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[...] and I tell you it is an inspiriting thing to be alive and trying to write English.

From Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's On the Art of Writing

I love the word choices here, particularly trying. It's always a tussle, sometimes playful, sometimes, it feels, to the death. Quoth Eliot,

Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.

I think I've quoted those lines before; they get me every time I reread them.


Relevant to Doc Savage fans:

Officials forbid inmates from sending mail or calling each other. They can use pay phones, but officials often monitor and record these conversations. Many gang members learn obscure languages to obfuscate their discussions, such as the ancient Aztec language Nahuatl.

(Alright, it's Nahuatl instead of Mayan, but the principle remains.)

A quote that works at many levels.

This is the theological mystery of perfect prose.

Gershom Scholem, discussing Kafka in a letter to Walter Benjamin. (My second-hand translation.)


You've got to be kidding me

One of the stories in Daredevil 1.50 (the 50th anniversary issue) shows Matt and Foggy watching an old video of Matt pretending to be his non-existing twin brother Mike, which very publicly admitted to being Daredevil. This was par for the course for Matt's rather bizarre approach to secret identity management (swear, between this and his "I'm not Daredevil" t-shirt...).

Now, near the end of the story, "Mike" gives a few hints of wisdom. Let me quote two:

  • Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot! Dress accordingly!

  • No matter how bad things get, Spider-Man's life is always worse! Always!


Such a shift in connotations of the razor will allow me to nudge the notion of “ontology” away from its excessively grandiose pedigree. Even though “ontology” has been defined as the science of “Being as Being” (and here you may want to overhear the loud organs of German philosophical requiem played at full volume), I take it as a relational and highly practical term. Ontology is what you engage whenever you wish not to shock those you are encountering by granting the wrong type of reality to the agencies that keep them moving. In that sense, ontology is close to a form of diplomacy. (Bruno Latour)


An optimistic quote

Love and terror are the true realities. (Thomas Ligotti)

(And what's love, a tiny voice tells me, if not utterly terrifying?)


Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-5



I've just read Junkspace, an essay/whatever by Koolhaas, which, damn it but if it's not 10% pre-collapse Ballard, 10% late vintage Gibson, 80% my experience of shopping malls, airports, and, increasingly, office life. (I confess I have a soft spot for Koolhass; I bought S, M, L, XL without knowing anything about him, OMA, or, for that matter, architecture, just fascinated by the visuals of the book and the text.)

Below the quote, random, unordered fragments of Junkspace. Which, if you consider the text, is probably how it should be read, and perhaps how it was written.Collapse )


What do we say to the god of death?

"I've got a Hulk."



Pinging the smartest part of me (i.e., you)

I'm trying to locate a quote, and both my memory (unsurprisingly) and Google (not so unsurprisingly) aren't being of much help, yet I'm sure it's a well-known one, I'm just phrasing it wrong. It goes, roughly, like

You're not here because you have to make a decision. You already made it. You just need to understand the decision you made.

This is driving me crazy. I can hear the quote in the back of my head, a woman's voice saying it. I'm sure it's from something I know very well, some book, comic, or movie, but for some reason it's just blocked.

I know I'll feel stupid once you tell me where this is from, but that's going to be better than having this thing bouncing around my head. So... help?

ETA: Got it. Thanks!



cass, can you not

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