Thursday, April 17, 2014

Theme: Love

  • Today because I am sufficiently connected here in my book-glutted home in Boston I have decided to make my little room an everywhere. As it so happens, I am hovering now above an area of greater London known as Mitcham that four-hundred years ago was an outlying village backwater away from the teeming intrigue and bustle of King James’ city and his court. Read more
  • Through love’s great power to be made whole In mind and body, heart and soul— Through freedom to find joy, or be By dint of joy itself set free In love and in companionhood:Read more
  • The first game was on his boat, or not so much a boat as a rusty, cozy dinghy harbored on the Sausalito Bay. This was the Fourth of July. I had met G-- a week before, at a dive piano bar called the Alley where I sang open mic badly but (I hoped) charmingly, three or four nights a week. G-- had come into the Alley with his Croatian friend, two lanky handymen, paint-splattered, all limbs and untamed hair — the Croatian’s ashy locks hung tattered, while G--’s blonde curls flared like a boy’s. Read more
  • It was an early Christmas morn. It might have been the rain, but — it was all quite forlorn. Perhaps, I just wanted to mourn This early Christmas mornRead more
  • I love your lips when they’re wet with wine And red with a wild desire; I love your eyes when the lovelight lies Lit with a passionate fire.Read more
  • A French boy named G. that I’ve been spending time with here calls me Helen of Troy. Then, the strongest woman he’s ever met. Then, a knight (not a damsel) in distress. He says I am waiting to stake my sword into a rock. Read more
  • I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb”—widely regarded as one of Larkin’s finest poems—and contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”Read more
  • Do we see (have) these kinds of moments of seeing in real life or do they happen only in camera space? In the fiction of movies. Is the face of the lover loving and seeing the lover restricted to mise-en-scène? Is the lover's face just another visual trope? Two visual tropes = Love. Seeing the seeing. It’s true, love is also a reaction shot. But who is witness to the reaction shot off-screen? And what is our reaction to love off-screen? In real life there is maybe only the diegetic. Read more
  • Near the end of Susanna Clarke’s magical history, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, comes a peculiarly chilling scene. A magician named Childermass, riding through a wood festooned with corpses, arrives at the Castle of the Plucked Eye and Heart. Before the castle stands a champion who defends its lady by killing all who would insult her and hanging their bodies on the thorn-trees. Childermass has the wisdom to flee, but a more reckless colleague, Lascelles, scorns his cowardice and returns to challenge the knight. Read more
  • What happens when one names another, when one draws them into language— is that the moment in which they disappear?; when they begin slipping away, into nothingness.Read more
  • Almost without fail, on the fourteenth day of February, one is bound to hear numerous complaints from just about everyone (besides florists, perhaps even them) about how Valentine’s Day is mere commercialism. The nay-sayers among us who maintain a soft spot for Karl Marx would proceed to call it the commodification of relationships; those who prefer the gods would claim that the sanctity of relationships has been profaned; the gender theorists would note how the fact that males — or those playing, performing, male roles — buy the gifts only serves to highlight the unequal power-relations between the genders.Read more
  • Mr. Hindley came home to the funeral; and—a thing that amazed us, and set the neighbours gossiping right and left—he brought a wife with him. What she was, and where she was born, he never informed us: probably, she had neither money nor name to recommend her, or he would scarcely have kept the union from his father.Read more
  • When I was younger, in college and grad school, I'd read that someone my current age had won the lottery, and it just seemed so pointless. What would they do with twenty years of money coming in that could possibly make their, or anyone's, life better? There they would be, beaming out of the front pages of the New York Post, their slovenly decrepitude accentuated by the big checks and grins so appropriately transfigured into the harsh half-tone dots of the giant photo.Read more
  • Despite their disembodied engagement, dating simulations nevertheless underscore an affective interaction with the artificial intelligence (AI) of the game engine. As Dominic Pettman contends in his paper, Love in The Time of Tamatgotchi, these are moments whereupon the most “‘human’ of experiences — intimacy or love — is increasingly being mediated by the technologies which link one agent to another’.Read more
  • I remember when I was a pre-teen and they moved into a loft across the street from me in Tribeca, where I lived. And an older neighbor friend told me they were living in her building, on the top floor. I saw him at my corner deli, and on the street smoking, but never her. At night, I sometimes looked up at their windows and saw their lights on. He was not very impressive in person. Cute, but no big deal. Read more
  • Until recently it has been said that the Chinese do not have a word for loneliness. China remains the promised land of the group. Family, classmates or colleagues, the village, and other more or less involuntary groups are the decision makers for who one is and how one should behave.Read more
  • I came to this city in love and with everything I owned stuffed into three bags — it was San Francisco, so six people in a three-bedroom apartment seemed like something that could work. But when a week turned into a month she said maybe I should try Craigslist; then she told me sure, no problem, McCoppin Street wasn’t that bad, see, your room even has a window.Read more
  • Ye jovial boys, who love the joys, The blissful joys of lovers, And dare avow wi' dauntless brow, Whate'er the lass discovers;Read more
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