Sunday, July 10, 2016


Murakami writes:

 After much deep thought he reached a conclusion. No matter how clear the relationship of things might become in the forest of story,there was never a clear-cut solution. That was how it was differed from math. the role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form [...] It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell.

Saturday, May 02, 2015


Two days ago my friend was reading Oliver Sacks' Anthropologist on Mars and we talked about the weird autistic woman (he writes about) who wanted to make it easier on cows for them to die so we could enjoy eating meat. I don't knock her for easeing suffering but I do wonder why she didn't become an advocate of vegetarianism instead. Maybe she should watch Dr Death , the Errol Morris film about a guy who wanted to make the best electric chair known to (wo)man and ended up being friends with Holocaust deniers. Anyhoo, sitting in the sun and reading Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen, I came across this on page 93:

Magda put her hand on my back, which is such a gentle and comforting way to be touched; it's too easy to get into a vein of living where that no longer ever happens, where no one touches you in that particular kind of way, which produces a very particular feeling, not precisely reproduced by anything else, except maybe by that hug machine that autistic woman designed in order to calm down cows on their way to slaughter.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bodily resonance

On a day of stomach pain and cold feet.... Broken April by Ismail Kadare begins:
His feet were cold
[And goes on to discuss stomach ache]

Friday, June 06, 2014

What sprouts in Brussel?

Yes yes, the synchronicities did not stop yet sometimes the will to record doth flag.

This is a good one though..

So I was poring over a Belgian guidebook before bedtime, devouring some history lessons wot they didn't teach at skool.

I read about Waterloo, and how close "we" came to losing. And then what language would be speaking now i wondered....

Upon victory, Wellington is said to have remarked "Nothing save a battle lost is so terrible as a battle won".

I then went to bed and picked up Sebastian Faulks' alright novel 'A Week in December' [apparently it's a 'delightful and witty satire on contemporary London life'], in which Veals the nasty stockbroker uses the Wellington quote...

Two books, one quote, read twice in two minutes.

Philip K. Dick A Maze of Death

Wondering what the fuck I'm doing with my life and... Forty-two. His age had astounded him for years, and each time he had sat so astounded, trying to figure out what had become of the young, slim man in his twenties, a whole additional year slipped by and had to be recorded, a continually growing sum which he could not reconcile with his self-image.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping - Anthony Burgess

This all seems quite appropriate given the date and the expected weather.

But then, with this very bad rainy weather, I thought how nice it would be if we could be together all the time, with the door locked and good fires going in both downstairs rooms, like Christmas, and all the people at work in the outside world while we listened to Music While You Work and then Mrs Dale's Diary with the sleet lashing away at the windows and everything warm and cosy within.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


I'm in Brighton and.... Matt Beaumont, e:

Fat Frank is back from the police. He and Desperate Dan are working on the grovelling apology in the hope it'll persuade Hunniford not to press charges. Got to admit, it'sa crack. I remember getting my picture in the Brighton Argus when I was nine for catching a mutant three-eyed dab off the beach. Thought that was a buzz, but it had nothing on this.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

It's always better in the movies

The weird synchronicities continue apace, often too haphazardly to record. But the transitory nature is also their beauty.

Who would have guessed that Phillippe Vasset's meta-novel Script Generator and Guy Vanderhaeghle's 1873 American romp The Englishman's Boy would both share references to the film-making industry and play on the surreal nature of filmsets?

History is calling it a day. Roman legionaries tramp the street accompaied by Joseph and Mary, while a hired nurse on cap and uniform totes the Baby Jesus. Ladies-in-waiting from the court of the Virgin Queen trail the Holy Family, tits cinched flat under Elizabethan bodices sheer as the face of a cliff. A flock of parrot plumed Aztecs are hard on their heels. Last of all, three frost-bitten veterans of Valley Forgedrag flintlocks on the asphalt roadway.

And who would have guessed on top of that that Vanderhaeghle would toss in a poke at me?

Often when she should had been at work, I would come home from school to find her lying despondent on the couch, all the curtains in the apartment drawn, the place cloaked in stale darkness. If I talked to her, she wouldn't answer; if I coaxed her to eat, she refused.