< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 128 OF 128 ·
|Sep-08-18|| ||Richard Taylor: Here's one (It has been left justified which isn't quite as I laid it out): |
The head on the table like
the cylinders of despair
are split with light.
these are distant these
and power crawls: the boxes are ready
they lie impaled in their thousands
in the dawn
the profound books wait with
the white valley of their pages
for the sentences
the stranger walks the empty streets.
the city is troubled
this speech. this eternal –
|Sep-10-18|| ||rogge: <My satire passed over <X's> head>|
Good thing that's cleared up, and I owe you an apology for not getting it myself.
|Sep-14-18|| ||Richard Taylor: <rogge> Thanks. XZ didn't listen to the history of why I made some of the statements I did. I was also trying to understand my own position and so on. |
My mistake re 9/11 at first actually started on a Poetics site (I can probably find the comments to show how I and others reacted that and the following days) when my first reaction to it was a call for the West to exterminate all Moslem nations (or mount a massive military retaliation immediately). Then a member of that site counseled me against this position.
I know it sounds crazy, but I was somewhat so shocked actually by 9/11 which also seemed quite surreal...it was to that effect (re the exterminations etc!)...I hadn't thought about politics at all for years and then this 9/11 came on our TV for hours it was on. It hit me wham! It WAS a great spectacle as well as I knew a lot had been killed. It was great but it was crazy and terrible also. But it was also exciting. Dramatic.
Then I switched to thinking back to my political days and involvement in opposition to the Vietnam war etc and I started believing that it was "an inside job". I could also see a certain "justice" in it (that is if 'two rights make a wrong' kind of thing) and so on.
But all this was exacerbated because in fact my arguments were directed at a friend of mine. We had hours of shouting arguments about it all. This led to me wanting to be right re this. Then I didn't accept the more simplistic views.
I decided in the end that no one could know who or what organisation "did the Towers". It involves a problem of epistemology.
Then another member weighed into me on another topic and there were things said.
But that is all history and I have tried to explicate this. However XZ and his xys on here simply refused to listen to any discussion.
|Sep-14-18|| ||rogge: Yeah, well, everyone should understand your position now. Cheers!|
|Sep-14-18|| ||Everyone: <Everyone> is a genius, at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.|
|Sep-14-18|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
"When a true genius comes into the world, you may know him by this sign- all of the dunces are in confederacy against him."
|Sep-14-18|| ||Richard Taylor: <jessicafischerqueen> very good! my favourite writer almost! There is also 'The Confederacy of Dunces' by that poor fellow...<Everyone> is a genius? Interesting quip. Carlsen said, when being accused of being a genius: "We don't use that term." |
"Squatter was my only friend, in fact. I-I-I don't know what it was about Squatter...I can only define it as an immense capacity for stupidity." (Peter Cook in 'The Ant' skit).
|Sep-15-18|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
<John Kennedy Toole>.
Yes, he committed suicide because he couldn't get his writing published.
His mother kept bothering people with the manuscript of "A Confederacy of Dunces" until novelist <Walker Percy> got it published.
Then it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
One of my favorite books- I must have read it a hundred times.
Featuring the immortal protagonist <Ignatius J. Reilly>, a rotund aesthete who thinks he is a Renaissance man, as he bumbles his way through a blasted cultural landscape.
I love his insane, yet trenchant pronouncements, such as
<"Canned food is an abomination.">
lol quite right, Ignatius, quite right...
|Sep-15-18|| ||saffuna: "I ain't gonna work for no minimal wage."
Why has it never become a movie? Can't find an Ignatius after Belushi died?
|Sep-15-18|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
<Jim> heh... quite right. Though it might be tricky to get the tone right?
I also love the janitor, possibly the only sympathetic character in the novel. He is convinced that any minute the world is about to be destroyed by <nuclea bums> LOL
|Sep-17-18|| ||Richard Taylor: <jessicafischerqueen> I have been busy on my house and a project I am doing.|
I started that book by Toole but I have never finished it. It is good, I can see that. I must finish it. I do that with books. Start one, then start another in the middle of the other book. I got to somewhere where I think the protagonist was arrested and there is an eccentric policeman wearing bizarre clothes.
I just read Virginia Woolf's 'Jacob's Room' (I was reading it with some other books, some non fiction also). It is very good. This lead me to consult my huge biography of her. I was interested in that book and in her life also. I liked Mrs. Dalloway and have read that several times.
The protagonist in 'Confederacy..' was interested in a writer I was also. I forget who.
|Sep-17-18|| ||Richard Taylor: <saffuna><jessica> nuclear bums! I will have to get back to it...It is amusing. I remember he gets into trouble in the pub he's in. He is averse to work. |
It is a big pity that he committed suicide. Tragic. Was it just that he wasn't published or more, perhaps he was also depressed. A labour of love by his mother. That would almost make a novel itself. It must have been terrible for her to lose her son. Perhaps some compensation to know his work was recognised and enjoyed by others.
|Sep-17-18|| ||Richard Taylor: Movies don't always work. There is a NZ book 'In My Father's Den' by Maurice Gee. The movie for me was no reflection of that book. But a rather obscure movie called 'End of the Golden Weather' which is also the name of the play (one man performance) by the actor playwright Bruce Mason which he performed all over NZ. That movie IS brilliant. Set in Auckland summer, a young boy and an eccentric cast. |
The title of that, Mason said, was from a book written by a character in the book 'The Web and the Rock'. I must read that. I read 'Look Homeward, Angel' and 'Of Time and the River'.
But a friend of mine keeps referring to Pynchon's 'Gravity's Rainbow' which is either better or not as good as 'V' which I have read as well as 'The Crying of Lot 49' (which I liked most I think although 'V' is amusing and intricate also).
In Australia Malouf is good, and
Patrick White. But both are very serious. Of the satirical-surreal perhaps the writer Russell Hailey is good. Maybe Chris Kraus who is technically an American she spent time here and a relative of hers (father I think) was the backer of Poetry NZ for some years...But there are a few other such writers such as say Michael Morrissey who writes of his own life and what he tells me is his "madness" but fictionalizes it. Another great NZ book is Keri Hulme's brilliant 'The Bone People'. It is not comic. It is strange and rather dark, but fascinating...
|Sep-17-18|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
<Richard> I believe <DomDaniel> is a punter for "Gravity's Rainbow" as well, but I never did finish it. I found it difficult and turgid, like many of my friends at the time. I definitely can't pass any kind of judgment on it though, not having finished it.
For me, sometimes short is better. I love Brien O'Nualllain's "At Two Swim Birds," his full sized masterpiece, but I have re-read his much more concise, and spare, "The Third Policemen" more times. Both are paralytically funny.
My favorite line from "The Third Policeman," and maybe from anything I ever read:
<I hit him with the shovel until my arms grew tired>
Anyways I attempted to read "Gravity's Rainbow" after "The Crying of Lot 49," which I regard to be the best horror short story (novella) ever written.
Arthur Machen's "The Great God Pan" second.
Another novel I recommend highly is Dom "Daniel" Delillo's "Ratner's Star," a riveting mystery of the best sort, to my mind.
It is Boethius' "The Consolation of Philosophy" that Ignatius J. Reilly is obsessed with. Humorously, Ignatius himself derives no consolation of any kind from this, or any other, philosophy...
|Sep-18-18|| ||Boomie: A friend gave me Celine's "Death on the Installment Plan" (Mort à credit). After 50 pages I was scratching my head. What the heck is this all about? Then for some reason, I started laughing. In Celine's vernacular, I laughed so hard I almost shat my pants. I still don't know why.|
|Sep-18-18|| ||jessicafischerqueen: |
<Tim> He probably hit your <Celine bone>.
|Sep-19-18|| ||Richard Taylor: <jessicafischerqueen:
<Richard> I believe <DomDaniel> is a punter for "Gravity's Rainbow" as well, but I never did finish it. I found it difficult and turgid, like many of my friends at the time. I definitely can't pass any kind of judgment on it though, not having finished it.>
I used the first line in a poem but I haven't finished it either. I plan go give it a go though.
<For me, sometimes short is better. I love Brien O'Nualllain's "At Two Swim Birds," his full sized masterpiece, but I have re-read his much more concise, and spare, "The Third Policemen" more times. Both are paralytically funny.>
I read 'At Swim Two Birds...' I liked that. I got onto the other book via a book by Terry Eagleton called 'Evil' which was about evil (mostly in literature). He covered various books including Golding's 'Pincher Martin' which I know well as I am big on Golding...but also 'The Third Policeman'...strangely I know it is good but it frightened me. It is pretty strange for sure though. I need to finish it.
<My favorite line from "The Third Policeman," and maybe from anything I ever read:
<I hit him with the shovel until my arms grew tired>>
A dark humour. I find Beckett's plays and novels very funny, also James Joyce of Ulysses. Of course it is mixed with "darker aspects"...
<Anyways I attempted to read "Gravity's Rainbow" after "The Crying of Lot 49," which I regard to be the best horror short story (novella) ever written.>
I found it fascinating. A part satire on Revenger comedy of the Elizabethan and even the Restoration times mixed with technology and also a kind of grief and strange conspiracies and so on...
<Arthur Machen's "The Great God Pan" second.>
All I can find of him is 'The White Powder' in an anthology called 'Uncanny' but your book looks fascinating.
<Another novel I recommend highly is Dom "Daniel" Delillo's "Ratner's Star," a riveting mystery of the best sort, to my mind.>
I read that. At the time of reading I thought it was really strange(who is it who lives in a kind of dirt cave?!), [I know one is a mathematician] like Alice in Wonderland. So I felt it wasn't so good but then it started to haunt me after I had read it. I liked Libra, White Noise and Americana (first one I read). Tom McCarthy writes some good essays about De Lillo who I do like.
<It is Boethius' "The Consolation of Philosophy" that Ignatius J. Reilly is obsessed with. Humorously, Ignatius himself derives no consolation of any kind from this, or any other, philosophy...> Ah! I had read about that book and read some of it. I remember the philosopher who wrote about him saying how Boethius was suddenly just garotted. It is unclear what his crime was even. But it is interesting. Yes, I must get back to poor Toole.
Thanks for those references...
Have you read J. G. Ballard? Genius in my view (his stories a mix of Sci Fi and "philosophy" are eerily great as well as say 'Crash', 'The Drowned World', the 'Crystal World', 'The Voices of Time' and so on. At one stage he wanted to start world war three or be the first to strike (!) (this obsession with nuclear bombs came from his experiences in WWII when he came to admire the Japanese airmen as a boy), but he lived a quiet life later on in a quiet suburb of England somewhere...
At Swim Two Birds Was funny for sure with the characters rebelling in the narrative and so on and all that about Sweeney and so on.
|Sep-19-18|| ||Richard Taylor: <Boomie: A friend gave me Celine's "Death on the Installment Plan" (Mort à credit). After 50 pages I was scratching my head. What the heck is this all about? Then for some reason, I started laughing. In Celine's vernacular, I laughed so hard I almost shat my pants. I still don't know why> I found that with the first of his I read called 'Normance' that is shat yourself material...he is in an air raid on Paris by the RAF and abusing everyone including the RAF*...those ellipses (no I also had the habit before reading him) pull one through the book also.|
*My uncle was in the RAF bombing France etc so I wondered if he was bombing Paris at the time. It is strange to think of the British bombing France, and indeed, Paris. But of course the Germans had occupied it.
|Sep-19-18|| ||Richard Taylor: A "true story" (substantially true as it was non-fiction) was by a woman who had with her mother escaped the Nazis from Hamburg, ironically as the bombing of Hamburg, horrific as it was, (the tar sealed roads turned into fire and people burnt to death in them, they had mattresses soaked in water which helped them, as well as luck); enabled them to make their way in the confusion out of the city and then they somehow got to England. The woman became a journalist in NY I think. I picked it up at random as I had have a project involving sampling books from all categories. Some interesting things turned up...But I was looking at first for the way the books were written...|
|Sep-19-18|| ||offramp: Dear <Richard Taylor>, this is one of the all-time GREAT sentences: |
<A "true story" (substantially true as it was non-fiction) was by a woman who had with her mother escaped the Nazis from Hamburg, ironically as the bombing of Hamburg, horrific as it was, (the tar sealed roads turned into fire and people burnt to death in them, they had mattresses soaked in water which helped them, as well as luck); enabled them to make their way in the confusion out of the city and then they somehow got to England.>
It reminds me of this famous sentence, which I had to memorize:
<When Caesar, who had addressed the tenth legion, reached the right wing, he found his troops under severe pressure and, because all the standards of the twelfth had had been collected into one cramped space, the soldiers packed so close together that they got in each other's way as they fought, while all the centurions of the fourth cohort had been killed - together with the standard bearer: the standard was lost - and those of the other cohorts as well, including the very brave senior centurion, Publius Sextius Baculus, who had so many terrible wounds that he could no longer stand, and when Caesar saw that the rest of the men were slowing down, and some in the rear ranks had given up fighting and were intent on getting out of range of the enemy, while the enemy in front kept pouring up the hill and were pressing us on both flanks, he recognized that this was a crisis because there were no reserves available, so he snatched a shield from a soldier in the rear ranks - Caesar had no shield with him - and went forward to the front line, where he called out to all the centurions by name and shouted encouragement to the rest of the men, whom he ordered to advance and to open out their ranks so that they could use their swords more effectively.>
|Sep-21-18|| ||Richard Taylor: I am flattered, but do I detect irony? I wrote it in a hurry. I suppose I should have broken it up to make it more clear. |
Thanks in any case!
Re Caesar I think doing Latin years ago we read his journals of moving through Germany and into England (where he didn't make much progress). That of course is Julius Caesar.
That's a long passage (sentence) and describes a battle very well. It works despite it's length as there is no time in a battle to stop so the author doesn't either. I presume that is one reason it is thus.
|Sep-22-18|| ||offramp: <Richard Taylor: I am flattered, but do I detect irony?>|
THAT is what I was trying to detect! In that sentence I saw the word <ironically> and I was trying to figger out what the irony was: <...ironically as the bombing of Hamburg...>.
WHAT was the irony?? The sentence was so convoluted I could not figure it out.
|Sep-23-18|| ||Richard Taylor: Yes. The irony was that most Jews were killed by the Nazis in Germany. And these people were not admitted to air raid shelters. (At one stage they tried very hard to gain entry, thinking they would be safer.) So one irony was that when the really heavy air raids of Hamburg came, they were banned by non-Jews from the shelters. But the bombing by the Allies was so bad (some claim the bombing of Hamburg and Dresden etc to be a war crime but we would have to add to that the US fire bombing of Japan, Korea and Vietnam so that issue is contentious and leads to convolution as you say....). I tend to diverge I know...and use ellipses...|
Now, where was I? The bombing was so terrible that all the non-Jewish Germans in shelters were killed. The people (mother and daughter whose father was not Jewish and in the German air-force, another irony); were able to get away. They had been called up by the Nazis and that they knew meant they were being sent to the gas chambers.
But the Allied bombing was so intense and the effect so terrible (mainly for civilians by the way, it was aimed at civilians in a revenge attack when the Germans were beaten to all intents and the policy was abandoned as being of not much military value): so terrible that they were able to escape. This in some ways showed their superiority if anything to many other Germans who perished. Or maybe not. It also involved luck as well as some nous. A direct hit on their house and they were gone - cooked to cinders, writhing in phosphorus in agonizing deaths. So what was trying to kill them saved them.
But it was not a miracle, just a lottery. Luck, chance, serendipity and so on.
So what liberated them was the destruction of their own house and city. It was luck. One of those ironies of fortune.
That my sentence was convoluted or not is not important as it was knocked out pretty quickly and I think most people reading it would find it easy enough.
You seem to want to make an issue of a lot of these relatively trivial matters.
The Roman thing you quoted was good enough also. True it was a bit long and a little confusing. But I suspect that is part of the translation process. Latin is written in any order and even though I did Latin for 4 years I have difficulty seeing how certain poems are translated (for example). I mean say those of Catullus, Martial, Ovid and others. Caesar's sentences may have been tightened up by a better translator but translation is always a fraught subject.
|Oct-20-18|| ||Jonathan Sarfati: Boethius' "Consolation of Philosophy", written around the boundary of the Classical and Medieval periods, was incredibly popular in Europe for the next thousand years. Even King Alfred and Queen Elizabeth I translated into their versions of English. One remarkable thing was the re-affirmation of Ptolemy's proof that compared to the distance to the stars, the earth was a mere speck. So don't fret about the machinations of the rulers on this speck.|
|Oct-20-18|| ||offramp: <Jonathan Sarfati: Boethius' "Consolation of Philosophy", written around the boundary of the Classical and Medieval periods, was incredibly popular in Europe for the next thousand years.>|
Boethius is mentioned frequently in J K Toole's humorous book <A Confederacy of Dunces>.
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