‘A Voice in the Night’ by Steven Millhauser
|January 23, 2013|
From Night Windows, Edward Hopper, 1928
From The New Yorker:
The boy Samuel wakes in the dark. Something’s not right. Most commentators agree that the incident takes place inside the temple, rather than in a tent outside the temple doors, under the stars. Less certain is whether Samuel’s bed is in the sanctuary itself, where the Ark of the Covenant stands before a seven-branched oil lamp that is kept burning through the night, or in an adjoining chamber. Let’s say that he is lying in an inner chamber, close to the sanctuary, perhaps adjacent to it. A curtained doorway leads to the chamber of Eli, the high priest of the temple of Shiloh. We like such details, but they do not matter. What matters is that Samuel wakes suddenly in the night. He is twelve years old, according to Flavius Josephus, or he may be a year or two younger. Something has startled him awake. He hears it again, clearly this time: “Samuel!” Eli is calling his name. What’s wrong? Eli never calls his name in the middle of the night. Did Samuel forget to close the temple doors at sunset, did he allow one of the seven flames of the lamp to go out? But he remembers it well: pushing shut the heavy doors of cedar, visiting the sanctuary and replenishing the seven gold branches with consecrated olive oil so that the flames will burn brightly all night long. “Samuel!” He flings aside his goat’s-hair blanket and hurries, almost runs, through the dark.
Merleau-Ponty’s Child Psychology
As much as death signals the end of the self, birth is just as mysterious. Both extend out to infinity and signal the brevity and contingency of our lives. As mysterious are those first few years of life that one does not have access to as an adult, I know I existed before my earliest memories. I know I interacted with others, I learned to walk and talk. I was willful from my parent’s tales.
William Pope.L: Reader Friendly
William Pope.L is famous for (among other things) carrying a business card that identifies him as “The Friendliest Black Artist in America.” It’s a clever gag because it makes itself true, in a way, every time it draws people closer. The card must be especially useful when Pope.L does business with people who dread Black men or Black artists.
10 Things the NSA Has Seen Me Do
One winter in my early twenties myself and some good friends — a merging of art, music and literary ladies of New York, full-grown girls aspiring to be women — got together, had a lovely dinner, some wine and delightful chat. Then we decided to spend an hour practicing “Teach Me How To Dougie”. NSA — can you teach me how to Dougie? You know why? “Because all my bitches love me.”
You may also like :
Eleven years have passed since the town of Bruneville was founded on the banks of the Rio Bravo, just a few miles up-river from the Gulf. It was named after Ciudad Castaño, the legendary shining city to the northwest, which was razed by the Apaches. In appropriating the name, Stealman aimed to trade on the sterling quality of the original.
When I was a child, I had a family of doll people. They lived in a red shoebox painted to look like a house, with a dark-brown roof and yellow awnings. Inside the house, there was a set of plastic toy furniture, plus some random household items: a matchbox television, a mirror crafted from a piece of foil, and a thick rug secretly cut out of my old sweater. I also had a few plastic farm animals—a cow, a pig, a goat, and a very large (larger than the cow) chicken, which lived outside the shoebox.