I had a conversation with a college friend on the rooftop this Saturday where I wrongly described Daoism as involving nondualism – I think I was thinking of Zen Buddhism, koans, and such. Daoism has more to do with going with the flow right?
Anyways, I’m reading an interview with Garth Greenwell which reminded me of the mistake in the conversation, and a quote from Bertolt Brecht that my Modern Architecture professor Joseph Masheck brought up a couple times in class. that was….ok maybe it was actually from F. Scott Fitzgerald instead oops…but y’know the one – about keeping two ideas in your head. I swear Brecht had one though that Masheck used in a disparaging way when thinking about a historical American mindset surrounding moral truths. How we couldn’t hold more than one in mind –
Forget about all that, Brecht has so many other sexy quotes:
“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”
“No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.”
a lot of these quotes are uncomfortably pertinent: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/26853.Bertolt_Brecht
Dipping everywhere, back to Greenwell talking about logistics and the seriousness of imagining a world in all its details. Communicating the physicality of how bodies move during sex scenes. And paying serious attention to logistics in all art. 🖼 I’m a mess, I over-abstract, pare things down to be opaque, I don’t know how to do details. I reference as a substitute. I’m bad about details!
Alexander Chee had some advice. Or god, I hope it was him. Anyways: Write one sentence that you feel is absolutely true. And then write another.
I think there’s some writer or serious person I’ve read who really disdains the word “anyways” – um. Anyways, I –
“We falsify the world in order to try to make it accommodate the simplicity of our moral tools” – Greenwell talking about writing I think. Writing to figure things out. he puts all this a lot better.
I used to think Garth Greenwell was like an old writer, part of the canon, or whatever – but I think I was thinking of Graham Green lol who was mentioned in Donnie Darko. My mind is a terrible office.