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 2013

Double shift on the binder line

April 30th, 2013 · No Comments

“Most people who think they are practicing law are actually making binders, and my guess is that most people who think they are doing whatever important thing they are doing are making binders. The binders from law firms go to a locker in a warehouse in a parking lot in an office park off an […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit

You figure out what’s important

April 30th, 2013 · No Comments

“As you get older, you start to realize that what actually holds relationships together is just liking the other person in the relationship, wanting them to be around, feeling like they increase the value of your time and that you, despite your evil cursed nature, can do the same for them.” — Jeanne Thornton (interviewed […]

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Tags: Jessa Crispin · Verandah

Hold the fame, just hand over the fortune

April 29th, 2013 · No Comments

“It is possible to find fame at the wrong time. The gods get distracted and send their gifts too late or too soon. If fame comes when we still need it too much, that shining light of acceptance every artist dreams of and chases after, then fame can destroy us. If we still believe it […]

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Tags: Jessa Crispin · Lit & Crit

Do a full-body fake

April 29th, 2013 · No Comments

“What sounds fresh today will stink rotten tomorrow. As a writer you must make a choice: try to catch up with the slang or create your own language that will be fresh and alive always, even after you pass.” – Mikhail Shishkin (interviewed by Jessa Crispin in “Sifting the Desperate Lies from the Truth”)

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Tags: Jessa Crispin · Lit & Crit

To the barricades!

April 28th, 2013 · No Comments

“If it is to remain something meaningful, philosophy does not have to limit itself to describing things, it has to make things happen, it has to effectuate a change. That’s why the locus of philosophy, the place where it dwells, is not the books, nor the academic papers, but the body of the philosopher. Philosophy […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

“Lost Things and Missing Persons”

April 28th, 2013 · 4 Comments

Litro, A Little London Literary Magazine published my story, “Lost Things and Missing Persons,” today in their Story Sunday.  You can find it here if you like: http://www.litro.co.uk/ The editors changed a couple spellings to reflect British spelling.  They also incited me to tighten up the ending of the story.  Endings are probably my weakest […]

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Tags: Previously Published Stories · Words

The view from within the hall of mirrors

April 28th, 2013 · No Comments

“The writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original; his only power is to combine the different kinds of writing, to oppose some by others, so as never to sustain himself by just one of them; if he wants to express himself, at least he should know that the internal ‘thing’ he claims […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Roland Barthes

Tissue of a certain kind of lie, too

April 27th, 2013 · No Comments

“We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message’ of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Roland Barthes

“Yttat” again

April 27th, 2013 · 3 Comments

“Yttat” was published in the Fall 2012 issue of Mayday Magazine.  I posted the link to that earlier this week; today I posted the story to the “Previously  Published Stories” sidebar on this website. I knew the story was going to be published by Mayday but lost track of when it was due to come out.  […]

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Tags: Previously Published Stories · Words

You may not become one in any amount of time

April 27th, 2013 · No Comments

“You don’t become a great poet in your spare time.” – Jack Gilbert (interviewed by Gordon Lish in “Poetry Is the Art of Prejudice”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Gordon Lish Notes

It’s really great shit, man

April 26th, 2013 · No Comments

“We are in danger from a glut of mediocrity of an extraordinary high calibre.” – Jack Gilbert (interviewed by Gordon Lish in “Poetry Is the Art of Prejudice”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Gordon Lish Notes

It’s like the universe

April 26th, 2013 · No Comments

“In a work of art, there is a reason why everything happens. Sometimes the author doesn’t even know what the reason is, but some part of them has picked and chosen and arranged. And the art is getting all those demands right.” – William H. Gass (interviewed by Greg Gerke in “Many-Layered Anger”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Barf into the toilet, please

April 25th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“You can’t just write by spilling the words on the page. You have to arrange them. And you have to arrange them not only in terms of one another, but with the sentences that came before, and the sentences you haven’t written yet. They have a demand.” – William H. Gass (interviewed by Greg Gerke […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

Utilitarianism, for instance

April 25th, 2013 · No Comments

“Most philosophy is utterly wrong, but oh god, it’s sometimes very gorgeous, and sees connections that can be lived by.” – William H. Gass (interviewed by Greg Gerke in “Many-Layered Anger”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

In the end was the word

April 24th, 2013 · No Comments

“Add radio to print and the word became ubiquitous. It overhung the head like smoke and had to be ignored as one ignores most noise. It was by loose use corrupted, by misuse debased, by overuse destroyed. It flew in any eye that opened, in any ear hands didn’t hide, and became, instead of the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

But we’re all so special

April 24th, 2013 · No Comments

“Too many writers write about their lives. It’s easier, and it’s seductive, and it can be catastrophic. ‘It happened to me, and therefore it must be interesting.’ You know, that’s sort of awful.” – William H. Gass (interviewed by Greg Gerke in “Many-Layered Anger”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William H. Gass

He might even be a writer

April 23rd, 2013 · 2 Comments

“Nobody is as crazy as a man who thinks he is important.” – Alasdair Gray, Lanark

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Tags: Alasdair Gray · Lit & Crit

Assemblage, anyone?

April 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

“If the maker’s mind is prepared, the immediate materials are always suitable.” – Alasdair Gray, Lanark

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Tags: Alasdair Gray · Lit & Crit

“Yttat”

April 22nd, 2013 · 4 Comments

Mayday Magazine published my story, “Yttat,” in their Fall 2012 issue.  Here’s the link to the contents page: http://www.maydaymagazine.com/issue6tableofcontents.php I’ll probably add the story to the “Previously Published Stories” sidebar this coming weekend, but you can read it through the link on the Mayday contents page any time you like.  If you like.  

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Tags: Previously Published Stories · Words

You don’t want him to go planting any bombs or anything

April 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

“It is a dangerous thing to suddenly deprive a man of hope–he can turn violent.  It is important to kill hope slowly, so that the loser has time to adjust unconsciously to the loss.” – Alasdair Gray, Lanark (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Alasdair Gray · Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The dark energy of silence

April 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

“Silence is always proper.  When I understand this better I’ll stop talking.  You won’t be able to hear me for miles.  I will radiate silence like a dark star shining in the gaps between syllables and conversation.” – Alasdair Gray, Lanark

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Tags: Alasdair Gray · Lit & Crit

It’s a true story

April 21st, 2013 · No Comments

“Stories are the most durable texture of life for us. Not forms of societies, but stories. Stories are really what keeps everything together, in a way. When you are abandoned by stories — when you go back beyond the invention of writing, beyond the literary tradition — you feel of course lost: because one needs […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Probably closer than almost

April 21st, 2013 · No Comments

“Conceive yourself, if possible, suddenly stripped of all the emotion with which your world now inspires you, and try to imagine it as it exists, purely by itself, without your favorable or unfavorable, hopeful or apprehensive comment. It will be almost impossible for you to realize such a condition of negativity and deadness. No one […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William James

Let’s get this straight

April 20th, 2013 · No Comments

“A problem is determinate if it has a definite number of solutions, indeterminate if it has an indefinite number of solutions, and impossible if it has no solution.” – G. A. Wentworth, Plane Geometry (emphases in original)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Mathematics

If at first you don’t fail, try, try again

April 20th, 2013 · No Comments

“Failure, then, failure! so the world stamps us at every turn. We strew it with our blunders, our misdeeds, our lost opportunities, with all the memorials of our inadequacy to our vocation. And with what a damning emphasis does it then blot us out! No easy fine, no mere apology or formal expiation, will satisfy […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William James

Failure any way you slice it

April 19th, 2013 · No Comments

“How can things so insecure as the successful experiences of this world afford a stable anchorage? A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain. In the healthiest and most prosperous existence, how many links of illness, danger, and disaster are always interposed? Unsuspectedly from the bottom of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William James

Where’s the market for that?

April 19th, 2013 · No Comments

“Neither goodness nor generosity nor courtesy can exist, any more than friendship can, if they are not sought of and for themselves, but are cultivated only for the sake of sensual pleasure or personal advantage.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Officiis (trans. Miller)

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Tags: Cicero · Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Being a better person makes you a better person

April 18th, 2013 · No Comments

“It’s a favorite myth in our culture that hardship makes you a better person, that it is merely the grindstone on which your essence is refined and polished. But the truth is that scarcity, depression, thwarted ambition, and suffering most often leaves the person a little twisted. That is the territory where mean drunks and […]

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Tags: Jessa Crispin · Lit & Crit · William James

Toss me a lifejacket

April 18th, 2013 · No Comments

“[William] James is now a bit of an odd fellow in philosophy. More widely influential than widely known, his theory of pragmatism and his groundbreaking work in the field of psychology make him something of a hidden mover. If you do seek him out, it’s not generally in the way one reads Descartes or Kant […]

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Tags: Jessa Crispin · Lit & Crit · William James

Yin your yang and yang your yin

April 17th, 2013 · 4 Comments

“Sexism bifurcates human qualities into masculine and feminine. It imposes a gender binary where being a man means not being like a woman and vice-versa. Sexism is often another name for patriarchy, meaning a hierarchy or a rule of priests where the hieros, the priest, is a pater, a father. It designates an order of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit