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Literature

This category contains 81 posts

Fukuda Chiyo-ni: one of the greatest poets of haiku

dragonfly hunter how far has he traveled today I wonder?  Chiyo-ni Said to be written after the death of her son. Her only child. . Fukuda Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiyo) (福田 千代尼; 1703 – 2 October 1775) was a Japanese poet of the Edo period, widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets. … Continue reading

The Beat Generation – Jack Kerouac

Now it’s jazz, the place is roaring, all beautiful girls in there, one mad brunette at the bar drunk with her boys. One strange chick I remember from somewhere, wearing a simple skirt with pockets, her hands in there, short haircut, slouched, talking to everybody. Up and down the stairs they come. The bartenders are … Continue reading

Éloge du lointain: Paul Celan

Dans la source de tes yeux vivent les nasses des pêcheurs de la mer délirante. Dans la source de tes yeux la mer tient sa parole. J’y jette, cœur qui a séjourné chez des humains, les vêtements que je portais et l’éclat d’un serment : Plus noir au fond du noir, je suis plus nu. … Continue reading

Glass with Rose: Julio Cortázar

Glass with Rose The state that we describe with the word distractions is perhaps only another form of attention, its symmetrical and more profound manifestation located in another region of the psyche: an attention directed from or through or even toward that more profound region. It is not unusual for the subjects of such distraction … Continue reading

Illicit Love Letters: Albert Camus and Maria Casares

The romance of Camus and Casares is richer, if not sadder, when considered alongside the narratives of each of their work. There is an eerie doubling of life and art. Absurdity is the only certainty, and this is confirmed over and over again by coincidence and chance. The two first met on June 6, 1944, the storied … Continue reading

“For Sile” Wei Wu Wei / Saul Leiter

When the beetle sees, it is I that am looking, When the nightingale sings, it is I that am singing, When the lion roars, it is I that am roaring. But when I look for myself, I can see nothing — for no thing is there to be seen. Síle cannot see me either, for when … Continue reading

Return to My Native Land: Aimé Césaire

My far distant happiness which makes me aware of my true misery: a lumpy road plunging into a hollow where it scatters a handful of huts: a tireless road charging at full speed towards a hill at whose top it is brutally drowned in a stagnant pool of dwarfish houses, a road madly climbing, recklessly … Continue reading

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept : Paulo Coelho

But he went on. “For the past two weeks, I haven’t been able to stand the sadness in my soul. I went to my superior and told him what was happening to me. I told him about my love for you and what had begun when we were taking the inventory.” A light rain began … Continue reading

The Meek One: Fyodor Dostoyevsky / Ian Webb

Only five minutes too late But is it really? is it really probable? Can one really say that it was possible? Why, for what reason did this woman die? oh, believe me, I understand; but why she died is still a question. She was frightened of my love, she asked herself seriously whether she should … Continue reading

The unbearable lightness of being – Milan Kundera

The priest intoned words in a singsong voice, and the people repeated them after him in unison. It was a litany. The same words kept coming back, like a wanderer who cannot tear his eyes away from the countryside or like a man who cannot take leave of life. She sat in one of the … Continue reading

Apollinaire Guillaume – Pont Mirabeau / Jean Louis Trintignant

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine Et nos amours Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne La joie venait toujours après la peine Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure Les jours s’en vont je demeure Les mains dans les mains restons face à face Tandis que sous Le pont de nos bras passe Des éternels regards l’onde si … Continue reading

Georges Bataille: The Impossible

“After all, the moment of ruin, when you don’t know if you’re going to laugh or cry, if it weren’t for the fatigue, the sensation of musty eyes and mouth, of nerves slowly worn out, has the greatest leaping power.  Later at the window (at the moment when the unpredictable light of a lightning flash … Continue reading

A dream within a dream: Edgar Allan Poe

  Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow — You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the … Continue reading

Blues by Elizabeth Alexander / Jean Mannheim

I am lazy, the laziest girl in the world. I sleep during the day when I want to, ‘til my face is creased and swollen, ‘til my lips are dry and hot. I eat as I please: cookies and milk after lunch, butter and sour cream on my baked potato, foods that slothful people eat, … Continue reading

Commision: Ezra Pound / HR Bell

Go, my songs, to the lonely and the unsatisfied, Go also to the nerve-racked, go to the enslaved-by-convention, Bear to them my contempt for their oppressors. Go as a great wave of cool water, Bear my contempt of oppressors. Speak against unconscious oppression, Speak against the tyranny of the unimaginative, Speak against bonds. Go to … Continue reading

Still I Rise – Maya Angelou / Marc Chalmé

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like … Continue reading

L’esprit des Lumières: Tzvetan Todorov/ Kristian Krokfors

Après la fin des utopies, sur quel socle intellectuel et moral pouvons-nous bâtir notre vie commune? Pour Tzvetan Todorov, il n’y en a qu’un : le versant humaniste des Lumières. Ce petit essai majeur ne se contente pas de dégager dans une synthèse limpide les grandes lignes de ce courant de pensée : il le … Continue reading

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