The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from June 2014

Pencil envy

June 30th, 2014 · No Comments

“The man of letters envies the painter, he would like to take notes and make sketches, but it is disastrous for him to do so. Yet when he writes, there is not a single gesture of his characters, not a trick of behaviour, not a tone of voice which has not been supplied to his […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

And if you get drunk, you end up in jail

June 29th, 2014 · No Comments

“One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · William Faulkner

Congratulations

June 28th, 2014 · No Comments

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Tags: Politics & Law · Verandah

Look, it’s right there

June 28th, 2014 · No Comments

“We have to rediscover, to reapprehend, to make ourselves fully aware of that reality, remote from our daily preoccupations, from which we separate ourselves by an ever greater gulf as the conventional knowledge which we substitute for it grows thicker and more impermeable, that reality which it is very easy for us to die without […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Pack your kit with these

June 27th, 2014 · No Comments

“A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination—any two of which, at times any one of which—can supply the lack of the others.” – William Faulkner (interview with Jean Stein in Paris Review)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

1 + 1 = story

June 26th, 2014 · No Comments

“An image presented to us by life brings with it, in a single moment, sensations which are in fact multiple and heterogeneous. The sight, for instance, of the binding of a book once read may weave into the characters of its title the moonlight of a distant summer night. The taste of our breakfast coffee […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

A compass by any other name would still point as true

June 25th, 2014 · No Comments

“No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by the word. It is every individual’s individual code of behavior, by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol—cross or crescent or whatever—that symbol is […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

Branded

June 24th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is perhaps as much by the quality of his language as by the species of aesthetic theory which he advances that one may judge the level to which a writer has attained in the moral and intellectual part of his work. Quality of language, however, is something the critical theorists think that they can […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

It’s all pointless garbage

June 23rd, 2014 · No Comments

“The quality an artist must have is objectivity in judging his work, plus the honesty and courage not to kid himself about it.” – William Faulkner (interview with Jean Stein in Paris Review)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

That’s a wrap

June 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

“Instinct dictates our duty and the intellect supplies us with pretexts for evading it. But excuses have no place in art and intentions count for nothing: at every moment the artist has to listen to his instinct, and it is this that makes art the most real of all things, the most austere school of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Stick a pencil in his ear

June 21st, 2014 · No Comments

“Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

The eureka moment

June 20th, 2014 · No Comments

“It is sometimes just at the moment when we think that everything is lost that the intimation arrives which may save us; one has knocked at all the doors which lead nowhere, and then one stumbles without knowing it on the only door through which one can enter—which one might have sought in vain for […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

The beloved buzzard

June 19th, 2014 · No Comments

“If I were reincarnated, I’d want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything.” – William Faulkner (interview with Jean Stein in Paris Review)

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

Revolutions are now televised

June 18th, 2014 · No Comments

“When we study certain periods of ancient history, we are astonished to see men and women individually good participate without scruple in mass assassinations or human sacrifices which probably seemed to them natural things. And our own age no doubt, when its history is read two thousand years hence, will seem to an equal degree […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Not all the MFAs in Iowa

June 17th, 2014 · No Comments

“Nothing can injure a man’s writing if he’s a first-rate writer. If a man is not a first-rate writer, there’s not anything can help it much.” – William Faulkner (interview with Jean Stein in Paris Review)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

End of the line, all riders must detrain

June 16th, 2014 · No Comments

“Cathedrals are to be adored until the day when, to preserve them, it would be necessary to deny the truths which they teach.” – Marcel Proust, Time Regained (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

How low can you go?

June 15th, 2014 · No Comments

“The writer doesn’t need economic freedom. All he needs is a pencil and some paper. I’ve never known anything good in writing to come from having accepted any free gift of money. The good writer never applies to a foundation. He’s too busy writing something. If he isn’t first rate he fools himself by saying […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

Listen, children, to my story

June 14th, 2014 · No Comments

“The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do.” George Orwell, “Review of Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler”

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Tags: George Orwell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Straightening the priorities

June 13th, 2014 · No Comments

“The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

Grandma’s gettin’ old now

June 12th, 2014 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

Gigo was a smooth-talking fellow

June 12th, 2014 · No Comments

“How many letters are actually read into a word by a careless person who knows what to expect, who sets out with the idea that the message is from a certain person? How many words into the sentence? We guess as we read, we create; everything starts from an initial error; those that follow (and […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

You don’t want to meet one in the dark

June 11th, 2014 · No Comments

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don’t know why they choose him and he’s usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

And that’s the truth

June 10th, 2014 · No Comments

“Lying is essential to humanity. It plays as large a part perhaps as the quest for pleasure, and is moreover governed by that quest. One lies in order to protect one’s pleasure, or one’s honour if the disclosure of one’s pleasure runs counter to one’s honour. One lies all one’s life long, even, especially, perhaps […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write novels.

June 9th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.” – William Faulkner (interview with Jean Stein in Paris Review)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

Ottoman rots on

June 8th, 2014 · No Comments

“I hate the corpses of empires—they stink as nothing else. They stink so badly that I cannot believe that even in life they were healthy.” – Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

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Tags: Politics & Law

Why do we even bother

June 7th, 2014 · No Comments

“What is important is Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, not who wrote them, but that somebody did. The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · William Faulkner

What’s love got to do with it

June 6th, 2014 · No Comments

“Certain philosophers assert that the external world does not exist, and that it is within ourselves that we develop our lives. However that may be, love, even in its humblest beginnings, is a striking example of how little reality means to us.” – Marcel Proust, The Fugitive (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Here’s looking at you, kid

June 5th, 2014 · No Comments

“The two chief causes of error in one’s relations with another person are, having oneself a kind heart, or else being in love with that other person. We fall in love for a smile, a look, a shoulder. That is enough; then, in the long hours of hope or sorrow, we fabricate a person, we […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

Steadying into the wind

June 4th, 2014 · No Comments

“We believe that we can change things around us in accordance with our desires—we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust

We’re all guilty from the get-go

June 3rd, 2014 · No Comments

”There is hardly ever either a just sentence or a judicial error, but a sort of compromise between the false idea that the judge forms of an innocent act and the culpable deeds of which he is unaware.” – Marcel Proust, The Fugitive (trans. Moncrieff and Kilmartin)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Marcel Proust