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Writing a research paper at 3 am like


    Writing a research paper at 3 am like

  2. In all honesty, I didn’t realize that a young man in the grip of a dreadful family can break free only by starting one of his own. … Aeneas had tired of carrying gloomy old Anchises for so long: with a heave of his shoulders [Nizan] dropped him flat on his back; he became a husband and father in great haste, in order to kill his own father. But fatherhood alone is an insufficient remedy for childhood. Far from it. The authority of the new head of the family condemns him to repeat the age-old childishnesses that Adam bequeathed to us through our parents. My friend knew the score: he wanted to strike a definite blow against the father who, in the passage from father to son, is repeatedly murdered and repeatedly revived. To do so, he would become different person and, through a public discipline, would take care to avoid family quirks.
    —Sartre, “Paul Nizan” (1960), We Have Only This Life to Life (2013)

  3. grandhotelabyss:


    I know this sounds “elitist,” but then anyone who thinks that word has any relevance to the arts should really think again. 

    My point is merely that the endemic weakness of adulthood entails a certain slackening of judgment, so I don’t think it’s a big deal if adults read trash from time to time.  But if adolescents don’t maintain severe aesthetic and ethical standards, a counter-religious intolerance toward anything that isn’t intense and elevating and radical, who the hell will?

  4. I know that the world I converse with in the city and in the farms, is not the world I think. I observe that difference and shall observe it. One day, I shall know the value and law of this discrepance. But I have not found that much was gained by manipular attempts to realize the world of thought. Many eager persons successively make an experiment in this way, and make themselves ridiculous. They acquire democratic manners, they foam at the mouth, they hate and deny. Worse, I observe, that, in the history of mankind, there is never a solitary example of success,—taking their own tests of success. I say this polemically, or in reply to the inquiry, why not realize your world? But far be from me the despair which prejudges the law by a paltry empiricism,—since there never was a right endeavor, but it succeeded. Patience and patience, we shall win at the last. We must be very suspicious of the deceptions of the element of time. It takes a good deal of time to eat or to sleep, or to earn a hundred dollars, and a very little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our life. We dress our garden, eat our dinners, discuss the household with our wives, and these things make no impression, are forgotten next week; but in the solitude to which every man is always returning, he has a sanity and revelations, which in his passage into new worlds he will carry with him. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart!—it seems to say,—there is victory yet for all justice; and the true romance which the world exists to realize, will be the transformation of genius into practical power.
    —Emerson, “Experience,” Essays: Second Series (1844)

  5. grandhotelabyss:

    Please click for my tale—deemed my finest short story by Mrs. Grand Hotel Abyss, you might like to know—of academia, pornography, death, resurrection, rotting flesh, and learning to make the best of things. 

    The spectrum of “experience,” all ten instances of the word*—six nouns, two verbs, two adjectival variants—from Mr. Pistelli’s fine short story:

    “And Emily Dickinson challenges this idea, because just when her speaker is about to die,—when you might expect a visionary experience of the Over-Soul, you get what? … And so her vision fails, both because she dies and therefore literally can’t see any longer, but also because she cannot make a holistic visionary experience from her experience, as the Transcendentalists could.”
       … The most prominent clips displayed for sale featured girls, usually young, under thirty, at the moment when they first experience a symptom or notice a sign of what they will later learn is a terminal illness. … There had always been medical and sadistic fantasies about suffering women for men to get off to; no, what was new in his erotic experience was the moment of realization, the flash transition from health to sickness, from life as a potentially unbounded string of days to life as a narrative whose end is known.
       … “Terminal pornography allows us to experience our inevitable ending as fetish—thus preserving our self-regard—and as pleasure—thus resigning ourselves to our fate.”

       … The kid, inexperienced in the ways of life and death due to the comforts of her upbringing, pinched her nose with one hand and tried to feel for a pulse with the other, but didn’t know where one could be found. … When the body, pale and green in patches, and bloated from bacteria colonies now forming in the flesh, didn’t respond, the kid—her thirst for eschatological experience now more than sated—called the police.

       … Even the barista who handed over the coffee and ciabatta-bread veggie sandwiches seemed to give him an randy look—the kind of look the less experienced girl gives on a sitcom when she tries to mimic her urbane best friend’s or sister’s technique for inviting a man with her eyes and lips.
       … She knew so very little about Professor Lazarino: he had volunteered no information beyond his name and the rudiments of his strange experience, and she was sure of only what her internet searches had turned up (a few of his articles, and his obituary).
    —John Pistelli, “Terminal Girls,” Squawk Back (June 2014)

    *Given in the spirit of what the also-ran sensationalist once said about an apodictic inside-outer: “There are obsessive, repetitive words which a writer uses which are more revealing than all the facts amassed by biographers.

  6. I have aged and words have aged with me: in my head, they are as old as I am.
    —Sartre, “Paul Nizan” (1960), We Have Only This Life to Live (2013)

  7. 12:03 31st May 2014

    Notes: 5

    Reblogged from grandhotelabyss

    Tags: grandhotelabyss


    I don’t know from Exley or Bukowski, but, yes, my experience accords with Wallace’s: Updike is more abominated as a misogynist than Mailer, who stabbed his wife, more than Delany, a NAMBLA supporter—and more than Roth, whose ex-wife wrote a scathing memoir of their marriage, and more than Bellow, whose intellectual hero-surrogate said that women "eat green salad and drink human blood," and more than Burroughs, who killed his wife, and more than Amiri Baraka, who wanted a poem to crack “steel knuckles in a jewlady’s mouth,” and more than Toni Morrison, who said that it does matter what a victim of rape or dometic violence wears and does.

  8.    The essence of totalitarian prose is that it does not define, it does not deliver. It oppresses. It obstructs from above. It is profoundly contemptuous of the minds who will receive the message. So it does its best to dull this consciousness with sentences which are nothing but bricked-in power structures. Or alternately a totalitarian prose slobbers upon an audience a sentimentality so debauched that admiration for shamelessness is inspired. But then, sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.
    —Norman Mailer, Cannibals and Christians (1966)

  10.    Once, years ago in Chicago, I was coming down with a bad cold. By accident, a friend took me to hear a jazz musician named Sun Ra who played “space music.” The music was a little like the sound of Ornette Coleman, but further out, outer space music, close to the eeee of an electric drill at the center of a harsh trumpet. My cold cleared up in five minutes. I swear it. The anger of the sound penetrated into some sprung-up rage which was burning fuel for the cold.
    —Norman Mailer, Cannibals and Christians (1966)