MIRRORHOUSE

a compendium of literary artifacts, both actual and fraudulent

Bliss—a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious—lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.

David Foster Wallace, The Pale King (via booksalon)

dbvictoria:

A truly unique work of fiction, ‘The Codex Seraphinianus‘ is a book that appears to be a visual encyclopedia of some unknown world or dimension. Written down in one of that worlds beautiful curving languages, the book by Italian artist, architect and industrial designer Luigi Serafini, explains the odd inhabitants and their colorful behaviors.

(x)

(via fevereddream)

wavingtovirginia:

Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West and two dogs sitting on a grass bank. Monk’s House (Rodmell, England), 1933.

I try to invent you for myself, but find I really have only 2 twigs and 3 straws to do it with. I can get the sensation of seeing you—hair, lips, colour, height, even, now and then, the eyes and hands, but I find you going off, to walk in the garden, to play tennis, to dig, to sit smoking and talking, and then I cant invent a thing you say—This proves, what I could write reams about—how little we know anyone, only movements and gestures, nothing connected, continuous, profound. But give me a hint I implore.”

— Virginia Woolf in a letter to Vita Sackville-West

(via booklover)

Book-Cut Artworks by Thomas Allen

via fer1972

(via vintagecrimeblacklizard)

likeafieldmouse:

Oscar Wilde’s letter to an Oxford student on the uselessness of art:

My Dear Sir

Art is useless because its aim is simply to create a mood. It is not meant to instruct, or to influence action in any way. It is superbly sterile, and the note of its pleasure is sterility. If the contemplation of a work of art is followed by activity of any kind, the work is either of a very second-rate order, or the spectator has failed to realise the complete artistic impression. 

A work of art is useless as a flower is useless. A flower blossoms for its own joy. We gain a moment of joy by looking at it. That is all that is to be said about our relations to flowers. Of course man may sell the flower, and so make it useful to him, but this has nothing to do with the flower. It is not part of its essence. It is accidental. It is a misuse. All this is I fear very obscure. But the subject is a long one.

Truly yours,

Oscar Wilde

(via mabelchiltern)

from “Romantic Comedies” by Mark Leidner, at Thermos:
Everyone in his life has drowned and he hates dogs and she’s a collegiate swimming coach with a thousand dogs.
He’s a collapsing star in the heart of the galaxy and she’s an ex-con with 5,000 spacebucks and nothing to lose.
He’s clever and she’s stupid.
He’s good-looking and she’s ugly.
She’s sort of interested in him, but he’s not sure how interested he is in her, though he is, a little bit.
He is always being ironic and she is disdainful of irony.
He’s a prosperous historian living in the present day, and she’s a historian struggling to make ends meet … from the future.
She’s a Nereid and he’s a Dryad.
She’s a sassy black oncologist and he’s a racist with prostate cancer.
She’s a plucky explorer of catacombs with a lust for adventure and smoldering good-looks, but he’s the quiet type, content to stay at home, reading about the exploration of catacombs only in books.
He’s moneyed and she’s a bitch.
He’s squeamish around blood but she is courteous around blood.
He’s a Muslim terrorist and she’s a normal Muslim.
He blew up the World Trade Center and she blew up when she heard he blew up the World Trade Center.
She’s a singer/songwriter but he’s just a songwriter/gay.
They’re both gay.
He’s a foot fetishist and she’s an amputee.

from “Romantic Comedies” by Mark Leidner, at Thermos:

Everyone in his life has drowned and he hates dogs and she’s a collegiate swimming coach with a thousand dogs.

He’s a collapsing star in the heart of the galaxy and she’s an ex-con with 5,000 spacebucks and nothing to lose.

He’s clever and she’s stupid.

He’s good-looking and she’s ugly.

She’s sort of interested in him, but he’s not sure how interested he is in her, though he is, a little bit.

He is always being ironic and she is disdainful of irony.

He’s a prosperous historian living in the present day, and she’s a historian struggling to make ends meet … from the future.

She’s a Nereid and he’s a Dryad.

She’s a sassy black oncologist and he’s a racist with prostate cancer.

She’s a plucky explorer of catacombs with a lust for adventure and smoldering good-looks, but he’s the quiet type, content to stay at home, reading about the exploration of catacombs only in books.

He’s moneyed and she’s a bitch.

He’s squeamish around blood but she is courteous around blood.

He’s a Muslim terrorist and she’s a normal Muslim.

He blew up the World Trade Center and she blew up when she heard he blew up the World Trade Center.

She’s a singer/songwriter but he’s just a songwriter/gay.

They’re both gay.

He’s a foot fetishist and she’s an amputee.

alludingmisnomer:

and of course TV Tropes had to go and make an awesome link-tasm version of this so I can love it forever. 

alludingmisnomer:

and of course TV Tropes had to go and make an awesome link-tasm version of this so I can love it forever. 

(Source: dresdencodak.com, via danchaon)

I keep trying to convey something which cannot be conveyed, to explain something which cannot be explained, something in my bones, which can only be experienced in the same bones. In essence it might be nothing more than that fear of the greatest things as well as the smallest, fear, convulsive fear of pronouncing a single word. On the other hand, maybe this fear isn’t simply fear, but also longing for something greater than anything that can aspire fear. Only I am at fault, because there is too little truth on my part, still far too little truth, still mostly lies, lies told out of fear of myself and fear of people. This pitcher was broken long before it went to the well. And now I am keeping my mouth shut in order to stick with the truth a little. Lying is horrible, there is no worse mental agony. Therefore I beg you: let me be silent.

Franz Kafka, Letters To Milena   (via homo-infimus)

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via booklover)

likeafieldmouse:

Edward Curtis - The North American Indian

In 1906, J. P. Morgan provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on the North American Indian. The work was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs.

Morgan’s funds were to be disbursed over five years and were earmarked to support only fieldwork for the books, not for writing, editing, or production of the volumes. Curtis himself would receive no salary for the project, which was to last more than 20 years. 

Curtis’s goal was not just to photograph, but to document, as much American Indian (Native American) traditional life as possible before it disappeared.

He wrote in the introduction to his first volume in 1907:

The information that is to be gathered…respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost. 

Curtis made over 10,000 wax cylinder recordings of Indian language and music.

He took over 40,000 photographic images from over 80 tribes.

He recorded tribal lore and history, and he described traditional foods, housing, garments, recreation, ceremonies, and funeral customs.

He wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders, and his material, in most cases, is the only written recorded history although there is still a rich oral tradition that documents history.”

1. Klamath Indian at Crater Lake

2. Two Whistles, Apsaroke

3. Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon

4. Tobadzischini

5. Haschogan 

6. Haschezhini

7. Bear Bull - Blackfoot

8. Red Cloud

9. Apache Gaun

10. Offering to the Sun - San Ildefonso

What a picture of Indian character this affords: a mere infant starting out alone into the fastnesses of the mountain wilds, to commune with the spirits of the infinite, a tiny child sitting through the night on a lonely mountain-top, reaching out its infant’s hands to God! On distant and near-by hills howl the coyote and the wolf. In the valleys and on the mountain side prowl and stalk all manner of animals. Yet alone by the little fire sits the child listening to the mysterious voices of the night.

—Edward Curtis

(via itrustintheuniverse)

http://lligv.tumblr.com/post/89935462050/all-the-faces-i-saw-were-of-strangers-and-would

lligv:

“All the faces I saw were of strangers, and would continue to be so for weeks and months as I didn’t know a soul here, but that didn’t prevent me from feeling that I was being watched. Even when I lived on a tiny island far out into the sea with only three inhabitants I felt like I was being…

4 weeks ago - 1
lapitiedangereuse:

* Vladimir Nabokov, teaching his students how to read Kafka, pointed out to them that the insect into which Gregor Samsa is transformed is in fact a winged beetle, an insect that carries its wings under its armoured back, and that if Gregor had only discovered them, he would have been able to escape. And then Nabokov added: “Many a Dick and a Jane grow up like Gregor, unaware that they too have wings and can fly.”

lapitiedangereuse:

* Vladimir Nabokov, teaching his students how to read Kafka, pointed out to them that the insect into which Gregor Samsa is transformed is in fact a winged beetle, an insect that carries its wings under its armoured back, and that if Gregor had only discovered them, he would have been able to escape. And then Nabokov added: “Many a Dick and a Jane grow up like Gregor, unaware that they too have wings and can fly.”

(via oliveryeh)

theparisreview:

Gordon Lish, at eighty, lives literally in the dark, because of his psoriasis: “His apartment is a crepuscular chamber, largely unchanged since his wife died more than a decade ago. With his heavy knit sweater and wild white hair, which culminates in a braid, he wanders these rooms looking like some cross between an old fisherman and King Lear … The problem with Lish is that he is all over the place. That also happens to be the best thing about him.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.

theparisreview:

Gordon Lish, at eighty, lives literally in the dark, because of his psoriasis: “His apartment is a crepuscular chamber, largely unchanged since his wife died more than a decade ago. With his heavy knit sweater and wild white hair, which culminates in a braid, he wanders these rooms looking like some cross between an old fisherman and King Lear … The problem with Lish is that he is all over the place. That also happens to be the best thing about him.”

For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.