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ARCHIVED ENTRIES FOR SEPTEMBER 2014

September  30,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Everybody in Vanity Fair must have remarked how well those live who are comfortably and thoroughly in debt : how they deny themselves nothing ; how jolly and easy they are in their minds.

--Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

September  29,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

By humbly and frankly acknowledging yourself to be in the wrong, there is no knowing, my son, what good you may do.  I knew once a gentleman and very worthy practitioner in Vanity Fair, who used to do little wrongs to his neighbors on purpose, and in order to apologize for them in an open and manly way afterwards--and what ensued?  My friend Crocky Doyle was liked everywhere, and deemed to be rather impetuous--but the honestest fellow.

--Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

September  28,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

'The Portuguese never put anything behind them except a chair to eat lunch.  We live with our history as if it's still all happening around us.  There are people in this country who think the Hidden King Sebastião is going to come back after four hundred years, to lead them on to greater things.'

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  27,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

It was close to 9.00 p.m. and still light, with the days getting longer and the time shorter, as I walked down through the block of flats from Paço de Arcos station.  A siren was blaring and men were running to the Bombeiros Voluntários building.  Moments later two fire engines blasted out into the street, leaving me with the impression that nothing ever stops.  There are no blank spaces any more to colour in at your leisure.

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  26,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

My sweet daughter, my little girl.  I still saw that under the clothes, the hairstyle, the make-up and perfume.  I used to disturb myself at night, because I'm a man and I know men, thinking about all those young guys who wouldn't see that, who saw...who saw what she wanted them to see.  I suppose that's it.  Girls don't want to be little girls for ever...not even for ten minutes these days.

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  25,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

'I wouldn't mind some more nonsense myself,' I said.  'I don't get enough nonsense.  Too much senselessness, not enough nonsense.'

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  24,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

I marvel at the natural genius humans have for deception.  If you think footballers are pretty good at cheating and diving and deceiving, you should see murderers perform.  Mind you, they get a lot of practice lying to themselves every minute of the day.  Our prisons are full of innocent people.  But that's the nature of the murderer.  It's the ultimate human weakness.  The most radical solution to the inability to resolve, and the shame of that weakness is the inadmissible guilt.

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  23,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

When I came out of the Rossio station after five years in London I knew what I'd been missing.  The poverty bustle, I call it.  There's a lot of it in Africa, which is why I recognized it.  It's a nervous freneticism brought about by insufficient economic activity to ensure that everybody gets fed.  It's the agitation of hunger and it's gone now.  The streets are calm like any other European city.  Now there's only the stress left, but that's not the same as hunger, that's just neuroticism.

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  22,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

'Now you're thinking that because you pay the whore she should be faithful.  Next you'll be wanting her to fall in love with you.'

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  21,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

'History repeats itself,' he said and even António laughed--the communist who can smell the pork meat of a capitalist when they're roasting him as far away as the Alentejo.

'You're right,'' said António.  'History's only weight to those that lived it.  For the next generation it's no heavier than a few school books and forgotten with a glass of beer and the latest CD.'

--A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson

September  20,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Wallender and Martinson had tried to converse with Hanna Trulsson, without making much progress.  It occurred to Wallander that all he had learned during that quarter of an hour was that one of the cats was called Jeppe and the other one Florry.

--An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

September  19,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

"What kind of a house?"

"I've no idea.  Do you want to come with me?"

She shook her head.  "No, I have other plans."

He didn't ask her what those plans were.  He knew that she was the same as he was.  She explained no more than was necessary.  A question that wasn't asked was a question that didn't need an answer.

--An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

September  18,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Simon Larsson seemed to be in a fragile state.  He had a wrinkled face and a hearing aid.  He opened the door and Wallander entered a pensioner's apartment that was frightening in its dreariness.  It seemed to Wallander that he was entering the hallway of death.  The apartment comprised two rooms.  Through a half-open door Wallander could see an old woman lying on top of a bed, resting.  Hands shaking, Simon Larsson served up coffee.  Wallander felt ill at ease.  It was as if he were looking at himself at some time in the future.

--An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

September  17,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

"As expected," said Wallander.  "We have too much to do, and so we should do as little as we can."

"That was an unjust comment," said Martinson.

"Of course it was unjust.  who said that police work had anything to do with justice?"

Linda shook her head and left.

"I didn't understand that last comment you made," said Martinson.

"Neither did I," said Wallander cheerfully.  "But it does no harm to give the younger generation something to think about."

--An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

September  16,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Elin Trulsson was a very old woman.  She had a furrowed face, and the wrinkles dug deep into her skin.  It seemed to Wallander that she was very handsome--like an old tree trunk.  This was not a new comparison as far as he was concerned.  I had first occurred to him some time ago when he was looking at his father's face.  There was a sort of beauty that only comes with age.  A whole life engraved into facial wrinkles.

--An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell

September  15,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

By the fall of 1923, Hitler was openly calling for a revolt against the government.  Inflation had turned into hyperinflation, and Putzi recalled that when he pushed his way into the Bürgerbräukeller on November 8, the night of what would go down in history as the beginning of the Beer Hall Putsch, the price for the three beers he ordered was 3 billion marks.

--Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

September  14,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

[Putzi] Hanfstaengl also introduced Hitler to Harvard marching songs, explaining how the music and the cheerleaders were used to whip up the crowds to the point of "hysterical enthusiasm."  He played Sousa marches, and then some of his own improvisations that added the marching beat of American tunes to German ones.  "That is it, Hanfstaengl, that is what we need for the movement, marvelous," Hitler exclaimed, prancing about the room like a drum majorette.  Putzi would later write several marches that were used by the Brownshirts, including the one they played when they marched through the Brandenburg Gate on the day Hitler took power in 1933.  "Rah, rah, rah! became Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil! but that is the origin of it and I suppose I must take my share of the blame," Putzi wrote in his autobiography.

--Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

September  13,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

The first time Putzi played, he tried out a Bach fugue, but Hitler didn't show any interest.  Then, he launched into the prelude of Richard Wagner's Meistersinger and he suddenly had Hitler's full attention.  "He knew the thing absolutely by heart and could whistle every note of it in a curious penetrating vibrato, but completely in tune,"Putzi recalled.  Hitler started marching up and down, waving his arms as if he were conducting.  "This music affected him physically and by the time I had crashed through the finale he was in splendid spirits, all his worries gone, and raring to get to grips with the public prosecutor."

--Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

[N.B.:  Music not only soothes the savage breast but provokes it as well.]

September  12,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Helen was fascinated by Hitler's inclination "to talk and talk and talk," as she put it.  "Nobody else had the chance to say anything.  I remember, too, that he couldn't stand anyone who wanted to talk.  He was the one who talked; the others listened.  That was why he couldn't stand some people: because he talked too much."  Whether it was in her home or at rallies in this early period, she continued, "his voice had an unusually vibrant, expressive quality, which it later lost, probably through over-exertion . . . It has often been said that his voice had a mesmeric quality, and this I can verify, from my own observation."

--Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

September  11,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

[Helen Hanfstaengls] maintained that she was able to see Hitler from an "absolutely different" side than others would in later years.  "He was a warm person," she insisted in an interview in 1971.  "One thing was really quite touching: he evidently liked children or he made a good act of it.  He was wonderful with Egon."  One afternoon as the little boy ran to meet Hitler, he slipped and bumped his head against a chair.  With a dramatic gesture, Hitler then beat the chair, berating it for hurting "good little Egon."  Helen remembered this as "a surprise and a delight," which prompted the boy to ask the visitor to go through the same act each time he came over.  "Please, Uncle Dolf, spank the naughty chair," Egon would plead.

--Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

[N.B.:  One must never forget that Hitler was something much worse than a monster--a human.]

September  10,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Putzi saw that the audience was enjoying his speech immensely--"especially the ladies."  As Hitler talked about everyday life, Putzi observed a young woman who could not tear her eyes away from the speaker.  "Transfixed as if in some devotional ecstasy, she had ceased to be herself and was completely under the spell of Hitler's despotic faith in Germany's future greatness."

--Hitlerland by Andrew Nagorski

[N.B.:  Too bad Hitler had Mussolini and not Elvis as a mentor.]

September  9,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

A REAL book is one whose words grow ever more luminous as one's own experience increases or as one is led or edged over into considering them with greater attention.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

September  8,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

I don't think my coincidences of view are due to unconscious memory, two men at different times may observe that poodle dogs have curly hair without needing to refer to, or derive from, a preceding "authority."

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

September  7,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

Certain books do no evil, I do not mean weak books but books of the strongest kind.  The just critic must discriminate them from books where we find as it wee poison mixed in sweet cake, which a strong stomach can digest, or an alert mind read with nothing more damaging than irritation.  But these latter are not for curricula.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

[N.B.: Walter Pater's The Renaissance is a good example of the latter.]

September  6,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

We believed and disbelieved "everything," or to put it another way we believed in the individual case.

The best of us accepted every conceivable "dogma" as a truth for a situation, as the truth for a particular crux, crisis or temperament.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

September  5,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

[T]he corruption . . . by the profit impulse, and the concentration of the power to endow institutions in the hands of vulgarians and incult bellies (e.g. the paralysis of scholarship at Y . . . by men who donate money for buildings without donating money for their upkeep, thereby incurring an expenditure on masonry and repairs to the detriment of learning).

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

[N.B.:  "Y..."  is, I suppose, Yale--and the disease of which Pound speaks has only accelerated since Pound wrote this in 1938.]

September  4,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

As in English there is the god awful slump into boiled cabbage and badly cooked vegetables after, say, Rochester, who is already on the way down, so in German after, say, Hans Sachs.  And you do NOT get out of such slumps by a Tennyson or a Rilke.

Without a rigorous technique, NO renaissance.  I don't say technique is enough, or that a Bartok's struggles to renew a technique are enough, but without rigorous overhauling of technique and rigorous demands laid on technique, no renaissance.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

September  3,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

The iconoclast, the mob that destroys a work of art is mob because it fails to dissociate the work from a separable significance.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

September  2,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

The setting of the museum above the temple is a perversion.  Setting preservation of dead art above the living creation is a perversion.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound

September  1,  2014

Patrick: Lagniappe

The stink of non-conformist sects has been in their losing the sense of all obscenity save that related to sex.

A stupidity which effaces the scale and grade of evil can give nothing to civilization.

You can perhaps define fanaticism as loss of the sense of gradations.  Protestant sects are largely without a scale of values.

--Guide to Kulchur by Ezra Pound