Category Archives: Literature

Intelligent Dialogue

All this talk is useless blather, worse than gibberish. But at least I am able to find one intelligent, truth-telling person to talk to, to argue with sensibly, to dialogue with. Myself.

Ken Krimstein. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt

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A Stroll Around Paris

… and then, after I left the Louvre, the American tourists buying bushels of postcards of the Mona Lisa, I followed my nose down a web of back alleys and I saw it, bricks and planks, which I tore down with my bare hands: what signaled the find was an 1832 handbill for a wild beast show, so I knew, through that portal the past would spread her loins, a vestal virgin, and when the shroud collapsed, the rusted ruins of a mouldering arcade embraced me – a broken cat’s eye marble, the chipped arm of a porcelain doll, its milky glaze supple to the touch, physical evidence of time, the past gushing ahead of the non-existent future, an electric buzz to rival hashish or cocaine or opium, a true phantasmagoria of the space that echoes the passion of the gambler, the narcotic continuous present.

Ken Krimstein. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt

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Three Treasures

I have Three Treasures, which I hold fast and watch over closely. The first is Mercy. The second is Frugality. The third is Not Daring to Be First in the World. Because I am merciful, therefore I can be brave. Because I am frugal, therefore I can be generous. Because I dare not be first, therefore I can be the chief of all vessels.

If a man wants to be brave without first being merciful, generous without first being frugal, a leader without first wishing to follow, he is only courting death!

Lao Tzu. Tao Teh Ching

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A Reflection on Dying

Umberto Eco

I am one of those people who don’t miss their youth (I’m glad I had one, but wouldn’t like to start over), because today I feel more fulfilled than ever. But the thought that all my experience will be lost at the moment of my death makes me feel pain and fear. The thought that those who come after me will know as much as I do, and even more, fails to console me. What a waste, decades spent building up experience, only to throw it all away. It’s like burning down the Library of Alexandria, destroying the Louvre, or sending the beautiful, rich, and all-wise Atlantis to the bottom of the sea.

We remedy this sadness by working. For example, by writing, painting, or building cities. You die, but most of what you have accumulated will not be lost; you are leaving a message in a bottle.

Umberto Eco. Turning Back the Clock

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What a Piece of Work is a Man

Lawrence Olivier as Hamlet

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust?

William Shakespeare. Hamlet

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Sounds of the End of the World

Stupidity. Noise. A modern Babel. The sounds of the end of the world.

Ken Krimstein. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt

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Words are my Friends

My words are my only friends in the world. But they are the greatest friends a man could ask for. Soft enough to pleasure your petites amies in a manner they are clearly unaccustomed to. And sharp enough to gut you like the guppy-brained gudgeons you are.

Evan Daughetry. Seven Swords – Issue 2

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Intellectual Power

… intellectual power at its lowest produces the extreme of wickedness, for wickedness is a miscalculating effort towards Intelligence.

Plotinus. The Six Enneads

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Troubles of the World

D’Artagnan: I cannot concern myself with the troubles of the world.

Sister Catalina: The troubles of the world may soon concern themselves with you.

Evan Daughetry. Seven Swords – Issue 1

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Liberation from this Sphere

Our task, then, is to work for our liberation from this sphere, severing ourselves from all that has gathered about us; the total man is to be something better than a body ensouled—the bodily element dominant with a trace of Soul running through it and a resultant life-course mainly of the body—for in such a combination all is, in fact, bodily. There is another life, emancipated, whose quality is progression towards the higher realm, towards the good and divine, towards the Principle which no one possesses except by deliberate usage but so may appropriate, becoming, each personally, the higher, the beautiful, the Godlike, and living, remote, in and by It—

Plotinus. The Six Enneads

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