How many words in this book.
They are meant for remembrance. As though words could carry memories.
For words are clumsy mountaineers and clumsy miners. Not for them to bring down treasures from the mountains’ peaks, or up from the mountains’ bowels.
-Franz Kafka, in a 1900 entry in an album, written to Selma Kohn, as found in Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors (trans. by Richard and Clara Winston)
“Just an FYI: Stars in the Universe far outnumber all sounds & words ever uttered by all humans who ever lived.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson
A very important thing to remember.
So I’m sort of writing a paper, mostly drinking iced coffee waiting for something magical to happen. It did! I actually found a mythical “Word Note” written by David Foster Wallace in the Mac OS thesaurus. I could not begin to tell you why I felt compelled to look up “feckless” in a thesaurus.
“The great thing about using feckless is that it lets you be extremely dismissive and mean without sounding mean; you just sound witty and classy.”
i’m full of feck.
“But the example of many minds forever lost, like undiscoverable Arctic explorers, amid those treacherous regions, warns us entirely away from them; and we learn that it is not for man to follow the trail of truth too far, since by doing so he entirely loses the directing compass of his mind; for arrived at the Pole, to whose barrenness only it points, there, the needle indifferently respects all points of the horizon alike.”
-Herman Melville, Pierre
(quote thanks to metaincognita)
[Image: Cosimo Roselli, Thesaurus Artificiosae Memoriae, 1579]
|—||John Williams, Stoner|
one of the many astounding collages by Meg Hitchock made by cutting letters from various books, including the Koran and Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”. Highly recommend checking the rest of the collection on her site, where you can also see the detailed versions of each piece.
In my text drawings I deconstruct the word of God by cutting letters from sacred writings and rearranging them to form a passage from another holy book. I may cut letters from the Bible and reassemble them as a passage from the Koran, or use letters cut from the Torah to recreate an ancient Tantric text. The individual letters are glued to the paper in a continuous line of type, without spaces or punctuation, in order to discourage a literal reading of the text.
"In his early writings, Thoreau called the alphabet the saddest song. Later in life he would renounce this position and say it produced only dissonant music.
Letters, Montaigne said, are a necessary evil.
But are they? asked Blake, years later. I shall write of the world without them.
I would grow mold on the language, said Pasteur. Except nothing can grow on that cold, dead surface.
Of words Teresa of Avila said, I did not live to erase them all.
They make me sick, said Luther. Yours and yours and yours. Even sometimes my own.
If it can be said, then I am not interested, wrote Schopenhauer.
When told to explain himself, a criminal in Arthur’s court simply pointed at the large embroidered alphabet that hung above the king.
Poets need a new instrument, said Shelley.
If I could take something from the world, said Nietzsche, and take with it even the memory of that thing, so that the world might carry on ever forward with not even the possibility that thing could exist again, it would be the language that sits rotting inside my mouth.
I am a writer, said Picasso. I make my own letters.
Shall I destroy this now, or shall I wait for you to leave the room, said his patron to Kadmos, the reputed inventor of the alphabet.
Kadmos is a fraud, said Wheaton. Said Nestor. Said William James.
Do not read this, warned Plutarch.
Do not read this, warned Cicero.
Do not read this, begged Ovid.
If you value your life.
Bleed a man, and with that vile release spell out his name in the sand, prescribed Hippocrates.
No alphabet but in things, said Williams.
Correction. No alphabet at all.”
-Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet
|—||William Faulkner (via sadseas)|
|—||Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (via sadseas)|
|—||F. Scott Fitzgerald (via pavorst)|