3/19/07

Agglomeration of Aphorisms

I had to write a page of aphorisms today... not gonna post those, but might as well post some I enjoyed while thinking of ideas:

Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.
- Pablo Picasso

~

The sun is pure communism everywhere except in cities, where it's private property.
- Malcolm de Chazal

~

Franz Kafka:

It is enough that the arrows fit exactly in the wounds that they have made.


The True Way goes over a ropewhich is not stretched at any great height but just above the ground. It seems more designed to make people stumble than to be walked upon.


If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.


~

Friedrich Nietzsche:


Those who are slow to know suppose that slowness is the essence of knowledge.



We have no dreams at all or interesting ones. We should learn to be awake the same way- not at all or in an interesting manner

Opinions and fish.— Possessing opinions is like possessing fish, assuming one has a fishpond. One has to go fishing and needs some luck—then one has one's own fish, one's own opinions. I am speaking of live opinions, of live fish. Others are satisfied if they own a cabinet of fossils—and in their heads, "convictions."


The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.


~

It’s quite true what philosophy says, that life must be understood backwards. But one then forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forwards. A principle which, the more one thinks it through, precisely leads to the conclusion that life in time can never properly be understood, just because no moment can acquire the complete stillness needed to orient oneself backwards.
-Soren Kierkegaard

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I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

- Albert Einstein

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A cynic is a person who knows the prize of everything and the value of nothing.
-Oscar Wilde

3/9/07

R.I.P. part 2

Today is also the anniversary of the death of Charles Bukowksi. Drink a 40 for Biggie and a shot of Whisky for Buk.

If I got to choose a coast I got to choose the east...


Today marks the 10th anniversary of the murder of Biggie Smalls.
RIP Big Poppa.

3/5/07

(more) quick thoughts on books I recently read

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea - Yuko Mishima

This is more of a novella than a novel, and a novella I really dug. The book's opening and final chapters are pure awesomeness and the middle is good enough. The story centers around a young boy who peeps on his mom having sex and, with a group of friends, practices a form of "absolute dispassion" and "objectivity" that leads them to dissect neighborhood cats and curse fathers as the scum of the earth. This author eventually committed ritual suicide after trying and failing to get the Japanese army to over throw the government, although his secret lover failed during his attempts to behead Mishima and another militia member had to finish the job. Go figure.

Memoir of the Hawk - James Tate

In Memoir, Tate writes surreal, humorous and (mostly) irreverent prose poems. Tate is an author who is mostly miss for me, but whose hits hit hard enough to make me read him. For my taste, most of these prose poems are nice enough, but mostly pointless and often feel random for the sake of randomness. But there are some brilliant pieces as well and even the weak ones make for a fun read. While reading I marked fourteen that really struck me. 14 out of over 100... is that a good ratio for me with a poet? Probably. Here is a sample:

KINKY’S HEAD

“Would you like to have your head examined?”
I said to Kinky, who was holding his head. “Oh yes,”
he said, “I would like to know what’s wrong with
me.” Gloom was his life, despair was his only food.
I opened up his head. My God, it was dark in there,
and full of cobwebs with dead flies in them. “There
are no lights in here,” I said. “It looks like you
have had no visitors in years. And there’s not a
trace of an idea, just a rat gnawing on its tail
hoping to become a saint in some counterfeit hell.”
“I love that rat,” Kinky said. “He’s the last of
my monsters, old skin and bones.”


Spanking the Maid - Robert Coover

This was an excellent quick read. Coover has a ton of fun and shows brilliant lyrical skills in this comic novel. Hard to describe and I'm not going to bother. I said quick thoughts didn't I?

Swann's Way (Vol. I of In Search of Lost Times) - Marcel Proust (trans. Lydia Davis)

Recently I've been trying to work my way through some of the giant classics and Proust is obviously a necessity in that area. I was very surprised by this book. From all the noise, I'd expected Proust to be an almost impenetrable mess of a writer whose work was not fun to read and only French scholar's ever bothered with it. Instead it was a very nice and fun read. Proust's style takes a little getting used to, but it is nothing hard. The biggest surprise for me was how hilarious the novel got at times. I literally laughed out loud at at least three points, which is something I rarely do. The Davis edition is beautifully printed as well.

The Dead Fish Museum - Charles D'Ambrosio

Despite what the title might connote, the stories in the Fish Museum are pretty straight forward in both style and realism. They are, however, fantastic. Unlike most practitioners of this kind of short fiction, Ambrosio allows his stories to be messy and chaotic instead of neat little structures with cute epiphanies tagged to the end. A lot of darkness here. I dig it.

Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke

with Sci-I am a big fan of Sci-Fi films and comics and TV shows. And yet I am perpetually disappointed by Sci-Fi literature. Every book seems to be written with zero regard to style or the prose itself, they revolve entirely around their "ideas" (such as they are) and flat characters. However, I am always willing to prove my experiences wrong and thought I'd try with the much hyped Rendezvous with Rama by one of the best regarded sci-fi authors ever, Clarke. Conclusion? Yet another badly written book. The story and ideas are interesting enough to make the mediocre prose go by, but I still can't believe that this kind of writing could ever make someone a famous writer. Clarke's humor is atrocious, but perhaps the worst part is how forced the cliff-hangers are. Every chapter seems to end in something like "X stepped through the spaceship's doors... for better or for worse movies, which have a much wider audience, are actually (often) well filmed, acted and directed? Have you ever noticed that the best Sci-!" or "Things were looking up... or were they!?" Ugh. What is keeping sci-fi authors from having style? Is it merely a matter of reader demand? Do sci-fi fans simply not care about the writing, but only the world and ideas? Is this why Sci-Fi films (like Blade Runner) are filmed by people who haven't even read the books? They just take the good parts (plot, world, ideas) and then rework it with their art? Am I the only one thinking of the children!?

Anyway, I'm writing a Sci-Fi-Horror-Western right now. It could be cool, maybe.

iStalking pt. 2



Someone yesterday did a search for "iStalking" and I'm proud to say my blog is the first search result for that. Clap clap.

More good Google searches that led people here recently:

Rex Grossman Fanfiction (Grossman is the quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Fan fiction!?)
Fan Fiction Two Males Harry Potter (If they had only put "furry" in that search it would have been the ultimate creepy nerd search)
Ray Dragon Hairy Chest
Iowa Writers Workshop Scam "v'agra" drink
jewellery store similar with urbanoutfitter