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 'Renata Adler'

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

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

Shush

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

Pointed

August 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“What is the point. That is what must be borne in mind. Sometimes the point is really who wants what. Sometimes the point is what is right or kind. Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an intimation, a thing said or unsaid. Sometimes it’s who’s at fault, or what […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

The backhanded compliment

August 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“It certainly does not do to have too low a threshold for being insulted. Even the affectionate insult, or the compliment with any sort of spin on it, can reverberate in memory in awful ways. ‘I love your little fat legs,’ Paul said to Joanne. He had watched her walking toward him on the beach. […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

The rowing or

August 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is a mystery in lawyers’ expressions. False and misleading statements, for instance. Always together. False and misleading. Can’t understand what the ‘misleading’ is doing there. It’s always there. And I’ve found, I think, the strongest ‘or’ in language anywhere. It’s the lawyers’ phrase: as he then well knew or should have known. Well knew […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Counting flowers on the wall

August 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“The wallflower sat reading in the Paris restaurant. There used to be so many categories of wallflower: the anxious, smiling, tense ones who leaned forward, trying; the important, busy, apparently elsewhere preoccupied ones, who were nonetheless waiting, waiting in the carpeted offices of their inattention, to be found. There were wallflowers who clustered noisily together, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

The art of the deal

August 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“It is not at all clear to me what a negotiation is. Union and management, say, terrorist and foreign minister, buyer and seller, kidnapper and F.B.I. agent, husband and wife, at least two parties anyway, disagree. They exchange views. A strike, perhaps, a war, a bankruptcy, a murder, a divorce impends. One side begins, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

If you don’t resist, you won’t be hurt

August 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“The idea of hostages is very deep. Becoming pregnant is taking a hostage—as is running a pawnshop, being a bank, receiving a letter, taking a photograph, or listening to a confidence. Every love story, every commercial trade, every secret, every matter in which trust is involved, is a gentle transaction of hostages. Everything is, to […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

It’s over there

August 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“ ‘You can’t miss it’ always means you’re never going to find it. The shortest distance between two points may well be the wrong way on a one way street.” – Renata Adler, Speedboat

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

Coin of the realm

August 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Look, the sun is a sort of bribe, you know, and so is a heavy thunderstorm or a snowfall. So is a dawn, though not I think a sunset. So is a warm bath or a shower, and a sound sleep. Bribes all, in the conspiracy of everything to continue to exist.” – Renata Adler, […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler · Verandah

In the beginning

August 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“The world is everything that is the case. And in the second place because.” – Renata Adler, Pitch Dark

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler · Verandah

The driver on the right has the right-of-way

August 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“Drivers of large cars drive extremely badly. So do old men; men wearing hats; men with thick necks and florid faces; hunters; drivers of cars with dented fenders, or with more than one generation in them, or with college stickers on their rearview windows, or with slogans on their bumpers, or with license plates of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

Same as it ever was

August 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“This is the age of crime. I’m sure we all grant that. It’s the age, of course, of other things as well. Of the great chance, for instance, and the loss of faith, of the bureaucrat, and of technology. But from the highest public matters to the smallest private acts, the mugger, the embezzler, the […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Renata Adler · The American Constitution

Finding the value

August 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“What’s new? the biography of the opera star says she used to ask in every phone call, and What else? I’m not sure the biographer understood another thing about the opera star, but I do believe that What’s new. What else. They may be the first questions of the story, of the morning, of consciousness. […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

We always sacrifice a virgin

August 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“When I learned about the shrew, the poor unevolved, benighted shrew, which will keep jumping high in the air at a place in its accustomed path where an obstacle, a rock perhaps, once was but no longer is, well, I wondered about all those places where, though the obstacles have long been removed, one persists […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Renata Adler

We can fix that

August 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“There exists an order of social problem that appears to be insoluble, but is not. At least not in the terms in which resolution of it is represented as impossible. A problem of that sort has at least some of the following features: it appears immensely complicated, with a resolution of any part of it […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

The great balance

July 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“Detectives and prison guards need criminals, social workers require that people should continue to be poor; there are, in short, many workers with a vested interest in the failure of institutions that employ them, and in the insolubility of problems they are paid to solve. The perfect instance occurs in the narcotics laws. A substance, […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Minuets at the ball of confusion

July 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“The essential storytellers at the drab, frightening, but sometimes heroic, poetic hearth that is the court are, not the lawyers or the judge at all, but the plaintiff, the defendant, and their witnesses. And these, these almost never understand what is being asked of them, what answers are permitted, what is the point of what […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Injunction junction

July 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“Even if I know to a virtual certainty that someone is about to commit what is, quite technically and literally, an illegal act, even a crime, I cannot normally persuade the courts to let me argue that he should be enjoined from going through with it. ‘A man must act somehow,’ Justice Holmes, quite often […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

What’s at stake

July 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“In the law, as in everything, excellence is rare and often anonymous. And, in the law, as in almost everything, everything is stories. Under the American Constitution, in fact, everything is required to be, at heart, a story. That is the meaning of the phrase ‘cases and controversies,’ which is what, alone, the Constitution empowers […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Renata Adler