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 2014

Sloths and dogs, hummingbirds and guppies, mayflies and mites

April 30th, 2014 · No Comments

“I usually compare the novel to a mammal, be it wild as a tiger or tame as a cow; the short story to a bird or a fish; the micro story to an insect (iridescent in the best cases).” – Luisa Valenzuela (as quoted in Robet Shapard’s “The Remarkable Reinvention of Very Short Fiction”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Being individuals together

April 29th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is very rarely that any of us has the courage of his own originality and does not apply himself diligently to resembling the most approved models.” – Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Deflation of the demos

April 28th, 2014 · No Comments

“It would seem that in an egalitarian society social etiquette would vanish, not, as is generally supposed, from want of breeding, but because on the one side would disappear the deference due to a prestige which must be imaginary to be effective, and on the other, more completely still, the affability that is gracefully and […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust · Politics & Law

The long way around

April 27th, 2014 · No Comments

“An artist has no need to express his thought directly in his work for the latter to reflect its quality; it has even been said that the highest praise of God consists in the denial of him by the atheist who finds creation so perfect that it can dispense with a creator.” – Marcel Proust, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Free at last

April 26th, 2014 · No Comments

“A dead writer can at least be illustrious without any strain on himself. The effulgence of his name stops short at his gravestone. In the deafness of eternal sleep he is not importuned by Glory.” – Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Wanton top, ceaselessly a-spin

April 25th, 2014 · No Comments

“The short story has been all over and there’s no telling where else it will go. All over, but not everywhere. It’s not an exhaustible form, any more than the novel is or the poem.” – Noy Holland (in Hilary Plum’s “Stop Up Your Ears and Secede”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Noy Holland

The decisive record

April 24th, 2014 · No Comments

“Character is a function of language—a collection of errors and deviations that resonate with certain behaviors. As with every other element in fiction, it is a record of a writer’s decisions.” – Noy Holland (in Hilary Plum’s “Stop Up Your Ears and Secede”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Noy Holland

No fun at parties

April 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

“Character starts with the alphabet. Letters: words: sentences. Any individual human is immensely complex and contradictory and it would be sheer tedium to encounter this complexity, fully and accurately recorded on the page. ‘Fleshed out,’ I believe the term is.”  – Noy Holland (in Hilary Plum’s “Stop Up Your Ears and Secede”)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Noy Holland

The ghosts that haunt us

April 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

“‘Do you hear voices?’ asks the doctor. I say yes. What I hear is the muttering phantom, the mouse gnawing at the door. The wind in the mind of the trees. Nothing mindful or coherent. From the muttering, I try to make coherence: people call this voice, but why not call it character? If character […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Noy Holland

It’s right in front of you and you’re headed straight for it

April 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“We may, indeed, say that the hour of death is uncertain, but when we say this we think of that hour as situated in a vague and remote expanse of time; it does not occur to us that it can have any connexion with the day that has already dawned and can mean that death—or […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Where would we be without us?

April 20th, 2014 · No Comments

“Submit to being called a neurotic. You belong to that splendid and pitiable family which is the salt of the earth. Everything we think of as great has come to us from neurotics. It is they and they alone who found religions and create great works of art. The world will never realise how much […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

We’ve got a pill for that

April 19th, 2014 · No Comments

“Medicine being a compendium of the successive and contradictory mistakes of medical practitioners, when we summon the wisdom of them to our aid the chances are that we may be relying on a scientific truth the error of which will be recognised in a few years’ time. So that to believe in medicine would be […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Ghosts trapped in a crumbling prison

April 18th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is in sickness that we are compelled to recognise that we do not live alone but are chained to a being from a different realm, from whom we are worlds apart, who has no knowledge of us and by whom it is impossible to make ourselves understood: our body. Were we to meet a […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

The price of everything

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

“(a) We live in a society of commodities—that is, a society in which production of goods is taking place, not primarily to satisfy human wants and needs, but for profit. Human needs are satisfied only incidentally, as it were. This basic condition of production affects the form of the product as well as the human […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

That’s why bullets are made out of lead

April 16th, 2014 · No Comments

“Diplomats know that, in the scales which ensure that balance of power, European or otherwise, which we call peace, good feeling, fine speeches, earnest entreaties weigh very little; and that the heavy weight, the true determinant consists in something else, in the possibility which the adversary enjoys, if he is strong enough, or does not […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust · Politics & Law

Be nice to your mom

April 15th, 2014 · No Comments

“You knock nature off balance, and ain’t nobody there to catch her.” – Tom Raspberry (quoted by Jon Mooallem in “There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’”)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Verandah

A place upon which, later, many flowers will grow

April 14th, 2014 · No Comments

“A battlefield has never been, and never will be throughout the centuries, simply the ground upon which a single battle has been fought. If it has been a battlefield, that was because it combined certain conditions of geographical position, of geological formation, even of certain defects calculated to hinder the enemy (a river, for instance, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Song for Palm Sunday

April 13th, 2014 · No Comments

 

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Tags: Verandah

Nested

April 13th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Poets claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Dreamers we be

April 12th, 2014 · No Comments

“One cannot properly describe human life unless one bathes it in the sleep into which it plunges night after night and which sweeps round it as a promontory is encircled by the sea.” – Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Stick it in and twist

April 11th, 2014 · No Comments

“Our cruellest adversaries are not those who contradict and try to convince us, but those who magnify or invent reports which are liable to distress us.” – Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust · Politics & Law

Meet the old boss

April 10th, 2014 · No Comments

“You look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying. . . . Yet all is calm and stillness in the houses and in the streets; of the fifty thousand living in a town, there is not […]

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Tags: Anton Chekhov · Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

A long march

April 9th, 2014 · No Comments

“We may talk for a lifetime without doing more than indefinitely repeat the vacuity of a minute, whereas the march of thought in the solitary work of artistic creation proceeds in depth, in the only direction that is not closed to us, along which we are free to advance—though with more effort, it is true—towards […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

No one is born with a gold star

April 8th, 2014 · No Comments

“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Fare thee well, my love

April 7th, 2014 · No Comments

“An artist, if he is to be absolutely true to the life of the spirit, must be alone, and not squander his ego, even upon disciples.” – Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Who shall I be today?

April 6th, 2014 · No Comments

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela, Long […]

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Tags: Nelson Mandela · Verandah

Methods of molting

April 5th, 2014 · No Comments

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Tags: Economics · Nelson Mandela · Politics & Law · Verandah

It’s all you need

April 4th, 2014 · No Comments

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela, Long Walk […]

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Tags: Economics · Nelson Mandela · Politics & Law · Verandah

Dreaming with my eyes wide open

April 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

“When a mind has a tendency towards day-dreams, it’s a mistake to shield it from them, to ration them. So long as you divert your mind from its day-dreams, it will not know them for what they are; you will be the victim of all sorts of appearances because you will not have grasped their […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Signs that block the way

April 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

“The names which designate things correspond invariably to an intellectual notion, alien to our true impressions, and compelling us to eliminate from them everything that is not in keeping with that notion.” – Marcel Proust, Within a Budding Grove (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust