Wednesday, June 3, 2015

School's Out!

Been doing some reading plus prepping TWO books, hoping to drop by Independence Day.  Here are some things that made me sit up and take notice:

Henry Miller describing a neighborhood in Paris, circa what?, mid 20th century?:  “The streets were so narrow that if an adding machine and a vacuum cleaner happened to meet, one or the other had to give way.”

Maxine Hong Kingston, from The Woman Warrior“I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.”

Basho, haiku:

First winter downpour:
The street monkey, too,
Seems to look for his small straw raincoat.

And I read for the first time Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  Written in 1953?  Are you serious?! There is an 8-page or so passage, a "lecture" by the chief of the book burners, that with a tweak here and there could have been written yesterday, anticipating by 50+ years American culture and public discourse, currently constituted by what John Jeremiah Sullivan now calls a "people of savage sentimentality, weeping and lifting weights," or as Giorgio Ambgen puts it "Rather than fight against the social relations ravaging the most basic conditions of existence, the citizen sorts out his garbage and fills his car with alternative fuel.”  Go Ray Bradbury!

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