The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

More specifically concerning: memory

1 August

1 August 2001, around 14.20.

Piling pebbles upon the beach, the water laps against the sky, the low sound measuring time’s loss, the imponderable construction of a memory. Set one foot, then, in front of the other, and take no moment to look back, but continue – onward.

13.08.01

13 August 2001, around 14.45.

Ishiguro considers memory.

14.03.02 – Thursday

14 March 2002, around 21.22.

Slept late. How much information is behind those two little words: slept late. Falling asleep just after nine, waking just before one, then sleeping still more until seven-thirty. It sounds appalling, very like laziness; but it isn’t. Suffering from a blight of coffee-stains. The surface of one of the tables is, if not quite Olympian […]

Lustral Basins, or the Archaeology of Remembrance

7 August 2002, around 13.29.

We stood in the sun, which was sharp and swimmingly white, though not quite directly overhead. The only thing brighter than the sunlight was the dust, which swirled and eddied low around our feet, stirred by the rare breezes. The olive trees and other low, scrubby plants were soaked in this dust, and seemed nearly […]

Found Objects

12 November 2002, around 16.20.

England, 12 November, 7:24 a.m. When I remember something I would rather forget, or when some unpleasant action or unwitting stupidity of mine forces its way forward into the present from the past, I think I don’t feel well. Oh happy past, which can so disorder the present. A people that grows accustomed to sloppy […]

Simplicity

13 January 2003, around 9.50.

It was very simple once; just a chronicle, a chronological exuberance bogged down in the details. E.g.: 13.01.2003 — Monday — Up late, then to the Bodleian, Gorgias, Blackwell’s (Sylvie & Bruno, £9.99 — cash), coffee, groceries, room, read… &c. But that is not quite right, is it? For who really wants to make of […]

weird stuff

14 July 2003, around 16.20.

No philosopher and hardly any novelist has ever managed to explain what that weird stuff, human consciousness, is really made of. Body, external objects, darty memories, warm fantasies, other minds, guilt, fear, hesitation, lies, glees, doles, breathtaking pains, a thousand things which words can only fumble at, coexist, many fused together in a single unit […]

Citation (21)

11 April 2004, around 18.50.

Margaret Cavendish gazes into eternity…

Snow

15 May 2004, around 18.56.

a Turkish winter

Citation (23)

11 June 2004, around 18.27.

modesty & the art of pronunciation.

Citation (24)

8 July 2004, around 15.42.

mistook.

enemy action

1 September 2006, around 12.21.

Cataloguing one’s home library has its good points. Entering in ISBNs and publication information is a wonderful way to devour time. One also gets a chance really to look at one’s books; one so seldom has the opportunity. One buys the book, sometimes one even reads it,1 and then it goes on the shelf, jumbled […]

aridity

6 October 2007, around 21.40.

Under the window-seat in the back parlor, where wasps die and desiccate, the memories are kept, unlocked, unbidden, and inaccessible – mint-green florilegium, pallor bred under the western sun. The thought makes me sleepy.

sense of direction

27 November 2007, around 22.48.

Begin to move in one particular way rather than another; whither that tends unknown. Looking for the clew; no minotaurs. Reminds me of that Turkish Night, all angles and crossed wires. I misremember. Miss remembering, not but that madness that way lies – or tells the truth. Should stop playing with words like that; hurts […]

ostraka

31 December 2007, around 21.58.

The memory of cranes flying in rain-heavy sky, lit in low-slanting sunlight; tall grasses and the bounce and hum of a bus; gold-leaved crowns, and painted walls, dank scent of earth, and the brightness of the cranes, flying. Don’t know what direction they flew, nor what direction I went, but away from the past and […]

rivulets

23 March 2008, around 20.35.

But memory’s sudden release of the genie held captive inside matter, like a spirit bottled by an evil witch, is much more often for me both generator and principle of a happy feverish fugue than the quietism of a Proustian illumination. Resparked, the precious images kept so long in darkness – all of them – […]

hold my coat and snicker

29 March 2008, around 0.38.

I remember being told by a teacher not to read Jane Eyre, because I would be reading it in her class in the fall. Of course I read it that summer. Propped in bed, or curled in a corner, but finally finishing peripatetic. That’s how I remember it, anyway. I walked the three miles from […]

Citation (37)

8 January 2009, around 2.56.

the tapestry of memory…

weak tea and memory

10 September 2010, around 19.50.

From Asterios Polyp, in a passage on memory.

a ramble

13 November 2011, around 16.10.

View of Darkhan. The snow stays on the ground mingling with the dust, not melting even under the sun. Everything is very dry. The dust is the same color and texture of finely ground coffee, as though one could scoop it up into a սրճեփ and enjoy one’s cup of bitterness on the rolling steppe. […]

Requiem

28 March 2012, around 9.49.

Antonio Tabucchi. Requiem: A Hallucination trans. Margaret Jull Costa. London: Harvill, 1994. Please, he said, don’t abandon me to all these people who are so certain about everything, they’re dreadful. You don’t need me, I said, don’t talk nonsense, the whole world admires you, I was the one who needed you, but now it’s time […]

Citation (48)

26 November 2012, around 6.15.

facing the void…

adventures and misadventures

24 May 2013, around 16.42.

Like everything that had to do with him, the narration of his past depended on a complex alchemy of humors, climates, and correspondences, and only when it had been fully achieved would the floodgates of his memory open, launching him into long recollections that did not take into account either time or the disposition of […]

by heart

16 December 2013, around 18.06.

Having got to know Liska the way a man gets to know a woman only if he lives with her for years, sleeping with her all that time – well, he’s got not to know her again. It’s like reading a wonderful poem, and learning it off by heart because you like it so much […]

Citation (50)

1 January 2014, around 14.58.

the dangers of athletics…

Montaigne 1.3

30 January 2015, around 19.12.

from Albrecht Dürer’s Portrait of Maximilian I We are never at home with, but always beyond, ourselves. Fear, desire, and hope impel us into the future, and rob us of the sense and consideration of that which is, in order to keep us musing over that which will be, even when we shall cease to […]

a wholesome note of doubt

8 February 2015, around 9.16.

‘With so little new reading-matter to distract us we were able to carry all the details in our head until the next issue.’

Montaigne 1.9

13 March 2015, around 16.07.

From Pierre L’Estoile’s Les belles Figures et Drolleries de la Ligue We are human beings, and hold together, only by speech (30). When thinking back over the essay ‘On Liars’ I find myself thinking of it in terms of memory, for the first third of it is taken up with Montaigne’s concern about his own […]

an antique fashion shows

3 April 2017, around 6.49.

The cover was off-putting. A boy in a garden, glancing slyly back at an illicit meeting, in the unctuous watercolors so popular for mass market literary paperbacks of a certain age. I refer, of course, to a Penguin edition of First Love, translated by Isaiah Berlin, which, as a book, rather reminded me (not to […]

Citation (64)

7 September 2020, around 12.22.

memory, the field of vision, consciousness, a spark.

Citation (65)

12 January 2021, around 8.22.

at the reference desk.

khndzor-esque

8 March 2021, around 5.21.

It was the mention of baklava that made me dubious. It was mentioned as quintessentially Armenian, yet baklava is a pastry I don’t recall encountering once in three years – except in Yerevan (admittedly, I don’t recall many weddings). I read the book quickly, enjoying the familiar but disoriented by details – famines and December […]

Citation (67)

11 May 2021, around 9.39.

consciousness and memory…

bridging the gap

22 June 2021, around 10.56.

This a juxtaposition of two quotations about the philosophical necessity for cognitive leaps, from Claude Lévi-Strauss and Henri Bergson.

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