French Lessons #37

"Ainsi en va-t-il du perpétuel échec de l'œuvre d'Artaud. Tout a échoué : le Théatre de la Cruauté, le cinéma, la poésie, le voyage au pays des Tarahumaras, etc. L'existence, en somme, fut un échec. Mais en même temps, tout en témoigne, et particulièrement sa poétique dernière du raté et 'du traviole', l'échec, l'inachevé, le ratage sont chez les grands artistes, des signes du puissance." (Camille Dumoulie)

Quotes 2017 #120

"The real stronghold of culture is neither tradition nor community, but a transpersonal ethnonoetic plenum of which each partakes, a vital medium of sensations of presence, feeling, intention, sexuality, intelligence, and a hundred other human forces extending outward from the self to the verge of our conscious relations."

Robert Cantwell, Ethnomimesis.

French Lessons #36

"C'est comme pour la vie. Il y a dans la vie une sorte de gaucherie, de fragilité de santé, de constitution faible, be bégaiment vital qui est le charme de quelqu'un. Le charme, source de vie, comme le style, source d'écrire."(Deleuze)

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Stendhal might be taken in for questioning, but he could always be released on Beyle." (Andrew Brown)

Hey, I love this!

Quotes 2017 #119

"Bayle brought to the darkening complexities of early nineteenth century European life (Napoleon; imperialism; industrialisation; the apparent consolidation of European society into the warring camps of bourgeoisie and proletariat) the clarity and powers of analysis that he had learned from largely seventeenth- and eighteenth-century models."

Andrew Brown, Stendhal.

Andrew Brown is undoubtedly one of the best literary critics of my generation and le plus barthesien of any. His two small books, Stendhal and Flaubert, are gems.





French Lessons #35

"Le tanin était encore utilisé pour clarifier le vin et la bière, et constituait l'un des ingredients essentiels à la fabrication de l'encre noire, dite 'métalo-gallique'." (Ryoko Sekiguchi)

Quotes 2017 #118

"Space engineers use something called the slingshot effect to improve the fuel economy of their rockets. The Cassini space probe, which was designed to visit the distant planet Saturn, traveled there by what seems like a round-about route, but was actually cunningly planned to exploit the slingshot effect. Using far less rocket fuel than would have been needed to fly directly to Saturn, Cassini borrowed from the gravity and orbital movement of three planets on the way: Venus (twice), then a return swing around Earth, then a final mighty heave from Jupiter. In each case it fell around the planet like a comet, gaining speed by hanging onto its gravitational coat tails as the planet whizzed around the sun. These four slingshot boosts hurled Cassini out towards the Saturn system of rings and 62 moons, from where it has been sending back stunning pictures ever since."

Richard Dawkins, The Magic of Reality.


French Lessons #34

"La bourgeoisie a soumis la campagne à la domination de la ville." (Marx et Engels, Manifeste du parti communiste)

Quotes 2017 #117

"More than any other, the figure of Socrates is highly indicative of the autodidactic and individualist tendency of philosophical thought, and that is why this figure is taken for an authentic beginning. Socrates is typically portrayed as the philosopher who received no teaching, the one who found truth in himself and by himself. A legend about Socrates' father offers an almost transparent indication that the attitude might be connected with a withdrawal of paternal authority."

Jean-Joseph Goux, Oedipus, Philosopher (Catherine Porter trans.)

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"How closely do national anthems resemble the territorial songs of birds? And in what sense do market behaviors resemble those of flocks of birds or schools of fish? ... Are we a herd animal or a pack animal?" (Eugene W. Holland)


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Leibniz is political because he is utopian. His theories of curvature, movement, and point of view cannot be localized." (Tom Conly, Translator's Foreword for The Fold.)

French Lessons #33

"Une voyelle muette! Quand on ne connaît que l'espagnol, on ne peut pas imaginer que de telles choses existent--une voyelle qui est là mais qui se tait, ça alors! J'étais plus que surprise--littéralement abasourdie. Et comme exaltée, soudain : je voulais tout savoir à propos de la langue qui était capable de faire des choses pareilles. " (Laura Alcoba)

Quotes 2017 #116

"My 'healing knowledge' derived from three years' experience, while in college, working for tuition money as an attendant at the University of Virginia hospital, and three more years, during graduate school, on an ambulance crew in Madison, Wisconsin. I carried with me, in Mueda, an Emergency Medical Technician's jump kit and a copy of WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR (Werner, Thuman, and Maxwell 1992), and I treated those who came to me so long as I was competent to do so."

Harry G. West, Ethnographic Sorcery.

French Lessons #32

"Il est toujours un moment où il s'en va, coupe court, fait peau neuve. De cet ensemble de détachements naît une scansion particulière qui nous apprend sa façon de vivre le temps, de vivre dans le temps, attaches et séparations, et toujours espérance d'une fuite, moyen de 's'en sortir'." (Jean-Luc Steinmetz sur Rimbaud)

Quotes 2017 #115

"He is someone who knows, from the very beginning, what a good explanation is. Nobody taught him this. He simply knows. He loves it when an explanation fits firmly into place, leaving no space at all. When he understands why something is the way it is, why it has to be that way, the knowing feels like pleasure to him, like a laughing in his mind. And when explanations are bad, he feels it almost like a physical pain, like some small animal gnawing at his chest."

Rebecca Goldstein, Betraying Spinoza.


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"What we always forget is that the overwhelming bulk of the British proletariat does not live in Britain, but in Asia and Africa." (George Orwell in 1939, quoted by Iain Chambers in Border Dialogues, 1990)





French Lessons #31

"Penser, c'est créer, il n'y a pas d'autre création, mais créer, c'est d'abord engendrer 'penser' dans la pensée." (Gilles Deleuze)

Quotes 2017 #114

"He imagined stepping into the road without looking and being hit by a car and not feeling any pain, any surprise, not feeling anything really, just a kind of detached interest at what was happening to this person who wasn't really him anymore."

Mark Haddon, A Spot of Bother.


French Lessons #30

"Mais le capitalisme n'est pas qu'une affaire politique et économique, le capitalisme est une thèse sur l'être, sur le vivant, sur le rapport de la nature à la culture, sur le rapport du corps à l'ésprit." (Frédéric Neyrat)

Quotes 2017 #113

"The Chinese say, of the contrast between such strength and fluidity, 'movement like silk that hits like iron'; his was a spring-steel movement that arrived like a rose and braced like iron."

Barry Lopez, "Remembering Orchards."


French Lessons #29

"Peter Morgan s'arrête d'écrire. / Il est une heure du matin. Peter Morgan sort de sa chambre. L'odeur de Calcutta la nuit est celle de la vase et du safran." (Marguerite Duras)

Quotes 2017 #112

"He was a very great novelist. He had enormous gifts. He thought DAVID COPPERFIELD the best of all his books. An author is not always a good judge of his own work, but in this case Dickens's judgement seems to me correct. DAVID COPPERFIELD, as I suppose everyone knows, is in great part autobiographical; but Dickens was writing a novel, not an autobiography, and though he drew much of his material from his own life, he made only such use of it as suited his purpose. For the rest, he fell back on his vivid imagination."

W. Somerset Maugham, Ten Novels and Their Authors.

French Lessons #28

"Dans le devenir, il s'agit plutôt d'involuer : ce n'est ni régresser, ni progresser. Devenir, c'est devenir de plus en plus sobre, de plus en plus simple, devenir de plus en plus désert, et par là même peuplé." (Claire Parnet)

Quotes 2017 #111

"His desire, in his letters to friends, was to give happiness---compare this with D.H.Lawrence, who seemed when he felt the desire to communicate with his friends to want, at best, to instruct, and at the worst, to chastise."

Elizabeth Hardwick, 'Introduction' to The Selected Letters of William James.


French Lessons #27

"Les Sirènes sont les Méduses du coït érotique. Les Gorgones sont les Sirènes du cri thanatique." (Pascal Quignard)

Quotes 2017 #110

"Tiresias goes blind for having seen what must not be seen, the coupling of two snakes, or perhaps the nakedness of Athena, or perhaps even the Gorgon in the eyes of the goddess with the penetrating gaze (oxyderkes). He then predicts to Narcissus that he will go on living as long as he does not see himself, and to Pentheus that he will lose his life for having SEEN the sacred rites of Dionysus, or for having LET himself BE SEEN as a boar by the Bacchants."

Jacques Derrida, Memoirs of the Blind. (Brault and Naas trans.)


French Lessons #26

"Il faut dire que l'enfer est le nom du monde pour tous les habitants du monde." (Pascal Quignard)

Quotes 2017 #109

"And there are my cats, engaged in a ritual that goes back thousands of years, tranquilly licking themselves after the meal. Practical animals, they prefer to have other provide the food... some of them do. There must have been a split between the cats who accepted domestication and who did not."

William S. Burroughs, The Cat Inside.

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"I am wherever I am touched, wherever I am."

Kyoo Lee, Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Mad, Dreamy, and Bad.

French Lessons #25

"Il se composait : d'une soupe aux pois verts garnie de laitues et bien mitonnée, avec un quartier de volaille au-dessus, une tranche de bœuf, un godiveau et une langue de mouton... Pour le dessert, un biscuit et des pommes de reinette... Vin de Bourgogne." (Nerval)

Quotes 2017 #108

"...but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels..."

Melville, Moby-Dick.


French Lessons #24

"On naît moderne, on ne le devient pas. Et nous ne le sommes jamais devenus. Ce qui saute aux yeux à Paris, c'est le XIXe siècle." (Jean Baudrillard)

Quotes 2017 #107

"The breeze of morning lifted in the bush and the smell of leaves and wet black earth mingled with the sharp smell of the sea. Myriads of birds were singing. A goldfinch flew over the shepherd's head and, perching on the tiptop of a spray, it turned to the sun, ruffling its small breast feathers. And now they had passed the fisherman's hut, passed the charred-looking little whare where Leila the milk-girl lived with her old Gran."

Katherine Mansfield, "At the Bay."

Note the use of the word WHARE. Katherine Mansfield and Janet Frame are the two novelists whose landscapes I can inhabit forever...


French Lessons #23

"Mais il s'agit de DEVENIR AUTRE, donc d'établir un autre rapport entre un corps et une histoire, un nouveau RAPPORT D'ÉCRITURE entre les corps multiples qui s'enchevêtrent les uns dans les autres et tout à la fois s'excèdent les uns les autres, en vue de tracer la généalogie d'un corps hybride, 'que je deverais avoir.'" (Serge Margel, à propos d'Artaud.)

Quotes 2017 #106

"This is the closest I will ever come to writing an autobiography. I have called it 'Slapstick' because it is grotesque, situational poetry--like the slapstick film comedies, especially those of Laurel and Hardy, of long time ago. / It is about how life FEELS like to me."

Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick or Lonesome No More.

I especially like the phrase "situational poetry."

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Deleuze and Guattari differ from von Uexküll, Ruyer, and Maturana and Varela on key points. To counter the mechanistic tendency in much biologic thought, von Uexküll stresses subjects and meaning in biology, Ruyer equates living form with consciousness, and Maturana and Varela living systems as cognitive ones. Deleuze and Guattari likewise reject mechanistic models, but they also avoid any terminology that might reintroduce the problematics of subjectivity." (Ronald Bogue).

One of the luckiest things that happened in my life was that I began my translator's career with a translation of Maturana and Varela's El arbol del conocimiento (The Tree of Knowledge). My Japanese translation was published in 1987, exactly 30 years ago... And even now, their teachings occasionally give me aha! moments when I encounter some puzzling problems about life in general!




French Lessons #22

"Claude Nephtali Lévi-Strauss, comme je vous aime! Vous m'avez tout appris de la pensée. Sa difficulté, sa rigueur, ses défaillances, ses joies. Grâce à vous, je connais les pouvoirs de l'esprit, comment ils tiennent la vie en haleine, comment ils peuvent agir de loin sur le réel. Et j'aime qui vous étiez, la flamme sous la glace, courtois et emotif, généreux et violent, l'Esprit en personne." (Catherine Clément)

Quotes 2017 #105

"Intelligence I would define simply as the ability to adapt oneself to new situations and environments and solve problems, obviously a useful instrument that will probably be laid aside eventually. The whole human brain is actually an artifact and when you don't need an artifact, you throw it away."

William S. Burroughs, The Job.


French Lessons #21

"Pour s'amuser à me faire peur et savoir si j'aurais du chagrin de sa mort, Nadia, qui sait très bien nager, veut faire semblant de se noyer. Mais elle se noie pour de bon et l'on me rapporte son corps inanimé. Je commence par pleurer beaucoup, jusqu'à ce que le jeu de mots 'Nadia, naïade noyée'--fait au seuil du réveil--m'apparaisse à la fois comme une explication et comme une consolation." (Michel Leiris)

Quotes 2017 #104


It was a steep hill that you went down, calling back to me,
saying that you would be only a little while.
I waited longer than that.
The thin-blooded grass of the hill continued to stir in the wind
and the wind grew colder.

I looked across the deep valley.
I saw that the sun was yellow as lemon upon the dark pines,
but elsewhere pools of cool shadow like stains of dark water
crept gradually onto the hill as the sunlight dimmed.

I waited longer. But finally I rose from the grass
and went back down the path by which we had come
and noted, here and there, your footprints pointing upward,
      narrow and light.

--Tennessee Williams
The last line could be different.


French Lessons #20

"Je confesse qu'il y a une espèce de claustrophobie dans ce motif, et je soupçonne qu'elle est encore ce qui me pousse aujourd'hui à relire l'analyse kantienne du goût pour retrouver, dans ce qui s'y nomme l' 'l'imagination productive', la révélation d'une libre acessibilité aux nuages---à l'être." (Jean-François Lyotard)

Quotes 2017 #103

"In Giono's world we have the sombreness of Hardy's moors, the eloquence of Lawrence's flowers and lowly creatures, the enchantment and sorcery of Arthur Machen's Welsh settings, the freedom and violence of Faulkner's world, the buffoonery and licence of the medieval mystery plays. And with all this a pagan charm and sensuality which stems from the ancient Greek world."

Henry Miller, The Books in My Life. 

I love Henry Miller all the more for his admiration for Giono!

French Lessons #19

"Nos yeux, qui ne sont pas au bout d'antennes mais dans des orbites, peuvent se fermer, nous devons les fermer pour dormir. A chaque instant, nous pouvons interrompre le spectacle si nous le voulons." (Jean-Christophe Bailly)


Quotes 2017 #102

"One of Wallace Stevens's achievements was to bring back into poetry a rebellious and loving dialogue with nature, a chant of men who perish on summer mornings when quails spontaneously cry."

Wylie Sypher, Literature and Technology.


French Lessons #18

"J'ai fini par comprendre que ce qui sortait de ma plume n'avait rien à voir avec le théâtre. Mais si ce n'était pas du théâtre, alors qu'était-ce?" (Edmond Jabès)

Quotes 2017 #101

"I am woman, and beautiful; my daughter, the law, is mad about me. I speculate on my daughter. My daughter is mad about me; this is law. / The law is mad, she is mad about 'me.' And across the madness of this day, I keep this in sight. There, this will have been my self-portrait of the genre. / The law is mad. The law is mad, is madness; but madness is not the predicate of law. There is no madness without the law; madness cannot be conceived before its relation to law. This is the law, the law is a madness."

Jacques Derrida, "The Law of Genre" Avital Ronell trans.

This somehow reminds me of Jamaica Kincaid...


Quotes 2017 #100

"William James without his gaiety, his spooks, his nuts and frauds, his credulity and his incongruous longings for something more than life, even through he was committed to testify every belief BY life, would not be the captivating and splendid spirit he is."

Elizabeth Hardwick, 'Introduction' to The Selected Letters of William James.

French Lessons #17

"Avant Descartes, et longtemps après que son influence de philosophe et de physiologiste se fut effacée, la passion n'a pas cessé d'être la surface de contact entre le corps et l'âme." (Michel Foucault)


French Lessons #16

"Mais l'homme qui est épris de bonté ne saurait mener une vie solitaire ; pourtant, sa vie avec autrui et pour autrui doit essentiellement demeurer sans témoin : il lui manque avant tout la compagnie du moi." (Hannah Arendt)

Quotes 2017 #99

If LOGOS is first and foremost a faithful image of the EIDOS (the figure of intelligible visibility) of what is, then it arises as a sort of primary painting, profound and invisible. In that case painting in its usual sense, a painter's painting, is really only the painting of a painting."

Jacques Derrida, Acts of Literature.

French Lessons #15

"C'est donc le rapport à ma mort (à ma disparition en général) qui se cache dans cette détermination de l'être comme présence, idéalité, possibilité absolue de répétition." (Derrida)

Quotes 2017 #98

"Can you think of a better camera platform for oceanic observation? Squids are sleek, speedy, and ubiquitous. There are billions of them, by day or night, on every level, at every temperature, in every part of the world ocean. Seeing without being seen."

Lyall Watson, Gift of Unknown Things.

This will be the last post from this book. I just had to note down this bit on squids' eyes!




まずイントロ代わりにぼくの短い文章"Poetry, Philosophy"を読む。ついでキューが自分の著書Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Dreamy, Mad and Bad の一節を引きつつ書いたごく短い文章"What is Thinking in the Age of Computational Thinking? A Philopoetic Cogitography"を読みつつ、注釈。これが前半。

後半は高山明さんによるヘテロトピア・プロジェクトの解説。というのも東京、北投とつづいてきたヘテロトピアは現在アテネ近郊のピレウスを舞台に「ピレウス・ヘテロトピア」を制作中で、この作品のためのテクストを執筆する7名の作家のひとりとして、キューに参加してもらっているからです。高山さんの話のあと、ふたたびぼくの短い文章"Heterotopia as I See It"を読み、あとは参加者のみなさんとのディスカッション。

キューとぼくが出会ったのは2001年9月12日のロンドン。SOASでの学会ですが、アメリカからの参加者の大半が前日の事件のために渡航できなくなるという事態になり、アルフォンソ・リンギスのキーノート・スピーチもキャンセル。さびしくなった各セッションは、なぜかその分、異様な熱気が立ちこめていましたが、中でもキューの話しっぷりのおもしろさ、その内容の濃密さには強い印象を受けました。そのとき以来、文学についても哲学についてもどんな話でも 受けとめてくれる親友です。



French Lessons #14

"Je ne pense pourtant pas qu'on puisse penser les deux régions, esthétique et historico-politique, de façon identique." (J.-F. Lyotard)

Quotes 2017 #97

"The development of this strange molluscan eye has gone even further in the highly mobile squid. All the oceanic squids have a complex eye with an iris, a variable-focus lens, and a retina with enough sensitive cells to make their color and pattern discrimination every bit as good as our own. Squid see as well as, if not better than, any other animals alive--or at least, their eyes have the capacity for doing so. This is uncanny, but what really worries me is what they do with so much information."

Lyall Watson, Gift of Unknown Things.



French Lessons #13

"Steinbeck est de la famille du saint François ami des bêtes. Je ne saurais lui faire de plus grand compliment." (Maurice-Edgar Coindreau)

Quotes 2017 #96

"The effect of this climate on the soul is not to be underestimated. But it suffers certainly less than the skin whose entire defensive system from sweat to goose bump is under constant stress."

Samuel Beckett, The Lost Ones.


French Lessons #12

"Je ne réponds jamais aux lettres. Ça a fini par se savoir. J'en reçois de moins en moins. C'est pas un genre que j'ai pris." (Céline)

Quotes 2017 #95

"Glissant understands Relation to be a synthesising space in which opposites can live comfortably together and where, as in the works of Alejo Carpentier, there is little difference between the animate and the inanimate. Glissant detects a similar synthesis in the Guyanese landscapes of Wilson Harris, in which the notions of extinction and interior co-exist as one unity."

Caryl Phillips, A New World Order.

The Textual Earless Hoichi Project

The Textual Earless Hoichi Project. You pick up a book and write your commentaries to it (on the pages' margins) on all but two pages. This is your way of protecting the book from evil spirit-readers. Those two pages left blank (sort of) are the book's ears. The ears will be torn away and collected. And the ears from a hundred or so books will be displayed on the wall. People will hear the echos of the books' souls through these pages. They are required to read aloud these page-ears, taking turns. If they don't fulfill this reading obligation, of a book per person, their own ears are torn away at the exit.

という展示を思いついた。Books with handwritten commentaries will also be on display. すべての本を「耳なし芳一」として逆説的に守り抜くために。

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"The most important factor in the appreciation of any art is the practice of it." (Henry Miller)

French Lessons #11

"Car un aliéné est aussi un homme que la société n'a pas voulu entendre et qu'elle a voulu empêcher d'émettre d'insupportables vérités. (Antonin Artaud)

Quotes 2017 #94

"In another dream, the dreamer, again a doctor, he, the doctor, was 'performing' an autopsy on a cadaver that was himself, aged by at least thirty years. What he did in the dream was to disembowel the cadaver bit by bit and dissect carefully each organ and then gather all the dissected bits together in his hands and deposit them back into the empty intra-abdomined space and then coarsely sew up the wide autopsy incision that ran from throat to pubis. And then a beautiful young nurse came in and touched the reconstructed dead man in a caring way that got the cadaver to sit up in an enlivened manner ready to move into of further after-death scene with a simple gratitude and a fleeting but retrospective glance at his whole life."

David Cooper, The Death of the Family.



「明治大学文学部紀要・文学研究」132号に、エッセー「そこに寝そべっていなかった猫たち」を寄稿しました。別に猫の話ではないよ。それなりにまじめな、文学の根源をめぐる話。この号、ジャック・レヴィさん、陣野俊史さん、旦敬介さんらも書いてます。声をかけてくださった根本美作子さん、ありがとうございま した!



French Lessons #10

"Écrivant j'existais, j'échappais aux grandes personnes ; mais je n'existais que pour écrire et si je disais : moi, cela signifiait : moi qui écris." (Sartre)

Quotes 2017 #93

"Abode where lost bodies roam each searching for its lost one. Vast enough for search to be in vain. Narrow enough for flight to be in vain."

Samuel Beckett, The Lost One.


French Lessons #9

"L'astringent, on le sent dans son corps, pas seulement lorsqu'il s'agit de fabriquer des objets mais quand on l'assimile en soi. Si ce mot évoque tant de sensations différentes, d'une couleur à l'apparence d'une personne, et d'une texture à une tessiture de voix, il doit y avoir un lien, même lointain, avec cette expérience corporelle du goût. Il désigne une perception esthétique sensible dans tout le corps." (Ryoko Sekiguchi)

French Lessons #8

"C'est alors que me vint cette pensée : l'astringent, c'est le goût de la liberté." (Ryoko Sekiguchi)

French Lessons #7

"Rien n'approche du style de Lao-tseu. Lao-tseu vous lance un gros caillou. Puis il s'en va. Après il vous jette encore un caillou, puis il repart ; tous ces cailloux, quoique très durs, sont des fruits, mais naturellement le vieux sage bourru ne va pas les peler pour vous." (Henri Michaux)

Quotes 2017 #92

"There was nothing outside my window then but the charcoal silhouette of black trees against black sky. We were speeding toward Seattle, toward the ocean, toward people I'd never seen, land I'd never touched, water I'd never tasted. I meant to do that, taste the bay's water and see if the salt were a true thing."

Kim Barnes, Hungry for the World.





French Lessons #6

"La plupart du temps, quand on me pose une question, même qui me touche, je m'aperçois que je n'ai strictement rien à dire." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #5

"Après chaque nuit nous sommes plus vides : nos mystères comme nos chagrins se sont écoulés dans nos songes." (Cioran)

Quotes 2017 #91

"By saying Simone Weil's life was both comic and terrible, I am not trying to reduce it, but mean to be paying her the highest tribute I can, short of calling her a saint, which I don't believe she was. Possibly I have a higher opinion of the comic and terrible than you do. To my way of thinking it includes her great courage and to call her anything less would be to see her as merely ordinary. She was certainly not ordinary."

Flannery O'Connor, from a letter on 30 September 1955.


French Lessons #4

"Je préfère le métro à l'autobus. Dans le métro, on ne voit que les visages. Et dans l'autobus, juste des paysages." (Danny Laferrière)

Quotes 2017 #90

"It should be easy, now, to understand the destitution of indigenous, oral persons who have been forcibly displaced from their traditional lands. The local earth is, for them, the very matrix of discursive meaning; to force them from their native ecology (for whatever political or economic purpose) is to render them speechless--or to render their speech meaningless--TO DISLODGE THEM FROM THE VERY GROUND OF COHERENCE. It is, quite simply, to force them out of their mind."

David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous.



明治大学図書館紀要「図書の譜」第21号(2017年3月)にエッセー「<西江文庫>にむかって」を寄稿しました。故・西江雅之先生の蔵書は一括して明治 大学図書館に寄贈されました。公開は2年ほど先になると思われますが、ぼくが垣間みた、先生の本とのつきあい方について。

French Lessons #3

"Les nègres fugitifs, et particulièrement ceux qui détachent les autres, sont châtiés rigoureusement, car on les attache à un pilier et après leur avoir découpé toute la peau à coups de lianes, on flotte leurs plaies avec du piment, du sel et du jus de citron, ce qui leur cause des douleurs incroyables." (Révérend Père du Tertre)

Quotes 2017 #89

"A tiny little schoolboy with the name of Trachtenbauer was at my door when I opened it. / I say tiny little and that's literally what I mean. He was about eight inches tall, the size of a sizeable penis, the average height of a cat, which meant that when the doorbell rang while I was pouring my cornflakes into the bowl and I went through to the hall thinking it would be the postman and opened the door and looked out, it was as if there was no one there at all, and it was only as I was about to close it that I heard the squeaking of a small voice at shin level."

Ali Smith, "Trachtenbauer."


French Lessons #2

"Mais la vraie vocation de Blake était la prophétie. Il prophétisait à tout propos; c'était une habitude d'esprit." (Julien Green)

Quotes 2017 #88

"He hated the flowery manner of writing made fashionable by Chateaubriand, and which a hundred lesser authors had sedulously aped. Stendhal's aim was to set down whatever he had to say as plain and exactly as he could, without frills, rhetorical flourishes of picturesque verbiage. He said (probably not quite truly) that before starting to write he read a page of the CODE NAPOLEON in order to chasten his language. He eschewed description of scenery and the abundant metaphors which were popular in his day. The cold, lucid, self-controlled style increases the horror of the story he has to tell in LE ROUGE ET LE NOIR, and adds to its enthralling interest."

W. Somerset Maugham, Ten Novels and Their Authors.


French Lessons #1

"Les philosophes s'intéressent à la pensée. La poétique tente d'écouter dans le langage les mouvements du corps. Spinoza pense l'unité des deux." (Henri Meschonnic)

I have decided to post French quotations as well. For the past decade (after I quit teaching French to concentrate more on our graduate program) I have been more and more away from French matters. Now is the time, if ever, to re-inhabit this sphere.

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Aesthetics are not about politics; they are politics themselves."

Félix González-Torres

Quotes 2017 #87

"Time is crucial to Deleuze's ethics of philosophy and the philosophical encounter with literature. And it is because cinema is that medium that enables us to rethink time that cinema is at the heart of our self-transformation. Our relation to time is ethical and political precisely because it is our way of living time (or our 'duration') which explains the problems of politics: how it is that our desire submits to its own repression?"

Claire Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze.


Quotes 2017 #86

"Yes, intimate knowing, a kind of inquiring reciprocity. When I was walking across the campus this morning I found a beetle. Its life had expired. It was on its back on the sidewalk. I squatted down to examine it and in my mind I asked, 'Who were you?' and 'What was the cause of this?' I tried to enter into a state in which the beetle was not an object. To initiate some kind of relationship with what was left of the beetle is, for me, a kind of practice, an effort to stay in touch with the world. To stay intimate."

Barry Lopez, in William Tydeman, Conversations with Barry Lopez.


Quotes 2017 #85

When the mind swings by a grass-blade
      an ant's forefoot shall save you
the clover leaf smells and tastes as its flower

Ezra Pound, The Pisan Cantos.


Quotes 2017 #84

"In 'Transcendence of the Ego', Sartre argues that when one turns inward to examine one's own states one creates a new object, the ego, that had previously not existed. For Sartre, there is no independent subject of the classical kind, access to which is secured, as Descartes believed, by introspection, an inspection of the mind. Consciousness cannot know itself independent of its relation to things. Far from being a privileged form of self-knowledge, introspection is for Sartre largely deceptive."

Robert Bersconi, How to Read Sartre.


Quotes 2017 #83

"The hell with him, he thought bitterly. The hell with patriotism in general. In the specific and the abstract. Birds of a feather, soldiers and cops. Anti-intellectual and anti-Negro. Anti-everything except beer, dogs, cars and guns."

Philip K. Dick, Eye in the Sky.


Quotes 2017 #82

"If you turn your skin, flesh and fat inside out just like you do a sweater, you turn into a woman. You become a perfect woman, more real than any woman out there... Womanly women, sewing women, office women, anchor women---they are all fake. They are all men's women."

Kyoko Yoshida, "Kyoto Panorama Project."




「2本の共通点は?」というと、それはぼくが出演していること! まあ、それはどうでもいいのですが、震災後の日本のアーティストたちの動揺と迷いと戦いを、どちらも描いたものだといえそうです。

今回の上映は、リール在住の杉江扶美子さんとモルガン・フランソワさんが『ほんとうのうた』にフランス語字幕をつけてくださったことがきっかけとなって企画されました。 この映画はすでにダグ・スレイメイカーさんによる英語字幕があり、それはケンタッキー劇場をはじめアメリカの数カ所で上映されていますが、フランス語圏ではもちろん初めて。一方の『未来をなぞる』のほうは、写真家の畠山さんがリール周辺と縁が深いこともあって(彼はこの地方の炭鉱のぼた山の壮絶に美しい写真集を出しています)、一種の共演のようにして、今回の上映が実現することとなりました。

まずパリではINALCO(国立東洋語・文明学院)で、 15日に『未来をなぞる』、16日に『ほんとうのうた』を上映。ぼくは前者では上映後の質疑応答、後者では上映前のイントロと上映後の質疑応答をこなしました。ついでリールでは、外国語書籍専門店V.Oの地下室で、17日に『ほんとうのうた』、18日に『未来をなぞる」。さらに20日にはヘント大学に場を移し、『ほんとうのうた』の英語字幕版を上映しました。いずれも活発な質問があり、みなさんが熱心に見てくれたことがはっきりとわかる、いい上映会になりました。



もう一度あの日に戻り、すべてを考え直しましょう。物質的にも精神的にも、われわれはどんな社会を望んでいるのか。そのかたちは、世界の他の地域、他の国々の人々との対話により、しだいにはっきりしてきます。 そんな対話の材料を、これらのドキュメンタリーが提供できるように、ぼくには思えます。


Quotes 2017 #81

"Among these plants is the 'corpse vine' (AYAHUASCA), which produces the curative hallucinations of the shaman who, in his spiritual voyages, envisages the investiture of kinship in the forest, as when he sees a forest tree as full of people. His soul travels beyond the confines of the living and the dead into the generalized and depersonalized worlds of the forest and the river, which have been created and are maintained by 'owners' variously described as mothers, anacondas, and beautiful tall white foreigners. 

Though the owners are usually indifferent to humans, they do inflict sickness and death on those who must inevitably invade their domains to survive---to hunt, fish, and farm. It is the shaman who must intervene, paradoxically, by means of the very plant, ayahuasca, whose source of power lies with the owners. He comes to see, as the spirits do, human settlements in the depth of the river and the center of the forest. By sharing the spirits' food and listening to their powerful songs, he mediates between them and the Piro."

Vincent Crapanzano, Negative Horizons.


Quotes 2017 #80

"Bill took out his guitar and began to sing country-and-western songs. The music too was something of a revelation to me. Country music when I was growing up in a redneck town seemed mostly about truckdriving and reactionary Okies from Muskogee, and in the metropolis I moved to, it never intruded itself much on my consciousness. My parents were immigrants' kids, with no more relationship to the culture of the American outback than to the landscape in which they raised us. I had dismissed country as a syrupy retrograde stuff, but the songs Bill sang had a wit and rancor that caught me by surprise."

Rebecca Solnit, Savage Dreams.


Quotes 2017 #79

"The amount of water suspended in the air in the form of cloud is enormous. A small cumulus cloud, 'like a man's hand,' may hold anything from a hundred to a thousand tons of water in suspension. A large cumulus cloud is a mountain of water drops and ice crystals, weighing perhaps a hundred thousand tons, and no meaningful figure can be given for the weight of the deep layer-cloud systems that accompany the depressions of the temperate latitudes."

O.G. Sutton, Understanding Weather.


Quotes 2017 #78

"Emerging from the cinema's cave, drenched in luminous shadows, she liked to keep the silver secret to herself. Whenever she closed her eyes, the back of her eyeballs would re-project the film on the hemispheric screen inside her scull."

Kyoko Yoshida, "They Did Not Read the Same Books."


Quotes 2017 #77

"We decided that this pole told the story of the Bear Mother, kidnapped by a young bear chief (who of course assumed human form when he reached his home and removed his shaggy coat), of their marriage and the twin, half-human cubs she bore, and of the sacrificial death of the Bear Father so the twins could be returned to their human kindred and become the first ancestors of the bear clan."

Bill Reid, "Totem."

Quotes 2017 #76

"Ejaculation is at once a physiological and a linguistic concept. Impotence and speech-blocks, premature emission and stuttering, involuntary ejaculation and the word-river of dreams are phenomena whose interrelations seem to lead back to the central knot of our humanity. Semen, excreta, and words are communicative products."

George Steiner, After Babel.


Quotes 2017 #75

"In a movement so fast it was finished before I grasped it, the first man shot a large jackrabbit, which he leaned down to snatch from the grass without dismounting. He gutted it with a small sharp tool and spilled the intestines out as we rode along. His movements were as deft as a weaver's, and I felt an unexpected pleasure watching him."

Barry Lopez, "In the Great Bend of the Souris River."


Quotes 2017 #74

"The oceans abound in squid. They form the sole food of sperm and bottle-nosed whales and are eaten extensively by dolphins, seals, and oceanic birds. Huge concentrations of squid hovering just below the illuminated zone of surface waters may even be responsible for producing the phantom bottom reflections that haunt echo soundings of the deeper ocean basins."

Lyall Watson, Gifts of Unknown Things.


Quotes 2017 #73

"You think salvation can function without damnation? You think virtue can exist without sin? That's the trouble with you atheists; you don't grasp the mechanics of evil."

Philip K. Dick, Eye in the Sky.


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Nothing restores faith in the possibilities of world harmony as quickly as a well-tuned C-major chord."

Marshall Brown, The Tooth that Nibbles at the Soul.

