Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The effect of the cultural bomb is to annihilate a people’s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves; for instance, with other peoples’ languages rather than their own. It makes them identify with that which is decadent and reactionary, all those forces that would stop their own springs of life. It even plants serious doubts about the moral righteousness of struggle. Possibilities of triumph or victory are seen as remote, ridiculous dreams. The intended results are despair, despondency and a collective death-wish. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind (via daughterofzami)
Saturday, February 1, 2014
The mundane world rarely offers us satisfying language with which to relate the extreme mental or emotional states we nonetheless frequently endure. They’re difficult to even discuss, because we lack the tools to describe them accurately and the opportunity for dialogue about them, and to me this is the reason that horror as a genre, and indeed all fiction, exists: stories about the fantastic, the supernatural, the extreme and appalling provide access to states which are familiar but otherwise impossible to talk about. Some feelings are so difficult that only a horror story can convey them, identifying them as overtly evil gives us an excuse to then explore them. Seattle News and Events | Fantagraphic’s Julia Gfrörer on Her Spirit Infested, Gender-Role Flipping Comics (via doopliss)
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
We looked at each other with a mix of tenderness and befuddlement, moist-eyed. It was clear to both of us, after the five or ten minutes of our hasty conversation, that this chance meeting was the last time we ever were going to see each other… But that was O.K. Knowing we would never see each other again—it was O.K. When you’re young, you think there’ll be plenty of time for everything in your life: counting all the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert, seeing all the people in the world, becoming greater than Jesus and Lenin and Lomonosov and Pushkin and Einstein all rolled into one, reuniting at some point with everyone you’ve met once in your life, befriending every man, falling in love with every woman… Life is a process of gradually coming to terms with the meaning and the very concept of never-ness. Never—well, so be it. Quoth the raven: oh well, them’s the breaks. Get used to it. Get over it. Life is a perishable proposition of rapidly diminishing returns. You could’ve become this or that; you could’ve been here and there and everywhere; but that didn’t happen—and well, so be it. There won’t be, in the end of your life, a joyous, transcendentally meaningful regathering of everyone you’ve ever met on your path, with stories shared and wine flowing and laughter lilting and happiness abounding and life never-ending—well, so be it. Mikhail Iossel reflects on his experience meeting an old friend far away from home: http://nyr.kr/Yb0OyF (via newyorker)
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Although the Soviet system she grew up under disintegrated more than two decades ago, it lingers in her pen and in the mindset of her characters. In describing the little injustices, she offers not an excuse, but an explanation for human failure. The young girl in “Milgrom” can never raise her hand in school because of the sweat stains on her second-hand dress. The country men in “The Goddess Parka” quit work to become full-time alcoholics after being “tormented by rumors about fabulous Moscow wages.” It is no wonder her writing was banned until 1988. Katya Cengel reviews There Once Lived A Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband And He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Liudmila Petrushevskaya (via therumpus)
Sunday, September 23, 2012
thenewinquiry:

All bad photos are like, but each good photograph is good in its own way. The bad photos have found their apotheosis on social media, where everybody is a photographer and where we have to suffer through each other’s “photography” the way our forebears endured terrible recitations of poetry after dinner. Behind this dispiriting stream of empty images is what Russians call poshlost: fake emotion, unearned nostalgia. According to Nabokov, poshlost “is not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive.” He knows us too well.
- Teju Cole on Instagram 

thenewinquiry:

All bad photos are like, but each good photograph is good in its own way. The bad photos have found their apotheosis on social media, where everybody is a photographer and where we have to suffer through each other’s “photography” the way our forebears endured terrible recitations of poetry after dinner. Behind this dispiriting stream of empty images is what Russians call poshlost: fake emotion, unearned nostalgia. According to Nabokov, poshlost “is not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive.” He knows us too well.

- Teju Cole on Instagram 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
stilllifequickheart:

Michael Costello
Underwood
21st century

stilllifequickheart:

Michael Costello

Underwood

21st century

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I am Elektra Natchios. Not even the stars are safe in the sky. Elektra (via natchios-elektra)
Monday, July 23, 2012
My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.

Orson Welles

via Austerity Kitchen

(via thenewinquiry)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
thenewinquiry:

The New Inquiry welcomes our long-awaited 8th (and final) blogger, Teju Cole.
Read Teju’s “Double Take” here. 

thenewinquiry:

The New Inquiry welcomes our long-awaited 8th (and final) blogger, Teju Cole.

Read Teju’s “Double Take” here. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 Monday, February 13, 2012
deliryo:

Marguerite Duras and Xavière Gauthier, from Woman to Woman (1987), tr. Katharine A. Jensen

deliryo:

Marguerite Duras and Xavière Gauthier, from Woman to Woman (1987), tr. Katharine A. Jensen