Everything is fine, God exists, we know time. Everything since the Greeks has been predicated wrong. You can’t make it with geometry and geometrical systems of thinking. It’s all THIS!” He wrapped his finger in his fist; the car hugged the line straight and true. “And not only that but we both understand that I couldn’t have time to explain why I know and you know God exists.
– On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac, 2007, Viking, New York, pg. 221

^^^

Flaubert said that a work of art should be as straightforward as a cow, that is to say, the artist must act as if he is so stupid that he doesn’t understand the challenge of beauty.
~ The Crystal Chain Letters: Architectural Fantasies by Bruno Taut and His Circle, (quote from Paul Goesch, 1920), edited and translated by Iain Boyd Whyte, the MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985, pg. 114

^^^

Here I see only, if you permit, what I feel in myself at this moment, an immense stupidity, which makes your face, and surely also mine, blissfully idiotic; but we also attribute this peace to the earth and the trees, which seem to us to live purely for the sake of living, the only way they can live is in this stupidity.
One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand, Luigi Pirandello, The Eridanos Library, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990, pg. 36

^^^

Man should maintain a constant, nonstop dialogue with his Creator. And for that kind of dialogue you don’t need even to be verbal, let alone grammatical.
Who Was Marshall McLuhan?, Barrington Nevitt with Maurice McLuhan, 1994, Comprehensivist Publications, Toronto, pg. 141

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Theologians may quarrel with what must appear a murky disregard of the distinctions between mystic, metaphysical, spiritual, religious, Gnostic, transcendence, immanence. These slippery words point to experiences beyond language.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 269

^^^

The uniting of the opposites, the reconciliation of dark and light contained in the God image, can only take place within the consciously realized “guilty man,” not the sanctimonious, ascetic, or self-righteous one – anyone who denies their shadow will only project it in some new form.
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, by Daniel Pinchbeck, 2006, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York, pg. 346

^^^

In the unresolved, our unfolding continues in our imaginations and therefore in our souls, grappling up from bare-bone facts.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 250

^^^

(Harold Innis) changed his procedure from working with a “point of view” to that of the generating of insights by the method of “interface,” as it is named in chemistry. “Interface” refers to the interaction of substances in a kind of mutual irritation. In art and poetry this is precisely the technique of “symbolism” (Greek “symballein” – to throw together) with its paratactic procedure of juxtaposing without connectives. It is the natural form of conversation or dialogue rather than of written discourse. In writing, the tendency is to isolate an aspect of some matter and to direct steady attention upon that aspect. In dialogue there is an equally natural interplay of multiple aspects of any matter. This interplay of aspects can generate insights or discovery. By contrast, a point of view is merely a way of looking at something. But an insight is the sudden awareness of a complex process of interaction. An insight is a contact with the life of forms.
– From Media and Cultural Change, Marshall McLuhan’s introduction to the 1964 edition of The Bias of Communication by Harold Innis

^^^

One of the best-known variants of the axis mundi is the caduceus, formed by two snakes wrapped around an axis. Since the most ancient times, one finds this symbol connected to the art of healing, from India to the Mediterranean. The Taoists of China represent the caduceus with the yin-yang, which symbolizes the coiling of two serpentine and complimentary forms into a single androgynous vital principle.*
– The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, by Jeremy Narby, 1998, Tarcher/Penguin, New York, pg. 95

*Regarding the caduceus, Chevalier and Gheerbrandt (1982) write “The serpent has a doubly symbolic aspect: one is beneficial, the other evil, of which the caduceus represents, as it were, the antagonism and equilibrium; this equilibrium and polarity are above all those of the cosmic currents, which are figured more generally by the double spiral”; in Buddhist esotericism, for example, “the caduceus’s staff corresponds to the axis of the world and the serpents of the Kundalini,” the cosmic energy inside every being (pp.153-155). … According to Bayard (1987), the two serpents of the caduceus, the yin-yang of the T`ai Chi, and the swastika of the Hindus all symbolize “a cosmic force, with opposed directions of rotation” (pg. 134)

^^^

Gifted artists who push their explorations to the extreme have a way of bumping up against God at some point or other. This happened to the innovative jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in 1957. Addicted to heroin and alcohol, booted out of the Miles Davis band for reporting to work stoned too often, Coltrane had what he later called a ‘spiritual awakening.’ He kicked his addictions and in 1965, released the album A Love Supreme, a four part jazz suite in which he tried to give musical expression to the vision he’d experienced eight years earlier.
– Review by Edward O’Connor of A Love Supreme by Kent Nussey, in The Globe and Mail Book Review, August 9, 2003

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[Untitled]
There is only one way to save yourself: sacrifice your reputation.
I met a man the other day claiming to be an aviator; I’ve since learned that he was an elevator attendant.
Littérature 2nd series, no. 10 (Paris, 1 May 1923), p. 13.
– Francis Picabia is an Idiot in Anti-Dada, 1921-1924, Francis Picabia, from I Am a Beautiful Monster: Poetry, Prose and Provocation, MIT Press, 2007, pg. 302

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What is beautiful? Until now we have built as if the earth were doomed to die tomorrow – the ice-death. An anti-spirit has gnawed every child of God right down to the skeleton of abstract style.
~ The Crystal Chain Letters: Architectural Fantasies by Bruno Taut and His Circle, (quote from Hermann Finsterlin, 1920), edited and translated by Iain Boyd Whyte, the MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985, pg. 85

^^^

Beauty, like loving, sometimes seems a kind of crisis. It brings us to the crossroads and thresholds of the perpetual choosing. Immediacy thus impels us.
The recognition of beauty is part of the soul’s flow.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 215

^^^

Goldy says, “I have drawn Mommy Bear in reverse. I forgot when I was drawing her that if it is to be printed directly from my drawing, it requires an original mirror-image master. But I am going to leave her that way because it’s well to remind everyone at the outset that we can only get from here to there by a series of errors – errors forwardly to the right, then a correcting forwardly error to the left, each time reducing error but never eliminating it. This is what generates waves; this is what generates the experience life.”
– TETRASCROLL, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, A Cosmic Fairy Tale, by Buckminster Fuller, St. Martin’s Press, 1975, pg. 4

^^^

Wilde’s (1854-1900) last days were grim. An ear infection, believed to be the result of syphilis, grew worse and worse; an operation failed to clear it up, and Wilde seems to have died from meningitis. He was understandably preoccupied with death during his final period, and he wrote to Frank Harris, “The Morgue yawns for me. I go and look at my zinc bed there.” (Richard) Ellman notes that Wilde really did visit the Paris morgue.
Some weeks after his ear operation, he got up and went with some difficulty to a café, where he drank absinthe before walking slowly back, and rallied enough to produce his famous statement (for a woman named Claire de Pratz) that, “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”
– The Book of Absinthe, A Cultural History, by Phil Baker, Grove Press, New York, 2001, pg. 32

^^^

I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophical content…I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does…You’re free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film.
– Stanley Kubrick on his film 2001: A Space Odyssey

^^^

Up until his death from a brain tumor in April 2000, (Terrence) McKenna was the leading prophet and proselytizer, the nonstop pontificator, for the contemporary psychedelic movement. … Inspired by psychedelic visions, McKenna studied accelerating novelty and the I Ching and predicted an as-of-yet unimaginable summation in the year 2012. He later found that the Mayan calendar prophesies the end of the present historical era and the beginning of a new cycle in 2012, at the moment when our sun comes into momentary alignment with the galactic center. McKenna theorized that the linear structure of time could be a temporary illusion, and that time might actually be a wave form, fractal, or spiral. He used the “King Wen” sequence of the I Ching to plot time as a wave form representing increasing complexity or the “ingression of novelty’ into human consciousness. He speculated that in the last years leading up to the crest and collapse of this wave, we might see a speeded-up replay of all of human history as cartoon farce. By this logic, the destruction of the World Trade Center might be in “resonance” with the Tower of Babel, while the global military campaign of the United States might resonate with the rapid expansion and collapse of the Roman Empire or the Crusades. He proposed that the current simultaneous processes of technological advance and global destruction might be something like a chrysalis stage, in which humanity was incubating technology, awaiting a dimensional shift, or preparing the way for an evolution of consciousness.
Breaking Open the Head, a Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, by Daniel Pinchbeck, 2002, Broadway Books, New York, pg. 231-232

^^^

Literate man, once having accepted an analytic technology of fragmentation, is not nearly so accessible to cosmic patterns as tribal man. He prefers separateness and compartmented spaces, rather than the open cosmos. He becomes less inclined to accept his body as a model of the universe, or to see his house – or any other of the media of communication, for that matter – as a ritual extension of his body. Once men have adopted the visual dynamic of the phonetic alphabet, they begin to lose the tribal man’s obsession with cosmic order and ritual as recurrent in the physical organs and their social extension. Indifference to the cosmic, however, fosters intense concentration on minute segments and specialist tasks, which is the unique strength of Western man. For the specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy.
Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan, The MIT Press, (1964) 1994, pg. 124

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As scientist Sheldon H. Geller explains, “scientific research cannot prove anything…it disproves error.” By contrast, the perceptive artist learns how to repeat and magnify his errors in order to create his own distinctive style for sharing new truth.
ABC of Prophecy: Understanding the Environment, Barrington Nevitt, 1985, pg. 77

^^^

“Abstract art is the ultimate democracy,” Melamid proclaims to a crowd of critics at a press preview. “That’s what it’s about. It’s taking painting from the academy to the people. Certainly my IQ is higher than an elephant’s, but how much of my IQ do I use when I paint? It’s not like Jackson Pollock was a mathematician or something, so maybe it’s not so crazy to see that elephants and humans can compete in this arena. That’s not to take away from Pollock’s achievement, but not all human activities need to be at the highest possible levels of intelligence to be valid.”
– Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid at the Venice Biennale, 1999, quoted in When Elephants Paint, 2000, pg. 94

^^^

Our thinking tends to circle around established conventions whose basis is forgotten or obscure. Nietzsche proposed that the attainment of knowledge requires a ‘solid, granite foundation of ignorance’ for its unfolding: ‘the will to knowledge on the foundation of a far more powerful will: the will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but – as its refinement!’
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Daniel Pinchbeck, 2006, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York, pg. 3

^^^

The Messiah alone stands at the crossroads where the old values are no longer binding, and he alone must tread the weary path through the world of evil which is the mark of his mission. His actions are not examples to be followed; on the contrary, it is of their nature to give offense. … The true acts of Redemption are at the same time those which cause the greatest scandal.
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Gershom Scholem, 1946, Schocken Books, New York, pg. 314

^^^

The stereotype of the bohemians as jolly fornicators, roisterers and barflies is superficial because it completely ignores the significance of Excess. If Bohemia was a journey as well as a destination, it was a journey in the dark to a land of danger as well as pleasure. It promised a path along the edge of a precipice, and it was impossible to know in advance whether that path led to revelation or madness, triumph or oblivion. The point of Excess was ultimately not self-gratification, but self-discovery, or sometimes self-destruction, as Baudelaire expressed it, ‘a taste for the infinite.’ The deadly sin of Bohemia was not Lust or Gluttony, but Hubris – the pride of Daedalus, who courted death by daring to fly.
Bohemians, The Glamorous Outcasts, Elizabeth Wilson, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2000, pg. 195

^^^

Walk through the door marked ‘Bohemian’ and whatever is beyond makes the same set of unequivocal statements:
> I do not value what money can buy.
> If I choose decorations and colours, it is for their beauty, not because they flatter my social status.
> My environment reflects the life I’ve led, the places I’ve visited and the people I’ve loved.
> I’m not afraid of being thought tasteless, because I make my own taste.
Among the Bohemians, Experiments in Living, Virginia Nicholson, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, NY, 2002, pg. 103

^^^

… Infinity terrifies us, Pascal said. So we prefer homes, structures, institutions, security, ceremonies that explain, anything that contains. Limitation becomes equated with duty. And limitation could be exalted over the extraterritorial abyss, where everything crosses and mingles.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 105

^^^

Just as the art of the Greeks was geared toward lasting, so the art of the present is geared toward becoming worn out. This may happen in two different ways: through consignment of the artwork to fashion or through the work’s refunctioning in politics.
Theory of Distraction (1935/36) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935 – 1938, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2002, pg. 142

^^^

If all those leaps of attention, flexings of eye muscles, fluctuations of the psyche, if all the effort it takes for a man just to hold himself upright within the flow of traffic on a busy street could be measured, he thought – as he toyed with calculating the incalculable – the grand total would surely dwarf the energy needed by Atlas to hold up the world, and one could then estimate the enormous undertaking it is nowadays merely to be a person who does nothing at all. At the moment, the man without qualities was just such a person.
The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil (1880-1942), 1995, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, pg. 7 (first published in German in 1952 and 1978.)

^^^

In all the cities of the world, it is the same. The universal and modern man is the man in a rush (i.e. a rhinoceros), a man who has no time, who is a prisoner of necessity, who cannot understand that a thing might perhaps be without usefulness; nor does he understand that, at bottom, it is the useful that may be a useless and backbreaking burden. If one does not understand the usefulness of the useless and the uselessness of the useful, one cannot understand art. And a country where art is not understood is a country of slaves and robots.
Notes et Contre Notes, Eugene Ionesco, pg. 129

^^^

There are messages whose codes seem sometimes to be without a key, streaming away from our grasp. Yet through these apparently haphazard infusions, we apprehend the mystery thrall. It is this pulse that moves us ever deeper into those interpenetrating moments where intimations of new mythologies begin.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 178-9

^^^

The cultivated man of today is gradually turning away from natural things, and his life is becoming more and more abstract. Natural (external) things become more and more automatic, and we observe that our vital attention fastens more and more on internal things. The life of the truly modern man is neither purely materialist nor purely emotional. It manifests itself rather as a more autonomous life of the human mind becoming conscious of itself. Modern man – although a unity of body, mind, and soul – exhibits a changed consciousness: every expression of his life has today a different aspect, that is, an aspect more positively abstract. It is the same with art. Art will become the product of another duality in man: the product of a cultivated externality and of an inwardness deepened and more conscious. As a pure representation of the human mind, art will express itself in an aesthetically purified, that is to say, abstract form. The truly modern artist is aware of abstraction in an emotion of beauty; he is conscious of the fact that the emotion of beauty is cosmic, universal. This conscious recognition has for its corollary an abstract plasticism, for man adheres only to what is universal.
Natural Reality and Abstract Reality, Piet Mondrian, 1919

^^^

I am convinced that every powerful artist (read: astral power man) can be a Cubist one moment, an Expressionist a minute later, and an Impressionist within the hour – and a Dadaist and so on. There is no one who would want to, or even could, do justice to everything that fills his universal soul so expansively within the limits of any one scheme (regardless of whether it -ists or -ismses).
~ The Crystal Chain Letters: Architectural Fantasies by Bruno Taut and His Circle, (quote from Wenzel Hablik, July 28, 1920), edited and translated by Iain Boyd Whyte, the MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985, pg. 129

^^^

The basis of an aesthetic act is the pure idea. But the pure idea is, of necessity, an aesthetic act. Here then is the epistemological paradox that is the artist’s problem. Not space cutting nor space building, not construction nor fauvist deconstruction; not the pure line, straight and narrow, not the tortured line, distorted and humiliating; not the accurate eye, all fingers, nor the wild eye of dream, winking; but the idea-complex that makes contact with mystery – of life, of men, of nature, of the hard, black chaos that is death, or the grayer, softer chaos that is tragedy. For it is only the pure idea that has meaning. Everything else has everything else.
The Ideographic Picture, Barnett Newman, New York, Betty Parsons Gallery exhibition catalogue, 1947. Reprinted in Theories of Modern Art, Herschell B. Chipp, University of California Press, 1968, pg. 550

^^^

What would a calling of first principles mean, even if this must be left unspoken, a trace to be intuited?
I suggest this: … to chart ourselves back into the enwombing outlines of the source that encompasses–and compasses–our minds and souls.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 226

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Kabbalah has constantly changed the forms in which it expresses a single all-embracing conception of reality; the intention is that no picture of existence shall become a fixed image that might be considered the ultimate. Alas, orthodoxy has never understood this principle and often takes authority from redundant formulations.
~ Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Thames and Hudson, London, 1985, pg. 11

^^^

These lines might refer, point by point, to the self-regulating capacities of a brain, to the emanations of a divine pleroma, to the operating procedures of an information network, or to a secret cipher.
K., Roberto Calasso, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005, pg. 252

^^^

Plotinus, whose Neoplatonic system deeply influenced the mystical trends in the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, remarked: “Numbers exist before the objects described by them. The variety of sense objects merely recalls to the soul the notion of number.”
~ The Mystery of Numbers, Annemarie Schimmel, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993, pg. 16

^^^

We, human beings, (are) loved by all the unknown swarms and manifold phalanxes of sentient entities beyond the realm of the sensible, for our own creative efforts, no matter how mass-produced, ill-conceived, or half-formed they may be. We are loved for our creativity, which is a kind of infinite potential.
Breaking Open the Head, a Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, by Daniel Pinchbeck, 2002, Broadway Books, New York, pg. 294

^^^

I’m not making value judgements. This would seem to many people a very good thing, and it may well be a good thing. I’m simply specifying the pattern or the form that occurs when you have instant speed of electric information. You cannot have a monopoly of knowledge such as most learned people had a few years ago; you cannot have it under electric conditions. This applies to all professional life as well as to private life.
Ivan Illich has a book called Deschooling Society, in which he argues that, since we now live in a world where the information and the answers are all outside the school room, let us close the schools. Why spend the child’s time inside the school giving him answers that already exist outside? It’s a good question, but his suggestion to close the schools is somewhat unnecessary because instead of putting the answers inside the school, it is now possible to put the questions inside.
– From the chapter Living at the Speed of Light, Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Me, Lectures and Essays, 2003, pg 238

^^^

A just society would be one that acknowledges that mind, or noûs, exists primarily in the person. Society, culture, language, race, history, political institutions, religions, must not dominate. It is the pneuma, the fire that should be allowed to rise, falling upwards, towards its source.
The stoics thought pneuma was “the vital breath.” It was “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower,” Dylan Thomas wrote in his poem of the same name. Pneuma, both fire and breath, is what creates the deep well in personhood.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 53

^^^

There is a language of forms and symbols. When one does not know this the visions to him make no meaning, and there cannot be made a standard of this language. Yet spiritual vision is not necessarily symbolical, sometimes it is as clear as it manifests on the surface.
The Message In Our Time: the life and teaching of the Sufi Master Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, 1978, Harper and Row, San Francisco, pg. 214

