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conversions of looking

And it’s about a simple handful of notes, plus a sustained, overextended hymn in the Lydian mode, which [Beethoven] loves and doesn’t wish to see end, because [he] likes repeating questions and deferring answers, because all answers are easy, because it’s not answers and clarity, or even ambiguity, that Beethoven wants. What he’s after is deferral and distended time, a grace period that never expires and that comes like memory, but isn’t memory, all cadence and no chaos. And he’ll keep repeating and extending the process until he’s left with five notes, three notes, one note, no note, no breath. Maybe art is just that, life without death. Life in the Lydian mode.

— Eight White Nights, Andre Aciman

(Source: timeimmemorial)

"There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and your poor fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing, don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen, you are not a Greek, you are not harmonious, or the master of yourself, you are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much you have lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror, man is—particularly the artist— particularly the poet—particularly myself!"

- Hermann Hesse

"We don’t suffer these days from any lack of communication, but rather from all the forces making us say things when we’ve nothing much to say."

- Gilles Deleuze, On Philosophy

Try hard to help in a practical way, with real feeling.

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