Author Archives: leewatkins

Nowhere Under the Sun

“This is the sun of the high plateau that bakes the land dry and leaves one nowhere to hide.” Ma Jian’s Red Dust is a book about escape, and discovering that there is no escape. A flight from something is … Continue reading

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Lessons from Los Alamos

Albert James Connell ran the Los Alamos Ranch school, which William S. Burroughs attended when he was a boy. “Many of Connell’s ideas were taken on board by Burroughs, such as that there was no such thing as an accident: … Continue reading

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The Greatest Gift

Father Zossima tells his followers that the greatest torment is discovering the meaning of love too late to profit by it. You’re on your deathbed, in your dying brain you seem already at the gate of Paradise itself, and soft … Continue reading

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The corners of rooms everywhere

There’s a shadow in the corner of my room. Sometimes as I sleep, peering at my room through my eyelids with the vision of dreams, it crawls near, sits down on the bed, and watches me. Night creeping close to … Continue reading

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Reading Toynbee A Study of History

A society is a group whose members have shared problems. “There is no such thing as society” would be true if there were no shared problems, if each individual had only his or her own problems to worry about. “There … Continue reading

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Spengler and Destiny

I’ve been reading Oswald Spengler again, and what he writes about destiny. If you’re going to discover your destiny – the destiny of your culture, of your family, or your own personal destiny – you need to get out of … Continue reading

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Burroughs and the Bad Cop

Recently I read The Manhunter by John Pascucci. I bought a copy because it’s one of the last books William Burroughs read before he died. Burroughs notes in Last Words that he liked a phrase of Pascucci’s: “the plot sickened.” … Continue reading

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