Category Archives: Writing

On Ursula K. Le Guin

The poet’s task is to find the right words, or the true names of things. And in A Wizard of Earthsea, that’s the task of wizards too. You find the thing’s true name by capturing its essence: by seeing what … Continue reading

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Sunday I Ching: On Throwing Things Away and Going to China

Where have you been? There’s no getting rid of the clutter. In this life now I am surrounded by old papers, magazines, short blunt pencils, piles of wrinkle-spined novels, a dusty-lidded and long-closed piano, and plastic containers for used up … Continue reading

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Cloud Mind Shadow

“I believe that only a dreamer who has fear neither of life nor death will discover this infinitesimal iota of force which will hurtle the cosmos into whack – instantaneously.” What do you do when you have no fear of … Continue reading

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Reading Spengler Again

This preface I’m reading says I shouldn’t be literal-minded when reading Oswald Spengler. Yes, his presentation of the facts is dubious, he exaggerates and distorts, he’s polemical – but I mustn’t let this spoil my enjoyment. I’d be missing out … Continue reading

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Dostoevsky, Death and Paradise

Why write? Not to create original truths, but to remind ourselves of old truths. We need to be reminded: we are forgetful. Original stories to remind us of what we’ve always known. The history of humanity, and the duration of … Continue reading

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The Very Last Love in the World

Vladimir Mayakovsky’s “The Backbone Flute” is a poem about desire, the mystery of where desires come from, and how they can fade and be forgotten. And it’s about the suffering of an artist, a poet, whose desires seem too wide … Continue reading

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When is it Life? Part 3. Final Part: “Life Presents Itself”

Something is wrong with Henry Miller, as he wanders Broadway, lost, unable to write. This is what we’re really seeing when Miller gives us his picture of impersonal Broadway. Broadway reflects Miller himself: inhuman, sleepwalking, living dead, an abyss for … Continue reading

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