Archive for the ‘nothing’ Category

‘Nail houses’

These ‘nail houses’ are wonderful.

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Leave the city for a while

g blossoms

g afternoon light2

g garage

g cwa

g little hill

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One per square metre

Good god.

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Private messages

A lot of clever observations in this article, “I know what you think of me” by Tim Kreider in The New York Times, including:

I’ve often thought that the single most devastating cyberattack a diabolical and anarchic mind could design would not be on the military or financial sector but simply to simultaneously make every e-mail and text ever sent universally public. It would be like suddenly subtracting the strong nuclear force from the universe; the fabric of society would instantly evaporate, every marriage, friendship and business partnership dissolved. Civilization, which is held together by a fragile web of tactful phrasing, polite omissions and white lies, would collapse in an apocalypse of bitter recriminations and weeping, breakups and fistfights, divorces and bankruptcies, scandals and resignations, blood feuds, litigation, wholesale slaughter in the streets and lingering ill will.


We all make fun of one another behind one another’s backs, even the people we love. Of course we do — they’re ridiculous. Anyone worth knowing is inevitably also going to be exasperating: making the same obvious mistakes over and over, dating imbeciles, endlessly relapsing into their dumb addictions and self-defeating habits, blind to their own hilarious flaws and blatant contradictions and fiercely devoted to whatever keeps them miserable. (And those few people about whom there is nothing ridiculous are by far the most preposterous of all.)


We don’t give other people credit for the same interior complexity we take for granted in ourselves, the same capacity for holding contradictory feelings in balance, for complexly alloyed affections, for bottomless generosity of heart and petty, capricious malice. We can’t believe that anyone could be unkind to us and still be genuinely fond of us, although we do it all the time.

P.S. “The context is that I had rented a herd of goats for reasons that aren’t relevant here” – oh, I beg to differ Mr Kreider, I need to know the reasons.

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With all of social media’s feedback loops, we get a comprehensive status update from ourselves, allowing us to consume our own personality as novelty. We effectively set a Google alert for our soul.

From Rob Horning in The New Inquiry with “Google alert for the soul”. Link from @castironbalcony. 

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Mysterious Lego spill shuts down a highway lane in West Virginia via Tedra.

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On columnists

Here is an exercise: Spend a week counting all the original ideas you have. Then try to write each one down, in all its nuance, in 800 words. Perhaps you’d be very successful at this. Now try to do it for four weeks. Then two months, then six, then a year, then five years. Add on to that all other ambitions you might have — teaching, blogging, writing long-form articles, speaking, writing books. etc. How do you think you’d fare?

From Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic on why the Internet maybe needs to go a little easier on writers. And incidentally, the column he wrote for The New York Times recently which was part album review, part social commentary and part political agitation was excellent.

I have previously tweeted these links, so, apologies if this is repetitive. By the way,  if you find me a little inactive here and yet somehow want more of me I should clarify that I remain very active on Twitter with links and debate on a daily basis.. but also I say quite a bit of inane stuff over there, so that’s the bargain. Make a decision to follow me on Twitter wisely.


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la luz

c new york skyline

c lamp

c rabbit

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As Wolfi is telling his story I become more and more uneasy. When he finishes Andrea gets up without comment. She puts her book in her bag and slips the strap over her shoulder. She picks up the tray with her now empty plates.

Before she leaves she turns to me and says: Thank you for last night.

Nothing in the tone of what she says allows me to gauge whether this is meant positively or negatively. It is, in fact, goodbye. I fail to see the connection between these two incidents.

Forster’s exhortation to the novelist was that he must ‘connect’/ ‘Only connect’ he said. Forster did not say ‘he or she’. This is significant. It tells us a lot about Forster, the fact that he used the word ‘he’.

‘Only connect’.

In my effort to find the connection between Wolfi’s retelling of the incident on the bus and Andrea’s enigmatic farewell, I missed, at least initially, the connection between Andrea’s presence and the conversation with Wolfi that followed.

Retrospectively then, it is not Andrea’s disappearance which is significant but the fact that she was there in the first place. And yet I’m sure the two events, Andrea’s presence and Wolfi’s subsequent conversation are, in reality, totally disconnected. Their connection is only illusory, due to something Wolfi calls “die Elision proximatischer Zufalligkeit’ [the elision of proximate coincidence].

But I resent the fact that for apparent reasons of narrative logic a real person seems to have been dropped out of my life, has, as it were, been dispensed with now that she has fulfilled the fictional role assigned to her. The thing is, I still miss her. I try to imagine her at some stage walking into a bookstore, browsing through the books on the shelves, selecting one, this one. She buys it, takes it home. As she reads is she comes to the section which begins: ‘I am sitting in the university dining room with a friend. Her name is Andrea Staiger’

Komisch, she says, ich heisse Andrea Staiger. that’s my name.

At first she is prepared to accept it as pure coincidence. But what if she had read ‘Unterestrasse’, what then?

[Ich glaub’ das nicht.] I don’t believe it, she says. That was my address. I see her racking her brains, trying to remember what may have been one of many chance encounters in her past. She rereads the passage describing our love-making. Perhaps she really can’t remember. And yet there is a vague memory, a memory of a conversation one sunny morning in the market place, sitting on the window sill of the Town Hall. A photograph.

Yes, now I remember… How strange to come across oneself in a work of fiction!


Out of the Line of Fire (1988) was the first experimental novel I read written by an Australian author. (It is written by Mark Henshaw, who has hardly written anything since – where are you, Mr Henshaw?). It was very exciting as a read, particularly as I was still learning German at the time and whole sections of it are written in German. It’s difficult to find good quotes from the novel because it’s more a game of form than words. Henshaw is preoccupied with reality, story-telling, language, translation and sex. What’s not to like?

P.S. This is part of my lazy blogging holiday series.

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I love this.

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