Friday, July 30, 2010

REPOST: A nervous wild thing

1. From "The Fox," by D.H. Lawrence (1921)

"She lowered her eyes, and suddenly saw the fox. He was looking up at her. His chin was pressed down, and his eyes were looking up. They met his eyes. And he knew her. She was spellbound — she knew he knew her. So he looked into her eyes, and her soul failed her. He knew her, and he was not daunted.

"She struggled, confusedly she came to herself, and saw him making off, with slow leaps over some fallen boughs — slow, impudent jumps. Then he glanced over his shoulder, and ran smoothly away. She saw his brush held smooth like a feather, she saw his white buttocks twinkle. And he was gone, softly, soft as the wind."

2: From “Dictation,” by Cynthia Ozick, 2008

“From the alley below her bedroom window — the flittering panes that sheathed her in a dusky mist of almost-light — Lilian heard a sharp clatter: a metal trash barrel overturned. The fox again, scavenging. A sly fox out of a fable, a fox that belonged in a wood—but there are sightings of foxes in the outlying streets of London, and once, coming home in the winter night from her mother’s, she had glimpsed a brown streak under the lamppost; and then it was gone. And another time, in the early morning — the woman and the animal, both of them solitary, two stragglers separated from the pack, transfixed, staring, panicked into immobility. The fox’s eyes were oddly lit, as if glittering pennies had got into its sockets; its ears stood straight up; its white tail hung low, like a shamed flag; its flanks trembled. A nervous wild thing. It twitched the upper muscle of its long snout—she saw the zigzag glint of teeth, the dangerous grin of ambush. How beautiful it was!"

3: Wes Anderson on Fresh Air, Nov. 23, 2009

“Meryl Streep, she told me that she had a moment just before we started recording this where she saw a fox on her doorstep in England, and the fox looked up and saw her, and they just stared at each other for five minutes. And she sort of had this sort of mesmerizing moment with this animal, and she said she sort of thought about that.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

March toward a goal

1) From “November,” by Gustave Flaubert (1910)

“What are we supposed to do here on earth? What should we dream of? What should we build? Tell me, then, you who find life entertaining, you who march towards a goal and torment yourself to achieve some particular aim!”

2) From “The Boy with the Thorn in his Side,” by The Smiths (1985)

“And when you want to live, how do you start? Where do you go? Who do you need to know?”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


1) From “Strait is the Gate,” by Andre Gide (1909)

“I have torn up all the pages that seemed to me to be well written. (I know what I mean by this.) I ought to have torn up all those in which there was any question of him. I ought to have torn them all up. I could not.

“And already, because I tore up those few pages, I had a little feeling of pride… a pride that I should laugh at if my heart were not so sick.

“It really seemed as though I had done something meritorious, and as though what I had destroyed had been of some importance!”

2) From “The Way of Man,” by Martin Buber (1950)

“A hasid of the Rabbi of Lublin once fasted from one Sabbath to the next. On Friday afternoon he began to suffer such cruel thirst that he thought he would die. He saw a well, went up to it, and prepared to drink. But instantly he realized that because of the one brief hour he had still to endure, he was about to destroy the work of the entire week. He did not drink and went away from the well. Then he was touched by a feeling of pride for having passed this difficult test. When he became aware of it, he said to himself, ‘Better I go and drink then let my heart fall prey to pride.’ He went back to the well, but just as he was going to bend down to draw water, he noticed that his thirst had disappeared. When the Sabbath had begun, he entered his teacher’s house. ‘Patchwork!’ the rabbi called to him, as he crossed the treshhold.”