More specifically concerning: meaning
14 October 2001, around 16.37.
History – surrounded, immersed, drowning, etc., with regards to it. Be wary of being ahistorical. Yet history has of late become mere voyeurism, people sitting in their homes before some flickering screen, or engaged in a voluntary deafness to all but the radio. Even the sound of newsprint has learnt hysteria – and this is […]
06.03.02 – Wednesday
6 March 2002, around 21.16.
For once Vergil moved.
17.03.02 – Sunday
17 March 2002, around 21.28.
On being made, per Alfred Russel Wallace.
26.03.02 – Tuesday
26 March 2002, around 21.24.
Now there’s a word I don’t like: spiritual. Heard in these contexts: ‘I’m not religious or anything, but I am very spiritual…’ -or- ‘yeah, you know, he’s all spiritual and shit.’ Spritual people supposedly tap into the grand essence that is, the great non-materialistic who-knows-what, all without the aid of organized religion. In general, they […]
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. —Joseph Brodsky (‘Homage to Marcus Aurelius’) How tiresome it must be, to reduce the essential story of the world to nothing by a case […]
16 September 2002, around 13.35.
Socrates was married, you know, and his wife, Xanthippe, was a shrew. Perhaps that’s why he liked to sit in the cobbler’s shop and talk with young aristocrats about the meaning of words. ‘The only thing I know is that I don’t know anything.’ How many a man has said that, in the course of […]
27 November 2002, around 16.42.
Within this field, which no single scholar can create but which each scholar receives and in which he then finds a place for himself, the individual researcher makes his contribution. Such contributions, even for the exceptional genius, are strategies of redisposing material within the field. Even the scholar who unearths a once-lost manuscript produces the […]
7 December 2002, around 11.20.
In the year were children born, were wars waged, and markets opened. In the year were ships sunk, were markets falling, were deserts crossed, was oil spilt more freely than wine. In the year were plagues driven through towns and cities, were roads built, were bridges burnt; in that year, too, were pestilences common and […]
17 April 2003, around 16.18.
Such dim-conceived glories of the brain Bring round the heart an undescribable feud; So do these wonders a most dizzy pain, That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude Wasting of old Time—with a billowy main— A sun—a shadow of a magnitude. —John Keats (‘On Seeing the Elgin Marbles’) Allow me to sound heartless for a […]
2 August 2003, around 8.06.
On the origins of regret.
8 March 2004, around 8.12.
adventurous students always read classics.
layers upon layers
11 January 2011, around 16.57.
The cut direct.
11 April 2011, around 16.06.
Sow seeds for flowers right now, I thought this spring, and sowed many more than usual
21 February 2015, around 17.51.
Around the neighborhood. One of the more interesting stylistic problems during the Hellenistic period was the problem of quotation. The forms of direct, half-hidden and completely hidden quoting were endlessly varied, as were the forms for framing quotations by a context, forms of intonational quotation marks, varying degrees of alienation or assimilation of another’s quoted […]
26 June 2015, around 13.22.
Now, I say that not only in medicine, but in several more certain arts, there is a good deal of luck. Why should we not attribute the poetic flights which ravish and transport their author out of himself to his good luck, since he himself confesses that they exceed his power and ability, and acknowledges […]
9 November 2016, around 18.41.
Meaning and mediocrity.
30 April 2017, around 18.00.
Diogenes the cynic, radical pragmatist.
5 April 2020, around 4.23.
appetite alters everything restive beneath words containing all meaning —less you have been used to your beauty
31 May 2020, around 15.23.
There is the sense that the book has an argument, that it wants some sort of artist’s statement to illumine its depths. I complained of this, and PF observed that experimental authors tend to fall into two camps – the Nabokovian and the Joycean. The Nabokovian camp will tell you in great detail all the […]
10 February 2021, around 5.08.
There is a passage in the third chapter of Toril Moi’s Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgeinstein, Austin, and Cavell that drew my eye: In many cases, then it is useless to spend time and energy trying to produce a sharp concept. To avoid meaningless work, we need to understand the situation we […]
stalking horses and other specters
2 April 2021, around 5.31.
Paul Nash, Stalking Horse (black and white negative, 1941), presented by the Paul Nash Trust to the Tate in 1970 CC-BY-NC-ND. The experience in which we meet specters or let them come visit us remains indestructible and undeniable. The most cultivated, the most reasonable, the most nonbelieving people easily reconcile a certain spiritualism with reason. […]
9 April 2021, around 5.00.
Dear Professor ———, It was with great interest that I picked up a recent translation of one of your books, as I hoped that it would provide a fresh perspective on what could perhaps be called ‘the current moment’. Although your book failed to be helpful in this regard, it did provide food for thought. […]
11 May 2021, around 9.39.
consciousness and memory…
31 May 2021, around 23.53.
Laura Riding considers the tedium of the phallus.
1 June 2021, around 14.05.
The conversion of nothing into something is the task of criticism. Literature is the storehouse of these rescued somethings. In discussing literature one has to use, unfortunately, the same language that one uses in discussing experience. But even so, literature is preferable to experience, since it is for the most part the closest one can […]
game trails and cow paths
31 August 2022, around 5.21.
Everything I set down has a source in prior song or the written record. Some poets don’t want to read first; some of us want to give the stories we know a longer life […] —Stephanie Burt (‘(frag. 612)’, After Callimachus, p. 79). Shortly after becoming acquainted with the dog, then a black puppy of […]