Friday 30 June 2017

French Lessons #180

"Il se voit voyant, il se touche touchant, il est visible et sensible pour soi-même." (Merleau-Ponty)

Quotes 2017 #180

The angels yawning in an empty heaven;
Alternate shows of dynamite and rain;
And choosing forced on free will: fire or ice.

(Philip Larkin)

Wednesday 28 June 2017

French Lessons #179

"... je paie avec mon argent le plaisir des autres." (Proust)

Quotes 2017 #179

"When, for instance, Marcel Duchamp once invited me to play a game with him, I forgot everything I knew about the game because of my unholy respect for his knowledge of it." (Henry Miller)

French Lessons #178

"Si elle ne m'aimait pas un peu, se disait-il, elle ne souhaiterait pas de me transformer. Pour me transformer, il faudra qu'elle me voie davantage." (Proust)

Quotes 2017 #178

The daily things we do
For money or for fun
Can disappear like dew
Or hardens and live on.
Strange reciprocity:
The circumstance we cause
In time gives rise to us,
Becomes our memory.

(Philip Larkin)

Monday 26 June 2017

French Lessons #177

"Et la mort avec elles a quelque chose de moins amer, de moins inglorieux, peut-être de moins probable." (Proust)

Quotes 2017 #177

Suspended lion face
Spilling at the centre
Of an unfurnished sky
How still you stand,
And how unaided
Single stalkless flower
You pour unrecompensed.

(Philip Larkin)

Sunday 25 June 2017

French Lessons #176

"Puisque vous le voulez, répondit Odette sur un ton de marivaudage, et elle ajouta : vous savez que je ne suis pas FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS." (Proust)

Quotes 2017 #176

The dog had fallen from a high cliff down onto the road, and then trucks and cars had run over it, I guess, because the dog was only an inch thick.

The dog was white, and its guts were white.

When I saw the dog I couldn't believe it for a moment.

Then I had to believe it.

Then I started crying.

I was five years old.
The dog was the first dead animal I had seen.

I had always thought that everything lived forever.

(Richard Brautigan, "Awakening")

Saturday 24 June 2017










French Lessons #175

"On doit faire attention à tout... mes chiens alors?" (Céline)

French Lessons #174

Fais comme si
une ville
plus grande
que New York,
plus grande
toutes les villes

(Richard Brautigan)

Quotes 2017 #175

"No grey either, black is what I should have said. Nothing then but me, of which I know nothing, except that I have never uttered, and this black, of which I know nothing either, except that it is black, and empty." (Beckett)

Quotes 2017 #174

"All these Murphys, Molloys and Malones do not fool me. They have made me waste my time, suffer for nothing, speak of them when, in order to stop speaking, I should have spoken of me and of me alone." (Beckett)

Thursday 22 June 2017

French Lessons #173

"Cas exemplaire de Thomas Hardy : les personnages chez lui ne sont pas des personnes ou des sujets, ce sont des collections de sensations intensives, chacun est une telle collection, un paquet, un bloc de sensations variables." (Deleuze & Parnet)

French Lessons #172

"Une fuite est une espèce de délire. Délirer, c'est exactement sortir du sillon (comme 'déconner', etc.). Il y a quelque chose de démoniaque, ou de démonique, dans une ligne de fuite." (Deleuze & Parnet)

Quotes 2017 #173

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you--Nobody--too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise--you know!

How dreary--to be--Somebody!
How public--like a Frog--
To tell one's name--the livelong June--
To an admiring Bog!

(Emily Dickinson)

At UC Irvine

On 15 and 16 June, I participated in the conference OF SOILS, ROOTS, AND STREAMS: A SYMPOSIUM ON ECOLOGY AND JAPAN held at UC Irvine and organized by Mimi Long and David Fedman.

