Will Durant: “The Economic Elements of Civilization” (1935)

‘It is impossible to be scientific here; for in calling other human beings “savage” or “barbarous” we may be expressing no objective fact, but only our fierce fondness for ourselves, and our timid shyness in the presence of alien ways. Doubtless we underestimate these simple peoples, who have so much to teach us in hospitalityContinue reading “Will Durant: “The Economic Elements of Civilization” (1935)”

Will Durant – “The Conditions of Civilization”

Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Some seven years ago I began to see something I’d missed before, a connection in all things. The romantic era poets led me to this place, where all teachers before them had failed. The public school curricula had always encouraged teachers to connect one field of study toContinue reading “Will Durant – “The Conditions of Civilization””

Weezer; Henry Miller: Sexus (1950)

Chapter 1: Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterionContinue reading “Weezer; Henry Miller: Sexus (1950)”

Boccaccio: Day 1, Stories 1-3.

I think the fondest pre-reading memory of Boccaccio I have is as I stood outside a billiards-room in Amherst, having been reintroduced to Will after some years, and while I’m trying to decide if anyone realizes that I’m only pretending to smoke a cigarette, he’s trying to make a point about Walter Benjamin’s “Mechanical Reproduction” and askedContinue reading “Boccaccio: Day 1, Stories 1-3.”

Boccaccio & Heloise…From My House to a Nearby Mexican Restaurant

It’s just about 5am. We have new tables. A whole bunch of new tables. We have four tables, and five chairs. That’s such a poor ratio that I’m afraid guests won’t know which are which. Anyway, I’m awake for two reasons. The most likely one is the nausea from my new round of antibiotics. TheContinue reading “Boccaccio & Heloise…From My House to a Nearby Mexican Restaurant”

Percept vs Phantasm

Some of the best things are not the new ones, but the old ones repeated well. “First the external senses…operate on an object present before us and produce a percept. The internal senses, primarily the imagination, produce a phantasm or mental image of the individual object perceived, and this phantasm is retained and can beContinue reading “Percept vs Phantasm”

poetry: Ginsberg – Howl and other poems (1956)

Some weeks ago Caleb and I spent four hours walking up and down and around the block, past the hospital, in and out of bars as each was either too noisy, or too empty, and eventually to the convenience store where I bought some milk and frosted flakes, and back to my refrigerator, and thenContinue reading “poetry: Ginsberg – Howl and other poems (1956)”

Tanaka: New Tale of Zatoichi (1963)

The radiators are screaming like lobsters boiling alive, outside the sounds of things coming and going, wind whistling in the tree, sirens, planes zipping around, in short, a frighteningly noisy night. A week ago the place was a cornucopia of delights, breads, fruits, juices, yogurts, everything a boy could want. But now, it’s back toContinue reading “Tanaka: New Tale of Zatoichi (1963)”

Mori: The Tale of Zatoichi Continues (1962)

Everything compounds until I’m ripe for madness. The iron will not heat when I plug it in, no matter how many combinations of switches I try, not even when I unplug it and place it on the radiator. I’ve used it once. And that’s the way with us here, we use things once and thenContinue reading “Mori: The Tale of Zatoichi Continues (1962)”