I don't know about you, but I joined this site when I clicked on the "join our group!" link at the bottom of my "today's literary quote" gadget on my google home page. (Long sentence--sorry!) I have had that "quote" gadget on my page for forever and never noticed that there was a group I could join. The quotes are often inspiring, though some I must confess I don't understand very well.
I would have to say that the quotes, therefore, are an attractant to the site.
Today's quote is from novelist Martin Amis; I have never read a single one of his books, but this quote caught my eye and I found it instructive and humorous.
Life is made of fear. Some people eat fear soup three times a day. Some people eat fear soup all the meals there are. I eat it sometimes. When they bring me fear soup to eat, I try not to eat it, I try to send it back. But sometimes I'm too afraid to and have to eat it anyway.
The reason I like this quote so much is firstly because of its humorous cleverness; he tries not to eat the "fear soup" but he's afraid sometimes so he has to. (I guess this line is uttered by one of his characters? Perhaps someone who has read some of his work may be able to enlighten us.)
The second reason I like this quote is because of what it says about fear. Is there any point in struggling against fear...? (and so on! I could elaborate, but need to get back to work)
You are quite welcome. You read, never feel badly about what you read. So few people read, and analyze. You are the exception, stay that way. I have been lucky in my life to have been an English major though graduate school and to have gone to University before cultural relativism became fashionable ('64-71). One of the few real benefits of age!
FYI: I have found Kay Redfield Jamison's books very helpful reads when I am depressed. Since feelings and thoughts of loneliness and isolation are major outcomes of our "vile melancholy", reading Jamison (herself afflicted) has been very helpful to me. Her best is Touched with Fire. Free Press, New York, 1993.
Thank you for starting this on-going discussion responding to the Daily Literary Quotes! It is a perfect forum for Cultural Book!
I'm just now reading this thread, and what I see is the sharing of ideas and information and the asking of questions that piggyback on these comments. Some people take things to a personal level when they disagree--probably all of us do that sometimes, but I don't think Cheryl or Glenn or Trish were doing that. They were just participating in a discussion where it's more than ok to respectfully disagree. From my perspective as an objective observer, you are the only one who is taking it to a personal level here. I know my teaching background is showing here--sorry about that--but I just want to remind you that when people disagree with your ideas they are not disrespecting you as a person.
Kristi, I certainly never meant you any disrespect. Questioning the thinking of others is how I learn to change my own thinking.
07/16/2012 (Wow, it's the 16th already! yikes)
There is so much pleasure in complaining, said one philosopher, that for this pleasure alone, one should seek misfortune. (Pedro Calderon, dramatist)
This guy lived in the 1600s, and it occurs to me that he would have LOVED the internet.
But seriously, folks: He was also -- according to an online biography -- a soldier AND a Catholic priest, and something of a provocateur.
CLARIN. We both would show,
If perchance you do not know,
That we love you to distraction.
On a murderous transaction
We came here, to kill each other:—
So to put an end to the bother,
Just choose one for satisfaction.
(from "The Wonder-Working Magician" English translation on project gutenberg.org by Pedro Calderon de la Barca -- http://www.gutenberg.org/files/6372/6372-h/6372-h.htm)
That's the HTML file; there are several versions available, including a Kindle ebook)
Trish, Pushkin lived under Czarist Russia (1799-1837) and I believe that he is talking more about his own work but you raise several matters that i will try to investigate. Thanks.
(Reading Calderon de la Barca's "The Wonder-Working Magician on gutenberg.org")
Cyprian is talking to a demon he's met along the road:
CYPRIAN. I am much surprised to learn
That in view of the uplifted
Towers of Antioch, you thus
Lost your way. There's not a single
Path that on this mountain side,
More or less by feet imprinted,
But doth lead unto its walls,
As to its one central limit.
By whatever path you take,
You'll go right.
DEMON. It is an instance
Of that ignorance which in sight
Even of truth the true goal misses.
And as it appears not wise
Thus to enter a strange city
Unattended and unknown,
Asking even my way, 'tis fitter
That 'till night doth conquer day,
Here while light doth last, to linger;
By your dress and by these books
Round you, like a learned circle
Of wise friends, I see you are
A great student, and the instinct
Of my soul doth ever draw me
Unto men to books addicted.
"-- the instinct of my soul doth ever draw me until men to books addicted," says the demon.
HAHAHA!! I like this so far. Some of it is very lyrical, too. Reading the introduction, it seems that Calderon was known for clever and pretty verse-turning. Good for him.
The idea that when we love we are loving the idea of getting what we, ourselves, lack is an interesting one. When couples are too close, too reliant on the other to define them, it becomes a sick situation. One psychologist I know called it enmeshed. Quite descriptive, I think.
I love Gutenberg! and I love this scene, I'll check him out. Thanks.
I am sorry you have such a negative view on tribal life. As for your definition #4 I can't speak to the Roman tribes but I personally know that among the tribal nations of America they were in a most civilized society. Each tribe has its own culture, language and customs. They had/have laws within. Theirs was an unwritten oral lifestyle not less than yours. They believe in their God as you do yours. Did you know that until the Euros encountered them they (Lakota) had no word for war? Sadly most of America views all Indians as a pan-indian state which it is not. Each tribe a sovereign nation; as different as the English are from the French are from the Italians.
Too many see them from the Hollywood perspective or from the white man's distortion and misinterpretation. A good book to read is Creator's Code by Ed McGaa, a Lakota Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation. A Viet Nam vet, he flew Phantom jets (one of a select few Indians to become a pilot), put himself through law school and became an author all the while maintaining his belief system.
Civilization comes in many forms besides the Euro-centric view of such.
Trish, I quite agree with this idea when I observe relationships and think about human psychology. You're right about too close couples, maybe that kills the excitement and curiosity.
I’ve decided the act that cannot wait
is the important will to create
But, ah, if my belly is ignored
the pantry door I shall implore
But I’ve been known to reach the bed
ideas still famished in my head. (Roman Payne)
Roman, you scamp! Obviously he knows I've been ill for the last couple of weeks and unable to eat anything except the occasional piece of toast. As handy as being skinny is, it fills me with a certain sense of grief to think that I'm starting to have a Pavlovian reaction to the sight of the "pantry door". De-programming myself in the future (should I ever be able to eat more than a piece of toast again, that is) may be difficult.
This is a writer I haven't read much of, and I have a larger amount of work to do today than usual, so I can't look him up. Maybe another time!
(Although I will note another Pavlovian-type reaction to any writer who uses the word "ah" -- "Ah, the sweet tones of the viola!" "Ah, youth!" -- "AH, MY GUT CRAMPS!!!" Just my opinion.)
I'm not terribly impressed by this quote (Sorry, Roman!) The first 2 lines, "...the act that cannot wait/is the important will to create" don't quite make sense to me. It seems to me that the will to create is different than the act of creating. I like the comparison of the desire to write with gnawing hunger. I guess he is saying that, in the end, he will attend to the physical needs of his body first; he will eat and sleep, knowing that the desire to create will still be with him tomorrow. Or will it? Can the artist or writer really count on that?