“I think one of the insidious lessons about TV is the meta-lesson that you’re dumb. This is all you can do. This is easy, and you’re the sort of person who really just wants to sit in a chair and have it easy. When in fact there are parts of us…that are a lot more ambitious than that. And what we need, I think—and I’m not saying I’m the person to do it…is serious engaged art, that can teach again that we’re smart.”
— David Foster Wallace to David Lipsky. From Smarter than You Think, a review of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky. By Wyatt Mason in NYRB.
10:48 am • 12 December 2011 • 22 notes
A young Persian gardener said to his Prince:
“Save me! I met death this morning. He made a threatening face at me. Tonight, I would like, by some miracle, to be in Ispahan.”
The bountiful Prince lends him his horses. That afternoon, the Prince encounters Death, and asks:
“Why did you make a threatening face at our gardener this morning?”
“It wasn’t a threatening face,” comes the reply, “but a surprised face. For I met him this morning far from Ispahan, and it is in Ispahan that I must take him tonight.”
— From Le Grand Ecart by Jean Cocteau in Extraordinary Tales by Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares.
8:52 am • 11 December 2011 • 58 notes
“Damn it, we’re going to crash… This can’t be happening!”
— Final words from David Robert, co-pilot of Air France Flight 447. From What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447 in Popular Mechanics Magazine.
9:07 am • 10 December 2011 • 4 notes
“Olav Velthuis, a Dutch sociologist who wrote Talking Prices, the best study of what art spending means, compares the top of the art market to the potlatches performed by the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, where the goal was to ostentatiously give away, even destroy, as much of your wealth as possible—to show that you could.”
— From ‘Why Is Art So Damned Expensive?’ by Blake Gopnik. http://www.thedailybeast.com//content/newsweek/2011/12/04/why-is-art-so-damned-expensive.html
11:44 am • 7 December 2011 • 6 notes
“The astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others occasionally go out on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humiliated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves?”
— From The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich.
10:15 am • 6 December 2011 • 246 notes
Not sure what. I’m not sure what to tell you.
10:08 pm • 4 December 2011 • 2 notes
“All around us, entombed in cubicles, suspended in time, reliably muted now, men with dental issues, medical issues, marital issues, dietary demands, psychic frailties, deep-breathing men, the nightly drone of oil tax schemes, tax-shelter schemes, corporate espionage, corporate bribery, false testimony, Medicare fraud, inheritance fraud, real estate fraud, wire fraud, fraud and conspiracy.”
— From ‘Hammer and Sickle’ in The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo.
8:03 pm • 2 December 2011 • 12 notes
“'Imagine a surface of no colour whatsoever,' he said.”
— Igauskas. From ‘Midnight in Dostoevsky’ by Don DeLillo.
10:15 pm • 30 November 2011 • 9 notes
“And what do you remember, finally, when everyone has gone home and the streets are empty of devotion and hope, swept by river wind?”
— From ‘The Angel Esmeralda’ by Don DeLillo.
10:37 am • 28 November 2011 • 18 notes
“We give the gods a name and they quicken in us, they rise in their glory and majesty out of minds, they move forth to act in the world beyond, changing us and it. So it is that the beings we are in the process of becoming will be drawn out of us.”
— From An Imaginary Life by David Malouf.
11:01 am • 25 November 2011 • 74 notes