[Continued from here]
The easiest is to just pack up and go. Not quite, it is easier still to just go. Just go. Go!
“Now I remember where I happened on it: that idea of the novelist as an historian of little lives – lives lost at Cannae, etc. It’s Eliot closing Middlemarch. I’ve looked it up.
… for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
She must mean those who swell the ranks at riots, who comprise mobs, witness executions, contribute to the church. What of those, though, who were simply consumed?” (ibid., p. 246)
Fuck it. I looked it up two and what I remain with is: Fuck it! There are enough causes for hatred out there as there are for the common cold. People working for enterprises big enough to crush the lives of thousands of tough men and women at once. Said people simultaneously raving on one peculiar habit, that of coveting (an ‘y’ anyone?) a real interest in the men and women whose interest it is to be left alone. The common cold may be the commonest cold but that does not make the cold, any cold, common. What? 10 days a year, 15 tops. A characteristic of a subset of a set’s subset defines sad people. It is most common not to have the cold.
Kohler may quote Eliot but George’s fifty/fifty stands to Bill’s nihilism as something that is, unfortunately, already slightly over halfway to being close to the truth. Yes, that’s opaque (a bright kind of dark).
Let’s skip a week. I wanted to write under the title ‘Up Again!’. By the time I could get to it I was down again. Better to skip a week than to say up and think down. I am, by the way, up again. It’s all a matter of sex.
There are those who expect so much – imagine it step-by-step on beforehand, plan for it including the reaction of the other – just to find reality is their true downer. And others who just do it – quite regardless of what somebody else has imagined – to find imagination is what puts them off their game. Inclusive but depressed versus carefree albeit annoyed. The vice which is commonly held in common is that of moderation. Hysteria is universally acclaimed as virtue.
That is where we find ourselves, with many but unconnected and therefore alone: incapable of hysteria and drawn to such a constant moderation as apples to their orbs. Our only expression depending on the lightness of the atmosphere around us & believe them us: if something is definitely out of fashion it is lightness because heavy is the world and therefore heavy needs to be all what is on it, innit?
Dear very few readers, would you be so kind to give me feedback. Even if it’s few and far between it will connect us and – who knows? – create some anti-matter to the many things that matter.
What if we lived in a world of continuous snow pushing us, up, to burn?
Hardly original, as is ‘hardly original’. So forth. Fuck it. As it fucks me.
“Our inertia is so immense it causes causes to collect like dammed-up water; we must amass motives like money before we make our move; we recruit a regiment of reasons; then let them, like a firing squad, fire obediently into the helpless body of their effect.” (ibid., p. 175)
Here I am, wanting to disagree with the vengeance cultivated by generations unfairly treated by others descending from the mythical slayer of their most famous forefather (who slays foremothers? – it isn’t even a word so how can it have reference). Here I am, able to only say: so true! I want to kill my effect: if my looks could kill the first thing I’d do is look for a mirror (all credits to jessica bailey whomever she is).
Fair is such an unfair word. Where it turns up it puts down. Fair as in fairytale. Un-fairytale would be fairly synonymous with reality.
I have made a copy of Baudelaire’s suicide note. I keep a collection. “The fatigue of going to sleep and the fatigue of waking up have become insupportable.” (ibid., p. 186)
Justice as fairness is limited to the right to die, to call it quits, to Read more »
How many make up a royal we? One would say one. Two is a crowd. One and one subtracted from Two is vanishingly small. Take your pick; the middle is excluded. And so are we.
“I gave up poetry for history in my youth. I gave up smoking; changed handwriting; traded stamps which I’d collected in my childhood for tables of mature statistics, seldom drank; was torn between the ethics of the Stoics and the ethics of Immanuel Kant; no longer moved to music; wrote out rules for my behavior and rigorously kept them, assigning grades; though abstract thoughts and shrank from women; cultivated bibliographies in paper pots; lived in a house of heavy books. What led me once to Germany – Hölderlin and Rilke – remained pure imagery. Hölderlin went mad. Rilke’s blood decayed. I gave up youth.” (ibid. p. 78)
To this date I do not understand why anybody would want to write lines that are not fully justified. Or neglect to adapt the wording to maximally fill a line. Ill justified lines lay thoughts out. Get that? Or …
Here I am, looking at the book seeing how my dog ears are few and far between at the beginning becoming more frequent to the end where they stand together like a pack of hounds. Now I have about two hours per week to unpack them and see how they bark. If they bark. Anyway, I have no option but to howl.
