josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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8 Mar '11 02:32:32 AM

'So they destroy one another for us. How is a tradition to come out of that?'

7 Mar '11 07:58:25 AM

'He could only feel with a terrible pang that there was something in Hetty's life unknown to him; that while he had been rocking himself in the hope that she would come to love him, she was already loving another.'

27 Feb '11 08:22:09 PM

Nobody nothin nowhere no more.

26 Feb '11 10:00:58 AM

'Thus the sun whose light and warmth we make use of every day has its circumspectly discovered, eminent places in terms of the changing usability of what it gives us: sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight.'

23 Feb '11 03:48:59 AM

'The monotony of everydayness takes whatever the day happens to bring as a change.'

22 Feb '11 03:27:39 AM

I was arrested recently by an image, a vision, called forth by a pair of lines from a song on Hard Rain—'once I had mountains in the palm of my hand / and rivers that ran through every day'—and since then have lingered in thought over the imbalance I feel between the two lines. In the first I hear a trope, something to say, the sort of thing one puts in a song. The second hangs in the air long after Dylan's sung it and I feel the rivers around me, see green life out of the corner of my eye.

19 Feb '11 06:51:46 AM

'Critics also condemned Newgate's design because it allowed convicts almost unlimited interaction, letting them pool their experiences. As one Society for the Prevention of Pauperism lawyer pointed out, the place operated "with alarming efficacy to increase, diffuse, and extend the love of vice, and a knowledge of the arts and practices of criminality." Some thought it might be worth trying to immure prisoners in silent isolation, as did Philadelphia's celebrated Eastern State Penitentiary. Others thought that as stretches in solitary had been shown to drive many to madness and suicide, the system used upstate at Auburn might be preferable: isolating prisoners at night but setting them to (profitable) gang labor by day, under the rule of absolute silence, enforced by summary flogging. In the end, however, Newgate was deemed hopelessly beyond repair, and the legislature authorized a brand-new prison, on the Auburn model, at Ossining, near the large marble deposits discovered in Westchester County.'

3 Feb '11 03:14:34 AM

'…the dynamic tension between necessity and contingency [in character and commitment]…'

'Does any sweet or sad memory mingle with this dream of the future—any loving thought of her second parents—of the children she had helped to tend—of any youthful companion, any pet animal, any relic of her own childhood even? Not one. There are some plants that have hardly any roots: you may tear them out from their native nook of rock or wall, and just lay them over your ornamental flower-pot, and they blossom none the worse. Hetty could have cast all her past life behind her and never cared to be reminded of it again.'

3 Feb '11 12:34:47 AM

'Leibniz put an insect, which he had carefully examined through the microscope, gently back again onto its leaf, because he had found himself instructed by the sight of it and had, as it were, received from it a benefaction.'