It was a wonderful meeting. I showed the 20-minute documentary film on Minami Soma "Memories of Water, Memories of Land" (dir. Yohei Kogi, 2016) narrated by yours truly. Then for closing we had Yoh Kawano's 50-minute documentary shot in the same area "Human Error" (2017).  In-between were dense presentations and discussions on environmental history of Japan and such. All in all, very meaningful.

Irvine is such an artificial city I kept laughing! Without a car there is absolutely nothing you can do but exercise in your hotel room. One of the buildings on campus were named after Murray Krieger. At one time back in 1980s I almost applied to this graduate school to major in literary theory...

But I liked the atmosphere! Ojala que yo pueda repetir la visita. Thanks to all my friends, old and new, whom I saw and met. Happy summer solstice to you all.

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Quotes 2017 #172

Selflessness is like waiting in a hospital
In a badly-fitting suit on a cold wet morning.
Selfishness is like listening to good jazz
With drinks for further orders and a huge fire.

(Philip Larkin)

Tuesday 20 June 2017

French Lessons #171

"La tête est une espèce d'usine qui marche pas très bien comme on veut..." (Céline)

Quotes 2017 #171

"What's in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours. A star, a daystar, a firedrake rose at his birth." (Ulysses)

French Lessons #170

"Elle devine sous elle un banc de poissons, plonge. Elle aime cet instant où son corps bascule et pénètre la densité de l'eau. Les poissons ont disparu, elle a dû piquer trop vivement. Il faudrait pouvoir se fondre." (Claude Pujade-Renaud)

Quotes 2017 #170

"LOGOS is a large animal whose parts are assembled into a whole and unified under a principle or a directing idea. PATHOS, on the other hand, is a plant composed of separate parts; the parts communicate only indirectly with one another and by means of a part which is itself separate, and so on ad infinitum, to the point where there can be no further unification of this world; its ultimate pieces no longer lack anything." (Deleuze)

Sunday 18 June 2017

French Lessons #169

"L'humour est traître, c'est la trahison. L'humour est atonal, absolument imperceptible, il fait filer quelque chose. Il est toujours au milieu, sur le chemin." (Deleuze et Parnet)

Quotes 2017 #169

"Poor Law appeared first in the form of the Ordinance of Labourers promulgated in 1349 under Edward III, which required work at legally limited wages of all able-bodied workmen and workwomen 'free or servile,' anyone who refused being jailed 'until he find security to serve in the form aforesaid.' The occasion for this ordinance was the Black Death, which had depleted the population so severely that workers were in great demand, and accordingly able to ask for higher wages than they had previously received."

Marilynne Robinson, Mother Country.

Saturday 17 June 2017

French Lessons #168

"Contre la psychanalyse nous n'avons dit que deux choses : elle casse toutes les productions de désir, elle écrase toutes les formations d'énoncés." (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #168

"Singing. Waiting she sang. I turned her music. Full voice of perfume of what perfume does your liractrees. Bosom I saw, both full, throat warbling. First I saw. She thanked me. Why did she me? Fate. Spanishy eyes." (Ulysses)

It seems pretty obvious to me that Beckett comes from this style.

Friday 16 June 2017

Happy Bloomsday!

And let me quote this in the spirit of 山川草木鳥獣虫魚党 (The Party for Mountains, Rivers, Grasses, Trees, Birds, Animals, Insects, and Fishes) my own one-person para-political non-party:

"Lovely maidens sit in close proximity to the roots of the lovely trees singing the most lovely songs while they play with all kinds of lovely objects as for example golden ingots, silvery fishes, crans of herrings, drafts of eels, codlings, creels of fingerlings, purple seagems and playful insects." (Ulysses)

French Lessons #167

"Que chacun, groupe ou individu, construise le plan d'immanence où il mène sa vie et son entreprise, c'est la seule affaire importante." (Deleuze et Parnet)

Quotes 2017 (extra)

"Charming, seasmiling and unanswering Lydia on Lidwell smiled." (Ulysses)

Don't you think this word "seasmiling" is irresistibly charming?

Quotes 2017 #167

"Life is many days. This will end." (Ulysses)

Thursday 15 June 2017

French Lessons #166

"L'artiste crée des blocs de percepts et d'affects, mais la seule loi de la création, c'est que le composé doit tenir tout seul." (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #166

Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves." (Ulysses)

Wednesday 14 June 2017

French Lessons #165

"La pensée peut-elle à ce titre être le verbe d'un Je? Il n'y a pas de réponse directe." (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #165

"Mouth, south. Is the mouth south someway? Or the south a mouth? Must be some. South, pout, out, shout, drouth. Rhymes: two men dressed the same, looking the same, two by two." (Ulysses)

Tuesday 13 June 2017

French Lessons #164

"Van Gogh ne pousse le jaune à l'illimité qu'en inventant l'homme-tournesol, et en traçant le plan des petites virgules infinies." (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #164

"Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liver slices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencod's roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine." (Joyce)

Probably one of the most famous paragraphs from Ulysses! To this day I haven't eaten mutton kidneys, though. And I want to eat my cod roes raw.

French Lessons #163

"On peint, on sculpte, on compose, on écrit avec des sensations. On peint, on sculpte, on compose, on écrit des sensations." (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #163

"Over his untastable apology for a cup of coffee, listening to this synopsis of things in general, Stephen stared at nothing in particular... Then he looked up and saw the eyes that said or didn't say the words the voice he heard said---if you work."

James Joyce, Ulysses.

Sunday 11 June 2017

French Lessons #162

"Comme la noirceur secrète du lait, dont Valéry a parlé, n'est accessible qu'à travers sa blancheur, l'idée de la lumière ou l'idée musicale doublent par en dessous les lumières et les sons, en sont l'autre côté ou la profondeur." (Merleau-Ponty)

Quotes 2017 #162

"After several days' repetition of this, I became bitter, so tired of repetition that I decided to return home. I made no great discovery, yet it was strange, because I had discovered that there was no such thing as repetition. I became aware of this by having it repeated in every possible way."

Kierkegaard, "Repetition." (Trans. by M.G. Piety)

French Lessons #161

"Kierkegaard disait bien qu'il était poète de la foi plutôt que chevalier, bref un HUMORISTE." (Deleuze)

Quotes 2017 #161

"From that window again, she could see the house where the man who invented time-lapse photography lived but he was dead now..."

Jamaica Kincaid, See Now Then.

Friday 9 June 2017

French Lessons #160

"L'œuvre d'art quitte le domaine de la représentation pour devenir 'expérience', empirisme transcendantale ou science du sensible." (Deleuze)

Quotes 2017 #160

"A discovery, for example, occurs when it suddenly becomes plain that a message was not only metaphoric but also literal, or vice versa. That is to say, the explosive moment in humor is the moment when the labeling of the mode undergoes a dissolution and resynthesis."

Gregory Bateson, Steps to An Ecology of Mind.

Thursday 8 June 2017

Quotes 2017 #159

"To the Zoo, I said. It is rare for a capital to be without a Zoo. I added, Don't go too fast. He laughed. The suggestion that he might go too fast to the Zoo must have amused him."

Beckett, "The Expelled".

French Lessons #159

"Mais le penseur lui-même fait de toutes choses ses différences individuelles ; c'est en ce sens qu'il est chargé des pierres et des diamants, des plantes 'et des animax même'." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #158

"Kant ne cesse de rappeler que les Idées sont essentiellement 'problématiques'. Inversement, les problèmes sont les Idées elles-mêmes." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #157

"Mais l'art de l'esthétique est l'humour, art physique des signaux et des signes, déterminant les solutions partielles ou les cas de solution, bref art impliqué des quantités intensives." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #156

"Aussi l'esthétique des intensités développe-t-elle chacun de ses moments en correspondance avec la dialectique des Idées : la puissance de l'intensité (profondeur) est fondée dans la potentialité de l'Idée." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #155

"Les Idées sont des multiplicités virtuelles, problématiques ou 'perplexes', faites de rapports entre éléments différentiels." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #154

