"We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog’s yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum’s scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartner feels at his mother’s retreat. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we. Solipsism binds us together […] That we feel lonely in a crowd; stop not to dwell on what’s brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd."
— David Foster Wallace, from “Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way”
- In exactly three days my girlfriend arrives back home.
- In exactly four days I will quit my only stable means of employment for the past five years.
- In exactly six days I will sign employment contracts with my university for a teaching assistantship.
- In exactly seven days I will be sitting in my first grad school seminar.
I am happy about many things, and terrified about a few.
"You ask yourself: where are your dreams now? And you shake your head and say how swiftly the years fly by! And ask yourself again: what have you done with your best years, then? Where have you buried the best days of your life? Have you lived or not? Look, you tell yourself, look how cold the world is becoming. The years will pass and after them will come grim loneliness, and old age, quaking on its stick, and after them misery and despair. Your fantasy world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die, falling away like the yellow leaves from the trees …"
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, White Nights (via becoming-vverevvolf)
"Think outside the box! Think outside the box! Who even told you there is a goddamn box? Reconsider what you parrot. Then, think."
— Albert Camus, from Notebooks (1958)
"The next literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naïve, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows."
— David Foster Wallace, from "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction"
"The modern State cannot be grasped as a reality, substance, objectivity (an inert or organic object). The State is not seen. No more than the Law. They do not pertain to the sensible. You can photograph rulers. Not the State. What does the spectator see, from the outside, or the member, from the inside? He does not see the Law, only the policeman. We only see the theatrical appearance of the State, the ceremonial garments. The State is not seen, it is conceived: this allows Hegel and Hegelians to claim that the State is (nothing but) an idea."
— Lefebvre, Henri, De l’État, vol. 1, 1976, pp. 42-3 (via fuckyeahdialectics)