3.04.02 – Wednesday
3 April 2002, around 13.50.
Sweltering. Not that it’s warm or anything – just my poor brain tottering under the weight of the semester’s coming end. Even so.
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
8.04.02 – Monday
8 April 2002, around 13.52.
There are moments when in connection with the sensitively imaginative or morbidly anachronistic—the mentality assailed and the same time not of any great strength and the problem confronting it of sufficient force and complexity—the reason not actually toppling from its throne, still totters or is warped or shaken—the mind befuddled to the extent that for the time being, at least, unreason or disorder and mistaken or erroneous counsel would appear to hold against all else. In such instances the will and the courage confronted by some great difficulty which it can neither master nor endure, appears in some to recede in precipitate flight, leaving only panic and temporary unreason in its wake.
—Theodore Dreiser (2002.19, p. 463)
16.04.02 – Tuesday
16 April 2002, around 13.56.
A funny color has settled on the trees, a noxious youthful green promising both the plenitude of fall and the mishaps of summer. Idle much of the morning. And the rest of the day, too.
O mind of man that does not know the end
or future fates, nor how to keep the measure
when we are fat with pride at things that prosper!
(as translated by A. Mandelbaum)1
- Cf. Dryden’s version: ‘O mortals, blind in fate, who never know | To bear high fortune, or endure the low!’ [↩]
23.04.02 – Tuesday
23 April 2002, around 13.58.
This gives me the shivers, because I don’t think it’s actually about painting:
In these places, though the stroke may be incomplete, yet the intention is carried out. Only when you realize that there are two styles of painting, the free and the detailed, may you join in discussions about painting.
This, on the other hand, makes me very, very happy:
He said that, when people paid a high price for fruit which had been ripened early, they must despair of seeing the fruit ripen at the proper season. And, being once asked in what consisted the virtue of youth, he said, ‘In doing nothing to excess (to mêden agan)’.
—Diogenes Laertius, Life of Socrates, 32.
28.04.02 – Sunday
28 April 2002, around 13.59.
History is not a discipline but something that is not yours – which is the main definition of beauty. Hence, the sentiment, for it is not going to love you back.
(‘Homage to Marcus Aurelius’)
How tiresome it must be, to reduce the essential story of the world to nothing by a case of unrequited longing. Yet, as we know, it is not progress, we do not tread with uneven step toward some unblighted sweet perfection — so the sickly sway of modern romanticism will have to do.