"C'est avec Spinoza que l'être univoque cesse d'être neutralisé, et devient expressif, devient une véritable proposition expressive affirmative." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #153

"Et la lutte que Spinoza entreprend contre Descartes n'est pas sans rapport avec celle que Duns Scot menait contre saint Thomas." (Deleuze)

Quotes 2017 #158

"Yes, I once took an interest in astronomy, I don't deny it. Then it was geology that killed a few years for me. The next pain in the balls was anthropology and the other disciplines, such as psychiatry, that are connected with it, disconnected, then connected again, according to the latest discoveries." (Beckett, Molloy)

Wednesday 7 June 2017



French Lessons #152

"L'expression 'différence d'intensité' est une tautologie. L'intensité est la forme de la différence comme raison du sensible. Toute intensité est différentielle, différence en elle-même." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #151

"La différence n'est pas le divers. Le divers est donné. Mais la différence, c'est ce par quoi le donné est donné. C'est ce par quoi le donné est donné comme divers. La différence n'est pas le phénomène, mais le plus proche noumène du phénomène." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #150

"Qu'on se rappelle l'idée d'Artaud : la cruauté, c'est seulement LA détermination, ce point précis où le déterminé entretient son rapport essentiel avec l'indéterminé, cette ligne rigoureuse abstraite qui s'alimente au clair-obscur." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #149

"Apprendre n'est que l'intermédiaire entre non-savoir et savoir, le passage vivant de l'un à l'autre." (Deleuze)

French Lessons #148

"Apprendre à nager, c'est conjuguer des points remarquables de notre corps avec les points singuliers de l'Idée objective, pour former un champ problématique." (Deleuze)

Quotes 2017 #157

"Thus Vico asserts the spontaneity of language and denies the dualism of poetry and language. Similarly, poetry is the foundation of writing. When language consisted of gesture, the spoken and written were identical." (Beckett)

Tuesday 6 June 2017

French Lessons #147

"Nul moins que Nietzsche ne peut passer pour une belle âme. Son âme est extrêmement belle, mais non pas au sens de belle âme ; nul plus que lui n'a le sens de la cruauté, le goût de la destruction." (Deleuze)

Monday 5 June 2017

Quotes 2017 #156

"I ate like a thrush. But the little I did eat I devoured with a voracity usually attributed to heavy eaters, and wrongly, for heavy eaters as a rule eat ponderously and with method, that follows from the very notion of heavy eating."

Samuel Beckett, Molloy.

Sunday 4 June 2017

French Lessons #146

"Le schizo-analyse est à la fois une analyse transcendantale et matérialiste." (D-G)

French Lessons #145

"Malcolm Lowry dit de son œuvre : c'est tout ce que vous voulez, du moment que ça fonctionne, 'et elle fonctionne, soyez-en sûrs, car j'en ai fait l'expérience'---une machinerie." (D-G)

French Lessons #144

"L'inconscient ne pose aucun problème de sens, mais uniquement des problèmes d'usage. La question du désir est, non pas 'qu'est-ce que ça veut dire?', mais COMMENT ÇA MARCHE. (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #155

"It is from the silence that words are drawn, and it is to the silence that they return, if properly used. In the interval something inexplicable takes place: a man who is dead, let us say, resuscitates himself, takes possession of you, and in departing leaves you thoroughly altered." (Henry Miller)

French Lessons #143

"Contrairement à Reich, la schizo-analyse ne fait aucune distinction de nature entre l'économie politique et l'économie libidinale." (D-G)

French Lessons #142

"Quelqu'un nous a demandé si nous avions jamais vu un schizophrène, non, non, nous n'en avons jamais vu." (D-G)

French Lessons #141

"Le processus schizophrénique (pôle shizoïde) est révolutionnaire et fasciste ; et, débarrassées de tout familialisme, ce ne sont pas ces catégories psychiatriques qui doivent nous faire comprendre les déterminations économico-politiques, mais exactement le contraire." (D-G)

French Lessons #140

"Tout n'était que lumière, poussière, cris, joie, tumulte ; les uns dépensaient, les autres gagnaient, les uns et les autres également joyeux." (Baudelaire)

French Lessons #139

"Et ce monde rendait une étrange musique, / Comme l'eau courante et le vent," (Baudelaire)

Quotes 2017 #154

"The first animal to learn of Adam's fall to earth was the eagle. It was a friend of the whale, and it came to him and said: 'Today I saw a large creature that was, by turns, dejected and happy, standing and sitting, coming and going.' The whale said: 'If what you are saying is true, then the time has come when I may not share the seas with him nor you the land. I bid you farewell.' So the vulture went to Adam and befriended him, and other beasts and birds came to Adam and befriended him, and wept alongside him for an age. When all of this weeping vexed them, they left him and only the vulture remained, and he continued to weep."

Shihab Al-Din Al-Nuwayri, The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition. (Elias Muhanna trans.)

What kind of book is this? Exactly something I have long waited...

Friday 2 June 2017

French Lessons #138

"Freud, c'est le Luther et l'Adam Smith de la psychiatrie." (D-G)

French Lessons #137

"Les formations sauvages sont orales, vocales, mais non pas parce qu'elles manquent d'un système graphique : une danse sur la terre, un dessin sur une paroi, une marque sur le corps sont un système graphique, un géo-graphisme, une géographie." (D-G)

French Lessons #136

"L'inconscient ne dit rien, il machine. Il n'est pas expressif ou représentatif, mais productif." (D-G)

French Lessons #135

"La schizo-analyse renonce à toute interprétation, parce qu'elle renonce délibérément à découvrir un matériel inconscient : l'inconscient ne veut rien dire." (D-G)

French Lessons #134

"Mais c'est sur le corps sans organes que tout se passe et s'enregistre, même les copulations des agents, même les divisions de Dieu, même les généalogies quadrillantes et leurs permutations." (D-G)

French Lessons #133

"Le corps plein sans organes est l'improductif, le stérile, l'inengendré, l'inconsommable. Antonin Artaud l'a découvert, là où il était, sans forme et sans figure... C'est le corps sans image." (D-G)

French Lessons #132

"La règle de produire toujours du produire, de greffer du produire sur le produit, est le caractère des machines désirantes ou de la production primaire : production de production." (D-G)

French Lessons #131

"Le schizophrène est le producteur universel. Il n'y a pas lieu de distinguer ici le produire et son produit. Du moins l'objet produit emporte-t-il son ICI dans un nouveau produire." (D-G)

Quotes 2017 #153

"There was a moon, low in the sky and worn, thumbed partly away like an old coin, and he went on. Above banana and palm the cathedral spires soared without perspective on the hot sky. Looking through the tall pickets into Jackson square was like looking into an aquarium---a moist and motionless absinthe-cloudy green of all shades from ink black to a thin and rigid feathering of silver on pomegranate and mimosa---like coral in a tideless sea, amid which globular lights hung dull and unstraying as jellyfish, incandescent yet without seeming to emanate light; and in the center of it Andrew's baroque plunging stasis nimbused about with thin gleams as though he too were recently wetted."

William Faulkner, Mosquitoes.

Quotes 2017 #152

"Millions of Mainland Chinese fled to Taiwan with the National Government after its civil war defeat by the Chinese Communists in 1949. Their children were brought up in an uneasy atmosphere created by the parents' own uncertainty about the future. Many formed street gangs to search for identity and to strengthen their sense of security."

Introduction to Edward Yang's film A Brighter Summer Day.

Thursday 1 June 2017

French Lessons #130

"Il y aura toujours un Breton contre Artaud, un Gœthe contre Lenz, un Schiller contre Hölderlin, pour surmoiïser la littérature, et nous dire : attention, pas plus loin! pas de 'faute de tact'! Werther oui, Lenz non! (D-G)