Monday, March 28, 2016

Uncomfortable conversation...

Jason, "If You Steal," pg. ?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An alternative to raking leaves...

"We have sometimes wondered where the idea came from to powder the leaves with snake essence, but after some fruitless speculation we have eventually concluded that the origin of customs, especially when they are useful and successful, is lost in the mists of time. One fine day the city must have realized that its population was inadequate for the collection of each year's leaf fall and that only the intelligent utilization of the mongooses, which abound in the country, could overcome this deficiency. Some functionary from the town bordering the forests must have noticed that the mongooses, completely indifferent to dead leaves, would become ravenous for them if they smelled of snake. It must have taken a long time to reach this conclusion, to study the reaction of the mongooses to the dead leaves, to powder the leaves so that the mongooses would go after them with a vengeance."


Julio Cortázar, "Around the Day in Eighty Worlds," pg. 77

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cortázar does Fluxus...

"THE SIMPLEST WAY TO DESTROY A CITY
Hidden in the grass, wait for a large cumulus cloud to drift over the hated city. Then shoot a petrifying arrow; the cloud will turn to stone and the consequences go without saying."

Julio Cortázar, "Around the Day in Eighty Worlds," pg. 7

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why paintings are different...

"And then why La Tour, who painted the same painting twice, had him hiding an Ace of Diamonds in the Louvre, and an Ace of Clubs in the Kimbell Museum. That's correct, isn't it Pierre? I'm not mistaken?"

I joined in his game. One always had to sniff out the humour in my uncle's words.

"But, Uncle Charles, it's so that the museum curators can tell which is which."

Philippe Beaussant, "Rendezvous In Venice," pg. 64

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Butt of the joke...

"And on the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting only on our own rump."

--Michel Montaigne, quoted in Sarah Bakewell's "How to Live," pg. 148

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sad woman...

"She tries harder, this twenty-eight-year-old woman, to remember what it is to be happy, and with alarm she realizes she no longer knows, that it's like a foreign language she learned in childhood but has now forgotten, remembering only that she knew it once. When was the last time I was happy?"

--Stefan Zweig, "The Post-Office Girl," pg. 19