Blog Archives

A Radically Altered Human Species

The implicit starting point for Sebald’s literary essays is the melancholy conviction that, during the course of the twentieth century, the history of mankind finally showed itself to be on a downward path and that, therefore, the two disastrous world … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Language and Style

Ideas are certainly important-who would deny that?-but the fact is, the ideas that operate in novels and poems, once they are unpicked from their context and laid out on the laboratory table, usually turn out to be uncomplicated, even banal, … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Shaped by Dialogue

We define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. Even after we outgrow some of these others—our parents, for instance—and they disappear from our lives, the conversation … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Adventure with The Last Night

This extended passage is from one of those books that elicits a personal response, an engagement, an adventure. It may not resonate so strongly with everyone (of course). In particular, Campagna’s citation of the importance of friendship and daydreaming acted like … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Stepping Lightly on the Volcano

For months on first knowing you, I said to myself here’s one of these talkers. They don’t know what feeling is, happily for them. Because everyone I most honour is silent – Nessa, Lytton, Leonard, Maynard: all silent; and so … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Relegated Areas

For me parks are good when first of all, they’re not impeccable, and when solitude has appropriated them in such a way that solitude itself becomes an emblem, a defining trait for walkers, sporadic at best, who in my opinion … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

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

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Unmoving Targets

  This concerted attempt to erase the responsibilities of thought and volition from our daily lives has produced a nation of couched-out soft touches, easily riled by the most cynically vacuous sloganeering and handily manipulated by the alibis of “morality” … Continue reading

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Nature of the State

The state is not something which can be destroyed by a revolution, but is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently. Gustav Landauer

Quote | Posted on by | Tagged , | 2 Comments