“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Friday, July 18, 2008

homo sominex




One of those facts that makes the drinking man doubt the observant side of the human animal is the strange lag in the discovery that every healthy male sports an erection about every 90 minutes during the sleep cycle. And for y’all ladies out there, well, the vagina goes through a 90 minute cycle as well, tied to REM sleep, of dilation and moistening. Put your hands in the air like you just don’t care! While there are cave paintings of sleeping men with erections and there’s an Egyptian tomb painting of the same fascinating subject, science with a capital S only stumbled onto it in 1944, when it was reported by German doctors. This is all according to Paul Martin’s book on Sleep. That scientists were so late to the game is depressing news – where were the giants of Natural Philosophy back in the 17th century? Martin, hating Freud, hastens to say that the erections and vaginal dilation aren’t sexual in nature. He also says he’d like to buy a bridge in Brooklyn, if any of his readers happen to own one.

That the Nazis were studying sleepers in 1944 seems to surprise Martin, but those of us who’ve read Gravity’s Rainbow realize that WWII was more than a war, it was the world we come from, it was the egg opening, it was the hatching of our common psychotic global humanity, a synergy of endorphins. Our erections were wagging as the bombs were dropping. So of course, humans were guinea pigged on all levels, for all purposes, because this is how control happens, honey. Now, let me strap you back into your cot...

However, I am starting up this subject to link to the review of a book, Insomniac, by Gayle Greene that I received and didn’t review. I feel guilty about that. But when I told my editor I wanted to review two books on sleep problems, he looked at me as if I were nuts. And when I told him Sleepers Civil Rights were the next big next big thing (I get carried away, I foam at the mouth, I start sounding like Maldoror off his meds!), he changed the topic. I obviously had briefly lost that contact with reality. The synaptic distance had lengthened.

Well, the sleepless are truly in a different world from the slugabeds, the ones without the wired brain tap tap tapping Nevermore at the vital center somewhere back there in the brain. I have always loved IT for owning up to the insomnia that keeps her up (If your tired unblinking head/rivet the dark with linear sight...) especially as insomnia is one of those things it is difficult to be in solidarity with – for what does insomnia do but make you cranky, and what makes you crankier than somebody bitching about insomnia? Which is why the sleepless do not form a class. Oh, they might compare remedies, but only to diss each other’s favorites. Sleepless anonymous would be a (waking) nightmare.

Myself, as middle age has crept upon, I’ve encountered the old restless legs/cramped muscles problem that so many have solved simply by putting a bullet in their heads. Actually, it is the cramps that is the worst. The pain scares me – I’ve never been a fan of pain. Especially when my foot will suddenly cramp up. It will happen and then, for nights afterwards, the ghost of that cramp will hover over my foot. I’ll stare at the ghost. The ghost will stare at me. It is a hard thing in life when a man is afraid of his own foot.

I’ve been advised that the best thing is calcium (hence, got some calcium horsepills) and phosphorus (hence, I’m eating ever more bananas). So the nightly routine is sleeping pill, aspirin (on principle) horsepill of calcium. Last week I ran out of sleeping pills, and insouciantly decided to show the world and my foot that I could do without. So for four days I knew four a.m. intimately. And I developed a new syndrome, which I am sure is related to kanashibari, except that instead of feeling a being sitting on my chest, I would get this ghostly feeling. The hairs would rise on my body, like I was scared. And I would feel scared, briefly. Perhaps it was the ghost of my sleep that was visiting me, but really, that’s double dipping and no fair. So I went back to the pills.

This is from D.T. Max’s review of Insomniac:


