you know that feeling when you find the perfect swimming hole just as summer’s starting to heat up, and it even has a rope swing that arcs out over the deepest part of the water?
when that feeling is actually real, when that swimming hole is real.
and you decide you’re not gonna tell anyone because you want to keep it special, and just invite your friends, and be the kid who brings people to the good spot, the perfect swimming hole, the secret one you’ve stumbled upon
and you’ve decided this as you walk around dying to scream it to everyone, as you fall asleep exploding from the gift you can give, from the gift you’ve been given
gonna be a good summer, friends. don’t tell. be the kid
Albert Camus, The Rebel
Albert Camus, The Rebel
camus was always such a good 50/50 coin reader in his essays; presented both sides. are you more of a myriad complexities observer yourself? but me too.
Without making any boast of it Sancho Panza succeeded in the course of years, by feeding him a great number of romances of chivalry and adventure in the evening and night hours, in so diverting from himself his demon, whom he later called Don Quixote, that this demon thereupon set out, uninhibited, on the maddest exploits which, however, for the lack of a preordained object, which should have been Sancho Panza himself, harmed nobody. A free man, Sancho Panza philosophically followed Don Quixote on his crusades, perhaps out of a sense of responsibility, and had of them a great and edifying entertainment to the end of his days.
- Franz Kafka, The Truth About Sancho Panza
this kafka collection just keeps on giving. gem upon gem
The Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka
absolutely devastating short story about the artist in society, the spectacle art of fasting, spectacles in general, true and profound misunderstandings, and public opinions. reminds me of David Blaine. reminds me of those vegas showman acts that have real talent to them but whose talents are also condescended to by most Americans. reminds me of Lone Wolf Tribe
I am real like the dead poets
you trust, the writers written before
your birth; my existence is authentic
but not verified.
I may ask, are you real?
The truth is
A truth is
probably. possibly. prolly
if given 3 wishes I would worry
over the first one & waste it
asking the Genie to take all 3 away.
Later I’d regret that & wish I had a wish back.
“1 more” sez the Genie, who tricked me
& never took away my wishpower
in the first place. Stands before me, verified
but inauthentic -
this Genie. An aunt gets sick, maybe cancer
- 1 wish left - and would I prolly feel family pressure
to wish her help? Possibly. Probably
this is true.
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect
so my little brother decided to re-enroll in community college this past winter after quitting a few years ago and one of his assignments is to read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. he asked me if I knew it, and I said yes, but realized I only knew the first sentence and the gist of things from pop culture and friends/people talking about it. i picked it up from the library and started reading it (for sure this time, and closely) so we could talk it out before his paper was due.
i think it’s a little hard to appreciate Kafka if you come to him after reading comics or watching cartoons because in a way he was the literary equivalent and precursor to some of that absurdity, but damn, what a profoundly sad story! Kafka walks that absurdly funny -> extraordinarily isolated -> existential crisis Boulevard with exquisite steps. his view as a narrator is both naive and omniscient and his touch as a writer can be both sensitive and brutal. i mean, yes, the story is essentially a transformation of a man into a bug, but that happens in the first sentence. it’s the conceit: physically a man wakes up as a bug. what happens in the novella’s next 50 pages is more about a different kind of metamorphosis: that grey line of what it means to be human in society drawn by Kafka’s inked flirtation with both what it means to be more than human and less than human in the case of Gregor Samsa.
This made him realize how repulsive the sight of him still was to her, and that it was bound to go on being repulsive, and what an effort it must cost her not to run away even from the sight of the small portion of his body that stuck out from under the sofa. In order to spare her that, therefore, one day he carried a sheet on his back to the sofa - it cost him four hours’ labor - and arranged it there in such a way as to hide him completely, so that even if she were to bend down she could not see him. Had she considered the sheet unnecessary, she would certainly have stripped it off the sofa again, for it was clear enough that this curtaining and confining of himself was not likely to conduce to Gregor’s comfort, but she left it where it was, and Gregor even fancied that he caught a thankful glance from her eye when he lifted the sheet carefully a very little with his head to see how she was taking the new arrangement. (dealing with his little sister, the only one who would deal with him pg. 113-14)
But they should all have shouted encouragement to him, his father and mother too: “Go on Gregor,” they should have called out, “keep going, hold onto that key!” (trying to escape from his locked bedroom, as a bug, with no hands, and the key wedged painfully in his jaws, while his family and his boss waited out in the living room, discussing his shortcomings at work pg. 99)
i won’t give away what happens, but definitely recommend giving The Metamorphosis a read or a re-read. My favorite Kafka is the short stories The Hunger Artist and the impressionistic Children On A Country Road and the novel Amerikawhich was his first work and the least “kafkaesque”.
adam gnade turned me on to Henry Flynt a few years ago and ever since, Henry’s been my June Rising spirit animal - this creature force that springs Spring from all its trappings, flows the rivers, and pushes the free-est parts of summer into motion. the music is really loose hillbilly/blues/bluegrass/noise/field recordings/Coltrane-touched, but driving and dissonant and exciting at the same time.
There’s this essay The Meaning Of My Avant-Garde Hillbilly And Blues Music which is basically a philosophy paper.
and now the archival site Ubu Web has a bunch of great Henry Flynt (full album) recordings to stream, and an interview all right here Backporch Hillbilly Blues
Make summer matter, right?
yea cuz reading a 500 page pdf sounds fucking sweet!
this is Gunnit, my girlfriend’s cat & my roommate. He just bought his first book In Defense Of Lost Causes by his favorite slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, by way of gnawing on the cover last night, a book which I had borrowed from the San Francisco Public Library.
$27 later in damages and we own it !sweet!*groan* i wish he gnawed on a cheaper book
none of the pages are destroyed, it’s just the cover (and a boring cover) but the library said they can’t keep it on their shelves, and none of the local bookstores would buy it off me.
yes I tried to play dumb, saying there was maybe a mouse in the dropbox.
yes, I could’ve used that $27 in my bank account.
yes, I’m aware of the irony in the book’s title.
so if anyone in San Francisco wants it, just txt me Eight Five Eight - Three Five Four - One Nine Three Nine
if you live on the internet, contact me and I’ll sell it to you for just the shipping cost via paypal
really interesting read about the stages of revolution and how dictators and authoritarians get lost in their egos, principles, paranoia and mass murder problem-solving strategies along the way. probably not recommended for knee-jerk liberals
My breastbone is sparrowful waiting for your words to bleed
Through the blank days of New York. I wish to charge you, laughing
Like all the lost friends I want to wrestle and outdrink
—look how these black sparrows have rushed
to leaf this naked winter tree—
But somematter is the thing:
I have grown better at missing You than loving you, I have grown
with you gone missing. And while you went missing,
For reasons so mystically personal,
Pinched were my heartbreaths
By cats claw and outcold passed love.
-Though who was there to care?-
And you returned a sparrow too, turned blue. You are
The bluebird that escaped bukowski’s heart, Since.
I’ve pressed the heartbeat of your sorrowful breast
With my thumbs
And been clumsy with your new sincerity.
*from Death In A Rifle Garden by John-Vincent Greco
you can buy it right here from my friends in Kansas at Pioneers Press for $4.
buy everything - their catalog is a treasure trove