When I read an elegant or thought-provoking or simply obnoxiously provocative text, it stays with me until I write it down, key word it, tag it so I can find it again. As much as possible I try to refer to the date it was written so contextualize the citation sometimes in consideration of the author who may sound racist or sexist when in actuality he/she reflected mainstream thoughts of their time. I do not agree with all of these statements but they give me pause. Regardless of the author’s intention, words remain as powerful traces. Some people collect shells, prints, books or rocks. I collect these bytes of knowledge. Unlike rocks they get lost easily because they weigh so little and their size can be measure in kb. So I thought I would try out this page-feature in wordpress to see if I can find these passages again.
- Slavoj Zizek’s description of Munch, Edvard’s, (1863-1944) “The Scream,” (1892), Casein/waxed crayon and tempera on paper (cardboard) 35 7/8 x 29″ Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery) Oslo
The standard modernist reading which conceives [The Scream] as the manifestation of a monadic subject, desperate at his inability to establish contact with the world, condemned to solipsistic void, etc, falls short insofar as it continues to conceive the subject as substance, as a positive entity whose adequate expression is hindered. We enter postmodernism the moment we get rid of this perspective illusion: what appears, within modernism, as the limit impeding the subject’s self-expression, is actually the subject himself. In other words, we enter postmodernism when we pass from the “emptied subject” to the subject qua the emptiness of substance (homologous to the reversal from matter qua substance which curves space into matter qua the curvature of space in the theory of relativity): in its most radical dimension, the “subject” is nothing but this dreaded “void”—in horror vacui, the subject simply fears himself, his constitutive void. Far from displaying the subject’s horror at the prospect of losing himself, the scream is therefore the very gesture by means of which the dimension of subjectivity is inaugurated—(what, through the scream, [he] will become) the subject shrinks from what is “in him more than himself,” from the Thing in himself, i.e., he assumes a minimal distance from it.” Slavoj Zizek
- Smith, Alexander McCall, (2002 ) The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Anchor Books: New York. p. 15
“We don’t forget, thought Mma Ramotswe. Our heads may be small, but they are as full of memories as as the sky may be as full of swarming bees, thousands of memories, of smells, of places, of little things that happened to us and which come back, unexpectedly, to remind us who we are.” (Smith 2002:15)
- Rilke, Maria “Duino Elegy”
“Voices, voices. Listen my heart, as only saints have listened: until the gigantic call lifted them off the ground; yet they impossibly kept me kneeling and didn’t notice at all. So complete was their listening. Not that you could endure God’s voice — far from it. But listen to the voice of the wind and the ceaseless message that forms itself outside of silence.” (Rilke xxxx:)
- The Interpretor (DVD)
-If I interpreted gone as dead I would be out of a job. If dead and gone were the same thing there would be no UN. – Your profession is playing with words Ms. B – I don’t play with words. – You’re doing it right now. – No, you are. – No, I’m not. If I wanted him dead I wouldn’t have reported it. That’s why I am here. – Here? – Here. Working at the UN instead of on a road somewhere with a machine gun. – Because you believe in diplomacy? – Because I believe in this place. I believe in what it tries to accomplish. -You’ve had a hard year lady.
Maurice, Edward Beauclerk, (2005), The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arctic, Houghton Mifflin: Boston & New York, p. x11
“During his Arctic hitch, one HBC (Hudson Bay Company*) reputedly browsed a catalogue that featured women’s underwear and then wrote away for the “lady on the far right of page 73.” Most traders were not reduced to such extreme measures, since they typically took what’s known as a “country wife.” Duncan Pryde, who worked for the HBC in the 1950s and 1960s, sired offspring from this type of union wherever he was posted, declaring that “every community should have a little Pryde.” Lest you consider the man a cad, I should note that his Eskimo friends would have thought there was something wrong with him if he hadn’t fathered these offspring.” (Millman in Maurice 2005:xii) Read more about Canadian pryde
Neither Left nor Right, just wrong
Decades later, Wadden concerned about the elusive solutions for problems of addiction in Canadian Aboriginal continues her research by visiting remote communities to find stories that will unsettle Canadian complacent apathy, compassion fatigue and worldly-wise jaded perspectives. We just do not want to give up the adventure stories that inspired our youth of Arctic explorers in frozen, isolated, hinterland Hudson Bay posts. Perhaps her shocking series will shake our stubborn pryde in our grandfathers’ mythologies while shamefully neglecting tragic tales from our Other grandparents. Read more about Canadian Neither Left or Right Just Wrong