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One reason I really dig Ross Macdonald’s work
Wang Shuo on keys and locks in 《動物兇猛》
Easy targets but okay
Cool story with 43min audio
Writing can be ridiculous. And yet despite the obvious problems and omissions there’s something—a kind of feeling, a structure, a tone—gesturing there. That something springs not from experience or information but from their synthesis and growth in my imagination.
Each time I try to do this, I relearn the lesson that I can’t, during the process of writing, relegate imagination to an inferior place. I can’t let research, my ally and comfort for so long, push its way to the head of the line. The work never comes alive until I give up the idea that I know what I’m writing about, and allow myself to be led—by the life that goes on outside us, in the world, and also by the fertile life going on in secret, inside our heads—into new and strange territory. Any text, I learn each time, is a tissue of the imagination, in which facts, if we choose to embed them, rest safely encysted.
I don’t trust anybody’s nostalgia but my own. Nostalgia is a product of dissatisfaction and rage. It’s a settling of grievances between the present and the past. The more powerful the nostalgia, the closer you come to violence. War is the form nostalgia takes when men are hard-pressed to say something good about their country.
Zoroastrians crossing to the next world, from Valerie Hansen’s The Silk Road
-Yan Lianke 閻連科
“If you abolish my consciousness … matter resolves itself into numberless vibrations, all linked together in uninterrupted continuity, all bound up with each other, and traveling in every direction like shivers. In short, try first to connect together the discontinuous objects of daily experience; then, resolve the motionless continuity of these qualities into vibrations, which are moving in place; finally, attach yourself to these movements, by freeing yourself from the divisible space that underlies them in order to consider only their mobility – this undivided act that your consciousness grasps in the movement that you yourself execute. You will obtain a vision of matter that is perhaps fatiguing for your imagination, but pure and stripped of what the requirements of life make you add to it in external perception. Reestablish now my consciousness, and with it, the requirements of life: farther and farther, and by crossing over each time enormous periods of the internal history of things, quasi-instantaneous views are going to be taken, views this time pictorial, of which the most vivid colors condense an infinity of repetitions and elementary changes. In just the same way the thousands of successive positions of a runner are contracted into one sole symbolic attitude, which our eye perceives, which art reproduces, and which becomes for everyone the image of a man who runs” (Matter and Memory, pp.208–209).