He watched a hundred gulls trail a wobbling scow downriver. They had large strong hearts. He knew this, disproportionate to body size. He'd been interested once and had mastered the teeming details of bird anatomy. Birds have hollow bones. ....He didn't know what he wanted. Then he knew. He wanted to get a haircut.
He stood a while longer, watching a single gull lift and ripple in a furl of air, admiring the bird, thinking into it, trying to know the bird, feeling the sturdy earnest beat of its scavenger's ravenous heart. (C p.7)
In the above quote DeLillo's language soars with the bird. As Baudrillard has said, Your writing must mirror what you are writing about. If it is a soaring bird, then, your writing must soar even more than the bird. It does.
The birds are thus very sensitive to conditions in the atmosphere through which they fly; they are attuned to the activity of the winds and air currents. They have an extremely well developed muscular sense, a sense of motion, a sense for their own movements and at the same time a sense of touch.
And here I remember David Foster Wallace's essay on his own tournament tennis playing. How he won because he played with the air currents.
The third remarkable feature in birds is the development of the breathing system. Birds have huge lungs, reaching as far below as the belly. The diaphragm is missing. From the lungs branch off air-sacs, entering the bones and the wings....Some of those branches enter even into the feathers, so that the bird is everywhere surrounded and embedded in air. (20)
The strange phenomenon of migration can be understood if we know that they only fly according to routes having certain ether configurations. They follow the way of rivers. Much has been written concerning the study of migrating birds, but it shows the great mistake of looking for the explanation in the intellectual capacities of the birds, attributing much to their small brains. Their intelligence is spread out all over the atmosphere. We do not realize the various changes in the atmosphere, for we are not sufficiently sensitive, but the birds are. They migrate on those air currents where they sense certain ether configurations. They are in unison with the air.
Now we turn to the soul-life of the bird. Everyone who observes birds, remarks that they are more alert than any other animals. They need very little sleep. ...Although birds are very much awake, they are very easily distracted. They certainly lack the capacity for concentration....Creatures endowed with feathers cannot really concentrate. (23)
Conte in Duvall, In Cosmopolis Packer possesses an almost preternatural ability to recognize the patterns in currency values that shift in nanoseconds and cyber-capital that is traded instantaneously on the Nikkei and Nasdaq markets. He assumes the hieratic role of the prophet.
He understood how much it meant to him, the roll and flip of data on a screen. He
studied the figural diagrams that brought organic patterns into play, birdwing and
chambered shell. It was shallow thinking to maintain that numbers and charts
were the cold compression of unruly human energies, every sort of yearning and ...
....midnight sweat reduced to liquid units in the financial markets. In fact data itself
was soulful and glowing, a dynamic aspect of the life process. This was the
eloquence of alphabets and numeric systems, now fully realized in electronic
form, in the zero-oneness of the world, the digital imperative that defined every
breath of the planet's living billions. Here was the heave of the biosphere. Our
bodies and oceans were here, knowable and whole. (C 24)
"There's an order at some deep level," he said. "A pattern that wants to be seen."
"Then see it."
...I always have. But it's elusive in this instance. My experts have struggled and just about given up. I've been sleeping on it. There's a common surface, an affinity between market movements and the natural world."
"An aesthetics of interaction."
"Yes. But in this case I'm beginning to doubt I'll ever find it."
Speed and Politics - Virilio. The new theory of time. Speed is the last World War. (C 86)
In 1896, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche asked Steiner to help organize the Nietzsche archive in Naumburg. Her brother by that time was non compos mentis. Förster-Nietzsche introduced Steiner into the presence of the catatonic philosopher; Steiner, deeply moved, subsequently wrote the book Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom. Steiner later related, "Nietzsche's ideas of the 'eternal recurrence' and of 'Übermensch' remained long in my mind. For in these was reflected that which a personality must feel concerning the evolution and essential being of humanity when this personality is kept back from grasping the spiritual world by the restricted thought in the philosophy of nature characterizing the end of the 19th century....What attracted me particularly was that one could read Nietzsche without coming upon anything which strove to make the reader a 'dependent' of Nietzsche's."