The Art of Tetman Callis

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

The Art of Tetman Callis header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'Lit & Crit'

A road not taken

November 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“By around 1970 Europe and Japan had more or less recovered from the Second World War and were becoming economically competitive with the United States, which had recently wasted enormous resources in Southeast Asia. The US responded by reneging on the Bretton Woods regime: going off the gold standard, establishing the dollar as the world’s […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · George Scialabba

It only costs a nickel

November 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“Step right up; show me your life. I’ll show you the story you’re in. Nothing more important in this world, kid. Figure that out and you’re halfway out of the dark. Call them fairy tales, if that makes you feel good. If you call them fairy tales, then you don’t have to believe you’re in […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit

Succinct

November 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“The Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos, jailed for political reasons, wrote his poems on cigarette papers while in prison, stuffed them into the lining of his jacket and, when he was released, walked out wearing his collected poems. They were mostly short.” – Daniel Halpern, “A Few Questions for Poetry”

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The font

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments

The Valley Spirit never dies. It is named the Mysterious Female. And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang. It is there within us all the while; Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry. – Tao Te Ching (trans. Arthur Waley)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

He’s got his work cut out for him

November 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“The task of the human-hearted man is to procure benefits for the world and to eliminate its calamities. Now among all the current calamities of the world, which are the greatest? I say that attacks on small states by large ones, oppression of the weak by the strong, misuses of the few by the many, […]

[Read more →]

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

The Great Divide

November 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“Now to all who acquired the use of them these new weapons [horse, chariots, and swords] gave a powerful horizontal thrust that carried all before it, and the older, basically peasant, land-rooted civilizations were simply helpless. But not only a new striking power, a new arrogance, too, had arrived: for is there anything more flattering […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

The children of lesser gods

November 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“In Egypt a sequence of psychological stages progressed (or, if the reader prefers, declined) from a state of mythic identification, through inflation, to mythic subordination, and in the last of these a certain standard of human decency not inherent in the order of nature was by projection attributed to God. The Pharaoh—that great ‘Nature Boy’—was […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Even in seven-league boots

November 6th, 2017 · No Comments

“From the child of five to myself is but a step. But from the newborn baby to the child of five is an appalling distance.” – Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Sufficiency

November 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“We do not have ideology. We do not have theology. We dance.” – Unidentified Shinto priest (quoted by Joseph Campbell in The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology)

[Read more →]

Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

So there

October 29th, 2017 · No Comments

“It’s very hard indeed if not impossible to intend or design something uncanny. The uncanny results, it isn’t something you have much control over.” – Ian Penman, “Wham Bang, Teatime” (emphasis in original)

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Vizarts

Most of the atoms are still around

October 25th, 2017 · No Comments

“Of all the many places celebrated in poetry since ancient times, most have vanished. Mountains have crumbled, rivers taken new courses, and roads new routes. Stones have been buried and hidden in the earth, and old trees have given way to saplings. Time passes and the world changes.” – Matsuo Basho, The Narrow Road to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit

Roads to travel

October 24th, 2017 · No Comments

“Mythology—and therefore civilization—is a poetic, supernormal image, conceived, like all poetry, in depth, but susceptible of interpretation on various levels. The shallowest minds see in it the local scenery; the deepest, the foreground of the void; and between are all the stages of the Way from the ethnic to the elementary idea, the local to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

Then what happened

October 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

“There can be no doubt that in the very earliest ages of human history the magical force and wonder of the female was no less a marvel than the universe itself; and this gave to woman a prodigious power, which it has been one of the chief concerns of the masculine part of the population […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Economics · Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Or it’s no society

October 21st, 2017 · No Comments

“A society depends for its existence on the presence in the minds of its members of a certain system of sentiments by which the conduct of the individual is regulated in conformity with the needs of the society . . . the sentiments in question are not innate but are developed in the individual by […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Eyes tight shut

October 19th, 2017 · No Comments

“Why should it be that whenever men have looked for something solid on which to found their lives, they have chosen not the facts in which the world abounds, but the myths of an immemorial imagination—preferring even to make life a hell for themselves and their neighbors, in the name of some violent god, to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Joseph Campbell · Lit & Crit

The answer is no

October 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“Was any man ever the happier for being unhappy about death, and did he live any longer? Is suffering made the less by tears about it? Or another’s pain removed by your abundant gloom?” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Onward, Buddhist soldiers

October 17th, 2017 · No Comments

“No Buddhist has ever burnt his neighbour’s body for the sake of his (non-existent) soul, nor has there been a ‘Buddhist’, still less that blasphemous phrase, a ‘holy’ Buddhist, war. It has always taught that truth is either relative (all that we know), or absolute (which we cannot know).” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

We know their names

October 16th, 2017 · No Comments

“And if there shall ever arise a nation whose people have forgotten poetry or whose poets have forgotten the people, though they send their ships round Taprobane and their armies across the hills of Hindustan, though their city be greater than Babylon of old, though they mine a league into the earth or mount to […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit

Otherwise, go figure

October 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“What we do is what we are; when we are, we shall know what to do.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Git on it

October 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“Now is the best time for everything, because if done now it is immediately done, without like or dislike, purpose or desire. For things are what we do with them; they are not good or evil save as we make them so, and the same applies to their being useful, beautiful or just plain dull.” […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Holding it close

October 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“There are only three things in the world, one is to read poetry, another is to write poetry, and the best of all is to live poetry!” – Rupert Brooke

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit

The equation

October 12th, 2017 · No Comments

“Freedom is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

The thousand points of light

October 11th, 2017 · No Comments

“The hope of mankind does not lie in the action of any corporate body, be it ever so powerful, but in the influence of individual men and women who for the sake of a greater have sacrificed a lesser aim.” – Kenneth Walker, Diagnosis of Man

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

Illuminated manuscript

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

“Words exist for their meaning, of which they are but the shadow, and if they enshrine some part of the meaning, they probably obscure still more.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Rolling stones uphill

October 9th, 2017 · No Comments

“Knowledge is always an attempt. Every fact was established by an argument—by observation and interpretation—and is susceptible to being overturned by a different one. A fact, you might say, is nothing more than a frozen argument, the place where a given line of investigation has come temporarily to rest. Sometimes those arguments are scientific papers. […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit

Don’t let it get away

October 8th, 2017 · No Comments

“The weather is always ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It is nothing of the kind. It is the weather. The same applies to the news, one’s neighbour’s morals and the soup.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Well, shut my mouth

October 7th, 2017 · No Comments

“All words are nets in which to ensnare the flow of life.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Two monks walk into a bar

October 6th, 2017 · No Comments

“Zen can no more be explained than a joke. You see it or you don’t.” – Christmas Humphreys, Zen Buddhism

[Read more →]

Tags: Christmas Humphreys · Lit & Crit

Let me tell you about . . .

October 5th, 2017 · No Comments

“As a species, we repeatedly fail to acknowledge the equal and inherent right of all other species to exist, a right implicit in existence itself and in no way subordinate to our own. We ignore, as if instinctively, nature’s right to itself—its autonomy, if you like. No matter how we feel or act as individuals, […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit

Nanny’s not gonna give you that

October 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“The decisive distinguishing feature of Western philosophical or metaphysical spirituality is that it does not regard the truth as something to which the subject has access by right, universally, or simply by virtue of the kind of cognitive being that the human subject is. Rather, it views the truth as something to which the subject […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Lit & Crit