The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from April 2012

Dig deep enough, you might find it

April 30th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“To think that suffering can be redeemed by the demonstration that it’s necessary for future good is not only to be instrumentalist; it shows you know nothing about pain.  Time itself does not heal; it only buries.” — Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

Among other things

April 29th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“If our life were without end and free from pain, it would possibly not occur to anyone to ask why the world exists.” – Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation (trans. Payne)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Schopenhauer

Careful, you’re gonna wear that thing out

April 28th, 2012 · 4 Comments

“Does experience really show that pleasure becomes insipid if it lasts long—or is this just the sort of thing we say for comfort because it usually doesn’t?” – Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

Is that the rock or the hard place?

April 27th, 2012 · 10 Comments

“Being human means to strive to realize a world so perfect that its realization would undo us.” – Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

Hit ’em again! Hit ’em again! Harder! Harder!

April 26th, 2012 · 7 Comments

“As an educational tool, pain has value nothing else can replace.” – Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

April 25th, 2012 · 3 Comments

“Freedom, if it’s universal freedom, must allow for the failure of others.” – Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

What if I plug this into that…?

April 24th, 2012 · 1 Comment

“Recognizing one’s limits seems a form of fair trade: if we withdraw some of our claims on the world, surely those remaining will be met.  Yet the wish to determine the world can’t be coherently limited, for you cannot know which event will turn out to be not just another event, but one that will […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

Cosmic psychopathy is probably not the solution

April 23rd, 2012 · 9 Comments

“To imagine a God who judges many of the forms of life He created to be sinful, then tortures us eternally for our brief participation in them, is hardly to imagine a solution to the problem of evil.” – Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

Objects of a study

April 22nd, 2012 · 4 Comments

“What if the world were created by a Being whose whole purpose was to cause us torment and illusion?  God knows it sometimes looks that way.” – Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Susan Neiman

You gotta scream without raising your voice

April 21st, 2012 · 3 Comments

Rarely do I get personal on this website.  Maybe a little in responding to the comments (which are almost exclusively from Averil Dean), but not out here on the main floor.  The past few months have been a time of significant transition for me, which I don’t expect to mean jack to anyone else, but […]

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Tags: Verandah

E pluribus unum, people

April 21st, 2012 · No Comments

“If Americans seriously want the United States to continue to exist in something like its current form, they had best respect the fundamental tenets of our unlikely union.  It cannot survive if we end the separation of church and state or institute the Baptist equivalent of Sharia law.  We won’t hold together if presidents appoint […]

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Tags: Colin Woodard · Politics & Law

Pulling into Nazareth

April 20th, 2012 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

No, he’s not talking about Facebook

April 20th, 2012 · 5 Comments

“Everywhere I see people who talk continually about themselves.  Their conversation is a mirror which always shows their own conceited faces.  They will talk to you about the tiniest events in their lives, which they expect to be magnified in your eyes by the interest that they themselves take in them.” – Montesquieu, “Letter 50,” […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Montesquieu

Busy little bees we be

April 19th, 2012 · 3 Comments

“Those who enjoy learning are never idle.” – Montesquieu, “Letter 48,” Persian Letters (trans. Betts)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Montesquieu

Solicit this

April 18th, 2012 · 1 Comment

“There is nothing that tests your commitment to a goal like getting a few doors closed in your face.” – James Richard Perry (quoted in the Nashville Post, 2009)

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Tags: Politics & Law

It’s a POV issue

April 17th, 2012 · No Comments

“The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.” – Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

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Tags: American Civil War · Lit & Crit

Hindbrain to the forefront

April 16th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“Nothing is more depressing than consolations based on the necessity of evil, the uselessness of remedies, the inevitability of fate, the order of Providence, or the misery of the human condition.  It is ridiculous to try to alleviate misfortune by observing that we are born to be miserable.  It is much better to prevent the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Montesquieu

Let’s get it straight, people

April 15th, 2012 · No Comments

“I would not have the anniversaries of our victories celebrated, nor those of our defeats made fast days and spent in humiliation and prayer; but I would like to see truthful history written.” – Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs

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Tags: American Civil War · Lit & Crit

100 Years Ago

April 14th, 2012 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

Running out of Gass

April 14th, 2012 · No Comments

“A limp that tells the world we are compensating for an injury becomes a habit hard to break even when its cause has healed and there is no longer any ‘reason’ for it.  Except that the limp wishes to remain.  Our stutter wants to stay.  Our fall from a ladder would be forever like a […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

What the word means

April 13th, 2012 · 4 Comments

“All of us have emotions urgently seeking release, and many of us have opinions we think would do the world some good; however, the poet must also be a maker, as the Greeks maintained, and, like the sculptor, like every other artist, should aim at adding real beings to the world, beings fully realized, not […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Out here on the perimeter

April 12th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“The world is not simply good and bad on different weekends like an inconsistent pitcher; we devour what we savor and what sustains us; out of ruins more ruins will after, in their polished towers, rise; lust is the muscle of love: its strength, its coarseness, its brutality; the heart beats and is beaten by […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

What writers can be like to live with

April 11th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“There are those who like to sail alone around the world; they shut themselves up in towers to write or watch for fires; in huts encased in ice, they give up their lives to loneliness; who hunt for pelts in the mountains or are driven with aimless intensity from place to place like sand through […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Tea, anyone?

April 10th, 2012 · 7 Comments

“Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has won.  It’s been a rout.  You have seen a period where American workers generally have gone no place, and where the really super rich as a group increased their incomes five for one in this rarefied atmosphere.” — Warren Buffet, quoted […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

It counts whether it’s made to or not

April 9th, 2012 · No Comments

“When Mies van der Rohe said that God was in the details, and Paul Valéry insisted that there were no details in execution, both meant the same thing—namely that every element of the work must be made to count.” — William H. Gass, “Three Lives,” from A Temple of Texts

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Happy Easter

April 8th, 2012 · 3 Comments

“I must say I trust hatred more than love.  It is frequently constructive, despite the propaganda to the contrary; it is less frequently practiced by hypocrites; it is more clearly understood; it is painfully purchased and therefore often earned; and its objects sometimes even deserve their hoped-for fate.  If you love the good, you have […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Let there be no misunderstanding

April 7th, 2012 · No Comments

“Everything around us is terrifying.  There is no longer a common language.  No one understands anyone else.  I believe no one wants to understand.” — Elias Canetti, The Agony of Flies (quoted in “Influence,” from A Temple of Texts, by William H. Gass (emphasis in original))

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

They end up smelling bad, too

April 6th, 2012 · 6 Comments

“If you enjoy the opinions you possess, if they give you a glow, be suspicious.  They may be possessing you.  An opinion should be treated like a guest who is likely to stay too late and drink all the whiskey.” — William H. Gass, “Influence,” from A Temple of Texts

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Drop and give me fifty

April 5th, 2012 · 2 Comments

“True strength, throughout its spectrum, shows itself through unflustered gentleness and forbearance, since only such strength has nothing to fear.” — William H. Gass, “Influence,” from A Temple of Texts

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

But you can get it with tenure and a pension

April 4th, 2012 · No Comments

“It may be that in a state of nature, since it is a state of war, the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, but in our present state of mediocrity, it is cowardly, shallow, tedious, banal, and uselessly drawn out.” — William H. Gass, “To a Young Friend Charged with Possession […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass