January 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

The swift upbeat of the lecturer sickens me
“Now I guess I’ll get it out the way”
acknowledgement is too long a word, it’s a nod
to the puritans having took the lands of the native americans
— that nod given for swift reason for the inconvenient uneasiness of conscience in those same puritans, re: The City On The Hill, re: the colonies.
They get second quick lip service, the NA, as she examines a painting
by an artist, name? she checks
a representation of Manifest Destiny with Lady Luck swooping full-centre in white
(“we do not know who this lady is,” lecturer cuts inane)
anyway she points out first the puritans as they move toward the West, points out the genocide of the native americans, moves on.
I realise my pedantry, my getting stuck, the bile of it,
but I hate her brevity and her accent I am becoming intolerant of. I shouldn’t think it. nazi. Hitler, she’s so fucking excited.
The day starts poorly, and there’s a little silver cross about her neck. Says too much -beautiful, and every professor -the great and esteemed. Lady sure has admiration for academia.
I have less today. Weary of the young faces of students. yeah maybe I’m tired.
I consider at some point the banal and how you have made me consider it more closely, for beauty.
Next, a seminar in which we listen circular to the cropped life of an artist & do not look enough at his work.
Bomberg, died in obscurity and poverty.
Seminar curtailed, too, and back for a meeting that is held by jim, sitting on a desk. Electing Your Major.
His is a curl of a voice, not a purr, audible lizard in release. Kind of lazy and I ask a lazy question, triggering sniggers involuntarily. sorry.
“Are we going to receive an electronic request for the submission of our major then or do we just send you, randomly, an email,”
They’re disorganised, anyway. They “hope” and “would like” / “ideally”.


Tarkovsky’s words from Adrian, from ‘Sculpting in Time’

January 17, 2015 § Leave a comment

The allotted function of art is not, as is often assumed, to put across ideas, to propagate thoughts, to serve as an example. The aim of art is to prepare a person for death, to plough and harrow his soul, rendering it capable of turning to good.

… he must master our period’s knowledge of human social life …

November 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Unless an actor is satisfied to be a parrot or a monkey he must master our period’s knowledge of human social life by himself joining the war of the classes. Some people may feel this is degrading, because they rank art, once the money side has been settled, as one of the highest things; but mankind’s highest decisions are in fact fought out on earth, not in the heavens; in the ‘external world’, not inside people’s heads. Nobody can stand above the warring classes, for nobody can stand above the human race. Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring classes. Thus for art to be ‘unpolitical’ means only to ally itself with the ‘ruling’ group.

— Bertolt Brecht

from The Street of Crocodiles, by Bruno Schultz

October 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Thus my mother and I ambled along the two sunny sides of Market Square, guiding our broken shadows along the houses as over a keyboard. Under our soft steps the squares of the paving stones slowly filed past–some the pale pink of human skin, some golden, some blue gray, all flat, warm and velvety in the sun, like sundials, trodden to the point of obliteration, into blessed nothingness.”

Musee des Beaux Arts

September 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Brueghel’s Icarus for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had too on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

— WH Auden

Issue 2 of The SLR goes live

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Freakshow Is Here.


August 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

SLRThe Stockholm Review of Literature

coming soon at

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