The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Entries Tagged as 'Lit & Crit'

Hemmed in

October 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“The modern State means, among other things, a progressively increasing monopoly on legitimate violence, a process whereby all other forms of violence are delegitimized. The modern State serves the general process of pacification which, since the end of the Middle Ages, only persists through its continuous intensification. It is not simply that during this evolution […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Step by step

October 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“The compassionate mother, regarding her infant child, always strives to establish the child’s well-being. If she strives to establish the child’s well-being, she will endeavour to rid the child of calamities. If she endeavours to rid the child of calamities, her reflection and consideration become thorough. If her reflection and consideration are thorough, she will […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Maxed out

October 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“No greater crime than submitting to desire. No greater misery than not knowing sufficiency. No greater fault than avarice. Therefore, who knows sufficiency’s sufficiency is always sufficient.” – Lao Tzu, “Moderation of Desire” (quoted in The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Dating the death of god

October 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“In the West, the unity of the traditional world was lost with the Reformation and the ‘wars of religion’ that followed. The modern State then bursts on the scene with the task of reconstituting this unity—secularized, this time—no longer as an organic whole but instead as a mechanical whole, as a machine, as a conscious […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The last thing it wants to do is win

October 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“The continuity of the modern State—from absolutism to the Welfare State—shall be that of an endlessly unfinished war, waged against civil war.” Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Forever War · Tiqqun

The new and improved new and improved

October 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“The historicity specific to the fictions of ‘modernity’ is never that of a stability gained once and for all, of a threshold finally surpassed, but precisely that of a process of endless mobilization. Behind the inaugural dates of the official historiography, behind the edifying epic tale of linear progress, a continuous labor of reorganization, of […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

It’s obvious

October 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“We can recognize the fragile formations of power by their relentless attempts to posit fictions as self-evident. Throughout Modern Times, one of these fictions typically emerges as a neutral center, setting the scene for all the others. Reason, Money, Justice, Science, Man, Civilization, or Culture—with each there is the same phantasmagoric tendency: to posit the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Put another log on the fire

October 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“The trick of life is never to take the last run, when the mountain is awash in incandescent blue and gold, when the lines and slopes are thinning out and it would be just a quick wait to get on the lift, when your body is spent but you yearn for one last run. This […]

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Tags: Betsy Lerner · Lit & Crit

The old guard

October 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“All of the men go first. Men who went to work every day, smoked cigars and wore fedoras, men who might have strayed but didn’t leave their wives, trade them in for younger models. Played ball with their sons and walked their daughters down the aisle at their weddings. These were men who poured tumblers […]

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Tags: Betsy Lerner · Economics · Lit & Crit

Circling the drain

October 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Whenever I read an article about the unexpected benefits of aging, I groan. It’s not fun, you don’t become wiser, and worse, the world is hurtling away from you. Old age is nothing if not managing losses: physical ability, appearance, memory, spouses, friends, economic independence, and finally freedom.” – Betsy Lerner, The Bridge Ladies

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Tags: Betsy Lerner · Lit & Crit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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