Thursday, April 19, 2007

We are not aware when new beginnings arrive; we only discover them later when they have already engulfed us, when everything merely continues. Then we believe that everything could have been different, but it could not have.

Mesa Selimovic, Death and the Dervish

Monday, April 16, 2007

Everything changes when a man loses his bearings.

Mesa Selimovic, Death and the Dervish

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I think it was at this period that my own talk began to upset me. The words I uttered seemed like false smiles I was displaying at a party I’d gone to against my will. Sometimes I would overhear myself in the act of speech, like a man who suddenly sees himself in a mirror. Then I grew afraid….I began to wonder whether anything I had ever said was what I had wanted to say. I began to wonder whether anything I had ever written was what I had wanted to write, or whether what I had wanted to write was underneath, trying to push its way through….Sometimes I imagine that if we were very still we could hear, rising from the forests and oceans, the quiet laughter of animals, as they listen to us talk….I had thought that words were instruments of precision. Now I know that they devour the world, leaving nothing in its place.

Steven Millhauser, History of A Disturbance in the New Yorker of March 5, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I mentioned to him a friend of mine who was formerly gloomy from low spirits, and much distressed by the fear of death, but was now uniformly placid, and contemplated his dissolution without any perturbation. "Sir, (said Johnson,) this is only a disordered imagination taking a different turn."

James Boswell in his The Life of Samuel Johnson