Saturday, March 31, 2007


‘All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.’ ~ Aristotle

‘We must cultivate our garden.’ ~ Voltaire

‘Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.’ ~ Oliver Goldsmith

‘There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living.’ ~Thoreau

‘I do not like work even when someone else does it.’ ~ Mark Twain

‘Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.’ ~ James Matthew Barrie

‘To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.’ ~ John Dewey

‘I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.’ ~ Jerome K. Jerome

‘The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. You can’t weigh the soul of a man with a bar of pig-iron.’ ~ Samuel Gompers

‘One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours -- all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.’ ~ William Faulkner

‘To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.’ ~ Pearl S Buck

‘Get happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.’ ~ Elbert Hubbard

‘What is the good of being a genius if you cannot use it as an excuse for being unemployed?’ ~ Gerald Barzan

‘If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.’ ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

‘Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.’ ~ Margaret Fuller

‘Life is just a dirty four-letter word: W-O-R-K.’ ~ J. P. Mcevoy

‘No man ever said on his deathbed, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”’ ~ Senator Paul Tsongas

‘The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.’ ~ Robert B. Reich

‘Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’

Friday, March 23, 2007

Oracles of Kali : Kodungalloor Bharani

Thursday, March 22, 2007

38 films by Ingmar Bergman

[...] that sequence in Music in Darkness where the gallant young soldier gets blinded for life while trying to save a cute little puppy from Swedish friendly fire captures Ingmar Bergman at his most profoundly misanthropic, resolutely non-life-affirming and precociously cynical. To be born blind is tragic enough, but to be blinded during a fruitless puppy-rescuing operation suggests that God is not only cruel but possesses a demented sense of humour. As does Ingmar Bergman.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Susan Sontag on the novel, novelists and literature

I'm often asked if there is something I think writers ought to do, and recently in an interview I heard myself say: "Several things. Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world." [...] "Be serious." By which I meant: never be cynical. And which doesn't preclude being funny. [...] "Take care to be born at a time when it was likely that you would be definitively exalted and influenced by Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy, and Turgenev, and Chekhov."

A great writer of fiction both creates - through acts of imagination, through language that feels inevitable, through vivid forms - a new world, a world that is unique, individual; and responds to a world, the world the writer shares with other people but is unknown or mis-known by still more people, confined in their worlds: call that history, society, what you will.

But of course, the primary task of a writer is to write well. (And to go on writing well. Neither to burn out nor to sell out.) To write is to know something. What a pleasure to read a writer who knows a great deal. (Not a common experience these days ... ) Literature, I would argue, is knowledge - albeit, even at its greatest, imperfect knowledge. Like all knowledge.

Serious fiction writers think about moral problems practically. They tell stories. They narrate. They evoke our common humanity in narratives with which we can identify, even though the lives may be remote from our own. They stimulate our imagination. The stories they tell enlarge and complicate - and, therefore, improve - our sympathies. They educate our capacity for moral judgment.

[...] ("Time exists in order that it doesn't happen all at once ... space exists so that it doesn't all happen to you.")

To tell a story is to say: this is the important story. It is to reduce the spread and simultaneity of everything to something linear, a path.

To be a moral human being is to pay, be obliged to pay, certain kinds of attention. [...]

Saturday, March 10, 2007

War. The fucking war.