^^^

Then they got down to business. They sat on the bed crosslegged and looked straight at each other. I slouched in a nearby chair and saw all of it. They began with an abstract thought, discussed it; reminded each other of another abstract point forgotten in the rush of events; Neal apologized but promised he could get back to it and manage it fine; bringing up illustrations.
On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac, 2007, Viking. Pg. 150

^^^

Trying to justify art by assigning it a purpose outside or beyond itself is one of the main causes – though far from being the only one – of the art obfuscation, of all the misleading and irrelevant talk and activity about art.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 81

^^^

Sometimes the higher self comes upon us, and we speak of justice, or of love, truly. We may feel first principles, and then speak of a Universal Charter that addresses opportunity, the right to participate, the right to develop a personality, a common origin, the dynamism of energies that enlighten but don’t impose. Then the higher self leaves, and we are left wrecked, or receptive, perhaps confused, perhaps wiser–nevertheless remembering–and we go on, day by day, doing what we must, one side of ourselves waiting for the opening to come again.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 262

^^^

“Now man that alto man last night had IT–he held it once he found–I’ve never seen a guy who could hold so long.” I wanted to know what “IT” meant. “Ah well” laughed Neal “now you’re asking me im-pon-de-rables – -ahem! Here’s a guy and everybody’s there, right? Up to him to put down what’s on everybody’s mind. He starts the first chorus, he lines up his ideas, people yeah, yeah, but get it, and then he rises to his fate and has to blow equal to it. All of a sudden somewhere in the middle of the chorus he GETS IT–everybody looks up and knows; they listen; he picks it up and carries. Time stops. He’s filling empty space with the substance of our lives. He has to blow across bridges and come back and do it with such infinite feeling for the tune of the moment that everybody knows it’s not the tune that counts but IT—” Neal could go no further; he was sweating telling about it.
On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac, 2007, Viking. Pg. 304

^^^

Protect yourself better
protect yourself wanderer
with the road that is walking too.
The Sonnets to Orpheus, Appendix (Fragments), Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Simon and Schuster, N.Y., 1985, pg. 155

^^^

As the Dalai Lama told us, the goal is clarity. The noise coming out of the sense organs has to be quieted, including the powerful sexual impulses. In the puritanical religions, this is done through suppression, denial, hatred of the body. As D.H. Lawrence defined it memorably, religion is bad sex. The daring of Buddhist tantra is to work with the energy, rather than suppressing, denying, or opposing it.
The Jew in the Lotus, Roger Kamenetz, 1995, Harper Collins, New York, pg. 204

^^^

This then is the constituent beyond the soul, which forms later out of the fabric of light, since metaphysically sound is prior to light.
The Sound, or Divine Music of the Abstract, projected from itself Light; and this Light, responsive and yet expressive, broke again into the rays that form Arwah, the spiritual heaven of souls. And the souls, each responsive and yet in itself expressive, bringing forth and partaking of the various attributes of the Abstract, grouping them together in manifold forms and variations, created this world, Sifat, the expression of the Absolute.
The Message In Our Time: the life and teaching of the Sufi Master Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, 1978, Harper and Row, San Francisco, pg. 198

^^^

Simplicity is not a goal, but one arrives at simplicity in spite of oneself, as one approaches the real meaning of things.
– Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957)

^^^

A wound is also a signature of the opening.
Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 259

^^^

Then he whispered, clutching my sleeve, sweating: “Now you just dig them in front…They have worries, they’re counting the miles, they’re thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they’ll get there…and all the time they’ll get there anyway you see. But they need to worry, their souls really won’t be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, a false really false expression of concern and even dignity and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that TOO worries them NO End.
On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac, 2007, Viking, pg. 306-7

^^^

For the best part of a century, we have been programming human consciousness with retrievals and replays of the tribal unconscious. The complementary of this process would seem to be the “natural” program for the period ahead: programming the unconscious with the recently achieved forms of consciousness. This procedure would evoke a new form of consciousness. Everybody becomes a voluntary participant in creating diversity without loss of identity. Man is the content of the environment he creates, whether of “hardware” or “software,” whether of consciousness or unconsciousness. There is therefore no technical alternative to “humanism,” even though for many this would include the divine grace of the superhuman.
Take Today: The Executive as Dropout, Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972, pg. 293

^^^

The significance of play … is by no means defined or exhausted by calling it ‘not earnest,’ or ‘not serious.’ Play is a thing by itself. The play-concept as such is of a higher order than is seriousness. For seriousness seeks to exclude play, whereas play can very well include seriousness.
Homo Ludens, by Johan Huizinga, Beacon Press, 1971

^^^

Murshidship and mureedship is a journeying of two persons, one who knows the path, the other a stranger taken through the mist by the Murshid until they arrive at a stage where neither Murshid is a Murshid nor mureed is a mureed, though the happy memory of the journey through the path remains in the consciousness of the grateful mureed.
For the mystical teacher is not the player of the instrument; he is the tuner. When he has tuned it, he gives into the hands of the Player whose instrument it is to play.
The Message In Our Time: the life and teaching of the Sufi Master Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat-Khan, 1978, Harper and Row, San Francisco, pg. 380

^^^

The next step on the path is often to become aware that the person instructing one is not on his own, but part of a link in an ancient chain of teaching. Many academic scholars of Kabbalah find this phenomenon disconcerting, because there is little or no literal evidence of the inner workings and organization of the living tradition; but this is exactly what is meant by an oral line.
~ Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Thames and Hudson, London, 1985, pg. 20

^^^

The cult of art-as-art centers around art as a magic, art as a second, or double, or super nature, around art’s immolations and unearthlinesses, around art’s timelessness, uselessness, and meaninglessness.
[The Cult of Art], undated in Art As Art: The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt, the University of California Press, 1991, pg. 186

^^^

Royalty is an inappropriate geometry for our restlessness, for the struggling and questioning subjectivity that is the heart of enlarging mind, in our planetary and cosmic affair.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 198

^^^

Art has but two dimensions: height and width; the third dimension is movement — life — represented by the evolution of art: it is the arm of the cameraman shooting the film in the cinema. This evolution is the only thing that should interest us.
– Francis Picabia is an Idiot in Anti-Dada, 1921-1924, Francis Picabia, from I Am a Beautiful Monster: Poetry, Prose and Provocation, MIT Press, 2007, pg. 280

^^^

Below Daat the Flash passes to the Pillar of Mercy (Expansion) and back to the Pillar of Severity (Contraction), and a pair of Sefirot are defined which govern the level of emotion as distinct from supernal intellect. The Atribute of active or inner emotion is Hesed, Mercy; that of passive or outer emotion is Gevurah, Justice. Both Sefirot have other Hebrew names and other translated equivalents, but all are inadequate to explain the Attributes; those used here merely approximate to the active and passive Divine principles involved. In ourselves these qualities appear in complementary tendencies towards love, tolerance and generosity on the one hand (Hesed) and discipline, rigour and discrimination on the other (Gevurah). At this, the emotional level, the operation of opposing Sefirotic principles, and the dangers of going too far in one direction or the other, become part of everyday experience: Justice and Mercy underlie every human transaction, from a summit conference to the choice of a birthday present.
~ Kabbalah: Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi, Thames and Hudson, London, 1985, pgs. 6-7

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My personal program, which you will long since have inferred from my works, is not to seek the new form in the enanthema and exanthema of primitive basic forms, in the alien-bodied eruptions of primary expressions of form, nor in the mass-attraction of the gigantically monumental, nor in the fascinating monotony of formal parellelism, but in the mutated and complex development of the great bodies themselves, in the isolated whole, in the fixation of organic movement, which obeys only the most basic and primitive laws of expression. Such structures and formations are unlimited and recognizable, as they are born only of the most purest and most intensive intuition.
~ The Crystal Chain Letters: Architectural Fantasies by Bruno Taut and His Circle, (quote from Hermann Finsterlin, 1920), edited and translated by Iain Boyd Whyte, the MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985, pg. 47

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A small temple in a garden is consecrated to the Noumenon beyond phenomena.
~Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers, Los Angeles, 1972, pg. 79

^^^

Churches are okay if you got to belong to something to feel safe, but artists don’t need that … they’re part of the universal energy in their creating. Look — existance is. We’re part of all like everything else, we’re on our own, goddamit!
~ Jackson Pollock in 1952 quoted in An Art of Our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art, Roger Lipsey, Shambhala Publications, Boston, Massachussets, 1988, pg. 306

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Art is innate in the artist, like an instinct that seizes and makes a tool out of the human being. The thing in the final analysis that wills something in him is not he, the personal man, but the aim of the art.
~ Carl Jung

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All mystery is hidden in name. The knowledge of everything rests on first knowing its name, and knowledge is not complete which is devoid of name. Mystery depends upon knowledge — we cannot master a thing of which we have no knowledge. All blessings and benefits derived from earth or heaven are gained by mastery, which depends upon knowledge, knowledge depending upon name. A person without the knowledge of the name of a thing is ignorant, and the one who is ignorant is powerless, for one has no hold over any thing of which one has no knowledge.
~ The Mysticism of Sound, Inayat Khan, A Mystic Ocean Book/Ekstasis Editions, Victoria, B.C., 2004 (1923), pg. 38

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The libation is a way of grasping (of understanding) the divinity. And from it the divinity feels bound, grasped. This also happens with names: they are our libations to reality. They are used to grasp it: “The graha is in truth the name, for everything is grasped by name. Why wonder, then, if the name is graha? We know the name of many, and is it not perhaps with the name that they are grasped for us?”
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 195

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My guru determined by various calculations that the last Kali Yuga or Iron Age, of the Ascending Arc, started about A.D. 500. The Iron Age, 1200 years in duration, is a span of materialism; it ended about A.D. 1700. That year ushered in Dwapara Yuga, a 2400-year period of electrical and atomic-energy developments: the age of telegraphy, radio, airplanes, and other space-annihilators.
The 3600-year period of Treta Yuga will start in A.D. 4100; the age will be marked by common knowledge of telepathic communications and other time-annihilators. During the 4800 years of Satya Yuga, final age in an Ascending Arc, the intelligence of man will be highly developed; he will work in harmony with the divine plan.
A Descending Arc of 12,000 years, starting with a Descending Golden Age of 4800 years, then begins for the world (in A.D. 12,500); man gradually sinks into ignorance. These cycles are the eternal rounds of maya, the contrasts and relativities of the phenomenal universe. Men, one by one, escape from creation’s prison of duality as they awaken to consciousness of their inseverable divine unity with the Creator.
~ Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship Publishers, Los Angeles, California, 1975 (1946), pgs. 193-4

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In creativity, outer and inner reality will always be organized together by the same indivisible process. The artist, too, has to face chaos in his work before unconscious scanning brings about the integration of his work as well as of his own personality. My point will be that unconscious scanning makes use of undifferentiated modes of vision that to normal awareness would seem chaotic. Hence comes the impression that the primary process merely produces chaotic phantasy material that has to be ordered and shaped by the ego’s secondary processes. On the contrary, the primary process is a precision instrument for creative scanning that is far superior to discursive reason and logic.
~ The Hidden Order of Art, Anton Ehrenzweig, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1971, pg. 5

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Things taken together are wholes and not wholes, something is being brought together and brought apart, which is in tune and out of tune; out of all things there comes a unity, and out of a unity all things.
~ Heraclitus quoted in Kirk, G.S. – Raven, J.E. – Schofield, M.: The Presocratic Philosophers, A Critical History with a selection of texts, Cambridge University Press, 1995, second edition

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The New, my friends, is not a matter of
letting machines force out our handiwork.
Don’t be confused by change; soon those who have
praised the “New” will realize their mistake.
~ The Sonnets to Orpheus, Appendix (II), Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell, Simon and Schuster, N.Y., 1985, pg. 135

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Talk about blind spots in regions of maximal impact! Looking at The Diabolical Principle just now I read loud and clear that art must be totally environmental. It must be the content of nothing whatever. Ergo, the VORTEX = the totally environmental .… Lewis wants nothing less for Art than the power to create total environments for Life and Death. There must be no art as content of some other set of skills or interest .… I find it a bit staggering to confront Lewis as a man who really wanted to be Pontifex maximus of a magical priesthood. I suppose Yeats, Joyce and Pound had similar aspirations. Their priesthood was to create new worlds of perception. They were to be world engineers who shaped the totality of human awareness. Their pigments and materials were not to be paint or words but all the resources of the age. Such were the Pharaohs. They made of the world a perception Lab .… The mode of great Art. The environment as ultimate artefact.
~ Letter from Marshall McLuhan to Wilfred Watson, October 4, 1964

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… interconnections are established everywhere, and where a darkness remains, it is the kind of darkness that requires not clarification but surrender.
~ To Clara, Rilke, April 23, 1923

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The pilgrim at the end of the day returns to himself and finds this–his face–is what has been emerging all along.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 230

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Women continued to inspire Augustus as custodians of a happiness he could divine but never completely enjoy. They symbolized for him an ideal state of being that formed the subject of his painting. Yet his most immediate need was for a physical union that would dissolve his lonliness. But while his body was comforted by these affairs, his spirit lost something. The penalty he paid for being unable to endure isolation was a gradual theft from his artistic imagination of its stimulus. For his ideal concept of ‘beauty’, once divested of its symbolic majesty and enigmatic life, was in danger of becoming sentimental and empty.
~ Augustus John: The New Biography, Michael Holroyd, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996, pg. 68

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Like the burlesque comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement.
~ e.e. cummings

^^^

What is being negotiated is the relationship between fiction and truth, where truth is understood by Kerouac to mean, “the way consciousness really digs everything that happens.”
~ Fast This Time, Howard Cunnell, in the introduction to On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac, 2007, Viking, pg. 5

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This was the trick, [Allen Ginsberg] now figured, to distill visionary experience into a poem and convey it, through a kind of supernatural mental transmission, to the reader. Poetry might set off similar explosions in people’s heads. Take away the “sawdust of reason” and the poem becomes a machine whereby the juxtaposition of real and unreal images, the telescoping of time, combines with the suggestion of magical emotions to release the fleeting “archangel of soul.”
~ A Blue Hand: The Beats in India, Deborah Baker, the Penguin Group, New York, N.Y., 2008, pg. 36

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The sound of a cat lapping milk is heard over a loudspeaker all across Zurich.
~ Clairvoyant: the imagined life of Lucia Joyce, Alison Leslie Gold, Hyperion, New York, N.Y., 1992, pg.21

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Human Beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another.
~ Tom Robbins

^^^

The Greek word Symbolon means the halves of a broken piece of pottery. One part of the physical object rests in the physical world, the other part in the invisible. Symbolic moments are those events when we are conscious that life has taken on powerful metaphoric vibrations. Life feels heightened. We sense that we are being struck open, in our hearts, or drawn upwards, away from the cracked world. Every meeting of the vertical and horizontal planes is a layering of realms, in the ritual crux. These are the experiences that seem to move us beyond matter, into a spiritual realm.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 162-3

^^^

There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.
The Blue Octavio Notebooks, Franz Kafka, 1918

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Your spirit and the fire contained within you are drawn by this nature upward. But they comply with the world’s designs and submit to being mingled here below.

Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?
~ Marcus Aurelius

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… Identity, a task, not a given. At the columned entrances of the Mysteries at Eleusis, the initiate found that the descent, the journey, the quest, and the ascent, must take all of the time in this life, and whatever there was to come.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 104

^^^

The Pythagoreans went so far as to divide everything in the universe into two categories: the odd numbers belong to the right side. which is associated with the limited, the masculine, the resting, the straight, with light and goodness, and, in terms of geometry, with the square, while the even numbers belong to the sphere of the infinite, the unlimited (as they are infinitely divisible), the manifold, the left side, the female, the moving, the crooked, darkness, evil, and, in geometrical terms, the rectangle.
~ The Mystery of Numbers, Annemarie Schimmel, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993, pg. 13

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EDELSHTEIN: Chaim, teach me to be a drunk!
VOROVSKY: First you need to be crazy.
EDELSHTEIN: Teach me to go crazy!
VOROVSKY: First you need to fail.
EDELSHTEIN: I’ve failed, I’m schooled in failure, I’m a master of failure!
VOROVSKY: Go back and study some more.
Envy, or, Yiddish in America, from Collected Stories, Cynthia Ozick, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, pg. 50

^^^

Some visionaries will themselves into receptivity to vertical information. Open the borders, open the senses. Let the other side infiltrate, sideswipe, dislocate, permeate, influence, assist, amaze. Admit it like music. But can one handle the infusions of Spirit? Will it utterly destroy the old foundations? One may invite visionary experience, and then regret it. Can one absorb the flow of imagination, spiritual knowledge without being wounded? Receptivity takes courage. One must strive to find calm. It takes a long time to learn how to rise up and absorb the sun.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 123

^^^

A certain impetus from without, the relation to earth and atmosphere, begets the capacity to grow. The clumbering tendency towards form and articulation awakens in predetermined precision, determined with reference to the underlying idea, to the logos, or, as the translation runs: the word which was the beginning. The word as a premise, as the idea required for the genesis of a work. In abstract terms, what we have here is the irritated point as latent energy.
~ Jürg Spiller, ed., Paul Klee Notebooks, vol. 2: The Nature of Nature (London: Lund Humphries, 1973) p. 6

^^^

When [Wyndham] Lewis went blind in 1951, [Augustus] John bragged that he had sent him a telegram expressing the hope that it would not interfere with his real work: art criticism.
~ Augustus John: The New Biography, Michael Holroyd, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996, pg. 591

^^^

The task is to give birth to the old in a new time.
~ The Red Book, C.G. Jung, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2009, Section 138, pg. 311

^^^

I can understand the saints and martyrs and great men suffering everything for their idea of truth. It is more difficult, once you have given it some life – to go back on your idea than to stick to it. It torments you and worries you and tears you to pieces if you do not live up to it … it must sound mad to you, especially talking of fighting. It’s wonderful what a different life one leads inside, to outside – at least how unknown the inside one is. (Ida John to her aunt, Margaret Hinton.)
~ Augustus John: The New Biography, Michael Holroyd, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996, pg. 168

^^^

The East European Jews had a predilection for elliptic sentences, for the incisive, epigrammatic form, for the flash of the mind, for the thunderclap of an idea. They spoke briefly, sharply, quickly and directly; they understood each other with a hint; they heard two words where only one was said.
~ A. J. Heschel

^^^

And anyhow, it turns out that the authentic avant-garde, the classic avant-garde, advanced the frontiers, not of art as such, but the frontiers of superior art. Art as such had infinite limits to begin with, and has infinite limits. There is no point to advancing its limits. There is no point to taking a speck of sand and setting it in the middle of the floor in an art gallery. It’s art anyhow. As William Blake said, “It’s religion anyhow.”
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 159

^^^

This hieroglyphic nature of images can be confusing for observers. The cruxes of the literal plane (the horizon of physical experiences) and the symbolic plane (the whirlwind of possible meanings) defy the nihilism of consumerism, the parodic self-references of pop culture, academic deconstructions which attempt to keep interpretation only on the social and political level, and the homilies of preachers who (at all costs) want to preserve their definition of community.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 166

^^^

No image exists about which it can’t be said that “it’s only an image.” But neither does any knowledge exist that isn’t an image. This vicious circle offers no exit and perhaps approximates a definition of literature. Through image.
K., Roberto Calasso, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005, pg. 123

^^^

And what do fish think of air? Do they not perceive it, in the form of bubbles, as a globularbody. resistant, spherically divisible — in short, exactly as Faustroll’s mite perceived water, except that solid air has a tendency to rise toward the “sky” — which is an elastic firmament, by absense of water, for the fish; which explains why the Ancients spoke of a solid firmament — by absence of air, for us.
Pataphysical Essays, René Daumal, translated by Thomas Vosteen, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2012, pg.70

^^^

Anni [Albers] often said that “at least once in life, it’s good to start at zero.” She rarely voiced nostalgia for anything her family had given up. In fact, perverse though it sounds, she spoke of their difficulties not as tragedy but as a cleansing ritual that reduced life to its essentials and facilitated a fresh start.
~ The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism, Nicholas Fox Weber, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, pg. 415

^^^

I see the surface of the earth and smoke sweeps over it–a sea of fire rolls close in from the north, it is setting the towns and villages on fire, plunging over the mountains, breaking through the valleys, burning the forests–people are going mad–you go before the fire in a burning robe with singed hair, a crazy look in your eyes, a parched tongue, a hoarse and foul-sounding voice–you forge ahead, you announce what approaches, you scale the mountains, you go into every valley and stammer words of fright and proclaim the fire’s agony. You bear the mark of the fire and men are horrified at you. They do not see the fire, they do not believe your words, but they see your mark and unknowingly suspect you to be the messenger of the burning agony. What fire? they ask, what fire? You stutter, you stammer, what do you know about a fire? I looked at the embers. I saw the blazing flames. May God save us.
~ The Red Book, C.G. Jung, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2009, pg. 346

^^^

Locating ourselves on the resolutely objective and universal plane of pataphysics, we have observed that strabismus exists as a periodical phenomenon of the cosmos; it displays the same varieties as individual strabismus: but in this case it is the world that now and then goes cross-eyed.
Pataphysical Essays, René Daumal, translated by Thomas Vosteen, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2012, pg. 22

^^^

Their farewell was memorable. Neary came out of one of his dead sleeps and said:
“Murphy, all life is figure and ground.”
“But a wandering to find home,” said Murphy.
“The face,” said Neary, “or system of faces, against the big blooming buzzing confusion. …”
~ Samuel Beckett: The Grove Centenary Edition, Volume I, Novels, Grove Press, New York, 2006, pg. 5

^^^

Yet for an image to become iconic, no longer a mere sense impression–for it to become a representation of depth–it must enter into the intricate matrix of projection and identification, memory and desire. It has to possess tracks of the past; it has to catch the elusive present, and carry some prophetic inklings of the shape of things to come.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007, pg. 182

^^^

A new perspective has come to  light here: the goal of the great “organization” isn’t to obtain power or money or to impose some  idea — the three forms of which history offers examples in such abundance. The goal is to arrest the innocent and then to punish them. The goal is punishment for its own sake, a self-sufficient activity, like art. And recognizable by the splendor of its “senselessness”.
K., Roberto Calasso, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005, pg. 220

^^^

By dint of being esthetically distanced, which means at the same time being esthetically judged, an object or an occurrence receives form. As well as through the judgment-decisions of an artist, this forming can come about through judgements that are not decisions on the part of any one. This, whether in the context of formalized or unformalized art.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 60

^^^

The geniuses — like Klee and Kandinsky and Josef [Albers] — changed your lives; the lower tier not only wasted your time, but, being more competitive than talented, disrupted the possibilities of equanimity.
~ The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism, Nicholas Fox Weber, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, pg. 400

^^^

The pattern of life of a people is more significant than the pattern of its art. What counts most is not expression, but existence itself. The key to the source of creativity lies in the will to cling to spirituality, to be close to the inexpressible, and not merely in the ability of expression. What is creative comes from responsive merging with the eternal in reality, not from an ambition to say something.
~ A. J. Heschel

^^^

… such things as the religious or the sacred or the divine, by an obscure process of osmosis, were absorbed and hidden in something alien, which no longer has need of such names because it is self-sufficient and is content to be described as society. All the rest is, at best, its object of study, its guinea pig — even all of nature.
K., Roberto Calasso, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005, pg. 22

^^^

We live again with apparitions, and they are speaking. The apparitions and images are back, rebellious mists, deriding the emphasis we put on the merely material. Every day, and night, our senses are being massaged, and aroused. We know the signs of this by our perpetual dissatisfaction, and our easy enchantments.
~ Mystic Trudeau: The Fire and the Rose, B.W. Powe, Thomas Allen Publishers, Toronto, Ontario, 2007. pg. 253

^^^

Rather than remythologize the artist as romantic genius, Kapoor invokes cultural myths of origin. In doing so, he implies that sources of significance reside beyond both the object’s form and the artist’s personality, and that the making of meaning is a fundamentally social act.”
~ Floating in the Most Peculiar Way, Nicholas Baume, Page 25 (From the exhibition catalogue for Anish Kapoor: Past Present Future, 2008)

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Boredom was only to be outwitted by the most extreme romantics. As hypochondriacs of the soul, they searched for a magic paradox, the profundity of the superficial, …
~ Augustus John: The New Biography, Michael Holroyd, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996, pg. 211

^^^

The celestial hierarchies — even the terrestrial or infernal ones, even hierarchies in general, even simply beings that occupy concentric circles — present themselves like this: “I was helpless in the face of that figure, who was sitting quietly at her table looking at the tabletop. I circled around her and felt as if I were being strangled by her. Around me circled a third who felt strangled by me. Around the third circled a fourth, who felt strangled by the third. And so it continued outward as far as the motions of the heavenly bodies and beyond. Everything felt that grip on the neck.” That “grip on the neck” is the feeling through which beings communicate. As Canetti observes, “the Pythagorean harmony of the spheres has become a violence of the spheres.” This is Kafka’s cosmological tableau, implicit in his every word.
~ K., Roberto Calasso, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005, pg. 27

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The horror of my violence trembled, vitally, in my still shaking hands. I realized this horror came not so much from my violence as from the blind eruption in me of a feeling and of a will that finally had given me body: a bestial body that had imparted fear and made my hands violent.
I had become “one.”
I.
An I who now wanted myself like this.
An I who now felt myself like this
At last!
One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand, Luigi Pirandello, The Eridanos Library, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990, pg. 119

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There are more important things than art or the esthetic. Art is autonomous; it’s there for its own human sake, sufficient to its own human self, but this doesn’t seal it off from society or history. What its autonomy does mean is that it serves humanity on its own terms, i.e., by providing esthetic value or quality. Art may provide other things as well, but if it does so at the cost of esthetic value, it deprives humanity of what is uniquely art’s to give. Art that does this is not forgiven in the end, and the refusal to forgive asserts and confirms the autonomy of art — or, as it’s time to say, the autonomy of esthetic value.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 65

^^^

… living people do not speak much of the dull. Of those parts of life that are and must be dull. Why this silence? Maybe it’s because the subject is, in and of itself, dull … only then we’re right back where we started, which is tedious and irksome. There may, though, I opine, be more to it … as in vastly more, right here before us all, hidden by virtue of its size.
~ The Pale King, David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2011, pg. 85

^^^

Any number of people think they have a vocation as an artist! More and more poets are appearing, more and more painters, sculptors, singers, musicians, dancers, and so on. But do they have a high ideal? Have they worked on themselves? They haven’t? Then they will not produce anything amazing. Sculptors who have not begun by sculpting themselves are not true sculptors. Painters who have not worked on the colours of their aura are not painters. Musicians who have never thought of tuning their mind, heart and will together do not yet know harmony. True art consists, first and foremost, in being an artist in one’s thoughts, feelings, gestures, words and expressions. Every day, exhibitions, concerts and ballets are presented before the angels. They are always watching us, listening to us… Why then do so many people insist on attracting spectators, listeners and readers? If they do not succeed, they suffer, they make themselves ill, when every day there is a public of angels waiting for a chance to admire their works.
~ Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

^^^

1088

The mystery does not get clearer by repeating the question,
nor is it bought with going to amazing places.

Until you’ve kept your eyes
and your wanting still for fifty years,
you don’t begin to cross over from confusion.
~ Jalal al-Din Rumi, 1207-1273

^^^

Enduring tedium over real time in a confined space is what real courage is. Such endurance is, as it happens, the distillate of what is, today, in this world neither I nor you have made, heroism. Heroism.
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2011, pg. 229

^^^

When, for instance, (Morton Feldman) was asked by Fred Orton what he meant when he talked of “the abstract experience”, he answered with what I regard as a singular moment of candor. I mean, he said something profound:
It’s that other place that is not allegory.
Rothko had it. It’s that other place that
is not a metaphor of something else.
~ Vertical Thoughts: Morton Feldman and the Visual Arts, Dore Ashton, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (31 March – 27 June, 2010), pg. 80

^^^

Anyone who plunges into infinity, in both time and space, farther and farther without stopping, needs fixed points, mileposts as he flashes by, for otherwise his movement is indistinguishable from standing still. There must be stars past which he shoots, beacons by which he can measure the path he has travelled. He must mark off his universe into units of a certain length, into compartments which repeat one another in endless succession. Each time he crosses the border from one compartment to another, his clock ticks.
~ Oneindigheidsbenaderingen (Approaches to Infinity), by M. C. Escher, in De wereld van het zwart en wit, ed. J Hulsker, Wereld-Bibliotheek, Amsterdam, 1959, pgs. 41 – 49

^^^

PT: I believe painting is a sacramental act. I know there’s more to be said on the subject, but I thought I’d make a declaration, because it’s the kind of thing I’ve always been afraid of. Those are deeply personal values and I always felt they had to be stated in an apophatic way. Apophatic philosophy takes a negative approach, where you define something by declaring what it is not. I feel as though I’m moving away from this. I want to speak of what I feel most grounded by, what most interests me. What I look for in a work of art, in painting, is that it offers some healing power which can protect us and strengthen our sense of what we most love about being alive in this world. That’s what a sacrament is. It’s an affirmation of life.
BA: It’s constant renewal
PT: That’s what painting should be.
~ Philip Taffe: The Life of Forms, Works 1980 – 2008, Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2008, pg. 228

^^^

Speaking with his old friend the poet Robert Creeley in 1991, he inadvertently revealed the secret to his success: “it is your insanity that is the resource. If you looked at everything the way that everybody else does, you’d be painting shower curtains in New Jersey. If fame is what you want, get into rock and roll. Go into the movies. But in art, basically the resource is your own peculiarities, so that only in art or criminality you can get it out. And I much prefer art.
~ John Chamberlain: Choices, Guggenheim Museum Publications, New York, 2012, pg. 27

^^^

Painting must be faithful to painting. The painting itself must come through above all. All the subsidiary questions, in other words, those that are more or less related to it – reviews, sales, public reception, etc. – must have no influence on the painter. He must be calm, faithful to his painting. Moral thought, that is what we need. Emotional thought. Thought as action. Active thought. Not the cold, mechanical thought of intelligence. And art must spring from this emotional moral thought, while being framed within an intellectual construct. (This construct is tradition.)
~ Excerpt from Decadence et Primitivisme, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, 1928

^^^

Or rather say the strain of trying to remain alert and punctilious in the face of extreme boredom can reach levels at which certain types of hallucination routinely occur.
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2011, pg. 314

^^^

If it hadn’t been for books, we’d have been completely at the mercy of sex. There was hardly anything else powerful enough to distract or deflect us; we’d have been crawling after sex, writhing over it all the time. Books enabled us to see ourselves as characters — yes, we were characters! — and this gave us a bit of control.
~ Kafka Was the Rage: a Greenwich Village Memoir, Anatole Broyard, Crown Publishers, New York, 1993, pg. 30

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Well, in an analogous way, we don’t choose or decide our responses to art. We don’t choose whether to like or dislike a given work of art. And this absence of volition and choice is another part of the intellectual impenetrability of esthetic experience. It is also why disagreements about art should never be taken personally. Of course, most often they are, and disagreements about art are a source of a lot of rancor. But when you can’t help yourself, you can’t be blamed. If you like something or don’t like something, you’re on the level; you haven’t chosen to like or dislike something, and it shouldn’t be held against you personally. Esthetic judgements are spontaneous, unwilled, undeliberate, because they are inseparable from immediate experience — immediate esthetic experience. Whether we like or don’t like something is not arrived at by reflection after the fact, by revealing or weighing the evidence, or by reasoning, or by ratiocination. Whether we like or don’t like something is given rather than decided — given right in the evidence — and the evidence is right in the experience and not separable from it. It is right inside the experience. It is the experience.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 89

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I remember [Meyer] Schapiro telling us that before Cézanne, there had always been a place in landscape painting where the viewer could walk into the picture. There was an entrance; you could go there, like walking into a park. But this was not true of Cézanne’s landscapes, which were cut off absolutely, abstracted from their context. You could not walk into them — you could enter them only through art, by leaping.
Schapiro said that when van Gogh loaded his palette with pigment he couldn’t afford, he was praying in color. He put his anxiety into pigment, slapped color into its cheeks. Color was salvation. It had to be thick, and tangible.
~ Kafka Was the Rage: a Greenwich Village Memoir, Anatole Broyard, Crown Publishers, New York, 1993, pg. 59

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If anything and everything can be intuited esthetically, then anything and everything can be intuited and experienced artistically. What we agree to call art cannot be definitively or decisively separated from esthetic experience at large. … Art, coinciding with esthetic experience in general, means simply, and yet not so simply, a twist of attitude toward your own awareness and its objects.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 5

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As for Symbolism itself, this evaded definition altogether, as befitted an aesthetic devoted to evocation and suggestion, rather than exposition. … Symbolism seemed to have no real agenda, only a set of mannerisms. It was characterized by bizarre imagery, idealized medievalism, metaphysical speculation, obscure vocabulary and often arbitrary Capitalizations: the elevation of the Dream, the Idea, and the Absolute over reality (small “r”), and Art above all else. Even so, a new generation of writers had rallied to this equivocal movement, its very ambiguity being doubtless part of the attraction: it offered fraternity but required no real commitment to a program, either artistic or political.
~ Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life, Alastair Brotchie, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011, pg. 62

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Now, desire to be far out is almost by definition a confused and ambiguous desire. That is the way we have seen it. The discriminations of taste  are resented and, at the same time, the artist who resents these discriminations wants the kind of approval that can only be delivered through judgements of taste. In his aggressiveness, the far out artist denounces other kinds of art, other artists, in terms of taste while at the same time professing to transcend these terms. He says he is above good and bad, and at the same time he says so-and-so is bad, that’s why by implication he is better. When he says that so-and-so is obsolete, he doesn’t just mean that he is not up-to-date, he means that he is less as art, and he is making a judgement of taste — a poor would-be judgement of taste. And he says, well, as for me and my art, good and bad, well, that’s old-fashioned.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 170

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Unlike solemnity, seriousness can include cascading good humor and sharp-edged Duchampian absurdity, but underneath the surface, however sparkling, there is a hidden tide in serious art – a question, an unrest, a knowledge trying to achieve visibility, an astonished apprehension of beauty, a sober assessment of ugliness that needs to be faced.
~ An Art of Our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art, Roger Lipsey, Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston, 1988, pg. 406

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For Lacan, the Real was one of the three Orders which, unlike the Symbolic and the Imaginary, is literally impossible since it stands outside language and signification. The Lacanian Real is not exactly the same thing as “reality,” but rather a state of nature from which language cuts us off at an early age. Despite its impossibility, its presence is felt in all our subsequent lives, usually in a traumatic way since our failure to reach it brings us face to face with the realities of our own existences.
~ Pataphysics: A Useless Guide, Andrew Hugill, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2012, pg. 96 – 97

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Inferior art or esthetic experience shows itself, precisely, in failing to bring about a state that is high enough — or intense enough or extensive enough. But all art, all esthetic experience, good and bad, superior and inferior, identifies itself by promising this state of transcending cognitiveness, or by intimating a promise of it. And it’s only taste that can tell to what extent this promise is kept.
~ Homemade Esthetics, Clement Greenberg, Oxford University Press, New York, 2000, pg. 170

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If a person is not able to go back and bridge what they have perceived, then there is pain, then we can talk about illness, psychosis and the rest of deepstaria enigmatic maladies that we have in our psychiatric pantheon. Likewise the work of an artist may be a voyage to the open sea, which has to be a real adventure, where they don’t know the shore that they will attain, because it is in the very language that they will invent while in the ravaging tempest; this act of creation, the creation of the contingent raft of language (the work) will allow them to set foot in a new continent.
~ The Second and a Half Dimension, an Expedition to the Photographic Plateau, Francois Bucher, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2012, pg. 38

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Fast and little and light, the new cameras were for seeing; they were for people. Loaded with lengths of inexpensive film, they led to a new way of working. You found your subject and merged as far as possible with its background; if you could, you became invisible. If not, you got accepted, and took photographs until you were forgotten.
~ From the essay Controversy and the Creative Concepts (1953), Nancy Newhall, in Aperture Magazine Anthology – The Minor White Years, 1952-1976, Aperture Foundation, New York, NY, 2012

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My life is a succession of quarters of an hour which are spent in a succession of square meters.
~ The Return of the Repressed, Volume II: Psychoanalytic Writings, Louise Bourgeois, Violette Limited, London, England, 2012, pg. 62

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The underlying bureaucratic key is the ability to deal with boredom. To function effectively in an environment that precludes everything vital  and human. To breathe, so to speak, without air. The key is the ability, whether innate or conditioned, to find the other side of the rote, the picayune, the meaningless, the repetitive, the pointlessly complex. To be, in a word, unborable. I met, in the years 1984 and ’85, two such men. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2011, pg. 438

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… failure to grasp what was obvious to every artist I have been looking at in the course of this book, that what is at issue is reality itself, what it is and how an art which of necessity renounces all claim to contact with the transcendent can relate to it, and if it cannot, what possible reason it can have for existing.
~ What Ever Happened to Modernism, Gabriel Josipovici, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT and London, 2010, pg. 173

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… each picture depicts a radically unremarkable nature, purged of human meaning and therefore of any clear relation to yourself, within a composition so centralised and intensely focused that it appears endowed with a quite particular and momentous significance. This significance eludes you, and you stand before the pictures as before answers for which the questions have been lost.
~ Caspar David Friedrich and the Subject of Landscape, Joseph Leo Koerner, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT and London, 1990, pg. 9

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It turns out that bliss — a second-by-second joy + gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious — lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (tax returns, televised golf), and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Constant bliss in every atom.
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2011, pg. 546

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If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? … We need books to affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
~ Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors, Franz Kafka, ed. Max Brod, Schocken Books, 1977, pg. 16

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The imobile, as if petrified facial expression of a mask contrasts sharply with the dynamic character of its dance. It is this sculptural immobility of feature that defines a mask as such, and is capable of disquiet, fear, even panic. Tranquility and action are both simultaneously present.
~ Spirits Speak, A Celebration of African Masks, Peter Stepan, Prestel Verlag, Munich, 2005, pg. 30

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I fight to console my heart, to reconcile it to declaring the Yes freely. We must leave the earth not like scourged, tearful slaves, but like kings who rise from table with no further wants, after having eaten and drunk to the full. The heart, however, still beats inside the chest and resists, crying, “Stay a little!”
~ Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 18

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… all legitimate religious study must lead to unlearning the differences, the illusory differences, between boys and girls, animals and stones, day and night, heat and cold.
~ Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger, Little Brown, New York, 2010, pg. 67

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And from the moment I saw, my soul began to solidify. It no longer flowed with constant fluctuation like water; a face began to thicken and congeal now around a luminous core, the face of my soul. Instead of proceeding first to the left, then to the right, along ever-changing roads in order to find what beast I was descended from, I proceeded with assurance, because I knew my true face and my sole duty: to work this face with as much patience, love, and skill as I could manage. To “work” it? What did that mean? It meant to turn it into flame, and if I had time before death came, to turn this flame into light, so that Charon would find nothing of me to take. For this was my greatest ambition: to leave nothing for death to take – nothing but a few bones.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 27-28

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“Let’s nail this nasty owl to the door and leave without looking back!”
We knew that nasty owl of intellectual cupidity all too well, and each of us had his own owl to nail to the door, not to mention a few chattering magpies, strutting turkeys, billing and cooing turtle doves, and geese, fat geese! But all those birds were so anchored, grafted so deeply to our flesh that we could not extract them without tearing our guts out. We had to live with them a long time yet, suffer them, know them well, until they fell from us like scabs in a skin condition, fell by themselves as the organism regained its health; it is harmful to pull them off prematurely.
~ Mount Analogue, René Daumal, Tusk Ivories, New York, NY, 2004, pg. 87

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Also on the hearty, revitalizing side of the ledger, bear in mind, with good cheer and amusement, that we were quite firmly obliged, as well as often dubiously privileged, to bring our creative genius with us from our previous appearances. One hesitates to suggest what we will do with it, but it is incessantly at our side, though slow as hell in development.
~ Hapworth 16, 1924, J.D. Salinger, The New Yorker, June 19, 1965, pg. 21

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Youth seeks immortality, does not find it, will not deign to compromise, and thus rejects the entire cosmos – out of pride. Not all cases of youth, only those which are wounded by truth.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 133

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… I give you my word of honor, on this sultry, memorable day of my life, that one cannot even light a casual cigarette unless the artistic permission of the universe is freely given! Permission is too broad, but somebody’s head must freely nod before the cigarette can be touched to the flame of the match. This is also too broad, I regret with my entire body to say. I am convinced God will kindly wear a human head, quite capable of nodding, for the benefit of some admirer who enjoys picturing Him that way, but I personally am not partial to His wearing a human head and would perhaps turn on my heel and walk away if He put one on for my dubious benefit. This is an exaggeration, to be sure; I would be powerless to walk away from Him, of all people, even if my life depended on it.
Hapworth 16, 1924, J.D. Salinger, The New Yorker, June 19, 1965, pg. 24

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In Greece, as everywhere, once realism begins to reign, civilization declines. Thus we arrive at the realistic, magniloquent, and faithless Hellenistic era, which was devoid of suprapersonal ideals. From chaos to the Parthenon, then from the Parthenon back to chaos – the great merciless rhythm. Emotions and passions run wild. The free individual loses his powers of discipline; the bridle which maintained instinct in strict balance flies from his hands.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 170

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Should it be so difficult to offer a brief, affectionate salute to this unfathomable artist? Is it not highly tempting to take off one’s hat to someone who is both free to move in mysterious ways as well as in perfectly unmysterious ways? Oh, my God, this is some God we have!

… to rely on God utterly, we must fall back on embarrassing, sensible devices of our own; however, they are not our own, which is another humorous, wondrous side of the matter; the embarrassing, sensible devices are His, too!
Hapworth 16, 1924, J.D. Salinger, The New Yorker, June 19, 1965, pg. 30-31

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In Hamlet — as in even the best among us — the fallen quality is dominant, yet the angelic apprehension always abides. That returns us to the perpetual fascination of the idea of angels: are we a mockery of them, or do they suggest to us, as they did to Hamlet, something godlike about the human imagination, with its apprehension of something evermore about to be? The anticipation that, in exalted moments, seems to stand tiptoe in us is an angelic mode of apprehension.
~ Fallen Angels, Harold Bloom, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2007, pg. 47

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She could not hold it. Nobody can hold it. Nobody can live here and hold it. Only the spirit of the troubadour, rapt in a niche of rock, huddled and withdrawn forever if no prayers go up for him, raccolta a se, like a lion.
~ Dream of Fair to Middling Women, Samuel Beckett, The Black Cat Press, Dublin, 1992, pg. 23-24

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Perfection is a momentary equilibrium above chaos, a most difficult and dangerous balance. Throw a little weight to one side or the other, and it falls.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 172

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A deep study of anything shows the seer that there is a purpose beneath it all. Yet, if one could look beyond every purpose, there would seem to be no purpose. This boundary is called the Wall of Smiles, which means that all purposes of life, which seem at the moment to be so important, fade away as soon as one looks at them from that height called the Wall of Smiles.
~ Spiritual Liberty, The Sufi Message, Vol. V., Hazrat Inayat Khan, Shri Jainendra Press, New Delhi, 1989, pg. 249

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No force anywhere on earth is as imperialistic as the human soul. It occupies and is occupied in turn, but it always considers its empire too narrow. Suffocating, it desires to conquer the world in order to breathe freely.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 188

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Just as in 1789 the absolute monarchy was overthrown, in 1925 we must overthrow the absolute deity. There is something stronger than God. We must draft a Declaration of the Rights of the Soul, we must liberate the spirit, not by subjugating it to materialism but by refusing henceforth to subjugate it to materialism!
~ Liberty or Love, Robert Desnos, Atlas Press, London, 2012, pg. 71

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But this is already the fourth and final level: the sphere of pataphysics. What would have been the analogical or spiritual significance for medieval commentators refers here to a systematic toying with the arrangement of things and their significance until we see the improbable hypothethis as real.
~ Introduction by Roger Shattuck, 1965, to Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll Pataphysician, Alfred Jarry, Exact Change/Grove Press, 2006, pg. xvii

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This revelation will come to everyone: that every form is absurd once taken seriously. I hear from every human gullet a vocal mechanism speak, one that has built up since adolescence, I hear it saying, in loutish muted echoes, clamoring or whispering in all modes of discourse: “I am a man!” “I am a man!” Contemplating these immense efforts expended at each moment to convince oneself of an arbitrary affirmation, my breath falters and shakes me from head to toe. “I am a man?” Why not say, “I am Alphonse,” or “I am a wholesaler,” or “a crook,” or “a mammal,” or “a philosopher,” or “a proud animal”? And laughter tortures me still as I contemplate the wonderful spectacle of human actions. Faustroll is sneering.
~ Pataphysical Essays, René Daumal, translated by Thomas Vosteen, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2012, pg. 11-12

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“No, no,” I protested. “Even if it’s as you think, we must conquer the minor virtues you talk about – courtesy, pity, expediency. I am less afraid of the major vices than of the minor virtues, because these have lovely faces and deceive us all too easily.”
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 213

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When the worst is avoided, something’s wrong somewhere.
~ Conversations with Samuel Beckett and Bram van Velde, Charles Juliet, Dalkey Archive, University of Illinois, Champagne, Il., 2009, pg. 71

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But the sun and the mother follow courses set by the laws of their beings. Those who see us even if we cannot see ourselves, answer our puerile calculations, our fickle desires, our small and awkward efforts with a generous welcome.
Mount Analogue, René Daumal, Tusk Ivories, New York, NY, 2004, pg. 115

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The soul, like the body, has its modesty; it refuses to disrobe in public. But as soon as I was alone, I cried to myself, Away, away! To the wilderness! There God blows like a scorching wind; I shall undress and have him burn me.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 247

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Wholeness is not a Utopian dream. It is something that we once possessed and now seem largely to have lost, or to say it less pessimistically, seem to have lost were it not for our inner sense of direction which still reminds us that something is wrong here because we know of something that is right.
~ Design: Anonymous and Timeless, Anni Albers, 1947, from Selected Writings on Design, Wesleyan University Press, 2000, pg.34

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The artistic tendency is not expansive, but a contraction. And art is the apotheosis of solitude.
~ Proust, Samuel Beckett, Grove Press, London, 1931, pg. 64

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“FARTHER! FARTHER!” CRIES GOD TO THE MEEK
The mountain is red, the sun and the sky are red. A finger points toward its peak. The rocks surge upward, the absolute summit lost to view. The bodies of those who have not reached it come tumbling down again head first. One falls backward on to his hands, dropping his guitar. Another waits with his back to the mountain, near his bottles. One lies down on the road, his eyes still climbing. The finger still points, and the sun waits for obedience before it will set.
~ Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll Pataphysician, Alfred Jarry, Exact Change/Grove Press, 2006, pg. 92

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Nonrational, monstrous. When jammed into time and place it crumbles into innumerable forms. These it obliterates. Then it creates new forms and smashes them again, continuing for all eternity in this same way. There is no such thing as progress; destiny is not governed by reason; religion, morality, and great ideas are worthless consolations good only for cowards and idiots. The strong man, knowing this, confronts the world’s purposeless phantasmagoria with traquility and rejoices in dissolving the multiform, ephemeral veil of Maya.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 322

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To tell the truth, I didn’t want much. My rule of conduct was simple: live as little as possible so as to suffer as little as possible. Maybe not very exhilirating as far as precepts go, but very effective. Try it, you’ll see. What I liked most was to go unnoticed. I’d have gladly given everything I had to be an invisible man or a ghost. By dint of hugging the cemetary walls, I had ended up taking on their color.
~ The High Life, Jean-Pierre Martinet, translated by Henry Vale, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2012, pg. 5

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… pataphysical method enables us to distinguish qualities, quantities, and degrees among absences in the same way that algebra makes it possible to perform calculations of negative quantities — or even irrational quantities, or even yet, unrepresentable quantities.
Pataphysical Essays, René Daumal, translated by Thomas Vosteen, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2012, pg. 94-95

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The greater your despair, the closer you are to the gods. The gods desire to drive us perpetually closer to the exalted ones. And they have no means of doing so other than misery. Only in misery do great hopes and great plans for the future take shape.
~The Perpetual Motion Machine: The Story of an Invention, Paul Scheerbart, translated by Andrew Joron, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2011, pg. 7

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Joyce was right. From Bruno, Beckett borrowed only his principle of identified contrarities: “Maximal speed is a state of rest. The maximum of corruption and the minimum of generation are identical in principle, corruption is generation. And all things are ultimately identified with God, the universal monad, Monad of monads.”
~ Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett, James Knowlson, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996, pg. 107

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But a few dark nights are yet ours: poets, discerning nothing in their shadows, have disdained them. Ink-thick nights. In their warm duvet as by their icy flows, we swim effortlessly, brushing by reefs of night we alone know, caressing the fish of nighttime slumber, black and familiar in the dark of dark rooms utterly obscured by black stars.
~The Conductor, Jean Ferry, translated by Edward Gauvin, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., 2013, pg. 57

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Who were the two artists of ancient times who competed to see who could paint the visible world most faithfully? “Now I shall prove to you that I am the best,” said the first, showing the other a curtain which he had painted. “Well, draw back the curtain,” said the adversary, “and let us see the picture.” The curtain is the picture,” replied the first with a laugh.
Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis, Faber and Faber, London, 1973, pg. 468

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Keep your eyes fixed on the way to the top, but don’t forget to look at your feet. The last step depends on the first. Don’t think you have arrived just because you see the peak. Watch your feet, be certain of your next step, but don’t let this distract you from the highest goal. The first step depends on the last.
~ Mount Analogue, René Daumal, Tusk Ivories, New York, NY, 2004, pg. 106

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… he had evidently no notion of the Holy Trinity, nor of all things triple, nor of the undefined, which commences at three, nor of the indeterminate, nor of the Universe, which may be defined as the Several.
~ Exploits & Opinions of Dr. Faustroll Pataphysician, Alfred Jarry, Exact Change/Grove Press, 2006, pg. 75

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What a marvelous invention man is! He can blow on his hands to warm them up, and blow on his soup to cool it down.
~ A Man Asleep, Georges Perec, Vintage, London, England, 2011, pg. 217

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Victor [Marcel Duchamp] worked slowly, and as if detached for two hours. That was his shift. With compasses and a ruler he drew a curving line in the form of a snail: he didn’t want his taste to intrude, nor any technical skill on the part of his hand, he abhorred that, and turned to geometry and mathematics to help him approach an absolute.
And the result was pure.
Victor had spent two years on this Glass; he would never finish it completely.
~ 3 New York Dadas, Henri-Pierre Roché, Atlas Press, London, 2013, pg. 93-94

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It was this white garment of mourning which he still wore, the white mourning of surgical gowns so much more significant than black, far from being the colour of emptiness and nothingness, is much more the active shade which makes the deep and therefore dark substance of all things stand out, from the flight of despair whose magical blackness animates the blank parchment of the soul, to the supposedly sinister flight of the raven, whose croakings and cadaverous meals are but the joyful signs of physical metamorphoses, black as congealed blood or charred wood, but much less lugubrious than the deathly restfulness of white.
~ Aurora, Michel Leiris, Atlas Press, London, 2013, pg. 46

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The child must incorporate in this world, day after day, all the sadness and all the beauty of the earth. Such is the huge labour of the inner life. What can teachers do, to aid this spiritual gestation, this second birth, in which all is mystery? Almost nothing. The being who grows in consciousness has as his supreme teacher Chance. Chance is the street. The street changing and multiplying truths to infinity, simpler than books.
~ Semmelweis, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Atlas Press, London, 2008, pg. 28

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If this representation is the work of human hands, then this sculptor has talent such as no other master possesses. For what is more wondrous or beautiful, or fraught with more obstacles, than making the rock as malleable as he did; and that it became black where it had to be black, and red where it had to be red; and likewise with the other colours. And it is clear to me that the colours were treated in a particular manner.
~ The Living are Few, the Dead Many, Hans Henry Jahnn, Atlas Press, London, 2012, pg. 39

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Let no one imagine though that this timeless love of the cold and the immutable, as well as of geometric forms, corresponds in any way to even the slightest taste for order and intelligence. For the truth is that I despise both these human excretions, and if I am attracted to some building or geometrical figure, then this has nothing to do with the intrinsic fact of its being in proportion, but simply because this proportion gives me the illusion that it will last for ever.
Aurora, Michel Leiris, Atlas Press, London, 2013, pg. 72

^^^

Whited number, who has darkened the sky?
Cardinal Point, Michel Leiris, Atlas Press, London, 2013, pg. 176

^^^

It’s a matter of inviting a contrary perspective and trying to make an unstable peace – of challenging the endeavor in the faith that the answer is already present in the question, the way the sculpture is already present in the stone.
~ Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature, Daniel Levin Becker, Harvard University Press, Cambridge/London, 2012, pg. 275

^^^

Released in this aged and bottomless metropolis from national folklore, national politics, national careers; detached from the family and the corporate taste; the lone individual, stripped, yet supported on every side by the vitality of other outcasts with whom it was necessary to form no permanent ties, could experiment with everything that man today has within him of health and monstrousness.
~ The Tradition of the New, Harold Rosenberg, Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1959, pg. 211

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Implicit in an action-based process was a high level of creative anxiety, the price paid for courting unknowns.
~ Sculptors and Critics, Arenas and Complaints (from Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940 – 1976), Douglas Dreishspoon, The Jewish Museum, New York/Yale University Press, New Haven, 2008, pg. 218

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An individual, even one of average intellect, does not easily abandon his security unless driven by a furious need. In three out of four cases, the essential reason that leads active adventurers into action is poverty, with all its excellent decorative qualities. One must never forget the decorative viewpoint.
~ A Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer, Pierre Mac Orlan, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2013 (1951), pg. 54

^^^

you do not even have to give fate a helping hand or if you do get it done without any witnesses around leave no clues and cook up a cast-iron alibi so we shall suppose to keep things simple — for we must do our best to keep things simple — either that fate has been extremely kind to you or that you did not get caught in short here you are with a new engineer get on with him for instance by pretending to get on with the job or why not by actually doing the job for a few weeks you’ll see it can be quite interesting anyway
~ The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise, Georges Perec, Verso, London/New York, 2011 (1968), pg. 70

^^^

Not much has changed in creation since the beginning. Wolves and gods still wander the earth, hungry and in search of prey. Sacrifices are made to them; but the bowels of the earth continue to devour. We cannot appease or propitiate the unknown powers. Nor should we believe that justice or fairness exist. And neither should we attempt to learn the truth. All that we search for is hidden in another reality, not here.
The Living are Few, the Dead Many, Hans Henry Jahnn, Atlas Press, London, 2012, pg. 74

^^^

Also worth mentioning is the reductio argument, popularized by George Bernard Shaw, in favor of English spelling reform on the grounds that ghoti should be pronounced “fish,” given the pronunciation of gh in “rough,” of o in “women,” and the ti in “nation.” By the same logic, ghoughpteighbteau is proffered as a perfectly good way to spell “potato.”
Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature, Daniel Levin Becker, Harvard University Press, Cambridge/London, 2012, pg. 256

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Let us be artists without trying.
Ideas can get by without Art.
We should be wary of Art: it is often mere Virtuosity.
~ A Mammal’s Notebooks, Erik Satie, Atlas Press, London 2014, (1890- 1924), pg. 161

^^^

Solitude is never with you; it is always without you, and possible only in the presence of an outsider, an alien person or place as may be, that completely ignores you, that you completely ignore; so your will and your feelings remain suspended and bewildered in a tormented uncertainty; and, as every affirmation of yourself ceases, the very privacy of your awareness ceases. True solitude is in a place that lives for itself, and for you it has no trace or voice. And you, then, are the outsider there.
~ One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand, Luigi Pirandello, The Eridanos Library, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990, pg. 12

^^^

And that is how we have returned to our starting point: the adoration of the golden calf. Except that the idol speaks, walks, thinks; in a word, it is a giant.
~ Treatise on Elegent Living, Honoré de Balzac, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2010 (1830), pg. 24

^^^

A treatise on elegent living, being the combination of inalienable principles that must guide the expression of our thought through exterior life, is, as it were, the metaphysics of things.
~ Treatise on Elegent Living, Honoré de Balzac, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2010 (1830), pg. 26

^^^

Yes, elegence is one, indivisible, like the Trinity, like liberty, like virtue. From this follows the most important of all our general aphorisms:

XX
The constituent principle of elegence is unity.

