Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Actor's Art and Craft

I came across this book on acting by William Esper (apparently a very well know teacher of acting) and Damon DiMarco, ``The Actor's Art and Craft''. Here is a quote from Kafka that I found in the book.
You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen.You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, still, and solitary.The world will freely offer it to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. -- Franz Kafka;   From The Actor's Art and Craft, p. 33

Isn't it amazing? I had no idea Kafka was such an interesting person (I knew his work was brilliant, though.) I am seeing that I am quite ignorant about historic figures: first was Nietzsche and now Kafka :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

چنین کنند بزرگان

از کتاب "چنین کنند بزرگان
آتیلا اصلا آدم مهمی‌ نبود. به همین جهت برای ما روشن نیست که اصولأ چرا دربارهٔ او بحث کردیم. البته کمی‌ شلوغ کاری کرد، اما کارش قوام و دوامی نداشت و برخوردش با مسائل بین‌المللی آن قدرها واقع بینانه نبود؛ به طوری که گاهی منجر به بحرانهای شدید میشد. خودش میگفت "من موشم." در حالی‌ که موش نبود. به علاوه هیچ برازنده یک مرد بزرگ تاریخ نیست که خودش را تا سطح یک موش پایین بیاورد
آتیلا دوست داشت که او را "داس خدا" بنامند، ولی‌ به نظر من عنوانه "دماغ کوفته ای" بیشتر به او می‌‌آمد
آتیلا همچنین میگفت "روی زمینی‌ که من اسب تاخته باشم هرگز علف سبز نخواهد شد؛" و حال آنکه سبز شد

سرگذشت آتیلا به ما می‌‌آموزد که آدم ممکن است چند صباحی شلتاق کند و بگوید من موشم و سیصد و یک زن بگیرد، ولی‌ قدر مسلّم این است که این کارها آخر و عاقبت ندارد


Using "http://www.behnevis.com/en/index.html"

The History of Love

I started reading ``The History of Love,'' by Nicole Krauss. Here is a quote:

``When I came to America I knew hardly anyone, only a second cousin who was a locksmith, so I worked for him. If he had been a shoemaker I would have become a shoemaker; if he had shoveled shit I, too, would have shoveled. But. He was a locksmith." p.4,  The History of Love

PS.  I did not like the book, "The History of Love," ... I could not connect with it even after reading 30 pages and I left it unfinished. I do not recommend it :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More of TLP

` I shouldn't have listened to her,' he confided to me one day,  'one should never listen to flowers. One must admire them and breathe their fragrance. Mine perfumed all my planet, but I did not know how to enjoy her.   ...  At the time, I was unable to understand anything! I should have based my judgement upon deeds and not words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I should never have run away from her! I should have guessed at the affection behind her poor little tricks. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her.' p. 38, The Little Price

Sunset

An experiment with short stories:

Father gasps in disbelief. Mother turns her head. Sunset slows down. I hold my weight on the bench. Decisions are to be made: who swims down the river? Wind rustles young spring leaves. I look up. It's none of my business anyway. He should have been more careful. Father is calculating the odds. He always calculates and makes rational, absurdly safe decisions. The river, and certainly the cave, are dark now. Swimming is just suicide. Dad turns his head away. He has decided not to go. Mom knows this all too well. She tries not to look at me. He is, has been, a stupid bastard. Everyone knows that. I start walking toward the river. Not sure why. I do not even like him! This is certainly suicide. I start running. Sun is setting faster and faster.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Little Prince

At the same time, I am reading ``The Little Prince," by Antoine De Saint Exuprey, after a long, long time :)

He was really quite angry. He shook his golden locks in the wind: `I know of a planet where there is a red-faced gentleman. He has never smelled a flower. He has never looked at a star. He has never loved anybody. He has spent all his time adding up figures. And, all day, he keeps on repeating, like you: "I am busy with serious matters. I am busy with serious matters," over and over again. And he swells up with pride. But he is not a man, he is a mushroom.'  p. 32, The Little Prince

More of NLMG

Two more passages from NLMG that I liked:

`` ...  What she said was that I didn't have to be creative, if I really didn't feel like it, that was perfectly all right. Nothing wrong with it, she said.'' p. 23, Never Let Me Go

`` ...  So you're waiting, even if you don't quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realise that you really are different to them; that there are people out there, like Madame, who don't hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you---of how you were brought into this world or why---and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. The first time you glimpse yourself through the eyes of a person like that, it's a cold moment. It's like walking past a mirror you have walked past every day of your life, and suddenly it shows you something else, something troubling and strange.'' p. 36, Never Let Me Go

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Never Let Me Go

I just started reading the novel, ``Never Let Me Go,'' by Kazuo Ishiguro. Here is a passage from the beginning:

`` There have been times over the years when I've tried to leave Hailsham behind, when I've told myself that I shouldn't look back so much. But then there came a point when I just stopped resisting. It had to do with this particular donor I had once, in my third year as a carer; it was his reaction when I mentioned I was from Hailsham. ...

So over the next five or six days, I told him whatever he wanted to know [about Hailsham], and he'd lie there, all hooked up, a gentle smile breaking through. He'd ask me about the big things and the little things.  ...  Sometimes, he'd make me say things over and over; things I'd told him only the day before, he'd ask about like I'd never told him. `Did you have a sport pavilion?' `Which guardian was your special favourite?' At first I thought this was just the drugs, but then I realised his mind was clear enough. What he wanted was not just to hear about Hailsham, but to remember Hailsham, just like it had been his own childhood. He knew he was close to completing and so that's what he was doing: getting me to describe things to him, so they'd really sink in, so that maybe during those sleepless nights, with the drugs and the pain and the exhaustion, the line would blur between what were my memories and what were his. That was when I first understood, really understood, just how lucky we'd been---Tommy, Ruth, me, all the rest of us.'' p. 5, Never Let Me Go

What a powerful picture!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Perfection

To the one who is deaf:

The circle is not perfect
twists and turns
keeps going down

Sluggish feet
sigh in relief
feeling the edge

legs shaking
head turning
eyes wide shut
shower the darkness

Voices of anguish
wrestle in sweat
the dominant whisper
sings from the bottom
Jump ...  Jump ...

Body leans forward
seeking terminal pleasure
of a weightless moment
JUMP!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Power and Intimacy

I am reading a novel by Irvin D. Yalom, "When Nietzsche wept," and here is a quote from it that is apparently from one of Nietzsche's books:

"There was a time in our lives when we were so close that nothing seemed to obstruct our friendship and brotherhood, and only a small footbridge separated us. Just as you were about to step on it, I asked you: `Do you want to cross the footbridge to me?'---Immediately you did not want to any more; and when I asked you again you remained silent. Since then mountains and torrential rivers and whatever separates and alienates have been cast between us, and even if we wanted to get together, we couldn't. But when you now think of that little footbridge, words fail you and you sob and marvel." When Nietzsche wept, p. 85

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Friday, July 08, 2011

Abuse

Motivated by a recent Shadi's post on "abuse in relationship" I started reading a very simple book on teen abuse, for teenagers, by Sherri Mabry Gordon, "Beyond Bruises: The Truth About Teens and Abuse". Here are a couple of quotes:

``Author Patricia Evans, and expert on verbal abuse, says that `standing up to a barrage of lies ... is emotionally exhausting.' She says that teens who are verbally or emotionally abused often struggle to get a grip on reality because the abuser in their life is defining reality for them. As a result, they suffer from confusion, mental anguish, trauma, depression, an inability to focus, physical illness, or in some cases a complete loss of feelings.

... one study found that as many as 80 percent of young adults who had been abused as children had at least one psychiatric disorder by age twenty-one.  These young adults also had a number of other problems. These included anxiety, eating disorders, and suicide attempts.

Long-term abuse also can disconnect teens from their emotional selves. In other words, they learn how to stop feeling. And with the inability to feel comes a lack of empathy for anyone else. This is especially common among boys who survive abuse by shutting down their emotional awareness." Beyond Bruises, pp. 61--63

Freedom, Religion

A couple of days ago I read a discussion between some friends regarding religion, worship, freedom, and slavery. In Farsi and Arabic, the t...