Monday, September 15, 2014

stones and flowers.

It was so utterly wonderful to find I could go so heartily & headily mad; for you know I had been priding myself on my peculiar sanity! And it was more wonderful yet to find the madness made up into things so dreadful, out of things so trivial. One of the most provoking and disagreeable spectres was developed out of the firelight on my mahogany bedpost - and my fate, for all futurity, seemed continually to turn on the humor of dark personages who were materially nothing but stains of damp on the ceiling. But the sorrowfullest part of the matter was, and is, that while my illness at Matlock encouraged me by all its dreams in after work, this one has done nothing but humiliate and terrify me; and leaves me nearly unable to speak any more except of the natures of stones and flowers.

- John Ruskin, from a letter to Thomas Carlyle, 23 June 1878
- Pressed flower from Rosa Luxemburg's Breslau Penitentiary Herbarium. In: Rosa's Letters. Mousse  Publishing,   2011

Thursday, September 4, 2014

among the facts of the world.

In Walser, an absolute sense of decency about language does not let agony express itself. The reality is made manifest, the fact of agony, not agony. It is necessary to speak of things, not of words. Marvelously, everything that is utterable is said when one simply states the case.

- Massimo Cacciari, Songs of the Departed in POSTHUMOUS PEOPLE. Vienna at the Turning PointStanford University Press, 1996
- Walser in Herisau, 1949 image taken from 50 Watts