august 15, 2017

Through portrayals


...In offering here an example of the way that books can offer a humane and individual appreciation of change, I simply wish to cast my vote in favor of a more literary approach. Understanding this human world in human terms is no small or frivolous task, and the role played by literature in that effort is not one to be taken lightly.

august 09, 2017

groundless supposition

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
So many things seem filled with the intent
To be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent,
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

ianuarie 15, 2017

the idea of ‘levels’


'This hybridity is not just one of race, but also of all our cultural characteristics and is one of the reasons why the Scotsman David Hume commented that there was no such thing as a national character mixture in England. Americans, like all other civilisations, including English or Scots, are a ‘fiction’, as Daniel Defoe put it – we are all mongrels and mixes, bricolages and bundles. Our imagined communities are invented and constructed to make life tolerable and bear little relation to real ‘facts’. It is important to realise this before we essentialise our differences, which leads to a ghetto mentality, a need to wall and fence and repel the threatening ‘Other’ who is, in fact, probably a distant cousin of some kind.'

noiembrie 11, 2016

Democracy


It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:


iunie 08, 2016

mercurial French adolescent



Rimbaud: ‘En effet ils furent rois toute une matinée où les tentures carminées se relevèrent sur les maisons, et toute l’après-midi, où ils s’avancèrent du côté des jardins de palmes.’

Ashbery: ‘In fact they were regents for a whole morning as crimson hangings were raised against the houses, and for the whole afternoon, as they moved toward groves of palm trees.’

iunie 07, 2016

Wittgenstein’s Handles

...'This utility of handles had also caught the attention of the pioneering German sociologist Georg Simmel, but he thought utility was only half the story. In his brilliant 1911 essay “The Handle,” Simmel argued that the handle of a vase bridges two worlds, the utilitarian and the non-utilitarian. A vessel, according to Simmel, “unlike a painting or statue, is not intended to be insulated and untouchable but is meant to fulfill a purpose—if only symbolically. For it is held in the hand and drawn into the movement of practical life.” 
Thus the vessel stands in two worlds at one and the same time: whereas reality is completely irrelevant to the “pure” work of art and, as it were, is consumed in it, reality does make claims upon the vase as an object that is handled, filled and emptied, proffered, and set down here and there. This dual nature of the vase is most decisively expressed in its handle.'

aprilie 14, 2016

boundary

 Slate tiles gleaming with water,
Nests of sparrows rotting and trailing in the wind,
Night falling, and the winds turning
Umbrellas inside out…the rain wetting
The faces of the ladies returning

martie 28, 2016

“Cultismo”


Never out of obstinacy take the wrong side, because your opponent has got before you and taken the right one.
Do not, in trying to escape from the trite, become paradoxical.
Do not get into a contest with one who has nothing to lose.
Reticence is the seal of capacity. 

Know how to transplant yourself.  
They are all fools who seem to be so, and half of those who do not.
Understand how not to take things against the grain, however they come.

...  three hundred maxims by Balthasar Gracian, translated by Schopenhauer himself from the Spanish...

februarie 02, 2016

jam to-day

'Alice carefully released the brush, and did her best to get the hair into order. `Come, you look rather better now!' she said, after altering most of the pins. `But really you should have a lady's maid!'
`I'm sure I'll take you with pleasure!' the Queen said. `Twopence a week, and jam every other day.'
Alice couldn't help laughing, as she said, `I don't want you to hire me -- and I don't care for jam.'
`It's very good jam,' said the Queen.
`Well, I don't want any to-day, at any rate.'
`You couldn't have it if you did want it,' the Queen said. `The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday -- but never jam to-day.'
`It must come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.'


ianuarie 01, 2016

quite forgetfully



'...they talked of mostthings, even of some of the greatest, in a manner that gave, or that they desired to show as giving, in respect to the conditions of their life, the measure of their detachment, their contempt, their general irony. Their general irony, which they tried at the same time to keep gay and to make amusing at least to each other, was their refuge from the want of savour, the want of napkins, the want, too often, of shillings, and of many things besides that they would have liked to have. Almost all they had with any security was their youth, complete, admirable, very nearly invulnerable, or as yet inattackable; for they didn’t count their talent, which they had originally taken for granted and had since then lacked freedom of mind, as well indeed as any offensive reason, to reappraise.'

decembrie 13, 2015

de LAMARTINE

'Mais, ô déclin! quel souffle aride
De notre âge a séché les fleurs ?
Eh quoi ! le lourd compas d’Euclide
Etouffe nos arts enchanteurs !
Elans de l’âme et du génie !
Des calculs la froide manie
Chez nos pères vous remplaça
Ils posèrent sur la nature
Le doigt glacé qui la mesure,
Et la nature se glaça !'


noiembrie 06, 2015

weightless thoughts


'The strangest possibility Jung could imagine, or was at least willing to admit in writing, was that the UFO might be a “materialized psychism.” He does not define what exactly one of those might be, but both the term, and his essay more generally, intimate that if the flying saucer were in some sense “material,” its materiality would have to be some kind of psychological projection. Modern secular humanity was perhaps experiencing a longing for belief (-ism) powerful enough to float a mysterious image in the skies?'