21 9 / 2014
"We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we’re all going to die, without really finding out the big answers. We develop all those long-winded ideas which just interpret the reality of our lives in different ways, without really extending our body of worthwhile knowledge, about the big things, the real things. Basically, we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless."
22 7 / 2014
"It’s a letdown if the comedian doesn’t finally actually really sit on his hat."
22 7 / 2014
“Ever since his first ecstasy or vision of Christminster and its possibilities, Jude had meditated much and curiously on the probable sort of process that was involved in turning the expressions of one language into those of another. He concluded that a grammar of the required tongue would contain, primarily, a rule, prescription, or clue of the nature of a secret cipher, which, once known, would enable him, by merely applying it, to change at will all words of his own speech into those of the foreign one. His childish idea was, in fact, a pushing to the extremity of mathematical precision what is everywhere known as Grimm’s Law—an aggrandizement of rough rules to ideal completeness. Thus he assumed that the words of the required language were always to be found somewhere latent in the words of the given language by those who had the art to uncover them, such art being furnished by the books aforesaid.”
Excerpt From: Hardy, Thomas. “Jude the Obscure.”
10 7 / 2014
"When I write, I do not think of the reader (because the reader is an imaginary character), and I do not think of myself (perhaps I am an imaginary also), but I think of what I am trying to convey and I do my best not to spoil it. When I was young, I believed in expression. I had read Croce, and the reading of Croce did me no good. I wanted to express everything. I thought, for example, that if I needed a sunset I should find the exact word for a sunset—or rather the most surprising metaphor. Now I have come to the conclusion (and this conclusion may sound sad) that I no longer believe in expression: I believe only in allusion. After all, what are words? Words are symbols for shared memories. If I use a word, then you some experience of what the word stands for. If not, the word means nothing to you. I think we can only allude, we can only try to make the reader imagine. The reader, if he is quick enough, can be satisfied with our merely hinting at something.
This makes for efficiency—and in my own case it also makes for laziness. I have been asked why I have never attempted a novel. Laziness, of course, is the first explanation. But there is another one. I have never read any novel without feeling a certain weariness. Novels include padding; I think padding may be an essential part of the novel, for all I know. Yet I have read many short stories over and over again. I find that in a short story by, for example, Henry James or Rudyard Kipling, you get quite as much complexity, and in a more pleasurable way, as you may get out of a long novel."