Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

the idiot

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

There is nothing so annoying as to be fairly rich, of a fairly good family, pleasing presence, average education, to be “not stupid,” kind-hearted, and yet to have no talent at all, no originality, not a single idea of one’s own—to be, in fact, “just like everyone else”.

Of such people there are countless numbers in this world—far more even than appear. They can be divided into two classes as all men can—that is, those of limited intellect, and those who are much cleverer. The former of these classes is the happier.

from Dostoyevsky’s the Idiot




dense & compact

Monday, January 22nd, 2018


Am Morgen lag Schnee.

Man hätte sich freuen können. Man hätte Schneehütten bauen können oder Schneemänner, man hätte sie als Wächter vor das Haus getürmt. Der Schnee is tröstlich, das ist alles, was er ist – und er halte warm, sagt man, wenn man sich in ihn eingrabe.

Aber er dringt in die Schuhe, blockiert die Autos, bringt Eisenbahnen zum Entgleisen und macht entlegene Dörfer einsam.

Peter Bichsel


Old Woman, Old Fish

The fish that has been sitting in my stomach all afternoon was so old by the time I cooked and ate it, no wonder I am uncomfortable – an old woman digesting an old fish.

Lydia Davis



“Flay him! Flay him! Flay him!”

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

The Crocodile, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crocodile on exhibition swallows man alive. Man resides happily inside the belly of Crocodile (!). And since “the Principles of Economics” are paramount, they come before everything. Crocodile is private property (investment!), and therefore Principles of Economics apply in this situation. We must not flay Crocodile to release Man! We need development! We must create capital!



more football news

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Borges hated football. Here’s why.

“Borges’ problem was with soccer fan culture, which he linked to the kind of blind popular support that propped up the leaders of the twentieth century’s most horrifying political movements. In his lifetime, he saw elements of fascism, Peronism, and even anti-Semitism emerge in the Argentinean political sphere, so his intense suspicion of popular political movements and mass culture—the apogee of which, in Argentina, is soccer—makes a lot of sense.”

from the New Republic.

Also from Borges (with Aldolfo Bioy Casares), a short story on Football as Spectacle à la Guy Debord: Esse est percipi

And finally, Simon Critchley’s essay on football as Working Class Ballet.

“Football is all about the experience of failure and righteous injustice. It is about hoping to win and learning to accept defeat. But most importantly, it is about some experience of the fragility of belonging: the enigma of place, memory and history.”

“[The World Cup] is a shiny display of teams, tribes and nations in symbolic, indeed rather atavistic, national combat adorned with multiple layers of commodification, sponsorship and the seemingly infinite commercialization — among the official FIFA sponsors are Coca Cola, Budweiser and McDonalds. The World Cup is an image of our age at its worst and most gaudy. But it is also something more, something bound up with difficult and recalcitrant questions of conflict, memory, history, place, social class, masculinity, violence, national identity, tribe and group.”