Monday, February 8, 2010

why I like having a university library at my disposal during my lunch break

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
(streaming at NPR)
Various Artists - The Anthology of American Folk Music, Vol 1 - Ballads
Just because we wear sequined suits doesn't mean we think we're great, it means we think sequins are great.
Gram Parsons, from the quote page of Twenty Thousand Roads: The Ballad of Gram Parsons and his Cosmic American Music.

Traces blurs signs no meaning light grey almost white. Bare white body fixed white on white invisible.
Samuel Beckett, "Ping" from The Complete Short Prose, 1929 - 1989

His talk was seldom of geodesy.
Samuel Beckett, "Enough" also from The Complete Short Prose, 1929 - 1989
A few notes: I read Twenty Thousand Roads a while back and I can't remember if it was good or not. If I'm thinking the right book, it seemed to pin a lot of "his" Cosmic Americana on Gram being a rich man's stepson. I suspect more significant forces were at play. Anyway, I think that quote speaks volumes about the mythic meaning vs. biography of rock stars.

I never really quite know what is going on in those super dense Beckett pieces like "Ping", but I love the way his words can scatter to the corners like roaches when you flip on the kitchen light.

I think I do know what is going on in "Enough" with the above line being the only thing that made me chuckle in an otherwise ice-cold story possibly about a pedophiliac relationship. In the interest of gazing through kaleidoscope of learned academic viewpoints, this from the Amazon product description of a book of Beckett analysis:
In a chapter on Beckett's "Enough", Blau concedes that parts of the playwright's work can be lyrical and beguiling, but "it's still an appalling vision". Esslin (who coined the term "theater of the absurd") challenges the notion that Beckett is difficult or depressing, arguing instead that he is basically a comic writer, gallows humor thought it be.
I got the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music from there as well, saving me from hunting down my own copy and reintroducing me to this Coley Jones song, which has a Beckettian inevitability to it, where the protagonist must forever trudge on through the charade to get to the end he spies from the get-go. I'm not sure what the image of the Grand Canyon in this video is supposed to represent. Perhaps it is the chasm between that which we desire and that which we are granted.

Also the library has a coffee shop on the ground floor. I like that as well.

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