XXI
Unity is impossible without cleanliness, harmony, and relative simplicity.

But it is not simplicity rather than harmony, or harmony rather than cleanliness that produces elegence: elegence is born from a mysterious concordance between these three primordial virtues. To create it suddenly everywhere is the secret of innately distinguished spirits.
Treatise on Elegent Living, Honoré de Balzac, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2010 (1830), pg. 44

^^^

The form-content distinction is renovated in a luminous brief fragment from 1919: “Content makes its way toward us. Form holds back [verharrt], permits us to approach[,] … causes perception to accumulate.” Content manifests the “currently effective messianic elements of the work of art” and form manifests the “retarding elements” [Benjamin, Selected Writings, 1:213]. On the “retarding” element, compare SW, 1:172, citing Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis.
~ Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2014, pg. 687 – 688

^^^

The film actor feels as if exiled. Exiled not only from the stage but from his own person. With a vague unease, he senses an inexplicable void, stemming from the fact that his body has lost its substance, that he has been volatilized, stripped of his reality, his life, his voice, the noises he makes when moving about, and has been turned into a mute image that flickers for a moment on the screen, then vanishes into silence. … The little apparatus will play with his shadow before the audience, and he himself must be content to play before the apparatus.
~ Si Gira, Luigi Pirandello, 1926

^^^

The name receives and assimilates the “languages issuing from matter,” the “communicating muteness” of nature through which God’s word radiates. The task of naming would be impossible were not the nameless language and the naming language related in God, released from the same creative word. Our knowledge of things – generated in the names with which we allow their language to pass into us – is essentially creativity relieved of its divine actuality; the knower is made in the image of the creator. “Man is the knower in the same language in which God is creator.” [Benjamin, Correspondence]
Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2014, pg. 89

^^^

The very rules of fate seem to be what causes and brings about the breaking away from them, the defection.
~ Ethik des reinen Willens, Hermann Cohen, Cassirer, Berlin, 1907, pg. 362

^^^

Political action – whether anarchism or communism – remains useful only insofar as it opens a space for meaningful religious experience.
Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2014, pg. 260

^^^

In The Arcades Project, to cite is at once to explode and to salvage: to extract the historical object by blasting it from the reified, homogenous continuum of pragmatic historiography, and to call to life some part of what has been by integrating it into the newly established context of the collection, transfiguring and actualizing the object in the “force field” – the oscillating standstill (Stillstand) – of a dialectical image. The redemption of the past in constellation with the now, adumbrating in language a “nucleus of time lying hidden within the knower and the known alike” (The Arcades Project, N3,2), takes place in what Benjamin will call, in his 1929 essay “On the Image of Proust,” “intertwined time”. This is the temporality of montage.
Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2014, pg. 290-1

^^^

If auratic art, in its classic plenitude, seems to return our gaze, art marked by the loss of aura is disjointed and reticent, its gaze scattered or imploded. Such art arises in technologically conditioned social situations, where humans in public spaces no longer habitually return the gaze of others.
Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2014, pg. 645

^^^

This appreciation of eternal transience prepares the way for “genuine historical existence,” where festivity and lament would be one. But whoever wishes to know exactly what this “redeemed humanity” might look like, and when it might come about, “poses questions to which there are no answers.”
Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2014, pg. 661

^^^

It is precisely the feeblest artistic achievements that refer to the immediate feeling of life; whereas the strongest, with respect to their truth, refer to a sphere related to the mythic: the poetized. One could say that life is, in general, the poetized of poems.
~ Two Poems by Friedrich Hölderlin in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 20

^^^

Everywhere I look I see matter ordering itself hierarchically, because it genuinely makes us peaceful inside. If we take ourselves as the acme, then we’ll always be striving after a goal that cannot conceivably be the ultimate ideal in this infinite world. To get ahead, one must subordinate oneself to something else over and over again; indeed, one must subordinate one’s best thoughts over and over again to new, greater, not yet fully comprehensible thoughts. If one does not, then one becomes tired, sleepy, and drooping.
~ Lesabéndio: An Asteroid Novel, Paul Scheerbart, translated by Christina Svendsen, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., pg. 62

^^^

Humankind, which once, in Homer, was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, has now become one for itself. Its self-alienation has reached the point where it can experience its own annihilation as a supreme aesthetic pleasure. Such is the aestheticizing of politics, as practiced by fascism. Communism replies by politicizing art.
~ Work in the Age of Reproducibility (Third Version 1939) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 4: 1938 – 1940, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 2003, pg. 270

^^^

“I also want to go on,” he shouted in his mind, “even if I don’t know what this leads to. A spark of defiance is going through the planets. They don’t want to be bogged down in triviality or pettiness; they only desire what is big and powerful. And that brings no peace or quiet. It will dissolve this loose sense of bliss that I feel. And we’ll become volcanoes — concussive shocks to the world — thunderous storms — intoxicating light turbulences. What does it matter if I live or not? As long as the star that is with me, or in me, stays alive — a life of many worlds. It will be difficult, yes. But only through difficulty do we arrive at the greatest ecstasies. The slack pauses must be overcome. Everything must rotate faster, so that we perceive more and more. Here comes the intoxication again, generated by this eternal turning — the rotating balls and wheels suffocate anything trivial. Forward! Don’t fear the pain! Don’t fear death! The spheres! Infinity! The wheels! The circle! The circle!
Lesa’s thoughts once more became tangled and confused. All he felt was a stormy bliss.
~ Lesabéndio: An Asteroid Novel, Paul Scheerbart, translated by Christina Svendsen, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA., pg. 204-5

^^^

Life seemed worth living only where the threshold between waking and sleeping was worn away in everyone as by the steps of multitudinous images flooding back and forth; language seemed itself only where sound and image, image and sound, interpenetrated with automatic precision and such felicity that no chink was left for the penny-in-the-slot called “meaning.” Image and language take precedence. Saint-Pol-Roux, retiring to bed about daybreak, fixes a notice on his door: “Poet at work.” Breton notes: “Quietly. I want to pass where no one has yet passed, quietly! — After you, dearest language.” Language takes precedence.
~ Surrealism (1929) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: 1927 – 1934, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 208

^^^

This is the moment to embark on a work that would illuminate as has no other the crisis of the arts that we are witnessing; a history of esoteric poetry. Nor is it by any means fortuitous that no such work yet exists. For written as it demands to be written — that is, not as a collection to which particular “specialists” all contribute “what is most worth knowing” from their fields, but as the deeply grounded composition of an individual who, from inner compulsion, portrays less a historical evolution than a constantly renewed, primal upsurge of esoteric poetry — written in such a way, it would be one of those scholarly confessions that find their place in every century.
Surrealism (1929) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: 1927 – 1934, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 212

^^^

For to organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel moral metaphor from politics and to discover in the space of political action the one hundred percent image space. … In reality, it is far less a matter of  making the artist of bourgeois origin into a master of “proletarian art” than of deploying him, even at the expense of his artistic activity, at important points in this image space. Indeed, mightn’t the interruption of his “artistic career” perhaps be an essential part of his new function?
The jokes he tells will be better for it. And he will tell them better. For in the joke, too, in invective, in misunderstanding, in all cases where an action puts forth its own image and exists, absorbing and consuming it, where nearness looks with its own eyes, the long-sought image space is opened, the world of universal and integral actualities, where the “best room” is missing — the space, in a word, in which political materialism and physical creatureliness share the inner man, the psyche, the individual, or whatever else we wish to throw to them, with dialectical justice, so that no limb remains untorn.
Surrealism (1929) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: 1927 – 1934, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 217

^^^

If sleep is the apogee of physical relaxation, boredom is the apogee of mental relaxation. Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience. A rustling in the leaves drives him away.
The Storyteller (1936) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935 – 1938, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 149

^^^

Today people live in rooms that have never been touched by death  — dry dwellers of eternity; and when their end approaches, they are stowed away in sanatoria or hospitals by their heirs. Yet, characteristically, it is not only a man’s knowledge or wisdom, but above all his real life — and this is the stuff that stories are made of — which first assumes transmissible form at the moment of his death. Just as a sequence of images is set in motion inside a man as his life comes to an end — unfolding the views of himself in which he has encountered himself without being aware of it — suddenly in his expressions and looks the unforgettable emerges, and imparts to everything that concerned him that authority which even the poorest wretch in the act of dying possesses for the living around him. This authority lies at the very origin of the story.
The Storyteller (1936) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935 – 1938, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 151

^^^

When in the course of centuries the novel began to emerge from the womb of the epic, it turned out that in the novel the element of the epic mind that is derived from the muse — that is, memory — manifests itself in a form quite different from the way it manifests itself in the story.
The Storyteller (1936) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935 – 1938, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 154

^^^

Artistic observation can attain an almost mystical depth. The objects on which it falls lose their names. Light and shade form very particular systems, present very individual questions which depend on no knowledge and are derived from no practice, but derive their existence and value exclusively from a certain accord of the soul, eye, and hand of someone who was born to perceive them and evoke them in his own inner self.
~ About Corot in Degas, Manet, Morisot, Paul Valéry, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1989, pg. 147

^^^

This is how Willy Haas has interpreted the course of events in Der Prozeß [The Trial], and justifiably so: “The object of the trial — indeed, the real hero of this incredible book — is forgetting, whose main characteristic is the forgetting of itself … Here it has actually become a mute figure in the shape of the accused man, a figure of the most striking intensity.” It probably cannot be denied that “this mysterious center … derives from the Jewish religion.” “Memory plays a very mysterious role as piousness. It is not an ordinary quality but … the most profound quality of Jehovah that He remembers, that He retains, an infallible memory ‘to the third and fourth, even to the hundredth, generation.’ The most sacred … act of the … ritual is the erasing of sins from the book of memory.”
~ Franz Kafka (1934) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: 1927 – 1934, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1999, pg. 809

^^^

Cellar
We have long forgotten the ritual by which the house of our life was erected. But when it is under assault and enemy bombs are already taking their toll, what enervated, perverse antiquities do they not lay bare in the foundations! What things were interred and sacrificed amid magic incantations, what horrible cabinet of curiosities lies there below, where the deepest shafts are reserved for what is most commonplace?
One Way Street (1923-1926) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 445

^^^

An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, an existence restricted to external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
~ Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl, Beacon Press, Boston, Mass., 2006, pg. 67

^^^

Attested Auditor of Books
And before a contemporary finds his way clear to opening a book, his eyes have been exposed to such a blizzard of changing, colorful, conflicting letters that the chances of his penetrating the archaic stillness of the book are slight. Locust swarms of print, which already eclipse the sun of what city dwellers take for intellect, will grow thicker with each succeeding year. Other demands of business life lead further. The card index marks the conquest of three-dimensional writing, and so presents an astonishing counterpoint to the three-dimensionality of script in its original form as rune or knot notation.
One Way Street (1923-1926) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 456

^^^

I’ll walk into the next room arm in arm with the object, between shadows and their fossils, between the mirrors that don’t reflect me, between the looks that don’t spy me, that don’t dissect me, unable to surprise anything and with nothing apt to surprise me in a world of surprise, in a world of unexpected apparitions, which I expect even while not expecting them; they reveal themselves before being expected, at the precise moment when the lips get moistened to receive the kiss or else the teeth or else the wind or else the white neck revealing itself to the moon, offering itself to the cold breaths (like two stilettos) of the vampire. Here we are in the final chamber, O object!
The Passive Vampire, Ghérasim Luca, Twisted Spoon Press, Prague, 2008, pg. 75-6

^^^

The wind is comporting itself quietly; people are looking my way as if they expect something from me, and as calmly as you please I allow them to brush me with their eyes, whose beams polish, plane, round and flatten me. In my opinion it is one of the amenities of life to perceive the present as the eye of God, whereby I lay at your feet the assurance that a certain religious fervor prompts me to speak in such a way.
~ The Prodigal Son in Microscripts, Robert Walser, New Directions/Christine Burgin, New York, 2010, pg. 54

^^^

He who observes etiquette but objects to lying is like someone who dresses fashionably but wears no shirt.
One Way Street (1923-1926) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 463

^^^

Intelligence is an organization like any other … a social picnic. It is used to create order and to provide clarity where there is none. Intelligence is the triumph of a good education and pragmatism. Life is, fortunately enough, something else, and its pleasures are countless …
We are. We argue, we fret, we struggle. The intermissions are sometimes nice, but they are often tinted with infinite boredom — a swamp bordered with beards of moribund shrub. We are tired of the reasoned movements that have dilated out of proportion our naïve belief in the benefits of science. What we want now is spontaneity — not because it is more beautiful or more valuable than something else, but because everything that comes out of ourselves freely, without the intervention of intellectual speculation, represents us.
TaTa Dada: the real life and celestial adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2014, pg. 187

^^^

Apollinaire sought to take up a position that commanded all fields of poetic practice, traditional and experimental, and it is the intermingling of the two currents, not their distinctiveness, that represents his accomplishment. … His best poems rise above the squirmings of divided loyalty and literary fashion and reach the realm where irreconcilable opposites can lie down together. Jarry called this realm “ethernity”; in Apollinaire it becomes the timelessness of lyric and elegiac poetry.
The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck, Vintage Books, New York, 1955, pg. 307-8

^^^

The creation of objects and their bestowal upon someone who has been rigorously selected through the symbolic nature of these objects establish between individuals relationships founded on an active collective unconscious, which until now only dreams have set in a workable mechanism common to us all.
~ The Objectively Offered Object, Ghérasim Luca, Twisted Spoon Press, Prague, 2008, pg. 27

^^^

Heidelberg Castle. — Ruins jutting into the sky can appear doubly beautiful on clear days when, in their windows or above their contours, the gaze meets passing clouds. Through the transient spectacle it opens in the sky, destruction reaffirms the eternity of these ruins.
One Way Street (1923-1926) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 470

^^^

“The poet, through the help of dreams acting like a projector, strives to render reality confused, to dislocate it, to break it into pieces, to disseminate and anaesthetize it,” Tzara notes — a far cry from socialist realism. A certain anguish and solitude — “I remain a stranger to everything I have been left out of everything” permeates these excursions into the the fantastic world of darkness.
TaTa Dada: the real life and celestial adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2014, pg. 238

^^^

Making the objects in bronze or in gold seemed necessary to me because it is only vases and statuettes made of these resilient materials that archeologists find beneath ruins. A distance of several thousand years lay between me and the objects I was making. I invented and discovered them at the same time, I buried them and dug them up simultaneously on the delirious scale of space and time. We are both living and fossilised, like a hand on an x-ray plate.
The Objectively Offered Object, Ghérasim Luca, Twisted Spoon Press, Prague, 2008, pg. 64-5

^^^

The expressions of people moving about a picture gallery show ill-conceived disappointment that only pictures hang there.
One Way Street (1923-1926) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 481

^^^

The members of Flametti’s troupe were … interesting. He had an eye for spotting talent. He had no time for agents, critics, and reputability. Decide for yourself! Aces were what he needed, personalities. Talent came second. The talent might be flawed, the voice might be flawed, the figure might be flawed. What did he care, so long as the bloke himself had substance and something to say.
~ Flametti, or the Dandyism of the Poor, Hugo Ball, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2014, pg. 19

^^^

Arp forcefully exclaimed the necessity of abstraction; Huelsenbeck insisted that the demonic rhythms of  Negro poetry best expressed the age; Tzara’s multilingual simultaneous poems amounted to a speaking in tongues; Janco’s frightful masks spurred their wearers into gestures “bordering on madness”; and Ball’s Lautgedichte, sound poetry, reduced language to the alchemy of the word.
~ TaTa Dada: the real life and celestial adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2014, pg. 69

^^^

… man can be in ecstatic contact with the cosmos only communally. It is the dangerous era of modern man to regard this experience as unimportant and avoidable, and to consign it to the individual as the poetic rapture of starry nights. It is not; its hour strikes again and again, and then neither nations nor generations can escape it, as was made terribly clear by the last war, which was an attempt at new and unprecedented commingling with the cosmic powers.
One Way Street (1923-1926) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1 1913 – 1926, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael W. Jennings, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1997, pg. 481

^^^

Arriving at black. Black brings things back to fundamentals, to origins.
~ Emergences/Resurgences, Henri Michaux, The Drawing Centre/Skira, Italy, 2000, pg. 14

^^^

Yet for all its philosophic implications, the absurd, during la belle époque, still provokes laughter, a quality it loses in the later skirmishes of Kafka, for instance, André Breton, or Sartre. When the absurd loses touch with the humor that reared it, it has ceased to belong to the comic vision of the world.
~ The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck, Vintage Books, New York, 1955, pg. 33-34

^^^

… at the time the only goal was to insult the audience, as Ribemont-Dessaignes recalls: “The essential thing was to obtain their hostility, at the risk of ourselves being taken for sinister imbeciles.” Breton concurred: “scandal, which to Apollinaire was only a means, became for us a goal.” The performance ended with a certain Buisson, a palm reader and newspaper vendor, asking women to come on stage to have their future read from the lines on their feet. In true Dada spirit, he insulted the Dadaists for insulting the audience, which earned him a standing ovation. It was another success, and the Dadaists were pleased to hear that the Théâtre-Français de Bordeaux went up in flames as they were performing. Such chance events – like Blanche’s heart attack on his way to the First Dada Matinée – added to Dada mythology (and Surrealism later made the connections between random events a key area of investigation).
TaTa Dada: the real life and celestial adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2014, pg. 138

^^^

Without relying on the existence of a “higher” or spiritual world apart from our own inner being, dream can endow ordinary experience with an aura of ritual and the supernatural. In his underhanded fashion, Jarry was a devout man.
The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck, Vintage Books, New York, 1955, pg. 35

^^^

Satie frequently composed a piece around an obsession with a single interval or chord. Discursive logic is linear and moves from point to point. Art of the modern era, like religious meditation, is circular and revolves around a point whose location is limitless. Apollinaire wrote his first “calligraphic” poems literally in circles, the circles of expanding and contracting attention.
The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck, Vintage Books, New York, 1955, pg. 38

^^^

Feeling so strong and happy is very dangerous, something horrible is about to happen and I must find the solution quickly.
~ The Hearing Trumpet, Leonora Carrington, Exact Change, Cambridge, MA, 1996, pg. 21

^^^

Once we have him pressed up against the wall, he will try to bolt away like an awkward lamb. He has been preaching for years to us in praise of usefulness, even though every reasonable person knows that usefulness is the root of all sins.
Once we have finally overpowered him – (since he is immeasurably strong), only then will his shroud, made from old tinsel, begin to sing from worry: “O death, you undiscovered continent, my master is freezing cold as a corpse. All time is all beginning, Usefulness is a vice.”
~ The Trumpets of Jericho, Unica Zürn, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015, pg. 20

^^^

One step, one proposition now carries the arts into the ultimate modern heresy: the belief that God no longer exists. It implies further that after God “died,” man himself became the supreme person, the only divinity. It is a cliché of the history of ideas to trace from Nietzsche down to surrealism and existentialism the unseating of God in literature and the deification of man.
The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck, Vintage Books, New York, 1955, pg. 40

^^^

You will make it known, my child, the day that Scorn and Pain have made you great enough to seek out the supreme honor of being misunderstood.
~ Disagreeable Tales, Léon Bloy, Translated by Erik Butler, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015, pg. 22

^^^

Bellmer saw Zürn’s anagrams as part of the Surrealist practice of automatism and automatic writing that he shared with her. Chance plays a role in what she writes, but her own mind inflects what chance gives, to create an accurate “weather report of the self” over time. Bellmer writes beautifully of Zürn’s results, describing them as “language-images that cannot simply be thought up or written up. They enter suddenly and for real into their interconnections, radiating multiple meanings, meandering loops lassoing neighboring sense and sound. They constitute new, mulifacetted objects, resembling polyplanes made of mirrors.
~ Introduction by Christina Svendsen to The Trumpets of Jericho, Unica Zürn, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015, pg. xv

^^^

People think that I am interested only in art. That is not true … Whether it is scrubbing a floor or painting a picture – only the best work of which man is capable will finally satisfy him … only work born of a sacred feeling … And what interests me is whether a man will fight for the opportunity of doing the best work of which he is capable. It seems to me that people will fight for almost anything except that right. And yet nothing else will fulfill in the end.
~ Writings and Conversations of Alfred Stieglitz, Dorothy Norman, Twice a Year I, Fall-Winter 1938, pg. 78-79

^^^

No one knows his own name, and no one even knows his own true face, because no one knows the mysterious being (and maybe it’s the one the worms are devouring) from which his essence derives.
Disagreeable Tales, Léon Bloy, Translated by Erik Butler, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015, pg. 147

^^^

With the inanity of furniture music, the intimacy of la musique de placard, and the stripped line of Socrate, Satie challenges us not to be impressed but to be bored. He says in effect: Here are the naked features of our world. If they provoke you or bore, you will have reacted constructively, for either way you will be forced to move. This is the meaning of a staggering sentence contained in one of his late notebooks, a sentence that describes his entire being: “Experience is one of the forms of paralysis.” The child, like the true Bohemian, has not yet defined his life by excluding alternate ways of behaving. The “lessons” of experience can begin to cripple our freedom. There remains one form of paralysis which is even more devastating. In Satie’s world the supreme heresy would have been the honeyed advertising slogan “They satisfy.” If experience is a form of paralysis, satisfaction is a form of death. In his hands music never became an exercise in self-contentment. It was a means of upholding our freedom.
The Banquet Years, Roger Shattuck, Vintage Books, New York, 1955, pg. 185

^^^

And the esoteric is such, above all, because the gods love it, whereas they don’t like what is clear at first sight. This is the Indian response – many centuries ahead – to that “hatred of what is secret” on which, according to Guénon, the West would be based.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 26

^^^

We had arranged ourselves attentively so there would not be in our midst a single one of those who are destined for the academies – men whom derisory immortality can satisfy. Our councils had firmly established that no one would ever admit the beginning or end of anything at all, nor descend to the abject state of thinking himself fulfilled by fortune of any kind. We were the canons of the Infinite, the deacons of the Absolute, the consecrated executioners of all likely opinions and respected commonplaces. From time to time, I dare say, lightning struck us.
Disagreeable Tales, Léon Bloy, Translated by Erik Butler, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015, pg. 121

^^^

Every construction is temporary, including the fire altar. It is not a fixed object, but a vehicle. Once the voyage is complete, the vehicle can be destroyed. Thus the Vedic ritualists did not develop the idea of the temple.
~ Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 6

^^^

I hereby shake a pillar which is by far not as stable as it appears to be: the pillar of dire reality, and I thereby lend it the ductility and furtive facility of dreams. For what is more real than the most real? The creator.
~ The Creator, Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender), Translated by Peter Wortsman, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014 (1920), pg. 11

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The brahmin who recites the “kindling verses” (sāmidhenī) is himself one of those whom the verses must kindle. And, in the same way that the fire accompanied by the verses has a more intense light, “invulnerable, untouchable,” so too will the brahmin have a light that is different from every other man. This is the perceptible origin of his authority. If it is ever said, often with some resentment, that the brahmin appears “invulnerable, untouchable,” it will be because there is one last, perhaps even distorted, glimmer of the firelight transmitted in him that another brahmin had once kindled when pronouncing the “kindling verses.”
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 40

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The more inspired a writer, the more independent are his creations of his will. This is a paradox. It is precisely the true creator who creates truly objectively; whereas the dabbler, who is not able to bring into being any viable free-floating creations, does not actually express himself, but rather remains more or less “subjective” in his output.
The Creator, Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender), Translated by Peter Wortsman, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014 (1920), pg. 17

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Vedic India is the only place, throughout world history, where the following question has been asked: why is it true that “man should not be naked in the presence of a cow”? People seem to have had no concern about the question, either in ancient times or today. But the Vedic ritualists did. They also knew the answer: because “the cow knows it is wearing his [man’s] skin and runs away for fear that he might want to take it back.” And they then add a note of charming frivolity, based on another disconcerting observation: “Cows are therefore trusting when they approach those who are well dressed.” Perhaps only Oscar Wilde, had he known it, would have been able to comment with authority on this reason for dressing well.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 56

^^^

Whoever aspires to greatness, must pull himself together first;
The master only proves himself under constraint,
And only law can slake freedom’s thirst.
~ Nature and Art, Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749 – 1832)

^^^

PLAYBOY: To borrow Henry Gibson’s oft-repeated one-line poem on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In–“Marshall McLuhan, what are you doin’?”
MCLUHAN: Sometimes I wonder. I’m making explorations. I don’t know where they’re going to take me. My work is designed for the pragmatic purpose of trying to understand our technological environment and its psychic and social consequences. But my books constitute the process rather than the completed product of discovery; my purpose is to employ facts as tentative probes, as means of insight, of pattern recognition, rather than to use them in the traditional and sterile sense of classified data, categories, containers. I want to map new terrain rather than chart old landmarks.
But I’ve never presented such explorations as revealed truth. As an investigator, I have no fixed point of view, no commitment to any theory–my own or anyone else’s. As a matter of fact, I’m completely ready to junk any statement I’ve ever made about any subject if events don’t bear me out, or if I discover it isn’t contributing to an understanding of the problem. The better part of my work on media is actually somewhat like a safe-cracker’s. I don’t know what’s inside; maybe it’s nothing. I just sit down and start to work. I grope, I listen, I test, I accept and discard; I try out different sequences–until the tumblers fall and the doors spring open.
~ Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan” (March 1969)

^^^

True force, however, is a matter of effectuating the maximum through the minimum output, the powerful, potent, and monumental by means of the subtle, quiet, and simple. You know the clever locks on safes that will only open with a secret “open sesame.”
The Creator, Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender), Translated by Peter Wortsman, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014 (1920), pg. 69

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Here we are dealing with choice – and not only that, but the choice of something that makes the sacrifice possible. And eliminating, or at least circumventing, arbitrary discretion in this choice means abrogating the sovereignty of chance where it hurts most. But will the sacrificer succeed in his intent? Not exactly. Chance will be circumscribed, but not removed altogether. Above all, it will be covered. The choice is presented as motivated – but the motivation has to coexist with discretion.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 61

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That which we commonly take for free will is not at all the original, unmediated will, the will as being; it is, rather, only its appearance, its manifestation, as such something willed, therefore dependent, and necessary. True will is creatively free, and without this absolute freedom to create necessary creatures, necessity itself, destiny, the whole world order, it is nothing but nonsense – that’s what the anarchist freedom enthusiasts forget.
The Creator, Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender), Translated by Peter Wortsman, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014 (1920), pg. 62

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Prajāpati is not only “he who finds that which is lost,” but he himself is also the first to be lost. His supernumerary essence is such that at any moment Prajāpati risks being too much. Creatures appear thanks to the superabundance that exists in Prajāpati, but – once their worlds are established – they soon tend to look only after themselves, forgetting their origin. Indeed, they no longer recognize him. It seems they have made Prajāpati suffer even this harsh humiliation.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 71

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To dream arbitrarily, yet intentionally, as it were, to willfully give free rein to the involuntary in our actions – that is the art of arts, that is magic.
The Creator, Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender), Translated by Peter Wortsman, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014 (1920), pg. 100

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The sunlight dazzles us in a diffused glow. But within it we can make out a black circle. It stays, persistently, in the eye. It is a figure, a man in the Sun: that is Death. And it will always be there, for “Death does not die,” protected all around it by the immortal. This is its challenging paradox: the endlessness of the shell also guarantees the endlessness of what it conceals – in this case, Death. When one celebrates the immortal, then at the same time – without knowing it – one celebrates Death, which is “within the immortal.”
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 83-4

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True self-reflection, he says, will prevent two fallacies: the innermost self can misunderstand itself in an “Indian” way and sterilize – “nirvanize” – itself, and neglect the world; or the self can become profane, self-negligent, and “Americanize” – “occidentalize” – itself, and be only and always outward bound. F/M’s  (Salomo Friedlaender/Mynona) solution consists not in destroying one of these opposites, but in balancing them both.
~ Indo-Americanism: Liminal Experiences with Friedlander/Mynona, Detlef Thiel in The Creator, Mynona (Salomo Friedlaender), Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014 (1920), pg. 140-141

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The theological daring of the ritualists is dazzling: implicit in the mystery is its capacity to instill doubt as to its own existence, the ability to allow everything to exist without having to refer to the mystery itself. Nothing protects a mystery better than the denial of its very existence.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 94

^^^

The Great Game is irremediable; it is played only once. We wish to play it every moment of our lives. It is a case of “loser wins”, since the aim is to lose oneself. And we want to win. Yet the Great Game is a game of chance, that is to say, of skill, or better still ‘grace’: the grace of God, and the grace of action. … We absorb everything in such moments; we swallow God in order to become so transparent that we disappear.
~ Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 31

^^^

Mind is the only element from which there is no way out. Whatever happens or has happened, mind was already there. Mind is the air in which consciousness breathes. So consciousness was there before the existence of something that could have consciousness. The guardians come before what they must guard. The ṛṣis were there before the world.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 108

^^^

On her crystalline brow, clear and pure,
All has been written and all defined
That Nature has made or will yet mature
— All that can be conceived in form and kind.
God Himself put it all there, written sure
For the ages, in bright ink and gold lines.
What to profane eyes is ever concealed,
Here to His chosen He often reveals.
~ The Massacre of the Innocents, Giambattista Marino, Translated by Erik Butler, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015 (1632), pg. 93

^^^

Ardor is the only power that can dissolve the dark fixity of the beginning – and let the first distinction emerge: the One. Which appears immediately to have a disconcerting nature: it is “empty,” ābhu, and “clad in emptiness.”
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 130

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He was truly a master of his trade
And in art pursued the highest designs.
Not just to wood did he apply his blade:
He worked silver, gold, and ivory fine.
Poverty had spurred him on, and it made
Him sharpen his wits and refine his mind.
It is often so, that necessity
Begets both diligence and industry.
~ The Massacre of the Innocents, Giambattista Marino, Translated by Erik Butler, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2015 (1632), pg. 111

^^^

And, above all, it is the most insidious imitation of Self. The I superimposes itself so perfectly on Self that it can conceal it. This, in fact, is what happened during the course of Western philosophy: it never worried about giving a name to the Self, but always the I as the point of observation, even if it was only called that much later on, with Kant.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 127

^^^

Emma Kunz produced art against her will; even to the extent of evoking certain dangers: the ‘perfect’ form that her symbols present may all too easily appear to the superficial spectator as purely ornamental, as cheap allegory and ‘historicizing’ decoration. … She did not arrive at an individual view and interpretation of life, determined by personal potentials, but at a language of symbols situated above and beyond individuals, which became identical with the ancestral tradition that lies buried beneath the rubble of our civilization.
~ Emma Kunz, About the artist and her way of working, Heini Widmer, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1976, unpaginated

^^^

The Brāhmanas do not offer one cosmogony, like the Bible or Hesiod or many tribal epic poems, but clusters of cosmogonies, juxtaposed, superimposed, and contrasted. This produces a feeling of bewilderment – and in the end of indifference. If the versions are so many and conflicting, might they not be regarded as lucubrations of the ritualists?
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 148

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Reason, that attack dog of the universities, will take its leave with a resounding snore. There is nothing that can tame it. It is poison. I sense the coming of a new life, of unreason.
~ Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Rebel Speaks, Maurice Henry, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 39

^^^

Truth is an unnatural state for man. Man enters such a state only through the artificiality of the vow and the long sequence of actions (rites) connected to it. But he cannot remain there. The procedure for leaving the vow is just as important and delicate as that for entering it. In some way, man yearns to return to untruth, just as he yearns for sleep after the strain of a long vigil. Truth, whose name (satya) refers to “that which is” (sat), is an impermanent state for man, toward which he aspires and from which he slips away. Normality, the constant state of being, is in untruth, which immediately reenvelops man once he leaves the vow, the sacrificial action.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 175

^^^

After the battle, once again free, I will have no need to scream any more, to strike out. I will be as sweet as a mass of blond hair. I will be the Child Frozen in Silence.
~ Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Rebel Speaks, Maurice Henry, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 40

^^^

Here we see, with full immediacy, the Vedic officiant’s main anxiety: the fear of time being split, of the course of the day being suddenly interrupted, of the whole world irretrievably disintegrating. This fear is far deeper than the fear of death. Indeed, the fear of death is only a secondary – one might say modern – concern. Something else comes before it: a sense of impermanence that is so great, so acute, so tormenting as to make the continuity of time seem an improbable gift, and one that is always about to be taken away. And so it is vital to intervene immediately with the sacrifice, which can be defined as that which the officiant tends, extends. … To overwhelm the discontinuous: this is the purpose of the officiant.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 208-9

^^^

By “miracles” we mean those instants in which our soul senses ultimate reality and its final communion with it. More separations between interior and exterior: nothing but illusions, appearances, smoke and mirrors, two-way reflections. The first step towards unity is to discover within oneself the same chaos as that which surrounds us all.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Power of Renunciation, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 42

^^^

This is how the most difficult questions are tackled: they come across a curled-up dog or any ordinary thing – and they decide that the answer must be there. If the answer isn’t in any ordinary thing then it won’t be anywhere else.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 210

^^^

Freedom has no place among bodies. It is in the cessation of the search for freedom that the man frees himself; true resignation is that which, in the same act, gives itself to God, body and soul. … Resignation can only be the voluntary abandonment of a possible revolt. The resigned person must at every instance be ready to revolt; if not, peace will establish itself in his life, and he will fall asleep by starting to consent to everything again. The act of renunciation is not accomplished once and for all; rather it is a perpetual sacrifice of the act of revolt. … We must make men despair, so that they leave their humanity to its own laws, and, having cast it into the vast tomb of nature, pass beyond.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Freedom Without Hope, René Daumal, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 52-54

^^^

What man seeks above all to imitate is the process by which divinity is gained. And it is highly significant that, to do it effectively, man seeks to imitate the “form” of gestures carried out by the gods. This will one day become the basis of that secular activity which is art. But to imitate the process by which the sky is conquered produces unpredictable results. Imitation might perhaps finally be so effective as to enable men to reach the sky, like so many unwelcome guests. This is why the gods look upon rites performed by men with satisfaction but also suspicion. There is always the risk that men will go too far, as far as the sky, as far as the gods themselves.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 228

^^^

We believe that all paths lead to God, and that our task is to recover the lost Unity. We consider it the role of the poet to reveal this unity in poems whose images draw their grandeur from the union of those realities which seem least reconcilable.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Letter to Saint-Pol-Roux, A. Rolland de Renéville, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 66

^^^

When the sacrificer starts the ceremony, he turns his back on the old world, which is nevertheless the everyday world on earth. Sucked into another space, he can ignore all he is leaving behind, in a first après moi le déluge. And the mighty void which then opens up in the world could act like a tornado that whips and crushes man’s flimsy shelters.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 234

^^^

The undisputable sign of the great poet is prophetic recklessness, the disturbing faculty of uttering words without precedent, regardless of people and times, of whose effect he himself is ignorant. This is the mysterious mark of of the Holy Spirit on certain sacred or profane foreheads,
~ Belluaires et Porchers (1905). Léon Bloy, Stock, Paris, 1946, pg. 10

^^^

When the sacrificial rite comes closest to the crude, uncontrolled, formless course of things, then the last defensive barrier – the only one that can still separate behavior conducive to order from the behavior of “rogues or criminals” – is meter. And here we see the great role that meter plays in the Veda, as the primary articulation of form, as the first effective device for breaking away from the meaningless and arbitrary succession of existence.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 280

^^^

The imperfect proceeds from the perfect and not the other way around.
~ Cahiers, Simone Weil, cit., vol III, 1956, pg. 194

^^^

The invisible is like the onetime forest animal – it is the prey that the liturgy teaches us how to hunt, showing us how to prepare the ground, how to stalk it, how to catch it. And finally how to kill it, as happened in hunting, and is now repeated in sacrificing.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 291

^^^

Let [the reader] perhaps feel the effort of [Rimbaud] whose tense individuality is at the very core of things, who wants to break through the bark which separates and distinguishes him, who wants to clear from the sky the azure which yet is black, who, in order to Be, wants to be no more.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Arthur Rimbaud or the War on Man, Roger Vailland, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 80

