Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A conjunction of quotations #9

— edited by Ryland Walker Knight

throw it back
William Gale Gedney


I believe in me. I’m a little screwed up but I’m beautiful.
Steve McQueen


As he stood in the darkness outside the church these memories came back with the poignancy of vanished things. Watching Mattie whirl down the floor from hand to hand he wondered how he could ever have thought his dull talk interested her. To him, who was never gay but in her presence, her gaiety seemed plain proof of indifference. The face she lifted to her dancers was the same which, when she saw him, always looked like a window that has caught the sunset. He even noticed two or three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him: a way of throwing her head back when she was amused, as if to taste her laugh before she let it out, and a trick of sinking her lids slowly when anything charmed or moved her.
Edith Wharton


[Hats] can be great fun. And it is true that they can put a woman in a good mood. Anyone who laughs at this fact just knows nothing about the finer points of woman’s capacity for survival.
Marlene Dietrich


In the quotation that both slaves and chastises, language proves the matrix of justice. It summons the word by its name, wrenches it destructively from its context, but precisely thereby calls it back to its origin. It appears, now with rhyme and reason, sonorously, congruously in the structure of a new text. As rhyme it gathers the similar into its aura; as name it stands alone and expressionless. In quotation the two realms—of origin and destruction—justify themselves before language. And conversely, only where they interpenetrate—in quotation—is language consummated.
Walter Benjamin


Remember Barbara
It was raining nonstop in Brest that day
and you walked smiling
artless delighted dripping wet
in the rain
Remember Barbara
It was raining nonstop in Brest
and I saw you on rue de Siam
You were smiling
and I smiled too
Remember Barbara
You whom I did not know
You who did not know me
Remember that day all the same
Don't forget
A man was sheltering under a porch
and he called your name
and you ran toward him in the rain
Dripping water delighted artless
and you threw yourself in his arms
Remember that Barbara
and don't be angry if I talk to you
I talk to all those I love
even if I've seen them only once
I talk to all those who love
even if I don't know them
Remember Barbara
Don't forget
that wise happy rain
on your happy face
in that happy town
That rain on the sea
on the arsenal
on the boat from Ouessant
Oh Barbara
What an idiot war
What has happened to you now
In this rain of iron
of fire of steel of blood
and the one who held you tight in his arms
is he dead vanished or maybe still alive
Oh Barbara
It is raining nonstop in Brest
as it rained before
But it's not the same and everything is ruined
It's a rain of mourning terrible and desolate
It's not even a storm any more
of iron of steel of blood
Just simply clouds
that die like dogs
Dogs that disappear
along the water in Brest
and are going to rot far away
far far away from Brest
where there is nothing left.
Jacques Prevert


The basic things you've learned stay the same. The world is right there in front of you in more or less dreamlike incarnations: moving water; tall buildings; ridiculous pain; voices singing; people to love. Your job is to imagine yourself in it. When it rains, You rain. When the birds fly, they fly inside of You.
Ben Polk


It looks like high time baby
to stop our lovin' nickel dime
We're in the high times baby
Where words are lost and tempest tossed in lemon lime.
When times and places effervesce
In words of wonder from down under
I'm no less. I'm fine. It's my time.
Van Dyke Parks


No. [I don't feel like audiences are ever really in danger watching a film.] That's the problem with movies, and that's the problem with watching too many of them. It's not ultimately a suitable substitute for life. You can get a lot out of it—I've spent a lot of time with movies, and I love it. But I think it can warp your perception a little bit.
Andrew Bujalski


Because when you do a film, it's generally five, six or seven weeks at the most. We had the ambition to do it for a year and a half, and that changes a lot of things and we were not in the same state of mind... When you spend a year and half with the film, you are just there and life is much more together. You have lots of other things. You have people who are born, people who die and seasons change. So the film becomes, really, almost organic. You don't really think about the film. Or you think about the film and life at the same time. So it's good. It's because it brings down the importance of cinema. The balance is more correct, I think. In what you live, that a film should not be the main thing in your life. Perhaps it's one of the things. It's your work. It's like the guy in the office, or the guy who makes food, or the guy who makes shoes. They do it everyday, from 9-7. It should be the same thing... It's like the idea of trying to make it all your life, because I like it, it's what I chose, and make it day to day, everyday... And with this small budget crew and in this place where people are very generous.
Pedro Costa


Anything that gives us room and allows us to do something gives us a possibility, that is, it gives what enables us. "Possibility" so understood, as what enables, means something else and something more than mere opportunity.
Martin Heidegger


But I don't wish that I was dead
A very old friend of mine once said
That either way you look at it you have your fits
I have my fits but feeling is good
Confusions not a kiddney stone in my brain
But if we're miscommunicating do we feel the same?
Then either way you look at it you have your fits
I have my fits but feeling is good
Animal Collective


I go down to the river
Filled with regret
I go down and I wonder
If there was any reason left
I left just before my lungs could get wet
I'm lonely, but I ain't that lonely yet
The White Stripes


There’s a great deal that’s bad about having a body. If this is not so obviously true that no one needs examples, we can just quickly mention pain, sores, odors, nausea, aging, gravity, sepsis, clumsiness, illness, limits—every last schism between our physical wills and our actual capacities. Can anyone doubt we need help being reconciled? Crave it? It’s your body that dies, after all.

There are wonderful things about having a body, too, obviously—it’s just that these things are much harder to feel and appreciate in real time. Rather like certain kinds of rare, peak-type sensuous epiphanies (“I’m so glad I have eyes to see this sunrise!” etc.), great athletes seem to catalyze our awareness of how glorious it is to touch and perceive, move through space, interact with matter. Granted, what great athletes can do with their bodies are things that the rest of us can only dream of. But these dreams are important—they make up for a lot.
David Foster Wallace


After all, a girl is…well, a girl. It’s nice to be told you’re successful at it.
Rita Hayworth


Under that sky find a spread of strange when
you look down on our ochre'd earth holding
the splay in the eye, yielding at my
golden main. Sit, please, on the lip to name
a fawn or see hosts scorch a gorge brown, full
of flowers curled to dirt. A storm of her
decomposing trees is just soot at rest.

The whole whorl wave of blue thunder goads mothers
behind screens. Dads, though, can't fight it, can't save
cellmates from walls: walls and tall trees, poles, beams—
—bars, at bottom, only proxies hacksaw.

—Hard to say, he says, when the clouds light up!
—Heard her playing, she says, over that hill.
—Grass. He shook his head, letting a fistful
fall on her knees. Who knew? Who knew, Blue? You?
She just laughed. They fell facing their faces,
their teeth telling yellow on the green's twill
mat getting matted more matted. Then the
girl, with a bounce, crested a new, left lawn.
Ryland Walker Knight

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