Insomniac is, along the way, an alarming, uncomfortable portrayal of how researchers in the field fail the sufferers they are supposed to treat. Desperate for funds, bent over by insurance companies, whiplashed by the National Institutes of Health, researchers do not treat insomnia as it is actually experienced. If you cannot cure me, Greene seems to be saying, at least hear me. Don’t tell me how insomnia ought to be, but let me tell you how it really is. “What is missing from everything I read about insomnia is—the insomniacs,” she writes. And earlier she confides, “No doctor I ever saw showed the slightest curiosity about the cocktail of hormones, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, that I ingest daily.” “This is a somewhat cranky book,” she writes. Indeed it is.
And with reason, as Greene makes clear. Certainly insomnia came early to her and has stayed for a long time. Greene was born wide awake. “There is no sleep in that baby,” her mother wrote to her father in 1944, in a I’ve tried (nearly) everything anyone has ever told me worked for them,” she writes, “and it’s taken me some strange ways: lathering myself in sesame oil, brewing a Chinese herbal tea so foul that my dog fled the kitchen when it steeped, concocting a magnesium supplement that hissed and spat like something out of Harry Potter.” On the pharmaceutical front she’s been equally active, sampling “valerian, kava kava, chamomile, skullcap, passionflower, homeopathic concoctions, L-tryptophan, 5-HTP, GABA, melatonin, Elavil, Zoloft, trazodone, tricyclics.” Add to this the benzodiazepines, “Librium, Valium, Xanax, Dalmane, Klonopin, Restoril, Halcion, and more Ativan than I care to remember or probably can remember, since the drug erodes memory.” Throw in Ambien and Sonata, and “in the bad old days” sedatives such as Nembutal, Seconal, and Miltown. Plus the over-the-counter remedies: Sominex, Nytol, Sleep-Eze. Not to mention other treatments, including meditation, acupuncture, and biofeedback. And on and on, poor soul. Nothing ever quieted her chattering brain.”
Bad old days? What the fuck? Oh please, what I’d not do for a Seconal. I have my own theory about the chattering brain, which is that if you wire it to chatter, it won’t turn off. If I had learned not to read in bed, if I could avoid the computer screen, if I wasn’t continually scribble scribble scribble, if at some point these had been my choices, I believe I’d sleep like my brothers tell me they do. But I took the road less traveled by – because I’m a complete idiot. Although, in fact, I’m not as cranky as Gayle Greene, who has a much deeper condition than I do. The pills work for me. By two, usually, I’m out like a baby.

10 comments:

northanger said...

AO 62 = SEXUAL AROUSAL IN MALES.

AO 44 = WHAT'S IN A NAME? = #1 SUPERYOU = 21ST PRIME (AO-8 73) = 3×211=633 (AO-15 633) = APOPHANSIS = ATIK YOMIN = BOOK OF PSALMS = FEI YING (AO-38 SILVER HAWK) = LIBRA ASTRONÓMICA = MALE HYSTERIA = MThThYHV (HEB-861 מתתיהו ~ AO-48 GIFT OF YAH; AO-12 861) = SPAWNING ACT = SUPER POWERS = VAGINISMUS = ZKR VNQBH BRAM (HEB-633 זכר ונקבה בראמ / HEB-1193 זכר ונקבה בראם ~ AO-48 MALE FEMALE CREATED; AO-15 633, AO-22 1193, AO-42 GENESIS 5:2).

AO 61 = TO BORE OR PRICK OUT (AO-19 350) = ABOUT THE AUTHOR (357) (AO-12 357, AO-37 ARYEH KAPLAN, AO-66 MEDITATION AND KABBALAH) = BDChYLV VRChYMV (HEB-330 בדחילו ורחימו; AO-21 330, AO-108 MEDITATION AND KABBALAH: DEDICATION) = LET THERE BE LIGHT! = THE GENERAL REMEDY (AO-47 TIKKUN HAKLALI).

AO 51 = BRShVTh RBVThY (HEB-1526 ברשות רבותי; AO-108 MEDITATION AND KABBALAH: DEDICATION) = CANTICLE III.9 (AO-62 SONG OF SOLOMON) = DREAM SLEEP CYCLE = FORCES OF EVIL (AO-47 TIKKUN HAKLALI) = PALLADIO SUITE = SEXUAL DEVIANCE = SEXUAL RESPONSE = SONG OF SONGS = THE DARK KNIGHT = THE GATEWAY ARCH = WILL-TO-MASTERY.

AO 1022 = THERE ARE PLACES THAT ARE SO FINE AND NARROW THAT NO REMEDY HAS THE POWER TO PENETRATE THEM EXCEPT THROUGH THE GENERAL REMEDY, WHICH INJECTS HEALING INTO EVEN THE NARROWEST, FINEST PLACES. FIRST IT IS NECESSARY TO APPLY THE GENERAL REMEDY, AND THROUGH THIS ALL THE INDIVIDUAL FLAWS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE RECTIFIED (AO-47 TIKKUN HAKLALI) = EZRA 2:55-57 THE CHILDREN OF SOLOMON'S SERVANTS: THE CHILDREN OF SOTAI, THE CHILDREN OF SOPHERETH, THE CHILDREN OF PERUDA, THE CHILDREN OF JAALAH, THE CHILDREN OF DARKON, THE CHILDREN OF GIDDEL, THE CHILDREN OF SHEPHATIAH, THE CHILDREN OF HATTIL, THE CHILDREN OF POCHERETH OF ZEBAIM, THE CHILDREN OF AMI (AO-35 EZRA 2:55-57).

AO 380 = CHANGEFUL - WRITING - KERNEL - ASCENDING - SCATTERER - VERY GREAT - JEHOVAH HAS JUDGED - DOUBTFUL - HERE THE CUTTING OFF - BOND-SERVANT (AO-35 EZRA 2:55-57, AO-51 NEHEMIAH 7:57-59) = CANCER 16° A FUTURISTIC EDITORIAL OFFICE PROVIDES UNCONSCIOUS SYMBOLISM; TABLE, MANUSCRIPT, MARTIAL VISITOR, ALL ARE SQUARE = INTO A LETTER IS POURED VITAL AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION; IT IS FOLDED CAREFULLY, BUT THE ENVELOPE IS NOT SEALED (AO-28 LEO 30°) = SATURDAY, 31 JULY 762 JUL. BAGHDAD, IRAQ, 44E25, 33N21 - TIME 2:28:04 PM - UNIV.TIME 11:30:24 - SID. TIME 11:17:04 (AO-86 THE HOROSCOPE OF BAGHDAD) = THE CATALYST BY WHICH THE CLANDESTINE BONDS, CONFLICTS AND CONJUNCTIONS INHERENT TO EACH CHADOR BEGIN TO LOOM OUT (AO-111 ERRATIC FLUCTUATIONS OF POTENTIA) = THE SIGN THAT REPRODUCES A MINIATURE VERSION OF THE STRUCTURE AND INTERNAL PROPORTIONS OF A GIVEN PHENOMENON (AO-22 DIAGRAM, AO-76 WIT AND INNOVATION) = WHEN, HOWEVER FLEETINGLY, HUMAN PRAXIS RUNS UP AGAINST THAT TIGHT CORNER KNOWN BY JURISTS AS A STATE OF EXCEPTION (AO-76 WIT AND INNOVATION).

AO 300 = SOTAI - SOPHERETH - PERIDA - JAALAH - DARKON - GIDDEL - SHEPHATIAH - HATTIL - POCHERETH OF ZEBAIM - AMON (AO-51 NEHEMIAH 7:57-59) = ASK NOT WHAT IS RIGHT WITH YOUR COUNTRY—ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP RIGHT WHAT IS WRONG… = BEGINNING OF THE END OF INTERCLASSIST JEFFERSONIAN-JACKSONIAN POPULIST HEGEMONY = CONFRONTS THE WOLF IN HIS FULL PENILE GLORY… SWING THE AXE LIKE A FUCKIN' ARCHETYPE = CREATURE OF TALISMANS, I HAVE BOUND UNTO THEE THE ELEMENT OF ENDURING STABILITY. SO PASS WE ON = SHARED SITUATIONAL CONTEXTS, RESPONSE OVERLAP AND THE LIKELIHOOD OF OCCURRING TOGETHER = THE PERCENTAGE OF CONSEQUENCES THAT STEM FROM 20% OF THE CAUSES ACCORDING TO THE "80-20 RULE" = WHAT IS AT ISSUE MUST, IN THE END, BE A PHILOSOPHICAL POSITION THAT HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN = WIT RESCUES PARALOGISMS FROM THE REALM OF ERRORS AND REHABILITATES THEM IN LINGUISTIC PRAXIS (AO-23 AB'S NOTES).

AO 755 = THE SPECIES ITSELF AT THE DAWN OF HISTORY ALREADY HAD A CERTAIN MODE OF LIFE BEFORE IT COULD BEGIN TO RECREATE ITSELF THROUGH SOLVING THE PROBLEMS WHICH FACED IT WITH SOLUTIONS ALSO CONDITIONED BY THE GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES (AO-78 THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY) = THIS JOURNEY THROUGH THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE ENDS WITH A CONFRONTATION WITH THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EDIFICE OF POLITICAL THEORY: THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN STATE OF NATURE AND CIVIL SOCIETY (AO-23 AB'S NOTES).

AO 729 = IT WOULD BE A GLARING MISTAKE TO IDENTIFY THESE CONDITIONS OF POSSIBILITY WITH THE PARTICULAR LOGICAL-LINGUISTIC ABILITIES USED TO ACTUALLY MODIFY A PARTICULAR BEHAVIOUR. BETWEEN ONE AND THE OTHER LIES A HIATUS (AO-76 WIT AND INNOVATION) = WHAT RULE OF LAW AND OF INTEREST, IN SOCIETIES OF A BACKWARD OR ARCHAIC TYPE, COMPELS THE GIFT THAT HAS BEEN RECEIVED TO BE OBLIGATORILY RECIPROCATED. WHAT POWER RESIDES IN THE OBJECT GIVEN THAT CAUSES ITS RECIPIENT TO GIVE IT BACK? (AO-88 THE ENIGMA OF THE GIFT).

AO 189 = 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 693993 = AND IN THOSE DAYS PEITHO DID NOT YET SHINE ALL SILVER = ANOTHER POST IN THE MARX AND LIBERALISM VEIN COMING UP = AO-23 LOSEY»AO-87 MAPPING MALE SEXUALITY»AO-33 CATHEXIS = FURTHER ACTIVATE THE SPELL BY FEMININE HAPTIC INPUT (AO-111 ERRATIC FLUCTUATIONS OF POTENTIA) = I'M A LIFELONG CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST AND I'M BACKING BARACK OBAMA = LIBER SCIENTIÆ, AUXILII, ET VICTORIÆ TERRESTRIS ANNO 1585 = PERHAPS ONE DAY EVEN THESE THINGS WILL BRING PLEASURE = RIDING ROCKETS: THE OUTRAGEOUS TALES OF A SPACE SHUTTLE ASTRONAUT = THE INCOMPLETENESS OF ANY ONE ACCOUNT OR EXPLANATION = THE MELODY OF THIS AVOWAL OF LOVE IS A SUSTAINED CANTALINA = YOU SHALL NOT SIDE WITH THE GREAT AGAINST THE POWERLESS = YOUR HANDS ARE ON THE WHEEL AND YOUR SCRUPLES ARE ON DISPLAY (AO-121 THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NASCAR).

northanger said...

AO 108 = MEDITATION AND KABBALAH: DEDICATION (HEB-330 בדחילו ורחימו ~ AO-98 WITH TREPIDATION AND LOVE… § HEB-1526 ברשות רבותי ~ AO-93 BY AUTHORITY FROM MY MASTERS…) = 70. COMMAND AND I WILL OBEY YOU = A FICTION TO TRANSCEND CAPITALISM = ART OF FIELD RECORDING VOLUME 1 = ASCENDANT POINT OF THE PENTAGRAM = CAUSE A VARIATION IN A FORM OF LIFE = CENTRAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES = CHANGE THE CHANGE AS MARX WOULD SAY = CHOCOLATE BETTER THAN THINKING = DARK ELEMENT OF A NOCTURNAL OBSCURITY = DECONSTRUCTING DECONSTRUCTION = DECONSTRUCTING INITIATION = DELIQUESCE BUTTER OF ANTIMONY = EFFECTIVELY INAPPROPRIATE = ENGAGING THE SUBJECTIVE WILL = FOUNDER OF MODERN HUMAN ANATOMY = FOUNDER OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR = GÖDEL'S INCOMPLETENESS THEOREMS = HAD! THE MANIFESTATION OF NUIT = HANDKERCHIEF OF SAINT VERONICA = HEGEL'S SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY = IRAQ SURVEY GROUP FINAL REPORT = IS LOVE A GENERATION OF VIPERS? = JAPANESE PROCESS PHILOSOPHY = LOT OF LITTLE TIDBITS OF ADVICE = MICROPROCESSORS AND MICROSYSTEMS = ORION PROTOTYPE MISSIONS = PERSONALITY OF THE PERCEIVER = PRACTICING THE ART OF FICTION = RESISTANCE TO CONCEPTUALISATION = RESOLVE THE APPARENT ANTI-THESIS = RESTRICTION UNTO CHORONZON = RIDING ON THE BUMPER OF THE #48 = RISKS REQUIRED BY INNOVATION = SEND 100 (CONTINUE) RESPONSE = SPINNING MEDICINE WHEEL = THE ABYSS. CHORONZON, HIS NATURE = THE ANCIENT PEDIGREE OF BLOOD = THE ART OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMING = THE DON QUIXOTE OF THE LEFT = THE FABRIC OF SOCIAL INTERACTION = THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE'S SANDBOX = THE NATIONAL COAT OF ARMS OF POLAND = THE OLD, WEIRD AMERICA MARCHES ONWARD = THE POWER TO SEE EVERYTHING = THE PRE-LINGUISTIC EMPATHY = THE PRESIDENCE OF THE SPIRIT = THE TRANSMUTATION OF THE MIDDLE = THE TROPICS OF CANCER AND CAPRICORN = THERMODYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM = TOWARD THE PURIFICATION OF WAR = WHAT POWER RESIDES IN THE OBJECT = WHITE QUEEN PSYCHOLOGY = WHOM NOTHING ELSE COULD CHARM = YESOD. THE FRONTIER OF THE ABYSS = YETZIRAH - WORLD OF FORMATION.

Chuckie K said...

Please ,do not forget the other extreme. As long as I can remember, I have needed 10 hours of sleep a night. Where many of you have three equal blocks, eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work, and eight hours of 'free' time, not counting the commute etc, my 'free'time is slashed by 25%. I demand a six hour work day for eight hours pay so I have the time to think and write too!

roger said...

Light of my life, I didn't notice anything about your personal sleep circumstances. I showed mine! You should show yours.

Isn't this the eternal law?

northanger said...

are you reading the fine print again?

northanger said...

AO 198 = AO-32 JAY LOSEY»AO-87 MAPPING MALE SEXUALITY»AO-33 CATHEXIS = AN UNDUE INFERENCE OR AN INCORRECT USE OF A SEMANTIC AMBIGUITY (AO-68 ARGUMENTATIVE FALLACY, AO-127 THE SECOND SUBORDINATE HYPOTHESIS) = CONSTITUTES A METHOD FOR FORCING A CHANGE IN PERCEPTION (AO-68 NAGUALISM AND ALCHEMY) = FOR THE HERMENEUTIC EXPERIENCE TO GET ITS APOPHANTIS (AO-188 ADVENTURES IN THE APORETIC: ANTHROPOLOGICAL ALTERITIES) = GODZILLA MEETS E.T., PART II: THE NATURE AND ATTRIBUTES OF THE TABLETS = HEGEL'S SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE STATE PLAYED A KEY ROLE (AO-78 THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY) = NASA'S ESAS ROLLOUT: PRETTY SPACESHIPS WITHOUT SOCIAL CONTEXT = SAY A PRAYER EVERY NIGHT PRAYING THERE'LL BE NO DRAGONS AT DAWN (AO-71 THE CHILDREN OF EVE) = SHEIKH FAHD AL KANDERI, RECITING AYAT 112-129 OF SURAT AT-TAWBAH = SOCIO-POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND ORDERS OF THE MIDDLE EAST (AO-111 ERRATIC FLUCTUATIONS OF POTENTIA) = STRONG TEXTUAL BONDING BETWEEN GENESIS 1:1 AND JOHN 1:1 (AO-82 FROM FIRST PRINCIPLES) = THE EQUILIBRIUM OF ALL THINGS IS HEREBY SYMBOLIZED (AO-58 VIII. ADJUSTMENT) = THE HOLES AND FISSURES BY WHICH ONE REACHES THE OTHER SIDE (AO-111 ERRATIC FLUCTUATIONS OF POTENTIA) = THE PARTING OF THE WAYS BETWEEN QUMRAN AND ENOCHIC JUDAISM (AO-116 BEYOND THE ESSENE HYPOTHESIS) = TRUE DIRECTIONS CONCERNING THE INTERPRETATION OF NATURE (AO-44 NEW ORGANON) = USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF MEASURING PENILE VOLUME CHANGES.

AO 243 = AO-50 JOSEPH LOSEY»AO-91 MOZART - IL DON GIOVANNI»AO-57 DON GIOVANNI = BEFORE THE FOUNTAIN DREW IN THE LIQUID OF BAKKHOS WITH OPEN LIPS = MARX'S ANXIETY TO COMBAT NON-MATERIALIST, ETHICALLY BASED SOCIALIST THEORIES (AO-78 THE GERMAN IDEOLOGY) = NETWORK HUB FOR MAINTAINING NODE BANDWIDTH IN A SINGLE-NODE NETWORK = PERMANENT STATE OF EMERGENCY TO WHICH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET USED TO (AO-23 AB'S NOTES) = PSYCHOPOMPOS, THE GUIDE OF THE SOUL THROUGH THE LOWER REGIONS (AO-56 IX. THE HERMIT) = RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE CONFERS ITS QUASI-MYSTICAL POWER OF SOCIAL LINKAGE = THE ATTRIBUTION TO A GRAMMATICAL SUBJECT OF ALL THE PROPERTIES OF ITS PREDICATE (AO-68 ARGUMENTATIVE FALLACY) = THIS IS MY RIFLE, THIS IS MY GUN; ONE IS FOR KILLING, ONE IS FOR FUN (AO-79 THEIR BODIES AS WEAPONS) = WELL YOU'RE AN UNTAMED YOUTH THAT'S THE TRUTH WITH YOUR CLOAK FULL OF EAGLES (AO-35 BANG A GONG, AO-62 YOU'RE BUILT LIKE A CAR).

northanger said...

AO 456 = AO-23 LOSEY ⊆ AO-32 JAY LOSEY = {AO-87 MAPPING MALE SEXUALITY, AO-33 CATHEXIS} — ⊆ AO-50 JOSEPH LOSEY = {AO-57 DON GIOVANNI, AO-65 WHAT HELL, WHAT TERROR!}. = THE STATE OF EXCEPTION ORIGINALLY RESIDES IN THE ONLY APPARENTLY OBVIOUS ACTIVITY THAT WITTGENSTEIN NAMES 'RULE-FOLLOWING' (AO-76 WIT AND INNOVATION, AO-111 HOW TO APPLY A RULE TO A PARTICULAR CASE) = WHO IS MAKING THE PROFITS, AND THEN WE HAVE AN X RAY OF THE FORCES ENGAGED AND WHAT THEY SHOULD BE DOING, WHETHER THEY KNOW IT OR NOT (AO-62 THE FORCES ENGAGED).

Anonymous said...

Insomnie. Homère, voiles arc-boutées.
J'ai lu jusqu'à moitié la liste des vaisseaux.
Cette couvée sans fin, ces grues en file indienne
Qui un jour s'élevèrent au-dessus de l'Hellade -

Craquètement des grues en terres étrangères!
Sur la tête des rois, de l'écume divine.
Où voguez-vous ainsi? - sans la sublime Hélène
Qu'aurait importé Troie, combattants achéens?

Et la mer et Homère - tout est mu par l'amour.
Qui donc dois-je écouter? Homère, lui, se tait
Et la mer couleur d'encre pérore, prétentieuse,
Et dans un bruit atroce, elle rampe à mon chevet.

Mandeslstam, 1915 - Trad. Eveline Amoursky

----

Amie

roger said...

Amie, I am so... disoriented, reading Mandelstam in French. I'm of course used to the English translations. Long ago, I took a class from the guy who did the translations of Mandelstam's prose, Sidney Monas. It was a fine class, conducted in his house in high fashion. He would sometimes get a bit tipsy from the refreshments - beer - that we took in the break in the middle of the class.

Here's a link to the russian and english translation:
http://max.mmlc.northwestern.edu/~mdenner/
Demo/texts/insomnia.html

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