Monthly Archives: September 2011

Your property

I give you money
You’re superior
I don’t exist
You control me
You’re corrupt
You deform me
You own me
You own me
I worship your authority
I worship your authority
You’re deformed
You’re corrupt
You own me
You own me


This place stinks of God!

How could we know what God wants to do with us when we cannot even know what we are nor who we are?

There is no human being on earth capable of declaring with certitude who he is. No one knows what he has come into this world to do, what his acts correspond to, his sentiments, his ideas, or what his real name is, his enduring Name in the register of Light…History is an immense liturgical text where iotas and dots are worth no less than the entire verse or chapters, but the importance of one and the other is indeterminable, and profoundly hidden.

Love does not make you weak, because it is the source of all strength, but it makes you see the nothingness of the illusory strength on which you depended before you knew it.

The Eiffel Tower is a truly tragic street lamp.

My existence is a sad country where it is always raining….

My only recourse is the expedient of placing at the service of truth what has been given me by the Father of Lies.

We suffer from that which does not exist. That which is does not cause suffering.

There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.

Suffering passes, but the fact of having suffered never passes.

Consider that Jesus suffered in His heart with all the knowledge of a God, and that in His heart there was every human heart and every form of suffering from Adam until the consummation of the world. Ah yes, to suffer for others can be a great joy if one has a generous soul, but to suffer in others is to really suffer!

Freedom is the respect God has for us.

The worst evil is not the crime committed, but the failure to do the good one might have done.

Any Christian who is not a hero is a pig.

I die of the need of justice.

I pray like a robber asking alms at the door of a farmhouse to which he is ready to set fire.

I am simply a poor man who seeks his God, sobbing and calling Him along all roads.

Léon Bloy

Most writers waste people’s time with too many words. I’m trying to reduce everything down to the minimum. My last work will be a blank piece of paper.

— Beckett

With Joyce the difference is that Joyce was a superb manipulator of material – perhaps the greatest. He was making words do the absolute maximum of work. There isn’t a syllable that’s superfluous. The kind of work I do is one in which I’m not master of my material. The more Joyce knew the more he could. He’s tending toward omniscience and omnipotence as an artist. I’m working with impotence and ignorance. I don’t think impotence has been exploited in the past. My little exploration is that little zone of being that has always been set aside by artists as something unusable – as something by definition incomparable with art.

— Beckett, New York Times interview, 1956

Flame of beauty

The people who sang for us were in stripes and there were guards there with shotguns. They were singing under the red hot sun of Texas, people obviously in enormous trouble. But, when they opened their mouths, out came this flame of beauty. This sound which matched anything I’d heard from Beethoven, Brahms, or Dvorák.

– Alan Lomax

In the night it became clear to me

Writing is a sweet and wonderful reward, but for what? In the night it became clear to me, as clear as a child’s lesson book, that it is the reward for serving the devil. This descent to the dark powers, this unshackling of spirits bound by nature, these dubious embraces and whatever else may take place in the nether parts which the higher parts no longer know, when one writes one’s stories in the sunshine.

— Kafka (via here)

Nothing to declare

Waiting for Godot frankly jettisons everything by which we recognise theatre. It arrives at the custom-house, as it were, with no luggage, no passport, and nothing to declare; yet it gets through, as might a pilgrim from Mars. It does this, I believe, by appealing to a definition of drama much more fundamental than any in the books.

Kenneth Tynan


It was funny how anxiety crept up on you just as I turned up, wasn’t it? From the most primitive fears – I can’t leave my room, not while there are still voices in the hall – to the feeling of your bones turning cold for no reason, while walking to class or to the forest.

The call of the work

For the man who sets out to write, the work is in no way a shelter in which he lives, in his peaceful and protected self, shielded from the difficulties of life. Perhaps he in fact thinks he is protected from the world, but he is exposed to a danger much greater and more menacing because it finds him powerless: the very danger that comes to him from outside, from the fact that he remains outside. And against this threat he must not defend himself; on the contrary, he must give in to it. The work demands that, demands that the man who writes it sacrifice himself for the work, become other – not other than the living man he was, the writer with his duties, his satisfactions, and his interests, but he must become no one, the empty and animated space where the call of the work resounds.

— Blanchot, The Book to Come (tr. Mandell)

Sunset is such a sad hour

Kit took Port’s hand. They climbed in silence, happy to be together.
‘Sunset is such a sad hour’, she said presently.
‘If I watch the end of a day – any day – I always feel it’s the end of a whole epoch. And the autumn! It might as well be the end of everything’, he said. ‘That’s why I hate cold countries, and love the warm ones, where there’s no winter, and when night comes you feel an opening up of the life there, instead of a closing down. Don’t you feel that?’
‘Yes’, said Kit, ‘but I’m not sure I prefer the warm countries. I don’t know. I’m not sure I don’t feel that it’s wrong to try to escape the night and winter, and that if you do you’ll have to pay for it somehow.’
‘Oh, Kit! You’re really crazy.’

— Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky