Tag Archives: French Literature

A Few Scraps of Wisdom

What else, indeed, have I learned from the masters who taught me, the philosophers I have read, the societies I have visited and even from that science which is the pride of the West, apart from a few scraps of … Continue reading

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The Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud

I followed deadpan Rivers down and down, And knew my haulers had let go the ropes. Whooping redskins took my men as targets And nailed them nude to technicolour posts. I didn’t give a damn about the crews, Or the … Continue reading

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Cataract of the Spirit

The passage below, Beckett rehashing Schopenhauer, is from Mark Nixon’s study of Beckett’s tour of Nazi Germany, Samuel Beckett’s German Diaries 1936-1937. My library copy has to go back today. They come with a price tag suitable only for institutions, … Continue reading

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Red Skull, Earth, Sea and Sky

Beckett visited Ballmer in his Hamburg studio in November 1936 where he saw this painting and made the following diary entry: Wonderful red Frauenkopf, skull earth sea & sky, I think of Monadologie & my Vulture. Would not occur to … Continue reading

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The Banality of Brilliance

To speculate about whether Proust was a snob is as superfluous as debating the degree of Joyce’s egotism, though we could construct an argument that Proust would have been unfitted to dissect the society of Recherche without a social climber’s desire. And Joyce writing in A Portrait  that the “artist, … Continue reading

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Duality of Silence

In The World of Silence, Max Picard quotes Goutran de Procius’s Kablina, where he sums up so lucidly the duality of silence, that tension between rapture and fear familiar to anyone that chooses to spend long periods of immersion in silence. Here in … Continue reading

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To Speak and Yet Say Nothing

These things I say, and shall say, if I can, are no longer, or are not yet, or never were, or never will be, or if they were, if they are, if they will be, were not here, are not … Continue reading

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Comradeship and Silence

Words exist but the pump to bring those words from the bottom of the well to the surface is malfunctioning. Buried in the sand at the bottom of the well is a torrent of words, but if by chance the … Continue reading

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The Obscene

When things become too real, when they are immediately given and realised, when we are in short circuit which means that these things are brought closer and closer together, we are in obscenity. From this standpoint, Régis Debray made an … Continue reading

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Form Becomes the Preoccupation

Anthony Uhlmann quoted Beckett in Samuel Beckett in Context on language as a barrier to communication, and why, as a consequence ‘form itself becomes a preoccupation,’ so it was good to track down the whole quotation below: …there will be … Continue reading

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