Anya looked upon Nin admirably. Having him as a partner-in-crime—if only on this one occasion, which she hoped would only be the start of something more—was more revitalizing than the cheap thrills of a cookie-cutter shallow, superficial romance, where the top priority was how beautiful a person was on the outside.
In the glad old days, before the rise of modern morbidities...it used to be thought a disadvantage to be misunderstood.
For those whose ganglia were formed pre-TV, the mimetic deployment of pop-culture icons seems at best an annoying tic and at worst a dangerous vapidity that compromises fiction's seriousness by dating it out of the Platonic Always, where it ought to reside.
The melancholy of the antique world seems to me more profound than that of the moderns, all of whom more or less imply that beyond the dark void lies immortality. But for the ancients that ‘black hole’ is infinity itself; their dreams loom and vanish against a background of immutable ebony. No crying out, no convulsions—nothing but the fixity of the pensive gaze.With the gods gone, and Christ not yet come, there was a unique moment, from Cicero to Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone. Nowhere else do I find that particular grandeur.
Finally, the functionalist organization, by privileging progress (i.e. time), causes the condition of its own possibility--space itself--to be forgotten: space thus becomes the blind spot in a scientific and political technology. This is the way in which the Concept-city functions: a place of transformations and appropriations, the object of various kinds of interference but also a subject that is constantly enriched by new attributes, it is simultaneously the machinery and the hero of modernity.
For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person. Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do. As megatons of water shape organisms on the ocean floor. As tides polish stones. As winds hollow cliffs. The beautiful supermachinery opening a new life for innumerable mankind. Would you deny them the right to exist? Would you ask them to labor and go hungry while you yourself enjoyed old-fashioned Values? You—you yourself are a child of this mass and a brother to all the rest. or else an ingrate, dilettante, idiot. There, Herzog, thought Herzog, since you ask for the instance, is the way it runs.
But do you imagine there’s a certain type of person in the world who conforms to the idea of a ‘bad person'? You’ll never find someone who fits that mold neatly, you know. On the whole, all people are good, or at least they’re normal. The frightening thing is that they can suddenly turn bad when it comes to the crunch. That’s why you have to be careful.
The modern artist is working with space and time and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.
Too Clear, too clean. The problem was precision, perfection; the problem was digitization which sucked the life out of everything that got smeared through its microscopic mesh. Film, photography, music: dead. An aesthetic holocaust!
Do you want to know why I don't like the so-called connoisseurs of arts? I hate hypocrisy. I'll give you an example: if the movie is colored and tells us about two friends who sit in the pool, fart into the water, get out of the pool and fart into each other's face it will be thrash, a lack of a culture and a third-rate comedy. But if the movie is black-and-white and tells us about two friends who cross the desert and peeing on each other, shit on the sand, and then they eat each other's shit, and on top of that they fucking each other's ass it will be a brilliant art house movie.
Yes, I do believe in something. I believe in being warm-hearted. Ibelieve especially in being warm-hearted in love, in fucking with awarm heart. I believe if men could fuck with warm hearts, and the womentake it warm-heartedly, everything would come all right. It's all thiscold-hearted fucking that is death and idiocy.
Unfortunately, you are far more likely to be harmed or die prematurely as a direct result of modern society than you are from any form of terrorism.
I realize then that the disappearance of a culture does not signify the disappearance of human value, but simply of certain means of expressing this value, yet the fact remains that I have no sympathy for the current European civilization and do not understand its goals, if it has any. So I am really writing for friends who are scattered throughout the corners of the globe.
I should have learned many things from that experience, but when I look back on it, all I gained was one single, undeniable fact. That ultimately I am a person who can do evil. I never consciously tried to hurt anyone, yet good intentions notwithstanding, when necessity demanded, I could become completely self-centered, even cruel. I was the kind of person who could, using some plausible excuse, inflict on a person I cared for a wound that would never heal.College transported me to a new town, where I tried, one more time, to reinvent myself. Becoming someone new, I could correct the errors of my past. At first I was optimistic: I could pull it off. But in the end, no matter where I went, I could never change. Over and over I made the same mistake, hurt other people, and hurt myself in the bargain.Just after I turned twenty, this thought hit me: Maybe I've lost the chance to ever be a decent human being. The mistakes I'd committed—maybe they were part of my very makeup, an inescapable part of my being. I'd hit rock bottom, and I knew it.
I should have learned many things from that experience, but when I look back on it, all I gained was one single, undeniable fact. That ultimately I am a person who can do evil. I never consciously tried to hurt anyone, yet good intentions notwithstanding, when necessity demanded, I could become completely self-centered, even cruel. I was the kind of person who could, using some plausible excuse, inflict on a person I cared for a wound that would never heal.
Everyone wavers between the emotionally still-alive past ad the already dead future.Gilles Ivain (aka Ivan Chtcheglov)
A stubborn refusal of the conditions of 20th Century 'reality', surrealism has denied intransigently and consistently that modern man can live without a sense of wonder at the world that was once embodied in myth. In approaching literature, it has aimed at restoring to the word its magical qualities. And at giving back to language the elemental power it once had within society. This determinism lies at the heart of the surrealist attitude and distinguishes it radically from the modernism which took shape contemporaneously with it.
This is what made the difference, they used social networking for entertainment and I used it for business.
