The Country Boy

Soy el tigre.
Te acecho entre las hojas anchas como lingotes
de mineral mojado.
El río blanco crece bajo la niebla. Llegas.
Desnuda te sumerges. Espero.


Under the volcanoes, beside the snow-capped mountains, among the huge lakes, the fragrant, the silent, the tangled Chilean forest … My feet sink down into the dead leaves, a fragile twig crackles, the giant rauli trees rise in all their bristling height, a bird from the cold jungle passes over, flaps its wings, and stops in the sunless branches. And then, from its hideaway, it sings like an oboe … The wild scent of the laurel, the dark scent of the boldo herb enter my nostrils and flood my whole being … The cypress of the Guaitecas blocks my way … This is a vertical world: a nation of birds, a plenitude of leaves … I stumble over a rock, dig up the uncovered hollow, an enormous spider covered with red hair stares up at me, motionless, as huge as a crab … A golden carabus beetle blows its mephitic breath at me, as its brilliant rainbow disappears like lightning … Going on, I pass through a forest of ferns much taller than I am: from their cold green eyes sixty tears splash down on my face and, behind me, their fans go on quivering for a long time … A decaying tree trunk: what a treasure!… Black and blue mushrooms have given it ears, red parasite plants have covered it with rubies, other lazy plants have let it borrow their beards, and a snake springs out of the rotted body like a sudden breath, as if the spirit of the dead trunk were slipping away from it … Farther along, each tree stands away from its fellows … They soar up over the carpet of the secretive forest, and the foliage of each has its own style, linear, bristling, ramulose, lanceolate, as if cut by shears moving in infinite ways … A gorge; below, the crystal water slides over granite and jasper … A butterfly goes past, bright as a lemon, dancing between the water and the sunlight … Close by, innumerable calceolarias nod their little yellow heads in greeting … High up, red copihues (Lapageria rosea) dangle like drops from the magic forest’s arteries … The red copihue is the blood flower, the white copihue is the snow flower … A fox cuts through the silence like a flash, sending a shiver through the leaves, but silence is the law of the plant kingdom … The barely audible cry of some bewildered animal far off … The piercing interruption of a hidden bird … The vegetable world keeps up its low rustle until a storm churns up all the music of the earth.

Anyone who hasn’t been in the Chilean forest doesn’t know this planet.

I have come out of that landscape, that mud, that silence, to roam, to go singing through the world.

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1405 G. Chaucer Franklin’s Tale l.420 At Orliens in Studie a book he say Of Magyk naturel, which his felawe..Hadde prively vp on his desk ylaft

desk, n.

Forms: Also Middle English–1600s deske, (Middle English–1600s desque, 1500s dexe, dext), 1500s–1700s Scottish dask.

Etymology: Middle English deske, apparently immediately < medieval Latin desca ‘cum descis et scamnis, et aliis ornamentis’ (c1250 in Du Cange). The latter is to be referred ultimately to Latin discus (also used in medieval Latin in the sense ‘table’), of which the regular Romanic form remains in Italian desco ‘a deske, a table, a boord, a counting boord; also a forme, a bench, a seat, or stoole’ (Florio). Probably from this Italian desco, the medieval Latin desca (feminine) (like mensa, tabula) was formed.
Desk was in no way actually connected with dish , Old English disc , Middle English disch , although Old English disc , West Germanic disk , was itself an ancient adoption of Latin discus . The Old French representation of Latin discus , Romance desco , Provençal des , was deis , English dais n. Thus dais, desk, dish, disk, all originate in the same word.

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A Man in Love, … next year I shall plant some Tomatoes

Walking down a narrow street one evening, I stole a melon. The fruit seller, who was lurking behind his fruit, caught me by the arm.

Miss, I’ve been waiting for a chance like this for forty years. For forty years I’ve hidden behind this pile of oranges in the hope that somebody might pinch some fruit. And the reason for that is this: I want to talk, I want to tell my story. If you don’t listen, I’ll hand you over to the police.

I’m listening, I told him.

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The topographical and anatomical information in particular is lost on me … I see nothing. It’s because there is nothing.

