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16 September 2011

Whatcha reading? Quote a paragraph.
'You,' said this Joe. 'I've heard all about you, boy. I know what you've done, breaking the hearts of your poor grieving parents. So you're back, eh? Back to make life a misery for them once more, is that it? Over my dead corpse you will, because they've let me be more like a son to them than like a lodger.' I could nearly have smecked loud at that if the old razdraz within me hadn't started to wake up the feeling of wanting to sick, because this veck looked about the same age as my pee and em, and there he was like trying to put a son's protecting rooker round my crying mum, O my brothers. - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
posted by Ardiril 16 September | 16:14
"'You,' said this Joe. 'I've heard all about you, boy. I know what you've done, breaking the hearts of your poor grieving parents. So you're back, eh? Back to make life a misery for them once more, is that it? Over my dead corpse you will, because they've let me be more like a son to them than like a lodger.' I could nearly have smecked loud at that if the old razdraz within me hadn't started to wake up the feeling of wanting to sick, because this veck looked about the same age as my pee and em, and there he was like trying to put a son's protecting rooker round my crying mum, O my brothers. - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
posted by ardiril 16 September | 16:14"
posted by Eideteker 16 September | 16:16
Karma bites me in the ass again.
posted by Ardiril 16 September | 16:25
From the essay "Aesthetic Space in Hitchcock" by Brigitte Peucker, in A Companion to Alfred Hitchcock, ed. Leitch and Poague:

Films, Stephen Heath famously reminds us, "take place" --- they establish scenographic space and their spectator "completes the image as its subject" (53). Situated at the center of the perspectival system that underpins narrative film, the spectator is "place" in relation to its images. With Hitchcock's Suspicion (1941) as his example, Heath notes that the portrait that anchors the film's narrative --- the portrait of Cedric Hardwicke's General McLaidlaw (a speaking name if ever there was one) --- establishes the scenographic space of Hitchcock's film as perspectival, the Quattrocento view. But at the fringes of this film's discourse, Heath suggests, is another kind of space. It is intimated when a look cast by a character offers a glimpse of a different visual organization. As it happens, this character is Benson (Vernon Downing), a detective, and the object of his look is astonishing, perhaps even shocking, to him. It is a still likfe in the Cubist manners --- a copy of Pablo Picasso's Pitcher and Bowl of Fruit (1931) --- and its notion of space is in marked contradistinction to that of the McLaidlaw portrait. If the still life's transgression against the portrait's perspectival system is a joke in this film, writes Heath, then it is a telling one. While the detective's glance at the painting is irrelevant to the film's narrative, Heath argues, it nevertheless serves "to demonstrate the rectitude of the portrait, the true painting at the center of the scene, utterly in frame in the film's action" (23).

I'm really glad I typed that out. Though I'm not sure it helps me grasp Peucker's argument (and I haven't read the Heath essay quoted here), just having to hammer the words in letter by letter made me really think about the scene in a way I haven't before and shows me how it fits into the larger film.

This momentary glimpse of the still life is a split-second summary of the film, which explores the exhausting, confusing paranoia (justified or otherwise) that Lina brings to every interaction with Johnny. Should she be looking at him as a portrait (a handsome but ultimately simplified and flattering view) or as a Cubist image (complicated and uncomfortable but perhaps showing previously hidden angles and aspects)? Is her married life as simple as it seems to others, or is is a complicated plane full of unexplored angles?
posted by Elsa 16 September | 16:43
"just having to hammer the words in letter by letter made me really think " - Hunter Thompson claimed he typed out The Great Gatsby and A Farewell To Arms. Yours is the reason he gave.
posted by Ardiril 16 September | 16:52
I do that, too. It's a writer's version of the thing we did in art classes: copy great paintings just to see what happens. It makes you notice all kinds of things you didn't consciously see before. For the same reason, I often read opaque or jargony texts aloud to myself.

I've typed out texts before for coursework, but I rarely do it when reading for pleasure (which this is). I don't think the point I just made about the two paintings reflecting a major theme is related to Peucker's thesis*, but it did incidentally make me consider the little comic-relief moment with the Cubist painting as something bigger. This could really open up Suspicion in unexpected ways.

*Though I'm not certain; that paragraph is the essay's intro and I haven't read more than two or three paragraphs into it yet.
posted by Elsa 16 September | 17:03
I hear the wind blowing across the desert and I see the moons of a winter night rising like great ships in the void. To them I make my vow: I will be resolute and make an art of government; I will balance my inherited past and become a perfect storehouse of my relic memories. And I will be known for kindliness more than for knowledge. My face will shine down the corridors of time for as long as humans exist.
- Leto's Vow

Children of Dune
Frank Herbert
posted by deborah 16 September | 17:04
Her reservations about clothes-washing notwithstanding, Mary was on the spot. Our relationship had heated up well beyond the level of friendship. Fortunately for me, she had never been emotionally attached to her job, and the potted plant in her office simply did not satisfy her hankering for the country. On the other hand, she had a list of unanswered questions: How heavy was the work? How long were the hours? What about refrigeration? What about food preparation? When I pointed out that people have been living without modern gadgetry for thousands of years, she finally gave in, brimming with curiosity to see how they did it.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, by Eric Brende
posted by aniola 16 September | 17:08
This is already better than I had hoped.
posted by Ardiril 16 September | 17:10
"Get out, I said. I am sick of looking at that ugly stump of yours. Get out!" To speed him on his way, she heaved her wine cup at his head. She missed, but Jaime took the hint.
Evenfall found him sitting alone in the common room of White Sword Tower, with a cup of Dornish red and the White Book. He was turning pages with the stump of his sword hand when the Knight of Flowers entered, removed his cloak and swordbelt and hung them on a wall peg next to Jaime's.

Source: A Feast of Crows, George R.R. Martin
posted by bearwife 16 September | 17:53
“The big lad has to come out,” said Christy. “It’s the only extraordinary thing in the flat. It’s all we have.”
“It’s all I have. Fuck off and get yer own.”
Little Mike’s dick was legendary in the flats, in the entire north side. This was mainly due to the fact that Mike himself had spray-painted every hoarding in Dublin with the legend, Little Mike has thirteen inches. Followed by his mobile number. Morning, noon, and night he was on that phone.
“PJ is bad enough without taunting him. If I have the lad out, it’s just rubbing his nose in it. He’ll have to cut the big fella off.”
Christy had it all figured out. “No. He comes in, expecting two fellas to either have a go, or be shitting themselves in the corner. What he doesn’t expect is Mister Thirteen Inches eyeballing him. So for one second, he’s off his stride, then I whack him in the face.”

Taking On PJ by EOIN COLFER in Dublin Noir.
posted by arse_hat 16 September | 17:54
"Os Bandidos de Farda" [Criminals in Uniform]

Vieram com assinatura as balas que mataram a juíza Patricia Acioli, 47 anos, no último dia 12, no Rio. Calibre 40, elas pertenciam a um lote comprado pela Polícia Militar e distribuído entre várias batalhoes, incluindo o de Sao Goncalo, onde atuava a magistrada. Nesse regiao, viceja uma praga que Patricia se dedicava a combater com especial empenho: as chamadas milícias, quadrilhas que, nascidas das fileiras da polícia com propósitos vagamente bem-intencionais, se convertem rapidamente em bandos de matadores a soldo dos próprios interesses ou de quem pagar melhor. Até há pouco tempo, esse cancro etava restrito a Rio de Janeiro. Agora, alastra-se pelo território nacional.

A story in the Time Magazine of Brazil, Revista Veja ran a story this week about a judge who was killed by the cops who had turned to crime and were getting caught. They were surprised THEY got caught, comfortable as they were within their corrupt system.

