Category: Lit & Crit

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:20 am

“I am 60 years old and can give you some advice. Never commit a crime against anybody whatsoever. That’s how you’ll grow old with clean hands.” – Mikhail Bulgakov, The Heart of a Dog (trans. Avril Pyman)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:43 am

“One has to know about food, and — can you imagine? — the majority of people do not. You don’t just have to know what to eat, but when and how.” – Mikhail Bulgakov, The Heart of a Dog (trans. Avril Pyman)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:11 am

“There is cruelty and there is viciousness. Viciousness is the attack dog that hasn’t eaten in a week, and is drooling and barking and snarling. Cruelty is the person holding the leash.” – Amanda Long Chu, “I Want a Critic” (interview by Merve Emre)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:51 am

“An important factor enabling the Soviets to seize the offensive and retain it is Lend-Lease. Lend-Lease food and transport particularly have been vital factors in Soviet success. Combat aircraft, upon which the Soviet Air Forces relied so greatly, have been furnished in relatively great numbers (11,300 combat planes received). Should there be a full stoppage it is extremely doubtful whether Russia could retain efficiently her all-out offensive capabilities. Even defensively the supply of Lend-Lease food and transport would play an extremely vital role. It amounts to about a million tons a year. If Russia were deprived of it, Germany could probably still defeat the U.S.S.R. Lend-Lease is our trump card in dealing with U.S.S.R. and its control is possibly the most effective means we have to keep the Soviets on the offensive in connection with the second front.” – General George C. Marshall, from a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 31, 1944

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:23 am

“To establish a proper manpower balance for the United States in wartime was as difficult as it was important. The absolute ceiling on the number of men physically fit for active military service was estimated to be between fifteen and sixteen million. On the surface it was hard to understand, in the light of the available manpower pool, why there should be any U.S. manpower problem at all. Why, if Germany could maintain a military establishment of 9,835,000 or 10.9 percent of her population and Britain could support 3,885,000 or 8.2 percent of hers, did the United States manpower officials insist in late 1942 that 10,500,000 or only 7.8 percent would be the maximum force that the country could sustain without incurring serious dislocation to the American economy? The problem as well as the answer stemmed basically from the fact that the Allies had from the beginning accepted the proposition that the single greatest tangible asset the United States brought to the coalition in World War II was the productive capacity of its industry. From the very beginning, U.S. manpower calculations were closely correlated with the needs of war industry. The Army had therefore to compete for manpower not only with the needs of the other services but also with the claims of industry.” – Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare:1943-1944

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:53 am

“In recognition of the fact that wartime military planning was inextricably involved with foreign policy, the Army planners intensified their efforts from the spring of 1943 onward to improve liaison with the White House and State Department. By and large, the Army remained preoccupied both before and after the spring of 1943 with the more strictly military aspects of national policy. This reflected staff acceptance of the code, on which it had been working since before the war, that civilian authorities determine the ‘what’ of national policy and the military confine themselves to the ‘how.’ Yet it is also apparent that the fine line between foreign policy and military policy was becoming increasingly blurred as the war went on. The President felt compelled to take an active part in military affairs, and the Army staff found more and more that it could not keep foreign and political affairs out of its military calculations. It had become painfully clear to the staff since the summer of 1942 that political policy might not permit the armed forces to follow the quickest and most direct road to victory according to its lights.” – Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare:1943-1944

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:21 am

“They swarmed down upon us like locusts with a plentiful supply of planners and various other assistants with prepared plans to insure that they not only accomplished their purpose but did so in stride and with fair promise of continuing in their role of directing strategically the course of this war. I have the greatest admiration, . . . and if I were a Britisher I would feel very proud. However, as an American I wish that we might be more glib and better organized to cope with these super negotiators. From a worm’s eye viewpoint it was apparent that we were confronted by generations and generations of experience in committee work and in rationalizing points of view. They had us on the defensive practically all the time.” – General Albert C. Wedemeyer, January 22, 1943 (as quoted by Maurice Matloff in Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare:1943-1944)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:01 am

“There is nothing lower than the poor stealing from the poor. It’s hard enough as it is. We sure as hell don’t need to make it even harder on each other.” – Bonnie Blanton (as quoted by J. D. Vance in Hillbilly Elegy)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:03 am

“One of the many unhappy oddities of the contemporary United States is that so many of us are Bible-obsessed yet have never read the Bible.” – Harold Bloom, Omens of Millennium

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:47 am

“It is only when all sides of an issue are forcefully presented and the various solutions thereof closely scrutinized that the final plan has any validity.” – Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward, U.S.A., The War Department: Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, United States Army in World War Two

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:24 am

“The common ground of shamanistic dreams and voyages is the ultimate human desire: survival in the confrontation with death. Theologians work at doubtless higher levels, but the Jesus of the people, almost everywhere, is the universal shaman. This may not be against the genius of Christianity, but it certainly is against the teaching of Catholicism and the mainline Protestant churches. Resurrection for these does not follow the pattern of Jesus, whose ascension in those traditions was viewed as a kind of promissory note for the vast resurrection someday to come, or perhaps more as a first installment.” – Harold Bloom, Omens of Millennium (emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:23 am

“Psychoanalysis was and is a shamanism; its affiliations with occultism or parapsychology are far more authentic than its supposed links to biology, as a discipline. Freud kept hoping that psychoanalysis would make a contribution to biology, but this was an absurd wish. Though it is an ideology that exalts fact, Freud’s creation is a mythology, reared upon the central myths of the drives of love and death. In the longest perspective its deepest affinities are with the pre-Socratic shaman Empedocles, whose vision of incessant strife emerges again in the Freudian tragic view of a civil war in the individual psyche.” – Harold Bloom, Omens of Millennium

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:27 am

“Telling a story is an act freighted with far more implications than good storytellers are likely to know. (If they knew, they’d probably not be good storytellers.) It is an act premised on the accessibility and, still more, the transparency of meaning.” – Irving Howe, “Ragged Individualist”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:33 am

“If a man sits long enough, sorrowful and anxious, bereft of joy, his mind constantly darkening, soon it seems to him that his troubles are limitless.” – “Deor’s Lament” (trans. Michael R. Burch)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:35 am

“A brigadier general then in OPD [Operations Division of the General Staff, United States Army] told the author that, after some extracurricular scientific reflection in the early spring of 1945, he conceived the idea that the release of atomic energy for military purposes might be practical. He said he innocently aired the suggestion in the War Department that the Japanese might be working on such a weapon and wondered if the United States should not be doing something about it. He was considerably surprised at the intensive security check to which he was suddenly subjected. The fact that OPD officers in general had no idea of what was in the immediate future is indicated by their consternation when a project for construction of an artificial harbor for use in the March 1946 attack on Japan was approved with ‘priority above all military and naval programs except MANHATTAN project.’ OPD officers told the author that they could not guess nor discover what the mysterious MANHATTAN was and doubted that it could be more important than the harbor for 1946. One S&P [Strategy & Policy Group] officer said he received oral orders from General Hull [Director of Operations Division] to quit trying to find out anything about MANHATTAN.” – Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, United States Army in World War Two (internal citations omitted)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:51 am

“You know the self primarily by knowing yourself; knowing another human being is immensely difficult, perhaps impossible, though in our youth or even in our middle years we deceive ourselves about this.” – Harold Bloom, Omens of Millennium

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:09 am

“Christianity in the early barbarian West may have thought it was being assimilated by a warrior aristocracy, but it ended up—even before the Crusades—accommodating itself to the heroic values of the nobility. The blending of the two cultures would have begun at the time of conversion, but it was an extended process.” – Roberta Frank, “The Beowulf Poet’s Sense of History”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:42 am

“Security consciousness in OPD [Operations Division of the General Staff, United States Army] was so well established by the end of the war that the author and associate historians, though explicitly authorized by the Chief of Staff and the OPD chief to see all War Department files, had many administrative battles with the executive office and the record room before officers in charge became convinced that the chief of OPD had really meant that anyone, particularly a civilian, should see everything in Division files. While the historians found most of the staff members extremely co-operative, the policy of tight security was very strong.” – Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, United States Army in World War Two

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:13 am

“The War Department, like every other installation in the zone of interior, found it harder and harder to maintain high standards for its enlisted detachment. Toward the close of 1943 OPD [Operations Division of the General Staff, United States Army] was authorized to overcome its difficulties in staffing its secretariat by using enlisted women (Wacs [Women’s Army Corps]) as well as enlisted men and civilians. By recruiting increasing numbers of enlisted women, the Division added to the strength of its clerical staff and in general maintained its exacting standards of competence. By V-J Day enlisted women made up nearly one-third of the strength of the total Division secretariat, nearly equaling each of the other two components.” – Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, United States Army in World War Two

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:13 am

“Myth is alive at once and in all its parts, and dies before it can be dissected.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:49 am

“What I appreciated about New York was that it didn’t pretend to safety. On the best of days it was like living in a glorious brawl. Surviving this year by year was an honor mark that people wore proudly. After five years you earned bragging rights. At seven you began to fit in.” – Alice Sebold, Lucky

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:32 am

“The MacDonald of Saddell Castle was a very great man indeed. Once, when dining with the Lord-Lieutenant, an apology was made to him for placing him so far away from the head of the table. ‘Where the MacDonald sits,’ was the proud response, ‘there is the head of the table.’ ” – Joseph Jacobs (ed.),Celtic Fairy Tales

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:49 am

“I am grateful for the knowledge that people who love us do so because it is they who are good, not us.” – Mikhail Iossel, author of Love Like Water, Love Like Fire