Quote, Krasznahorkai

The incidental resemblance to or concurrence with reality of any of the characters, names, and locations in this novel are exclusively due to wretched happenstance, and in no way express the intention of the author.

— Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, Laszlo Krasznahorkai

(I’m reading a lot of Krasznahorkai again, so maybe this should be a blogchain. We’ll see. I spent last night marking up his Paris Review interview.)


It was the sixties, a woman said on the radio, and I decided to drop out, really drop out. I went down to Sears and bought me a sleeping bag, a camp stove, some heavy boots. Gave everything else away to friends. Then I hitched out to the middle of Montana with everything I owned stuffed into a backpack. Found this neat cave. Moved in. Lived there four days in absolute, wonderful solitude; and on the fifth day the bear came back.


Quote 15dec19

The consensus – in what I suppose we could call psychological archaeology – seems to be that Homo neanderthalensis was painfully rational, and Homo sapiens was batshit crazy.

THE HERO, Lee Child

On The Sobering Uses Of Literature

Jean-Paul Sartre was working furiously on his second play, Les Mouches (The Flies), while finishing his major philosophy treatise, L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness). Jean Paulhan had convinced Gallimard to publish the 700-page essay even if the commercial prospects were extremely limited. However, three weeks after it came out in early August, sales took off. Gallimard was intrigued to see so many women buying L’Être et le néant. It turned out that since the book weighed exactly one kilogram, people were simply using it as a weight, as the usual copper weights had disappeared to be sold on the black market or melted down to make ammunition.

From the excellent LEFT BANK by Agnès Poirier (UK) (US)

Quotes: SPOOK STREET, Mick Herron

When the cat was away, Lamb had been known to remark, the mice started farting about with notions of democratic freedom. Then the cat returned in a tank.


‘You want to offer a little context?’ he asked.

‘Well, you and me, we’re issues. You’ve got your gambling addiction—’

‘It’s not an addiction—’

‘And me, apparently I’m “irritable”.’

‘You broke a dude’s nose, Shirl.’

‘He was asking for it.’

‘He was asking for a couple of quid.’

‘Same thing.’

‘For Children in Need.’

‘He was dressed as a fucking rabbit. I assumed he was dangerous.’


Lamb tortured his chair further by leaning back: if a living thing had made the resulting noise, you’d have called a vet. Or the police.

The Stars Put To Flight

Iam rubescebat stellis aurora fugatis

This single line of the Aeneid sounded several times in my mind while I was writing the previous sentences. I believe the English equivalent of the Latin to be: The stars had now been put to flight, and the dawn was reddening.


Temporal Grammar

Marker discusses cinema with technical confidence and a lucid, inclusive conception of its nature and relationship to the other arts. In his review of Henry V, he positions cinema as the inheritor and destiny of both theatre and painting, come to ‘finish their conquests, and fulfil their prophesies’.

…The preamble to his essay on Jiri Trnka’s Prince Bayaya pushes aside the false opposition of painting or cinema with a vision of cinema as the art of time and movement…

Marker locates the nature of cinema in the perpetual conflict or exchange between space and time. These two dimensions are reconciled in his notion of a temporal grammar of film shots, where long shots correspond to the past and close-ups to the present. His analysis of Dreyer’s film, renowned for its use of extreme close-ups of the human face to carry the drama, goes beyond conventional psychological readings to correlate the close-ups (along with the minimal, austere decor and costumes) to a tangible experience of historical events made to seem eternally present…

Chris Marker: Memories of the Future, Catherine Lupton (UK) (US)

Quotes 20jul19

He assumes fantasy to be the logical barometer of the contemporary political climate, since, as his later essay on Jean Cocteau’s Orphée would observe, life does not imitate art, but rather comes to fulfil its prophecies.

Chris Marker: Memories of the Future, Catherine Lupton

D. H. Lawrence, for example, insisted that ‘we have to drop our manner of on-and-on-and-on, from a start to a finish, and allow the mind to move in cycles, or to flit here and there over a cluster of images. Our idea of time as a continuity in an eternal, straight line has crippled our consciousness cruelly’

Modernism (The New Critical Idiom), Peter Childs

art has never been on the side of the purists.

Literature & Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre

The end of history, for Kojève, is to end history. As Kojève hauntingly notes, history is nothing more than the persistence of error, understood by Kojève as the adherence to ways of justifying self-preservation.

The Black Circle: A Life of Alexandre Kojève, Jeff Love

QUOTES: Premourning

On French speculative writing in the 1920s:

In a 2009 book called Future Tense, the Canadian historian Roxanne Panchasi describes a curious feeling pervading writing on the future in France from around this time. She calls it “premourning.”

…there persisted, she claims, “a nostalgic longing for French values and cultural phenomena that had not yet disappeared.”

From The Music of the Future by Robert Barry (UK) (US)

From that same book, more evidence for my thesis that James Bridle is a human superposition:

I had come to see a performance by the Tennessee-born artist Holly Herndon. She was billed as part of a digital arts festival called Némo. I had been intrigued by Herndon ever since her name came up in a Skype conversation I had with the artist and writer James Bridle earlier that same year.