It is a most wonderful comfort to sit alone beneath a lamp, book spread before you, and commune with someone from the past whom you have never met.
Force, hatred, history, all that. That’s not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it’s the opposite of that that is really life.
What? Says Alf.
Love, says Bloom. I mean the opposite of hatred.
A quote for Bloomsday.
“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.”
“The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”
William Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice.
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
“‘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