On the other hand we got a huge black radish delivered to the house, so I sautéed it with sesame oil and garlic and it tasted basically like a turnip with more bite, fuck yeah, black radish.
As if you’d outlived yourself, and your own fruitless remains were the badge of shame you were given to carry in public. All those years practicing attitudes in the mirror, playing chess into the night against hooded skeletons; and when you finally reached across the board, you found your opponent spattered with glow paint and held up with piano wire. Well, of course! It was always you making the moves on both sides. Outside it’s been raining for years.
If he clear-headedly knows that his present projects are solely the projects of his youth, how does he know that they are not merely that, unless he has some view which makes sense of, among other things, his own future? One cannot even start on the important questions of how this man, so totally identified with his present values, will be related to his future without them, if one does not take as basic the fact that it is his own future that he will be living through without them.
This leads to the question of why we go on at all.
—Bernard Williams, “Persons, Character and Morality”
Not Christmas but Yule. The dead walking around, the army of bad intentions at the top finally starting to shamble in the same direction. The early evening of drear-nighted December, freezing the mind’s stream—which I didn’t always know. I was fifteen years old and running a temperature of 101. I didn’t care. I was lying in an arroyo in the dark and everyone was out on the street looking for me. I didn’t care.
That was a mire, and no one less than me expected the climb out of it. Over the next few years I made a mechanism, let’s say, out of components near to hand (there was quite a lot near to hand, that can’t be denied). A kind of vehicle, a kind of self. A steerable boat good for twenty years. There was even a website, the entry to which read 404 Not Found—so Winnicott had the key to the whole production from the start. From 1997.
The components are still around, more or less as before, but I think the mechanism has come apart. The waters never led out of themselves. Despite that they’re nothing like they were.
Or D.W. Winnicott: “In the artist of all kinds I think one can detect an inherent dilemma, which belongs to the co-existence of two trends, the urgent need to communicate and the still more urgent need not to be found”; as juxtaposed with psychoanalyzing a child: “Here is a picture of a child establishing a private self that is not communicating, and at the same time wanting to communicate and to be found. It is a sophisticated game of hide-and-seek in which it is joy to be hidden but disaster not to be found.”
Isn’t it an abjection? Aren’t we ashamed?
sure, sure, but without social media would we even have met each other?
“I want to keep a blog about the occurrence of a certain sensation. To this end I associate it with the sign ‘S’ and post this sign on my blog for every day on which I have the sensation.”
The ground state is “die in the snow like Robert Walser.” Assuming you don’t wish to die in the snow like Robert Walser, you still have to work your way outward from that ground state, one step at a time.
I dreamed that you posted a brief, cryptic update last night
We’re just all of us in a boat: Kleist, Chen Hongshou, nearer neighbors too, whom I’d be at variance with in the waking world. In the dream boat all rancor is silenced; there’s no rudder and no one can pretend to steer.
Everything smells like burn, aircraft move around, there’s a brown haze in the north and the sun at dusk was a case of pinkeye. Hot autumn. I’ve done very little in the yard this year. A scrub jay mistakes poplar fuzz caught in a cobweb for an edible spider; it has a hard time scraping its beak clean once the mistake becomes clear.
Big Data came to the day job. (It was bound to.) Around three or four in the morning I found myself taking an online assessment that would measure my response to various artifacts and situations and plot them on a scale from “Baroque” to “Zen.” My final score was 100% Baroque and 0% Zen. “I am so far from what I wish!”
It’s a master class around here in lying down where all the ladders start.
I stayed up late finishing Oblomov. From the book’s reputation I was expecting a pure novelty piece about inaction, and that part was very funny; but two hundred pages in, Oblomov meets a young lady and the book puts on the full dress of a nineteenth-century novel.
“Olga,” he said, barely touching her waist with two fingers (she stopped), “you’re wiser than I am.”
She shook her head.
“No,” she said, “I’m simpler and more courageous.”
The love scenes are top-notch—Olga is fantastic—and for a long stretch it had the same forward pull that I get from Fanny Burney and the Brontës (naive and sentimental reader). The Magarshack translation is good too; it has that bit of starch that you want in your Russian books. Oblomov’s Russo-German friend is an Ideal of Conduct, and would get wearying except that Goncharov knows the Ideal of Conduct must always resign himself to being a bit of a jerk, and wrings sympathy out of it.
St Hugh’s College said [Aung San Suu Kyi’s] portrait had been replaced with a Japanese painting.
Other Things That Should Be Replaced with a Japanese Painting
—Coconut water billboards
—“Simply Albany” signs on San Pablo
—Photos of President and Vice President in federal offices
—Credit card offers from airlines
—Boxes of greeting cards received fifteen years ago
—Nation’s Giant Hamburgers
—The clot of chicken wire and poplar fuzz out back
I walked my failure up a hill in the dark. We sat side by side with the lights of the bay under us.
—Life, I said, could be very long yet. Could you stand to eat fourteen thousand more breakfasts over forty more years?
It put its paw in my lap and looked at me with big dumb eyes. It’s all instinct with them, all in the moment. They don’t know.
if you eat breakfast for dinner that could be as high as twenty-eight thousand!!
let he who isn't essentially sisyphus cast the first stone? xo