Pink Man goes shopping
Not long after their exile to the rooftops, the Wisps of Ardisht realized that they would soon run out of matches to light their beloved cigarettes. They kept a chalk-line count on the side of the tallest chimney. Five hundred. The next day three hundred. The next day one hundred. They rationed them, burned them down to the striker's fingers, trying to light at least thirty cigarettes with each. When they were down to twenty matches, lighting became a ceremony. By ten, the women were crying. Nine. Eight. The clan leader dropped the seventh off the roof by accident, and proceeded to throw his own body after it in shame. Six. Five. It was inevitable. The fourth was blown out by a breeze - a gross oversight by the new clan leader who also plunged to his death, although his nosedive was not of his own choosing. Three: We will die without them. Two: It's too painful to go on. And then, in the moment of deepest desperation, a grand idea emerged, devised by a child, no less: simply make sure that there is always someone smoking. Each cigarette can be lit from the previous one. As long as there is a lit cigarette, there is the promise of another. The glowing ash end is the seed of continuity! Schedules were drawn up: dawn duty, morning smoke, lunchtime puffer, midafternoon and late-afternoon assignments, crepuscular puller, lonely midnight sentinel. The sky was always lit with at least one cigarette, the candle of hope.
J. S. Foer, Everything is illuminated, 136-147.
Das ist Mrs. Cresspahl, die vorn auf dem federnden Brett wartet, bis die Sprungbahn frei wird. Wohnt hier um die Ecke, Riverside Drive und 96. Strasse. Vierunddreissig Jahre alt. Die haelt ihren Hals steif, die zieht ihren Bauch ein. Nicht mehr lange, und sie wird ihre Schuhe nicht nach Eleganz kaufen, eher nach der Gesundheit. Wenn sie sich zum Sprung versammelt, werden ihr die Augen schmal, die Lippen hart. Der harte Schlag des Wassers gegen den Kopf laesst fuer einen Augenblick Betaeubung zu, Blindheit, Abwesenheit; nicht lange.
U. Johnson, Jahrestage. Band 2, 491.
Quem é homem de bem não trai
O amor que lhe quer seu bem
Quem diz muito que vai, não vai
Assim como não vai, não vem
Quem de dentro de si não sai
Vai morrer sem amar ninguém
O dinheiro de quem não dá
É o trabalho de quem não tem
Capoeira que é bom não cai
Mas se um dia ele cai, cai bem
Capoeira me mandou dizer que já chegou
Chegou para lutar
Berimbau me confirmou vai ter briga de amor
Von den Eigenschaften des Sandes, die fuer diesen Zusammenhang wichtig sind, waeren zwei besonders hervorzuheben. Da ist einmal die Kleinheit, die Gleichartigkeit seiner Teile. Es ist das eine einzige Eigenschaft, denn man empfindet die Koerner des Sandes nur darums als gleichartig, weil sie so klein sind. Das zweite ist das Unendliche des Sandes. Er ist unabsehbar, es ist immer mehr da, als man mit den Augen aufnehmen kann.
Elias Canetti, Masse und Macht, 100.
Two of the properties of Sand in this context are particularly remarkable. Firstly its smallness, the sameness of its particles. This is one and the same, since one feels the sameness of grains of sand only because of their smallness. The second is the infinity of sand. It is measureless, there is always more than the eye can perceive.
Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power, 100.
Veza Canetti was among those literary wives who have subordinated their careers to their husbands' [...] [Canetti] worked on Crowds and Power in an unsystematic way...and only writing with great reluctance. Veza claimed that she had to be a "slave-driver" to keep him at work, and that she had to threaten suicide to get him even to dictate his text. Canetti felt under surveillance, and referred to Veza as the "V3", after Hitler's planned third weapon of retaliation.
Ritchie Robertson,"The Great Hater", TLS September 2 2005, 6-7.
Broken Flowers, Still Lives
Since asceticism undertook to remodel the world and to work out its ideals in the world, material goods have gained an increasing and finally inexorable power over the lives of men as at no previous period in history. Today the spirit of religious asceticism -- whether finally, who knows? -- has escaped from the cage. But victorious capitalism, since it rests on mechanical foundations, needs its support no longer. The rosy blush of its laughing heir, the Enlightenment seems also to be irretrievably fading and the idea of duty in one'scalling prowls about in our lives like the ghost of dead religious beliefs. … No one knows who will live in this cage in the future … For of the last stage of this cultural development, it might be truly said: 'Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart: this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.'(thanks Giorgi)
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Talcott Parsons. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1930.) 182.
solvent - when the sun hits (slowdive cover)
Tysdahl avers that the long-awaited Norwegian translation of Ulysses in 1993 alleviated the national inferiority complex over much earlier translations in Denmark and Sweden; and in Romania the first complete translation of Ulysses in 1984 was hailed as a major cultural event (though its subsequent gift-wrapping with Ceausescu's "magistral speeches" must rank as one of the most bizarre joint promotions in recent literary history).
