To be too explicit destroys the pleasure. This the Irish know, to whom the...– Theodore Roethke, Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks, 1943-63, ed. Wagoner (University of Washington Press, 1984), 208. _________ I know this. I just haven’t quite learned it yet.
Re: "Stifter, (O'Connor) and Weil" (...along came...
“Ha ha yes, Stifter is crushingly boring most of the time, but it’s maddeningly on purpose, he knew what he was doing. And it’s fascinating how he refuses to play by some of the most basic novelistic rules. It’s also possible (he’s so repressed he just seems to be asking for it) to apply some muckraking criticism to his writing. Sebald, for example, has a couple of interesting essays...
As he lay there, fragments of past states of emotion, fugitive felicities of...– Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country (1913), Penguin Classics, 2006, p. 86. (via msodradek)
How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?– E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1927), 152. Fixed it. Yeah, I knew I was misquoting in the previous post. The quotation (and its context and attribution) raise some diverting questions about the process of (mis)quotation, which I guess is an odd little...
For poetbabble, an expansion
Re: Judd & the Patriarchs (not a band) I think I get the distinction you’re making. But when women are cruel to other women because of how they look, is that always an instance of “patriarchy”? I’m suggesting, “No.” I’m also definitely not arguing from biology that “that’s just the way things are, so deal with it. Animals cannibalize and...
I ceased in the year 1764 to believe that one can convince one’s opponents with...– From Georg Christoph Lichtenberg in The Waste Books (Notebook E, 1775-76)
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient....– Lust For Lascaux: Ashley Judd Slaps The Media for its Misogyny Eventually, though, you need a new term. Why not just call it “misogyny” rather than “patriarchy”? Obviously women can be committed to the perpetuation of patriarchy, just as they can engage in misogyny by...
Inception: A Grief Observed →
Hardly a smoking gun. Lewis’s observation that the grieving person ends up with an image of the beloved made false by the very process of remembering (while beautifully articulated) is now almost a cliche of “grief narratives” and grief counseling books. The evolving science of memory also validates this phenomenological description, as we learn that memories in the brain are dulled and distorted...
All memories are memories of loss.
The only shred of hope in the blackest of stories might be the fact that someone...– Ms. Odradek, here. Bringin’ it, as per youszh.
What I’m experiencing in these moments is bleedover, collateral aggravation from...– From The Atlantic’s “The Sound of Solitude ” by Brian Patrick Eha. (via tragos)
Why is my experience of beauty so much like grief?
A hundred times I was upon the point of killing myself; but still I loved life....– Voltaire, Candide (via liquidnight)
Horatian, Juvenalian, Baumbachstic
msodradek: enormousair: Yeah, Mizzo, I know what you mean about having a hard time liking Baumbach, and the sense that his movies can be “mean and joyless just for the sake of it.” I suppose he walks the fine line between depicting “mean and joyless” people satirically, and actually being mean and joyless. And maybe he gets so much pleasure out of the first that he too often tips over into the...
Horatian, Juvenalian, Baumbesque
Yeah, Mizzo, I know what you mean about having a hard time liking Baumbach, and the sense that his movies can be “mean and joyless just for the sake of it.” I suppose he walks the fine line between depicting “mean and joyless” people satirically, and actually being mean and joyless. And maybe he gets so much pleasure out of the first that he too often tips over into the...
You try to do both things—you try to have the page-to-page...– John Updike, in a 1988 Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross This throwaway comment strikes me as a nice way of thinking about books, and about art generally. Books exist to change minds—both literally, to alter the content and structure of the brain—and in the traditional sense: to...
I rather enjoy that sense of bewilderment a novel gives you when you start...– If on a Winters Night a Traveller ~Italo Calvino (via petersantiago)
[T]he greatest menace to our capacity for contemplation is the incessant...– Josef Pieper, from Happiness and Contemplation (via settledthingsstrange)
Ivan: Youth is wasted on the young. Roger: I’d go further. I’d go, “Life is wasted on…people.” —Greenberg (2010), directed by Noah Baumbach
I don’t want to be admired. Loved, yes. Envied, sure. Marveled at? Marvelous. But admired? No thanks. I don’t need that on my conscience.
With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he’s so obscure. Every time...– John Searle on Derrida (via philphys) Oh goodie. This shit’s like Maury Povich for the life-of-the-mind set. I admit it gives me a cheap little thrill to see intellectual celebs take the gloves off and go after each other.
We want to get there faster. Get where? Wherever we are not. But a human soul...– Margaret Atwood, “Faster”, from The Tent (via liquidnight)
Now, as the smoke dropped onto Mr. Shave’s church on that evening of newspapers,...– Frank Kermode, Not Entitled, as quoted in “Seer Blest”, by Sam Sacks, in Open Letters Monthly. (via) LOVE me some Frank Kermode. A very special dude.
The Return of Whit →
Scenes were shot all afternoon and into the evening after a catered dinner: odds and ends, inserts, pictures of soap bars on the ground, close-ups of Gerwig’s hand taking class notes. At 9:46 p.m., Stillman hurried in with two lines he wrote that morning. “All right, the faster we do this, the quicker it’ll all be over,” Curtis Smith said. “Action!” Stillman said. “I detest Parfit,” said...
msodradek: enormousair: “For me, I get more real pleasure out of these Volterran ash-chests than out of—I had almost said, the Parthenon frieze. One wearies of the aesthetic quality—a quality which takes the edge off everything, and makes it seem ‘boiled down’. A great deal of pure Greek beauty has this boiled-down effect. It is too much cooked in the artistic consciousness.” “Art is still to...
There’s nothing worse than seeing a fool succeed where you yourself have...– Flaubert, A Sentimental Education, Part I, Ch 5. 1869. Impressionistically translated. (“Rien n’est humiliant comme de voir les sots réussir dans les entreprises où l’on échoue.”)
He had come out to Paris to paint – to fathom, that is, at large, that mystery;...– Henry James, The Ambassadors (1903), Penguin Books, 2008, p. 110. (via msodradek)
The Pleasures of Being Wrong
msodradek: There is a joy in accepting limitations inherent in all joy of learning. It is insofar as it is joyful that a well-founded repression becomes dynamic and useful. … In our opinion the truly anagogical cure does not consist of liberating the repressed tendencies, but of substituting for the unconscious repression a conscious repression, a constant will to self-correction. (…) What a...