The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from January 2012

God help me, my skin is stuck

January 31st, 2012 · 2 Comments

“What iniquity is there which cannot be perpetrated by the angry?  They can even slay the worshipful and vilify the pious with harsh words.  The angry cannot decide what should be spoken and what not.  There is no vice which cannot be committed by them, and there is nothing which cannot be spoken by them.  […]

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Tags: The Ancients · Valmiki Ramayana

The trinity of democracy

January 30th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Sports, politics, and religion are the three passions of the badly educated.” — William H. Gass, “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Granta Book of the American Short Story

Something for husbands and wives

January 29th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“I shall not give sanctuary to suspicion, for it eats the bowels like a slow acid.” — Joseph Stanley Pennell, The History of Rome Hanks and Kindred Matters

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Tags: American Civil War · Lit & Crit

The bearable lightness of beings

January 28th, 2012 · 18 Comments

“Love is infinite and one.  Women are not.  Neither are men.  The human condition.  Nearly unbearable.” — Leonard Michaels, “City Boy”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Granta Book of the American Short Story

Here comes one now!

January 27th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“In a crisis you discover everything.  Then it’s too late.  Know yourself, indeed.  You need a crisis every day.” — Leonard Michaels, “City Boy”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Granta Book of the American Short Story

CDOs, anyone?

January 26th, 2012 · No Comments

“Old men are just as bad as young men when it comes to money.  They can’t think.  They always try to buy what they should have for free.  And what they buy, after they have it, is nothing.” — James Alan McPherson, “A Solo Song: For Doc”

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · The Granta Book of the American Short Story

Old road closed

January 25th, 2012 · 6 Comments

High Street has been accepted for publication by Outpost19, “Provocative Digital Publishing” (http://outpost19.com/), so I have removed it this morning from this website.  Excerpts from it may be re-posted here soon as part of the marketing of the book, which should be available for purchase as an e-book through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com (and […]

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Tags: High Street · Verandah · Words

With men it’s violence

January 24th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“The great and almost only comfort about being a woman is that one can always pretend to be more stupid than one is and no one is surprised.” — Freya Stark (quoted in “East Is West” by Claudia Roth Pierpont)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Artists know

January 23rd, 2012 · 5 Comments

“The great and tragic fact of experience is the fact of effort and passionate toil which never finds complete satisfaction. This eternal frustration of our ideals or will is an essential part of spiritual life, and enriches it just as the shadows enrich the picture or certain discords bring about richer harmony.” — Morris R. […]

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

When science was king

January 22nd, 2012 · No Comments

“Commonly we fix beliefs by reiterating them, by surrounding them with emotional safeguards, and by avoiding anything which casts doubt upon them—by ‘the will to believe.’ This method breaks down when the community ceases to be homogeneous. Social effort, by the method of authority, to eliminate diversity of beliefs also fails in the end to […]

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

The view from without the cave

January 21st, 2012 · No Comments

“Intellectual pioneers are rarely gregarious creatures. In their isolation they lose touch with those who follow the beaten paths, and when they return to the community they speak strangely of strange sights, so that few have the faith to follow them and change their trails into high roads.” — Morris R. Cohen, The Cambridge History […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Plato · The Cambridge History of English and American Literature

Ideas whose time came

January 20th, 2012 · 5 Comments

“Out of unrestricted competition arise many wrongs that the State must redress and many abuses which it must check. It may become the duty of the State to reform its taxation, so that its burdens shall rest less heavily upon the lower classes; to repress monopolies of all sorts; to prevent and punish gambling; to […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Cambridge History of English and American Literature

Welcome to America

January 19th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Dishonest men can be bought and ignorant men can be manipulated. This is the kind of government which private capital, invested in public-service industries, naturally feels that it must have.” — Washington Gladden (quoted in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 12)

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Cambridge History of English and American Literature

True equality

January 18th, 2012 · 4 Comments

“Whether in the enjoyment of vast riches, or immersed in the abyss of miseries, Death is pulling a man, binding him roughly with a cord.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Sundarakanda Sarga 37

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Tags: The Ancients · Valmiki Ramayana

Better that than cursing blind

January 17th, 2012 · No Comments

“While the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.  There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” — James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Granta Book of the American Short Story · Verandah

The inside dope

January 16th, 2012 · No Comments

“99 percent of lawyers don’t understand the prison designation and correctional process, and the 1 percent who do are all doing time.” — Ellis & Shummon, Federal Prison Guidebook

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Tags: Verandah

Just add water

January 15th, 2012 · No Comments

“The beginning of everything is damp and small, but wide-armed oaks—according to myth, legend, and the folk tales of the people—from solitary acorns grow.” — Grace Paley, “In Time Which Made a Monkey of Us All”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Granta Book of the American Short Story

That’s because they’re magicians

January 14th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Doctors mostly sustain themselves in a medium of false ideas, the word ‘doctor’ casting about them, so they think, a sort of magical aura.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

Otherwise it’s senseless

January 13th, 2012 · No Comments

“There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

It can be a sneaky beast

January 12th, 2012 · 4 Comments

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

There’s always room for improvement, verdad?

January 11th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Americans have a special horror of giving up control, of letting things happen in their own way without interference.  They would like to jump down into their stomachs and digest the food and shovel the shit out.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

Put down that weapon, please

January 10th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Push your mind too hard and it will fuck up like an overloaded switchboard, or turn on you with sabotage.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

Looks like it’s metastasized

January 9th, 2012 · No Comments

“Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer.  A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

But it’s been so upliftingish

January 8th, 2012 · No Comments

“There can be no doubt that American literature has considerably suffered from the platitudinous didactic note.” — George S. Hellman, The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Book III, Ch. XIII, Sec. 16

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

Get it right, people

January 7th, 2012 · No Comments

“A functioning police state needs no police.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

Is there an app for that?

January 6th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Western man is externalizing himself in the form of gadgets.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William S. Burroughs

Barge-totin’ and bale-liftin’ with a passion

January 5th, 2012 · No Comments

“Whatever one does with vigor bears fruit.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Sundarakanda Sarga 12

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Tags: The Ancients · Valmiki Ramayana

One certainly hopes so

January 4th, 2012 · 3 Comments

“Perseverance is the source of good fortune.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Sundarakanda Sarga 12

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Tags: The Ancients · Valmiki Ramayana

Call me any name you like

January 3rd, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Honor is conscious and willing loyalty to the highest inward leading.  It is the quality which cannot be insulted.” — George William Curtis (quoted in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XIII, Sec. 4)

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

Look out, it’s right beside you

January 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

“It takes so little, so infinitely little, for a person to cross the border beyond which everything loses meaning: love, convictions, faith, history.  Human life–and herein lies its secret–takes place in the immediate proximity of that border, even in direct contact with it; it is not miles away, but a fraction of an inch.” — […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera