Jona | Backpacking with a Book

October 15, 2010

Adrienne Rich: Cartographies of Silence

1. A conversation begins with a lie. and each speaker of the so-called common language feels the ice-floe split, the drift apart as if powerless, as if up against a force of nature A poem can begin with a lie. And be torn up. A conversation has other laws recharges itself with its own false energy, Cannot be torn up. Infiltrates our blood. Repeats itself. Inscribes with its unreturning stylus the isolation it denies. 2. The classical music station playing hour upon hour in the apartment the picking up and picking up and again picking up the telephone The syllables […]
October 15, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

Oliver Sacks: The Island of the Colorblind

But the Eden of lost childhood, childhood imagined, became transformed by some legerdemain of the unconscious to an Eden of the remote past, a magical “once,” rendered wholly benign by the omission, the editing out, of all change, all movement. For there was a peculiar static, pictorial quality in these dreams, with at most a slight wind rustling the trees or rippling the water. They neither evolved nor changed, nothing ever happened in them; they were encapsulated as in amber. Nor was I myself, I think, ever present in these scenes, but gazed on them as one gazes at a […]
October 9, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

Mario Vargas Llosa and Notes on Latin American Literature

  “The lies in novels are not gratuitous — they fill in the insufficiencies of life. Thus, when life seems full and absolute, and men, out of an all-consuming faith, are resigned to their destinies, novels perform no service at all. Religious cultures produce poetry and theater, not novels. Fiction is an art of societies in which faith is undergoing some sort of crisis, in which it’s necessary to believe in something, in which the unitarian, trusting and absolute vision has been supplanted by a shattered one and an uncertainty about the world we inhabit and the afterworld.” —Mario Vargas […]
October 8, 2010
Backpacking with a Book

Remembering | John Lennon

    Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup.—The Beatles, “Across the Universe” His words cross our universe.