Beneath the domestic surface

Zen garden (21 May 2016)

Zen garden (21 May 2016)

“Mementos that Bird has kept for years hold the past inside them, making it tangible and permanent: clippings of Mickey’s hair, peels of the first orange they shared, a bloody tissue. They stir nostalgia but reopen its wounds, like scabs asking to be tugged back so they can bleed.” (from Sarah Gerard’s NYT review of “Bird” by Noy Holland)

On page 59: a lovely sentence that seems like a found senryū …

A swell of things:
gathered, unsortable,
gone. 

“It is here, in Holland’s subtly radiant ­details … that “Bird” shines brightest, since they so aptly mirror what’s happening beneath the domestic surface.” (another snippet from Sarah Gerard’s review)

This novel sings like
poetry; I’m obliged to 

read between the lines.

(19 May 2016)

“The writing is hallucinatory, musical and intimate.” (Sarah Gerard)


Holland, Noy. 2015. Bird. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press.

A Unique Trust Placed in Chance and Eternity: Philosopher Alain Badiou on How We Fall and Stay in Love | Brain Pickings

Source: A Unique Trust Placed in Chance and Eternity: Philosopher Alain Badiou on How We Fall and Stay in Love | Brain Pickings

Doing as you’ve been done by

golden rule

golden rule

. .

“… ardent feminists … seem so bent on treating men the way they have taken exception to being treated by men.” (klewso, 11 March 2013, commenting on Destroy the Point by Helen Razer)  

Jesus made no copyright claim in respect of the Golden Rule (see Matthew 7:12). In his view, it succinctly sums up the teachings of the Torah and the Prophets. We also have Socrates on the subject: “Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” And his words carry the imprint of the Vedic tradition: “This is the sum of duty. Do not unto others that which would cause you pain if done to you.” And although there are those who – for a range of reasons, semiotic and otherwise – take issue with the Golden Rule, it is nevertheless widely accepted as valuable and worthwhile.

Monsieur Klewso’s comment actually begins: “What I find most intriguing about ardent feminists …” Perhaps ‘intriguing’ is not, in fact, the most accurate description of his response to being bad-mouthed; it certainly doesn’t describe my response.

Razer herself pulls no punches: “Women are not nicer. Women are not a civilising influence. Women are just as capable of avarice and stupidity as anyone. … Women are not gifted, either socially or biologically, of anything special. If we believe that they are, then we must also accept the possibility that the gender could be marked with unpleasant characteristics.” (Destroy the Point)

In a more recent post, Razer asks: “Why should we think masculinity is all bad? It is a simple question but WHY are we still trying to privilege ‘feminine’ qualities over masculine ones when so many feminine qualities are shit?” (Paglia, Pugilism and Pants-less Threat, 08 January 2014)

There seems to be a growing public taste for rudeness, vulgarity, profanity, and other forms of verbal abuse – atheists and ‘fag-hating’ fundamentalists, ardent feminists and so-called ‘everyday people’ alike. And it seems to have arisen from the the same source from which we dug up “zero tolerance”, “war on terror”, “rape culture” …

__________

Helen Razer’s post, Destroy the Point, first appeared on her own blog, Bad Hostess, on 09 March 2013. It was republished two days later by Crikey

The Socratic and Vedic versions of the Golden Rule (together with an interesting and wide-ranging selection from other sources) are to be found on GoodReads

The “golden rule” image appears in an article titled, Hurting Others Causes You Pain: Golden Rule Validated, under the banner, “NLP Discoveries with Mike Budrant”, on Psych Central.  

Happy happy joy joy

Happiness is the light shining on the water. The water is cold and dark and deep … (William Keepers Maxwell, Jr, in Over by the River and Other Stories (1977)).

Joy (cover)

Joy (cover)

If you read my post, “Happiness is …” (07 Nov 2012), you might recall that I’d intended to write about the novel to which Maxwell’s words were a foreword/pre-text – but had been unable to find which book I’d copied it out of.

Back in the Wellington City Library again a day or two ago, my gaze lit on the cover pictured here … and at once I knew that was it.

The truth is, I hadn’t got very far into the book before it was due to be returned … Need I say more?

Reviewing Joy for The Observer (17 June 2012), Alexander Larman suggests that “Jonathan Lee’s highly accomplished second novel might be called Joy, but real happiness is lacking from the lives of its characters.”

Amazon.com describes Joy as “a hugely inventive, ambitious and absorbing novel about pleasure, love, loss, and work by ‘a major new voice in British fiction’ (Guardian).”

There’s already a pile of library books beside the table at home, so I didn’t get Joy out again … but I’m likely to give it another go again soon.

Be natural … be yourself

A great deal of effort seems to go into the quest for the self — or, at least, a great deal of talk centres around the topic.

When you get to thinking about it, though, that’s just us being ourselves!

As John Weeren wrote recently:

no practice is needed
to be yourself
you’re you no matter what

Another thing: life is empty and meaningless …

If you want your life to mean something, it’s entirely up to you.

The only unnatural act is the one that cannot be performed. (William S Burroughs, Alfred Kinsey, et al)

Certainly nothing is unnatural that is not physically impossible. (Richard Brinsley Sheridan) http://www.bartleby.com/100/308.24.html

 

Shadow self

In dark dreams sometimes
a darker, raunchier self
emerges, prowling —
When do I get to spend some
time alone with you? he asks.

Dark power emanates
from him — harsh tang of musk, clang
of polished steel on
steel, magnetic fields clash and
collide, lips and stubble meet.

__________
Revised version, posted 13 August 2011  

What happened?

What happened? Why haven’t I been posting?

The past few days I’ve been held captive (rather than captivated) — living inside a book, and confronted (rather than presented) with a gross and shocking scenario.

The book’s three protagonists take turn about to unfold the grim chronicle of their interactions.

book cover: the lie“Try to remember the moment when all the stupid innocent things you thought about life and love, all the things you thought mattered, all the things you though were true … try to remember when they all turned out to be lies.” —Kyle

“… love is a lie created by women to trick men into believing they have to sacrifice their entire lives to marriage and family…” —Brett

“… I had loved him more than anything in the world, but then it’s like I found out my love was all based on a lie, on his lie, and everything I felt for him just disappeared. … I wanted to tear his [f…ing] head off.” —Heather

I’m still cleaning up the mess these three made inside my head …

For an alternative reading of this novel — one that regards The Lie as “… a quick, entertaining, imaginative read, but not for the easily offended, faint of heart, or people terrified by deviant sex.” — click on the cover image above.