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

Friday, March 31, 2017

More Clips (+ a possible "to read") from "Jacob's Room"

"Life is wicked—life is detestable," cried Rose Shaw.

     The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it. The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?

*

Possible "to read": Tom Jones. Fielding.

*

It is a strange reflection that by travelling two days and nights you are in the heart of Italy. Accidental villas among olive trees appear; and men-servants watering the cactuses. Black victorias drive in between pompous pillars with plaster shields stuck to them. It is at once momentary and astonishingly intimate—to be displayed before the eyes of a foreigner. And there is a lonely hill-top where no one ever comes, and yet it is seen by me who was lately driving down Piccadilly on an omnibus. And what I should like would be to get out among the fields, sit down and hear the grasshoppers, and take up a handful of earth— Italian earth, as this is Italian dust upon my shoes.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

To Old Standbys: Virginia Woolf

Fishing around for something that'll grab me. Nothing much does lately. Have resorted to an old standby: Virginia Woolf. Though I've not yet swallowed her whole, I've read a lot of her. Started rereading Jacob's Room. Seems like I saw the movie too.

Anyway, the impressionistic, water-colored beginning has pulled me in. Let's see if Virginia can keep my interest up. I've forgotten so much about the story: It'll be like reading her anew.

Excerpt:
     "I saw your brother -- I saw your brother," he said, nodding his head, as Archer lagged past him, trailing his spade, and scowling at the old gentleman in spectacles.
     "Over there -- by the rock," Steele muttered, with his brush between his teeth, squeezing our raw sienna, and keeping his eyes fixed on Betty Flanders's back.
     "Ja -- cob! Ja -- cob!" shouted Archer, lagging on after a second.
     The voice had an extra-ordinary sadness. Pure from all body, pure from all passion, going out into the world, solitary, unanswered, breaking against rocks -- so it sounded.
     Steele frowned; but was pleased by the effect of the black -- it was just THAT note which brought the rest together. "Ah, one may learn to paint at fifty! There's Titian ..." and so, having found the right tint, up he looked and saw to his horror a cloud over the bay. 
   
 
 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Baudelairian "Clips"

From Paris Spleen:

Life is a hospital, in which every patient is possessed by the desire of changing his bed. One would prefer to suffer near the fire, and another is certain that he would get well if he were by the window.

It seems to me that I should always be happy if I were somewhere else, and this question of moving house is one that I am continually talking over with my soul.


*

Two poems (from Knopf's Everyman's -- my breaks):

ARTIST UNKNOWN
Flesh is willing, but the Soul requires
Sisyphean patience for its song.
Time, Hippocrates remarked, is short
and Art is long.
 
No illustrious tombstones ornament
the lonely churchyard where I often go
to hear my heart, a muffled drum,
parade incognito.
 
‘Many a gem,’ the poet mourns, abides
forgotten in the dust,
unnoticed there;
 
‘many a rose’ regretfully confides
the secret of its scent
to empty air.

'I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ...'
I have not forgotten the house we lived in then,  
it was just outside of town, a little white house
in a skimpy grove that hid the naked limbs  
of plaster goddesses – the Venus was chipped!  
Nor those seemingly endless evenings when the sun 
(whose rays ignited every windowpane) seemed,  
like a wide eye in the wondering sky, 
to contemplate our long silent meals,  
kindling more richly than any candlelight 
the cheap curtains and the much-laundered cloth.


 

 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Downtown LA: Pics III



 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 



Downtown LA: Pics II



 
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 



Downtown LA: Pics I


Stayed Saturday night, left this morning. Walked around at night, more in the morning.
 
 
*
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 



Saturday, March 4, 2017