What does it mean? : posted by ben on 05.04.12 at 22:50, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

Computer science only indicates the retrospective omnipotence of our technologies. In other words, an infinite capacity to process data (but only data -- i.e. the already given) and in no sense a new vision. With that science, we are entering an era of exhaustivity, which is also an era of exhaustion. Of generalized interactivity abolishing particularized action. Of the interface which abolishes challenge, passion, and rivalry between peoples, ideas and individuals which was always the souce of the finest energies.

-Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, pg 150
artificial intelligence has no artifice : posted by ben on 05.04.12 at 22:49, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

Clothed woman: obligation to see, prohibition on touching.
Undressed woman: obligation to touch, prohibition on looking.
But this is doubtless something that is changing.

-Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, pg 20

This journal is a subtle matrix of idleness.

-Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, pg 234

Seducing for a woman consists in sliding into an empty place, where her ideal form is already traced out by all those of her sex who have preceded her.

-Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, pg 229

No. No. Every love is unique and beautiful in its own right.

I poisoned them. : posted by ben on 05.04.11 at 20:39, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

I thought about killing myself but bought a plant instead.

I had never really had a plant before. I had a plastic plant once but even that died, eventually. The man at the store told me how to care for it. He said not to water it "too much." He said it wasn't supposed to get too much daylight. He said some other things I missed.

It's been two weeks since I got the plant and it's turning brown in spots.

-Kevin Sampsell, Beautiful Blemish, pg 70

Donna didn't like teddy bears. She decided to poison them. She said to her mom one morning in a serious tone: "I want the bears out of my room. They've been dead for a week now."

Her mother tried to hide her shock, and said, "What do you mean by that?"

She took a bite of her toast and said "I poisoned them." She swallowed and looked down. It seemed like she was about to cry or say she was sorry.

Her mother had all kinds of jabbing questions she wanted to ask running in her head: Why? Who told you to do that? Don't you like the bears? What's wrong with you? Did your brothers tell you to do that?

Donna interrupted those thoughts, "They were bored with their life," she said.

-Kevin Sampsell, Beautiful Blemish, pg 12
My categorical imperative : posted by ben on 05.04.10 at 03:53, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

I've been picking up books that aren't written for me. The Line of Beauty was beautiful, but not for me. Then I picked up Forbidden Colors, yet another gay coming of age story... only this one is written from the perspective of men who have no need for women. It appears Joan Smith is right about Mishima... maybe.

I picked up Bell Hooks. For once it wasn't a gay plot I couldn't relate to. No, it was a novel addressed to women. I read the first few pages of the book before realizing that it was not for me... no it was addressed to a world where I don't exist.

At this point my subconcious conspired with itself and selected Philip Roth. He's white and male... so I should relate. Only, no. Not gay men coming of age, but Jewish men... books about men that are nothing but Jewish. Every moment is a calculated affirmation of Jewishness.

So that didn't work. And then I was talking to Peggy about this... and she said something about doing crossword puzzles instead. But, I want to read. I don't want explorations of things I cannot be. I want to understand things I can choose to become. I want books to explore philosophy, action and love, not the physically imperative.

Is it possible to write novels that are only novels? Art that has no audience, but is art itself...

: posted by ben on 05.04.09 at 16:52, books, books, Leave a comment Permalink

Bats sleep upside down in order not to be confused with birds.
-Louis de Bernieres, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, pg 141

If tortoises had wheels they would go a lot faster.
-Louis de Bernieres, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, pg 141

"I never did deny you pleasure, after we were married."
The old man said, "We never were married." Whereupon the old woman was silent for a moment's reflection. "A good thing, too," she replied. "I couldn't have stood being married to you all this time."
-Louis de Bernieres, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, pg 101

Being unused to literary effort, she did not know how to recognize which were crucial parts of the story, and found herself most fascinated by the incidental recipes.
-Louis de Bernieres, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, pg 26

In trials with ajo sauce she developed one that was so indescribably hot that it became instantaneously famous. It was the kind of ajo sauce that is tasteless for the first few chews, and that then seizes the back of the throat and sends one into a kind of frenzied dementia in which one clasps the throat with one hand, half gets out of the chair, sinks back into it, waves the free hand about, emits strangled noises, gasps for water, drinks it in one swig, discovers that water only makes it worse, and then rushed out to throw oneself in the river, from which one emerges dazed and dripping with sweat, smiling sheepishly.
-Louis de Bernieres, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, pg 28