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

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Zadig ou la Destinée ("Zadig, or The Book of Fate") (1747) is a famous novel and work of philosophical fiction written by Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. It tells the story of Zadig, a philosopher in ancient Babylonia. The author does not attempt any historical accuracy, and some of the problems Zadig faces are thinly disguised references to social and political problems of Voltaire's own day.

It was originally published as Memnon in Amsterdam (with a false imprint of London given) and first issued under its more familiar title in 1748.

The book makes use of the Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip. It is philosophical in nature, and presents human life as in the hands of a destiny beyond human control. It is a story of religious and metaphysical orthodoxy, both of which Voltaire challenges with his presentation of the moral revolution taking place in Zadig himself. Voltaire's skillful use of the literary devices of contradiction and juxtaposition are shown in beautiful form in this prose. It is one of his most celebrated works after Candide.

[From Wikipedia:]

From Thomas Bernhard's "Concrete": Zadig

Then she displayed the most ravishing bosom the world had ever seen: Zadig. I don't know why this sentence occurred to me just now and made me laugh.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thomas Bernhard's Gratitude to the Swiss Drug Companies

From Concrete:

Now that there's no longer anything in me for the surgeons to cut out I'm entirely reliant on these medicaments. Every day I thank Switzerland and her industries on Lake Geneva for the fact that they exist and that I consequently exist, just as no doubt millions of people daily owe their existence, however wretched, to these people in their glass boxes near Vevey and Montreux, who are more denigrated than anyone else today. Since virtually the whole of humanity today is sick and dependent on medicaments, it's hardly too much to ask that it should reflect that it owes its existence, in the largest possible measure, to these chemicals which it so often curses.

Palms, and the Line of Reflection at the Water's Edge


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween Door


You've got the freighters like mega santa's sleighs (some looking like floating cities in the morning light) lining up to the horizon [not pictured]. You've got the floating trees already on the Launchpad. It starts earlier and earlier.





Jesus Clouds (Oct. 18, 2014)

This photo doesn't reflect the essential cloud-piercing rays of light, but they were there. I'm an amateur at catching Jesus clouds in action. I tried.



the forest, the virgin forest, the life of a woodcutter...

This phrase, originally mouthed by the actor (whom Bernhard's avatar hates), becomes something like a philosophical mantra toward the end of the book, and reminded me very much of Heidegger's Holzweg = woodpath. A quick google didn't connect the two and I don't know if they're using the same German word, but my guess is: Yes.


I've been saying The Woodcutters (a slip on my part because it's right on the electronic cover in bits or bytes) but it's Woodcutters.


Finished with Woodcutters and have started Concrete.

Ending of Woodcutters:

And as I went on running I thought: I'll write something at once, no matter what -- I'll write about this artistic dinner in the Gentzgasse at once, now. Now, I thought -- at once, I told myself over and over again as I ran through the Inner City -- at once, I told myself, now -- at once, at once, before it's too late.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I didn't walk the walk, I hung out, took a few pics. Parked near Cedars-Sinai and walked up San Vicente to the park (start and finish line). Then I walked back to Beverly Center and "escalated" to the top: Bucked and went into UNIQLO (never heard of it before but the big line drew me in). Then I returned to meet "my walkers" (they were wearing Delta red).








Saturday, October 4, 2014

From Bela Tarr's "Damnation"

Have been planning to "give him a look" for some while. First stumbled on his Turin Horse, but after reading a few reviews I decided to start with Damnation and The Werckmeister Harmonies. Harmonies is on its way; have now watched Damnation twice.







Celan's Cameo in "The Woodcutters"

Just as Bruckner is unendurably monumental, so Webern is unendurably meager, yet the meagerness of Anton Webern is as nothing compared with the meagerness of Auersberger, whom I am bound to describe as the almost noteless composer, just as the mindless literary experts have dubbed Paul Celan the almost wordless poet.

13th at the Table

Interrupted The Woodcutters for the oft-alluded-to The Wild Duck by Ibsen (downloaded a very cheap copy of Ibsen's plays from Kindle). Not sure how much it has to do with Woodcutters (though Bernhard keeps alluding to it re the yet-to-arrive actor), but it was bugging me: knew I had read it but I couldn't remember the story.

Anyway, the ending of Wild Duck:

Gregers. If you are right and I am wrong, then life is not worth living.
Relling. Oh, life would be quite tolerable, after all, if only we could be rid of the confounded duns that keep on pestering us, in our poverty, with the claim of the ideal.
Gregers. [looking straight before him.In that case, I am glad that my destiny is what it is.
Relling. May I inquire, -- what is your destiny?
Gregers. [going.]  To be the thirteenth at table.
Relling. The devil it is.