June 2010

Dead Hearts

Random Musing
I've recently become a big Stars fan. I first heard "Take Me to the Riot" a couple of years ago via a friend's school radio program. I really loved the song, but for whatever reason didn't end up looking into other Stars' songs until much later. Like say the last couple of weeks. The newest song of theirs that I've been playing on repeat is "Dead Hearts". Give it a listen. Hopefully you like it.

The Sound of Silence

"The silence depressed me.  It wasn't the silence of silence.  It was my own silence.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

"The silence drew off, baring the pebbles and shells and all the tatty wreckage of my life. Then, at the rim of vision, it gathered itself, and in one sweeping tide, rushed me to sleep." -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

"Her silence wasn't unpleasant, nor did it imply resentment or sadness. It was transparent, not dense. It took up almost no space. A person could even get used to a silence like this, thought Espinoza, and be happy. But he would never get used to it, he knew that too." -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

"…Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, 'Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more…" -Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"

Richard: Oh Mrs. Dalloway, always throwing parties to cover the silence.
-The Hours

Random Musing
Can't have a post titled 'The Sound of Silence' without a link to the Simon & Garfunkel song. Also, if you haven't yet, go watch The Graduate. Really great movie.

Anne Shirley-ism #1

"'Oh, here we are at the bridge. I'm going to shut my eyes tight. I’m always afraid going over bridges. I can't help imagining that perhaps, just as we get to the middle, they'll crumple up like a jackknife and nip us. So I shut my eyes. But I always have to open them for all when I think we're getting near the middle. Because, you see, if the bridge did crumple up I'd want to see it crumple. What a jolly rumble it makes! I always like the rumble part of it. Isn't it splendid there are so many things to like in this world? There, we're over. Now I'll look back. Good night, dear Lake of Shining Waters. I always say good night to the things I love, just as I would to people. I think they like it. That water looks as if it was smiling at me.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

On Happiness #14

"…I realized my happiness was artificial. I felt happy because I saw the others were happy and because I knew I should feel happy, but I wasn't really happy." -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

On Friendship #3

Random Musing
"'Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.  It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

*Credit has to go to Mark Rudolf for pulling this particular quote from the novel. For some mysterious reason I hadn't written it down myself. Hmm, maybe it was just too optimistic...

Pudge the Fish

Random Musing
This needs no explanation.

Also, note that today is Sandwich Day.

Never Let Me Go

Random Musing
In the past I have become very excited about the upcoming release of certain films. The Painted Veil, Atonement, and Nine were all such movies. The first two pretty much satisfied all of my (ridiculously) high expectations, while the third was a major disappointment. I'm hoping that the upcoming film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go follows The Painted Veil/Atonement path.

I haven't read the novel yet, but am anxiously waiting for one of the libraries (both public and university) to have an available copy. This whole situation is actually very reminiscent of a few summers ago when I found out that Joe Wright was adapting Atonement and Keira Knightley was going to star in it. I read the novel and then waited for the movie to finally come to a theater nearby. And now, while Joe Wright isn't involved, here is yet another Knightley film. Hopefully it turns out to be amazing. And comes to the Michigan Theater when it's released.

From 'The Hours'

Richard: Oh Mrs. Dalloway, always throwing parties to cover the silence.
-The Hours

Richard: No matter what you start with it ends up being so much less.
-The Hours

Richard: I'm saying I think I'm only staying alive to satisfy you.
Clarissa: Well, so that is what we do. That is what people do. They stay alive for each other.
-The Hours

Angelica: What happens when we die?
Virginia: We return to the place that we came from.
-The Hours

Clarissa Vaughan: So this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And, of course, there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning: it was happiness, it was the moment…
-The Hours

Richard: I seem to have fallen out of time.
-The Hours

Virginia: Dear Leonard. To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.
-The Hours

On Friendship #2

"'Oh, sometimes I think it is of no use to make friends. They only go out of your life after awhile and leave a hurt that is worse than the emptiness before they came.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Virginia Woolf Suicide Notes

Dated Tuesday, March 18th of 1941:

I feel certain that I am going
mad again: I feel we cant go
through another of these terrible times.
And I shant recover this time. I begin
to hear voices, and cant concentrate.
So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have
given me
the greatest possible happiness. You
have been in every way all that anyone
could be. I dont think two
people could have been happier till
this terrible disease came. I cant
fight it any longer, I know that I am
spoiling your life, that without me you
could work. And you will I know.
You see I cant even write this properly. I
cant read. What I want to say is that
I owe all the happiness of my life to you.
You have been entirely patient with me &
incredibly good. I want to say that -
everybody knows it. If anybody could [new page]
have saved me it would have been you.
Everything has gone from me but the
certainty of your goodness. I
cant go on spoiling your life any longer. I dont think two
could have been happier than we have been.

