“In a sense Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick predicted Brian Eno: Pynchon with his image of electronic sound as ambient entertainment; Ballard with his scenes of Vermilion Sands’ cloud sculptors and sonic statue salesmen; Dick with his musical reverie technology.”

Dans ces derniers temps, un malheureux fut amené devant nos tribunaux, dont le front était illustré d’un rare et singulier tatouage: Pas de chance! Il portait ainsi au-dessus de ses yeux l’étiquette de sa vie, comme un livre son titre, et l’interrogatoire prouve que ce bizarre écriteau était cruellement véridique.

 

Il est d’ailleurs facile de supposer qu’un homme aussi réellement solitaire, aussi profondément malheureux, et qui a pu souvent envisager tout le système social comme un paradoxe et une imposture, un homme qui, harcelé par une destinée sans pitié, répétait souvent que la société n’est qu’une cohue de misérables (c’est Griswold qui rapporte cela, aussi scandalisé qu’un homme qui peut penser la même chose, mais qui ne la dira jamais)

 

Parmi l’énumération nombreuse des droits de l’homme que la sagesse du XIXe siècle a recommencée si souvent et si complaisamment, deux assez importants ont été oubliés, qui sont le droit de se contredire et le droit de s’en aller. Mais la société regarde celui qui s’en va comme un insolent; elle châtierait volontiers certaines dépouilles funèbres, comme ce malheureux soldat, atteint de vampirisme, que la vue d’un cadavre exaspérait jusqu’à la fureur.—Et cependant, on peut dire que, sous la pression de certaines circonstances, après un sérieux examen de certaines incompatibilités, avec de fermes croyances à de certains dogmes et métempsycoses,—on peut dire, sans emphase et sans jeu de mots, que le suicide est parfois l’action la plus raisonnable de la vie.

 

Mais il arrivait parfois—on le dit, du moins,—que le poëte, se complaisant dans un caprice destructeur, rappelait brusquement ses amis à la terre par un cynisme affligeant et démolissait brutalement son œuvre de spiritualité. C’est d’ailleurs une chose à noter, qu’il était fort peu difficile dans le choix de ses auditeurs, et je crois que le lecteur trouvera sans peine dans l’histoire d’autres intelligences grandes et originales, pour qui toute compagnie était bonne. Certains esprits, solitaires au milieu de la foule, et qui se repaissent dans le monologue, n’ont que faire de la délicatesse en matière de public. C’est, en somme, une espèce de fraternité basée sur le mépris.

 

nous nous trouvons souvent sur le bord même du souvenir

 

elle, la toujours placide Ligeia, à l’extérieur si calme, était la proie la plus déchirée par les tumultueux vautours de la cruelle passion. Et je ne pouvais évaluer cette passion que par la miraculeuse expansion de ces yeux

 

J’étais devenu un esclave de l’opium, il me tenait dans ses liens,—et tous mes travaux et mes plans avaient pris la couleur de mes rêves.

[will perhaps be edited/completed later.]

***

Continue reading “”

Do not believe—and I am dead serious when I say this—do not assume that order and stability are always good

“…today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups—and the electronic hardware exists by which to deliver these pseudo-worlds right into the heads of the reader, the viewer, the listener. Sometimes when I watch my eleven-year-old daughter watch TV, I wonder what she is being taught. The problem of miscuing; consider that. A TV program produced for adults is viewed by a small child. Half of what is said and done in the TV drama is probably misunderstood by the child. Maybe it’s all misunderstood. And the thing is, Just how authentic is the information anyhow, even if the child correctly understood it? What is the relationship between the average TV situation comedy to reality? What about the cop shows? Cars are continually swerving out of control, crashing, and catching fire. The police are always good and they always win. Do not ignore that point: The police always win. What a lesson that is. You should not fight authority, and even if you do, you will lose. The message here is, Be passive. And—cooperate. If Officer Baretta asks you for information, give it to him, because Officer Beratta is a good man and to be trusted. He loves you, and you should love him.

So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they do not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart. I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe—and I am dead serious when I say this—do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish. This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly. What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new.”

How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later by Philip K. Dick

Beckett — Sans / Lessness

Written at the end of the 1960s, this short text is one of the most experimental of Samuel Beckett’s pieces of fiction. It was originally written in French, entitled Sans (“without”), and translated by Beckett himself as Lessness (New Statesman, 1 May 1970). Partly inspired by experimental music by John Cage and other 1960s compositions, Beckett created a rigid framework within which he allows chance to be the main structuring principle of his text.`

http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2307

Lessness is a prose piece by Samuel Beckett in which he    used random permutation to order sentences.  Although    Lessness is linear prose, its orderly disorder calls for a    reading process in which the reader works to untangle the threads of    sameness and difference to discern the underlying structure,    becoming aware of the usually unconscious processes of    interpretation. Tightly interwoven contradictory perspectives drive    the reader’s attempts at reconciliation. The two halves of    Lessness are two of the 8.3 x 1081 possible orderings of Beckett’s 60    sentences.

https://www.random.org/lessness/paper/

 

txt: http://fr.scribd.com/doc/47946673/1970-Samuel-Beckett-Lessness

I couldn’t find the original text in french.

(Maybe i’ll type it once i get the book.)