As if a ghost had a pulse

It’s quotetasticity mayhem today concerning that beggar’s banquet, literature.

Over at (from the latest New Yorker):

“Fiction is at once real and imaginary. Not real at one moment and flickeringly illusory the next, like the fading pulse of a dying man, but both at once, as if a ghost had a pulse. Fiction is one giant pseudo-statement, a fact-checker’s nightmare. Like one of our own lies, it can be completely “wrong” about the world and yet completely revelatory—completely “right”—about the psychology of the person issuing the error. Thus, one of fiction’s most natural areas of inquiry, from Cervantes to Murakami, concerns states of confusion, error, or madness, in which a character’s crazy fictions become intertwined with the novel’s calmer fictions, and the reader’s purchase on the reliable world becomes intermittently tenuous.”

That reminds me of my favorite Jorge Luis Borges poem:

The Other Tiger (Aug. 3, 1959)

We’ll hunt for a third tiger now, but like

The others this one too will be a form

Of what I dream, a structure of words, and not

The flesh and one tiger that beyond all myths

Paces the earth. I know these things quite well,

Yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me

In this vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest,

And I go on pursuing through the hours

Another tiger, the beast not found in verse.

Or, as the degenerate du jour Charles Bukowski might have it:

“She must be a cloud, friend, the way she floats past us.”

Another gem, this time from Joyce Carol Oates:

“The novel is the affliction for which the novel is the cure.”

And from some other person I don’t know:

“Como Mexico no hay dos.”

And Stephen Mallarme:

“All earthly existence must ultimately be contained in a book.”

Or Nietzsche:

“No man without chaos in him can give birth to a dancing star.”

And while we’re at it, how about this gem from that pedophiliac alcoholic Edgar Allen Poe:

“Idea! Which bindest life around

With music of so strange a sound

And beauty of so wild a birth –

Farewell! for I have won the Earth.

Virginia Woolf says:

“Our first duty to a book is that one should read it for the first time as if one were writing it.”

And The Simpsons said,

“The real world is for people who cannot imagine anthing better.”

But then again Julio Cortazar wrote:

“Reality is way beyond the imagineable.”

while (Wh)Oliveira was thinking:

“The worst is not the dream.  The worst is what they call waking up… Don’t you think that actually it’s now that I’m dreaming?”

And Dylan Thomas wrote:

“All dreams are sorrows in the gross catastrophe.”

and of this implication and it evidence in O Make Me a Mask:

“By the curve of the nude mouth

or the laugh up the sleeve.”

While John Williams thought of this mess:

“Of literature, of language, of the mystery of the mind and of the heart showing themselves in the minute, strange, and unexpected combinations of letters and words, in the blackest and coldest print.”

And Derrida said something about the “negative infinitude of time.”

While TD3 speaks of the “undecidability of finite existence.”

And Pynchon got to the point of saying, “If this sounds stupid, it is.”

And so I stopped.


~ by garcialoca on March 25, 2009.

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