Justin Beplate, TLS, April 29 2005, p.4
Antidisestablishmentarianism. This my very favorite word. I learned to spell it in the first grade. I love how it rolls off the tongue. I have the meaning somewhere; I just can't remember it off the top of my head. It used to be the longest word in the dictionary, but I think that's changed.
(37mb/low encode/in German - will be here for a week)
'Herr, brich mir das Genick im Sturz von einer Bierbank.'
As for his name, it is Little Igor, but Father dubs him Clumsy One, because he is always promenading into things. It was only four days previous that he made his eye blue from a mismanagement with a brick wall. [...]
I dig to disseminate very much currency at famous nightclubs in Odessa. Many girls want to be carnal with me in many good arrangements, notwithstanding the Inebriated Kangaraoo, the Gorky Tickle, and the Unyielding Zookeeper. If you want to know why so many girls want to be with me, it is because I am a very premium person to be with. I am homely, and also severely funny, and these are winning things. [...]
So as for the Clumsy One, who I never dub the Clumsy One but always Little Igor, he is a first-rate boy. We do not speak in volumes, because he is such a silent person, but I am certain we are paramount friends. I have tutored Little Igor to be a man of this world. For an example, I exhibited him a smutty magazine three days yore, so that he should be appraised of the many positions in which I am carnal. "This is the sixty-nine," I told him, presenting the magazine in front of him. I put my fingers - two of them - on the action so that he would not overlook it. "Why is it dubbed sixty-nine?" he asked, because he is a person hot on fire with curiosity. "It was invented in 1969. My friend Gregory knows a friend of the nephew of the inventor." "What did people do before 1969?" "Merely blowjobs and masticating box, but never in chorus." He will be made a VIP if I have a thing to do with it.
J.S. Foer, Everything is illuminated, 2-3.
Moonchild ...lyrics of mystery series...
Brazil (Lyrics of mystery series continued)
"Kuchen. Kein Eis. Das ist nicht mehr meine Welt."Mother says:
"Cake. Not ice cream. That is no longer my world."
Im Zimmer standen aufgerissene Schraenke und Kommoden, ein umgestuerzter Waschtisch, eine Naehmaschine und ein Kinderwagen. An den Waenden hingen zerschlagene Bilder und Spiegel. Auf dem Boden waren in meterhoher Unordnung herausgerissene Schubladen, Waesche, Korsetts, Buecher, Zeitungen, Nachttische, Scherben, Flaschen, Notenbuecher, Stuhlbeine, Roecke, Maentel, Lampen, Gardinen, Fensterlaeden, aus den Angeln gerissene Tueren, Spitzen, Photographien, Oelgemaelde, Albums, zerschmetterte Kisten, Damenhuete, Blumentoepfe und Tapeten wirr ineinander verknaeult.
E. Juenger, In Stahlgewittern, 102.
In the room there stood wardrobes and cupboards torn open, a fallen over vanity, a sowing machine and a pram. Smashed paintings and a mirror hung on the wall. On the floor there were in a mountain of disorder pulled-out drawers, laundry, corsetts, books, newspapers, night tables, shards, bottles, musical notebooks, chair legs, skirts, coats, lamps, curtains, window frames, doors torn from the hinges, lace work, photographs, oil paintings, albums, smashed-up boxes, ladies's hats, flower pots and wallpaper all tangled up.
E. Juenger, In Storms of Steel, 102.
The real issue is the biological plausibility of pluralism about motives; it's whether biology entails that, in some sense or other, there is only one goal that we ever pursue. One can imagine selection pressures so intense that no trait survives unless it conduces to reproductive success: but is there any reason at all to suppose that those were the conditions under which we evolved? To the contrary, as far as anybody knows, it looks like we've been singing for fun and dancing for fun and painting for fun and gossiping for fun and copulating for fun right from the start there isn't, to my knowledge, the slightest shred of evidence to the contrary. It's not, in short, part of the "scientific world-view" that only mental traits that favoured reproductive success would have survived in the ancestral environment.
Jerry Fodor, TLS, July 29 2005, p.5
knife or shampoo bottle?