The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from February 2014

American Tune

February 28th, 2014 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

There was no need for more than two

February 28th, 2014 · No Comments

“Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn, and take high abstracted man alone; and he seems a wonder, a grandeur, and a woe. But from the same point, take mankind in mass, and for the most part, they seem a mob of unnecessary duplicates, both contemporary and hereditary.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

How they hop about

February 27th, 2014 · No Comments

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

It all depends on your point of view

February 26th, 2014 · No Comments

“There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. There is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, […]

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Tags: Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

You probably think this post is about you

February 25th, 2014 · No Comments

“The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon’s, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe. ‘All is vanity.’ ALL. This willful world hath not got hold of unchristian Solomon’s wisdom yet.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

Don’t look over there — look over here

February 24th, 2014 · No Comments

“Look not too long in the face of fire, O man! Never dream with thy hand on the helm! Turn not thy back to the compass; accept the first hint of the hitching tiller; believe not the artificial fire, when its redness makes all things look ghastly. To-morrow, in the natural sun, the skies will […]

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Tags: Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

Keeping it simple and direct

February 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

“By many prolonged, repeated experiences, I have perceived that in all cases man must eventually lower, or at least shift, his conceit of attainable felicity; not placing it anywhere in the intellect or the fancy; but in the wife, the heart, the bed, the table, the saddle, the fire-side, the country.” – Herman Melville, Moby […]

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

A tail to pin on any handy jackass

February 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

“There is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Verandah

It’s just a hunch

February 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“All have doubts; many deny; but doubts or denials, few along with them, have intuitions. Doubts of all things earthly, and intuitions of some things heavenly; this combination makes neither believer nor infidel, but makes a man who regards them both with equal eyes.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

Lips are sealed

February 20th, 2014 · No Comments

“Seldom have I known any profound being that had anything to say to this world, unless forced to stammer out something by way of getting a living.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Joke’s on everyone

February 19th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own. However, nothing dispirits, and nothing seems […]

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

A surfeit, even

February 18th, 2014 · No Comments

“Though of real knowledge there be little, yet of books there are a plenty.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

Straight from the belly

February 17th, 2014 · No Comments

“A good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and to be spent in […]

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Tags: Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

Sunday services at the Church of Mammon

February 16th, 2014 · No Comments

“There is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid,—what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly […]

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Tags: Economics · Herman Melville · Lit & Crit

Words to compose by

February 15th, 2014 · No Comments

“In your life there are a few places, or maybe only one place, where something has happened. And then there are the other places, which are just other places.” – Alice Munro, “Face”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Quash it!

February 14th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Every bourgeois in the flush of his youth, were it but for a day, a moment, has believed himself capable of immense passions, of lofty enterprises. The most mediocre libertine has dreamed of sultanas; every notary bears within him the debris of a poet.” – Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (trans. Marx-Aveling)

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Tags: Gustave Flaubert · Lit & Crit

All the morals money can buy

February 13th, 2014 · No Comments

“Self-possession depends on its environment. We don’t speak on the first floor as on the fourth; and the wealthy woman seems to have, about her, to guard her virtue, all her banknotes.” – Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (trans. Marx-Aveling)

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Tags: Gustave Flaubert · Lit & Crit

We all work for the banks

February 12th, 2014 · No Comments

“Writing appears to be easy, and physically of course it is. But the same could be said for science and finance and other relatively sedentary jobs that require mental discipline, and you don’t see anyone expecting those guys to work for free.” – Averil Dean, “Un-Job”

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Tags: Averil Dean · Economics · Lit & Crit

She’s in charge, though

February 11th, 2014 · No Comments

“She they call Fortune is a drunken, freakish drab, and above all, blind, so that she doesn’t see what she’s doing, and she does not know whom she raises or whom she pulls down.”– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote (trans. Starkie)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

We can’t hardly sell it, anyway

February 10th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Writers need to have an attitude. Not an ego, but we need to have more of a we-can-do-this-and-you-can’t attitude that lets the rest of the world know that we’re good at this because we’ve practiced and trained and we do it every goddam day. And that it has value because in this world where all […]

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Tags: Averil Dean · Economics · Lit & Crit

Skipping the trial

February 9th, 2014 · No Comments

“Aerial bombing of those who have no chance to retaliate is not a war but an unequal exchange, which by its very nature accelerates the process through which war becomes a policing action and the adversary becomes a criminal or a mere object of violent reprisal. Policing action both begins and ends with the criminalization […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

Will that be all, Mr. President?

February 8th, 2014 · No Comments

“A post of influence and deep responsibilities is often no better than a bottomless gulf of confusion.” – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote (trans. Starkie)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra · Politics & Law

Good luck with that

February 7th, 2014 · No Comments

“Some bribe, importune, solicit, rise early, pray, insist, and yet at the end do not obtain what they desire, while another comes and without knowing why or wherefore finds himself spirited into a position of rank and authority that many others had sought in vain. There is indeed much truth in the saying that ‘Merit […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Once more, into the breach. Go on, now.

February 6th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is far better for the brave man to mount to the height of rashness than to sink into the depths of cowardice, for just as it is easier for the generous than for the miser to be prodigal, so it is easier for the daring than for the cowardly to become truly valiant.” – […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Why?

February 5th, 2014 · No Comments

“I am certain that amorality is the natural condition of the psyche, the unconscious—or of whatever name you give that mysterious wellspring. Our dreams are evidence enough for me. I can’t argue the case for freedom in art as persuasively as Freud did, or as Jung did, or as any of their heirs did and […]

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Tags: Diane Williams · Lit & Crit

Sometimes cold, sometimes cloudy

February 4th, 2014 · No Comments

“The sentence is the site of your enterprise with words, the locale where language either comes to a head or does not. The sentence is a situation of words in the most literal sense: words must be situated in relation to others to produce an enduring effect on a reader. As you situate the words, […]

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Tags: Gary Lutz · Lit & Crit

Get up, get out

February 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

“The coward’s heart Fear-ridden will no joy of triumph know; Unblest is he That a bold front to Fortune does not show, But yields his soul And senses tamely to soft indolence.” – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote (trans. Starkie)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Just up from yawnsters

February 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

“Creative-writing classes are responsible for a lot of well-written fiction with very little to say, and a lot of reasonably vivid poetry capturing small moments with no larger resonance.” – Carol Iannone, “Creative-Writing Classes”

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Secrets the boys don’t tell

February 1st, 2014 · No Comments

“Love in most young men is not love but lust, and as its ultimate end is pleasure, it ceases once that end has been attained; and what appears to be love must disappear because it cannot pass the limits assigned to it by nature, whereas true affection knows none such limitations.” – Miguel de Cervantes […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra