21 March 2006 

"a novel examines not reality but existence. and existence is not what has occurred, existence is the realm of human possibilities, everything that man can become, everything he's capable of. novelists draw up the map of existence by discovering this or that human possibility."

milan kundera, the art of the novel

11 March 2006 

"there's another world that parallels our own, and to a certain degree you're able to step into that other world and come back safely. as long as you're careful. but go past a certain point and you'll lose the path out. it's a labyrinth. do you know where the idea of a labyrinth first came from?"

i shake my head.

"it was the ancient mesopotamians. they pulled out animal intestines - sometimes human intestines, i expect - and used the shape to predict the future. they admired the complex shape of intestines. so the prototype for labyrinths is, in a word, guts. which means that the principle for the labyrinth is inside you. and that correlates to the labyrinth outside."

"another metaphor," i comment.

"that's right. a reciprocal metaphor. things outside you are projections of what's inside you, and what's inside you is a projection of what's outside. so when you step into the labyrinth outside you, at the same time you're stepping into the labyrinth inside. most definitely a risky business."


09 March 2006 

the pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. in truth, all sensation is already memory.

henri bergson, mame no memelay

murakami, kafka


"seems to me you have a lot of issues you've got to deal with."
a lot of issues. i look up. "dont' you have any?"
oshima holds his hands in the air. "not all that many. but there is one thing. for me, inside this physical body - this defective container - the most important job is surviving from one day to the next. it could be simple, or very hard. it all depends on how you look at it. either way, even if things go well, that's not some great achievement. nobody's going to give me a standing ovation or anything."
i bite my lip for a while, then ask, "don't you ever think about getting out of that container?"
"you mean leaving my physical body?"
i nod.
"symbolically? or for real?"
"either one"
oshima flips his hair back with a hand. i can picture the gears going full speed just below the surface of his pale forehead. "are you thinking you'd like to do that?"
i take a breath. "oshima, to tell you the unvarnished truth, i don't like the container i'm stuck in. never have. i hate it, in fact. my face, my hands, my blood, my genes... i hate everything i inherited from my parents. i'd like nothing better than to escape it all, like running away from home."
he gazes into my face and smiles. "you have a nice, muscular body. no matter who you inherited it from, you're quite handsome. well, maybe a little too unique to be called handsome, exactly. but you're not bad looking. at least i like the way you look. you're smart, you're quick. you've got a nice cock, too. i envy you that. you're going to have tons of girls fall for you, guaranteed. so i can't see what you're dissatisfied with about your container."
i blush.
"okay, i guess that's all beside the point," oshima continues. "i'm not crazy about the container i'm in, that's for sure. how could i be - this crummy piece of work? it's pretty inconvenient, i can tell you. still, inside here, this is what i think: if we reverse the outer shell and the essence - in other words, consider the outer shell the essence and the essence only the shell - our lives might be a whole lot easier to understand."

haruki murakami, kafka on the shore


"the lyrics, though, are pretty symbolic," i venture.
"from time immemorial, symbolism and poetry have been inseparable. like a pirate and his rum."
"do you think miss saeki knew what all the lyrics mean?"
oshima looks up, listening to the thunder as if calculating how far away it is. he turns to me and shakes his head. "not necessarily. symbolism and meaning are two separate things. i think she found the right words by bypassing procedures like meaning and logic. she captured words in a dream, like delicately catching hold of a butterfly's wings as it flutters around. artists are those who can evade the verbose."

haruki murakami, kafka on the shore


i'm arguing project runway on livejournal. somebody give me a life!

07 March 2006 

dinner at a.o.c.

angus shell steak with peppercorn sauce with organic salad and french fries

a bottle of a red chinon. (i forget the name but it was good slightly chilled.)

06 March 2006 

"that's why i like listening to schubert while i'm driving. like i said, it's because all the performances are imperfect. a dense, artistic kind of imperfection stimulates your consciousness, keeps you alert. if i listen to some utterly perfect performance of some utterly perfect piece while i'm driving, i might want to close my eyes and die right then and there. but listening to the d major, i can feel the limits of what humans are capable of - that a certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect. and personally, i find that encouraging. do you know what i'm getting at?"

haruki murakami, kafka on the shore


he believed at once that she was beautiful because he had heard of her before he ever saw her and when he did see her he did not see her at all because of the face which he had already created in his mind.

'perhaps they were right putting love into books,' he thought quietly. 'perhaps it could not live anywhere else.'

-faulkner, light in august

05 March 2006 

he has not slept very much since wednesday, and now wednesday has come and gone again, though he does not know it. when he thinks about time, it seems to him now that for thirty years he has lived inside an orderly parade of named and numbered days like fence pickets, and that one night he went to sleep and when he waked up he was outside of them...

he felt no surprise. time, the spaces of light and dark, had long since lost orderliness. it would be either one now, seemingly at an instant, between two movements of the eyelids, without warning. he could never know when he would pass from one to the other, when he would find that he had been asleep without remembering having lain down, or find himself walking without remembering having waked...

after a time, two negro children appear around the curve, approaching. they do not see him until he speaks; they halt, dead, looking at him with whiterolling eyes. "what day of the week is it?" he repeats. they say nothing at all, staring at him. he moves his head a little. "go on," he says. they go on. he does not watch them. he sits, apparently musing upon the place where they had stood, as though to him they had in moving merely walked out of two shells. he does not see that they are running.

-faulkner, light in august


... the final upflare of stubborn and dying summer upon which autmn, the dawning of halfdeath, had come unawares.