The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from December 2011

My ears are ringing and no lo entiendo

December 31st, 2011 · No Comments

“Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

A plague upon the nation

December 30th, 2011 · No Comments

“Graphomania (an obsession with writing books) takes on the proportions of a mass epidemic whenever a society develops to the point where it can provide three basic conditions: 1. a high enough degree of general well-being to enable people to devote their energies to useless activities; 2. an advanced state of social atomization and the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

I’m ready for my close-up

December 29th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Police files are our only claim to immortality.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

You can get a grant for that

December 28th, 2011 · 4 Comments

“People are always shouting they want to create a better future.  It’s not true.  The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone.  The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it.  The only reason people want to be masters of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The Weight

December 27th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (trans. Heim)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Point zero-zero

December 26th, 2011 · No Comments

“Each person must, on some level, take himself as the calibration point for normalcy, must assume that the room of his own mind is not, cannot be, entirely opaque to him.  Perhaps this is what we mean by sanity: that, whatever our self-admitted eccentricities might be, we are not the villains of our own stories.” […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Teju Cole

Christmas

December 25th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“If you’re too loyal to your own suffering, you forget that others suffer, too.” — Teju Cole, Open City

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Teju Cole

Just in time for the holidays

December 24th, 2011 · No Comments

“There is always a bull market for vengeance and violence in America.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit

Waterboarding, for instance

December 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

“Different people want different things in this world, and you have to be careful about taking risks.  Hungry people have the cunning of wild beasts.  A thing that seemed strange and wrong yesterday can seem perfectly reasonable tomorrow, or vice versa.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

This will not make you feel safe

December 22nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Everybody you see these days might have the power to get you locked up….  Who knows why?  They will have reasons straight out of some horrible Kafka story, but in the end it won’t matter any more than a full moon behind clouds.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear (ellipsis in original)

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

There’s one right over there

December 21st, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Vicious thieves have always ruled the world.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Economics · Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Apples and oranges

December 20th, 2011 · No Comments

“I haven’t found a drug yet that can get you anywhere near as high as sitting at a desk writing, trying to imagine a story no matter how bizarre it is.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit

You can try this at home

December 19th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit

Distant haze over the credibility gap

December 18th, 2011 · No Comments

“Never believe the first thing an FBI agent tells you about anything–especially not if he seems to believe you are guilty of a crime.  Maybe he has no evidence.  Maybe he’s bluffing.  Maybe you are innocent.  Maybe.  The Law can be hazy on these things.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

And don’t you forget it

December 17th, 2011 · No Comments

“The only real difference between the Sane and the Insane, in this world, is the Sane have the power to have the Insane locked up.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Sorta makes it all worth it

December 16th, 2011 · 4 Comments

“Every once in a while, but not often, you can sit down and write a thing that you know is going to stand people’s hair on end for the rest of their lives—a perfect memory of some kind, like a vision, and you can see the words rolling out of your fingers and bouncing around […]

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Lit & Crit

Stating what should be the obvious

December 15th, 2011 · 4 Comments

“Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.  In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously.  Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher.  For good or […]

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Tags: Hunter S. Thompson · Politics & Law

Stuff it full of catnip

December 14th, 2011 · No Comments

“If we cannot accept the importance of the world, which considers itself important, if in the midst of that world our laughter finds no echo, we have but one choice: to take the world as a whole and make it into the object of our game; to turn it into a toy.” — Milan Kundera, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Can’t say if it’s a good thing or not

December 13th, 2011 · 6 Comments

“It has been extremely lucky that up to now wars have been fought only by men.  If they had been fought by women, they would have been so consistently cruel that today there wouldn’t be a single human being left on the planet.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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

The unmoved episode

December 12th, 2011 · No Comments

“If our lives were endless, like the lives of the gods of antiquity, the concept of episode would lose its meaning, for in infinity every event, no matter how trivial, would meet up with its consequence and unfold into a story.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Watch your step

December 11th, 2011 · No Comments

“No episode is a priori condemned to remain an episode forever, for every event, no matter how trivial, conceals within itself the possibility of sooner or later becoming the cause of other events and thus changing into a story or an adventure.  Episodes are like land mines.  The majority of them never explode, but the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Sleeping on the slats

December 10th, 2011 · 6 Comments

“Life is as stuffed with episodes as a mattress is with horsehair, but a poet (according to Aristotle) is not an upholsterer and must remove all stuffing from his story, even though real life consists of nothing but precisely such stuffing.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

In our next episode, Biff boffs Bambi

December 9th, 2011 · No Comments

“In Aristotle’s Poetics, the episode is an important concept.  Aristotle did not like episodes.  According to him, an episode, from the point of view of poetry, is the worst possible type of event.  It is neither an unavoidable consequence of preceding action nor the cause of what is to follow: it is outside the causal […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The answer could be yes

December 8th, 2011 · 2 Comments

“Isn’t the cause of most bad paintings and bad novels simply the fact that artists consider their passion for art something holy, some sort of mission if not duty (duty to oneself, even to mankind)?” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

The bearable happiness of being

December 7th, 2011 · No Comments

“Living, there is no happiness in that.  Living: carrying one’s painful self through the world.  But being, being is happiness.  Being: becoming a fountain, a fountain on which the universe falls like warm rain.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

That’s why we write them

December 6th, 2011 · No Comments

“What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Taking the slow low road

December 5th, 2011 · No Comments

“Road: a strip of ground over which one walks.  A highway differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point to another.  A highway has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Never getting it right

December 4th, 2011 · No Comments

“To be mortal is the most basic human experience, and yet man has never been able to accept it, grasp it, and behave accordingly.  Man doesn’t know how to be mortal.  And when he dies, he doesn’t even know how to be dead.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Pinch him and see what he thinks

December 3rd, 2011 · 4 Comments

“I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches.  I feel, therefore I am is a truth much more universally valid.” — Milan Kundera, Immortality (trans. Kussi, emphasis in original)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Strap yourself in

December 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

“He that, renouncing righteousness and the good, devotes himself to pleasure solely, is like a man that falling asleep on top of a tree, wakes when he has fallen down.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindhakanda Sarga 38

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Ancients · Valmiki Ramayana