Dated Friday, March 28th of 1941:

I want to tell you that you have
given me complete happiness. No one
could have done more than you have done.
Please believe that.
But I know that I shall never get over
this: & am wasting your life. It is this madness.
Nothing anyone says can persuade me.
You can work, & you will be much
better without me. You see I cant
write this even, which shows I am right.
All I want to say is that until this
disease came on we were perfectly
happy. It was all due to you.
No one could have been so good as
you have been. From the very
first day till now.
[she added with fresh ink]: Everyone knows that.

[Turning the page, she wrote on the left-hand side]:

You will find Roger's letters to the Maurons in the
writing table drawer in the Lodge. Will
you destroy all my papers.

Random Musing
Virginia Woolf died on March 28, 1941. She filled her overcoat pockets with rocks and drowned herself in the River Ouse. She was 59 years old.

Both of the above notes were addressed to her husband Leonard Woolf. I'm not entirely sure why there are two different notes. The best I can come up with is that she was planning on killing herself on the 18th, but was somehow kept from doing so until the 28th when she felt that she should leave a more up to date note for her husband.

I find the notes incredibly touching, and they're even just interesting from a literary standpoint - the verse form really adding to their impact somehow.

Keeping Secrets

"…there was something about her that made you feel it was safe to tell her secrets." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

"'We always hate people who surprise our secrets…'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

"She shivered a little…and did not know that it was because of a secret unadmitted fear of losing her dream. Which is always, for youth or maturity or age, a catastrophe." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

On Happiness #13

"…There is that in me – I do not know what it is – but I know it is in me.

Wrench'd and sweaty – calm and cool then my body becomes,
I sleep – I sleep long.

I do not know it – it is without name – it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.

Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.

Perhaps I might tell more.  Outlines!  I plead for my brothers and sisters

Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death – it is form, union, plan – it is eternal life – it is Happiness…." -Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself" (Section 50)

Women vs. Men

"Marigold listened and sympathized with one side of her mind, and with the other carried on her own small though-processes. As is the way of womenkind of all ages, whether men know it or not." -L.M. Montgomery, Magic for Marigold

"…and who shall deny that this blankness of mind, when combined with profusion, mother wit, old wives' tales, haphazard ways, moments of astonishing daring, humour and sentimentality – who shall deny that in these respects every woman is nicer than any man?" -Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

"And I knew that in spite of all the roses and kisses and restaurant dinners a man showered on a woman before he married her, what he secretly wanted when the wedding service ended was for her to flatten out underneath his feet like Mrs. Willard's kitchen mat." -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

"My aunt once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women's feet and asked for forgiveness." -Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Paris: No man is an island, but this woman is.
-Gilmore Girls (Episode 6.13: Friday Night's Alright For Fighting)

On Friendship #1

"'…I'm so thankful for friendship. It beautifies life so much.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Depressive School Supplies

Lorelai: Ooh, and here are your somber highlighters, your maudlin pencils, your manic-depressive pens.
Rory: Mom.
Lorelai: Now these erasers are on lithium, so they may seem cheerful but we actually caught them trying to shove themselves in the pencil sharpener earlier.
Rory: I’m going home now.
Lorelai: No wait! We’re going to stage an intervention with the neon post-its and make them give up their wacky crazy ways.
-Gilmore Girls (Episode 1.04: The Deer Hunters)

On Words #5

"…always felt the pain of her friends so keenly that she could not speak easy, fluent words of comforting. Besides, she remembered how well-meant speeches had hurt her in her own sorrow and was afraid." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

On Words #4

"'I suppose all this sounds very crazy – all these terrible emotions always do sound foolish when we put them into our inadequate words. They are not meant to be spoken – only felt and endured.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

The Soloists

Random Musing
In case you were looking for a music recommendation, I found out about The Soloists a few months ago. I happen to think they are pretty great, and so decided to help spread word. "Something Good" is probably my favorite of their songs, but they're all pretty awesome. Happy listening!

On Happiness #12

"A keen wind that had been hiding itself struck me full in the mouth and raked the hair back horizontal on my head.  I was descending but the white sun rose no higher. It hung over the suspended waves of the hills, an insentient pivot without which the world would not exist.  A small, answering point in my own body flew toward it.  I felt my lungs inflate with the inrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people.  I thought, 'this is what it is to be happy.'" -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

On Happiness #11

"And the other way about it was equally surprising – that is, when everything was arranged – music, weather, holidays, every reason for happiness was there – then nothing happened at all. One wasn't happy. It was flat, just flat, that was all. -Virginia Woolf, "The New Dress," Mrs. Dalloway's Party

At Odds

"'...I don't care for pictures; I prefer the reality!'" -Henry James, The American


Seeing Red

"'I'm not mad,' said Marigold calmly. 'I'm only sorry for you. It must be so terrible to be you.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Magic for Marigold


On Words #3

"'Don't be ridiculous, please.'
The most insulting words in the world!" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

Back to Top