Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Anne Moore's Life

"He remembered Anne Moore. In fact, he remembered almost all of the twentieth century, but that he admitted, was beside the point."

~~ from "Anne Moore's Life" by Roberto Bolano

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Black-Tailed Deer

"At first light I'm woken again, this time by footsteps right outside my bedroom window. The crunch of stepped-on madrone leaves, madrone leaves brushed aside by a slowly lifted foot. I lie stiff as a board, waiting. The sound gets closer and closer, and a face suddenly appears in the window: a black-tailed deer, picking through the briars, eating grass. It's so quiet, I hear his chewing."

~~ from Breaking into the Backcountry by Steve Edwards

Friday, April 26, 2019

Breaking into the Backcountry

"And I realize my own culpability here--I don't want to spend the time and energy figuring how to solve my own rodent problems, so instead I nuke them. The irony is that, ostensibly, I have to come to this remote homestead to learn about Nature, with a capital N. To meditate on wilderness, on wildness. Only instead of apprenticing myself to the most basic concerns of such a life. . . I'm cheating myself of any real learning by opting for short-term solutions to long-term problems. It's a poisoning of the mind and the imagination, and what hemorrhages is a sense of responsibility to anything beyond my own comfort. But I do it, time and again. When the bait is gone, I put out another."

~~ from Breaking into the Backcountry by Steve Edwards

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Outskirts

"That was Kathy's take too, also that it didn't really matter where you situated yourself since the centrifuge of history would eventually pluck you up and switch you round. It was the thing right now to take people from the outskirts, the wallflowers if you like, and try to look at events through their eyes. No one cared about Napoleon or Darwin, it was more interesting to be obscure, almost unheard of, a failure, a total creep."

~~ from Crudo by Olivia Laing

Friday, April 19, 2019


"Numbness mattered, it was what the Nazis did, made people feel like things were moving too fast to stop and though unpleasant and eventually terrifying and appalling, were probably impossible to do anything about. She'd been reading a book by Philip Guston. On 23 October 1968, Guston had been in conversation with Morton Feldman at the New York Studio School. He'd been thinking a lot about the Holocaust, he said, especially the concentration camp Treblinka. It worked, the mass killing, he told Feldman, because the Nazis deliberately induced numbness on both sides, in the victims and also the tormentors. And yet a small group of prisoners had managed to escape. Imagine what a process it was to unnumb yourself, he said, to see it as it actually was. That's the only reason to be an artist; to escape, to bear witness to this."

~~ from Crudo by Olivia Laing

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

“If I walked down by different streets to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the afternoon I could walk through the gardens and then go to the Musée du Luxembourg where the great paintings were that have now mostly been transferred to the Louvre and the Jeu de Paume. I went there nearly every day for the Cézannes and to see the Manets and the Monets and the other Impressionists that I had first come to know about in the Art Institute at Chicago. I was learning something from the painting of Cézanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them. I was learning very much from him but I was not articulate enough to explain it to anyone. Besides it was a secret. But if the light was gone in the Luxembourg I would walk up through the gardens and stop in at the studio apartment where Gertrude Stein lived at 27 rue de Fleurus.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

James Joyce in France

"We were hungry again from walking and Michaud's was an exciting and expensive restaurant for us. It was where [James] Joyce ate with his family then, he and his wife against the wall, Joyce peering at the menu through is thick glasses [while] holding the menu in one hand; Nora by him, a hearty but delicate eater; Giorgio, thin, foppish, sleek-headed from the back; Lucia, with heavy curly hair, a girl not quite yet grown; all of them talking Italian."

~~ from A Moveable Feast (The Restored Edition) by Ernest Hemingway 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Papa On Pleasing the Rich

"When  they said, 'It's great, Ernest. Truly, it's great. You cannot know the thing it has,' I wagged my tail in pleasure and plunged into the every day a fiesta concept of life to see if I could not bring some fine attractive stick back, instead of thinking, 'If these bastards like it what is wrong with it?' That was what I would think if I had been functioning as a professional although, if I had been functioning as a professional, I would never have read it to them."

~~ from A Moveable Feast (The Restored Edition) by Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, April 14, 2019

On Writing in the First Person

“When you first start writing stories in the first person if the stories are made so real that people believe them, the people reading them nearly always think the stories really happened to you. That is natural because while you were making them up you had to make them happen to the person who was telling them. If you do this successfully enough, you make the person who is reading them believe that the things happened to him too. If you can do this you are beginning to get what you are trying for, which is to make something that will become a part of the reader’s experience and a part of his memory. There must be things that he did not notice when he read the story or the novel which, without his knowing it, enter into his memory and experience so that they are a part of his life. This is not easy to do.”

~~ from A Moveable Feast (The Restored Edition) by Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, April 13, 2019

no matter what Scott did

“When I had finished the book I knew that no matter what Scott did, nor how he behaved, I must know it was like a sickness and be of any help I could to him and try to be a good friend. He had many good, good friends, more than anyone I knew. But I enlisted as one more, whether I could be of any use to him or not. If he could write a book as fine as The Great Gatsby I was sure that he could write an even better one. I did not know Zelda yet, and so I did not know the terrible odds that were against him. But we were to find them out soon enough.”

~~ from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Friday, April 12, 2019

In Paris, then. . .

"In Paris, then, you could live very well on almost nothing and by skipping meals occasionally and never buying any new clothes, you could save and have luxuries."

~~ from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, April 11, 2019

we can't stop

Friday, April 5, 2019

Isabel Allende On Chilean Pessimism

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Isabel Allende on Writing

“Writing, when all is said and done, is an attempt to understand one's own circumstance and to clarify the confusion of existence, including insecurities that do not torment normal people, only chronic nonconformists, many of whom end up as writers after having failed in other undertakings.”

 ~~ from My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile by Isabel Allende

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

more positive vibrations from Gabino the transnational success (at least on twitter)

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Book Reviews for Fight for Your Long Day

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