“It’s over, now,” she told him. “It’s over. You have to go to your place and I to mine.” She sat up and put her sweater on.
He sat up across from her, rubbing his nose with a paw and looking confused. Then he looked down at himself. She looked as well. Slowly, Majestically his great cock was rising.
It was not like a man’s, tulip-shaped. It was red, pointed, and impressive.
These things always turn out badly, I’ve been told, but people have to learn for themselves. In Minnesota we have bears but don’t have sex with them, though I suppose that since we play hockey and have taken up curling, bears will be next.
The American politician Fiorello La Guardia was the U.S. consul for Trieste and neighboring areas from 1901 to 1906. James Joyce moved to Trieste in 1904 and stayed for 16 years. La Guardia was partly of Hungarian Jewish descent. Leopold Bloom was partly of Hungarian Jewish descent.
La Guardia was born in Greenwich Village to an Italian lapsed-Catholic father, Achille La Guardia, from Cerignola, and a Triestine mother of Jewish Hungarian origin, Irene Coen Luzzato; he was raised an Episcopalian, despite being confirmed as a Jew by the Halakha, which decides who is a Jew or not. His middle name “Enrico” was changed to “Henry” (the English form of Enrico) when he was a child. He lived in Trieste, his mother’s hometown, after his father was discharged from his bandmaster position in the U.S. Army in 1898.La Guardia served in U.S. consulates in Budapest, Trieste, and Rijeka (1901–1906). Fiorello returned to the U.S. to continue his education at New York University. During this time, he worked for New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as an interpreter for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration at the Ellis Island immigrant station (1907–1910).
The cellulose molecule is just a long string of glucose molecules, but paradoxically, cellulose is an indigestible fiber, whereas glucose is the most easily digestible of all foods. I don’t know how to calculate the number of Big Gulp units in a pair of cotton socks, but it should be easy to do.
There’s no paradox here for cows, however. Not only is the bovine mind blind to paradox, but even intelligent bovids wouldn’t see what the fuss was all about, since cellulose is their primary food. This alleged food / fiber paradox is merely an artifact of our inferior digestive system.
Because cellulose is hard to digest, cows must perform a complicated series of chemical procedures in their enormous gut system. If cows were genetically modified to live entirely on glucose, they would be more svelte, but I doubt that they’d be any smarter.
(This is not really a quiz. It’s just meant to show that that two classic authors were ahead of their time in more ways than you’d think.)
“Is it true that you’re going away?”
“Yes, in a few minutes”.
“In a few minutes?… and for good?… Shall we never see you again?”
Sobs choked her.
“Good -bye! Good-bye! Kiss me, please.”
And she clasped him fiercely in her arms.
a. Danielle Steele, To Love Again.
b. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind.
c. Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education.
d. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.
They embraced each other, her small body was burning in his hands; they rolled a few paces in an unconscious state from which he repeatedly but vainly tried to rescue himself, bumped dully against the door, and then lay in the small puddles of beer and other rubbish with which the floor was covered. Hours passed there, hours breathing together with a single heartbeat, hours in which he felt he was lost or had wandered farther in foreign lands than any human being before him….
a. Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side.
b. Franz Kafka, The Castle.
c. Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
d. Grace Metalious, Peyton Place.
As a young man, away from home for the first time, Flaubert was “imperiously possessed” of the idea of castrating himself.
Geoffrey Wall, “Introduction” to
Gustave Flaubert, Three Tales
The romantics were the shock troops and sappers who softened up the honky world for the consumer society. With liberty and equality, anyone could presume to want anything they wanted, without being accused of encroaching on others’ prerogatives. The aggregate quantity of desire multiplied exponentially, as Malthus pointed out, whereas the quantity of possible satisfaction increased only slowly, if at all. And to be too easily satisfied was shameful; an attainable or attained object was by definition degraded and unworthy. Last year’s chic outfit is this year’s wipe rag. Kant, Lamartine, and Novalis taught us that only the Ideal is good enough, and marketing picked it up from there.
Equality and liberty did not preclude competition, and with improved means of transportation and communication the field of competition came to be the whole world. Every literate young man imprisoned in one of the modern European languages was drafted into a global contest — first to find the most unattainable ideal of them all, and then to immolate himself on that ideal. No wonder the motherfuckers were whiny.
And yes, “himself”. Bitches weren’t part of this, except as unattainable ideals. No hopeless striving for you, ladies!
Probably Plato was well-intended when he devised his celibate reform version of erotic obsession, but Jesus Christ! What a monster he unloosed upon the world!
Bouvard and Pecuchet
Gustave Flaubert tr. Polizzotti
Dalkey Archive 2005
Realism is just one phase in the long whine of the literati. Courbet always excepted, realism is always satirical or polemical and has about as much to do with reality as romance novels do. When you read a realistic novel, it’s always important to figure out The Moral of the Story.
The moral of Bouvard and Pecuchet is roughly as follows:
Copy clerks should continue to live as copy clerks even if they inherit tons of money.
Self-education is a crime against nature.
Parvenus are morons and dumbshits who speak only in cliches, have no taste, and always fuck everything up.
In general, only morons and dumbshits take an interest in science and technology, which are mostly crap anyway.
Parvenus shouldn’t study agronomy — partly because they always fuck everything up, but also because agronomy is crap. Same for medicine.
It’s impossible to learn to farm, and besides, who would ever want to try?
If a hailstorm destroys a parvenu’s orchard, it’s because parvenus are morons and dumbshits.
On page 32, Bouvard and Pecuchet’s stacks of wheat spontaneously combust because they stacked it using the Clap-Meyer method from the Netherlands. What a couple of dumbshits. (more…)
Dubliners is Dublin as Stephen Dedalus was able to see it. The Dubliners of that time could not have been as uniformly pitiful, mediocre, and unworthy of respect as Dedalus shows them to have been. Dubliners is realism, but it’s tendentious and symbolist realism, with obsessive-compulsive tics which only got worse during Dedalus’s later career. (Not that there are any other kinds of realism).
Realism supposedly mean “showing things as they really are” or something like that, but what a can of worms that turned out to be! First it meant stories about actuality (including the ugly aspects of actuality) as opposed to stories about imaginary ideal worlds. So far, so good. Then some writers (Flaubert) came to think that a perfectly-written novel would show the Real Truth of a situation, rather than just being a story. Then others (Ibsen) came to think that the truth of realism would motivate people to make the world a better place. Still others (Zola) titillated thir audiences with masses of vivid but unpleasant detail leading to some sort of point. Dedalus’s work was the climax, and he trumped Flaubert by claiming that certain privileged instants, properly written up, showed you the very truth of the very truth. This was all just the return of idealism. Actuality is crap, but Writing is truth. The cesspool of human life transfigured by Art. (more…)