Rapport #5, 072617, 080817, 081917, 082017, 082417, 090317;
“Oysters . . .” I made out on the placard. “Papa, what does 'oysters' mean?” I asked in a husky voice, making an effort to turn my face towards my father. “Papa, what does 'oysters' mean?” I repeated. “Papa, are oysters a Lenten dish?” I asked. “How nasty,” I whispered, "how nasty!” “Oysters! Give me some oysters!” was the cry that broke from me and I stretched out my hand. “Oysters!” I cried, pulling my father by the skirts of his coat. – Chekhov, 1884.
“It is the fact of dying that includes a radical reversal, through which the death that was the extreme form of my power not only becomes what loosens my hold upon myself by casting me out of my power to begin and even to finish, but also becomes that which is without any relation to me, without power over me - that which is stripped of all possibility - the unreality of the indefinite. I cannot represent this reversal to myself, I cannot even conceive of it as definitive. It is not the irreversible step beyond which there would be no return, for it is that which is not accomplished, the interminable and the incessant... It is inevitable but inaccessible death; it is the abyss of the present, time without a present, with which I have no relationships; it is that toward which I cannot go forth, for in it I do not die, I have fallen from the power to die. In it they die; they do not cease, and they do not finish dying ... not the term, but the interminable, not proper but featureless death and not true death but, as Kafka says, "the sneer of its capital error.” – Blanchot, 1955, pp. 160–161.
“A man’s conscious wit and will are aiming at something only dimly and inaccurately imagined. Yet all the while the forces of mere organic ripening within him are going on to their own prefigured result, and his conscious strainings are letting loose subconscious allies behind the scenes which in their way work toward rearrangement, and the rearrangement toward which all these deeper forces tend is pretty surely definite, and definitely different from what he consciously conceives and determines. It may consequently be actually interfered with (jammed as it were) by his voluntary efforts slanting toward the true direction.” – James, 1902, p. 160.
“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled—but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.” – Poe, 1846, p. 270.
“Deleuze was - I lost my best friend last month, because Deleuze was my best friend. I admired him. I loved him. When we were young, we were very separate. Together we invented the term Ôamis de vieillesse's you know the expression 'amis de jeunesse'? We were not amis de jeunesse. We became amis de vieillesse. And why? Because we are a little bit brothers. I think that Deleuze is a geographer, and I am too a geographer. We are not historians. I think for instance that Deleuze's philosophy is full of fluxes. And what fluxes? Prepositions in my case! I have a chapter in my book about prepositions. Prepositions are the algebra of fluxes. I don't think he committed suicide. He had had an operation some time before, removing most of his lungs. It was impossible to breathe Ð he opened the window - and ...' It wasn't in his character to commit suicide? 'Not in his character. Not in his philosophy. It was impossible.” – Serres, Quotes taken from an interview conducted by Hari Kunzru, 1996.
“An action (which may be a thought, feeling, or practice) is active when it takes something as its object; conversely, it becomes reactive when it is made the object of someone or something else. Thus, if we feel sad (or happy) and we do not know why we feel this way, then we are reactive; if, however, we can discover the reason we are feeling this way, we can convert reactive forces into active forces. Reactive is not the same as negative and should not be thought of as intrinsically bad; it is, rather, the usual state of things. It is, however, a limiting state of things, because it separates us from what we can do—if we are sad for no apparent reason, and we do not seek out the cause, then we are prevented from forming an appropriate response to that cause, and our power to act is reduced. We are reacting when we could be acting, and more problematically still we are using our reaction to excuse our lack of action. Nietzsche generally refers to this state as ressentiment. Therefore, the challenge for both philosophy and life, according to Nietzsche, is to overcome the reactive state of things and become active, thereby constantly enhancing our power to act.” – Deleuze, 1983.
“That which merely discourages a child and one who lacks a matured background of relevant experiences is an incitement to intelligence to plan and convert emotion into interest, on the part of those who have previously had experience of situations sufficiently akin to drawn upon. Impulsion from need starts an experience that does not know where it is going; resistance and check bring about the conversion of direct forward action in to re-flection; what is turned back upon is the relation of hindering conditions to what the self possesses as working capital in virtue of prior experiences. As the energies thus involved reenforce the original impulsion, this operates more circumspectly experience that is clothed with meaning.” – Dewey, 1980, p. 60.
Rapport #4, 071617, 080117, 080617, 082417, 090317, 091817;
“I take a few steps and stop. I savour this total oblivion into which I have fallen. I am between two cities, one knows nothing of me, the other knows me no longer. Who remembers me? Perhaps a heavy young woman in London. . . . And is it really of me that she thinks? Besides, there is that man, that Egyptian. Perhaps he has just gone into her room, perhaps he has taken her in his arms. I am not jealous; I know that she is outliving herself. Even if she loved him with all her heart, it would still be the love of a dead woman. I had her last living love. But there is still something he can give her: pleasure. And if she is fainting and sinking into enjoyment, there is nothing more which attaches her to me. She takes her pleasure and I am no more for her than if I had never met her; she has suddenly emptied herself of me, and all other consciousness in the world has also emptied itself of me. It seems funny. Yet I know that I exist, that I am here.” – Sartre, 1999, pp.169–170.
“Ulysses won the contest, making a simple arrow, the relation, irreversible, with no possible return, through the lined-up axes, the iron that separates. End of the Odyssey, amidst the corpses. The parasite doesn't stop. It doesn't stop eating or drinking or yelling or burping or making thousands of noises or filling space with its swarming and din. The parasite is an expansion; it runs and grows. It invades and occupies. It overflows, all of a sudden, from these pages. Inundation, swelling waters. Noises, din, clamor, fury, tumult, and noncomprehension. Asymmetry, violence, murder and carnage, arrow and axe. Misery, hunger: poverty, begging at the doors; those who eat too much, drunk, those who never have anything but wind to chew on. Sickness, epidemics, the plague. Animal metamorphoses: bacteria, insects, rats, wolves, lions, and foxes; animals devoured by politics, flowers of the bouquet of love eaten by a hare, lovers separated by the Devil. Inundation of hell, swelling up of history. Here is the Devil then; no, no, I wasn't expecting him. He's come ; the book is done, as if it were burnt. I didn't know that it was irreparably a book of Evil [Mal]. The Evil of noise, of the song of hell, thundering; of hunger, illness, pain ; dressed as animals and now undressed as a naked man; of Evil, quite simply. Meal, banquet, feast of the Devil. It finally is separate from me. Thus the horrible insect slowly left my room, through the creaking door, one May morning, in Venice. Something had begun. Quiet, serene, no anxiety. The high seas.” – Serres, 1979, pp. 252–253.
“But you are a mirage,” said Kovrin. “Why are you here and sitting still? That does not fit in with the legend.” “That does not matter,” the monk answered in a low voice, not immediately turning his face towards him.” The legend, the mirage, and I are all the products of your excited imagination. I am a phantom.” “Then you don't exist?” said Kovrin. “You can think as you like,” said the monk, with a faint smile. “I exist in your imagination, and your imagination is part of nature, so I exist in nature.” – Chekhov, 1901, pp. 120–121.
“It had to be asked: What was it I was so attached to? Is it just something in the imagination? When you have done time in a mental hospital, that is never a trivial question. If he wasn’t just imaginary, then where did he go? Do real things just disappear like that? If they do, then the conservation laws of physics are in trouble. But if we stay with the laws of physics, then the Chris that disappeared was unreal. Round and round and round. He used to run off like that just to make me mad. Sooner or later he would always appear, but where would he appear now? After all, really, where did he go? The loops eventually stopped at the realization that before it could be asked "Where did he go?" it must be asked "What is the ‘he’ that is gone?" There is an old cultural habit of thinking of people as primarily something material, as flesh and blood. As long as this idea held, there was no solution. The oxides of Chris’s flesh and blood did, of course, go up the stack at the crematorium. But they weren’t Chris. What had to be seen was that the Chris I missed so badly was not an object but a pattern, and that although the pattern included the flesh and blood of Chris, that was not all there was to it. The pattern was larger than Chris and myself, and related us in ways that neither of us understood completely and neither of us was in complete control of.” – Pirsig, 1974, p. 410.
“In art there are two modes by which men aim at distinction. In the one by a careful application to what others have accomplished, the artist imitates their works or selects and combines the various beauties; in the other, he seeks excellence at its primitive source-nature. In the first, he forms a style upon the study of pictures, and produces either imitative or eclectic art; in the second, by a close observation of nature, he discovers qualities existing in her which have never been portrayed before, and thus forms a style which is original. The results of the one mode, as they repeat that with which the eye is already familiar, are soon recognized and estimated, while the advance of the artist in a new path deviates from the usual course, or are qualified to judge original studies.” – Constable, 1845, p. 257.
Rapport #3, 071117, 081617, 081917, 090217, 091817;
The MAN(from The man of the crowd) VS BARTLEBY???
“in this extremity of solitude none could count on any help from his neighbor; each had to bear the load of his troubles alone. If, by some chance, one of us tried to unburden himself or to say something about his feelings, the reply he got, whatever it might be, usually wounded him. And then it dawned on him that he and the man with him weren't talking about the same thing. For while he himself spoke from the depths of long days of brooding upon his personal distress, and the image he had tried to impart had been slowly shaped and proved in the fires of passion and regret, this meant nothing to the man to whom he was speaking, who pictured a conventional emotion, a grief that is traded on the market-place, mass-produced. Whether friendly or hostile, the reply always missed fire, and the attempt to communicate had to be given up. This was true of those at least for whom silence was unbearable, and since the others could not find the truly expressive word, they resigned themselves to using the current coin of language, the commonplaces of plain narrative, of anecdote, and of their daily paper. So in these cases, too, even the sincerest grief had to make do with the set phrases of ordinary conversation. Only on these terms could the prisoners of the plague ensure the sympathy of their concierge and the interest of their hearers.” – Camus, 1948, pp. 36–37.
“Another row, and yet another row, followed – long rows and short rows, with good grass and with poor grass. Levin lost all sense of time, and could not have told whether it was late or early now. A change began to come over his work, which gave him immense satisfaction. In the midst of his toil there were moments during which he forgot what he was doing, and it came all easy to him, and at those same moments his row was almost as smooth and well cut as Tit’s. But so soon as he recollected what he was doing, and began trying to do better, he was at once conscious of all the difficulty of his task, and the row was badly mown.” – Tolstoy, 2005, p. 548.
“Also in Raissa, city of sadness, there runs an invisible thread that binds one living being to another for a moment, then unravels, then is stretched again between moving points as it draws new and rapid patterns so that at every second the unhappy city contains a happy city unaware of its own existence.” – Calvino, 1972, p. 149.
“A feeling, for which I have no name, has taken possession of my soul – a sensation which will admit of no analysis, to which the lessons of bygone times are inadequate, and for which I fear futurity itself will offer me no key. To a mind constituted like my own, the latter consideration is an evil. I shall never - I know that I shall never – be satisfied with regard to the nature of my conceptions. Yet it is not wonderful that these conceptions are indefinite, since they have their origin in sources so utterly novel. A new sense – a new entity is added to my soul.” – Poe, 1833, p. 17.
“A few seconds more and the Negress will sing. It seems inevitable, so strong is the necessity of this music: nothing can interrupt it, nothing which comes from this time in which the world has fallen; it will stop of itself, as if by order. If I love this beautiful voice it is especially because of that: it is neither for its fulness nor its sadness, rather because it is the event for which so many notes have been preparing, from so far away, dying that it might be born. And yet I am troubled; it would take so little to make the record stop: a broken spring, the whim of Cousin Adolphe. How strange it is, how moving, that this hardness should be so fragile. Nothing can interrupt it yet all can break it. The last chord has died away. In the brief silence which follows I feel strongly that there it is, that something has happened. (Silence).” – Sartre, 1999, p. 48.
“Almost any turn of the kaleidoscope of nature may set up in the artist a detached and esthetic vision, and, as he contemplates the particular field of vision, the (esthetically) chaotic and accidental contemplation of forms and colours begins to crystallize into a harmony; and, as this harmony becomes clear to the artist, his actual vision becomes distorted by the emphasis of the rhythm is set up within him. Certain relations of line become for him full of meaning; he apprehends them no longer curiously but passionately, and these lines begin to be so stressed and stand out so clearly from the rest that he sees them more distinctly than he did at first. Similarly, colours which in nature have almost always a certain vagueness and elusiveness, become so definite and clear to him, owing to their now so necessary relation to other colours, that, if he chooses to paint his vision, the objects as such tend to disappear, to lose their separate unities and to take their place as so many bits in the whole mosaic of vision.” – Fry, cited in Dewey, 1980, pp. 86–87.
The spiritual Animal Kingdom, “Spiritual essence is, in its simple being, pure consciousness, and this self-consciousness.”
“The principle of modern states has enormous strength and depth because it allows the principle of subjectivity to attain fulfillment in the self-sufficient extreme of personal particularity, while at the same time bringing it back to substantial unity and so preserving this unity in the principle of subjectivity itself.” – Hegel, 1991, P. 260.
