I cannot write here; not like this, not now, not under these circumstances. I cannot write here; and thus I shall write.
The current dilemma, the one and only, the only conundrum there ever is. Dissipating the consciousness into prose is quite simply the ultimate high. Words are not recordings of life, the five senses, awareness; no, Prose is at the basis, and life is thenceforth enacted.
I can’t call myself a poet anymore, at least not for the time being. I’m not mad enough here; I’m not allowed to be.
‘Literary distraction seems a very modern problem. These days, distracted writers tend to blame the Internet, whose constant temptations shred our attention spans, fragment every minute and reduce us to a permanent state of anxiety, checking e-mail every 30 seconds — “like masturbating monkeys,” a writer friend once put it, a phrase of which Sade himself might have approved. But history is filled with writers who, like the marquis, could function only in extreme — and involuntary — isolation.’
Tis almost August. I think I’m the only person this excited about returning to school. Summer has been terrible: unsuccessful job hunting, sleeping on my parents’ couch, feeling like a bum. I miss having a room, having a bed. But hey, it’s hardships like these which shape us into better people, I like to think.
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”—Roald Dahl (via bookmania)
“And thus for the first time my unhappiness was regarded no longer as a punishable offense but as an involuntary ailment which had been officially recognized, a nervous condition for which I was in no way responsible: I had the consolation of no longer having to mingle apprehensive scruples with the bitterness of my tears; I could weep henceforth without sin.”—Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way
“I was urged to give up the idea of writing. I had to learn, as Balzac did, that one must write volumes before signing one’s own name. I had to learn, as I soon did, that one must give up everything and not do anything else but write, that one must write and write and write, even if everybody in the world advises you against it, even if nobody believes in you. Perhaps one does it just because nobody believes; perhaps the real secret lies in making people believe. That the book was inadequate, faulty, bad, terrible, as they said, was only natural. I was attempting at the start what a man of genius would have undertaken only at the end. I wanted to say the last word at the beginning. It was absurd and pathetic. It was a crushing defeat, but it put iron in my backbone and sulphur in my blood. I knew at least what it was to fail. I knew what it was to attempt something big. Today, when I think of the circumstances under which I wrote that book, when I think of the overwhelming material which I tried to put into form, when I think of what I hoped to encompass, I pat myself on the back, I give myself a double A. I am proud of the fact that I made such a miserable failure of it; had I succeeded I would have been a monster.”—Tropic Of Capricorn, Henry Miller (via takesamuscle)
“The suffering or the bad memories are as important as the good memories, and the good experiences. If you sort of, can imagine life as being 99% of the time quite linear, and most of the time you’re in a state of neither happiness nor sadness. And then that 1% of the time you experience moments of very crystallized happiness, or crystallized sadness, or loneliness or depression. And I believe all of those moments are very pertinent. It’s like I said to you, that for me it’s mostly those crystallized moments of melancholy which are more inspirational to me. And in a strange way they come quite beautiful in their own way. Music that is sad, melancholic, depressing, is in a kind of perverse way more uplifting. I find happy music extremely depressing, mostly - mostly quite depressing. It’s particularly this happy music that has no spirituality behind it - if it’s just sort of mindless party music, it’d be quite depressing. But largely speaking, I was the kind of person that responds more to melancholia, and it makes me feel good. And I think the reason for this is, I think if you respond strongly to that kind of art, it’s because in a way it makes you feel like you’re not alone. So when we hear a very sad song, it makes us realize that we do share this kind of common human experience, and we’re all kind of bonded in sadness and melancholia and depression.”—Steven Wilson (via the-blackdahlia)
“She still really only exists for me as a strange mixture of daydream and present day edge, by which I mean something without a past or a future, an icon or idyll of sorts, for some reason forbidden to me, permanently fixed within me, but not new, more like it’s been there all along, even if I know that’s not true…”—Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves (via t—d)
“There will be more calamities, more death, more despair. Not the slightest indication of a change anywhere. The cancer of our time is eating us away. Our heroes have killed themselves, or are killing themselves.”—Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (via vacuidad)
“The last thing you want is to let her leave like this. You want to hold her, and know what each and every movement of her body means. But you’re not there. You’re all alone, in a place cut off from everyone.”—Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami (via maddeningcaravan)
Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
“… yet will I still adore
Thy sacred Name, al though I write no more;
Yet hope I shall, if this accepted bee:
If not, in silence sleepe eternally.”—Richard Barnfield, from “To His Mistresse” (via proustitute)
“All poets write in a foreign language, even when they are monolingual. And all fine poets are translators: they translate the world for us. That is, they explore it by refusing to pigeonhole it.”—Ilan Stavans, from “True Poets Don’t Belong to Any Country” (via ahuntersheart)
“I will name wilderness the castle which you were,
Night your voice, absence your face,
And when you fall back into sterile earth
I will name nothingness the lightning which bore you.”—Yves Bonnefoy, from “True Name,” trans. Galway Kinnell (via tkfire)
“Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”—Henry Miller (via sharayahread)
“Do you ever wonder whether people would like you more or less if they could see inside you? …I always wonder about that. If people could see me the way i see myself—if they could live in my memories—would anyone, anyone, love me?”—John Green (via 24ribs)
“She rises up out of a sea of faces and embraces me, embraces me passionately—- a thousand eyes, noses, fingers, legs, bottles, windows, purses, saucers all glaring at us an we in each other’s arm oblivious. I sit down beside her and she talks—- a flood of talk. Wild consumptive notes of hysteria, perversion, leprosy. I hear not a word because she is beautiful and I love her and now I am happy and willing to die.”—Henry Miller (via wondlust)
“What I saw wasn’t a ghost. It was simply—myself. I can never forget how terrified I was that night, and whenever I remember it, this thought always springs to mind: that the most frightening thing in the world is our own self. What do you think?”—Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (via proustitute)
“Sometimes I think the human heart is just a simple shelf. There’s only so much you can pile onto it before something falls off an edge and you are left to pick up the pieces.”—Jodi Picoult, House Rules (via anditslove)