Quotes 2017 #72

"What is psychoanalysis if it is not an attempt to derive and give authority to a verbal construct of the past? The past is to be re-called by present discourse, Orpheus walking to the light but with his eyes resolutely turned back. Free association and the provocative echo of the analyst are designed to make recollection or, more accurately, collection, spontaneous as well as significant. But whatever the methodology, the resurrection is verbal."

George Steiner, After Babel.


Quotes 2017 #71

"What I want, is TO BE what poetry evokes, which is to say what it creates out of nothing. It really is, as you were saying, something BEYOND poetry, quite the opposite of denigration."

Georges Bataille to Michel Leiris, 14 July 1943.


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Deconstruction and mobility: these are the mental processes in which we discover that self-scattering which is the principal feature of Baudelairean desire."

Leo Bersani, Baudelaire and Freud.

Quotes 2017 #70

"A psychoanalytic theory of fantasy can be most profitably brought into analysis of literary texts not in terms of specific sexual content, but rather in terms of the mobility of fantasy, of its potential for explosive displacements."

Leo Bersani, Baudelaire and Freud.


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"There were moments that spring when I felt as if Rorty was trying to cure us of our infatuation with the numinous and inviting us instead to live in a world where there was nothing more profound than zoning laws and recycling centers."

Michel Bérubé, "Introduction" to Philosophy As Poetry.

Quotes 2017 #69

"The Wolf of the Haidas was a completely imaginary creature, perhaps existing over there on the mainland but never seen on Haida Gwaii. Nevertheless he was an important figure in the crest hierarchy. Troublesome, volatile, ferociously playful, he can usually be found with his sharp fangs embedded in someone's anatomy. Here he is vigorously chewing on the Eagle's wing, while that proud, imperial, somewhat pompous bird retaliates by attacking the Bear's paws."

Bill Reid, "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii."







Quotes 2017 #68

"'Chicago gangsters,' Laws amplified. / 'Then into the Army to slaughter peasants and burn their huts. That's the kind of system we have; that's the kind of country this is. Breeding ground for killers and exploiters.' / Turning to his wife, he said, 'Right, honey? The kids taking dope, capitalists with blood on their hands, starving bums scavenging through garbage cans---'"

Philip K. Dick, Eye in the Sky.



「すばる」4月号の特集は「あの人の日記」。ぼくは「アラスカ日記2014」を寄稿しました。50枚ですから、そこそこ読みでがあります! その後の「リワイルディング」をめぐる活動の発端となった旅でした。

非常に充実した、おもしろい特集。それに加えて、温又柔さんの待望の新作小説200枚も掲載されています。 日頃、文芸雑誌を買うこともない人にも、お勧めできる号です。

Quotes 2017 #67

"We should cut Fanon a little slack here when he reads literature as evidence, understand that he is reading the text as mind, as he would in his practice read minds as text. We cannot imitate him absolutely. The mind doctor does it one-on-one, not just in groups, and therefore when Fanon says that it is not just individual but social, we have to believe him more. What I am trying to do is to talk about subject position. And when he reads literature as evidence, we have to understand his protocols and not imitate him, as socialism attempted to imitate Marx."

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Readings.


Quotes 2017 #66

"[George] Wallace is actually a crucial figure here. Nowadays, Americans mainly remember him as a failed reactionary, or even a snarling lunatic: the last die-hard Southern segregationist standing with an axe outside a public school door. But in terms of his broader legacy, he could just as well be represented as a kind of political genius. He was, after all, the first politician to create a national platform for a kind of right-wing populism that was soon to prove so infectious that by now, a generation later, it has come to be adopted by pretty much everyone, across the political spectrum."

David Graeber, The Utopia of Rules.


写真雑誌「IMA」19号にフォンクベルタ+フォルミゲーラ『秘密の動物誌』から7点の写真が掲載されています。なつかしい! これに合わせて解説的エッセーを寄稿しましたので、ぜひごらんください。本はいまも、ちくま学芸文庫で手に入るよ。


Quotes 2017 #65

"This visit to Paris made a very great impression upon Gertrude Stein. When in the beginning of the war, she and I having been in England and there having been caught by the outbreak of the war and so not returning until October, were back in Paris, the first day we went out Gertrude Stein said, it is strange, Paris is so different but so familiar."

Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.


Quotes 2017 #64

"He was sometimes difficult to talk to, because he had no interest in facile or socially polite conversation, lunch party talk. His conversation was about things that mattered to him, and he was not made uncomfortable by hesitations or breaks in an exchange. His silences appeared to be measuring and sometimes made me anxious. It was years before I understood that his habit was to brood until he felt moved to respond."

Alec Wilkinson, My Mentor.

"He" is William Maxwell.


Ghost Stories Night!

Those of you in the LA area, please come to our reading event tonight. It's called Ghost Stories Night and presented by the Urban Humanities Initiative and the Yanai Initiative. Student's work based on the Little Tokyo workshop of last Sunday, my poetry and slideshow of Minami Soma, Fukushima and Furukawa Hideo's reading of Lafcadio Hearn's Mimi nashi hoichi!

At Decafe, Perloff Hall, UCLA, 7 to 9 pm.

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Often, a moment's impulse sets off a suicide. The day my friend Romain Gary killed himself, he called Geneva, where they were expecting him, to arrange a ride from the airport; he asked a nurse what medicine he should take; he had lunch with Claude Gallimard, his editor, to discuss taxes. He killed himself at the end of this ordinary afternoon."

Roger Grenier, "Leave-taking" in Palace of Books.

Quotes 2017 #63

"Throughout the country confrontations between intrusive groups and those previously settled in this place or that---what Indonesians call PENDATANG (newcomers) and ASLI(oroginals)---have led not just to sectarian eruptions but to ethnic, cultural, tribal, ideological, and economic ones as well. (Petroleum deposits, being place-bound, are not---as Nigeria also demonstrates---altogether conducive to national unity.) If, as I believe, neither the separation of Indonesia into more workable and homogeneous parts nor the integration of it under the aegis of a pervasive, difference-drowning identity is, save perhaps here and there, on the cards, the country will have to develop effective ways of containing and stabilizing such multiplex and multiform differences---something it has hardly as yet begun to do."

Clifford Geertz, Life Among the Authors.


Quotes 2017 #62

"Criticism begins, in other words, with reading: by responding to the implicit appeal made by the work (or, better perhaps, the promise of the work-to-be) to the contingent, always future reader dormant in each and every one of us."

Leslie Hill, "Affirmation Without Precedent."


Quotes 2017 #61

"Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school. You know where you're coming from and you're always returning from it. You know where you're going though you never seem to get there and you're just dead. Dead. It sounds final but it's a word missing an ING."

Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings.





Quotes 2017 (extra)

"I believe that I have experienced waiting in its purest form, by which I mean waiting without waiting for anything."

Roger Grenier, "Writing and Eternity."

Quotes 2017 #60

"As we already found in the case of the shingle beach, seen from the perspective of the sea the ground is much more complex and dynamic that we might have thought. Far from being the hard surface of materiality that we had imagined, upon which all else rests, it reappears as a congeries of heterogeneous materials, thrown together by the vicissitudes of life in the weather world. Indeed wherever we look, the ground bears witness to the liveliness of the processes that have gone on or are going into its formation---to the effects of rain, wind, frost and so on."

Tim Ingold, Being Alive.


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Joy, he [Bill Reid] liked to say, is a well-made object. And objects (as he also liked to say) have a way of becoming more than objects, through the skill, intensity and love that render them well made."

Robert Bringhurst in the introduction to Bill Reid, Solitary Raven.




建築・都市学と、人文地理、社会学を初めとする人文社会系の複合領域から、ロスアンジェルス、メキシコシティ、上海、東京などの研究を進めている人たちです。われわれの大学院プログラム PAC(場所、芸術、意識)とは完全にシンクロ。

到着し、早速日曜日にダウンタウンの「小東京」でワークショップを行いました。ワークショップではぼくがPort Bのプロジェクト「東京ヘテロトピア」を解説し、ついで日系コミュニティ文化センターのビル・ワタナベさんによるリトル・トーキョーの歴史をめぐるお話。



Quotes 2017 #59

"Otherwise, this humble narrative genre [the FAIT DIVERS] obeys the same laws that make literature evolve with our vision of the world. It used to be that insignificant FAITS DIVERS were referred to as 'dogs hit by cars.' Television journalists now call them 'trash cans on fire.' I sense in this transition from the dog to the trash can, from the living to the inanimate, a depersonalization typical of our times."

Roger Grenier, Palace of Books (Alice Kaplan trans.)


Quotes 2017 #58

"Far from engaging in a philosophy of a subject, Michelet and Quinet think of the people in light of their problematic---for always deferred---identity. Rather than embodying a self-presence, the people either are ABOVE themselves---the people in the heroic state that establish themselves in the very invention of liberty---or they are BELOW themselves, when the experience of liberty threatens to revert into its opposite, namely servitude. In short, never coinciding with themselves, never equal to themselves, the people are simultaneously where they are manifest, and where they come to existence, confronted with the ordeal of an insurmountable self-discrepancy. A discrepancy that would wrongly be considered a shortcoming, for it is quite certainly by this deficiency, and by maintaining it, that the opportunities for an anti-authoritarian city are encountered."

Miguel Abensour, Democracy Against the State.


Quotes 2017 #57-b

"I inverted the image of the map from his letter in my mind and began driving south to the highway. After a few moments I turned off the headlights and rolled down the window. I listened to the tires crushing gravel in the roadbed. The sound of it helped me hold the road, together with instinct and the memory of earlier having driven it. I felt the volume of space beneath the clear, star-ridden sky, and moved over the dark prairie like a barn-bound horse."

Barry Lopez, "The Mappist."

Quotes 2017 #57

"The world is a miracle, unfolding in the pitch dark. We're lighting candles. Those maps---they are my candles."

Barry Lopez, "The Mappist."


Quotes 2017 #56

"And there's a becoming black, which is extremely important and has been asserting itself in recent years. And also a becoming that I don't know how to describe because the words are so stupid, a becoming-environment, a becoming-raised-consciousness about the faces of Brazil, its landscapes, its plant and animal realities. I have an impression that this could transform modes of subjectivation profoundly."

Félix Guattari, Molecular Revolution in Brazil.



Quotes 2017 #55

"I am a native of nowhere. I do not know where I come from because I have come from just about everywhere. Until the eighth grade I had never gone to less than three schools a year. In the fifth grade I won the spelling bee in Jacksonville, lost it in Winnipeg, and won it again in Springfield, Missouri."

Clark Blaise, I had a Father.


Quotes 2017 #54

"The desire to read returned as abruptly as it had left. One day I picked up a copy of John McPhee's BASIN AND RANGE. I read it in the evenings, gaining his sense of deep time to understand the dynamism of a landscape that seems the quintessence of stillness."

Barry Lopez, "The Construction of the RACHEL".


Quotes 2017 #53

"Superman is qualitatively, not quantitatively, different from existing man. The thing that the superman discards is precisely our boundless, purely quantitative nonstop progress. The superman is poorer, simpler, tenderer and tougher, quieter and more self-sacrificing and slower of decision, and more economical of speech."

Martin Heidegger, What is Called Thinking? (trans. by J. Glenn Gray)








Quotes 2017 #52

"For Depestre, a zombie has never been as simple a creation as the bleary-eyed villains of 1930s Hollywood B movies. Instead zombification is a state of deterioration based on the loss of one's ti bonanj, one's good angel, which turns one into a vacuous shell of one's former self. A case can be made that the Jacmel I am visiting now cannot help but be a slightly zombified version of its former self, having lost many of its own angels, among them one of its most adept literary chroniclers, to other shores."

Edwidge Danticat, After the Dance.


Quotes 2017 #51

"There is a strange energy in me, an urge to learn life from the roots, and an irrepressible desire to provoke people and things into revealing themselves to me. This makes me think of Herr Benjamenta. But I want to think of something else, that's to say, I don't want to think of anything."

Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten.


Quotes 2017 #50

"Susan, who is four years younger than me, thinks we live in a selfish age. She talks of a Thatcherism of the soul that imagines that people are not dependent on one another. In love, these days, it is a free market; browse and buy, pick and choose, rent and reject, as you like. There's no sexual and social security; everyone has to take care of themselves, or not. Fulfillment, self-expression and 'creativity' are the only values."

Hanif Kureishi, Intimacy.


Quotes 2017 #49

To a spoonful of mustard add three tablespoonfuls of vinegar and a little salt; if you have it, put in two spoonfuls of cream. Grate into this as much horse radish as will thicken it; then mash a clove of garlic, and your sauce is ready."

Lafcadio Hearn's Creole Cookbook.


Quotes 2017 (extra)

"We are all the eyes and ears of the earth; and we think the world's thought."

Lyall Watson, Gifts of Unknown Things.

Quotes 2017 #48

"He had studied English literature--books like GREAT EXPECTATIONS. When I too came to do the same thing, I saw how so many things had ended up getting intertwined here: my father's performance of the book; how the scenes became part of our daily lives and language; how all this spoke to me about the kind of family my father had come from and the changes he had been through before I was in this world."

Michael Rosen, "Memories and Expectations".



4名が修論で扱ったのは、シェアハウスに見る現代日本のシェアリングエコノミーとその背後にあるもの、ボニン・アイランダーズ(小笠原諸島民)のエスニッ ク・アイデンティティ生成史、宮澤賢治作品に見る青の意味+詩の創作、阪神淡路大震災と東日本大震災後のミュージアムの取り組みと記憶の継承。

分野でいえば、社会学、歴史人類学、文学、美術館・博物館学となりますが、これだけの多様性をもった研究室は、あまりないと思います。もっとも、ぼくは別 に大した指導をしているわけではなくて、主な仕事はかれらが何かを出してくるのをじっと待つこと。そして今年も、待った甲斐がありました。

われわれの専攻は「論文+作品制作」という形式で修士号を取得できます。今年は、上記の宮澤賢治論+賢治の心象スケッチを追うかたちでの作品制作により、 ついに文芸創作の修士号を、それも理想的なかたちで出すことができて、感無量でした。この創作は、いずれ詩集として出版されることでしょう。それを心から よろこびたい、新鮮な風が吹き抜ける作品です。





Quotes 2017 #47

"Do you know the mountain halls on Unter den Linden? You ought to pay them a visit some day. The entrance fee is just thirty cents. Even if you should happen to see the cashier eating bread or sausage, there's no need to turn back in disgust, just consider that it's her supper she's eating. Nature demands its rights everywhere. Anywhere there's nature, there's meaning. And now you'll step inside, into the mountains."

Robert Walser, "Mountain Halls".


Quotes 2017 (extra)

I just came across this great sentence. Rather difficult to explain, though.

"Lyrics about love becomes, in other words, like another musical instrument, and love songs become, somehow, pure song."

Nick Hornby, 31 Songs.

Quotes 2017 #46

"Baudelaire had the true intuition of number as a tactile hand or nervous system for interrelating separate units, when he said that 'number is within the individual. Intoxication is a number.' That explains why 'the pleasure of being in a crowd is a mysterious expression of delight in the multiplication of number.' Number, that is to say, is not only auditory and resonant, like the spoken word, but originates in the sense of touch, of which it is an extension."

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media.


Quotes 2017 #45

"It can be a shock to find out capitalism has not always existed. Economists present 'the market' as the natural state of humanity... When you realize that capitalism, once did not exist---either as an economy or a value system---a more shocking thought arises: it might not last for ever. If so, we have to get our heads around the concept of transitions, asking: what constitutes an economic system and how does one give way to another?"

Paul Mason, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future.



11日(土)、葉山でシンガーソングライターの優河さんとのイベント「山のうた、光の葉」を行いました。Bookshop Kasper 主催。近くの山にのぼり、海を眺めながら、ぼくの朗読、彼女のアカペラ、ついでふたりでピエール・バルー追悼の意味を込めてのÇa va, ça vient。それから本屋さんに戻り、優河さんの歌とぼくの詩を交互に。最後はぼくの詩に彼女が即興の音楽をつけてくれて。青空から雪、みぞれ、霰とお天気がめまぐるしく変わり、地形と気象のおもしろみをたっぷり味わえる午後になりました。


お世話になったKasper の青木さん、企画を立ててくれた熊谷さん、ありがとうございました!

Quotes 2017 #44

"During my twenties a succession of thin volumes of verse--Frost's A WITNESS TREE, Philip Larkin's WHITSUN WEDDINGS, Seamus Heaney's NORTH--were the wedges I used to prise open new ways of seeing and feeling."

Nicholas Carr, "The Dreams of Readers"


Quotes 2017 #43

"The woman watched the sun go down. they watched it bathe and wallow in the sea and throw a cloth across the sky. They thanked my father for his help. We give to you the gift of turning life to ice, they said. And this we give you, too. They tipped a little perfume from a jar into a scallop shell. He smelled it---but the skin upon his nose touched the arc of liquid. It froze. Dissolve it in your mouth, they said, and make a wish. My father sucked. My father wished. He wished he had a healthy arm, four fingers and a thumb. It will come true, the woman said."

Jim Crace, The Gift of Stones.


Quotes 2017 #42

"I have always disliked being photographed, but I intensely disliked being photographed by Anna. It is a strange thing to say, I know, but when she was behind a camera she was like a blind person, something in her eyes went dead, an essential light was extinguished. She seemed not to be looking through the lens, at her subject, but rather to be peering inward, into herself, in search of some defining perspective, some essential point of view."

John Banville, The Sea.


Quotes 2017 #41

"Music is the sweetest thing in the world. I absolutely adore notes. I'll run a thousand paces just to hear one. Often when I'm walking through the hot streets in summer and hear the sound of a piano from an unknown house, I stop in my tracks, ready to die on the spot. I'd like to die listening to a piece of music."

Robert Walser, Masquerade & Other Stories.


Quotes 2017 #40

"Without going into detail, and merely to give a general idea (even if we do not feel entirely justified in rounding off figures when it is a question of human lives), it will be recalled that in 1500 the world population is approximately 400 million, of whom 80 million inhabit the Americas. By the middle of the sixteenth century, out of these 80 million, there remain ten. Or limiting ourselves to Mexico: on the eve of the conquest, its population is about 25 million; in 1600, it is one million."

Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America (trans. by Richard Howard).


Quotes 2017 #39

"A kind of morbid curiosity overcame him. What had become of the Cold War with Russia? For that matter, what had become of Russia? Rapidly, he scanned the remaining pages. What he discovered made the hackles of his neck rise.

      Russia, as a category, had been abolished. It was just too painfully unpleasant. Millions of men and women, millions of square miles of land---GONE! What was there, instead? A barren plain? A misty emptiness? A vast pit?"

Philip K. Dick, Eye in the Sky.






Quotes 2017 #38

"Sometimes people ask me if I am from a bookish family. I find it difficult to answer. One answer would be no, not in the traditional sense. My father left school at thirteen and my mother at sixteen. But another answer is: Christ, yes, they really were. Like a lot of working-class English people, in the Fifties and Sixties my father found his cultural life transformed by Allen Lane's Penguin paperback revolution. Now anyone could read Camus or D.H. Lawrence or Maupassant, for no more than a price of a pack of fags."
Zady Smith, "Library Life."





Quotes 2017 #37

"Then, in the last light of day, I was startled by a line of dark torsos and a strange hand on a wall just above the canyon floor. I froze, rigid with fear. My usual mental categories of alive and not-alive became permeable. The painted figures stared at me, transmuted from mere stone as if by magic, and I stared back in terror.

      After a few seconds, my body intervened with my mind, pulling it away from a gaze that engulfed me. The torsos became JUST pictures. My mind discovered a comfortable category for the original perception and the confusion passed. But strangely, seeing them as representations did not reduce the emotion I felt. I was chilled, shivering, though the air was warm. I could not override the feeling that the figures were looking at me, and that I was seeing what I wasn't supposed to see."

Jack Turner, The Abstract Wild.


Quotes 2017 #36

"Take fifty photos of anyone. There will be some photos where the face is so different you can hardly recognize the subject. I mean most people have many faces. Jerry had one. Don Juan says anyone who always looks like the same person isn't a person. He is a person impersonator. "

William Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night.


Quotes 2017 #35

"To protect yourself from lightning, the Navajo say, wear a bead of turquoise in your hair. The Navajo divinity Changing Woman, so named because she is life springing from nothing and a woman who renews her youth each season, lives in a house with a turquoise door and four footprints of turquoise leading to a turquoise room. Changing Woman looks through binoculars of rock crystal, the stone of light beams and fire and a natural ally of turquoise. Carried on the tongue, rock crystal is the word in a prayer that means truth."

Ellen Meloy, The Anthropology of Turquoise.



ウェブマガジン「水牛のように」2月号に「狂狗集 2の巻」を発表しました。


俳句の5・7・5をクレイジーに壊した、短い1行詩の集積。 まずはごらんください。

Quotes 2017 #34

"The animal scrutinizes him across a narrow abyss of non-comprehension. This is why the man can surprise the animal. Yet the animal--even if domesticated--can also surprise the man. The man too is looking across a similar, but not identical, abyss of non-comprehension. And this is so wherever he looks. He is always looking across ignorance and fear."

John Berger, "Why Look at Animals?"


Quotes 2017 #33

"Mardohai Simhon claimed the silk scarf he wore around his neck was a mirror.
      'Look,' he said, 'my head is separated from my body by a scarf. Who dares give me the lie if I say I walk with a knotted mirror under my chin? The scarf reflects a face, and you think it is of flesh. Night is the mirror. Day the scarf. Moon and Sun reflected features. But my true face, brothers, where did I lose it?'
      At his death, a large scar was discovered on his neck."

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Yukel.


Quotes 2017 #32

"Day by day he felt the skin of his face hardening in the weather; the stubble of hair on the lower part of his face became smooth as his skin roughened, and the backs of his hands reddened and then browned and darkened in the sun. He felt a leanness and a hardness creep upon his body; he thought at times that he was moving into a new body, or into a real body that had lain hidden beneath layers of unreal softness and whiteness and smoothness."

John Williams, Butcher's Crossing.


Quotes 2017 #16 (replaced)

"At the end of a short period I began to feel that the prayer had, so to speak, passed to my heart. In other words I felt that my heart in its natural beating began, as it were, to utter the words of the prayer. For instance, ONE "Lord"; TWO "Jesus"; THREE "Christ," and so forth. No longer did I say the prayer with my lips, but listened attentively to the words formed in my heart, remembering what my departed elder told me about this state of bliss. Then I began to feel a slight pain in my heart, ..."
The Way of a Pilgrim.

今年の引用集、1月分は終わりましたが、#1, 15, 16がフランス語だったので、英語で読めるものに差し替えます。学生たちの日々の英語学習という目標のために。もっとも、前のものもそのまま残しておきます。

Quotes 2017 #15 (replaced)

"Anyway, I loved Graham Greene. His words were filled with a discomfort I related to. There were all kinds of discomforts on offer. Discomforts of guilt, sex, Catholicism, unrequited love, forbidden lust, tropical heat, politics, war. Everything was uncomfortable, except the prose.
      I loved the way he wrote. I loved the way he'd compare a solid thing to something abstract. 'He drank the brandy down like damnation.' I loved this technique even more now, because the divide between the material and non-material worlds seemed to have blurred. With depression. Even my own physical body seemed unreal and abstract and partly fictional."

Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive.

Quotes 2017 #1 (replaced)

"Supposing it wasn't true that the earth had already existed long before I was born---how should we imagine the mistake being discovered?"

(Angenommen, es sei nicht wahr, dass die Erde schon lange vor meiner Geburt existiert hat, wie hat man sich die Entdeckung dieses Fehlers vorzustellen?)

Wittgenstein, On Certainty.

Quotes 2017 #31

"No woman would kill a whale. Whales give birth to livin' young, they don't lay eggs like fish. They feed their babies with milk from their breasts, like women, and we never killed them. The man who killed the whale never tasted whale meat from the time of his first kill until after he'd retired as a whaler. And neither did his wife, because he had to be purified and linked to the whale and the link was through his wife, by way of the woman's blood and woman's milk, and this was a promise made by Copper Woman, through the magic women, to the whales. No one linked to them will eat of them. It is a promise."

Anne Cameron, Daughters of Copper Woman.


Quotes 2017 #30

"The job I mentioned lasted just one day. I took the men out and carried the thing through to success, sore feet, and numb limbs, --but, --there was no work to be done next day, nor the next, ...

Hart Crane, Letter to William Wright, Oct. 17, 1921.


Quotes 2017 #29

"In the morning I felt so fresh for writing, but now the idea that I am to read to Max in the afternoon blocks me completely. This shows too how unfit I am for friendship, assuming that friendship in this sense is even possible."

Kafka, December 30, 1911.


Quotes 2017 #28

"A man can't sleep. He takes a job driving a cab all night. On his first shift a woman gets in. 'By the river,' she says. They drive downtown, across the sleepy clacking of the bridge. At the far end of the bridge the road simply descends underwater. The man is surprised but strangely unalarmed. The cab sinks down below the lamps and sidewalks, into the waves. 'This is fine here,' says the woman. When she pays, the scales on her body shimmer in the man's eyes."

Barry Yourgrau, Wearing Dad's Head.




Quotes 2017 #27

"H.'s stories yesterday in the office. The stone breaker on the highway who begged a frog from him, held it by the feet and with three bites swallowed down first the little head, then the rump and finally the feet. -- The best way to kill cats, who cling stubbornly to life: Squeeze their throats in a closed door and pull their tails..."

Kafka's Diary, September 18, 1912.


Quotes 2017 #26

"Dad has always had a fear of flying. They were the only times in my childhood that I could recall him drinking. As a rule, he avoided flying, we traveled by car if we were going anywhere, regardless of how far it was, but sometimes he had to, and then it was a case of knocking back whatever alcoholic drinks were available in the airport café."

Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle Book 1.


Quotes 2017 #25

"It's curious to think of the ground between the trenches, a bank which is practically never seen by anyone in the daylight, as it is only safe to move through it at dark. It's full of dead things, dead animals here and there, dead unburied animals, skeletons of horses destroyed by shell fire. It's curious to think of it later on in the war, when it will again be seen in daylight."

T.E. Hulme, quoted by John Gray in The Silence of Animals.














Quotes 2017 #24

"What's certain, what I immediately experienced, when, around the age of thirty, I began to enjoy writing, was that this pleasure always communicated somewhat with the death of others, with death in general."

Michel Foucault, Speech Begins after Death.


My understanding

"Is my understanding only blindness to my own lack of understanding? It often seems so to me." (Wittgenstein)

(Ist mein Verständnis nur Blindheit gegen mein eigenes Unverständnis? Oft scheint es mir so.)


Quotes 2017 #23

"The myth is always the starting point of all poetry, including the realistic, except that in the latter we accompany the myth in its descent, in its fall. This collapse of the poetic is the theme of realistic poetry."

José Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Quixote.


2月11日、みんなで山に行きませんか? シンガー・ソングライターの優河さんと、以下のイベントをします。きっとお天気、きっと気持ちいいよ。



1月31日は下北沢B&Bへどうぞ! ドリアン助川さんと、サン=テグジュペリ『星の王子さま』についてとことん語り合います。原文朗読もやるよ。



27日(金)〜29日(日)にかけて、Port Bと鳳甲美術館による北投ヘテロトピアのまとめのイベントを、台湾文化センターで開催します。この驚くべきプロジェクトの全貌を知る、またとない機会です。ぜひ、いらしてください。


Quotes 2017 #22

"The rule is not not to eat animal meat. The rule is not to kill. So when we encounter a dead doe on the road, we express our gratitude to Earth and eat it. We must eat it so that life is not wasted. When we stumble upon a dead pigeon in the dark, we thank Heaven and pluck it. Thus I've eaten rabbits, weasels, raccoons."

Kyoko Yoshida, "Squirrel Heaven"

I just love, love, love this piece. She's definitely one of the most exciting English-language writers today!


Quotes 2017 #21

"The first stuffed animals were produced, and the most expensive were covered with real animal skin--usually the skin of still-born calves."

John Berger, About Looking.


Quotes 2017 #20

"Essays should always be written neatly and legibly. Only a bad essay-writer forgets to apply himself to the clarity of both the thoughts and the letters. You should always think first before you write."

Robert Walser, A Schoolboy's Diary (Damion Searls trans.)






Quotes 2017 #19

When I was four I followed my youngest uncle
five miles across fields reclaimed from the sea,
on and on until my little legs were buckling
by the time we reached the sea that went soaring up to the sky.

Ko Un, "The Wife from Kwi Island"


Quotes 2017 #18

"Here I am inclined to fight windmills, because I cannot yet say the thing I really want to say." (Ich bin hier geneigt, gegen Windmühlen zu kämpfen, weil ich das noch nicht sagen kann, was ich eigentlich sagen will.)

Wittgenstein, On Certainty.


Quotes 2017 #17

"Supermarket produce sections have long been one of America's underappreciated wonders. We think of supermarkets as being the places where food is bought and sold, but they are simply the most visible part of the massive, hidden network that sprawls out beneath them---and this is especially true when it comes to produce."

Tracie McMillan, The American Way of Eating.


Quotes 2017 #16

"Philosopher commence plutôt avec ce que j'ai, le mal dont je souffre, la pathologie qui me travaille. Avoir donc, plutôt que Être..."

(Jean-Clet Martin, Deleuze)





Quotes 2017 #15

"La soirée sur FR3 (il y a déjà longtemps) a été bouleversante. Vous donnez à la poésie une vie, une force, une rigueur qui n'a d'égale que chez les plus grands poètes. Vous êtes de ceux-là."

Gilles Deleuze à Gherasim Luca, 4/3/89


Quotes 2017 #14

"I hesitated some time, not knowing whether to open these memoirs at the beginning or at the end, i.e., whether to start with my birth or with my death."

Machado de Assis, Epitaph of a Small Winner (trans. by William Grossman)


Quotes 2017 #13

"There will soon be nothing more than self-communicating zombies, whose lone umbilical relay will be their own feedback image - electronic avatars of dead shadows who, beyond death and the river Styx, will wander, perpetually passing their time retelling their own story."

Jean Baudrillard, Telemorphosis. (Drew Burk trans.)


Quotes 2017 #12

"The center of Sophia has not changed in seven thousand years. Neolithic excavations say as much: Sophia is the only European city that has stubbornly preserved its heart for so many millenia."

Julia Kristeva, Interviews.

This makes me want to go to Sophia... 


Quotes 2017 #11

"Ah, I do like people who can get angry. Kraus gets angry on the slightest pretext. That is so beautiful, so humorous, so noble."

Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten.



「週刊朝日」1月20日号の「今週の一冊」コーナーに長めの書評を書きました。フランスを拠点に活躍する仲野麻紀さんの『旅する音楽 サックス奏者と音の経験』(せりか書房)について。







Quotes 2017 #10

"To say goodbye, and to have it said to me, is terrible. At such moments something gives human life a shake, and one feels vividly how nothing one is."

Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten.


MLA 2017

文学関係の学会としては世界最大の Modern Language Associationの年次大会、終了しました。今年はフィラデルフィアで開催。参加者は1万人ともいわれ、ものすごい数のパネルが木曜から日曜までびっしり行われます。古い友人たちとの情報交換や、文学・文化研究の新刊書を手にとってみるのにもいい機会。また大学のポジションに応募した人たちにとっては面接が行われるときでもあり、緊張した面持ちの若手の研究者がたくさん会場を行き交っています。

ぼくが参加したパネルは 1月6日(金)午後に行われました。"Nature and Disaster in the Contemporary Japanese Cultural Imagination" と題されたもので、ぼく、Alex Bates、Kathryn Hemmann、Douglas Slaymaker の4名が発表し、質疑応答がそれにつづきました。

ぼくの発表タイトルは "What About Animals? In the Wake of Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima" で、これまでに他のところでも話してきた古川日出男、木村友祐の震災後の作品を扱っていますが、時間が限られていることもあって、特に古川さんの戯曲『冬眠する熊に添い寝してごらん』に焦点を絞って話しました。途方もないユーモアをもって、明治以後の日本の歴史を鋭く問う傑作です。


Quotes 2017 #9

"What does one remember of a face in the end? No, I didn't have a photograph, I only had my memory: and my memory was mine alone, it wasn't describable, it was the look I remembered on Xavier's face."

Antonio Tabucchi, Indian Nocturne.


Quotes 2017 #8

"The Chinese use meat almost as a condiment, adding flavor, instead of employing the Big Honking Slab culinary technique favored by Americans."

Bill McKibben, Eaarth.


Quotes 2017 #7

"We walked on. Ah, these corridors of compulsory suffering and of terrible deprivation seemed endless to me, and perhaps they really were endless. The seconds were like whole lifetimes, and the minutes took on the size of anguished centuries. "

Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten. (Christopher Middleton trans.)


Quotes 2017 #6

"For I do not exist: there exist but the thousands of mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases. Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply. I alone do not exist."

Vladimir Nabokov, The Eye.


Quotes 2017 #5

"If I close my eyes I see your ears, the left one sticking out more than the right. My best friend at school used to claim that human ears are like dictionaries and that, if you know how, you can look up words in them. Limpid, for instance, Limpid."

John Berger, From A to X.


Quotes 2017 #4

     " 'Why?' I asked. I was getting interested.
      'I write postcards. It's me who writes the ladies and gents of Philadelphia now. Postcards with a nice sea and the deserted Calangute beach, and on the back I write: Best wishes from Mailman Tommy. I've got up to letter C. Obviously I skip the areas I'm not interested in and send them without a stamp, the person who gets it pays.'"

Antonio Tabucchi, Indian Nocturne.


Quotes 2017 #3

"We only have sympathy to struggle and to write, Lawrence used to say. But sympathy is something to be reckoned with, it is a bodily struggle, hating what threatens and infects life, loving where it proliferates (no posterity or lineage, but a proliferation...).

Deleuze & Parnet, Dialogues (trans. Tomlinson & Habberjam)





Quotes 2017 #2

"The natives use human excrement for tanning leather. When Bernal Diaz came with Cortés to the great market-place of Mexico City, in Montezuma's day, he saw the little pots of human excrement in rows for sale, and the leather-makers going round sniffing to see which was the best, before they paid for it."

D.H.Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico, 1927.


2017! & Quote of the day #1

Happy new year to y'all, friends across the universe and multiverse! This year I will give you a quote a day. Here goes the first. Enjoy!

"L'écriture d'Artaud est située à un tel niveau d'incandescence, d'incendie, et de transgression, qu'au fond il n'y a rien à dire sur Artaud. Il n'y a pas de livre à écrire sur Artaud. Il n'y a pas de critique à faire d'Artaud. La seule solution serait d'écrire comme lui, d'entrer dans le plagiat d'Artaud."

Roland Barthes, Sur la littérature (avec Maurice Nadeau, 1980)