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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Doug's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Time Since Reboot

  • 1060 days, 22 hours, 51 minutes, 42 seconds ago

Spring Cleaning: Art (Visual, Other)

via 1000 scientists

 

via 1000 scientists

 

by hicherry via knowwing

 

by Elisabetta Rogai via My Modern Metropolis

 

via where-we-breathe

 

by mmb-stock via the white deer

 

by ulorin vex

 

by Mrs. Emma Hauck (from the Prinzhorn Collection) via Letters of Note

 

by Brooks Shane Salzwedel via My Modern Metropolis

 

by Mark Demsteader via unusualyoung

Spring Cleaning: More Words

Would you look at that… I’ve stockpiled enough quotes to make a second quote post. 

I don’t want to go on being a root in the dark,
vacillating, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
downward, in the soaked guts of the earth,
absorbing and thinking, eating each day.

~ Pablo Neruda

I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me…or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I’ll quote Ibsen, “The strongest men are the most alone.” I’ve never thought, “Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I’ll feel good.” No, that won’t help. You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn’t want to hide in factories. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have. Let’s drink more wine!

~ Charles Bukowski

Hear this or not, as you will. Learn it now, or later – the world has time. Routine, repetition, tedium, monotony, ephemeracy, inconsequence, abstraction, disorder, boredom, angst, ennui – these are the true hero’s enemies, and make no mistake, they are fearsome indeed. For they are real.

~ David Foster Wallace

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

~ John Burroughs

"Notes About His Hands, Part 4"

(Elegy for his Hands)

It was late, I was drunk, you were warm
to my hand, I would say, please
don’t leave, touch me there, but
you never

I was late, you were drunk, it was warm
to my hand, I would want, just
to please, you were there, but
I never

I was warm, you were late, it was drunk
to my touch, I was just
late to want, but I would
leave you never

~ Robyn Art

When I am silent, I have thunder hidden inside.

~ Rumi

Why be timid? Death is coming.

~ S. Amstell

There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.

~ John Green

in spite of everything
which breathes and moves, since Doom
(with white longest hands
neatening each crease)
will smooth entirely our minds

– before leaving my room
i turn, and (stooping
through the morning) kiss
this pillow, dear
where our heads lived and were.

~ e. e. cummings

from the preface to Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

~ Walt Whitman

Seek out wisdom from every source you can.  Memorize and return to the great thinkers, past and present.  Share that new knowledge, that art and insight.  Allow it to radiate outward from you to the world.  Maybe the sad trajectory of the universe is not unalterable.

Spring Cleaning: Portrait Photography Bookmarks (NSFW)

Continuing the purge of my Google Reader starred items list – blog posts I’ve bookmarked because I want to remember them for some reason or other, mostly because I find them inspiring or worthy of emulation.  Here are ten portraits, presented in no particular order (other than the chronological order in which they were viewed and starred by myself) and without commentary.  Note: some of these photographs contain nudity… so if that offends your sensibilities, please exercise your free will and choose not to scroll any further.

 

by Nick Turpin via My Modern Met

 

by Daniel Gil via unusualyoung

 

via unusualyoung

 

by Angeles Peña via soundthat

 

by Valerie Finnis via unusualyoung

 

by Fox Harvard

 

by Kirill Vorontsov via My Modern Met

 

by unic0rn-aliiv3 via soundthat

 

by Creative Rehab

 

by Michelle Karpman via My Modern Met

 

Do go check out these photographers, visit the blogs, bookmark and return to them, support the arts, create your own.  More to come.

Spring Cleaning: Wordplay

Every now and then I will find and bookmark a quote, passage or poem that I admire and want to remember.  Here are some of those:

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.

~ Franz Kafka

I always gained something from making myself better,
better than I am, better than I was,
that most subtle citation:
to recover some lost petal
of the sadness I inherited:
to search once more for the light that sings
inside of me, the unwavering light.

~ Pablo Neruda

"Touching Each Other’s Surfaces"

Skin meeting skin, we want to think
we know each other scientifically;
we want to believe
it is objective knowledge
gives this conviction of intimacy,
makes us say it feels so right.
That mole below your shoulder blade,
the soft hair over my thighs—
we examine our bodies with the precision
known only to lovers or surgeons,
all those whose profession is explication,
who have to believe their own words.
And yet, having memorized each turning,
each place where bone strains or bends,
each hollow, each hair, each failure of form,
we still encounter that stubborn wall,
that barrier which hides an infinite vastness
the most sincere gesture can’t find.

Nor does emotion take us further
than the shared heat of our bodies
aware of themselves,
the flattery of multiple desires.
We rest in each other’s arms unexplained
by these currents of feeling rushing past
like ripples over a pool of water
whose substance never changes,
reflecting each wave, each ribboned crossing,
without being really moved.
We search each other’s eyes so long
beyond our own reflections,
finding only the black centers,
the immeasurable interior we’ll
never reach with candle,
never plumb with love.

Perhaps it is just this ignorance,
this absence of certainty, lack of clear view,
more than anything, brings us together,
draws us into and through each other
to the unknown inside us all,
that gray space from which
what we know of ourselves
emerges briefly, casts a transient
shadow across the earth
and learns to believe in itself just enough
to believe in some one else.

~ Carol Jane Bangs

We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.

~ Charles Bukowski

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.

~ Ansel Adams

"Mean Love Poem"

Glasses off,
you are beautiful.
My glasses.

~ Bob Hicok

You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.

~ Anaïs Nin

"Do You Have The Poem?"

Do you have your river poem?
Do you have your ditch poem?
Do you have the one
with the trenches?
Do you have the poem
about the puddles,
the one about the waters,
the one that flows
back and forth to find
its own level?
Do you have the one
that tells about the deep hole,
the poem about
the hollowed out well?
Do you have the poem
about the mass graves
and the dirt pushed aside?
Do you have your ocean poem?
Do you have the one
that leaves me drenched?
Do you have the poem
that fills my lungs with fluid,
the one that I dive into?
Do you have the poem
that I fall into?
Do you have the poem
that buries me?
Do you have my death poem?

~ Christopher Parks

It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes

~ Gustave Flaubert

I demanded a realm in which I should be both master and slave at the same time: the world of art is the only such realm. I entered it without any apparent talent, a thorough novice, incapable, awkward, tongue-tied, almost paralyzed by fear and apprehensiveness. I had to lay one brick on another, set millions of words to paper before writing one real, authentic word dragged up from my own guts. The facility of speech which I possessed was a handicap; I had all the vices of the educated man. I had to learn to think, feel and see in a totally new fashion, in an uneducated way, in my own way, which is the hardest thing in the world. I had to throw myself into the current, knowing that I would probably sink. The great majority of artists are throwing themselves in with life-preservers around their necks, and more often than not it is the life-preserver which sinks them.

~ Henry Miller

Spring Cleaning: Photography (Non-Portrait) Bookmarks

I have admitted to myself that my Google Reader starred items list has become unmanageable.  I like too many things.  So here comes a purge – ten at a time.  These are photographs, mostly that showed up in my Tumblr dashboard feed, that I found and still find inspirational for some reason or another.  They are presented here without commentary.

 

by ianbroyles via photons

 

by Robert Fougere via istillshootfilm

 

by bloodyjohn via soundthat

 

by shootinglovelypeople via soundthat

 

by Fernando Ocaña Fernández via soundthat

 

by Petit Ming via soundthat

 

by svenwerk via Digital Photography School

 

by Jeff Brouws via unusualyoung

 

by Matt Power via soundthat

 

by Giles McGarry via soundthat

 

Go check out more work by these artists, as well as these curators’ collections.  More spring cleaning to come.