hopscotch booknotes

only one who expected would be able to find the unexpected

twist the swan’s neck

p. 99  that’s how, paradoxically, solitude would lead to the heights of sociability, to the great illusion of the company of others, to the solitary man in a maze of mirrors and echoes.  but people like him and so many others (or those who reject themselves but know themselves close up) got into the worst paradox, the one of reaching the border of otherness perhaps and not being able to cross over.  that true otherness made up of delicate contacts, marvelous adjustments with the world, could not be attained from just one point; the outstretched hand had to find response in another hand stretched out from the beyond, from the other part.  *see notes on rilke’s elegies

p. 214  hopscotch is played with a pebble that you move with the tip of your toe.  the things you need:  a sidewalk, a pebble, a toe, and a pretty chalk drawing, preferably in colors.  on top is heaven, on the bottom is earth, it’s very hard to get the pebble up to heaven, you almost always miscalculate and the stone goes off the drawing.  but little by little you start to get the knack of how to jump over the different squares (spiral hopscotch, rectangular hopscotch, fantasy hopscotch, not played very often) and then one day you learn how to leave earth and make the pebble climb up into heaven, the wost part of it is that precisely at that moment, when practically no one has learned how to make the pebble climb into heaven, childhood is over all of a sudden and you’re into novels, into the anguish of the senseless divine trajectory, into the speculation about another heaven that you have to learn to reach too.  and since you have come out of childhood you forget that in order to get to heaven you have to have a pebble and a toe.  *see notes or poems on move don’t think

p. 216  end From the Other Side, then From This Side, then expendable chapters

p. 247  those two have got another bridge

p. 252  *my favorite scene in this book         oliveira tells talita:  the action and effects of passing in opposite directions, or in tournaments and jousts, the movement of a rider to make his mount run his chest against that of his opponent’s mount, isn’t it a lot like the fastigium, the most critical and serious moment of an illness?   *and fastigium is a fulla wonder word
are the icicles going to be like fastigiums?  (in a certain way, yes…they’re two things that do seem alike from the point of view of their differences, a little like manu and me, if you think about it a little.  you’re probably aware that all of this trouble with manu is that we look too much alike.

p. 263  he had started to think about egyptian phrases that morning, about thoth, significantly the god of magic and the inventor of language….they decided that all things considered, the double ministry  of thoth was a manifest guarantee of coherence in reality or unreality; it made them happy to have left more of less resolved the continuously disagreeable problem of the objective correlative.  magic or the tangible word, there was an egyptian god who verbally harmonized subjects and objects.  everything was going very well.

p. 267  it was a strange night; looking up as he always found himself doing at that hour, oliveira could see sirius in the center of the black hole and he speculated about the three days when the earth is open, when the manes ascend and there is a bridge between man and the hole on high, a bridge from man to man (because who climbs up to the hole unless it is to wish to come down changed and find one’s self again, but in a different way, with one’s people?).  the 24th of august was one of the 3 days on which the earth opened up; of course, what was the use of thinking so much about that since they were only in february.  oliveira could not remember the other 2 days, it was strange remembering only 1 date out of 3, why that one precisely?  perhaps because it was an octosyllable, memory plays games like that…

a section where luckily there are abundant eucalyptus trees to balance the scales, referring again to that adjudicating instrument, that compartment of the zodiac.

p. 363  if i were to write this book, standard behaivor (including the most unusual, its deluxe category) would be inexplicable by means of current instrumental psychology.  the actors would appear to be unhealthy or complete idiots.  not that they would show themselves incapable of current challenges and responses:  love, jealousy, pity, and so on down the line, but in them something which homo sapiens keeps subliminal would laboriously open up a road as if a third eye were blinking out with effort from under the frontal bone.  everything would be a kind of disquiet, a continuous uprooting, a territory where psychological causality would yield disconcertedly, and those puppets would destroy each other or recognize each other without suspecting too much that life is trying to change its key in and through and by them, that a barely conceivable attempt is born in man as one other day there were being born the reason-key, the feeling-key, the pragmatism-key.  that with each successive defeat there is an approach toward the final mutation, and that man only is in that he searches to be, plans to be, thumbing through words and modes of behavior and joy sprinkled with blood and other rhetorical pieces like this one.

p. 397  to take from literature that part which is a living bridge from man to man, and which the treatise or the essay will permit only among specialists.  a narrative that will not be a pretext for the transmission of a message, just as love is the one who loves); a narrative that will act as a coagulant of experiences, as a catalyst of confused and badly understood notions, which first off will cut into the one who is writing it, for which reason it will have to be written as an antinovel, because every closed order will systematically leave outside those announcements that can make messengers out of us, bring us to our own limits from which we are so far removed, while being face to face with them.

