The Art of Tetman Callis

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Entries from November 2011

Tap-dancing through the minefield

November 30th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“War can only exist in a world of tragedy; from the beginning of history man has known only a tragic world and has not been capable of stepping out of it.  The age of tragedy can be ended only by the revolt of frivolity.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Hostage to all fortune

November 29th, 2011 · No Comments

“A man can take his own life.  But he cannot take his own immortality.  As soon as immortality has you aboard, you can’t get off, and even if you shoot yourself you’ll stay on deck along with your suicide.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

A joyful noyse?

November 28th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Does love for art really exist and has it ever existed?  Is it not a delusion?  When Lenin proclaimed that he loved Beethoven’s Appassionata above all else, what was it that he really loved?  What did he hear?  Music?  Or a majestic noise that reminded him of the solemn stirrings in his soul, a longing […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The best-dressed person in the graveyard

November 27th, 2011 · No Comments

“Up to a certain moment our death seems too distant for us to occupy ourselves with it.  It is unseen and invisible.  That is the first, happy period of life.  But then we suddenly begin to see our death ahead of us and we can no longer keep ourselves from thinking about it.  It is […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Suffer the little children

November 26th, 2011 · No Comments

“Nothing is more useful than to adopt the status of a child: a child can do whatever it likes, for it is innocent and inexperienced; it need not observe the rules of social behavior, for it has not yet entered a world ruled by form; it may show its feelings, whether they are appropriate or […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera · Politics & Law

Good thing they’re not in charge

November 25th, 2011 · No Comments

“The whole art of politics these days lies not in running the polis (which runs itself by the logic of its own dark and uncontrollable mechanism), but in thinking up ‘sound bites’ by which the politician is seen and understood, measured in opinion polls, and elected or rejected in elections.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. […]

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Tags: Milan Kundera · Politics & Law

Insight to be thankful for

November 24th, 2011 · No Comments

“Hate traps us by binding us too tightly to our adversary.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Milan Kundera · Politics & Law

High Street 8 — Plus ça Change

November 23rd, 2011 · 4 Comments

“In the end, art is small beer.  The really serious things in life are earning one’s living so as not to be a parasite, and loving one’s neighbor.” — W. H. Auden High Street 8 — “Plus ça Change” is posted today. That is the end of High Street.  Thanks for tuning in.  Please tune […]

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Tags: High Street · Words

High Street 7.4 — Freedom’s Just Another Word (fin.)

November 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

“There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time.  Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi) High Street 7.4 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” (fin.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 8 […]

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Tags: High Street · Milan Kundera · Words

High Street 7.3 — Freedom’s Just Another Word (cont.)

November 21st, 2011 · No Comments

“Every writer is offering a true account of the activities of the mind.” — Donald Barthelme (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 7.3 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 7.4 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” (fin.))

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 7.2 — Freedom’s Just Another Word (cont.)

November 20th, 2011 · 1 Comment

“There’s nothing so beautiful as having a very difficult problem.  It gives purpose to life.” — Donald Barthelme (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 7.2 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 7.3 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” (cont.))

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 7.1 — Freedom’s Just Another Word

November 19th, 2011 · No Comments

“If we want to go on existing we need to summon up all our strength in order to wrench ourselves off the spot where we’re stuck.” — Thomas Bernhard, Concrete High Street 7.1 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 7.2 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word” (cont.))  

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Tags: High Street · Lit & Crit · Thomas Bernhard · Words

High Street 6.8 — Life During Wartime (fin.)

November 18th, 2011 · 1 Comment

“A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.” — Karl Kraus, quoted in Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger High Street 6.8 — “Life During Wartime” (fin.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 7.1 — “Freedom’s Just Another Word”)

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 6.7 — Life During Wartime (cont.)

November 17th, 2011 · No Comments

“Mighty is the sin that arises from the destruction of one who has been offered shelter.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kanda, Sarga 12 High Street 6.7 — “Life During Wartime” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 6.8 — “Life During Wartime” (fin.))

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Tags: High Street · Valmiki Ramayana · Words

High Street 6.6 — Life During Wartime (cont.)

November 16th, 2011 · No Comments

“Writing should be playing.” — Donald Barthelme (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 6.6 — “Life During Wartime” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 6.7 — “Life During Wartime” (cont.))

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 6.5 — Life During Wartime (cont.)

November 15th, 2011 · No Comments

“The four social classes under late capitalism are artists, rich people, the middle class, [and] poor people—this being the order of rank and precedence.  As the dominant class (morally/intellectually speaking), artists have a clear social responsibility to care for and nurture the three lower classes.  This is not by any means their primary responsibility, which […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 6.4 — Life During Wartime (cont.)

November 14th, 2011 · No Comments

“Art is always aimed (like a rifle, if  you wish) at the middle class.  The working class has its own culture and will have no truck with fanciness of any kind.  The upper class owns the world and thus needs know no more about the world than is necessary for its orderly exploitation.  The notion […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 6.3 — Life During Wartime (cont.)

November 13th, 2011 · No Comments

“Where does desire go?  Always a traveling salesperson, desire goes hounding off into the trees, frequently, without direction from its putative master or mistress.  This is tragic and comic at the same time.  I should, in a well-ordered world, marry the intellectual hero my wicked uncle has selected for me.  Instead I run off with […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 6.2 — Life During Wartime (cont.)

November 12th, 2011 · No Comments

“Every woman artist will tell you that she exists in a universe of discourse created by men, works with a language created by men, a language suffused, colored, drenched in male desire.  That is, every woman artist is speaking a foreign language, like Beckett writing in French.  This should not be overstressed, because the languages […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 6.1 — Life During Wartime

November 11th, 2011 · No Comments

“It seems to me sometimes that we never got used to being on this earth and life is just one great, ongoing, incomprehensible blunder.” — W. G. Sebald, The Rings of Saturn High Street 6.1 — “Life During Wartime” is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 6.2 — “Life During Wartime” (cont.))

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Tags: High Street · Lit & Crit · W. G. Sebald · Words

High Street 5.5 — Criminal Defense (fin.)

November 10th, 2011 · No Comments

“Art is a commodity, art criticism is a commodity, the apple is a commodity, the air is a commodity, the ground under our feet is a commodity.  God is very much a commodity.  My emotions are a commodity, my desires the very locus of commodification.  My last illness is a commodity (twenty-two days at so […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 5.4 — Criminal Defense (cont.)

November 9th, 2011 · 1 Comment

“One of the pleasures of art is that it enables the mind to move in unanticipated directions, to make connections that may be in some sense errors but are fruitful nonetheless.” — Donald Barthelme, “Reifications” (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 5.4 — “Criminal Defense” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 5.5 — “Criminal […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 5.3 — Criminal Defense (cont.)

November 8th, 2011 · No Comments

“One of the characteristics of the ideal is that it is always receding, slipping away from us, ungraspable.” — Donald Barthelme, “Nudes” (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 5.3 — “Criminal Defense” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 5.4 — “Criminal Defense” (cont.))

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 5.2 — Criminal Defense (cont.)

November 7th, 2011 · No Comments

“It is the vocation of the artist, the fiction writer, the playwright, and the poet, to create new language.” — Walker Percy, quoted in “A Symposium on Fiction” (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 5.2 — “Criminal Defense” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 5.3 — “Criminal Defense” (cont.))

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 5.1 — Criminal Defense

November 6th, 2011 · No Comments

“You are not obliged to complete the work, but neither are you free to evade it.” — Rabbi Tarfon, Pirkei Avot High Street 5.1 — “Criminal Defense” is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 5.2 — “Criminal Defense” (cont.))

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Tags: High Street · The Ancients · Words

High Street 4.9 — Radio Stars and Hemp TV (fin.)

November 5th, 2011 · No Comments

“Words get worn out, and instead of conveying meaning they act either as simulacra to conceal meaning or as if they were transparencies with no meaning.” — Walker Percy, quoted in “A Symposium on Fiction” (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 4.9 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (fin.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 4.8 — Radio Stars and Hemp TV (cont.)

November 4th, 2011 · No Comments

“Not everything is unsayable in words, only the living truth.” — Eugene Ionesco, quoted in “A Symposium on Fiction” (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 4.8 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 4.9 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (fin.))

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words

High Street 4.7 — Radio Stars and Hemp TV (cont.)

November 3rd, 2011 · 3 Comments

“It is no Disgrace to be Poor; it is simply Inconvenient.” — George Ade, from Fables in Slang High Street 4.7 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 4.8 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (cont.))

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Tags: Economics · High Street · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Words

High Street 4.6 — Radio Stars and Hemp TV (cont.)

November 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

“A little thing may be perfect, but perfection is not a little thing.” — Thomas Bailey Aldrich (from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. X, Sec. 3) High Street 4.6 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (cont.) is posted today. (Tomorrow: High Street 4.7 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” […]

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Tags: High Street · Lit & Crit · The Cambridge History of English and American Literature · Words

High Street 4.5 — Radio Stars and Hemp TV (cont.)

November 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

“Every writer in the country can write a beautiful sentence, or a hundred.  What I am interested in is the ugly sentence that is also somehow beautiful.  I agree that this is a highly-specialized enterprise.” — Donald Barthelme, “On ‘Paraguay’” (from Not-Knowing, ed. Herzinger) High Street 4.5 — “Radio Stars and Hemp TV” (cont.) is […]

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Tags: Donald Barthelme · High Street · Lit & Crit · Words