^^^

If sacrifice were only an illusion of particular groups of people living in remote times and conditions, then the life that ignores it would not feel compelled to remember and rediscover it, disguised, subtly recurrent and evasive, like a blackbuck antelope in the midst of traffic.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 293

^^^

I renounce art as much in its highest forms as in its basest, that virtually all the world’s literature, painting, sculpture and music has always caused me to slap my thighs in bestial laughter as if confronted by an enormous faux-pas. The genre-pieces produced by geniuses and real talents, the technical perfection acquired by the systematic exploitation of recognised or unrecognised methods, the assiduous practice of imitating ‘nature’, the ‘long patience’ of the salaried academician, all these kinds of activity have always scandalised me by their complete uselessness. Uselessness. It is art for art’s sake. Otherwise known as populism. A hygienic distraction to make us forget hard-to-grasp reality.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Death of the Arts after Rimbaud, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 86

^^^

Exchange is a violent act because there is no secure, gauranteed fluidity between sky and earth. The flow is obstructed, continually diverted. Sacrifice, and consequently exchange, serve to reestablish the flow, but through an action that has something forced, disturbing, about it, a restoration that presupposes a wound and adds a new one to it.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 311

^^^

BUT THE GREAT BLACK ANTI-SUNS, WELLS OF TRUTH IN THE ESSENTIAL WEAVE, IN THE GREY VEIL OF THE CURVED SKY, COME AND GO AND BREATHE INTO ONE ANOTHER, AND HUMANITY CALLS THEM ABSENCES.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Fire at Will, René Daumal, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 97

^^^

“Debt,” rna, is the key word for Vedic man. His whole life is a continual attempt to settle four debts that weigh upon him from birth: debt to the gods, to the rsis, to his ancestors, to men. They will be paid off, respectively, through sacrifice, through studying the Veda, through procreation, and through offering hospitality. The fact that there are four debts must not lead to confusion. They originate from one debt alone – the debt toward death and its god, Yama. Yet the text here doesn’t name the god, but speaks only of “a debt toward death (rnam mrtyoh).”
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 317

^^^

… Science has attempted to eclipse the mind — not mind in either the concrete or abstract sense, but the secret mind which the religions of the Far East have revealed to us, the primitive mentality, the Occult Domain and, majestically in our own time, the Poetic Vision.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), On the Origin of Monsters, Monny de Boully, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 110

^^^

It is the revenge of secularity. Having lived for hundreds and thousands of years in a condition of subjection, like a handmaid to powers that were imposed without caring to justify themselves, secularity now – sneeringly – offers all that still makes reference to the sacred the means to act in a way that is more effective, more up-to-date, more deadly, more in keeping with the times. This is the new horror that still had to take form: the whole of the twentieth century has been its long incubation period.
Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 336

^^^

And this white-eyed sleepwalker, this medium whose voice is bent in the forges of the throat, this puppet whose mighty gestures are echoed to the four corners of the horizon by the bestial-faced angels of the cardinal points, conjoining his human navel with the zenith, the umbilicus of heaven, he performs ritual gestures, mimes the cross of arms, the offering of palms, the triangle of elbows, the knot of legs, the magic circle, his gestures carrying further than their shadow carried on the dust of the plains, higher than the gleaming rocs of the celestial skies, deeper than the subterranean sky of the earth’s abysses where moons of darkness revolve around the fire of the core, his movements commanding the Great-Genii-of-Worlds he invokes.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Horrible Revelation… the Only One, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 126

^^^

Certain filters, called pavitra, are essential in worship … Their use recalls the cosmic drama between Vrtra and Indra. Vrtra’s nature was that of covering, enveloping, enclosing within him, obstructing every “evolution,” a word that in Sanskrit corresponds with pravrtti, the word that indicates life being lived. … The presence of filters enables us to understand that the world is an impure mass. If this were not so, it would not be alive …
~ Ardor, Roberto Calasso, Translated by Richard Dixon, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg. 326

^^^

But I have always known … that the slightest gestures, the slightest gestures in their millions, were inevitable, were Inscribed. And they will continue to be so, until their forms become extinct. These gestures, made by men, issuing from a huge choice and an even more immense simulacrum of choice, are nevertheless the ones they desired, the ones they missed, the ones they foresaw. But they desired them because it was fatal to do so. Therefore there is as much determination as there is freedom here, and ultimately the conjunction of the terms Chance and Destiny produces the final term, where everthing is created and broken apart: Fate.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), On Certain Fixed Suns, André Delons, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 138-9

^^^

Behind the terms ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ lies the character of lesser or greater participation on the part of the user. Contrary to popular understanding, the participation has nothing to do with the program content but refers rather to the manner in which the user configures his sensibilities around the new situation. That action takes place in his sensus communis: the mode of action is synesthesia. Synesthesia is the “operating system” as it were of the sensus communis, the Faculties Club of the senses. Anyone who thinks that by “participation” McLuhan meant mental or psychological engagement with content has simply missed the boat.”
~ Eric McLuhan

^^^

The unthinkable is thought itself, perhaps even love. At other times, it signifies the perpetual nagging fascination that projects the imaginary world into a person’s life, the second world where he struggles with his mind. It is the absolute sign of his perceptiveness, his profoundest malady, and often his assassin.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), On Certain Fixed Suns, André Delons, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 143

^^^

The facts of reality interested him only in so far as they were symptoms of a vibrancy as yet unexplored.
~ Sam Dunn is Dead, Bruno Corra, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 43

^^^

… the unformulated rhythms of the unconscious remain purer than the speeches they give rise to, and the words which are flushed to the surface lose part of their radiance when the poet pronounces them. Again, this is what the Anugita describes: “Speech is noisy or noiseless. Of those two, the noiseless is superior to noisy speech.”
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Speech, André Rolland de Renéville, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 152

^^^

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.
~ Dorothea Lange

^^^

It is time to reveal that the great poet’s mysterious researches belong to a field radically more elevated than that of art. [Mallarmé] conceived of literature as Doctrine, and believed strongly that Magic, in the true sense of the term, was not separate from Poetry, but an integral part of it. In his opinion, the error of the occultists was to employ the infinite properties of the Word outside of Poetry.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Speech, André Rolland de Renéville, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 157

^^^

With a very strong light, one can make the world disappear. Before weak eyes it will become solid; before still weaker eyes, it will acquire fists; and to eyes yet weaker, it will look embarrassed and punch the face of anyone who dares to look at it.
Aphorisms, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. 55

^^^

Fame, then, is completely irrelevant to me. I’d like to be famous, but only among a stronger and more noble race of men! Fame is a wonderful, divine thing, but it loses all value when it is shouted out at the marketplace rather than bestowed. So let’s be done with it. My painting has turned its back on all longing and lusting after fame. I live a carefree existence and have no cause to fear the morrow; so what use could recognition possibly be to me?
~Looking at Pictures, Robert Walser, Christine Burgin and New Directions, New York, 2015, pg. 15/16

^^^

To believe in eternal life, and to refuse this eternal life, to throw oneself, head bowed, into annihilation, not clinging even for a moment to the edge of the abyss, and not out of a suicidal impulse, but through a surge of vitality: this is to conclude one’s life in an act of pure irrationality.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), Response to Surveys, Carlo Suarès, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 171

^^^

Good pictures are produced by neither thinking too hard nor thoughtlessly taking too little care. Faithfulness to Nature, faithfulness even to a certain smiling defiance, combined with coldness and incomprehension with regard to all else that instantly intrudes: this is the pot, the palette where the sweet, eternal colors lie.
~Looking at Pictures, Robert Walser, Christine Burgin and New Directions, New York, 2015, pg. 19/20

^^^

From a certain point on, there is no more turning back. That is the point that must be reached.
Aphorisms, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. 7

^^^

A theory which does not admit of experimental verification can never achieve universal acceptance among men; such is the fate of metaphysics if it is nothing more than an effort to establish the logical coordination of abstract notions, with no discussion of their origins.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Unutterable Experience, René Daumal, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 175

^^^

Every word in every language is a metaphor. This becomes obvious the moment one escapes from the trap of Nominalism (words are just arbitrary labels) and realizes that words are codifications of experience besides being themselves experiences. So it makes a very great difference indeed what something is called–as all poets know and have always maintained.
The poet’s main job is to keep the language in good working condition, regardless of the topics he or she treats of in poems and poetry. The word “poetry” means a making process. Etymology is useful because it traces the present character of a word down to its source in human sensory experience. Elsewhere I have written that etymology is the DNA code of words. Another general observation: a language is an organ of perception.
~ Eric McLuhan

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For hours and days on end he sought out ways to make unintelligible the obvious, and to find for things easily understood an inexplicable basis. As time went by, a secret watchfulness settled in his eyes from so much precise circling of contours that became for him edges of a mystery. An entire quiet lifetime he spent fighting inaudibly and, one might be tempted to say, with nobility, to make mountainous – if such a paraphrase might suffice – the frame of things.
… his concern was the flesh of flowers, the spirit of the secret which dwells in the resistance that a thing with special properties offers to understanding.
~Looking at Pictures (Thoughts on Cézanne), Robert Walser, Christine Burgin and New Directions, New York, 2015, pg. 138 – 141

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FIRST PHASE OF REVOLT. Metaphysical agony. “To renounce everything and no longer understand anything but the abyss.”

This first phase is opposed, as absolute negation, to the life of acceptance, without moral dilemma, the purely passive assertion of the human animal. It is through this first negation that a human animal can be roused, awaken its mind, become thinking.
Theory of the Great Game, Writings from “Le Grand Jeu”, (1928 – 1930), The Dialectics of Revolt, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Edited by Dennis Duncan, Atlas Press, London, 2015, pg. 180

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The word aphorism comes from the Greek αφορίζω, which means to define. The Greek word is a compound of the preposition απο – apart from – and όριζειν – to divide or separate from as a boundary and from which we get the word horizon. The horizon is an early experience of a boundary.
~ The Afterlife of Fragments, (foreward to Aphorisms, Franz Kafka) Daniel Frank, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. vii

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The conception of the infinite plenitude and expanse of the universe is the result of taking to an extreme a combination of strenuous creativity and free contemplation.
Aphorisms, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. 97

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THE straight line and the circle are the parents of design, form the basis of art; there is no limit to their coherent variability.
~ Aphorisms on Futurism, Mina Loy, 1914

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All that he does seems to him, it is true, extraordinarily new, but also, because of the incredible spate of new things, extraordinarily amateurish, indeed scarcely tolerable, incapable of becoming history, breaking short the chain of the generations, cutting off for the first time at its most profound source the music of the world, which before him could at least be divined. Sometimes in his arrogance he has more anxiety for the world than for himself.
Aphorisms, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. 111-112

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25 September 1992. To the depressive, all pictures become vacuous, meaninglessly painted rectangles, no matter what they represent. He sees them with the eyes of a cow – and, worse, they cause him disgust and pain. The art world seems increasingly to suffer from this disease, and we can expect decades of misery (the price to pay for previous mania).
~ Writings 1961 – 2007, Gerhard Richter, Distributed Art Publishers, New York, 2009, pg. 279

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He proves nothing but himself, his sole proof is himself, all his opponents overcome him at once but not by refuting him (he is irrefutable), but by proving themselves.
Aphorisms, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. 115

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This desire to rid art of talk about beauty and ugliness was a common theme in Arte Povera, as was the desire to go back to elementary gestures and signs. For Pascali, technologically advanced societies had lost touch with their inner humanity, a condition that he personally associated with childhood and primitive societies; in this sense, poverty was a precondition of creativity, not a state of deprivation …
~ Arte Povera, Robert Lumley, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, pg. 31

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The reason why posterity’s judgement of individuals is juster than the contemporary one lies in their being dead. One develops in one’s own style only after death, only when one is alone. Death is to the individual like Saturday evening to the chimney sweep; it washes the dirt from the body. Then it can be seen whether his contemporaries harmed him more, or whether he did the more harm to his contemporaries; in the latter case he was a great man.
Aphorisms, Franz Kafka, Schocken Books, New York, 2015, pg. 119

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As Tony Godfrey has noted, Kounellis’ works can be classified as ‘assisted readymades’, a phrase coined by Marcel Duchamp to differentiate the totally unmediated ‘readymade’ found object from materials that have been reconstituted in some way by the artist (Godfrey, 1998, p.181)
Arte Povera, Robert Lumley, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, pg. 33

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The work of creation is therefore to bring things into existence by relating them – by mixing together that which the chaos keeps separate.
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 29

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Looking back on the change of direction taken by Arte Povera work between 1967 and 1968, Zorio remembers that ‘we stopped talking about language, colour and form; we talked instead about reactions, tensions, existential situations – all in parallel with life’ (Bandini, 1972 in Flood and Morris, p.325). Materials were significant in so far as they enabled him to explore these dynamics.
Arte Povera, Robert Lumley, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, pg. 46

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Epicurus follows Leucippus and Democritus in teaching that cosmic order begins to emerge by means of a vortex (dine). From the primordial chaos, atoms form a turbulent swirl that gradually produces compounds, elements, and worlds. The question that all these thinkers leave unanswered is: What produces the vortex itself? How do the atoms move before they organize themselves into a generative whirl, and how does this whirl come about in the first place? In other words, what is chaos, and how does it produce the vortex that makes the cosmos?
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 48

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As an aesthetic phenomenon, existence is unbearable.But through art, the extraordinary offers us a rest from life, and it is this projection that gives us a rest from our own selves. We must therefore rejoice in our madness, which hides the passion for the extraordinary. The extraordinary is always joyous, and a long way from our sensibilities.
Picabia, Alain Jouffroy, Assouline Publishing, New York, 2002, pg. 12

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God cannot be said to be one as opposed to many, identity as opposed to difference, or unity as opposed to multiplicity. God is, rather, the radical co-implication of all of these, a “oneness” that “precedes all opposition”. The unity of God is therefore not different from plurality, but a “unity to which neither otherness nor plurality nor multiplicity is opposed”.
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 85

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For the first time in history, a painter was breaking down national barriers and, by his great daring and gift for friendship, helping, if unwittingly (for Picabia was never programmatic), to build that “Internationale” of the avant-gardes without which things in the West would have stayed pretty much as they were. Today’s most creative artists all owe him something that is absolutely vital: The freedom to do anything (if not always, alas, anything of interest).
Picabia, Alain Jouffroy, Assouline Publishing, New York, 2002, pg. 6

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A body with no qualities might seem hard to imagine, but Descartes assures us that it is not. In fact, precisely because it possesses no qualities, he claims, this chaos is clearer and more distinct than anything we can see, smell, or taste. Or, as he puts it here, chaos contains nothing that is not so perfectly known to you that you could even pretend not to know it.
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 120

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In truth, there exists only the perpetual flow, both continuous (it never stops) and discontinuous (it consists of distinct moments), of flashes of force; causes and effects which engender each other in such a way that the parent-cause can never know its offspring-effect for it disappears while the latter emerges, or rather, it is its disappearance itself which constitutes its effect: the new phenomenon.
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1967, pg. 62

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But the most likely reason for [Natural History‘s] continued obscurity is neither that it was ahead of its time nor that it was behind in its science, but that it ventured beyond “the limits of reason alone.” … As Kant himself admits in a preface to the work, “[S]uch ideas seem to surpass very far the forces of human reason.” And yet he assures us, “I do not despair. I have ventured, on the basis of a slight conjecture, to undertake a dangerous journey and I already see the promontories of new lands”.
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 128

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We know that Buddhist salvation consists in deliverance from the round of successive deaths and births in a perpetual voyage comprising numerous painful incidents, in the course of which we are united to that which we detest and separated from that which we love. At least such is an exoteric description of salvation, current among Buddhists.  This deliverance has been named Nirvāna, a word well-known to all those who are in the least familiar with Buddhist literature. … According to [Chandrakīrti] “the essence of Nirvāna consists simply in the extinction of the constructive activity of our imagination”.
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1967, pg. 88/94

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They settled down with the paintings. After a while, Rilke was startled by his companion’s observations: “He sat there in front of it like a dog, just looking, without any nervousness, without any ulterior motive.” Vollmoeller was a penetrating student of Cézanne’s way of working. ” ‘Here,’ she said, pointing to one spot, ‘this he knew, and now he’s saying it’ (a part of an apple); ‘just next to it there’s an empty space, because that was something he didn’t know yet. He only made what he knew, nothing else.’
Cézanne: a life, Alex Danchev, Pantheon Books, New York, 2012, pg. 11

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Of all the universe’s mass-energy, approximately 73 percent is dark energy, 23 percent is dark matter (a persistently unidentified substance that neither absorbs nor releases light), and a meager 4 percent is visible matter. That is to say, all we can see – tables, particles, puppies, and stars – everything that seems to be, is only 4 percent of what is.
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 151

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The celebrated philosopher Nāgārjuna (the founder of the Madhyamika School of Philosophy. About the second century C.E.) was a past-master in the arts of baffling our mental habits, of proving to us that the contrary to that which we consider true could be equally true, and that, very often, both were absurd. In this fashion, he showed clearly the futility of our opinions which are inherited and upheld without even having examined proofs on which they are said to be based.
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1967, pg. 40-41

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Down With Success
No, it’s true, I’m not a successful man. Why would I be? Since I succeed anyway. The goal I don’t achieve is the goal that benefits me, that I benefit.
Life in the Folds, Henri Michaux, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, pg. 26

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I find myself wanting to hide behind someone like Johannes Climacus, a character that Søren Kierkegaard dreamed up to write something that he could not quite write. In Philosophical Fragments, or a Fragment of Philosophy, Climacus presents himself as a trifler, a “loafer out of indolence,” totally unqualified to contribute to serious philosophy. The tone of the preface gets increasingly cranky until finally Climacus responds to an imagined interlocutor, “But what is my opinion? Do not ask me about that. Next to the question of whether or not I have an opinion, nothing can be of less interest to someone else than what my opinion is. To have an opinion is both too much and too little; it presupposes a security and well-being in existence akin to having a wife and children.”
Worlds Without End: The Many Lives of the Multiverse, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 2014, pg. 235

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The “going beyond”, the “non-activity” are the means for us to attain mental freedom. In truth we have nothing to do, it is a question of “undoing”, of clearing the ground of our mind, of making it, as much as possible, clean, void. The Void is, here, for us always a synonym of liberation.
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Yongden, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1967, pg. 128

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The knees, in an instant, in a tenth of an instant, begin trembling, as if under a fever of 110 degrees.
But not from fever (you wouldn’t mind that, a sort of companionship), not from fever. Nothing. And “nothing” then makes way for the terrible event to come, I wait for it, that which calls in the silence, that which is not going to be put off indefinitely …
Life in the Folds, Henri Michaux, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, pg. 48

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Three general principles underlie the production of all thought-forms: – Quality of thought determines colour. Nature of thought determines form. Definiteness of thought determines clearness of outline.
Thought-Forms: A Classic of the Victorian Occult: How Ideas, Emotions and Events Manifest as Visible Auras, Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, The Theosophical Publishing House, London, 1901, pg. 23

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The hard vaults that form over me, because they appear, I hammer at them, I pound them, I make them jump, shatter, burst, and there are always others behind them. With my enormous, tireless hammer, I deal them blows that could fell a mammoth, if one were still to be found … and there. But there are only vaults, stubborn vaults, which have to be broken and battered down. Then it’s a question of clearing that conquered place of the debris that masks what comes from beyond, which I foresee all too well, for that matter, because it’s obvious to me that there’s still another vault further on, higher up, that will also have to be battered down.
Life in the Folds, Henri Michaux, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, pg. 60

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In the interview, Bowery asked [Lucian] Freud why he thought he was sometimes called a mysogynist. Freud responded, “One of the classical instincts of the human idiot is to take a single bone and to reconstruct the whole animal from it … I think the idea of mysogyny is a stimulant to feminists, and it’s rather like anti-Semites looking for Jewish noses everywhere.
Lucian Freud: Eyes Wide Open, Phoebe Hoban, New Harvest Houghten Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2014, pg. 123

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An infinite arborescence … under the translucent thinness of the exhausted face, a pierced life is expressed, over another one that takes shape, arduous, prudent, tapering, and already pierced again.
Life in the Folds, Henri Michaux, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, pg. 108

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Vaché, a sardonic dandy verging on the supercilious, took nihilism to new heights of aestheticism. For him “the gesture” – something throwaway and ephemeral and above all worthless – was more valuable than any work of art; Breton was liberated by this position, and refused to acknowledge that there was any need to regret that: “Jacques Vaché did not create anything. He pushed art to one side, the ball and chain that held the soul back even after death”.
~Introduction by Antony Melville to Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 8

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What strangled being doesn’t talk about freeing itself one day? The tables themselves talk, or so they say, of liberating themselves from their fibers.
Life in the Folds, Henri Michaux, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, pg. 112

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All that is required is that, instead of looking face on at the elements you wish to dissociate, you look at them sideways. I immediately applied this procedure to reposition further away from my face the boots of the passenger sitting directly above me. In my enthusiasm for these exercises, I recited poems in my head which scanned with the rhythm of the train over the ballast and debased the very principle of identity.
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 22

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Here are engraved the curses against the desecrators of Silence.
Life in the Folds, Henri Michaux, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016, pg. 139

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… neither the colonnaded vestibule of a tragedy, nor the public square of a comedy, …
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 35

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Distilling is beautiful. First of all, because it is a slow, philosophic, and silent occupation, which keeps you busy but gives you time to think of other things, somewhat like riding a bike. Then, because it involves a metamorphosis from liquid to vapor (invisible), and from this once again to liquid; but in this double journey, up and down, purity is attained, an ambiguous and fascinating condition … And finally, when you set about distilling, you acquire the consciousness of repeating a ritual consecrated by the centuries.
If This is a Man, Primo Levi, as quoted in Siddhartha Mukherjee, MY HERO Primo Levi, London: Saturday Guardian, December 2, 2011, p. 5 of Review

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Everything about his movements was mechanical, as though several independent wills separately controlled the individual parts of his body, drawing particular attention to each, and one sensed that every one of those parts was alive with the desire to please their beautiful hostess. The acute awareness of seeming ridiculous, and the impossibility of avoiding it, made the slightest of his movements dramatic, and while Anicet’s first reaction was to mock this marionette, he quickly realised he was in the grip of a strange and powerful emotion as he watched this character struggling against the material world in such agony that every last gesture had to be reinvented at the very moment he was repeating it.
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 56

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For, yes, there are people who love the bright light less than they do twilight shadow, perceiving in the latter a great benevolence, and where, thanks to a profound proclivity whose roots lie in the lands that exist for us before birth, they feel most secure, most faithfully sheltered.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1917), pg. 94

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Poverty, poverty. Richness in art is called bad taste. A poem is not a jeweller’s shop window; creators are those who make beauty from materials of no value. I would be full of admiration for a sculptor who worked in cardboard. Blue, who is the genius of our time, uses wallpaper, newspapers, sand and labels in his pictures. I find even more objectionable the richness of people who always use three words where one will do. Let us be poorer. … You need to be able to hold back from facile development, limit yourself to expressing an image without pursuing it. Abundance is damaging. Above all avoid description; it is fussy and too comfortable, unhealthy richness. We have known for some time that all trees are green. Kill description. You must not be led by the wish to shine. You must be animated by a real spirit of sacrifice; you must risk not being heard, rather than exploit an image or situation. Keep the spirit of poverty in everything you do.
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 76 – 77

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For when I forgo something beautiful: doesn’t a brand-new, never-before-dreamed-of beauty a thousand times more beautiful come flying toward me in reward for my display of goodwill and my kind, strongly felt self-denial? And if, of my own free will, elevated by courage and compassion to nobler sentiments, I should forgo heaven: won’t I then, sooner or later, in reward for my righteous behaviour, fly into heaven many times more beautiful?
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1917), pg. 97

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“How does one know that art is present in a work? he asked. As if echoing his words the fireback shook with laughter. “Because you can only find ready-made expressions to talk about it,” the critic answered. “No,” said Chipre, “it is because when you look at it you feel persuaded you could have made it yourself.”
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 82

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Indelicate human figures make you think of the soil, of country bustle and country life, of God himself, whose body surely isn’t so extraordinarily beautiful either. God is the opposite of Rodin.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1908), pg. 35

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But you should just at least take note that in an age when one can deny God, Country and Family without unleashing a tempest, you could still get your eyes put out for declaring that art does not exist. Art and Beauty are mankind’s last divinities.
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 135

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You can’t want to understand and appreciate an art. Art wants to snuggle up to us. She’s so terribly pure and self-satisfied a creature that she takes offence when someone tries to win her over. She punishes anyone who approaches with the intention of laying hold of her. Artists soon find this out. They see it as their profession to deal with her, the one who won’t let anyone touch her.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1902), pg. 9-10

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The most banal reality suddenly speaks directly to me with such a muffled tone that it brings tears to my eyes. This feeling that arises is the love of life suddenly provoked by the sight of a still-life. What human issue is at play behind these inert images? Nothing could be less expected to make one think of life, but here it is palpitating (how lovely that crude word is). What pain or joy lies at the heart of the artist that reveals it to us? You would think he was about to reach a dangerous crisis in his life. It is alive with a wonderful secret which communicates deep anxiety, transforming it for us so that we will never know what drama these tobacco tins mask, or what ecstasy these mandolins recall. Here there is only pure emotion, and it is so akin to the feeling lying dormant within us that it will rouse it, as the harmonic pitch rouses a mute vase at the far end of a room. This spell is inescapable, for we no longer know where it comes from. What comes to us rings true – we cannot refute it. How we tremble suddenly at the site of a pipe; what weakness puts us at the mercy… at the mercy of what?
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 145-7

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Aimlessness leads to the aim, while firm intentions often miss. When we strive too zealously, it may happen that our strivings harm us. I would advise speedy slowness or slow rapidity. Still, advice can’t be more than advice. Be patient, everyone, both with yourselves and with others. Bustling about doesn’t bring any great reward. This much is certain: he who never sets out need never return. Think twice before you get energetic.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1924), pg. 123-4

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Here’s an exercise: look inside yourself, assess yourself, work out the relationship between your desires.
Anicet or the Panorama, A Dadaist Novel by Louis Aragon, Louis Aragon, Atlas Press, London, UK, 2016, pg. 178

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The phenomenal realm and the noumenal realm – the world from which we come, and the one towards which we are heading. Memory that dances and amplifies, beautiful and faithless with its veneer of trustworthiness, is a kindred spirit, of the same race and the same essence as the anticipation that was nourished beforehand by images and emotions. One must look deep within oneself, force oneself to discover something new and personal, something unexpected, the incomparable shock of Difference, here where so many people who have written and spoken the same language have already been.
Journey to the Land of the Real, Victor Segalen, A translation of Equipée by Natasha Lehrer, Atlas Press Anti-Classics, London, 2016 (1929), pg. 92

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Throughout this time, [Robert Walser]’s been an inventor’s assistant, worked in banks and insurance offices, as an archivist or the secretary of an art dealer, attended a school for servants, and become a butler for a bit, before he accepts insanity as his true profession. … His mind pleads incompetence. Asylums are asylums. There he can guiltlessly surrender his fate and pass his days at the behest of others. He will no longer need to write in such a way that its public obscurity is assured. He will no longer need to write. The daily walk will suffice.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990, pg. x/xvi-xvii

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Exoticism is therefore not an adaptation to something, it is not the perfect comprehension of something outside one’s self that one has managed to embrace fully, but the keen and immediate perception of an eternal incomprehensibility.
Essay on Exoticism: an Aesthetics of Diversity, Victor Segalen, translated by by Yaël Rachel Schlick, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2002, pg. 25

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In an unpublished lecture in 1937, Eliot spoke of a pattern of emotion in which a man acts beyond character, according to a hidden and mysterious order. Four Quartets follows emotions beyond those we ordinarily know as human, though we may have hints and guesses. The drafts show the personal source of these emotions; the revisions Eliot’s control of personal matter, allowing just enough to enliven the poem with the urgency of private struggle, yet subduing it to the ideal pattern. Deliberately, he allowed his own life to fall away so that it is the perfect life that remains before us.
~ Eliot’s New Life, Lyndall Gordon, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, 1988, pg. 141

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And I assure you, if it were up to me I’d hardly ever laugh. He’s the one who’s always full of laughter, this “he” in the middle of me whom things occur to, the one I harbor, the one of fairy tales.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1924), pg. 138

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You may, at any moment, close this book and free yourself from what comes next. As long as you do not believe that such a gesture liberates you from the fundamental problem – deeply-felt and penetrating uncertainty is bound to fill even the least significant words here, as blood fills the narrowest vessels all the way to the soft tissue beneath the fingernails – which is the following: is the Imagination weakened or reinforced when it comes face to face with the Real? Does the Real not have its own appeal and joy?
Journey to the Land of the Real, Victor Segalen, A translation of Equipée by Natasha Lehrer, Atlas Press Anti-Classics, London, 2016 (1929), pg. 15-16

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Trying to pull aside the dark with his fingers he tore his face and heart

Between all the objects was an emptiness he would have liked to fill and his head floated from one to the other

When he spread his arms wide open the Other had just enough time to throw himself into them

Poor slaves, a table remains a table if we don’t know how to make something else from it.

A breath of air put out the lamp
And everything that was about to happen disappeared

Where did you steal these rare jewels from
They’re the coolest drops of water to flow
onto your hands
And me I’m ready to die

A child threw a stone at the sky
which defended itself
And a new light began to shine

The Thief of Talant, Pierre Reverdy, translated by Ian Seed, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016 (1917), pg. 6/7/36/65/71

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And what are your thoughts regarding this? Stretching the obvious to the point of outrageousness. Tremendous! You’re glad, too, aren’t you, as I am, even now, that I’ll do this some time? I can feel it coming the thing to be raised up from within me. And perhaps, let me say, there’s still a long time to go before it comes, but one day it will come. What will come? What intimations are these?
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1925), pg. 147-8

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Murakami: Freud is said to have been deeply respectful of Mahler. That kind of straightforward pursuit of the underground springs of the unconscious may make us cringe – but I think it is probably what helps to make Mahler’s music so very universal today.
Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, Haruki Murakami, Bond Street Books, Canada, 2016, pg. 212-13

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The Jew becomes […] this ambivalence, this border where the strict limits between the same and other, subject and object, and beyond even these, inside and outside, disappear. Object, therefore, of fear and fascination. Abjection itself. He’s abject, filthy, rotten. And as for me, who identifies with him, who desires a fraternal and mortal embrace with him, wherein I lose my limits, I find myself reduced to the same abjection.
~ Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, Julia Kristeva, 1980
Abject-
(of a person or their behavior) completely without pride or dignity; self-abasing: an abject apology.

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I was en route through the suburb, seeking the Jew. And no Jew to be found in the streets. Nevertheless I needed at all costs to come to grips with him, that night being the last one available, and once the fixed time had passed I would, thanks to a sinister reversal of roles, become the hunted man.
Spells, Michel de Ghelderode, Translated by George MacLennan, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016 (1941), pg. 208

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Then he encountered a decidedly noble figure, completely invisible to ordinary mortals, who said to him: “Don’t make a fool of yourself. Have you forgotten that greatness is unrefined, and that refined individuals consider anything that can’t be called refined impossible? You are mine!” She who said this bore the name Immortality.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1926), pg. 170

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And so, with this improvisation, we have the juxtaposition of two Opposites: the imagined and the taught; together with the stone – the Real – which could be either stumbling-block or shipwreck. Between the two, neither instructed nor prearranged, the crude Beast of the Rescuer-Instinct – as yielding as the water’s caress, as shrewd as a peasant and as wily as a cat emerging from who-knows-what cave or underground passage – interposed its presence of mind and its enigma. The lesson is a good one.
Journey to the Land of the Real, Victor Segalen, Atlas Press,  London, 2016 (1929), pg. 51

^^^

Nobody comes anymore to confide their hopes or their torments to you. Aren’t you hurt by that abandonment? If yes, perhaps you’d accept someone to keep you company sometimes? I’ll do so if it’s agreeable to you, on days when I’m crushed by memories that I’d be able to get rid of if I could only write them down; you won’t write them down, no point in that, but you’ll be able to listen; that’s where all your art, all your genius lies, in this gift for listening, for understanding …
Spells, Michel de Ghelderode, Translated by George MacLennan, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016 (1941), pg.8-9

^^^

It is the point of de-creation, when the artist in his unparalleled style no longer creates but de-creates – that untitled messianic moment in which art stays miraculously still, almost astounded: fallen and risen in every instant.
Beauty That Falls, Giorgio Agamben, republished in Cy Twombly, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Gallery 1, November 30, 2016 – April 24, 2017, pg. 210

^^^

… which brings us to the great lights in the realm of art who, out of insufficient namelessness or dearth of renown, need not be named or mentioned, for they do, after all, shimmer starlike in the sky of cultural and educational interest.
Masquerade and Other Stories, Robert Walser, Forward by William Gass, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1990 (1926), pg. 174

^^^

When the man in the streets forgets his dream, the theatre becomes a myth and a dispenser of signs.
~ Marcel Marceau

^^^

The surrealists know that the surreal is in the real, just as the mage knows that the invisible is in the visible and the alchemist knows that the infinite is to be found in the finite – and the Great Work consists of its extraction.
~ The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism, Patrick Lepetit, Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont, 2014, pg. xii

^^^

I’m not afraid of the dead, not all the dead, and I believe what my mother taught me, namely that, above all, it’s the living we should be afraid of …
Spells, Michel de Ghelderode, Translated by George MacLennan, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016 (1941), pg.49

^^^

When the Trojan horse arrived, in the form of clever, infinitely sophisticated professors of literature from France, we accepted their delicious gifts of irony, novelty, and nihilism and did not see the danger. Now, a generation later, the edifice that took a hundred years to put in place, and that spread a kind of enlightenment over America, is gone. We have to do all over again the work of proving that there is any point to reading a novel besides making the time pass more quickly. This book is my way of making amends for not fighting when I should have. I thought the problem would go away if I waited, and eventually it did. But, as with a tsunami engulfing a city, when the waters receded, the city was gone.
~ The Shelf: Adventures in Extreme Reading, Phyllis Rose, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2014, pg.6

^^^

When you roam the streets the way I do, and when you make it your business to spend time with no one, you owe it to yourself to meet only people who are infinitely noble or untouchable pariahs.

Fire, in truth, constitutes the wealth of the solitary man.

The few shadows that stole by in the distance couldn’t be those of passersby, rather of sleepers in search of matches.

Had I cried too loudly to heaven that I was abandoned? God abruptly manifested Himself to reply to me that He was still there even if no one else was, infallibly above and below disasters; He threw me a lifeline …
Spells, Michel de Ghelderode, Translated by George MacLennan, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016 (1941), pg.124/126/143/145

^^^

I have never seen such a bemused expression. It was as if he were simultaneously enjoying the sensuality of life and death, the feeling of a bliss of profundity, the awareness of a new form of life or annihilation.
~ Kzradock the Onion Man and the Spring-Fresh Methuselah from the Notes of Dr. Renard de Montpensier, Louis Levy, Translated by W. G. Bamberger, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2017 (1910), pg.4

^^^

No, this innkeeper wasn’t a nonentity! I felt an instinctive and spontaneous sympathy with him. Hi inebriation left him elusive and unworldly, maintaining him in a kind of artificially prolonged dream. I suspected that this man, full of unspoken visions, was like me, someone unsuited for the disenchantments of ordinary life and who moved in a world of imagination.
Spells, Michel de Ghelderode, Translated by George MacLennan, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016 (1941), pg.152

^^^

Sparks of thought jumped through my fragile consciousness like an electric connection that breaks for a moment.
And again Kzradock asked, “What do you see, brother?”
I had a sudden inspiration. I answered clearly and firmly: “I see myself reflected in your eyes.”
“You see yourself?” Kzradock asked, whimpering. “Is that true? You see yourself? Look deeply, search … You see nothing but yourself?”
“No,” I whispered with effort. “I see only myself in your pupils. Nothing more.”
“Then you cannot save me.”
My entire body trembled.
Kzradock the Onion Man and the Spring-Fresh Methuselah from the Notes of Dr. Renard de Montpensier, Louis Levy, Translated by W. G. Bamberger, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2017 (1910), pg.64

^^^

How terrible it is to be dependant on a thought which one cannot find!
Kzradock the Onion Man and the Spring-Fresh Methuselah from the Notes of Dr. Renard de Montpensier, Louis Levy, Translated by W. G. Bamberger, Wakefield Press, Cambridge, MA, 2017 (1910), pg.65

^^^

2 Responses to “Quotes”

  1. Donna Martin Says:

    These many quotes confirm the value of the mind – so many degrees of intelligence…yet art only requires the soul ….

  2. Eric Says:

    Wow, you were right, these quotes are incredible, and incredibly inspiring! It is so comforting to see so many great quotes come from places other that people fixated on spirituality, it gives the message itself more power i feel. Thanks james
    -Eric-

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