In one sense, (Duchamp's) “The Large Glass” is a glimpse into Hell; a peculiarly modernist Hell of repetition and loneliness.
The memory of having sat at someone’s feet will later make you want to trample him underfoot. I’m trying to fend off your admiration for me, you see, in order to save myself from your future contempt. I prefer to put up with my present state of loneliness rather than suffer more loneliness later. We who are born into this age of freedom and independence and the self must undergo this loneliness. It’s the price we pay for these times of ours.
These ideas fit the experience of these Japanese women who often talked about searching for or trying to develop self (jibun). Cultivating or polishing self by doing tea ceremony or being a good mother, for example, had a good connotation for the Japanese because it meant that you were trying to go beyond your narrow self and connect self with the larger world beyond social norms. But developing self in the new way these women used it meant to develop self according to just what you want to do or in a way that enhances your own possibilities in the world. Would others see choosing a life for self as selfish? These women had to maintain some ambiguity because they were wandering into dangerous territory when they wanted to travel just to enjoy themselves, or keep working and not marry. In a society that honored the cultivation of a larger self, would they themselves someday suffer for having chosen the self-centered way?
Having arrived at this point, he had found no direction in which to go save that of further withdrawal into a subjectivity which refused existence to any reality or law but its own. During these postwar years he had lived in solitude and carefully planned ignorance of what was happening in the world. Nothing had importance save the exquisitely isolated cosmos of his own consciousness. Then little by little he had had the impression that the light of meaning, the meaning of everything was dying. Like a flame under a glass it had dwindled, flickered and gone out, and all existence, including his own hermetic structure from which he had observed existence, had become absurd and unreal.
Every little thing makes a difference, whether you decide it yourself or whether it’s pure accident. So many people have had the whole course of their lives changed by something perfectly simple like, let’s say, crossing the street at one point instead of another.”“Yes, yes, yes, I know,” Stenham said with exaggerated weariness. “As far as I’m concerned that’s just as boring, and a lot more false, by the way. The point I’m trying to make is that he loves his world of Koranic law because it’s his, and at the same time he hates it because his intuition tells him it’s at the end of its rope. He can’t expect anything more from it. And our world, he hates that too, just on general principles, and yet it’s his only hope, the only way out—if there is one for him personally, which I doubt.
The Bible depicts a world that, seen through modern eyes, is staggering in its savagery. People enslave, rape, and murder members of their immediate families. Warlords slaughter civilians indiscriminately, including the children. Women are bought, sold, and plundered like sex toys. And Yahweh tortures and massacres people by the hundreds of thousands for trivial disobedience or for no reason at all. These atrocities are neither isolated nor obscure. They implicate all the major characters of the Old Testament, the ones that Sunday-school children draw with crayons. And they fall into a continuous plotline that stretches for millennia, from Adam and Eve through Noah, the patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, the judges, Saul, David, Solomon, and beyond.
Quentin had grown up with that; the mere names were interchangeable and almost myriad. His childhood was full of them; his very body was an empty hall echoing with sonorous defeated names; he was not a being, an entity, he was a commonwealth. He was a barracks filled with stubborn back-looking ghosts still recovering, even forty-three years afterward, from the fever which had cured the disease, waking from the fever without even knowing that it had been the fever itself which they had fought against and not the sickness, looking with stubborn recalcitrance backward beyond the fever and into the disease with actual regret, weak from the fever yet free of the disease and not even aware that the freedom was that of impotence.
The modern world has forgotten the necessity of encouraging men to be better. They speak of sick men or healthy men, of interesting people or uninteresting people; they never, or seldom, indicate that there is and must be an interior and spiritual improvement in man before any of the glowing coals of humanity can be reached. They have cultivated everything but the goodness of man. The result of such shallowness is everywhere apparent.
The anti-religious modernism which now threatens Islam and Muslims everywhere can be fully understood only by understanding the religion of the civilization in whose bosom modernism first developed, against which it rebelled, and whose tenets it has been challenging through constant battle since the birth of the modern world in the Renaissance.
And while it’s nice of you to want to call us ‘modern’ or ‘moderate,’ we’ll do without the redundancy. Islam is by definition moderate, so the more strictly we adhere to its fundamentals — the more moderate we’ll be. And Islam is by nature timeless and universal, so if we’re truly Islamic — we’ll always be modern.We’re not ‘Progressives’; we’re not ‘Conservatives’. We’re not ‘neo-Salafi’; we’re not ‘Islamists’. We’re not ‘Traditionalists’; we’re not ‘Wahabis’. We’re not ‘Immigrants’ and we’re not ‘Indigenous’. Thanks, but we’ll do without your prefix.We’re just Muslim.
When multi-national corporations are given the same powers as feudal states or nations: expect wars.
Ruthlessly, in despite of itself, the Enlightenment has extinguished any trace of its own self-consciousness. The only kind of thinking that is sufficiently hard to shatter myths is ultimately self-destructive.
This assumption of the intrinsically repressive nature of collective experience and redemptive power of individuation is a staple of contemporary art theory and criticism. I would argue that a closer analysis of collaborative and collective art practices can reveal a more complex model of social change and identity, one in which the binary oppositions of divided vs. coherent subjectivity, desiring singularity vs. totalizing collective, liberating distanciation vs. stultifying interdependence, are challenged and complicated.