort of arcane numerological significance?)

    Anyway, I'm needless to say delighted to read above that there's another philosopher among us... In fact, you sound like a closet Parmenidean to me. Good to know! Perhaps one person's insanity is another's banality?:coolold:

    With regard to your distinction: I think that I want to argue for [B]both[/B] personhood and personality. On verra...

    As you can see, I'm taking a different approach to this series, following the sage advice of I believe it was [B][COLOR="blue"]teardrop[/COLOR][/B] to post only one entry at a time. I noticed that the last entry in each of my previous series was read by many times more people, and I'm not entirely convinced that all of those people were simply returning to read the comments--though many of them certainly were.

    So, more to follow! I'm thinking about alternating between the "person" entries and the "poem" entries, so that it sets up a sort of debate... What do you think?



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