‘[…] ‘he could turn into John Vincent Moon, one of Borges’ heroes, for example, or into an accumulation of literary quotations; he could become a mental enclave where several personalities could shelter and coexist, and thus, perhaps without even any real effort, manage to shape a strictly individual voice, the ambitious base for a nomadic heteronymous profile . . .’

Enrique Vila-Matas, Dublinesque (trans. Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean)

It’s a highly literary novel, which I like, excessively ironic but the voice, always the voice.

‘You feel that you bid farewell, and perhaps soon—and the evening blush of this feeling shines within your happiness. Pay heed to this testimony: it means that you love life, and yourself with it, indeed, that you love the life that you have lived until now, and that has shaped you [. . .] But know this!—that transience is always singing you its brief song, and that, hearing its first lines, one can die of longing, at the thought that all of this can pass way forever.’

This is, I think, Krzysztof Michalski’s own translation of Nietzsche, quoted in his The Flame of Eternity: An Interpretation of Nietzsche’s Thought from, I think, Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe.

‘So this is how it is. Stars fall from the sky like shot baby sparrows in Mao’s China. Books are imperishable only because burning them to ash takes so little (it’s not like blowing up buildings); they are imperishable only because they are so ready to survive, dispersed across the world, as trails of dust, kernels, memories, shreds. As to us, me and you, oh it’s simple. We are the broken vessels containing, spilling all over the place, those who came before us.’

Axiomatic, Maria Tumarkin

I should trust more, Fitzcarraldo Editions, to lead me to unexpected places, books that I wouldn’t have thought to read, but that end up moving me greatly, that insinuate themselves inside and linger on late into the night. Some books, even fine ones, end up passing through the cognitive system without harming the animal, others less so.

‘My consciousness is at certain times far too roomy, far too general. While usually it can contract convulsively (and feelingly) around each of my thoughts, just now it is so huge, hanging so loose about me that it would suffice for several of us.

30 August 39 II A 549′

Papers and Journals, Søren Kierkegaard

‘I don’t know how not to be scared and if it’s important that I try — children and parents always lead double lives, this separateness, a mutual elusiveness, being something like a structural necessity […] Parts of us will always, must always, remain unknowable to each other.’

Maria Tumarkin, Axiomatic

Reality is the ‘name we assign to a state in which the dimensions of essence (what something is) and of existence (that something is) are inextricably bound to each other, without merging into one another’.”

“The present condition of metaphysical nihilism, that strips all things of their essence and existence, turning them into mere instances of an ontology of positions, signals towards a complete disintegration of reality — a collapse of the background that allows characters to act on stage, as per the metaphor that opened this book. When the frame of reality refuses to act as a frame, thus preventing the existent from emerging within it as a ‘world’, reality’s disintegration begins.”

Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality, Federico Campagna