July 2010


"And yet your shadow isn't following you anymore. At some point your shadow has quietly slipped away. You pretend you don't notice, but you have, you're missing your fucking shadow, though there are plenty of ways to explain it, the angle of the sun, the degree of oblivion induced by the sun beating down on hatless heads, the quantity of alcohol ingested, the movement of something like subterranean tanks of pain, the fear of more contingent things, a disease that begins to become apparent, wounded vanity, the desire just for once in your life to be on time. But the point is, your shadow is lost and you, momentarily, forget it. -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

"'Fancies are like shadows…you can't cage them, they're such wayward, dancing things.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

"The wind swayed the trees and the shadows danced madly. Were they only shadows–?" -L.M. Montgomery, Magic for Marigold

"In any case life is but a procession of shadows, and God knows why it is that we embrace them so eagerly, and see them depart with such anguish, being shadows." -Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

Forms of Pain

"'It's so beautiful that it hurts me,' said Anne softly. 'Perfect things like that always did hurt me – I remember I called it "the queer ache" when I was a child. What is the reason that pain like this seems inseparable from perfection? Is it the pain of finality – when we realise that there can be nothing beyond but retrogression?'
'Perhaps,' said Owen dreamily, 'it is the prisoned infinite in us calling out to its kindred infinite as expressed in that visible perfection.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

"'I wouldn't mind that if it didn't hurt,' muttered Walter. 'I don't think I'm afraid of death itself – it's of the pain that might come before death – it wouldn't be so had to die and have it over – but to keep on dying! Rilla, I've always been afraid of pain – you know that. I can't help it – I shudder when I think of the possibility of being mangled or – or blinded.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside

"Oh, there was a certain pleasure. And don't ever underestimate people, don't ever underestimate the pleasure they receive from viewing pain that is not their own, from delivering bad news, watching bombs fall on television, from listening to stifling sobs from the other end of the telephone line. Pain by itself is just Pain. But Pain + Distance can = entertainment, voyeurism, human interest, cinéma vérité, a good belly chuckle, a sympathetic smile, a raised eyebrow, disguised contempt." -Zadie Smith, White Teeth

"…This is the Hour of Lead–
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow–
First–Chill–then Stupor–then the letting go–" -Emily Dickinson, "After great pain, a                                                                                                         formal feeling comes"

"Pain – has an Element of Blank –
It cannot recollet
When it begun – or if there were
A time when it was not –

It has no Future – but itself –
It's Infinite contain
It's Past – enlightened to perceive
New Periods – of Pain." -Emily Dickinson, "Pain has an element of blank"

Henry: Life is pain.

On Love #5

"…she knew that love, no matter how mistreated or mutilated, always left room for hope, and that hope was her plan (or the other way around)…" -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

On Friendship #7

"Madness really is contagious, and friends are a blessing, especially when you're on your own."-Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

Dreams and Dreaming #2

"Dreams do sound so foolish when they are put into cold brutal words." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

"My Dead Friends Come Back"

Random Musing
I've briefly written about Michael Dickman before.  "We Do Move On" was the imitation of his writing style that I wrote for my English 324 class last semester. Well, I realized, after some failed googling (I know, shocking concept) that it's very difficult, if not impossible to find a full copy of a particular poem of his: "My Dead Friends Come Back."

Since you're unlikely to go out and buy a copy of The End of the West, and I really think you should read it, here is the poem in full:

"My Dead Friends Come Back" by Michael Dickman

If you want to
come back, just you
I say it's fine

From the flattened universe
From His side
of the bed

Shave my head and put me in the ground with you surrounded by

Trillium or
something else

Shit and violets


If you want to
come back, just you
I say it's fine

From endless singing
From the icy branches
of evergreens

I want to trade you sunlight for starlight, or star for star, the night sky
             disappearing for
             coffee in the morning

What I want

I want to fuck you again
on the living-room


If you want to
come back, just you
I say it's fine

From your hijacked brain

From your skeleton
sparkling like change
on a countertop

Your life as light is just beginning in the cosmos, but you can come
             back if you want to

What a terrible place this is

Limping around
not in each other's arms
not like light
at all

Looks Like Snow

"'I like rain when it has turned to snow and becomes palpable.'" -Virginia Woolf, The Waves

Lorelai: Everything's magical when it snows…
-Gilmore Girls (Episode 1.08: Love and Snow and War)

Lorelai: The world changes when it snows. It gets quiet. Everything softens.
-Gilmore Girls (Episode 1.08: Love and Snow and War)


On Happiness #16

"'How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation?'" -Jane Austen, Emma

On Love #4

"'Matthew,' she said, 'have you ever loved someone and it became yourself?'
For a moment he did not answer.  Taking up the decanter he held it to the light.
'Robin can go anywhere, do anything,' Nora continued, 'because she forgets, and I nowhere because I remember.'  She came toward him.  'Matthew,' she said, 'you think I have always been like this.  Once I was remorseless, but this is another love – it goes everywhere; there is no place for it to stop – it rots me away.'" -Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

Dreams and Dreaming #1

"'Nobody is ever too old to dream. And dreams never grow old.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

Anne Shirley-ism #3

"'It's about Diana,' sobbed Anne luxuriously. 'I love Diana so, Marilla. I cannot ever live without her. But I know very well when we grow up that Diana will get married and go away and leave me. And oh, what shall I do? I hate her husband – I just hate him furiously. I've been imagining it all out – the wedding and everything – Diana dressed in snowy white garments, and a veil, and looking as beautiful and regal as a queen; and me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress, too, and puffed sleeves, but with a breaking heart hid beneath my smiling face. And then bidding Diana good-bye-e-e–' Here Anne broke down entirely and wept with increasing bitterness.
Marilla turned quickly away to hide her twitching face, but it was no use; she collapsed on the nearest chair and burst into such a hearty and unusual peal of laughter…" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

On Love #3

"You were never poor as long as you had something to love." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

Random Musing
This is unbelievably cheesy. I am aware of this. And yet I posted it. It fits with the whole "On Love" theme. Please don't judge.

On Friendship #6

"They were like two old friends who don't need to say much to each other." -Roberto Bolaño (Translated by Natasha Wimmer), 2666

On Words #7

"One word is sufficient. But if one cannot find it?" -Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

On Solitude

"She had dreamed some brilliant dreams during the past winter and now they lay in the dust around her. In her present mood of self-disgust, she could not immediately begin dreaming again. And she discovered that, while solitude with dreams is glorious, solitude without them has few charms." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

"The more she thought about it, the more Madeleine understood that extreme solitude didn’t only describe the way she was feeling about Leonard. It explained how she’d always felt when she was in love. It explained what love was like and, just maybe, what was wrong with it." -Jeffrey Eugenides, "Extreme Solitude"

"D'Arnot closed the door.  He was very nervous.  Even brave men, and D'Arnot was a brave man, are sometimes frightened by solitude." -Edward Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes

On Happiness #15

"'You must be the best judge of your own happiness.'" -Jane Austen, Emma

On Friendship #5

"For disguise the fact as we will, when friends, even the closest – perhaps the more because of that very closeness – meet again after a separation there is always a chill, lesser or greater, of change. Neither find the other quite the same. This is natural and inevitable. Human nature is ever growing or retrogressing – never stationary. But still, with all our philosophy, who of us can repress a little feeling of bewildered disappointment when we realize that our friend is not and never can be just the same as before – even though the change may be by way of improvement?" -L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest

On Love #2

"…could not have understood what perverted shaped thwarted love can take." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

Anne Shirley-ism #2

"'Mrs. Spencer said that my tongue must be hung in the middle. But it isn't – it's firmly fastened at one end.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

On Love #1

"'…I think,' concluded Anne, hitting on a very vital truth, 'that we always love best the people who need us.'" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

On Words #6

"'We all feel those things. They're not ridiculous when we feel them. It's only when we put them into words that they're ridiculous.'" -L.M. Montgomery, A Tangled Web

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