Wednesday, August 15, 2018

It's starting again


Well i was already thinking this way in 2014 it seems, but sometimes when you read a book the protagonist's musings really chime with your own thoughts...
Synchronicity? Well yes i think so, for example i've had houellebecq's submission sitting on a shelf for a year or so, friends have picked it up and put it down, now i started it at particularly the right time for me as i contemplate travelling on my own...

I started to wonder what I was doing there. This very basic question can occur to anyone, anywhere, at any moment in his life, but there's no denying that the solitary traveller is especially vulnerable. If Myriam had been with me, I'd still have no good reason for being in Martel, yet the question simply wouldn't have arisen.A couple is a world, autonomous and enclosed, that moves through the larger world essentially untouched; on my own, I was full of chips and cracks, and it took a certain amount of courage for me to slip the information sheet into my jacket pocket and go out into the village.

My mailbox was full of various kinds of bureaucratic mail, some of which would require an immediate response. To maintain order in your bureaucratic life, you more or less have to stay home; go away for any length of time and you're always likely to run foul of some agency or other. I knew it would take several days to get back up to speed. 

In a certain milieu - granted a very small one - I was known and even respected. Financially, I had nothing to complain about. Until I died I was guaranteed a generous income, twice the national average, without having to do any work. And yet I knew I was close to suicide, not out of despair or even any special sadness, simply from the degradation of 'the set of functions that resist death' in Bichat's formation. The mere will to live was clearly no match for the pains and aggravations that punctuate the life of the average Western man. I was incapable of living for myself, and who else did I have to live for? Humanity didn't interest me - it disgusted me, actually.


New Zealand on the map!

So nobody is ever missing is set mainly in new zealand, the next book i read set in belgium (thirty days) a character goes to new zealand - what are the odds??

Also this.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Nobody is ever missing

As we walked home that night smelling like the bourbon that had drizzled onto our knees, i knew that my husband was a song that i had forgotten the words to and i was a fuzzy photograph of someone he used to love and i knew that the song my husband was, the song i had forgotten, was not only forgotten but no longer existed, that there had only been one record of it and it had been melted down and turned into something else and only one person knew how to sing it and that person was long since dead.

The adversary

Reading Hans Keilson's strange book in the morning sitting by a window and he writes about hearing people pass by on the street outside... just two minutes later there's two guys having a sunday morning argument on the street..

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Murakami writes:

 After much deep thought he reached a conclusion. No matter how clear the relationship of things might become in the forest of story,there was never a clear-cut solution. That was how it was differed from math. the role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form [...] It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell.

Saturday, May 02, 2015


Two days ago my friend was reading Oliver Sacks' Anthropologist on Mars and we talked about the weird autistic woman (he writes about) who wanted to make it easier on cows for them to die so we could enjoy eating meat. I don't knock her for easeing suffering but I do wonder why she didn't become an advocate of vegetarianism instead. Maybe she should watch Dr Death , the Errol Morris film about a guy who wanted to make the best electric chair known to (wo)man and ended up being friends with Holocaust deniers. Anyhoo, sitting in the sun and reading Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen, I came across this on page 93:

Magda put her hand on my back, which is such a gentle and comforting way to be touched; it's too easy to get into a vein of living where that no longer ever happens, where no one touches you in that particular kind of way, which produces a very particular feeling, not precisely reproduced by anything else, except maybe by that hug machine that autistic woman designed in order to calm down cows on their way to slaughter.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bodily resonance

On a day of stomach pain and cold feet.... Broken April by Ismail Kadare begins:
His feet were cold
[And goes on to discuss stomach ache]

Friday, June 06, 2014

What sprouts in Brussel?

Yes yes, the synchronicities did not stop yet sometimes the will to record doth flag.

This is a good one though..

So I was poring over a Belgian guidebook before bedtime, devouring some history lessons wot they didn't teach at skool.

I read about Waterloo, and how close "we" came to losing. And then what language would be speaking now i wondered....

Upon victory, Wellington is said to have remarked "Nothing save a battle lost is so terrible as a battle won".

I then went to bed and picked up Sebastian Faulks' alright novel 'A Week in December' [apparently it's a 'delightful and witty satire on contemporary London life'], in which Veals the nasty stockbroker uses the Wellington quote...

Two books, one quote, read twice in two minutes.

Philip K. Dick A Maze of Death

Wondering what the fuck I'm doing with my life and... Forty-two. His age had astounded him for years, and each time he had sat so astounded, trying to figure out what had become of the young, slim man in his twenties, a whole additional year slipped by and had to be recorded, a continually growing sum which he could not reconcile with his self-image.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping - Anthony Burgess

This all seems quite appropriate given the date and the expected weather.

But then, with this very bad rainy weather, I thought how nice it would be if we could be together all the time, with the door locked and good fires going in both downstairs rooms, like Christmas, and all the people at work in the outside world while we listened to Music While You Work and then Mrs Dale's Diary with the sleet lashing away at the windows and everything warm and cosy within.