I got in and started the engine, also turning on the radio. When the music began I wished that there might be more switches to turn on, for it was somehow not enough. —
Saul Bellow, Humbolt’s Gift
Somehow I am a sucker for beauty and can trust only it, but I keep passing through and out of it again. It never has enough duration. — Saul Bellow, Henderson, The Rain King (via talesofpassingtime)
'I would like you to write a simple story just once more,' he says, 'the kind de Maupassant wrote, or Chekhov, the kind you used to write. Just recognizable people and then write down what happened to them next.
I say, ‘Yes, why not? That’s possible.’ I want to please him, though I don’t remember writing that way. I would like to try to tell such a story, if he means the kind that begins: ‘There was a woman…’ followed by plot, the absolute line between two points which I’ve always despised. Not for literary reasons, but because it takes all hope away. Everyone, real or invented, deserves the open destiny of life. — "A Conversation with My Father" by Grace Paley
Stills from Earth Medicine
by Iman Person
The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell of fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt—and there is the story of mankind. — John Steinbeck, East of Eden (via millionen)
“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.”
Marilynne Robinson // Gilead
To the militant, identity is everything. And all photographs wait to be explained or falsified by their captions. During the fighting between Serbs and Croats at the beginning of the recent Balkan wars, the same photographs of children killed in the shelling of a village were passed around at both Serb and Croat propaganda briefings. Alter the caption, and the children’s deaths could be used and reused.
Images of dead civilians and smashed houses may serve to quicken hatred of the foe, as did the hourly re-runs by Al Jazeera…of the destruction in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002. Incendiary as the footage was to the many who watch Al Jazeera throughout the world, it did not tell them anything about the Israeli army they were not already primed to believe. In contrast, images offering evidence that contradicts cherished pieties are invariably dismissed as having been staged for the camera. To photograph corroboration of the atrocities committed by one’s own side, the standard response is that the pictures are a fabrication, that not such atrocity ever took place, those were bodies the other side had brought in trucks from the city morgue and place about the street, or that, yes it happened and it was the other side who did it, to themselves. Thus the chief of propaganda for Franc’s Nationalist rebellion maintained that it was the Basques who had destroyed their own ancient town…” — Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag