ate at michelle's. she prepared goat as it's meant to be. beto said extended grace, yelled on speakerphone and tell that man don't touch my food
visited high museum, il baciccio (giovanni battista gaulli)'s abraham's sacrifice of isaac, ca. 1700 perhaps my favorite abraham's sacrifice of isaac. giovanni battista tiepolo's roman matrons making offerings to juno, ca. 1745-1750 of course my favorite roman matrons making offerings to juno
copied cézanne with the distortion of a kindergarden game of telephone. not attempted: elephant as motorcycle: the hells angels crossing the alps
crossed watershed for afghani dumplings and traffic disputes with the hugheses, michelle up in arms to miss anne schuchat at the apha megachurch
read collected fictions by jorge luis borges, translated by andrew hurley. a metaphysician, a creator of universes, fluent at clarifying reality, "why yes, i follow your
tale, and yes indeed, the gods structured metaphysics [this way] for
[these reasons]." santiago is saint james, espinosa ("thorny")
the man who made it was a pitiable sort of creature, but he found amusement in writing it; it is to be hoped that some echo of that pleasure may reach its readers
now he could research the gentle ghost of roger charles
street brawls when a man would be as lost as if he'd drowned
the buffalo's huge babylonian face
he moved to kiôto, a city unparalleled throughout the empire for the color of its autumns..he consorted with prostitutes and poets, and with persons even worse
paradise was less concrete: it is always night, and there are fountains of stone, and the happiness of that paradise is the special happiness of farewells, of renunciation, and of those who know that they are sleeping
he is now a servant to demons
instruments of war and music and surgery
mirrors and copulation are abominable, for they multiply the number of mankind
the impersonal verbs, modified by monosyllabic suffixes (or prefixes) functioning as adverbs. for example, there is no noun that corresponds to our word "moon," but there is a verb which in english would be "to moonate" or "to enmoon." "the moon rose above the river" is..upward, behind the onstreaming it mooned
a "lean and evil mob of moon-coloured hounds" emerges
a novus ordo seclorum, a necessary stage of history
i belong not to art but to the history of art
"great literature" is the commonest thing in the world
the universe (which others call the library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. in the center of each gallery is a ventilation shaft, bounded by a low railing. from any hexagon one can see the floors above and below - one after another, endlessly. the arrangement of the galleries is always the same: twenty bookshelves, five to each side, line four of the hexagon's six sides
i see that the compassionate hsi p'eng has undertaken to remedy my solitude. you will no doubt wish to see the garden?
[the title is "funes el memorioso"..the beauty of the spanish is that the entire long phrase is compressed into a single word, a single adjective, used in the original title as an epithet: funes the elephant-memoried. (the reader can see that that translation won't do.) the word "memorist" is perhaps the closest thing that common english yields up with out inventing a new word such as "memorious," which strikes the current translator as vaguely lewis carroll-esque, yet "memorist" has something vaguely show business about it, as though funes worked vaudeville or the carnival sideshows. the french title of this story is the lovely eighteenth-century-sounding "funes ou la mémoire"; with a nod to jlb's great admirer john barth, i have chosen "funes, his memory"]
cyrus, the king of persia, who could call all the soldiers in his armies by name; mithridates eupator, who meted out justice in the twenty-two languages of the kingdom over which he ruled
he completed his play; only a single epithet was left to be decided upon now. he found it; the drop of water rolled down his cheek he began a maddened cry, he shook his head, and the fourfold volley felled him
the crucifixion of god has not ended, because that which happened once in time is repeated endlessly in eternity. judas, now, continues to hold out his hand for the silver, continues to kiss jesus' cheek, continues to scatter the pieces of silver in the temple, continues to knot the noose on the field of blood
man lives in time, in successiveness, while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant
on both sides of the train, the city unraveled into suburbs; that sight, and later the sight of lawns and large country homes, led dahlmann to put aside his reading. the truth is, dahlmann read very little; the lodestone mountain and the genie sworn to kill the man who released him from the bottle were, as anyone will admit, wondrous things, but not much more wondrous than this morning and the fact of being. happiness distracted him from scheherazade and her superfluous miracles; dahlmann closed the book and allowed himself simply to live
monkeys deliberately do not speak, so that they will not be forced to work
the last night of 1894. that night, the men of el suspiro eat fresh-butchered lamb and drink bellicose liquor. somebody is infinitely strumming at a milonga that he has some difficulty playing..when the twelve strokes of the clock chime at last, he stands up like a man remembering an engagement..the woman tries to resist, but two men have taken her by her arms, and they throw her on top of otálora. in tears, she kisses his face and his chest. ulpiano suárez has pulled his gun
her eyes were that half-hearted blue that the english call gray
the most solemn of events are outside time
emma zunz's tone of voice was real, her shame was real, her hatred was real. the outrage that had been done to her was real, as well; all that was false were the circumstances, the time, and one or two proper names
forty days must a kafila [caravan] travel before catching sight of its towers, and another forty, men say, before the kafila stands before them
these ships carried contraband, and if they were carrying outlawed ivories or liquors, why not the ghosts of dead men?
he gestured at them to wait, and he turned over and faced the wall, as though going back to sleep. did he do that to awaken the pity of them men that killed him, or because it's easier to endure a terrifying event than to imagine it, wait for it endlessly - or (and this is perhaps the most likely possibility) so that his murderers would become a dream, as they had already been so many times, in that same place, at the same hour?
india is larger than the world
it was only out of concern that he might create an army of implacable and powerful enemies, he told me, that he did not fearlessly publish the poem
yawns a bored skeleton
then he was off on another tack, inveighing against the obsession for forewords, what he called "prologomania," an attitude that "had already been spoofed in the elegant preface to the quixote by the prince of wits himself"
an aleph is one of the points in space that contain all points.."it's mine, it's mine; i discovered it in my childhood, before i ever attended school"
"beatriz, beatriz elena, beatriz elena viterbo," i said. "belovèd beatriz, beatriz lost forever - it's me, it's me, borges"
endless eyes, all very close, studying themselves in me as through a mirror
[argentines are "cadaver cultists" who honor their most revered national figures not on the date of their birth but of their death]
i set it in india so that its improbability might be bearable
as i sleep i am drawn into some dream or other, and suddenly i realize that it's a dream. at those moments, i often think: this is a dream, a pure diversion of my will, and since i have unlimited power, i am going to bring forth a tiger
in a hallway i saw a sign with an arrow pointing the way, and i was struck by the thought that that inoffensive symbol had once been a thing of iron, an inexorable, mortal projectile that had penetrated the flesh of men and lions and clouded the sun of thermopylæ and bequeathed to harald sigurdson, for all time, six feet of english earth
police officers love to show off their lunfardo, like fourth graders
he's like greased lightning
it was the weapons, not the men, that fought. they had lain sleeping, side by side, in a cabinet, until hands awoke them. perhaps they stirred when they awoke; perhaps that was why uriarte's hand shook, and duncan's as well. the two knew how to fight - the knives, i mean, not the men, who were merely their instruments - and they fought well that night. they had sought each other for a long time, down the long roads of the province, and at last they had found each other; by that time their gauchos were dust
when you're approaching a house there's no reason to gallop
they fish with their hands. they hide themselves when they eat, or they close their eyes; all else, they do in plain sight of all, like the cynic school of philosophers. they devour the raw flesh of their witch doctors and kings in order to assimilate their virtue to themselves. i upbraided them for that custom; they touched their bellies and their mouths, perhaps to indicate that dead men are food as well, or perhaps - but this is no doubt too subtle - to try to make me see that everything we eat becomes, in time, human flesh
they count on their fingers thus: one, two, three, four, many; infinity begins at the thumb
yes. when you reach my age, you'll have almost totally lost your eyesight. you'll be able to see the color yellow, and light and shadow. but don't worry. gradual blindness is not tragic. it's like the slowly growing darkness of a summer evening
curiosity got the better of fear, and i did not close my eyes
in time, one inevitably comes to resemble one's enemies
idiarte borda took a few steps, fell forward to the ground, and said very clearly, "i've been killed"
i considered fire, but i feared that the burning of an infinite book might be similarly infinite, and suffocate the planet in smoke
"it is, i am sure, my last dream," he gestured toward the empty bottle on the marble nightstand. "you, however, shall have much to dream, before you come to this night. what date is it for you?"
a man's fist can counterfeit a tiger's prints
english has (to its credit) two registers - the germanic and the latinate
the wish of all things, spinoza says, is to continue to be what they are