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

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Julian Barnes: A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

Julian Barnes. Again. Don't "love love" him, but on the other hand I keep coming back. A friend says it's about multiple voices. Dunno. Certainly he has a point here: "A" History.


Kind of just about where I am (Kindle says 66%):

     Sunday. That thing about the Indians. To tell you the truth I was a bit miffed when I found out, but now I'm beginning to see it from their point of view. I told you I was learning the language -- she's really very sweet and not a stitch on but as I said no need to worry, angel, riddled with diseases I'm sure, apart from anything else, I mean. It turns out that half the words she's been teaching me are all wrong. I mean, they're real words except they're not the right ones. The first thing I learned more or less was thkarni which means -- well she said it meant -- this white stork we've been seeing a lot of. So when we saw one go flapping by I used to shout thkarni and the Indians would all laugh. Turns out -- and I learned this not through Miguel but our second guide who hasn't said much most of the trip -- that thkarni is the Indians' name -- well, one of their many names, to be precise -- for you-know-what. The thing up which the little fish in the river swims if you aren't careful. Same goes for about half the words I've been learning from that little minx. I've learned about 60 I suppose overall and half of them are duds -- naughty words or words for something completely different. I was majorly unpleased as you can imagine at the time but I think what it does show is that the Indians have got a terrific sense of humour.

Walking [4.24.16]

At the end of my sojourn, I should be able to present the whole. Not. But here's to the gesture.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Walking [4.16.16]

Night Stalker (Colorado Lagoon)

Not a great pic (never are), but it felt like a necessity.


Race Ribbons (Long Beach Grand Prix 2016)

Not a race fan, but the colors caught my eye (en passant). I think it's some sort of an entrance (not sure), and I would assume that it's temporary.




Kafka's "Prometheus"

Kafka never stoops to just retelling a myth. He somehow (a somewhat intangible somehow) makes it his own.



There are four legends concerning Prometheus:

According to the first, he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.

According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.

According to the third, his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, the gods forgotten, the eagles, he himself forgotten.

According to the fourth, every one grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.

There remained the inexplicable mass of rock.--The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.


Sunday, April 10, 2016


Probably just a random hit (or blown off course?), but nice to have you aboard.


Guadeloupe (/ɡwɑːdəˈlp/; French pronunciation: ​[ɡwadəlup]; Antillean Creole: Gwadloup) is an insular region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Administratively, it is an overseas region consisting of a single overseas department. It has a land area of 1,628 square kilometres (629 sq. mi) and a population of 403,750 (as of January 2014).[1][note 1]
Guadeloupe's two main islands are Basse-Terre to the west and Grande-Terre to the east, which are separated by a narrow strait that is crossed with bridges. They are often referred to as a single island. The department also includes the Dependencies of Guadeloupe which include the smaller islands of Marie-Galante and La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes.

Guadeloupe, like the other overseas departments, is an integral part of France. It is thus part of the European Union and the Eurozone; as for many Eurozone countries, its currency is the euro.[3] As an overseas department, Guadeloupe is not part of the Schengen Area. The prefecture (regional capital) of Guadeloupe is the city of Basse-Terre, which lies on the island of the same name. The official language is French, and virtually the entire population except recent arrivals from metropolitan France also speaks Antillean Creole (Créole Guadeloupéen).[

Walking [4.10.16]

I know, I know: stop with the same beach pics. Still, it's the morning light that I can't quite escape. It renders a landscape -- even a landscape touched by manscape -- something "other." Then there's the clouds ...


Saturday, April 9, 2016

From Frisch's "Montauk"

Just a short but potent tidbit (I'm super-busy today):

You need a marriage, a long one, to become a monster.

I'm on Board: Fun, Funner, Funnest


Walking [4.9.16]

Picture I've taken a thousand times (one more can't hurt). A little closer take on the mascot of Station No. 8.


Demolition 2


Monday, April 4, 2016

2nd Street (Long Beach, CA): 4.3.16

We weren't at Brix, we were at Roe -- I had Ahi poke tacos, she had the fish plate with salmon. We were across the street, but still caught the vibes (jazz) and could see the little man above the fire station door.





Sunday, April 3, 2016

Max Frisch's "Montauk"

Rereading some books is like reading them for the first time. Anyway, I've abandoned Bishop's letters and Zbigniew Herbert's poetry (I'll be back) for a quick reread of the master. Montauk is not an easy book to find (I got it once from the library in Long Beach, and I have a good chunk of it in a Frisch reader), but an e-version was released on March 31. A short read. Already at about 40%.


Montauk is a story by Swiss writer Max Frisch. It first appeared in 1975 and takes an exceptional position in Frisch's work. While fictional stories previously served Frisch for exploring the possible behavior of his protagonists, in Montauk, he tells an authentic experience: a weekend which he spent with a young woman at the American East Coast. The short-run love affair is used by Frisch as a retrospective on his own biography. In line with Philip Roth he tells his "life as a man," relates to the women with whom he was associated, and the failure of their relationship. Further reflections apply to the author's age and his near-death and the mutual influence of life and work. Also, the story is about the emergence of Montauk: in contrast to his previous work Frisch describes his decision to document this weekend's direct experience without adding anything. Montauk met with strongly polarized reception. The former partners of Frisch faced by the open descriptions of their past were duped. Some readers were embarrassed by Frisch's self exposure. Other critics hailed the story as his most important work and praised the achievement to make a literary masterpiece of his own life. Marcel Reich-Ranicki adopted Montauk in his Canon of German literature.

Biographical Background

In April 1974 Frisch traveled to the United States, to receive honorary membership of the Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. On this occasion, his American publisher Helen Wolff organized a book-signing tour for Frisch. She put to his side the young Alice Locke-Carey who in Montauk was named Lynn. Except this name changing the facts of Frisch's stay in America do concur.

Shortened only is the name of his friend of youth W., the art collector Werner Coninx, whose collection is now presented in -- Coninx Museum. Although the story largely discloses its autobiographical background claiming authenticity over fiction it stays open whether this story is a roman à clef. Some critics stressed that it would be a misunderstanding to read Montauk a kind of key narrative to understand his live and work. Some see the Max Frisch from Montauk, however, as an "art piece", whose desires finally did not produce sincerity but a beautiful story. From his secrets Frisch has disclosed nothing.

The question of truth and falsehood is made a subject of discussion in Montauk itself, as the story abruptly jumps from the He-I - Form: "He looks, to check whether his tenderness really refers to Lynn ... Or lie I here?" Elsewhere Frisch makes Lynn exclaim: "Max, you are a liar." Unlike in Montauk the real affair between Frisch and Locke-Carey Ahad an aftermath. After Frisch researched in vain at a following U.S. tour for that young woman, she herself called the author after the release of the American translation of "Montauk" in the summer of 1976. After the divorce of Frisch's second marriage in 1979 he met Locke-Carey again in May 1980. From that point on Frisch and Locke-Carey lived together a few years alternately in New York and Berzona.

[From Wikipedia:]