Saturday, February 6, 2010

"I was solicited to write the affairs of my own time, by some . . . but they do not consider that to purchase the glory of Sallust, I would not give myself the trouble, sworn enemy as I am to obligation, assiduity, or perseverance; that there is nothing so contrary to my style as a continued narrative, I so often cut myself short in my writing for want of breath; I have neither composition nor explanation worth anything, and am ignorant, beyond a child, of the phrases and even the proper words to express the most common things; and for that reason it is, that I have undertaken to say only what I can say, and have accommodated my subject to my strength: should I take one to be my guide, peradventure I should not be able to keep pace with him; and in the freedom of my liberty, might deliver judgements, which upon better thoughts, and according to reason, would be illegitimate and punishable."
--Montaigne, "Of the Force of Imagination" 
(trans. Cotton)

"Sentences are shortness of breath.
. . .
Sentences protect us from the storms at their margins.
. . .
If I could tell you about this sea
I wouldn't show it.
. . .
I write through my story, I have it in for myself.
. . .
To be, to be continued (double-negative, tentative title)."
--Clark Coolidge, "Partial Nurtures" 

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