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Showing posts from January 2, 2005
Enter TITUS, dressed like a cook, LAVINIA, veiled, young LUCIUS, and Others. TITUS places the dishes on the table. Act 1: According to the March 6, 2004 issue of Pulse magazine, a British medical journal, 1 in 100 men born in the 1940s will die of mesothelioma. This contrasts with the 1960s, where the incidence was about 100 cases a year. Swift and Treasure, the authors, describe the disease in this graf: “Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a slowgrowing cancer that starts in the parietal pleura, forming a thick cortex, and then encases the lung. It grows out, invading the chest wall. It often causes pleural effusions and two, three liters of fluid leaves little room to breathe. These changes cause the typical presenting features of worsening breathlessness and growing pain. It commonly presents late with a grim prognosis; survival from diagnosis is usually less than a year.” Is there a causative agent? “In nearly all cases this cancer is a direct result of exposure to
LI regrets not speaking Spanish – a correctable fault, but one that we persist in, thus doubling the wrong – or whatever the interest on sins is these days. Thus, traveling in Mexico – or rather, staying with polylinguistic friends in Mexico – continually brought us into contact with the harsh edge of not understanding. A conversation about politics in the thirties in Cuba – a conversation about a visit to New England – a short series of sounds that was somewhat like a conversation about paying for breakfast in a restaurant – is an experience of the holes in the mesh of the common will -- that common will in which I am usually so vested and surrounded, so utterly dominated by and dominant in (or so the tongue would have me think), as to not even notice it. It made me wonder, once again, at the wonderful imperturbability displayed by Americans vis-à-vis what they think is going on in Iraq, giving their almost universal inability to understand the very language in which what is goin
We’re writing this under the influence of chiliquiles, eggs, and Indios beer, in the Mexico City Airport. Like every public structure in Mexico, the airport is more than willing to sacrifice convenience to vastness. Of course, shuffling city-loads of people from one point to another requires vastness, yet I can’t help but think that the visitas at the Atlanta, D.C., or JFK airport are narrower – there’s a puritanic concentration on getting people through these spaces, filling them with junkfood they wouldn’t otherwise eat at prices they wouldn’t otherwise pay, putting t-shirts, fat paperbacks, or magazines in their hands and trundling them, in numeric order, into the belly of various money-losing jet-liners – which mechanism, translated into Mexican terms, blurs at the edges with the memory of monuments. Yes, there is still something monumental here, from the point of view of which all rituals are variations of one ritual… However, reader beware: I might be under the influence of t