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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23 Aug '12 07:50:52 PM

If you're gonna own a store, you might as well stock ice cream so you can eat it for free, otherwise what's the point of owning a store?

22 Aug '12 09:47:03 PM

Maybe the most surprising thing about Robert Shields' diary (a page of which is here) is that it contains anything like impressions, anecdotes, or opinions at all.

'I don't leave town. I haven't left town since 1985, to visit my brother in Tennessee. I don't like to be away overnight, because it gets me behind. If I travel to Walla Walla to do shopping, it puts me behind in the diary. I have to take notes all the time, and I get back and it takes me a day to catch up with the notes. So I avoid going out. I avoid being away.'

21 Aug '12 06:54:14 PM

'The lyrics are so filthy that I can-not enclose them in this letter.'

(And a concerned mother: 'Is there perhaps a subliminal type of perversion involved?'.)

21 Aug '12 03:10:28 AM

Overstatement is not a way of saying more, but a way of saying too much.

21 Aug '12 02:24:53 AM

More should learn, and practice, understatement.

20 Aug '12 06:51:37 AM

The Goncourts begin their journal on the day their first book is put on sale, also the day of Louis-Napoleon's coup d'état, 2 December 1851. Edmond thought to stop after his brother died in January 1870, but

'then I was seized with the bitter desire to recount to myself the last months and the death of the dear man, and almost immediately afterwards the tragic events of the Siege of Paris and the Commune impelled me to continue this journal, which is still from time to time the confidant of my thoughts'

Edmond's preface from 1872 treats the earlier part of the journal as a 'nightly confession', a 'day-to-day autobiography' with the ambition to 'show changing humanity in its momentary reality'.

20 Aug '12 05:43:53 AM

'They tell me now / They want a poem / With social significance'

20 Aug '12 02:44:10 AM

When Currin says 'distorted bass from a keyboard' he sounds like he's saying 'coffee from a can', but I don't think he means to.

19 Aug '12 10:44:57 PM

One of those days, by the way, the journal served some part of its intended purpose: it captured a bit—whether before or after I don't know—of one of my best days in a classroom, analyzing Roxy Music's 'Mother of Pearl'.