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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13 Jun '12 03:16:46 AM

'If we are on the outside, we assume a conspiracy is the perfect working of a scheme. Silent nameless men with unadorned hearts. A conspiracy is everything that ordinary life is not. It's the inside game, cold, sure, undistracted, forever closed off to us. We are the flawed ones, the innocents, trying to make some rough sense of the daily jostle. Conspirators have a logic and a daring beyond our reach. All conspiracies are the same taut story of men who find coherence in some criminal act.

But maybe not. Nicholas Branch thinks he knows better. He has learned enough about the days and months preceding November 22, and enough about the twenty-second itself, to reach a determination that the conspiracy against the President was a rambling affair that succeeded in the short term due mainly to chance. Deft men and fools, ambivalence and fixed will and what the weather was like.…'

13 Jun '12 01:39:24 AM

'That confirms the idea that there is that in us that is capable of escaping human nature, here still expressed mythically. The myth speaks – beyond that of my standing in specific relations to myself – of the possibility of my gaining perspective on myself. I can, for example, sometimes gain a perspective on my present pain. … Is there something that could give me a perspective on my human nature as such? And would this be a perspective from which I see myself in the same way, or from the same distance, as I see the other? Could I, for example, see myself as a stranger? This need not be a case of seeing the strangeness of myself, though that might help my perspective. It would be a case of seeing that I have not met myself; it happens upon me, the knowledge comes over me, that I have not. I would then have an occasion for taking an interest in myself; it would be an occasion for interesting myself in something more than I have already heard about myself.'

12 Jun '12 01:35:47 AM

A gloriously cool day; cool air.

10 Jun '12 10:34:18 PM

One way to know yourself is to remember: to acknowledge that your memory of what you have done, seen, felt, experienced, does belong to you; that the remembered part of life which you carry around inside you is inside you, and, as part of life, once was not.

Not to acknowledge this is not to admit that life. Would that be not to live?

7 Jun '12 05:55:01 AM

What kind of a savage writes in a book in pen??

30 May '12 07:14:42 AM

'a human solo, a being cold, and lone'

26 May '12 06:24:33 AM

'Each one in turn paying his debt to nature due and leaving the excess to the next link in the name's chain. They began as fur traders, cordwainers, salters and smokers of bacon, went on into glassmaking, became selectmen, builders of tanneries, quarriers of marble. Country for miles around gone to necropolis, gray with marble dust, dust that was the breaths, the ghosts, of all those fake-Athenian monuments going up elsewhere across the Republic. Always elsewhere. The money seeping its way out through stock portfolios more intricate than any genealogy: what stayed at home in Berkshire went into timberland whose diminishing green reaches were converted acres at a clip into paper—toilet paper, banknote stock, newsprint—a medium or ground for shit, money, and the Word. They were not aristocrats, no Slothrop ever made it into the Social Register or the Somerset Club—they carried on their enterprise in silence, assimilated in life to the dynamic that surrounded them thoroughly as in death they would be to churchyard earth. Shit, money, and the Word, the three American truths, powering the American mobility, claimed the Slothrops, clasped them for good to the country's fate.

But they did not prosper . . . about all they did was persist…'

18 May '12 03:35:46 AM

How strange, after everything that's happened, dogs still bite people.

20 Apr '12 03:52:50 PM

'I was talking to a friend the other day and telling her how difficult is was sometimes to get down to work. She was so surprised. She thought it was easy and assumed that as all artists love their work all they had to do was just to do it. I explained to her that it wasn't like that at all. It takes so much effort sometimes just to begin and although going on is mostly a pleasure it is also a great effort. And no one cares whether or not you do it. No one asks you to do it and mostly no one wants it when you have done it and although as a creative artist you accept that it mostly has to be like that, nevertheless it is hard. She was surprised.'