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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

One Hand Clapping

The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, bearing the famed epigram about one hand clapping.

Alan Watt's The Spirit of Zen was published in 1935 and on page 69 of the third edition (Grove) one finds:

"A sound is made by the clapping of two hands. What is the sound of one hand?"

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Constitution of Reality?

A character in W. Gaddis's A Frolic of His Own is "haunted by the sense that 'reality may not exist at all except in the words in which it presents itself.' "

Not sure the humans or hominids of prehistory who communicated in grunts and gestures and lived like packs of wild dogs would agree with this.

New Yorker ad, artist uncredited.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Les Fleurs du Mal

M. LeClerc: "Baudelaire--Let us surrender to lust, defeatism, loneliness, occasional necrophilia, and willing slavery to beauty that stuns."

Not entirely sure this is the royal road to robust emotional health.

Beckett vs. Joyce

M. LeClerc: "Joyce was obviously highly allusive (Beckett’s early character Murphy being “one of the elect who require everything to remind them of something”), so, to maintain his integrity, to keep from suffocating as a result of having  Joyce’s bathrobe over his head, it would appear Beckett decided to become, with a passion, not to say fanaticism, non-allusive, to adopt feigned ignorance as his strong suit, face in the mud and tasting it, before and after Ping, as he indicates, or seems to indicate, in Krapp’s Last Tape.”

Photographer unidentified.