“As to the poetical character itself… it is not itself–it has no self. It is everything and nothing–it enjoys light and shade; it lives in gusto, be it fair or foul, high or low, rich or poor mean or elevated. It ha as much delight in conceiving an Iago as an Imogen. What shocks the virtuous philosopher delights the chameleon poet. It does not harm from its relish for the dark side of things, any more than from its taste for the bight one, because they both end in speculation [Imaginative perception]. A poet is the most unpoetical of anything in existence, because he has no identity–he is continually in an for, and filling some other body… When I am in a room with people, if I am ever free from speculating on creations of my won brain, then, not myself goes home to myself, but the identity of every one in the room begins to press upon me, so that I am in a very little time annihilated–not only among men; it would be the same in a nursery of children.” – From Letters of John Keats to His Family and Friends, by John Keats.
Rapport #2, 070317, 080117, 081717, 091717, 091817;
“Intriguingly, the voice in the body only gets heard after dance actually gets divorced from language. It is heard at the moment when language loses the status of the reigning materiality and the moving body refuses to be speech. Therefore, the voice is not something that calms the body down and leads it towards a harmonic discovery of the insides or the Self (what may still seem to be the case in the utopian and pioneering attempts of early contemporary dance), but as something that mercilessly places the dancing body into the gap between movement itself and what the movement represents (denotes).” – From The Voice of the Dancing Body, by Bojana Kunst.
“I was in the park just now. The roots of the chestnut tree were sunk in the ground just under my bench. I couldn't remember it was a root any more. The words had vanished and with them the significance of things, their methods of use, and the feeble points of reference which men have traced on their surface. I was sitting, stooping forward, head bowed, alone in front of this black, knotty mass, entirely beastly, which frightened me. Then I had this vision. It left me breathless. Never, until these last few days, had I understood the meaning of "existence." I was like the others, like the ones walking along the seashore, all dressed in their spring finery. I said, like them, "The ocean is green; that white speck up there is a seagull," but I didn't feel that it existed or that the seagull was an "existing seagull"; usually existence hides itself. It is there, around us, in us, it is us, you can't say two words without mentioning it, but you can never touch it. When I believed I was thinking about it, I must believe that I was thinking nothing, my head was empty, or there was just one word in my head, the word "to be." Or else I was thinking . . . how can I explain it? I was thinking of belonging, I was telling myself that the sea belonged to the class of green objects, or that the green was a part of the quality of the sea. Even when I looked at things, I was miles from dreaming that they existed: they looked like scenery to me. I picked them up in my hands, they served me as tools, 1 foresaw their resistance. But that all happened on the surface. If anyone had asked me what existence was, I would have answered, in good faith, that it was nothing, simply an empty form which was added to external things without changing anything in their nature. And then all of a sudden, there it was, clear as day: existence had suddenly unveiled itself. It had lost the harmless look of an abstract category: it was the very paste of things, this root was kneaded into existence. Or rather the root, the park gates, the bench, the sparse grass, all that had vanished: the diversity of things, their individuality, were only an appearance, a veneer. This veneer had melted, leaving soft, monstrous masses, all in disorder—naked, in a frightful, obscene nakedness.” – Sartre, 1999, pp.126–127.
Rapport #1, 062017, 071517, 081817, 082017, 082717, 090317, 091817;
“To amaze the crowd and get himself talked about, and artist wrapped bridges, buildings, statues in public squares. I see, I hear, I know the world wrapped with words, sentences, images. We put birds in cages, fish in aquariums, plants in pots, children in schools, adults in factories and offices, women under veils or in houses, God under the low crushing masses of stone in the churches of the countryside and the naves of the cathedrals, our love letters in envelopes, lastly, for settlement in full, all the things of the world in prison under words, locked up behind their bars. This so-called artist gives expression to this general wrapping.” – Serres, 2015, pp. 37–38.
“A network notion implies a deeply different social theory: it has no a priori order relation; it is not tied to the axiological myth of a top and of a bottom of society; it makes absolutely no assumption whether a specific locus is macro- or micro- and does not modify the tools to study the element “a” or the element “b”; thus, it has no difficulty in following the transformation of a poorly connected element into a highly connected one and back. A network notion is ideally suited to follow the change of scales since it does not require the analyst to partition her world with any priori scale. The scale, that is, the type, number and topography of connections is left to the actors themselves. The notion of network allows us to lift the tyranny of social theorists and to regain some margin of manoeuvers between the ingredients of society -its vertical space, its hierarchy, its layering, its macro scale, its wholeness, its overarching character- and how these features are achieved and which stuff they are made of. Instead of having to chose between the local and the global view, the notion of network allows us to think of a global entity -a highly connected one- which remains nevertheless continuously local... Instead of opposing the individual level to the mass, or the agency to the structure, we simply follow how a given element becomes strategic through the number of connections it commands and how does it lose its importance when losing its connections.” – Latour, 2011, p. 4.
