Sunday, December 31, 2017

A work of literature is not "about" the experience of its characters. It is the experience of the reader while reading.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

How much of our culture is merely a distraction from the hogging of the harvest?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Image Is Easy

It can be seen
without strain
and done
without effort.

You peel it
off the appearance
And stick it
onto the surface.

The image is light:
It is not hard.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sometimes it is our honesty that leads us away from the truth.
Sometimes our decency holds us back in the pursuit of justice.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Our wisdom sits uncomfortably with us.
now that the ground has shifted.

Our love looms ominously before us
as the horizon closes in.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Sadness is to feeling as
______ is to thought.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Folly, let us say, is "the wisdom of the heart", the error in thinking that is caused by feeling, the unreasonableness of passion. But it is not simply a defect. Its ground is in something positive: our emotions. And this is why Erasmus was able to sing its praises.

Spinoza talked about "the intellectual love of a thing". What is to passion as folly is to reason? What do we call the loss of feeling that is caused by thinking, the dispassionateness of reason? Melancholy. Dowland would find his composure there.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

To champion reason I don't need to degrade passion. My passions are as valid as my reasons.

If we want to know anything at all, said Kant, we must know some things immediately. Similarly, if we are to have any power whatsoever, some people must wield it immediately. We might also say that our knowledge requires that some things sometimes go unquestioned. Our power, likewise, requires that some people are sometimes not questioned.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Nuance is to sense
as impulse to motive.

Tell me how you feel.
Not what, but how.
What techniques, what devices
do you use? By what means do you
hold back your impulses?