kottke.org: The three types of specialist →
jkottke: From a passage of Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard, the three types of specialists needed for the success of any revolution. Slazinger claims to have learned from history that most people cannot open their minds to new ideas unless a mind-opening teams with a peculiar membership goes to work on them….
rumble tumble: Werner Herzog slaps a turkey →
The camp is silent with resignation; only the turkey is making a racket. It attacked me, overestimating its own strength, and I quickly grabbed its neck, which squirmed and tried to swallow, slapped him left-right with the casual elegance of the arrogant cavaliers I had seen in French Musketeer…
An elderly man was sitting alone on a dark path, right? He wasn’t certain of...– Morte, Planescape: Torment
It’s always a mess when they want to trumpet their love, say the words...– Daniel Woodrell, The Outlaw Album
I have really early memories of feeling inadequate: arrogant, and inadequate at...– George Saunders, interviewed on The Awl
Of course the problem is setting the goals in the first place; many enough...– William Gaddis, in a letter to his son (quoted on Conversational Reading)
I ask them to take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or...– Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry”
He thought the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the...– Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
Flying coach, he settles into his seat and puts on his headset, and he’s...– A.M. Homes, This Book Will Save Your Life
Soon, you are saying, we will come to a pass or a fork in the road. There will...– Siri Hustvedt, The Summer Without Men
I am not a stakeholder. I hold no stake. I pay my taxes. My taxes buy weapons...– Keith Ridgeway, Hawthorn & Child
His mind was dividing. Parts of it were roped off. There were things he could...– Keith Ridgeway, Hawthorn & Child
Come 2013, I think it’s time for people in and around the “music...– Bruce Sterling, The WELL: State of the World 2013
Specificity, precision, and brevity, applied in language, drive us towards...– George Saunders, “The battle for precision”
Number one, everybody should realize that all this “art” and “bop” and...– Lester Bangs, “James Taylor Marked for Death” (quoted in Maria Bustillos - “How Lester Bangs Taught Me to Read”)
There are, I feel very strongly, these definitions given by [Ernesto] Sabato...– Claudio Magris, interviewed on Bookslut
Prose and Cons
[Originally published on Ramp.ie on 8 August 2012. If someone runs a series of articles based entirely on a weak pun, you better believe I’m gonna throw my hat in the ring.] Cons were something people had started wearing years ago. They were a feature of the landscape, these black runners with the high tops. They were something that other people did. I’m not sure I even knew their name. I...
Meta is Murder: Gombrowicz on Art and... →
mills: An excerpt from his Diary from 1953: “Yesterday I went to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes with N.N., after submitting to his pleas. The excess of paintings exhausted me even before I began to look at them. We would walk from room to room, stop at one of the paintings, then move on to…
The fact that Henry Armstrong was buried did not seem to him to prove that he...– Ambrose Bierce, “One Summer Night” (as quoted on Reader’s Almanac)
I don’t understand people who drink coffee even though they say they don’t like it. You say it’s just for the energy boost, but why not lob some ProPlus down you and have done with it? Drink a boiling hot liquid that you don’t enjoy the taste of vs swallow a small pill. I dunno, man. Even that idea of just being in it for the energy. Where does that stop? There’s this stuff called The Black Blood...
Each of us is aware he’s a material being, subject to the laws of...– Stanisław Lem, Solaris (trans. Bill Johnston)
I’m much more interested now in sentences that contain a story voice—the main...– Paul Maliszewski, interviewed by Amie Barrodale on The Paris Review blog
Things you think about on the jacks when you...
There’s a category of idea you can’t really express without over-expressing. Without sounding like you’re completely overthinking it. There’ll be a core of truth and true feeling but the idea will be so abstract, and expressing it will require a tone of such extreme seriousness, that the idea becomes, for most people, irresistibly easy to poke fun at and dismiss. One unhappy result is that the...
Games and that
I wrote an article for Internet Supersite Ramp.ie about how great games are/could be as a storytelling medium, if only jerk developers would get their jerk heads out of their jerk… well, their jerk publishers’ bottom lines, I suspect. You can read it here. I’m impressed that I got several hundred words in before mentioning Dark Souls, a game I have described in my notes as...
It’s 6am and I’m sitting at a black oak desk and I’m working, because 6am is what one does when one has decided to take oneself seriously. It’s not actually oak, it’s whatever compound constitutes IKEA’s two-rungs-from-the-bottom standard. It’s as sturdy as it needs to be. It is black though, that much is true. I met Kevin Barry on Saturday, at a signing. The net result is that I can never hang...
Fun start to a bank holiday weekend: stuffing toilet paper in your ears at 20 past five in the morning because your broken fucking house alarm’s been going off for two hours. Though if we’re being picky, I guess the START of the weekend was being woken up at 3.20 and running downstairs in the nip wielding a golf club (ladies). Not that I sleep naked (ladies), I just reckon I look more intimidating...
____ days since last incident
Sometimes you’re standing in your garden savagely beating weeds with a stick that used to be the handle of a rubber broom until you broke it last year using it to savagely beat some weeds and you suddenly realise, although you’ve known it for a while and just pretty successfully avoided thinking about it, that it’s been something like a year since you last posted anything on your website that you...
It’s a weird and rather unsettling feeling, being nostalgic about psychoactive...– Silas Meeks’ Locutionary Sideshow
kottke.org: Drawings of the LHC in the style of... →
jkottke: Dr. Sergio Cittolin has worked at CERN for the past 30 years as a research physicist. He has also made several drawings of the Large Hadron Collider in the style of Leonardo da Vinci. Symmetry magazine profiled Cittolin a few years ago. As a naturalist, da Vinci probed,…
Blogelstein!: On sitting like a lady →
jeanhannah: It’s been so long since I have used the tube with any regularity that I forgot the phenomenon of American Tourists On the Tube, which is a phenomenon I suppose that I notice, because they are loud and because, of course, we are one, in a sort of a way. These particular American tourists…
At first, variety reduces boredom, but in the long term it can induce it because...– John Milbank, Nostalgia, novelty and our modern boredom
You have to get back on the horse. Somehow, and I don’t know how this kind of...– Penny Arcade
The isms go; the ist dies; art remains.– Vladimir Nabokov in his lecture on Gustave Flaubert, asserting the historic relativity and therefore the artistic irrelevance of academic terms like “realism” or “post-modernist.” (via mills)
Here, however, in describing the personal appearance of Wordsworth, I go back,...– The Collected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Volume 2
PARIS REVIEW: You’ve dismissed Robert Hass’s descriptions of the natural...– Paris Review blog
I Come to the Garden
I can name so few flowers. This is why I’m not a better poet. Shakespeare knew oxlip and gillyvor and eglantine, while I, beyond camellia, violet, rose, and lily, am reduced to saying, “There, those crinkly yellow things!” Out on a walk with mad John Clare, I’d learn a dozen names for plants, and bless the wonders underfoot. “More servants wait on man,” George...
I draft like crazy, because: I do most of my tweeting with my phone, and it is...– The very interesting Patricia Lockwood, interviewed on HTMLGIANT
The boy with the lightning tattoo
jkottke: People who are struck by lightning are sometimes left with tattoo-like markings called Lichtenberg figures or lightning flowers. This guy was out tending to his garden when he was struck and left tattooed, Potter-like. (via neatorama)
A sense of fraudulence, of falling short of authenticity, is endemic to...– Jon Baskin on David Foster Wallace
As for the rise of the novel, of literary realism, this, I learned, was linked...– Avi Steinberg, “Checking Out”