“For instance, in Micronesian tongues there exist entirely distinct devices to express the relationship I have to my acts(which can no longer be separated from me), to my nose(which can be cut off), to my relatives (who were inflicted on me), to my canoe (without which I could not be a full man), to a drink (which I serve you), or to the same drink (which I intend to swallow).” – Illich, 2001, pp. 104–105.
Why I Write by Joan Didion
Why I Write by George Orwell
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor
“I write because I love writing. I think I became a writer in order to explore my ideas and responses to the world around me, which I often found it difficult to share with others. Also I liked my autonomy, and a writer can choose his or her own working hours – midnight to dawn or whenever. The difficulty of becoming a writer never bothered me. I knew it was going to work for me sooner or later. And if you’re a writer you don’t have to retire but can keep on doing the thing you love till you drop off the chair.” – Alex Miller
“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” – Sylvia Plath
“Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating – all the various ways we can be wrong-headed.” – Zadie Smith
“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it’s something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.” – Nicole Krauss
“I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.” – Cormac McCarthy
“That’s why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can’t control life, at least you can control your version.” – Chuck Palahniuk
“I started writing novels while an undergraduate student, in an attempt to make sense of the city of Edinburgh, using a detective as my protagonist. Each book hopefully adds another piece to the jigsaw that is modern Scotland, asking questions about the nation’s politics, economy, psyche and history … and perhaps pointing towards its possible future.” – Ian Rankin
“Writing eases my suffering . . . writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.” – Gao Xingjian
“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler
“I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.” – Mark Haddon
“Why am I compelled to write? . . . Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger . . . To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit . . . Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.” – Gloria E. Anzaldúa
“In the big picture I write for an audience of people I’ve never met. By the final draft I’m looking for anything in the prose that’s prospectively boring to strangers.” – Lionel Shriver
“That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.” – Paulo Coelho
“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” – Roald Dahl
“I believe there is hope for us all, even amid the suffering – and maybe even inside the suffering. And that’s why I write fiction, probably. It’s my attempt to keep that fragile strand of radical hope, to build a fire in the darkness.” – John Green
“I write with a sort of grim determination to deal with things that are hidden and difficult, and this means, I think, that pleasure is out of the question. I would associate this with narcissism anyway, and I would disapprove of it.” – Colm Tóibín
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem
“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin
“So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I’ve learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled ‘file and forget,’ and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?” – Ralph Ellison
“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee
“Because I can’t seem to escape it. It’s a way for me to address and counter my questions about what it means to be human, or, in my case a Dominican human who grew up in New Jersey.” – Junot Diaz
Pine Tree Tops;
in the blue night
from haze, the sky glows
with the moon
pine tree tops
bend snow-blue, fade
into sky, frost, starlight.
the creak of boots.
rabbit tracks, deer tracks,
what do we know. – by Gary Snyder, 1974.
Greenfield predicts this technology may lead to people following one of three scenarios: In the Someone scenario people become gain a sense of identity by what they own and what they do. This is the route being followed by most of the Western bourgeoisie. One interesting suggestion by Greenfield was that our individuality arises by how much we submit to the Seven Deadly Sins of pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth. Such people do become individuals but lack fulfillment. In the Anyone scenario people subsume their individuality to a mass collective mindset, typically revolving a David and Goliath story. The Nazis believed there was a Jewish world-wide conspiracy while Al Qaeda thinks the same about the US. Group members generally all behave the same and lack individuality. On the other hand they are generally emotionally fulfilled, content within the group but angry and contemptuous of outsiders. In the third scenario, the Nobody people put the notion of self on hold and are no longer 'self-conscious'. They abandon themselves to raw sensation either drug induced or in front of a screen playing a computer game. The sensory triumphs over the consequences; Nobodies lack the ability to delay self-gratification. These people lack both individuality and fulfillment. – Greenfield, cited in Baggini, 2011.
O--------n, C-----------n, R-----g.
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