Skip to main content


Showing posts from August 13, 2023


There's no estate in sleep nor does it possess height nor depth (clumsy crooner!)     Of the barbarous clangour that makes up the names of its gods you cannot transcribe them with your sublunar diacritics.     The human tongue’s euclidean vocables have no purchase on sleep’s 'evidently'.

Paul Nizan's love letter

  One measures the sincerity of a love letter by its attachment to the receiver – the lover, or hoped for lover, on the other end of this outpouring of sentiment. That attachment is signalled by a certain privacy of tone more than anything else. The tone in writing is, overtly, a clumsy thing – it is underlining, italics, exclamation points, a rather miserable attempt to make the hand that writes take on a function of the tongue that speaks. To make the tone work, to rise above these poor instruments, requires, even of the most silly love letter writer, a certain sense of nuance. A certain sense of tickling, so to speak. And we know that some are born ticklish, and others aren’t. Thus, the love letter is bound to an aesthetic purpose that may not be shareable. Love letters that have passed into literature, that please people beyond the narrow circle of the couple, are rarely the most successful love letters in terms of their immediate purpose. I came across this love letter from Pa

jetlag and the astronaut

  D.H. Lawrence, drawing on Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, pins the ur-American hero as, famously,   isolate, cold, a killer. In fact it is easy to think that the American Adam, the first man in our cosmology, was clothed in a hazmat suit -   perfect for existing on this planet as a being entirely of the planet, from the rhythms of his blood to the Circadian cycles of his sleep. An astronaut in the anthropocene, a intruder from the beyond, perpetually alien, perpetually exploiter. Bless the alienation and count the money, we all say here. A brilliant essay by Henry Sussman, The Phenomenology of Jetlag, Kafka is presented as the prophet of our time warped era, the era of insomnia and time zone smuggling – that is, smuggling time zones into other time zones. For instance, my cell phone doesn’t just tell me the time, now, in Paris, where I live, but also the time in the Eastern Time zone of the U.S., where I was visiting. And since I also visited Iowa, which is on Central Time, both of