One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Monday, October 5, 2015

R L Swihart @ "A Bad Penny Review"

Two new poems -- "Both/And" and "Help me build this o so exquisite bridge" -- are up at A Bad Penny Review.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bioluminescent Friends 2: Glowworms


Help Anyone to Get Beyond This Point . . .

Arabella will try (I can certainly try!), but I have to stop reading here and save her response for another time (lessons and miles before I sleep).

Coetzee & Kurtz: "The Good Story"

The full title: The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and Psychotherapy. Not really looking for answers -- just interesting discussion (to interact with here or in my head) and perhaps a little good writing.

Nabokov's The Eye (another text I've overlooked all these years) is coming next.


The text of The Good Story is basically a back-and-forth between Coetzee and Kurtz. I just finished King, Queen, Knave (certainly good enough to deserve the label: NABOKOVIAN -- and certainly deserving of a reread some day), and have just started The Good Story (I had the e-version pre-ordered).

First excerpt (from a link in the daisy chain by Kurtz):

     So the truth which psychotherapy is based upon, or at least my version of psychotherapy, is always dynamic, provisional and inter-subjective. It is contained within the terms of a relationship, which aims to reflect upon internal experience to help the patient to live as fully as possible in the world. It is also based, I think, on a belief that we can only know and understand ourselves fully through others -- through the way we experience others and ourselves in relation to others, and the way others experience us.
     This is what I read your book Summertime to be about.

Second excerpt (from the end of JMC's response to the Kurtz link above):

     Where one would go from here I am not sure. On the one hand I am alarmed by the prospect of a world in which people's notion of liberty includes the liberty to reconstruct their personal histories endlessly without fear of sanction (fear of the reality principle). On the other hand, if an individual who is deeply miserable can be cheered up by being encouraged to revise the story of their life, giving it a positive spin, who cold possibly object?
     In the first case the truth seems to me to matter, finally. We can't all simply be who we like to think we are. In the second case the truth seems to me to matter less. What is wrong with a harmless lie if it makes us feel better? (Example of such a lie: After we die we wake up in another, better world.)
     Help me to get beyond this point. 


Walking in the Rain: Bolsa Chica State Beach

The rain changed things a bit. It was raining when I got up (6-ish), so I decided to drive to Sunset Beach's Starbucks and finish King, Queen, Knave. Took my time, finished the book and started on a new one: The Good Story (co-authored by Coetzee and Kurtz). Then, instead of my usual: the bird reserve, I circled behind the Jack in the Box, and found lots of free parking (news to me). From there I walked a few miles along the biking/walking path in front of the fire-pitted strand.






Saturday, October 3, 2015

Nabokov and Net

Nabokov: Literary Hitchcock

Excerpt from King, Queen, Knave:

The other day as they were having ice chocolate there, Martha counted at least three foreigners among the crowd. One, judging by his newspaper, was a Dane. The other two were a less easily determinable pair: the girl was trying in vain to attract the attention of the café cat, a small black animal sitting on a chair and licking one hind paw rigidly raised like a shouldered club. Her companion, a suntanned fellow, smoked and smiled. What language were they speaking? Polish? Esthonian? Leaning near them against the wall was some kind of net: a bag of pale-bluish gauze on a ring fixed to a rod of light metal.
     "Shrimp catchers," said Martha. "I want shrimps for dinner tonight." (She clicked her front teeth."
     "No," said Franz. "That's not a fisherman's net. That's for catching mosquitoes."
     "Butterflies," said Dreyer, lifting an index finger.
     "Who wants to catch butterflies?" remarked Martha.
     "Oh, it must be good sport," said Dreyer. "In fact, I think to have a passion for something is the greatest happiness on earth."