I see nothing. It’s because there is nothing. Or it’s because I have no eyes. Or both. (That makes three possibilities, to choose from.) But do I really see nothing? It’s not the moment to tell a lie. But how can you not tell a lie? What an idea!

A voice like this, who can check it? It tries everything. It’s blind, it seeks me blindly, in the dark. It seeks a mouth, to enter into. Who can query it? There is no other. (You’d need a head? you’d need things? I don’t know. I look too often as if I knew. It’s the voice does that: it goes all knowing, to make me think I know, to make me think it’s mine.)

It has no interest in eyes. It says I have none, or that they are no use to me. Then it speaks of tears. Then it speaks of gleams. It is truly at a loss. Gleams? Yes: far or near. (Distances: you know, measurements. Enough said?) Gleams, as at dawn. Then dying, as at evening. Or flaring up – they do that too: blaze up more dazzling than snow, for a second (that’s short!), then fizzle out.

That’s true enough?

If you like: one forgets, I forget. I say I see nothing, or I say it’s all in my head (as if I felt a head on me!). That’s all hypotheses, lies. These gleams too: they were to save me, they were to devour me. That came to nothing. I see nothing (either because of this or else on account of that). And these images at which they watered me, like a camel, before the desert? I don’t know. More lies, just for the fun of it? (Fun! What fun we’ve had! What fun of it!) All lies? (That’s soon said – you must say soon, it’s the regulations.)

The place. I’ll make it all the same. I’ll make it in my head, I’ll draw it out of my memory, I’ll gather it all about me. (I’ll make myself a head, I’ll make myself a memory.) I have only to listen: the voice will tell me everything (tell it to me again), everything I need – in dribs and drabs, breathless.

Continue reading “The topographical and anatomical information in particular is lost on me … I see nothing. It’s because there is nothing.”

To dream burnished surfaces are a figuration and promise of the infinite … how little we know

The Library of Babel

The Universe, which others call the Library, is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. In the center of each gallery is a ventilation shaft, bounded by a low railing. From any hexagon one can see the floors above and below—one after another, endlessly. The arrangement of the galleries is always the same: Twenty bookshelves, five to each side, line four of the hexagon’s six sides; the height of the bookshelves, floor to ceiling, is hardly greater than the height of a normal librarian.

One of the hexagon’s free sides opens onto a narrow sort of vestibule, which in turn opens onto another gallery, identical to the first— identical in fact to all. To the left and right of the vestibule are two tiny compartments. One is for sleeping, upright; the other, for satisfying one’s physical necessities (otro, satisfacer las necesidades fecales). Through this space, too, there passes a spiral staircase, which winds upward and downward into the remotest distance. In the vestibule there is a mirror, which faithfully duplicates appearances. Men often infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite—if it were, what need would there be for that illusory replication? I prefer to dream that burnished surfaces are a figuration and promise of the infinite…. Light is provided by certain spherical fruits that bear the name “bulbs.” There are two of these bulbs in each hexagon, set crosswise. The light they give is insufficient, and unceasing.

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With love to you all, including Triggs, I remain, Yours very affectionately

To Thy goodness we commend ourselves this night beseeching Thy protection of us through its darkness and dangers. We are helpless and dependent; graciously preserve us. For all whom we love and value, for every friend and connection, we equally pray; however divided and far asunder, we know that we are alike before Thee, and under Thine eye. May we be equally united in Thy faith and fear, in fervent devotion towards Thee, and in Thy merciful protection this night.

Elizabeth felt herself growing more angry every moment; yet she tried to the utmost to speak with composure when she said: “You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.”

She saw him start at this, but he said nothing, and she continued: “You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.”

Again his astonishment was obvious; and he looked at her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification. She went on: “From the very beginning–from the first moment, I may almost say–of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

“You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness.”

