As far from one as the shores of Liberville

Read that Joyce was “complicated but superficial” while DH Lawrence was “simple but profound” — what does this mean. Looked up canular, a noun, meaning “hoax-like”, sometimes there were two n’s. Read of Samuel Beckett’s quietism (looked up quietism.) Could I lay serious claim to having sought — to having sought out personal understanding, or a more generally applicable kind of truth — wasn’t I just filling time, etc. “Nothing has changed.” “Categories”: failure to think in terms of categories is “the undoubted root of my failure in general.” To rear back one single light year from experience, at which distance it becomes a concept, and one becomes a poet, “to think” from a meere light year away. I look at this and think this; don’t look at this and see both it and its category. (Also don’t see its absence or its contrary, don’t see it through time, as unity or multiplicity, quite a lot I don’t see about it.) Common emotions while browsing the internet, excluding the most common: indignation, admiration, amusement, curiosity. What I seem most to be doing is akin to constantly flipping through stations, “looking for something good” where “good” equals “interesting or out of the ordinary” (but I’m supposed to be in the ordinary. Or I’m supposed to be out of the ordinary, if I’m to make some claim about having sought, but looking for the out of the ordinary only keeps me the more deeply wedged in it.) Clicking, typing, reading, listening. Looking up ao dai (traditional Vietnamese garment now mainly worn by women) I suddenly come upon an amusing Fellini quotation — you must live spherically, Fellini has apparently said. Which sounds like good advice and I shall attempt it when I get up…. it means in all directions at once, the translated quotation goes on to say. Joyce apparently liked maps as a youth: his Dublin, Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpa, Balzac’s Paris, that drive to make an imaginary world, one’s own Napoleonic empire. Meanwhile, one is so “adult” and so “serious” and so “literary” that one’s creative attempts resemble a child’s: one is forty and fifty and sixty years old and writing and drawing and speaking “like a kid.” One has been an “adult” — unspherical– and is consequently incapable of producing mature artworks or even a business letter. Looked up Amanda Gorman, Kay Ryan. Finished Finnigans Wake, ran eleven miles, found a driver’s license on the trail, picked it up, took it home, put it in an envelope with the address found on the license and mailed it, Couple weeks later got a note back with a gift card — and sat at the computer and looked up smol (internet spelling of small — small and cute.) Looked up Jacobin and Jacobite (always getting these confused). Looked up morgue (means disdain, arrogance, coldness, in French), looked up Liberville, capital of African nation of Gabon, which was once part of French Equatorial Africa. Brewing and shipbuilding industry there. Picture of its coast with worn colonial stonework near the snad and shore with green vine growths tumbling down to it. (It seems like I have written “snad” there, but most likely I’ve intended “sea.”) One wanted to write actually but it seemed “as far from one as the shores of Liberville.” I spend about twenty seconds then looking at an image of the moon Miranda, another twenty reading that poem Michelangelo made while he was painting the Sistine Chapel, another twenty forging comparisons that don’t work (was the computer a kind of Sistine ceiling to oneself, to which one was pressed, etc) Moon of Uranus, daughter of Prospero. Looking up Athenian Democracy and the “Kyklos” and “Mixed Government” it seemed like The Enlightenment had essentially changed the character of Democracy since Ancient days but had it? (The Republic’s portrait of the citizen of democracy continues to ring true, though perhaps that’s because it’s more generally a portrait of humanity. Citizens of all governments will have those attributes.)

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