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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kafka and Rilke

Kafka remarking (in a letter) on Rilke's words re Kafka's work:

Incidentally, back in Prague I remembered Rilke's words. After some extremely kind remarks about "The Stoker," he went on to say that neither Metamorphosis nor "In the Penal Colony" had achieved the same effect. This observation may not be easy to understand, but it is discerning.

The footnote on this passage reads (in part):

Rilke and Kafka probably never met personally. Kafka may have heard of Rilke's opinion about his works through Eugen Mondt. Since "In the Penal Colony" was not printed at the time, Rilke, who then lived in Munich, must have seen the manuscript which had arrived in Munich on September 30 and discussed it with Eugen Mondt....  
Rilke followed Kafka's work with great interest; in a letter to Kurt Wolff of February 17, 1922, he says, "Please put me down especially for anything that appears by Franz Kafka. I am, I might assure you, not his worst reader" (Wolff, Briefwechsel, p. 152). 

Kafka on Strindberg

We are his contemporaries and his successors. One has only to close one's eyes and one's own blood delivers lectures on Strindberg.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It Kept Me Company

It kept me company in the john for a few months. Two flushes: the silent one drowned out the louder one. Made me feel I was communing with Nature. Helped keep me sane.



Augenrund VII


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Theodor Herzl (1860 - 1904)

Theodor Herzl (Hebrew: תִאוַדָר הֶרְצֵל, Ti'vadar Hertzel; Hungarian: Herzl Tivadar; May 2, 1860 – July 3, 1904), born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב הֶרְצֵל, also known in Hebrew as חוֹזֵה הַמְדִינָה, Khozeh HaMedinah, lit. "Visionary of the State") was a Jewish journalist and writer from Austria-Hungary. He is considered to have been the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the founder of the State of Israel. Herzl formed the World Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish migration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state.

Death and Burial

Herzl did not live to see the rejection of the Uganda plan. At 5 p.m. July 3, 1904 in Edlach, a village inside Reichenau an der Rax, Lower Austria, Theodor Herzl, having been diagnosed with a heart issue earlier in the year, died of cardiac sclerosis. A day before his death, he told the Reverend William H. Hechler: "Greet Palestine for me. I gave my heart's blood for my people."[27]

His will stipulated that he should have the poorest-class funeral without speeches or flowers and he added, "I wish to be buried in the vault beside my father, and to lie there till the Jewish people shall take my remains to Palestine".[28] Nevertheless, some six thousand followed Herzl's hearse, and the funeral was long and chaotic. Despite Herzl's request that no speeches be made, a brief eulogy was delivered by David Wolffsohn. Hans Herzl, then thirteen, read the kaddish.[29]

In 1949 his remains were moved from Vienna to be reburied on the top of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem that carried his name.

[From Wikipedia:]


Zionism (Hebrew: ציונות‎, Tsiyonut; Arabic: صهيونية‎, Ṣahyūniyya) is the national movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the Land of Israel.[1] A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority in their own nation, and to be liberated from antisemitic discrimination, exclusion, and persecution that had historically occurred in the diaspora.[1] Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in central and eastern Europe as a national revival movement, and soon after this most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.[2][3][4] Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state and address threats to its continued existence and security. In a less common usage, the term may also refer to non-political, cultural Zionism, founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha'am; and political support for the State of Israel by non-Jews, as in Christian Zionism.

Defenders of Zionism say it is a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a dispersed socio-religious group to what they see as an abandoned homeland millennia before.[5][6][7] Critics of Zionism see it as a colonialist[8] or racist[9] ideology that led to the denial of rights, dispossession and expulsion of the "indigenous population of Palestine".[10][11][12][13]

[From Wikipedia:]

Kafka and Zionism

How you come to terms with Zionism is your affair; any coming to terms with it (indifference is out of the question) will give me pleasure. It is too soon to discuss it now, but should you one day feel yourself to be a Zionist (you flirted with it once, but these were mere flirtations, not a coming to terms), and subsequently realize that I am not a Zionist -- which would probably emerge from an examination -- it wouldn't worry me, nor need it worry you; Zionism is not something that separates well-meaning people.



Bell-Making III

Yaroslavl-Feb-2010-226 [Bell-Making II]

Yaroslavl-Feb-2010-226 by Mark Grigorian
Yaroslavl-Feb-2010-226, a photo by Mark Grigorian on Flickr.
More bell-making: Tutaev.

Bell-Making I

To Go to Lvov by Adam Zagajewski : The Poetry Foundation

To Go to Lvov by Adam Zagajewski : The Poetry Foundation

Follow the link to read the whole poem. It begins:

To go to Lvov. Which station
for Lvov, if not in a dream, at dawn, when dew
gleams on a suitcase,... 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Back to Kafka and Felice

Soaked up quite a bit of Strindberg, now I'm returning to Franz's letters to Felice Bauer.

This postcard, dated August 13, 1916, is worth inserting whole:

Dearest, reading incontestable matters such as these, one becomes more and more confused: In 1876 Fontane accepted a civil service appointment as Secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts, and resigned from it at the end of 3 1/2 months amid appalling quarrels with his wife. To a woman friend he writes: "The whole world condemns me, thinks me childish, high-handed. I am forced to put up with it. I have ceased to discuss it, etc." Later: "I have held this appointment for 3 1/2 months. During the entire time I have derived not a single moment of enjoyment, experienced not a single pleasant sensation. The job is as distasteful to me from the personal as from the practical point of view. Everything galls me; everything stultifies me; everything laureates me. I have the distinct feeling that I shall always be unhappy, could become emotionally disturbed and melancholy." "I have been through dreadful times. And what had to happen, had to happen quickly. I may still possess sufficient strength and elasticity to get things back to where they we're the day this disastrous appointment was offered to me. Other people's wisdom helps me not at all. Anything they can tell me I've told myself in 100 sleepless hours. One day I shall have to atone for it and the leisurely days (leisurely despite their horror content) will have to be exchanged for those devoted to work." "One cannot strive against one's innermost nature, and in the heart of every man lies a Something that, once it feels adherence, will not be pacified or overcome. I had to decide whether to lead a dull life, devoid of light and joy, for the sake of material security, or etc." So today it was Fontane who wrote to you instead of me.
                                                         Kindest regards, Franz

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins by mrglennmoore
Wilkie Collins, a photo by mrglennmoore on Flickr.
Had a cameo in The Invisible Woman. Somewhat a playmate of Dickens. Spotlighted him "playing house" with his "intimate" (i.e. Caroline Graves).

Tolstoy in the Park

Not really. For two days in a row I saw a homeless person impersonating Tolstoy. Once he was sitting and having his breakfast. Another time he was just walking through the park. I imagined Tolstoy in the park.





From Strindberg's "The Growth of a Soul"

     John had discovered that men in general were automata. All thought the same; all judged in the same fashion; and the more learned they were, the less independence of mind they displayed. This made him doubt the whole value of book education. The graduates who came from Upsala had, one and all, the same opinions on Rafael and Schiller, though the differences in their characters would have led one to expect a corresponding difference in their judgments. Therefore these men did not think, although they called themselves freethinkers, but merely talked and were merely parrots.

Snake Handlers Church Meeting (version)

Snake Handlers Church Meeting (version) by satonya
Snake Handlers Church Meeting (version), a photo by satonya on Flickr.

Mark 16: 15 - 18:

And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tomas Transtromer's "From the Thaw of 1966"

Dry out here in CA. Thumbed through Transtromer and found this: might help with the big freeze back east. Can't last forever -- or can it?


From the Thaw of 1966

Headlong headlong waters; roaring; old hypnosis.
The river swamps the car cemetery, glitters
behind the masks.
I hold tight to the bridge railing.
The bridge: a big iron bird sailing past death.

Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones by Pilkipics
Felicity Jones, a photo by Pilkipics on Flickr.
Saw her last night for the first time -- with Ralph Fiennes in The Invisible Woman. She plays Ellen (Nelly).

Catherine Dickens (1815 - 1879)

Catherine Thomson "Kate" Dickens (née Hogarth; 19 May 1815 – 22 November 1879) was the wife of English novelist Charles Dickens, and the mother of his ten acknowledged children.


The separation is sparsely alluded to in the film The Invisible Woman. Dickens publishes an article explaining his POV and all or most of it is quoted in the film:

Some domestic trouble of mine, of long-standing, on which I will make no further remark than that it claims to be respected, as being of a sacredly private nature, has lately been brought to an arrangement, which involves no anger or ill-will of any kind, and the whole origin, progress, and surrounding circumstances of which have been, throughout, within the knowledge of my children. It is amicably composed, and its details have now to be forgotten by those concerned in it... By some means, arising out of wickedness, or out of folly, or out of inconceivable wild chance, or out of all three, this trouble has been the occasion of misrepresentations, mostly grossly false, most monstrous, and most cruel – involving, not only me, but innocent persons dear to my heart... I most solemnly declare, then – and this I do both in my own name and in my wife's name – that all the lately whispered rumours touching the trouble, at which I have glanced, are abominably false. And whosoever repeats one of them after this denial, will lie as wilfully and as foully as it is possible for any false witness to lie, before heaven and earth.


Catherine in 1852 (from Wikimedia Commons):


Ellen Lawless Ternan (Nelly)

Ellen Lawless Ternan (3 March 1839 – 25 April 1914), also known as Nelly Ternan or Nelly Robinson, was an English actress who is mainly known as the mistress of Charles Dickens.


Ellen Lawless Ternan was born in Rochester, Kent. She was the third of four children, including a brother who died in infancy and a sister named Frances (later the second wife of Thomas Adolphus Trollope, the brother of Anthony Trollope). Her parents, Thomas Lawless Ternan and Frances Eleanor Ternan (née Jarman), were both actors of some distinction. Ternan made her stage debut in Sheffield at the age of three, and she and her two sisters were presented as "infant phenomena". Ternan was considered the least theatrically gifted of the three sisters, but she worked extensively in the provinces, particularly after her father died in 1846. In 1857, she was spotted by Dickens performing at London's Haymarket Theatre. He cast her, along with her mother and one of her sisters, in a performance of The Frozen Deep in Manchester.

Dickens was forty-five when he met Ellen Ternan and she was eighteen, slightly older than his daughter Katey. Dickens began an affair with Ternan, but the relationship was kept secret from the general public. Dickens had become disillusioned with his wife, who lacked his energy and intellect. Ternan, in contrast, was clever and charming, forceful of character, undomesticated, and interested in literature, the theatre, and politics. Dickens referred to Ternan as his "magic circle of one". Matters came to a head in 1858 when Catherine Dickens opened a packet delivered by a London jeweller which contained a gold bracelet meant for Ternan with a note written by her husband. The Dickenses separated that May, after 22 years of marriage.

Ternan left the stage in 1860, and was supported by Dickens from then on. She sometimes travelled with him, and Dickens was travelling with Ternan and her mother back from a visit to France when they were both involved in the Staplehurst rail crash on 9 June 1865. He abandoned a plan to take her on his visit to America in 1867 for fear that their relationship would be publicised by the American press. She lived in houses he took under false names at Slough and later at Nunhead, and may have had a son by Dickens who died in infancy (neither Dickens, Ternan, nor Ternan's sisters left any account of the relationship, and most correspondence relevant to the relationship was destroyed). Dickens is thought by many scholars and commentators to have based several of his female characters on Ternan, including Estella in Great Expectations, Bella Wilfer in Our Mutual Friend and Helena Landless in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and others may have been inspired by her, particularly Lucie Manette in A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens left a legacy of £1,000 to Ternan in his will on his death in 1870, and sufficient income from a trust fund to ensure that she would never have to work again.

In 1876, six years after Dickens' death, Ternan married George Wharton Robinson, an Oxford graduate, who was twelve years her junior. She presented herself as 14 years younger (23 years old rather than 37). The couple had a son, Geoffrey, and a daughter, Gladys, and ran a boys' school in Margate. Ternan's husband died in 1910, and she spent her last years in Southsea with her sister Frances. She died of cancer in Fulham, London.

The Dickens Fellowship and the surviving close family members of Charles Dickens maintained a facade of silence and denial about the affair from the time of Charles Dickens' death in 1870 until the death in December 1933 of his last surviving child, Sir Henry Fielding Dickens. Several Dickens researchers wrote about various aspects of the relationship between Ellen Ternan and Charles Dickens in the ensuing years, including Gladys Story in 1939, Ada Nisbet in 1952, Sir Felix Aylmer in 1959 and Katherine M Longley in 1985. Ellen Ternan was the subject of a best selling biography by Claire Tomalin in 1990, which brought the relationship to a broader general audience. A summary of the story of the discovery of the relationship was published in 2012 by Professor Michael Slater.
Some records relating to Ellen Ternan and her family are held by Senate House Library, University of London.

[From Wikipedia:]

Morning Walk (2/17/14)




Strindberg Quoting La Bruyere

"Don't be angry because men are stupid and bad, or you will have to be angry because a stone falls; both are subject to the same laws; one must be stupid and the other fall."

Strindberg on Buckle

Buckle's History of Civilization in England was written in 1857, but did not reach Sweden till 1871 - 1872. Even then the soil was not ready for the seed. The learned critics were unfavourable to Buckle, and the seed took root only in some young minds who had no authoritative voice.
     "No literature," says Buckle himself, "can be useful to a people, if they are not prepared to receive it." Thus it was with Buckle and his work, which preceded that of Darwin (1858) and contained all its inferences -- a proof that evolution in the world of thought is  not so strictly conditioned as has been believed. Buckle did not know Mill or Spencer, whose thoughts rule the world, but he said most of what they said subsequently. 

Henry Thomas Buckle (1821 - 1862)

Henry Thomas Buckle (24 November 1821 – 29 May 1862) was an English historian, author of an unfinished History of Civilization and a very strong amateur chess player.

Early Life and Education

Buckle was born the son of Thomas Henry Buckle, a wealthy London merchant and shipowner, he was born at Lee in Kent. His delicate health prevented him obtaining much formal education; he never attended university and was little at school. However, he received a high degree of education privately, and the love of reading he felt as a child was given many outlets. He first gained distinction as a chess player, being known, before he was twenty, as one of the best in the world. In matchplay he defeated Kieseritsky and Loewenthal[1] and was named player of the day on 11 November 2012. After his father's death in January 1840, he inherited an ample fortune and a large library, and travelled with his mother on the continent (1840–1844). He had by then resolved to direct all his reading and to devote all his energies to the preparation of some great historical work. Over the next seventeen years, he is said to have spent ten hours a day on it.

History of Civilization in England

Buckle's fame rests mainly on his History of Civilization in England. It is a gigantic unfinished introduction, of which the plan was, first to state the general principles of the author's method and the general laws that govern the course of human progress—and secondly, to exemplify these principles and laws through the histories of certain nations characterized by prominent and peculiar features—Spain and Scotland, the United States and Germany. The completed work was to have extended to 14 volumes; its chief ideas are:
  1. That, owing partly to the want of ability in historians, and partly to the complexity of social phenomena, extremely little had as yet been done towards discovering the principles that govern the character and destiny of nations, or, in other words, towards establishing a science of history
  2. That, while the theological dogma of predestination is a barren hypothesis beyond the province of knowledge, and the metaphysical dogma of free will rests on an erroneous belief in the infallibility of consciousness, it is proved by science, and especially by statistics, that human actions are governed by laws as fixed and regular as those that rule in the physical world
  3. That climate, soil, food, and the aspects of nature are the primary causes of intellectual progress,--the first three indirectly, through determining the accumulation and distribution of wealth, and the last by directly influencing the accumulation and distribution of thought, the imagination being stimulated and the understanding subdued when the phenomena of the external world are sublime and terrible, the understanding being emboldened and the imagination curbed when they are small and feeble
  4. That the great division between European and non-European civilization turns on the fact that in Europe man is stronger than nature, and that elsewhere nature is stronger than man, the consequence of which is that in Europe alone has man subdued nature to his service
  5. That the advance of European civilization is characterized by a continually diminishing influence of physical laws, and a continually increasing influence of mental laws
  6. That the mental laws that regulate the progress of society cannot be discovered by the metaphysical method, that is, by the introspective study of the individual mind, but only by such a comprehensive survey of facts as enable us to eliminate disturbances, that is, by the method of averages
  7. That human progress has been due, not to moral agencies, which are stationary, and which balance one another in such a manner that their influence is unfelt over any long period, but to intellectual activity, which has been constantly varying and advancing: "The actions of individuals are greatly affected by their moral feelings and passions; but these being antagonistic to the passions and feelings of other individuals, are balanced by them, so that their effect is, in the great average of human affairs, nowhere to be seen, and the total actions of mankind, considered as a whole, are left to be regulated by the total knowledge of which mankind is possessed"
  8. That individual efforts are insignificant in the great mass of human affairs, and that great men, although they exist, and must "at present" be looked upon as disturbing forces, are merely the creatures of the age to which they belong
  9. That religion, literature and government are, at the best, the products and not the causes of civilization
  10. That the progress of civilization varies directly as "scepticism," the disposition to doubt and to investigate, and inversely as "credulity" or "the protective spirit," a disposition to maintain, without examination, established beliefs and practices.
Buckle is remembered for treating history as an exact science, which is why many of his ideas have passed into the common literary stock, and have been more precisely elaborated by later writers on sociology and history because of his careful scientific analyses. Nevertheless, his work is not free from one-sided views and generalisations resting on insufficient data.

[From Wikipedia:]

Saturday, February 15, 2014

For Proust

I only have the Indian variety, but they always remind me of him. They're blooming now.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Sleepwalker by Niels Linneberg
Sleepwalker, a photo by Niels Linneberg on Flickr.
Found this sleepwalker while looking for the first.

#tonymatell #sleepwalker #sculpture #welleselycollege #bigtado #art #zombie

Strindberg's John: Anti-Bellmann

     John had an old grudge against this poet. Once as a child, he had been ill for a whole summer, and had by chance taken Bellmann's Fredman's Epistles out of his father's bookcase. The book seemed to him silly, but he was too young to form a well-grounded opinion on it.


   Bellmann's idylls are careless, extemporized compositions with forced rhymes, and as disconnected as the thoughts in the brain of a drunkard. One does not know whether it is day or night, the thunder rolls in the sunshine, and the waves beat while the boat is floating calmly on the waters. They simply provide a text for music, and for that purpose one might use a book of addresses. The meaning of the words does not matter, as long as they sound well. 

Carl Michael Bellmann (1740 - 1795)

Carl Michael Bellman (About this sound listen ; 4 February 1740 – 11 February 1795) was a Swedish poet, songwriter, composer and performer. Bellman is a central figure in the Swedish song tradition and remains a powerful influence in Swedish music, as well as in Scandinavian literature, to this day.
Bellman is best known for two collections of poems set to music, Fredman's songs (Fredmans sånger) and Fredman's epistles (Fredmans epistlar). Each consists of about 70 songs. The general theme is drinking, but the songs wonderfully combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical.

Bellman's patrons included the King, Gustav III of Sweden, who called him the master improviser. Bellman has been compared to Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, and Hogarth, but his gift, using elegantly baroque classical references in comic contrast to sordid drinking and prostitution, which are at once regretted and celebrated, is unique.

Bellman's songs continue to be performed and recorded by musicians from Scandinavia and in other languages including Italian, French, Russian and English.

[From Wikipedia:]

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rose Valland (Inspiration for Claire Simone)

Rose Antonia Maria Valland (1 November 1898 – 18 September 1980) was a French art historian, a member of the French Resistance, a captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history. She secretly recorded details of the Nazi plundering of National French and private Jewish-owned art from France.[1]

World War II

In 1941, she was put in paid service and became the overseer of the Museum at the time of the German occupation of France during World War II. Through the "Special Staff for Pictorial Art" (Sonderstab Bildende Kunst) of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg für die Besetzen Gebiete (The Reich Leader Rosenberg Institute for the Occupied Territories), or ERR, the Germans began the systematic looting of artworks from museums and private art collections throughout France. They used the Jeu de Paume Museum as to their central storage and sorting depot pending distribution to various persons and places in Germany.[1]

While the Nazi plundering was being carried out, Rose Valland began secretly recording as much as possible of the more than 20,000 pieces of art brought to the Jeu de Paume Museum. Valland kept secret from the Germans the fact that she understood German. In fact, she never formally studied this language, but some trips in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s had helped her to get a good grasp of a then widely used scholarly language. For four years she kept track of where and to whom in Germany the artworks were shipped and risked her life to provide information to the French Resistance[2] and about railroad shipments of art so that they would not mistakenly blow up the trains loaded with France's priceless treasures. The museum was visited by high-ranking Nazi officials and Valland was there when Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring came on 3 May 1941 to personally select some of the stolen paintings for his own private collection.[1]

A few weeks before the Liberation of Paris, on 1 August 1944, Valland learned that the Germans were planning to ship out a last five boxcars full of art, including many of the modern paintings which they had hitherto neglected. She notified her contacts in the Resistance, who prevented the train from leaving Paris. The train was subsequently liberated by the French Army.[1]

(From Wikipedia:

Portrait of a Young Man

Portrait of a Young Man by clarkvr
Portrait of a Young Man, a photo by clarkvr on Flickr.
According to the film, this one (by Raphael) was torched. Apparently we just don't know what happened to it.

For Ariana

Ariana -- the best we could make out.


Michelangelo Madonna and Child

Another personal "graal" I've picked up from The Monuments Men.

Van Eyck, Jan (1390-1441) - 1432 The Ghent Altar with altar wings open

Saw The Monuments Men last night. Very so-so, though I learned a lot. This work was a major recovery.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sochi 2014: Opening Ceremony: Nabokov

Sure there were lots of other "biggies" (and big things), but I guess it was nice to see that Nabokov was a letter in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Would he have been OK with that -- or shouted POSHLOST???? No idea. Maybe if I reread "The Vane Sisters" I'll get a hint.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From Strindberg's "The Growth of a Soul"

On teaching:

The pupil thinks his work hard, but he is only the carriage while the teacher is the horse. Teaching is decidedly harder than standing by a screw or the crane of a machine, and equally monotonous.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

From Strindberg's "The Growth of a Soul"

Another of the "autos." He's gone off to college and is also teaching elementary school.


Re his teaching experience:

What it is that makes the competent teacher is not clear. Some produced an effect by their quiet manner, others by their nervousness; some seemed to magnetise the children, others beat them; some imposed on them by their age or their manly appearance, etc. The women worked as women, i.e. through a half-forgotten tradition of a past matriarchate.
John was not competent. He looked too young and was only just nineteen; he was skeptical about the methods employed and everything else; with all his seriousness he was playful and boyish. The whole matter to him was only an employment by the way, for he was ambitious and wished to advance, but did not know in which direction.

Re writing and talent:

John was seized with a craze for writing verse but could not. The gift must be born with one, he thought, and inspiration descend all of a sudden, as in the case of conversion. He was evidently not one of the elect, and felt himself neglected by nature and maimed.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Jellies are Back






From Strindberg's "The Father"

LAURA. Power, yes! What has this whole life and death struggle been for but power?

CAPTAIN. To me it has meant more. I do not believe in a hereafter; the child was my future life. That was my conception of immortality, and perhaps the only one that has any analogy in reality. If you take that away from me, you cut off my life.

LAURA. Why didn't we separate in time?

CAPTAIN. Because the child bound us together; but the link became a chain. And how did it happen; how? I have never thought about this, but now memories rise up accusingly, condemningly perhaps. We had been married two years, and had no children; you know why. I fell ill and lay at the point of death. During a conscious interval of fever I heard voices out in the drawing-room. It was you and the lawyer talking about the fortune that I still possessed. He explained that you could inherit nothing because we had no children, and he asked you if you were expecting to become a mother. I did not hear your reply. I recovered and we had a child. Who is its father?


The Other Dylan

He's not my favorite, but this is certainly my favorite of his. The only one I can kind of remember. It came to me lying in bed this morning. Slept later than usual; woke when the light came through the slats.


Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.


Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.


Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.