“For 300 years Europe took everything it could get from its colonies and is directly responsible for the structures of these countries. And now that these people knock on Europe’s door, it shuts down and behaves as if it were generous to let in a tiny, tiny part of this population [on] whom it inflicted such damage. It is not as if the population of Europe will suddenly grow by 20 or 30 percent, it is about a fraction of a percent. From the outside it looks like incredible greed and selfishness.” William Kittredge.

 

“I’ve never smelled napalm, I’ve smelled gunpowder, and gunpowder definitely doesn’t smell like victory. Sometimes it smells like verbena and other times it smells like fear. In contrast, the smell of tear gas (which tends to precede the smell of gunpowder in some countries) is reminiscent of sporting events and rotting guts. Triumphal marches always smell like dust, a hyaline and solar dust that clings like leprosy to the skin and arms. Crowds in closed spaces smell like stadiums or esplanades, smell like fear. I hate soccer matches, concerts, and rallies: the fear that clings to them is unbearable.

        Instead, I like to walk with the dirty old men along the Paseo Maritímo in Blanes in the summer. I like to watch the beach. . . . I like the smell that rises from that mass of bodies in all shapes and sizes. It isn’t strong, but it’s bracing. Though it isn’t perfect. Sometimes it’s even a sad smell. And possibly metaphysical. The thousand lotions, the sunscreens. They smell of democracy, of civilization.” Roberto Bolaño, Between Parentheses.

 

“[For Foucault] there’s no subject, but a production of subjectivity: subjectivity has to be produced, when its time arrives, precisely because there is no subject. . . . Subjectification is an artistic activity distinct from . . . knowledge and power. In this respect Foucault’s a Nietzschean, discovering an artistic will out on the final line. [The line is “everywhere thought confronts something like madness, and life something like death.”] Subjectification, that’s to say the process of folding the line outside, mustn’t be seen as just a way of protecting oneself, taking shelter. It’s rather the only way of confronting the line, riding it: you may be heading for death, for suicide, but as Foucault says in a strange conversation with Schroeter, suicide then becomes an art it takes a lifetime to learn.” Gilles Deleuze, “A Portrait of Foucault,” Negotiations.

 

“You . . . are going to entertain within the poem circumstances over which you must eventually take control, but at first you have no control.” Barbara Guest, “The Beautiful Voyage,” Forces of Imagination.

 
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