The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries from September 2018

What counts and how, and who decides

September 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“ ‘Are you bipolar?’ My daughter was ten when she asked me. We were in her bed reading together before she went to sleep. It was something I knew I had to tell her one day, but I didn’t expect it to come out this soon, and in the moment she had taken me by […]

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Tags: Betsy Lerner · Lit & Crit

Such wealth you should have

September 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“Old Jewish curse: May you be rich enough to own a house with 100 rooms, and may you be found dead in every one of them.” – Trump’s Potemkin Village, Wonkette, December 20, 2017

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Tags: Politics & Law

And afterwards, too, sometimes

September 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“Before flaws look like style, they look like flaws.” – Maria Adelmann, “Basket Weaving 101”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Other Stuff · Verandah · Vizarts

Ins and outs

September 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“There are two sides to the world that have to fit together somehow, but do not seem to fit together in a way that we presently understand. One is the existence of sensations and other mental processes that are felt by an agent; the other is the world of biology, chemistry, and physics.” – Peter […]

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Tags: Open Science Collaboration

And probably should floss

September 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“A man who resembles a rodent should never wear tweed.” – Mark Helprin, “The Schreuderspitze”

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Tags: Verandah

Shake, rattle, and roll

September 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can’t know the limit beforehand, but you will know it when you’ve reached it.” – Alice Munro, “Bardon Bus”

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Tags: Alice Munro · Lit & Crit

Dinner at the nothing burger diner

September 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“The images, the language, of pornography and romance are alike; monotonous and mechanically seductive, quickly leading to despair.” – Alice Munro, “Bardon Bus”

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Tags: Alice Munro · Lit & Crit

Not guilty

September 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“She had never been able to get rid of the fourteen-year-old girl within herself who was ashamed of her breasts and had the disagreeable feeling that she was indecent, because they stuck out from her body and were visible. Even though she was proud of being pretty and having a good figure, this feeling of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

Where they fester

September 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Childish desires withstand all the snares of the adult mind and often survive into ripe old age.” – Milan Kundera, “The Hitchhiking Game” (trans. Suzanne Rappaport)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

No laughing matter

September 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“A man lives a sad life when he cannot take anything or anyone seriously.” – Milan Kundera, “Edward and God” (trans. Suzanne Rappaport)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Milan Kundera

It’s been known to happen

September 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“If you run your mouth long enough, you’ll say something sensible.” – Dale Wisely, Editor, Right Hand Pointing

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Tags: Lit & Crit

Sorry, can’t help you

September 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“You are free and that is why you are lost.” – Nadine Gordimer, quoting Franz Kafka, in “Letter from His Father”

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Tags: Franz Kafka · Lit & Crit · Nadine Gordimer

Or doesn’t

September 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“It’s an exceptionally smart man who isn’t marked forever by the sexual theories he hears from his father.” – Saul Bellow, “A Silver Dish”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Saul Bellow

Snarky lot

September 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise to know what might be said, and not what should be thought.” – Francis Bacon, “Of Discourse”

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Tags: Francis Bacon · Lit & Crit

You could get lucky

September 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“If you lead a completely useless life, but do it with style and die young enough, you’re quite likely to be remembered with more affection than the man who has a record of accomplishment. But the secret is to die young enough. If you think you’re going to live to a ripe old age, it’s […]

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Tags: John O'Hara · Lit & Crit

Gone with the wind

September 15th, 2018 · No Comments

”War’s not just only war; it’s years out of people’s lives that they’ve never had before and won’t have again.” – Elizabeth Bowen, “Mysterious Kôr”

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Forever War

If even then

September 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“We must look a long time before we can see.” – Henry David Thoreau

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Tags: Henry David Thoreau · Lit & Crit

Pro tip

September 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“Most problems aren’t rocket science, but when they are rocket science, you should ask a rocket scientist about them.” Captain Scott Kelly, “What I Learned in Space” (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Open Science Collaboration · Other Stuff · Verandah

Facing the proportions

September 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“A person’s nose is one eye wide, as is the distance between their eyes. A mouth is two eyes wide. A face is three noses long. A nose is as long as your ear.” – Molly Fitzpatrick, “Faces of Death (And Larry David)”

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Tags: Other Stuff · Vizarts

Power is its own reason

September 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“It’s the same double-standard, always; a god can sleep with as many mortals as he wants but a goddess takes a man as a lover and Zeus must intervene. I decried Zeus for his indiscretions with Leda and Europa, but, alas, he’s Zeus, and there’s no reasoning. When I uttered Leda’s name, I faltered, because […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Shaindel Beers

Already gone

September 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“Sometimes you let him go because it is more cruel than keeping him. Sometimes you let him go because freedom is the opposite of love. Sometimes you let him go because freedom is the only love.” Shaindel Beers, “The Calypso Diaries”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Shaindel Beers

Democracy in action

September 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“We voted constantly on everything—issues and offices of every kind. We were expected at every age to have an opinion on all matters . . . . We voted in fifth-grade physics that half a pound of feathers weighed more than half a pound of steel. We were adamant. Knowledge itself was a democracy. We […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Hard to say

September 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“I think that if people began thinking about death sooner they’d make fewer foolish mistakes.” – Dmitri Shostakovich (quoted by David Dubal in The Essential Canon of Classical Music)

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Tags: Other Stuff · Verandah

If you’re the praying sort

September 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“I think that when you are truly stuck, when you have stood still in the same spot for too long, you throw a grenade in exactly the spot you were standing in, and jump, and pray. It is the momentum of last resort.” – Renata Adler, Speedboat

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler


September 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“It is curious that in these republican countries where ‘Jack is as good as his master,’ and much better in his own estimation, there is a much wider gap between class and class than there is in England. There, at least in the old times, you would go an see your poorer neighbours and rather […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

It can be gotten around to

September 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“That ‘writers write’ is meant to be self-evident. People like to say it. I find it is hardly ever true. Writers drink. Writers rant. Writers phone. Writers sleep. I have met very few writers who write at all.” – Renata Adler, Speedboat

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

Useful as a Swiss army knife

September 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.” – Ernest Hemingway (interviewed by George Plimpton in Paris Review)

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Tags: Ernest Hemingway · Lit & Crit

Are you left-handed or right-handed

September 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“There are times when every act, no matter how private or unconscious, becomes political. Whom you live with, how you wear your hair, whether you marry, whether you insist that your child take piano lessons, what are the brand names on your shelf; all these become political decisions. At other times, no act—no campaign or […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

And don’t fall in

September 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Trying to write something of permanent value is a full-time job even though only a few hours a day are spent on the actual writing. A writer can be compared to a well. There are as many kinds of wells as there are writers. The important thing is to have good water in the well, […]

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Tags: Ernest Hemingway · Lit & Crit


September 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Now sometimes when I can’t sleep, I wonder. A twenty-four hour curfew every day, for everybody. Suppose we blow up the whole thing. Everything. Everybody. Me. Buildings. No room. Blast. All dead. No survivors. And then I would say, and then I would say, Let’s just have it a little quiet around here.” – Renata […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler