We, Mirrorlike point of the pavement

Twenty-second Entry

TOPICS:

Congealed Waves – Everything Is Being Perfected – I Am a Microbe

The building of the Integral will be completed in one hundred and twenty days. The great historic hour when the first Integral will soar into cosmic space is drawing near. One thousand years ago your heroic ancestors subdued the entire terrestrial globe to the power of the One State. Yours will be a still more glorious feat: you will integrate the infinite equation of the universe with the aid of the fire-breathing, electric, glass Integral. You will subjugate the unknown beings on other planets, who may still be living in the primitive condition of freedom, to the beneficent yoke of reason.

Через 120 дней заканчивается постройка ИНТЕГРАЛА. Близок великий, исторический час, когда первый ИНТЕГРАЛ взовьется в мировое пространство. Тысячу лет тому назад ваши героические предки покорили власти Единого Государства весь земной шар. Вам предстоит еще более славный подвиг: стеклянным, электрическим, огнедышащим ИНТЕГРАЛОМ проинтегрировать бесконечное уравнение Вселенной. Вам предстоит благодетельному игу разума подчинить неведомые существа, обитающие на иных планетах — быть может, еще в диком состоянии свободы. Если они не поймут, что мы несем им математически безошибочное счастье, наш долг заставить их быть счастливыми. Но прежде оружия мы испытаем слово.

Imagine yourself standing on the shore: the waves rise rhythmically, then, having risen, suddenly remain there— frozen, congealed. It seemed just as eerie and unnatural when our daily walk, prescribed by the Table of Hours, suddenly halted midway, and everyone was thrown into confusion. The last time something similar happened, according to our annals, was 119 years ago, when a meteorite dropped, smoking and whistling, right into the thick of the marching rows.

Continue reading “We, Mirrorlike point of the pavement”

He had suddenly perceived, where it was trying to surge upwards in a flowing tide of sound, the mass of the piano-part, multiform, coherent, level, and breaking everywhere in melody like the deep blue tumult of the sea

Or quand le pianiste eut joué, Swann fut plus aimable encore avec lui qu’avec les autres personnes qui se trouvaient là. Voici pourquoi :

L’année précédente, dans une soirée, il avait entendu une œuvre musicale exécutée au piano et au violon. D’abord, il n’avait goûté que la qualité matérielle des sons sécrétés par les instruments. Et ç’avait déjà été un grand plaisir quand au-dessous de la petite ligne du violon mince, résistante, dense et directrice, il avait vu tout d’un coup chercher à s’élever en un clapotement liquide, la masse de la partie de piano, multiforme, indivise, plane et entrechoquée comme la mauve agitation des flots que charme et bémolise le clair de lune. Mais à un moment donné, sans pouvoir nettement distinguer un contour, donner un nom à ce qui lui plaisait, charmé tout d’un coup, il avait cherché à recueillir la phrase ou l’harmonie — il ne savait lui-même — qui passait et lui avait ouvert plus largement l’âme, comme certaines odeurs de roses circulant dans l’air humide du soir ont la propriété de dilater nos narines. Peut-être est-ce parce qu’il ne savait pas la musique qu’il avait pu éprouver une impression aussi confuse, une de ces impressions qui sont peut-être pourtant les seules purement musicales, inétendues, entièrement originales, irréductibles à tout autre ordre d’impressions. Une impression de ce genre, pendant un instant, est pour ainsi dire sine materia. Sans doute les notes que nous entendons alors tendent déjà, selon leur hauteur et leur quantité, à couvrir devant nos yeux des surfaces de dimensions variées, à tracer des arabesques, à nous donner des sensations de largeur, de ténuité, de stabilité, de caprice. Mais les notes sont évanouies avant que ces sensations soient assez formées en nous pour ne pas être submergées par celles qu’éveillent déjà les notes suivantes ou même simultanées. Et cette impression continuerait à envelopper de sa liquidité et de son « fondu » les motifs qui par instants en émergent, à peine discernables, pour plonger aussitôt et disparaître, connus seulement par le plaisir particulier qu’ils donnent, impossibles à décrire, à se rappeler, à nommer, ineffables — si la mémoire, comme un ouvrier qui travaille à établir des fondations durables au milieu des flots, en fabriquant pour nous des fac-similés de ces phrases fugitives, ne nous permettait de les comparer à celles qui leur succèdent et de les différencier. Ainsi à peine la sensation délicieuse que Swann avait ressentie était-elle expirée, que sa mémoire lui en avait fourni séance tenante une transcription sommaire et provisoire, mais sur laquelle il avait jeté les yeux tandis que le morceau continuait, si bien que, quand la même impression était tout d’un coup revenue, elle n’était déjà plus insaisissable. Il s’en représentait l’étendue, les groupements symétriques, la graphie, la valeur expressive ; il avait devant lui cette chose qui n’est plus de la musique pure, qui est du dessin, de l’architecture, de la pensée, et qui permet de se rappeler la musique. Cette fois il avait distingué nettement une phrase s’élevant pendant quelques instants au-dessus des ondes sonores. Elle lui avait proposé aussitôt des voluptés particulières, dont il n’avait jamais eu l’idée avant de l’entendre, dont il sentait que rien autre qu’elle ne pourrait les lui faire connaître, et il avait éprouvé pour elle comme un amour inconnu.

Continue reading “He had suddenly perceived, where it was trying to surge upwards in a flowing tide of sound, the mass of the piano-part, multiform, coherent, level, and breaking everywhere in melody like the deep blue tumult of the sea”

Tell me, do you know how to dream?

I just want to see if one can live and breathe and be in the wilderness too, willing good things and doing them, and sleeping and dreaming at night.

I have seen my brother; we met, what’s more, in the thick of the city crowd. Our meeting turned out to be a very friendly one. It was unforced and affectionate. Johann behaved very nicely, and probably I did, too. We went to a small, reticent restaurant and had a talk there. “Just you go on being yourself, brother,” Johann said to me, “begin from all the way down, that’s fine. If you need help …” I made a gesture of refusal. He went on: “For look, you see, it’s hardly worth it, up there at the top. If you see what I mean. Don’t misunderstand me, brother.” I gave a lively nod, for I knew in advance what he was saying, but I asked him to go on, and he said: “It’s the atmosphere up there. I mean, they’ve all got an air of having done enough, and that stops things, it’s cramping. I hope you don’t quite understand me, for, if you did understand me, brother, you’d be a dreadful person.” We laughed. Oh, to be able to laugh with my brother, I like that. He said: “You are now, so to speak, a zero, my good brother. But when one is young, one should be a zero, for nothing is more ruinous than being a bit important early on, too early on. Certainly: you’re a bit important to yourself. That’s fine. Excellent. But for the world you’re still nothing, and that’s almost just as excellent. I keep hoping you won’t quite understand me, for if you understood me completely …” “I’d be a dreadful person,” I broke in. We laughed again. It was very jolly.

A strange fire began to animate me. My eyes were burning. I like it very much, by the way, when I feel so burned up. My face gets quite red. And then thoughts full of purity and loftiness usually assail me. Johann went on, he said: “Brother, please, don’t always interrupt me. That silly young laughter of yours has a stifling effect on ideas. Listen! Pay close attention now. What I’m telling you may be useful to you one day. Above all: never think of yourself as an outcast. There are no outcasts, brother, for perhaps there’s nothing in this world that’s worth aspiring to. And yet you must aspire, even passionately so. But so as to become not too full of longings: realize that there is nothing, nothing worth aspiring to. Everything is rotten. Do you understand that? Look, I keep hoping that you can’t quite understand all this. It worries me.” I said: “Unfortunately I’m too intelligent to misunderstand you, as you hope I might But don’t worry. Your revelations don’t frighten me at all.” We smiled at one another. Then we ordered some more drinks, and Johann, who, by the way, did look uncommonly elegant, went on talking: “Of course there’s progress on earth, so called, but that’s only one of the many lies which the business people put out, so that they can squeeze money out of the crowd more blatantly and mercilessly. The masses are the slaves of today, and the individual is the slave of the vast mass-ideas. There’s nothing beautiful and excellent left. You must dream up beauty and goodness and justice. Tell me, do you know how to dream?”

Continue reading “Tell me, do you know how to dream?”

Chapter 7: A Mad Tea Party

ACT I

A table set out under a tree. A house.
Evening.

The Hatter, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his hat. He pulls at it with both hands, panting.
He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again.
As before.
Enter March Hare.
THE HATTER:
(giving up again). Nothing to be done.
MARCH HARE:
(advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying March Hare, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to The Hatter.) So there you are again.
THE HATTER:
Am I?
MARCH HARE:
I’m glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.
THE HATTER:
Me too.
MARCH HARE:
Together again at last! We’ll have to celebrate this. But how? (He reflects.) Get up till I embrace you.
THE HATTER:
(irritably). Not now, not now.
MARCH HARE:
(hurt, coldly). May one inquire where His Highness spent the night?
THE HATTER:
In a ditch.
MARCH HARE:
(admiringly). A ditch! Where?
THE HATTER:
(without gesture). Over there.

