Dadaepo Beach

Took the 1001 bus to Dadaepo beach. Read Death of a Salesman on my way there. At a little boat shack by the sea I rented a yellow kayak. I had wanted a sailboat but dinghy rentals were done for the season. I left the dock and paddled out to an area that was full of jumping fish. They were blue with white bellies and they shot out of the water haphazardly. They looked like little blue rockets, and they rose from the sea, imperfectly launched, slanting to one side, with their flight path quickly capping out. Their bodies static and their tails fanning air, descending and disappearing back in the water.

Above me low flying aircraft kept rumbling by as they approached Gimhae airport. From the mouth of the Nakdong a fleet of middleaged jetskiers came roaring my way. They closed in on me, jumping, breaking waves, playing out cowboy fantasies, chasing ghosts and imoogies east. Perhaps reenacting ancient sea battles. They passed me, looked at me, they likely craved encouragement– a thumbsup, a gogetthem. Then they disappeared behind the southernmost tip of Busan. Their wake rocked the yellow kayak and disturbed the sea around me. Once the water settled, the jumping fish resumed their exercises.

Approaching a City | Edward Hopper

On Edward Hopper by Mark Strand from The New York Review of Books | Article

“something that is not there at the outset but reveals itself slowly, and then completely, having traveled an arduous route during which vision and image come together,”

“By the time the gas station appears on canvas in its final form it has ceased being just a gas station. It has become Hopperized. It possesses something it never had before Hopper saw it as a possible subject for his painting. And for the artist, the painting exists, in part, as a mode of encountering himself.”

“With the uncertainty under which the painter labors, extended periods of doubt, it is a wonder that he can ever be free of anxiety or finish a work. Even the prodigiously talented Picasso needed constant reassurance. ¶ One of the ways Hopper dealt with his lack of certainty was to make many preparatory drawings for each painting;”

“It was not that he needed to be sure how to paint a sugar dispenser of salt shaker as in Nighthawks (1942), but that they should become his. ¶ This absorption of the outer world into his inner world could only be accomplished through a protracted ritual of drawing and redrawing, slight adjustments here and there adding up to imaginative ownership and psychic freedom.”

“Again and again, words like “loneliness” or “alienation” are used to describe the emotional character of his paintings.”

“It was thrilling to suddenly go underground, travel in the dark, and be delivered to the masses of people milling about in the cavernous terminal.”

Read: Mark W. Turner essay comparing “the wall in Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener and Hopper’s walls.

See:

New York Movie (1939) (at MoMa)

Nighthawks (1942) [at Art Institute of Chicago]

Approaching a City (1946) [Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.]

Morning Sun (1952) [Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia]

eat-pray-love-DSC_0013

Eat Pray Love

Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. New York, N.Y.; Penguin, 2007. Print. (First ed. 2006)

“When the Crusaders drove East for the holy wars, they witnessed worshipers praying with these japa malas, admired the technique, and brought the idea home to Europe as rosary.” p. 1

“the number 108 is held to be most auspicious, a perfect three-digit multiple of three, its components adding up to nine, which is three threes.” p. 1-2

“This division means that there are 36 tales in each section, which appeals to me on a personal level because I am writing all this during my thirty-sixth year.” p. 2

Om Namah Shivaya

“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to thoroughly explore the countries themselves; this has been done. It was more that I wanted to thoroughly explore one aspect of myself set against the backdrop of each country,” p. 37

“Therefore, what we today call French is really a version of medieval Parisian. Portuguese is really Lisboan. Spanish is essentially Madrileño. These were capitalist victories; the strongest city ultimately determined the language of the whole country.” p. 57

“What this congress decided would henceforth be considered proper Italian was the personal language of the great Florentine poet Dante Alighieri. When Dante published his Divine Comedy back in 1321, detailing a visionary progression through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, he’d shocked the literate world by not writing in Latin.” p. 58-59

“He wrote his masterpiece in what he called il dolce stil nuovo, the “sweet new style” of the vernacular, and he shaped that vernacular even as he was writing it, affecting it as personally as Shakespeare would someday affect Elizabethan English.” p. 59

terza rima

“Dante writes that God is not merely a blinding vision of glorious light, but that He is, most of all, l’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle… ” p, 60

il bel far niente “the beauty of doing nothing” p. 80

“For me, though, a major obstacle in my pursuit of pleasure was my ingrained sense of Puritan guilt. Do I really deserve this pleasure? This is very American, too–the insecurity about whether we have earned our happiness.”p. 81

