August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment


Paul Cezanne, Statue Under Trees, 1895-1900, pencil and watercolour on paper, 48 x 31.2cm


Notebook (light years)

August 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

1977: “My most frequent thought, during the funeral of my brother, is that my thinking is superficial. Any tears I shed are facile. The architecture of the early-eighteenth-century church is splendid. The smell in the vestibule of wood, the heat, and some salt from the nearby sea is, I think, unique to this part of the world and unlocks my memory. The high arched windows with their many lights must make it a cruel place to worship in the winter, but on this splendid summer day they make of the building a frame for the trees and the sky. I do not miss my brother at all. I think that he, with my mother, regarded death as no mystery at all. Life had been mysterious and thrilling, I often¬†heard them say, but death was of no consequence. Some clinician would say that, while I part so easily from my brother, I will, for the rest of my life, seek in other men the love he gave to me. /

Alienation seems to be the word. I feel alienated. This is keen but not painful; no more than a premonition of physical pain, which one has experienced and will again. … At two a fine snow begins to fall. This is the snow that I, as a young skier, literally prayed for. It is very light, but copious; it is the sort of snow that fell on a happy afternoon last year when I skied with P. Night falls; the snow goes on and on – “five inches of powder on a packed base,” one used to read. I shovel the stairs. The snow is like nothing, like air; and yet it holds the light that comes from the windows of the house. My daughter arrives in the middle of the storm after a dangerous journey. I much love her, pray for her happiness, and go to bed in my own bed, where I dream of a love. /

So my hours of happiest comprehension seem limited. They are roughly from six to eight in the morning, and it is now half past nine. For reasons, perhaps, of decorum, comprehension, or dishonesty I recast my dilemma in the light of those days when my brother left for Germany and I lay on the sofa crying for him. The sofa was a ridged, Victorian piece of furniture constructed for straight-backed callers taking a cup of tea. This I remember vividly. I wept for a love that could only bring me narrowness and misery and denial; and how passionately I wept. And so I weep again (not really), and go out for dinner looking, really, for nothing but company and warm food.”

Notebook (Querelle)

August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

1966: “As I wait for the train, a youth in tight white pants sets off the usual alarm signals, but then I notice that he wears the jacket of a school where I am known, where indeed one of my dogs lives. I ask after my friends on the faculty, ask after my dog, and the air between us is pristine and cheerful. It is facelessness that seems to threaten one, strangeness, a sort of erotic darkness, an ignorance of each other, except for the knowledge of sexual desire; but standing in a public urinal and being solicited by a faceless stranger one senses some definite promise of understanding oneself and of understanding death, as if the natural and sensible strictures of society, raised in the light of day, were too heavy a burden for our instincts and left them with no immunity to the infections of anxiety and in particular the fear of death. Run, run, run ballocksy through the woods, put it in the brushes of nymphs and up the hairy bums of satyrs and you will know yourself and no longer fear death; but why, then, do the satyrs have an idiotic leer? To have the good fortune to love what is seemly and what the world counsels one to love, and to be loved in return, is a lighter destiny than to court a sailor in Port-au-Prince who will pick your pockets, wring your neck and leave you dead in a gutter.”

August 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Picasso, Table, Guitar and Bottle (1918). Oil on canvas, 127 x 74.9cm

Picasso, Table, Guitar and Bottle (1918). Oil on canvas, 127 x 74.9cm

August 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

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