Horror & other DVDs; Nietzsche quote leading to good and evil muddle; nothing else worth a mention.
Dreams; Microsoft woes; DVDs everywhere and nothing to watch; Harold Bloom dissed; Herbert Read; Walter Kaufmann's Tragedy and Philosophy; Cleese's book; best autobiographies; inheriting Pablo's cat.
Reading Sartre; editing Kick Me; Goethe quotes, one about Faust; movie reviews including Hanna, Walled In, and The Inheritance (2011).
Hesse's Steppenwolf; "Hollywood Comedy Legends" and other movies; progress on Kick Me; reading as a writer; muddle-headed versus simple-minded distinction.
Black Widow and other movies; Steppenwolf; Russiagate unimportant; Nietzsche quote; analyzing Pablo; Salomé to marry; Cornel West.
Tidbits; The Libertine quote; the structure of novels; Charterhouse of Parma; Narcissus and Goldmund; Vanity Fair; dirty dishes.
COVID escaped from a lab; my fecklessness; The Craft of Fiction; Taibbi on vigilante spying.
Final thoughts on Nabokov; Hemlock Club mtg; Michael Moore's Awful Truth; Andromeda series; story idea; Maslow's Motivation & Personality
Highlander: I’ll be as honest as I can given that I’ve only ever read your tweets. You seem to me to be a liberal philosopher, slightly damaged, but feisty, a bit cantankerous, but we all get that way with age, and Impassioned about not only your beliefs but with ideas. You like to share.
The following selection from my Prison Diary assumes that the reader is thoroughly familiar with Ernest Hemingway’s famous story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Material in brackets was added for the convenience of blog readers.
He appears unexpectedly, escorting the drunken Branwell Brontë to the Parsonage late in the evening. He is assumed by one of the sisters to be another drunk. When he arrives at the Parsonage the next day, the event has unusual interest...
Reading Lolita, enjoying it but also by turns annoyed and bored. It’s a peculiar book, makes me think that Nabokov was so afraid of his theme that he was unable to handle it with complete freedom—though it is, in fact, franker than I remembered.
... neuroses are essentially psychic bandages—how we unconsciously respond to hurt in order to prevent more hurt. But of course it is necessary eventually to get beyond that stage. This is a commonplace. Another valuable lesson is how to respond to verbal aggressions like criticism...
What has 152 gram fat (96 saturated), 128 grams of sugar, and 2240 calories? My dinner, a box of eight chocolate-covered donuts. Oh, let’s not forget, 1440 mg of sodium, too. My most egregious binge this year, surely. Well, it got me through Avengers: Infinity War.
I read some of Georges Bataille: Visions of Excess last night. As I expected, it’s quite weird, but much of it was also dull and obscure. I most enjoyed the selection “Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh.” It tells not only of the famous Van Gogh incident, but also of a man who chewed off his own index finger, persons who put out their own eyes, and of human and animal sacrifice generally. The stories...
I had a fantasy just now, an imagined conversation with he-who-shall-remain-nameless. I was telling him that I was worried about climate catastrophe, and he was denying. So I was thinking along these lines: “What, the oceans aren’t full of plastic? The species aren’t dying? The hurricanes are a hoax? The science is a conspiracy? What, the prayers of the Jews during the Holocaust were effective and they didn’t all die?” But...
A most pleasant surprise: Black Book, a WWII thriller with a stunning, charming, gutsy performance by 30-year-old beauty Carice van Houten. Very tense at times, with lots of twists and turns, lots of death, lots of bare bosoms. Good recreation of ’44 Holland. Happily, no concentration camps. Directed by Paul Voerhoeven of Starship Troopers … fame? I picked up this DVD somewhere cheap, perhaps the last library book sale. This one really got under my skin, well, she did, especially.
I've been off the Internet for a month due to software problems. This is the first of two long posts to get me caught up to the present in my Diary posts.
The Hemlock Club was good today, though a bit shorter than usual. Four attended. I ate too much at Dagny’s. We talked about Poe’s poem, “Alone,” which Pablo had prepared for us, I took some notes (hence these details), D sang (from his phone) “Silent Night,” a very creditable performance, I talked about how I was a lousy employee and got fired from virtually every job I ever held, Salomé worked on a watercolored bookmark which she presented to me, I asked Salomé to marry me (a joke), I talked about Norman Cousins: Anatomy of an Illness (but had the title completely wrong), D mentioned The Biology of Hope by Bruce Lipton (which sounds really interesting), and we all went for a walk around downtown Bakersfield (it was fun).
There are some thoughts that are too horrible to be written down or even described. Some such thoughts came to me between 4:30 and 5:15 am this morning, thus I have no hope of getting back to sleep before I have to leave for the Hemlock Club at 9:00. Thus I again recognize my complete inability to control my own mind. At this moment, “free will” is (again) revealed to be a joke, an impossibility. This fact seems so certain and indubitable right now that I am forced to wonder why anyone ever believed in such a thing.