The X-Men made a lot of sense to me, because that’s what it really felt like to grow up bookish and smart in a poor urban community in Central New Jersey. Time-travel made sense to me because how else do I explain how I got from Villa Juana, from latrines and no lights, to Parlin, NJ, to MTV and a car in every parking space? Not just describe it but explain the missing emotional cognitive disjunction? I mean, let’s be real. Without shit like race and racism, without our lived experience as people of color, the metaphor that drives, say, the X-Men would not exist! Mutants are a metaphor (among other things) for race, and that’s one of the reasons that mutants are so popular in the Marvel Universe and in the Real. I have no problem re-looting the metaphor of the X-Men because I know it’s my silenced experience, my erased condition that’s the secret fuel that powers this particular fucking fantasy. So if I’m powering the ship, at a lower frequency, I’m going to have a say in how it’s used and in what ports of call it stops.— Junot Diaz in conversation with Edwidge Danticat at BOMB 18 Aug # 3 months ago
Kurt Vonnegut in 2005, sitting beneath a quote from William Blake’s Songs of Experience: “Go love without the help of anything on earth.”16 Aug # 3 months ago
"Restoration of a colossal sculpture of the blinding of the giant Polyphemus by Odysseus and his companions, reassembled from hundreds of fragments discovered in the 1950s-1960s, at Sperlonga on the coast of Italy"07 Aug # 4 months ago
When I went out to kill myself, I caught
A pack of hoodlums beating up a man.
Running to spare his suffering, I forgot
My name, my number, how my day began,
How soldiers milled around the garden stone
And sang amusing songs; how all that day
Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone
Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.
Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten,
Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope
Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten,
The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope,
I held the man for nothing in my arms.
"It’s become fashionable these days to say that the writer writes because he is not whole: he has a wound, he writes to heal it. But who cares if the writer is not whole? Of course the writer is not whole, or even particularly well. There’s something unwholesome and self-destructive about the entire writing process. Writers are like eremites or anchorites—natural-born eremites or anchorites—who seem puzzled as to why they went up the pole or into the cave in the first place. Why am I so isolate in this strange place? Why is my sweat being sold as elixir? And how have I become so enmeshed with words, mere words, phantoms?
Writers when they’re writing live in a spooky, clamorous silence, a state somewhat like the advanced stages of prayer but without prayer’s calming benefits. A writer turns his back on the day and the night and its large and little beauties, and tries, like some half-witted demiurge, to fashion other days and nights with words. It’s absurd. Oh, it’s silly, dangerous work indeed.
A writer starts out, I think, wanting to be a transfiguring agent, and ends up usually just making contact, contact with other human beings. This, unsurprisingly, is not enough. Making contact with the self—healing the wound—is even less satisfactory.) Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories’ shadows—and they’re grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough.”
—from “Uncanny the Singing That Comes from Certain Husks" by Joy Williams22 Jul # 4 months ago
Living, Dead: “Unlike many of my countrymen, I don’t see these folks as the destitute bottom-rung of society. I see them as living embodiments of the raw spirit of the Filipino people, a nation so tough it can and has survived under any sort of hardship.”22 Jul # 4 months ago