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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14 Sep '12 05:34:36 AM

The Counterforce!

14 Sep '12 05:30:42 AM

There are things more disheartening than thinspo tumblrs, but not lots.

13 Sep '12 07:44:25 AM

How can there be so many Cavellians who never write themselves into their work?

13 Sep '12 02:07:07 AM

Barbara Packer:

'Emerson's rhetoric is nearly always unsettling, but the problem is particularly acute in Nature, where the succession of competing styles—rhapsodic, lapidary, lyrical, detached—is often so rapid as to leave the reader giddy. In part this confusion of tongues is the natural result of Emerson's habits of composition. Every one of his longer works is a kind of anthology of passages taken from the journals. And as anyone who has read the early journals knows, Emerson was a tireless imitator of prose styles he admired. His tastes were catholic; he liked the sonorities of Everett, the pungency of Jonson or Bacon, the lucid impersonality of the natural scientists whose works he encountered in the periodicals of the day, the marmoreal calm of Browne, the elephantine metaphysical humor of Carlyle. In the journals themselves this multiplicity of styles is rarely confusing, since each single paragraph (Emerson's natural unit of composition) is usually consistent in style, however much it may differ from the passages that surround it. We accept the blank space separating one journal passage from another as a kind of signifier in its own right, rather like a glottal stop in phonemics: it stands for a presumed lapse of time in which a change of mood or attitude seems decorous. In the published works this hiatus is eliminated, and what in the journals is merely a change of mood acquires the formal status of a problematic transition.'

12 Sep '12 11:42:44 PM

'Oh, yeah, in folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition. That certainly is true. It's true for everybody, but me. There are different rules for me. And as far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who's been reading him lately? And who's pushed him to the forefront? Who's been making you read him? And ask his descendants what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it's so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It's an old thing – it's part of the tradition. It goes way back. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell.'

11 Sep '12 11:07:00 PM

OK, Thoreau, no, I'm not going to skip lunch.

11 Sep '12 10:40:52 PM

Routines are worn-in ways, roads; rituals are sacred ones.

11 Sep '12 06:04:18 PM

Level of comment-box discourse provoked by the Chicago teacher's union strike:

'Too bad, so sad'

10 Sep '12 02:15:49 PM

'I can help you with that! My view is…'