"Saying that there is femininity in a man is like saying there is catness in a dog. One might wonder how did those bits of cat get in there in the first place." - Judith ButlerUpon finishing The Idiot, I can confirm, Prince Myshkin is a male lesbian. He is innocent, unassuming, and benevolent to a world that shuns him. His personality is a testament to the good will of people, good will that other do not reciprocate for him. There is femininity in a man with the resilience to remain meek in the face of constant tragedy.
Roger Caillois, The Writing of Stones
Short thing discussing the patterns and images found in various minerals and their impact on the human imagination. It's out of print, but you can get the PDF on Monoskop.
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"Occasionally they open out into ravines lined with little crystals. They form patterns which explode; showers of manysided cells; sprays of dodecahedra all on one plane; irregular veins branching out in all directions then suddenly tapering away; steelyards weighing a large object which is yet so light that the arm of the balance is unmoved; cobwebs spun in the void, attached to no point and containing no lurking spider; cross sections of murexes, with the helix in the middle and the spines on the outside; the waving tentacles of sea anemones; the filaments of jellyfish, ending in a whiplash. Out of the dark of the stone, between the beams of an incandescent star, shine bright streaks and points like dandelion seeds blown from the stem, fixed in their flight and forming a kind of halo around their original center."
" ... in its night of polished jade it imprisons, sparkling brighter than its own somber surface, the crystals of a frost instinct with darkness."
"... panoplies of swords or fans of scimitars, twining them into coiling and uncoiling reptiles."
" ... decorated snakes with gaping jaws as in Aztec fables; pale caterpillars swollen with lymph and latex and eaten up with gangrene; the sinuous, maze like seams of the skull ... "
"We have here a universe of scrolls, branches, pleura; from them flayed countenances emerge, muscles laid open in their cavities of bone. There are lopped-off breasts, the mutilation twisting the raspberry nipples aside; there are the bodies of frogs, crucified by the galvanic current, their limbs splayed out by the shock, their skin turned blue and flabby by the violence of the spasm. Elsewhere we find a loose array of small tools, toys, and useful objects: bobbins, spools, shuttles, tops, drawer knobs. In the distance, but still quite near, are dunes, stretches of sand rhythmically modulated by the wind, a screen of hills, a host of weathered peaks with the geological strata bared, fleecy rowers as still as tropical clouds. The stone may be purplish blue, lilac colored; yellow turning green; the complete range of a bruise. It may be like a swollen sea of thick, almost solid bubbles, resembling an upsurge of sinister seaweed or an eruption of boils or buboes on an infected skin."
Disposable books - a great idea. Print with ink that fades within 5 minutes of exposure to the light.I've read about EM Forster's short story The Machine Stops numerous times as an incredibly prescient prediction of a futuristic society in which everyone effectively lived the life of a bedroom-dwelling internet addict.
I'd always meant to get round to reading it one day but never quite had done. Then recently I was picking a new book to read by rooting around in my shelves - and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a book of EM Forster's short stories which contained that very one. I wonder how long I've had it unawares... good job I didn't order a copy at least I guess.
Anyway this book is really knackered, the front cover is missing and as I read the first story each page fell out after I turned it, it's a kind of one-shot book, destroy after reading, or by reading even.
After I'd read the first story I couldn't handle it any more, we never really tdlj about how the condition of the book, and even the shape, size, font, text size etc affect one's reading, but this just sat by my bed for ages until I decided to skip the second story and use that as a kind of buffer between the bit I'm reading and annihilation.
Anyhow, I read the next few stories and then got to The Machine Stops the first page of which is startling. It reads like a cruel piss-take of am online music critic that could have been written... right now, probably tomorrow even. It begins with a grossly fat woman on her chair listening to music that surrounds her from no visible source, then becoming irritated as one of her thousands of contacts interrupts her - it actually says "in certain directions human intercourse had advanced enormously". It's not just very accurate, it blows my mind, the first page ends with "I can give you fully five minutes, Kuno. Then I must deliver my lecture on "The lasting effect of Burial on the dubstep scene in UK and beyond".
Gibson's Neuromancer which came some sixty years later was praised for anticipating the internet, but this is truly uncanny. Well, so far, my train journey ended at that point, the rest of it will have to wait until tomorrow.