When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue →
I use, despite the trouble of it, abstract descriptions like “that friend whose parachute got tangled up with another parachute the time he jumped.”
Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his. In the lives of emperors there is a moment which follows pride in the boundless extension of the...
Through the material act of preservation, time challenges time, time clashes...– Lewis Mumford, The Culture of Cities
what followed was a crystallization of chaos
For when we emerge, we cellar seekers, then for an instant the lost world enters us like a sword, before settling to rest. Then we seem to understand something that we had forgotten, before confusion returns. You who mock us, you laughers and surface-crawlers, you restless sideways-sliders and flatland voyagers—don’t we irk you, don’t we exasperate you, we mole-folk, we pale amphibians? Steven...
“The city is a huge monastery,” said Erasmus. Perspective vision and prospective vision constitute the twofold projection of an opaque past and an uncertain future onto a surface that can be dealt with. They inaugurate (in the sixteenth century?) the transformation of the urban fact into the concept of a city. Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life
Tradition and the Individual Talent →
Some one said: “The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.” Precisely, and they are that which we know.
Unlike Rome, New York has never learned the art of growing old by playing on all...– Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life
The swimming ego of Mr. Palomar is immersed in a disembodied world,...– Italo Calvino, Mr. Palomar
intricate intimacy and intimate intricacy →
You could think of browsing as a new kind of ludic: an unsettling, fragmented...– Venkat Rao, The Rhetoric of the Hyperlink
You know what I like? I like imagining that Descartes, after seeing the fly crawl across his bedroom’s ceiling and because of seeing it creating the coordinate system upon which nearly all of our society depends, that Descartes gets out of bed in the early-afternoon light and seizes a bottle to try to memorialize the body of the fly that gave him modernity. Only to watch it escape through the...
Beauty will be convulsive or not at all.– André Breton, Nadja
The holy canons of madrigal, the mandates of touch, smell, taste, sight,...– Pablo Neruda
In the age of wooden television, media were there to entertain, to sell an advertiser’s product, perhaps to inform. Watching television, then, could indeed be considered a leisure activity. In our hypermediated age, we have come to suspect that watching television constitutes a species of work. Post-industrial creatures of an information economy, we increasingly sense that accessing media is...
a negative apocalypse
Poetry, before taking action, listens to the speechlessness of words.– Andrew Joron, The Emergency
[…] My labors, bird-encircled. Collecting words Then linking them in phrases Expulsed from Eden & voiceless as waves repeated axioms of accidental harmony. Hung upside down where the state’s lotteries Administer to the poor. Unto them I say: “Renounce your birthdays! The sun in a variable star!” […] Andrew Joron, The Heretic of Ravens
The pace for the twentieth century was probably set in Chicago in the late nineteenth century. I mean, we’re talking about a city that was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1871, and by 1893 had completely rebuilt itself, and expanded by several hundred square miles. Whose population, within that same twenty year period, had gone from 300,000 to over a million. The country—the world—had never...
Every novum calls attention to the historical inertia of the reader’s...– Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr.
“For my next trick,” →
says Joseph Cornell, or Vladimir Nabokov, or Wes Anderson, “I have put the world into a box.” And when he opens the box, you see something dark and glittering, an orderly mess of shards, refuse, bits of junk and feather and butterfly wing, tokens and totems of memory, maps of exile, documentation of loss. And you say, leaning in, “The world!” Michael Chabon
Play is especially training for coping with the unexpected. In play, animals and...– Brian Boyd, Laughter and Literature: A Play Theory of Humor
Gully Foyle is my name And Terra is my nation Deep space is my dwelling place The stars my destination