Thursday, September 15, 2016

Do The Dead Know What Time It Is?

“Withdrawn to this solitary place,
With a few but learned books,
I live conversing with the dead,
listening to them with my eyes.” 
~Bathroom Quote

Margalit Fox on Life, Death, and the Best Job in Journalism – Conversations with Tyler Cowen – Medium
The stereotypical obituary is a formulaic recitation of facts — dry, boring, and without craft. But Margalit Fox has shown the genre can produce some of the most memorable and moving stories in journalism. Exploiting its “pure narrative arc,” Fox has penned over 1,200 obituaries, covering well-known and obscure subjects with equal aplomb

 “This is no how-to manual.” Right. Playing Dead is no more not a how-to guide than is The Anarchist Cookbook. Nevertheless, here you will learn (or learn about) the dark art of fabricating your own disappearance. Or, should you wish to go six feet deeper, how to commit pseudocide — fake suicide. For those who prefer the step-by-step approach, there is one of those if/then diagrams, with boxes of questions and arrows that chart your next step depending upon your answer, a map through the mazy minefield of death fraud. Elizabeth Greenwood endeavors to kill herself. That’s commitment, even if she’s only playing. Latitude of Playing dead: A journey through the world of death fraud

I drink, therefore I am . . . drunk. Ha ha! I thought this would be easier after my sixth glass of wine, but alas, it is still absolutely terrible. Oh, how my world grows smaller when I think of you not in it, and—no, you know what? Let me start over. Philosophy is like a tree, and it has all these branches that extend outward, but you’re like a shrub. Cute and small, but not well versed in rationalist thought. Do you get what I’m trying to say?
—René Descartes


On Writing Damage: Zoe Zolbrod and The Telling | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

“I saw that the people that I was working with…were voiceless in a way,” he told Detroit Magazine. “In terms of literature of the United States they weren’t being heard. Nobody was speaking for them. And as young people will, you know, I took this foolish vow that I would speak for them and that’s what my life would be. And sure enough I’ve gone and done it. Or I’ve tried anyway.”  A poet's ode to the meaning of work | PB NewsHour

Art History - It’s obsessed with obscure formalist twists, micromovements, and jargon-laden intellectualism. Real art is bigger than all that...Art of His Story  

My sense is that My drown friends know that we by ourselves on our own feel out of place wherever we are. Only grace can solve
Do The Dead Know What Time It Is?

The old guy put down his beer.
Son, he said,
(and a girl came over to the table where we were:
asked us by Jack Christ to buy her a drink.)
Son, I am going to tell you something
The like of which nobody was ever told.
(and the girl said, I've got nothing on tonight;
how about you and me going to your place?)
I am going to tell you the story of my mother's
Meeting with God.
(and I whispered to the girl: I don't have a room,
but maybe...)
She walked up to where the top of the world is
And He came right up to her and said
So at last you've come home.
(but maybe what?
I thought I'd like to stay here and talk to you.)
My mother started to cry and God
Put His arms around her.
(about what?
Oh, just talk...we'll find something.)

She said it was like a fog coming over her face
And light was everywhere and a soft voice saying
You can stop crying now.
(what can we talk about that will take all night?
and I said that I didn't know.)

You can stop crying now. 

Kenneth Patchen

Shirley Jackson found people competitive, self-serving, and not to be trusted. She came by such views honestly, then turned them into horror...  haunted housesthe kind portrayed in countless books and movies—are designed to make their guests feel small and powerless, but also a tiny bit titillated in spite of themselves. Suspense builds slowly. Each creepy revelation incites curiosity first, then dread, then horror. The point is to seduce these mortals into exploring their own darkest corners, only to reduce them to a quivering pile of nerves. The best haunted houses don’t murder their guests. Instead, they slowly and sublimely drive them mad The Possessed ...