“Gilles Deleuze in Negotiations: We’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images. Stupidity’s never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people expressing themselves but rather force them to express themselves; what a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying.”

Quoted from How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy By Jenny Odell


For the enjoyment of a faintly literary melancholy there is no place like a train. One sits back, effortlessly casting away the tired landscape of an undesired world. Every sight is succulent food for bitterness: those suburbs like trenches with the wireless entanglements above them, the pillar boxes, the concrete, the sap heads of red London angling into the green country, the jab of a builder’s advertisement, some creamy-domed cinema, eight municipal trees. Beauty one wipes out of the mind before it can soak there and stain all, as one wipes tears from the eyes; but the ugly things, what a vicious pleasure they give, for they enhance the exquisite bitterness of one’s loneliness.

V.S. Pritchett, Marching Spain

Read James Ellroy: ‘I’ve been canonised. And that’s a gas’ (the Guardian)

The American crime writer on his love of everything big, why he doesn’t rate Raymond Chandler, and reading all 55 of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels

I’m looking forward to the sequel to Perfidia but every time time I read a James Ellroy novel I feel the need to go and look at pictures of cute puppies and fluffy bunny rabbits.


“‘Down there,’ he said, ‘are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathesomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. Sin, you might say, without a trace of originality. They accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don’t say no.”

From Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett