Here & There Words

Ruth Ozeki w/ David Palumbo-Liu discussing her novel ,A Tale for the Time Being, at Stanford University 

I have been a stranger here in my own land: All my life
Sophocles, Antigone
Stars and blossoming fruit trees: Utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity.
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
As a society, you were unwilling to reflect upon the shared pain that united you with those who attacked you. You retreated into myths of your own difference, assumptions of your own superiority. And you acted out these beliefs on the stage of the world, so that the entire planet was rocked by the repercussions of your tantrums, not least my family, now facing war thousands of miles away.
Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die, how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation.
J.M. Cotetzee, Waiting for Barbarians 

"By lifting imagery associated with the global south and restyling it with an unapologetically gaudy insistence on its “otherness,” M.I.A empowers both herself and brown kids worldwide who had previously only been the subjects of Otherization, not the agents. Her reappropriation of the exotic kitsch brands subaltern struggle with dance-pop cool, while triumphantly avoiding privileging white consumption."

S/O to Ayesha A. Siddiqi for this baller essay! Check out her twitter and blog

Alchemical - Paul Celan

Alchemical 
Silence, like Gold cooked in
charred
Hands.

Vast, grey,
near as all that is Lost
Sisterly-Shape:

All the Names, all the with-
Burnt up
Names. So much
Ash to be blessed. So much
Land gained
above
the light, so light
Soul-
Rings.

Vast. Grey. Clinker-
less.

You, then.
You with the pale
bitten-out bud,
You in the Wine-Flood.

(Did it not discharge
us too, this Hour?
Good,
Good, that your Word died away here.)

Silence, like Gold cooked, in
charred, charred
Hands.
Fingers, smoke-thin. Like Crowns, Air-Crowns
around – –

Vast. Grey. Track-
less.
Queen-
like.

Very cool operatic adaptation of Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities performed at the Los Angeles Union Station!  

"One has to convey in a language that is not one’s own the spirit that is one’s own. One has to convey various shades and omissions of a certain thought-movement that looks maltreated in an alien language. I use the word “alien”, yet English is not really an alien language to us…We cannot write like the English. We should not. We cannot write only as Indians. We have grown to look at the large world as part of us. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will some day to prove to be as distinctive and colourful as the Irish or the American." - Raja Rao 

"One has to convey in a language that is not one’s own the spirit that is one’s own. One has to convey various shades and omissions of a certain thought-movement that looks maltreated in an alien language. I use the word “alien”, yet English is not really an alien language to us…We cannot write like the English. We should not. We cannot write only as Indians. We have grown to look at the large world as part of us. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will some day to prove to be as distinctive and colourful as the Irish or the American." - Raja Rao