“I began, I remember, because I felt I had to. I’d reached that modest height in my career, that gentle rise, from which I could coast out of gear to a soft stop. Now I wonder why not. Why not? But then duty drove me forward like a soldier. I said it was time for “the Big Book.” the long monument to my mind I repeatedly dreamed I had to have: a pyramid, a column tall enough to satisfy the sky. Duty drove me the way it drives men into marriage.” (pp. 4-5)
That wasn’t even dog-eared. Two hours per week for – who knows? – 20 weeks to go through a book which took – what? – 20 years to write. And I don’t like re-reading. The only column I ever re-read was Musil’s pyramid only to find in its chambers my supposedly original thoughts lying around like the mummified remains of my pretenses.
“I faced the four corners, cupped the bowl of my glass like a breast, began the construction of my anecdote, and let the wine die.” (p. 8) Read more »
We (all chances are this will turn out to be a most appropriate royal ‘we’) will start digging my tunnel, chipping it away quote by quote from The Tunnel by William H. Gass (page numbers referring to the Dalkey Archive Press edition of 1999 reprinted 2007). The post will look a lot like this or like that (I have been exercising).
The Tunnel is a beast of a book. If it were a Miss Universe contestant it would have to hope inner beauty was key to winning the contest. This is an awkward metaphor since The Tunnel is about everything but winning a contest, and: every sentence in it is a thing of beauty. The thing is that it is one of those books that appear not to want to have readers. What better tribute then to write an interminable succession of idiosyncratic posts mirroring (in a muddy puddle type of way) this beast of a book (sawing a sequoia solo with a hand saw).
What is certain though is that whereas my posts may better be characterized as idiotic, this book is the book of how human stupidity binds with stupid inhumanity to create a destructive force way beyond that of the Death Star.
Yes, it is also about fascism.
Below the fold are the policies and procedures applying to this exercise (on the off chance of there being interest to make contributions).
The title is missing two The’s and the two lower capital el’s can be easily mistaken for a Roman II. It is therefore deficient in almost every respect. Except in this respect: a failure of respect is the only common element between the latecomer league and the Party of disappointed People. Enough play on words, let’s travel back to the year 1985, to a school close to – but not in – Germany.
We were with five. We gathered at the back of the class, each class; last row, left corner (from our point of view). Steve, Tim, Thomas, Stijn and I: always somewhat peripheral, close to the edge. Nobody pushed me so I stayed in. Who would have told I would be the one to start an internet book event on W. Gass’ The Tunnel on the sixth day of the year 2013? All of us would, if Read more »
We get excited. Things turn hectic. It doesn’t matter whether we join the parade or not. The parade doesn’t need us buying it because it buys us. When 10 out of a 100 are hooked on the hoodlums of hoodoo, us other 90 are drawn in. Not the prettiest of pictures: people with a tic to say “Heck!” cite out of the works of those whose actions do speak louder than words. “Heck!”, they say, their fists pounding on our tables, “Heck!”, their spit flying from their mouths onto their computer screens in ways that make the shit hit us in the face from our computer screens, “Heck yeah!”, they say, “Let them get an education!”
And we, what do we do? We have an education. Too much of an education to say “Heck!” all of the time. If we join the fray, it will just spin harder and draw in more people saying “Heck!” to our “Hey hold on!” When we stay aloof we are arrogant and it will still draw us in. There is no defense because every defense is an offense.
So the only thing we have are stolen moments.
This just to inform you that in the midst of organized immorality and innovative organicity I am still here. I have found the dot com named scrabblefinder and scrabblefinder dot com found me the Hoodoo to go with my Hoodlums.
Further this to inform you of my intention to finish the year with starting with new year’s resolutions. The first of which will be a book club on yet another unreadable book: The Tunnel by William H. Gass.
I believe that reading this unreadable book will provide me the background for successfully reading the most unreadable book of unreadable books (the reader may guess its title and author).
I should live long enough to complete the plan of reading that book before I decide my time here has been served (at which time my children will have their children, or so I hope).
But well before starting to finish that plan (and myself), I need to finish what I announce here and what got a prologue there (the word ‘what’ being abused a lot by Germans).
“The best the logician can do is to recommend gathering more data.”
Henry E. Kyburg Jr. & Choh Man Teng, p. 200, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
A small piece on a forgotten (or, let’s be optimistic: not yet discovered) pearl of this human endeavor called ‘thinking’. I learned Mr. Kyburg died a couple of years ago. Given that is a fact, one can only hope that he turns out to be an instance of the reference class of great thinkers that have ideas requiring the environment of thought of a generation coming well after their own generation. Kyburg is one of three B-list philosophers on which I based my Cognitive Science dissertation: “Do Humans Think?’.
But let’s cut to the chase: Read more »