Such is the dark backward and abysm of time. Everything lies all jumbled up in it, and when you look down you feel dizzy and afraid.W.G. Sebald, “Air War and Literature”
W.G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn
Given these quantities, the natural historians sought consolation in the idea that humanity was responsible for only a fraction of the endless destruction wrought in the cycle of life, and moreover in the assumption that the peculiar physiology of the fish left them free of the fear and pains that rack the bodies and souls of higher animals in their death throes.
But the truth is that we do not know what the herring feels.
We live with death, and die not in a moment. How many pulses made up the life of Methuselah, were work for Archimedes: Common Counters summe up the life of Moses his man. Our days become considerable like petty sums by minute accumulations; where numerous fractions make up but small round numbers; and our dayes of a span long make not one little finger.Thomas Browne, Urne Buriall
you’re lucky all im thinking about is the role—and I mean additionally roh-lay, with the ^ over the o in the French sense, rôle—of the river as a medium of economic, political, spatial, and even rhetorical exchange shaping the silent cartography [Halo reference yes but john archer will never get it which just makes it better] of the imaginary for Ralegh’s Guiana
Having a strange bout of displaced nostalgia for the Gelateria de Leone and for those afternoons spent on Grand reading from my Norton anthologies in the wild hope of studying poetry for the rest of my life.
Evenings I would go: Read three poems: stare painfully at the cover for a while: tuck the volume under my arm: walk home.
The idea that racism lives in the heart of particularly evil individuals, as opposed to the heart of a democratic society, is reinforcing to anyone who might, from time to time, find their tongue sprinting ahead of their discretion. …
It is worth considering the messaging here. It says to black kids: “Don’t leave home. They don’t want you around.” It is messaging propagated by moral people.
Ta-Nehisi Coates on an event in what is also my neighborhood, at a deli I went to just a few days ago and to which I hope to return.
Why does Coates not name the market (Milano)? Or the man? As much as I like this article and agree with it, it still seems like Coates is interested in making spectacular the event rather than its roots. Why are we surprised that racism happens in and around us all the time, or that those most prone to racism are the same that fail to recognize it as something that can live in good people? Failing to understand the way a social anxiety incubates is its own act of incubation, and deploring it in others is about as effective as burning incense to get rid of the plague. We are all of us racist, and it still seems to me, as it has seemed to me for a long time, that until we start seeing ourselves that way and actively trying not to be, we won’t get very far. Coates is right about that, although he doesn’t say it quite outright: call it a pharmakon, loathe it, loathe it in yourself, and maybe we’ll get somewhere.
The opening stanza is the description of a place unfit for old people…From the second paragraph of a paper explicating Yeats’ “Sailing to Byzantium,” which begins, of course, with the line “That is no country for old men.”
Last night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. February 24th, 2013.