Friday, November 2, 2012

Such a constant fall's companion

my classmate

I should say .. that blame for what
happened to me cannot be laid to the
war. On the contrary, the war, I am
certain, might still save me .. All
the war did was to remove my last
scruple about keeping to myself, a-
bout consuming the years and my heart
alone .. The war had made it legiti-
mate to turn in on oneself and live
from day to day without regretting
lost opportunities. It was as if I
had been waiting for the war a long
time and had been counting on it, a
war so vast and unprecedented that
one could easily go home to the hills,
crouch down, and let it rage in the
skies above the cities .. That species
of dull rancor that hemmed in my youth
found a refuge and a horizon in the war.

It almost doesn't mat-
ter if Leon Trotsky ev-
er said, You may not be 
be interested in war,
but war is interested in
you. He's not running.

The war's propagation of
self-calumny has failed,
and now that its objects
and techniques have been
exposed, we are told the
nation has a more urgent,
a higher calling than jus-
tice for her people.

The election in the United
States is about this large
and constant lie. War re-
mains very much interested
in us, and it has a name,
which is not ours.

        Imagine being so
        discouraged, Auguste.

        Imagine wanting
        people to be, Hercule.

Alexander Johansson

Cesare Pavese
The Selected Works
  of Cesare Pavese;
  The House on the Hill
R.W. Flint, translation
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968©
New York Review Books, 2001©

Thursday, November 1, 2012

1st November

  There's a guy running
  around out there like
  crazy, asking me to
  ruin my world for him,
  and if I do, he'll let
  me have more m&m's. He
  calls this, my dream.

Fredric Johansson
Tom Guinness
Benjamin Eidem

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In their trial


  What had happened?

  Had they left some record

  had they made a document;

  what let them trust a soul,

  especially their own?

  The Casement story
  has been written by
  our great imaginer 
  of the Andes from
  London. I don't sup-
  pose this explains
  its strength?

Mario Vargas Llosa
The Dream of the Celt
Edith Grossman, translation
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012©

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tolerable destruction

I think we remember, that what laid
the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina
most scaldingly before us, was a pre-
meditated acceptance of its outcome.
The Corps of Engineers and the gov-
ernments to which it reports were
comfortable with the genocidal dis-
tribution of the storm's damage. As
in the experience of HIV, as the or-
iginal George Bush so memorably stip-
ulated, the general population was
essentially home, free. 

In the present emergency, fair warn-
ing and a broader path restore us to
a more equitable guessing game, each
participant assessing his risks in a
more neutral statistical framework,
and discounting them accordingly. 
Survivors will be touched by fear,
but not by humiliation, and the or-
deal will feel like a struggle, not
a calumny. 

Now there will be suffering and 
death, not just compromised brake 
pads; but our exposure to risk will 
relieve us of lingering fellowship. 

Does that flow only from having no