I am curious what you would get if you put that through google translate.
posted by msali 16 September | 18:03
"Oh yes. Oh yes. I am a good bear. I never meant to say that I'm a bad bear. I'm a good bear. I respect territories. I'm a respectful bear." Humbledrum's terrifyingly huge paw fell on the table emphatically, and it put its black muzzle very close to Quentin's nose. "I am a very. Respectful. Bear."

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.
posted by gaspode 16 September | 18:23
When you enter a state of higher awareness, an understanding of who you are, your soul, and its purpose are illuminated. Of the multitude of roads available to reaching a higher state of consciousness, music is a favorite for scores of people. Music speaks to us through the emotion it evokes from within. As it rocks us, it melts barriers and opens us up. When we are unlocked, we are in a place of receiving. When we are unbound, we are closer to comprehending what we already have and what we need. Expression through music and all artistic endeavors is simply a way to illustrate the colors in our soul. Every soul has its own musical code and vibrational frequency. Certain sounds unlock the doors we erect, revealing our own melodic notes.

The Happy Medium, by Jodi Livon
posted by redvixen 16 September | 18:49
I am curious what you would get if you put that through google translate.

How could I resist?

They came with signing the bullets that killed Judge Patricia Acioli, 47, in the last 12 days in Rio 40 Gauge, they belonged to a lot purchased by the Military Police and circulated among various battalions, including the Sao Goncalo, which acted to magistrate. In this region, a pest that thrives Patricia was engaged in combat with special emphasis: the so-called militias, gangs, born from the ranks of police purposes vaguely well-meaning, rapidly convert to the pay bands of killers of their own interests or who pay better. Until recently, this cancer etava restricted to Rio de Janeiro. Now, is spreading across the country.
posted by DarkForest 16 September | 18:56
That's not bad DarkForest, and the "etava" is a transcription error on my part, if I had written "estava" like it is in the original, it would have read, "this cancer WAS/HAD BEEN restricted to Rio de Janeiro".

Basically, societal-level banditry is spreading like wildfire throughout the country with impunity.
posted by msali 16 September | 19:28
Through the Breach by David Drake

"The only men who'll come to the stars to serve a tyrant are the trash, or men as grasping and shortsighted as their master is," Piet said. "The few of a better sort sink into the mire because they're almost alone. This isn't a frontier where hardship makes men hard, it's a cesspool where filth makes men filthy! And it will not change until the claim of Pleyal to own the universe beyond Pluto is disproved. At the point of a gun if necessary!"
posted by Splunge 16 September | 19:59
The man stood motionless, an embodiment of paralyzed horror, staring fixedly at the apparition. The thing moved out from the wall and a grotesque shadow moved with it. Slowly the shadow became visible as a man-like figure whose naked torso and limbs shone whitely, with the hue of bleached bones. The bare skull on its shoulders grinned eyelessly, in the midst of its unholy nimbus, and the man confronting it seemed unable to take his eyes from it. He stood still, his sword dangling from nerveless fingers, on his face the expression of a man bound by the spells of a mesmerist.

Red Nails, by Robert E. Howard
posted by Hugh Janus 16 September | 20:38
ooooh I love this thread so much!
posted by Elsa 16 September | 20:42
Oh and this from Dhalgren by Sam Delany. Not reading now. But just recently reread, yet again:

“You begin to suspect, as you gaze through this you-shaped hole of insight and fire, that though it is the most important thing you own — never deny that for an instant — it has not shielded you from anything terribly important. The only consolation is that though one could have thrown it away at any time, morning or night, one didn't. One chose to endure. Without any assurance of immortality, or even competence, one only knows one has not been cheated out of the consolation of carpenters, accountants, doctors, ditch-diggers, the ordinary people who must do useful things to be happy. Meander along, then, half blind and a little mad, wondering when you actually learned — was it before you began? — the terrifying fact that had you thrown it away, your wound would have been no more likely to heal: indeed, in an affluent society such as this, you might even have gone on making songs, poems, pictures, and getting paid. The only difference would have been — and you learned it listening to all those brutally unhappy people who did throw away theirs — and they do, after all, comprise the vast and terrifying majority — that without it, there plainly and starkly would have been nothing there; no, nothing at all.”
posted by Splunge 16 September | 21:26
Since then I'd only seen her a couple of times with Vidocq and once when I got Doc Kinski to drain the venom from my arm after a Naga purse snatcher went king cobra on me. Kinski is the medical man for a lot of Sub Rosa and Lurkers. Most people think being a doctor is a big deal, but Kinski used to be an archangel, so for him, being a doctor is sort of like flipping burgers at McDonald's after you were president.

Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead.
posted by mygothlaundry 16 September | 22:24
Wow, Splunge, I read Dahlgren in 1981 and I recognize that paragraph. I see too a few bits that I have paraphrased many times over the last 3 decades. Delany put many of my half-formed theories into words, but now I suspect that the book left a much deeper impression. I hope I get to reread it.
posted by Ardiril 16 September | 23:02
And everyone glanced up at the dead man who stayed there as upright as if he had been marching at the head of a company. Up there, so high, he no longer seemed terrible or pitiful to them. On the other hand, it was now clear to all of them how he was exalted and set apart. He no longer stood on the earth, his hands held to nothing, he did not swim, did not fly; he no longer had any weight. Freed from all earthly ties and burdens, he was no longer a prey to troubles; no one could do anything more against him, neither rifle nor sword, nor evil thoughts, nor men's words, nor Turkish courts. Naked to the waist, with arms and legs bound, his head thrown back against the stake, that figure no longer seemed to bear any likeness to a human body which grows and then rots away, but seemed to be raised on high, hard and imperishable as a statue which would remain there forever.

The men on forced labour turned and crossed themselves stealthily.

Ivo Andrić, The Bridge on the Drina.
posted by notquitemaryann 17 September | 01:28
Bingle went below and returned to present Quentin with the training sword he would be using, a short, heavy weapon of oiled steel, blunt and nearly black and devoid of any adornment whatsoever. The blade and the hilt were all made out of one single unbroken chunk of metal. It was the most industrial-looking object Quentin had ever seen in Fillory. It weighed half again what his sword weighed. It didn't even come with a scabbard, so he wouldn't get to show off his buff sheathing-unsheathing skills.

Lev Grossman, "The Magician King."
posted by TheophileEscargot 17 September | 01:44
The Welfare State

This "unexpectedly dazzling" revival of capitalism took place, of course, in a world where the extension of state power was accepted not only in the economic sphere itself, but also in the area of social welfare. For many commentators at the time, the two -- a booming economy and an extended welfare state -- seemed closely connected. "Without the underpinning of the welfare-state policies," argued the SPD reformist Karl Schiller, "the free market economic system might well have collapsed... Welfare state and dynamic market economy are mutually indispensable."

--Dark Continent:Europe's Twentieth Century by Mark Mazower

He's talking about the postwar boom. Nothing like a little 20th Century history for bitter irony to read yourself to sleep with, eh?
posted by warbaby 17 September | 09:29
What made me realize how much I dislike the sound of French was the continual, unctuous, caressing repetition of 'l'oiseau' (the bird). It is a word that cannot be pronounced without simpering. I did not want to speak French because it gave me the bird.

French Lessons Alice Kaplan as quoted in Dreaming in Hindi by Kathy Russell Rich (halfway thru &it's fab)
posted by bluefly 17 September | 12:14
I left the village at Point Alones feeling quite giddy. It was almost as though the whole situation had been conjured in a murky dream and, as such, perched beyond explanation. Even to those of my contemporaries who might be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, the lack of all corroboration would mark me as a crank or, worse still, the victim of an elaborate hoax perpetrated by a disgruntled employee.

From " In The Shadow Of The Cypress " by Thomas Steinbeck
posted by mightshould 17 September | 14:58
um, yeah... || It's the Friday Night Question!