“Dai, dai, dai, Albertini, dai … va bene, va bene, ragazzo mio, perfetto, bravo, bravo… Dai! Dai! Via! Via! Nella porta! Eccola, eccola, eccola, mio bravo ragazzo, caro mio, eccola, eccola, ecco–AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!  VAFFANCULO!! FIGLIO DI MIGNOTTA!! STRONZO! CAFONE! TRADITORE! Madonna… Ah, Dio mio, perché, perché, perché, questo e stupido, e una vergogna, la vergogna… Che casino, che bordello… NON HAI UN CUORE, ALBERTINI! FAI FINTA! Guarda, non e successo niente.. Dai, dai, ah… Molto migliore, si si si, eccola, bello, bravo, anima mia, ah ottimo, eccola adesso … nella porta, nella porta, nell–VAFFANCULO!!!!!!!” p. 90-91

Plan Roms im Altertum. Via Wikimedia.

Augusteum

“The Augusteum warns me not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who I am, what I represent, whom I belong to, or what function I may once have intended to serve… Even in the Eternal City, says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.” p. 100

magari (maybe, if only, I wish)

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

“Parla come magni.” p. 115

“Virginia Woolf wrote, “Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword.” On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where “all is correct.” But on the other side of that sword, if you’re crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, “all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course.”” p. 126

The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” p. 127

“I drop out of my Italian-language school, having come to feel that it was interfering with my efforts to learn Italian, since it was keeping me stuck in the classroom instead of wandering around Italy, where I could practice with people in person.” p. 128

codega “a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets.” p. 135

“Or maybe I only want to go to Sicily because of what Goethe said: “Without seeing Sicily one cannot get a clear idea of what Italy is.”” p. 148

 

“Historians say that rhetoric was invented in Syracuse, and also (and this is just a minor thing) plot.” p. 150

The Italians (1964) by Luigi Barzini

“In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible.” p. 152

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” p. 154

arati prayer

“Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: “You bear God within you, poor wretched, and you know it not.”” p. 161

To Read: Epictetus

“”Our whole business therefore in this life,” wrote Saint Augustine, rather Yogically, “is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.”” p. 162

To Read: Saint Augustine

“the monk quoted to me from the Bhagavad Gita, the most sacred ancient text of Yoga: “Oh Khrisna, the mind is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding. I consider it as difficult to subdue as the wind.”” p. 174

Ham-sa mantra

Saint Teresa of Ávila by Peter Paul Rubens. Via Wikimedia.

Saint Teresa of Avila

“The most difficult challenge, the saint wrote in her memoirs, was to not stir up the intellect during meditation, for any thoughts of the mind–even the most fervent prayers–will extinguish the fire of God.” p. 190

kundalini shakti  

“You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.” p. 199

guru gita

“Zen masters always say that you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.” p. 226

Vipassana meditation

“”The world is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world,” says an old Buddhist teaching.” p. 229

“Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention.” p. 235

“Because if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in deep trouble forever.” p. 236

“”Guilt’s just your ego’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’re making moral progress.”” p. 244

(Instructions for Freedom) “3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.” p. 245

“7. Let your intentions be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.” p. 246

“the rules of transcendence insist that you will not advance even one inch closer to divinity as long as you cling to even one last seductive thread of blame.” p. 247

“To know God, you need only to renounce one thing–your sense of division from God.” p. 255

Sextus “”The wise man is always similar to himself.” p. 256

Sentences of Sextus

turiya state (pure consciousness)

 

“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, begging for pennies from every passerby, unaware that his fortune was right under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But claim it,” p. 262

“”All know that the drop merges into the coean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop,” wrote the sage Kabir” p. 265

To Read: Kabir

“”Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine,” he said. “You want to stay near the core of the thing–right in the hub of the wheel–not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place,” p. 275

“In the dead of night the dogs howl about how misunderstood they are.” p. 312

“The word paradise, by the way, which comes to us from the Persian, means literally “a walled garden.”” p. 313

“The next piece of land was rejected because it was too close to a river, which, as everyone knows, is where ghosts live.” p. 411

“We get seduced by our own mantras (I’m a failure… I’m lonely…I’m a failure… I’m lonely…) and we become monuments to them.” p. 433

Saint Anthony once wrote about having gone into the desert on silent retreat and being assaulted by all manner of visions–devils and angels, both… you can only tell which is which by the way you feel after the creature has left your company.” p. 435

The Meeting of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul, Master of the Osservanza, 15th century. Via Wikimedia.

To Read: Saint Anthony

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Animal Farm

Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York, N.Y.: Signet Classics, 1996. Print. (First ed. 1945).

“Orwell called the book “a fairy story.” Like Voltaire’s Candide, however, with which it bears comparison, it is too many other things to be so handily classified.” p. vi
“Orwell started work on Animal Farm in 1943. As he discovered when he went looking for a publisher, Stalin’s Soviet Union was so popular that year in Britain and America that few wanted to hear or read anything critical of it.” p. viii

Orwell’s essay “”Politics and the English Language,” showing how politicians twist the language to distort and deceive.” p x

Candide by Voltaire

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

 

Orwell and others “Why did they get it all wrong? For one thing, they were men who had come to maturity in the age of the dictators.” p. xiii

Rimsky-Korsakov‘s Le Coq d’Or “a fairy tale with a moral.” p. xxi

“The point about fairy-stories is that they are written not merely without a moral but without a morality. They take place in a world beyond good and evil, where people (or animals) suffer or prosper for reasons unconnected with ethical merit–for being ugly or beautiful respectively, for instance, or for even more unsatisfactory reasons.” p. xxii

“Moses, who was Mr. Jone’s especial pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker. He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all animals went when they died.” p. 17

“Some hams in the kitchen were taken out for burial,” p. 23

“A unanimous resolution was passed on the spot that the farmhouse should be preserved as a museum.” p. 23

“THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.” p. 24-25

“The mechanical details came mostly from three books which had belonged to Mr. Jones–One Thousand Useful Things to Do About the House, Every Man His Own Bricklayer, and Electricity for Beginners.” p. 49

“But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and, casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before.
“At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn.” p. 52-53

“”He fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed,” said somebody.
“Bravery is not enough,” said Squealer. “Loyalty and obedience are more important.” p. 55

“He was always referred to in formal style as “our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,” and the pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings’ Friend, and the like.” p. 93

“Squealer would talk with the tears rolling down his cheeks of Napoleon’s wisdom, the goodness of his heart, and the deep love he bore to all animals everywhere, even and especially the unhappy animals who still lived in ignorance and slavery on other farms.” p. 93

“By the evening of that day it was learned that he had instructed Whymper to purchase in Willingdon some booklets on brewing and distilling.” p. 108

“the retiring age had been fixed for horses and pigs at twelve, for cows at fourteen, for dogs at nine, for sheep at seven, and for hens and geese at five.” p. 112

“But the explanation was very simple. The van had previously been the property of the knacker, and had been bought by the veterinary surgeon, who had not yet painted the old name out. That was how the mistake had arisen.” p. 125

“No one stirred in the farmhouse before noon on the following day, and the word went round that from somewhere or other the pigs had acquired the money to buy themselves another case of whiskey.” p. 126

“Squealer was so fat that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes.” p. 128

“But the luxuries of which Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric light and hot and cold water, and the three-day week, were no longer talked about. Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally.” p. 129

“neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.” p. 130

“Sometimes the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jone’s expulsion was still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s list of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better.” p. 130

“She neighed again, and all the animals broke into a gallop and rushed into the yard. Then they saw what Clover had seen.
“It was a pig walking on his hind legs.” p. 132

“And finally there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a shrill crowing from the black cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gambolling round him.” p. 133

“There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran:
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” p. 134

“He believed that he was right in saying that the lower animals on Animal Farm did more work and received less food than any animals in the country.” p. 137

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” p. 141

To Read:
Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) Novel
Burmese Days (1934) Novel
Homage to Catalonia (1938) Novel