Continue reading “Chapter 7: A Mad Tea Party”

独行道, Leið sjálfstæðismanna

時代、時代の道は外さない

Accept things as they are, not what you want them to be

自分の楽しみやトクを考えない

Seek not pleasure for its own sake

どんなことにも依存心を持たない

Avoid likes and dislikes

自分のことより、世のことを深く思う

Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world

生涯、欲望にとらわれない

Detach from desire

自分のしたことは、後悔しない

Avoid regret

善悪の判断に、他人を妬む心は挟まない

Avoid jealousy

違う道を選んだ人との別れや、心離れを悲しまない

Do not be saddened by separation

Continue reading “独行道, Leið sjálfstæðismanna”

I am gone for euer. Exit pursued by a Beare.

Shakespeare was the theatre’s greatest craftsman: he wasted no tortured ratiocination on his plays. Instead he filled them with the gaudy heroes that all of us see ourselves becoming on some bright morrow, and the lowly frauds and clowns we are today.”
H. L. Mencken

People are afraid to merge on the Queen’s Highway in London. This is the first thing I hear when I come back to the city. Juliet picks me up from the docks and mutters this under her breath as her carriage drives up the onramp. She says, “People are afraid to merge on highways in London.” Though that sentence shouldn’t bother me, it stays in my mind for an uncomfortably long time. Nothing else seems to matter. Not the fact that I’m eighteen and it’s December and the ride on the ship had been rough and the couple from Ipswich, who were sitting across from me in first class, had gotten pretty drunk. Not the mud that had splattered the legs of my jeans, which felt kind of cold and loose, earlier that day at a port in France. Not the stain on the arm of the wrinkled, damp shirt I wear, a shirt which had looked fresh and clean this morning. Not the tear on the neck of my gray argyle vest, which seems vaguely more Parisian than before, especially next to Juliet’s clean tight jeans and her pale-blue T-shirt. All of this seems irrelevant next to that one sentence. It seems easier to hear that people are afraid to merge rather than “I’m pretty sure Portia is anorexic” or the singer on the street crying out about aether. Nothing else seems to matter to me but those eleven words. Not the warm winds, which seem to propel the carriage down the empty cobblestone way, or the faded smell of marijuana which still faintly permeates Juliet’s hair. All it comes down to is that I’m a boy coming home for a month and meeting someone whom I haven’t seen for four months and people are afraid to merge. Dude, I haue neither the Schollers melancholy, which is emulation: nor the Musitians, which is fantasticall; nor the Courtiers, which is proud: nor the Souldiers, which is ambitious: nor the Lawiers, which is politick: nor the Ladies, which is nice: nor the Louers, which is all these: but it is a melancholy of mine owne, compounded of many simples, extracted from many obiects, and indeed the sundrie contemplation of my trauells, in which by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadnesse.

By me William Shakspeare,
William Shaksper, William Shakspere,
Willm Shakp, Willm Shakspere,
Wm Shakspe

Argued by Signs; Ha, my masters, a great secret!

SECOND BOOK, PANTAGRUEL

Foreword, Prelude, Beginning, Exordium, Explanation, Introduction, Opening, Overture, Preamble …

Most illustrious and thrice valorous champions, gentlemen and others, who willingly apply your minds to the entertainment of pretty conceits and honest harmless knacks of wit; you have not long ago seen, read, and understood the great and inestimable Chronicle of the huge and mighty giant Gargantua, and, like upright faithfullists, have firmly believed all to be true that is contained in them, and have very often passed your time with them amongst honourable ladies and gentlewomen, telling them fair long stories, when you were out of all other talk, for which you are worthy of great praise and sempiternal memory. And I do heartily wish that every man would lay aside his own business, meddle no more with his profession nor trade, and throw all affairs concerning himself behind his back, to attend this wholly, without distracting or troubling his mind with anything else, until he have learned them without book; that if by chance the art of printing should cease, or in case that in time to come all books should perish, every man might truly teach them unto his children, and deliver them over to his successors and survivors from hand to hand as a religious cabal; for there is in it more profit than a rabble of great pocky loggerheads are able to discern, who surely understand far less in these little merriments than the fool Raclet did in the Institutions of Justinian.

Continue reading “Argued by Signs; Ha, my masters, a great secret!”