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I began thinking about pain and parentheses when I was reading (I’m tempted to say rereading, but it always feels like the first time) Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, and came across the following question: “What does this act of meaning (the pain, or the piano-tuning) consist in?” The passage refers back to an earlier one: “Imagine that you were in pain and were simultaneously hearing a nearby piano being tuned. You say ‘It’ll soon stop.’ It certainly makes quite a difference whether you mean the pain or the piano-tuning!”

What tugged at my attention wasn’t the argument itself, to the extent that I could follow it, but rather the arresting parenthesis “(the pain, or the piano-tuning),” which immediately reminded me of another example of bracketed pain—“the most famous parenthesis in postwar literature,” according to Geoff Dyer—namely, Humbert Humbert’s laconic précis, in Lolita, of the death of his mother:

My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three, and, save for a pocket of warmth in the darkest past, nothing of her subsists within the hollows and dells of memory.

I found myself wondering how many other parentheses like this there were: windows in a wall of verse or prose that suddenly opened on an expanse of personal pain. Masquerading as mere asides, they might hold more punch than parentheses are usually expected to hold, more even than the surrounding sentences, and have all the more impact for their disguise as throwaways.

"
— Christopher Benfy — from “Pain and Parentheses" in The New York Review of Books blog (via slothnorentropy)

hissingganja:

god is dead, but theology is alive and well

Il vento qui non arriva

nopussybility:

Non ho sentimenti,

parlami

perché ci nascondiamo?

Il vento qui non arriva

a sfiorarci la pelle

sporca di noia.

E mi piacerebbe.

Ritrovarti,

magari in un sogno

infinito che è la vita,

ma so che non è 

possibile,

perché io

non ho sentimenti.

E il vento qui non arriva

mai.

                                               a  Z.

29574:

omg really stupid joke so like

2eddamit in arabic means “i applied” (for a job) but in some accents you say “geddamit” which sounds like “god damn it” etc etc

and “waddafak” which sounds like wtf means “did he hire you?”

so ppl in my family went around saying. “geddamit. waddafak?” 

over n over 

"…we know nothing about Sappho. Or worse: everything we know is wrong. Even the most basic “facts” are simply not so, or in need of a stringent critical reexamination. A single example. We are told over and over again that Sappho “was married to Kerkylas of Andros, who is never mentioned in any of the extant fragments of her poetry” (Snyder 1989:3). Not surprising, since it’s a joke name: he’s Dick Allcock from the Isle of MAN. It’s been over 139 years since William Mure pointed this out… yet one finds this piece of information repeated without question from book to book, usually omitting the dubious source, usually omitting any reference at all."
— Holt Parker, ‘Sappho Schoolmistress’, Transactions of the American Philological Association 123 (1993)
"Contemplate the beauties of nature, and reconcile your spirit to the inevitable."
— Beethoven, from Beethoven’s letters to countess Giulietta Guicciardi