Category Archives: literature

Victor Hugo


So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age — the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night — are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless. ~ Victor Hugo; part of his preface to Les Miserables.

Thoughts on Wot We Speek


One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. ~ Jack Kerouac

Who wouldn’t be confused by a language where a pastry is a sweetmeat and a pancreas is a sweetbread? ~ Anon (my favourite writer)

“It is often forgotten that dictionaries are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

“Correct” spelling, indeed, is one of the arts that are far more esteemed by schoolma’ams than by practical men, neck-deep in the heat and agony of the world. ~ HL Mencken

“The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath.” ~ Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. ~ James D. Nicoll

“The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.” ~  Oscar Wilde

Those who only use language to throw crude rocks are vulnerable to its sharp and deadly rapier thrusts. ~ Anon

 

 

The Peacelike Mongoose


Some decades ago there was a writer named James Thurber.
He wrote many very wise words.
I think he foresaw the 21st Century.

IN cobra country a mongoose was borne one day who didn’t want to fight cobras or anything else. The word spread from mongoose to mongoose that there was a mongoose who didn’t want to fight cobras. If he didn’t want to fight anything else, it was his own business, but it was the duty of every mongoose to kill cobras or be killed by cobras.

‘Why?’ asked the peacelike mongoose, and the word went around that the strange new  mongoose was not only pro-cobra and anti-mongoose but intellectually curious and against the ideals and traditions of mongoosism.

‘He is crazy,’ cried the young mongoose’s father.

‘He is sick,’ said his mother.

‘He is a coward,’ shouted his brothers.

‘He is a mongoosexual,’  whispered his sisters.

Strangers who had never laid eyes on the peacelike mongoose remembered that they had  seen him crawling on his stomach, or trying  on Cobra hoods, or plotting the violent overthrow of Mongoosia.

‘I am trying to use is reason and intelligence,’ said the strange new mongoose.

‘Reason is six-sevenths of treason,’ said one of his neighbours.

‘Intelligence is what the enemy uses,” said another.

Finally, the rumour spread that the mongoose had venom in his sting, like a cobra, and he was tried, convicted by a show of paws, and condemned to banishment.

MORAL;
Ashes to ashes, and clay to clay,
if the enemy doesn’t get you your own folks may

The New Idol


Some thoughts on the State by Freddy Nietzsche

as written in “Also Spake Zarasthustra”

 

Somewhere there are still people and herds, but not with us. . . .  Here are states. . . . .

A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters.nietzsche Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creeping from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

Confussion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state.

Everything will it give YOU, if YE worship it, the new idol: thus it purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honours”

The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all—is called “life.”

Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft—and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!

Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.

Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much money—these impotent ones!

See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.

Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness—as if happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne.

 

Thus spake Zarathustra not of but about

my country and my now; Australia 2014.

How many can you name?

 

The Purity of English


Oh The Places You’ll Go


Based on Dr. Seuss’s final book before his death, this is a story about life’s ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man 2011.

Dr Seuss and flashes of nudity are not concepts I would normally include in the same sentence. For this is from Burning Man and of course there is some innocent nudity.

Mostly there is a thoughtful challenge.

Burgled from Dolce

Cthulhu Arrived


In a care package which crossed the seas, my tatty cyber-Sis Marty had enclosed a creature close to my heart.

A creature from dimensions far from ours which will one day eat my soul!

Although I may contact John Carter who will be able to save me!

Oh, and Marty, I love craft work like this  🙂