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Her on þisan geare .. Ælfgar biscop se ælmesfulla forðferde on Cristesmæsseuhtan … Feowertig daga ær Criste acennisse, þæt is ær geolum [v.r. gyhhelum]

OE Phoenix 37 Wintres ond sumeres wudu bið gelice bledum gehongen. OE Beowulf 1128 Hengest ða gyt wælfagne winter wunode mid Finne. OE Ælfric De Temporibus Anni (Cambr. Gg.3.28) (2009) x. 94 Durh his [sc. of zephyr] blæd acuciað ealle eorðlice blæda.., & se wind towyrpð & ðawað ælcne winter. OE Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Tiber. B.iv) anno 1021 Her on þisan geare..Ælfgar biscop se ælmesfulla forðferde on Cristesmæsseuhtan.

OE Rule St. Benet (Corpus Cambr.) viii. 32 On wintres timan [a1225 Winteney wintres tyman], þæt is fram þan anginne þæs monðes, þe is nouember gehaten, oþ eastran..on þære eahteþan tide þære nihte is to arisenne. OE Genesis B 370 And moste [ic] ane tid ute weorðan, wesan ane winterstunde. OE King Ælfred tr. Boethius De Consol. Philos. (Bodl.) (2009) I. xxi. 285 On sumera hit bið wearm and on wintra ceald. OE Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Laud) (Peterborough contin.) anno 1127 Ðis gear heald se kyng Heanri his hird æt Cristesmæsse on Windlesoure. OE Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Parker) Introd. Þa feng Ęlfred hiera broþur to rice, & þa was agan his ielde xxiii wintra. OE Possessions, Rents, & Grants, Bury St. Edmunds in A. J. Robertson Anglo-Saxon Charters (1956) 194 Brihtric hæfð.. i mæsseboc & winterrædingboc & sumerboc. OE Fortunes of Men 9 God ana wat hwæt him weaxendum winter bringað. OE On Length of Shadow (Tiber.) in T. O. Cockayne Leechdoms, Wortcunning, & Starcraft (1866) III. 218 On viii kalend Ianuarii þæt byð on cristesmæssedæg byð seo sceadu to underne..seofon & twentigoþan healfes fotes. OE Laws: Rectitudines (Corpus Cambr.) ix. 450 viii pund cornes to mete, i sceap oððe iii pæniga to wintersufle. OE Anglo-Saxon Chron. (Parker) anno 886 Her for se here..up on Sigene & þær wintersetl [OE Tiber. B.i wintersetu] namon. OE Phoenix 18 Ne mæg þær ren ne snaw.., ne sunnan hætu, ne sincaldu, ne wearm weder, ne winterscur wihte gewyrdan. OE Prudentius Glosses (Boulogne 189) in H. D. Meritt Old Eng. Prudentius Glosses (1959) 4 [Sub quo prima dies mihi quam multas] hiemes [uoluerit] : wintras oþþe ger. OE Wulfstan Homily: Be Cristendome (York) in A. S. Napier Wulfstan (1883) 311 Leohtgescot gelæste man be wite to Cristesmæssan and to candelmæssan and to eastron. OE Blickling Homilies 213 Wæs se winter eac þy geare to þæs grim þæt manig man his feorh for cyle gesealde. OE Will of Abba (Sawyer 1482) in N. P. Brooks & S. E. Kelly Charters of Christ Church Canterbury, Pt. 2 (2013) 665 Ten hennfuglas, ðritig teapera gif hit wintres deg sie, sester fulne huniges. OE Maxims II 5 Winter byð cealdost, lencten hrimigost.., sumor sunwlitegost. OE Permission to ring Bells, Exeter in J. Earle Hand-bk. Land-charters (1888) 260 Þat yc..gef leaua ðam munche on Sancte Nicholaus minstre to hringinde hyre tyde be dage & be nihte, hwanne hy efre willat..bute an Cristesmasseniht, & giestersunneue. OE Phoenix 250 Forst ond snaw mid ofermægne eorþan þeccað wintergewædum. OE Wanderer 24 Ic hean þonan wod wintercearig ofer waþena [read waþema] gebind, sohte seledreorig sinces bryttan. OE tr. Orosius Hist. (BL Add.) (1980) i. xiv. 35 Þa Læcedemonia besætan þa burg Mæse x winter.

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