the romantic novelist wants to be understood for his own sake or for that of his heroes; the classical novelist wants to teach, leave his trace on the path of history.
a third possibility:  that of making an accomplice of the reader, a traveling companion.  simultaneanize him, provided that the reading will abolish reader’s time and substitute author’s time.  thus the reader would be able to become a coparticipant and cosufferer of the experience through which the novelist is passing, at the same moment and in the same form.  all artistic tricks are of no use in obtaining it:  the only thing worth anything is the material in gestation, the experiential immediacy (transmitted through words, of course, but the least aesthetic words possible; this is where we get  the ‘comic’ novel, anticlimaxes, irony, so many other directional arrows pointing towards the other thing.)
for that reader, mon semblable, mon frere, the comic novel (and what is ulysses?) will have to take place like those dreams where in the margin of some trivial happening we have a presentiment of a more serious anxiety that we do not always manage to decipher.  in this sense the comic novel must have an exemplary sense of decorum; not deceive the reader, not mount him astride any emotion or intention at all, but give him rather something like meaningful clay, the beginning of a prototype, with traces of something that may be collective perhaps, human and not individual.  better yet, give him something like a facade, with doors and windows behind which the reader-accomplice will have to look for (therefore the complicity) and perhaps not find (there the cosuffering).  what the author of this novel might have succeeded in for himself, will be repeated (becoming gigantic, perhaps, and that would be marvelous in the reader-accomplice.   *makes me think of my reading of artaud

p. 401 sophist according to aristophanes   invent new reasons
true belief is somewhere in between superstition and libertinism-lima

p. 402 swing this swaying    the task of a poor white shaman in nylon socks

p. 458  the novel that interests us is not one that places characters in a situation, but rather one that puts the situation in the characters.  by means of this the latter cease to be characters and become people.  there is a kind of extrapolation through which they jump out at us, or we at them.  kafka’s k has the same name as his reader, or vice versa.

p. 480  they are simply on the margin of the superficial time of their period, and from that other time where everything conforms to the condition of figure, where everything has value as a sign and not as a theme of description, they attempt a work which may seem alien or antagonistic to the time and history surrounding them, and which nonetheless includes it, explains it, and in the last analysis orients it towards a transcendence within whose limits man is waiting.

a single presence at the level of nose and eyes and mouth

p. 493  one could deduce the incitement to something like turning one’s self inside out like a glove, as a way of receiving a brazen contact with some reality without the interposition of myths, religions, systems, and reticula.

a movement on the margin of all grace

he ended up by not having anything happen to them (my characters are always doing this)

for the most to be contained in the least

p. 495 doggies

p. 496  let’s take it piano piano 
for the most to be contained in the least

p. 522  i think the fear he feels is like a last refuge, the crossbar he holds onto before jumping.  he’s so happy tonight, i know he’s happy.

against call and fall  *says this again

p. 523  therefore, for practical as well as aesthetic reasons, it is proper to advise a mixed-border arrangement for the amateur gardener.

p. 533  lo-co-gic

p. 535 allusions to an inversion of signs, to a world seen with other and from other dimensions, as an inevitable preparation for a purer vision (and all of this in a resplendently written passage, and at the same time suspicious of the farce, of icy irony before the mirror) exasperated them as it offered them the roost of an almost hope, of a justification, but at the same time denied them total security, keeping them in an unbearable ambiguity.

p. 540  he lost his faith that what he wanted could happen, and he knew that without faith it would not happen.  he  knew that without faith nothing that should happen would happen, and with faith almost never either.

p. 546  the day when we will really learn how to ask there will be a dialogue

p. 547 gabio basso, in his treatise on the origins of words, of the word person, mask.  he thinks that this word has its origin in the verb personare, to retain.  this is how he explains his opinion:  ‘since the mask covers the face completely except for an opening where the mouth is, the voice, instead of scattering in all directions, narrows down to escape through one single opening and therefore acquires a stronger and more penetrating sound.  this, since the mask makes the human voice more sonorous and firm, it has been given the name person, and as a consequence of the formation of this word, the letter o as it appears in it is long.’     aulio gelio, attic nights

p. 548  my steps along this street
                   along another street
                   i hear my steps
             resound along this street
             only the fog is real.
                    -octavio paz

 p. 550  disanthropomorphization- urgently proposed by biologists and physicists as the only possible conjoinment with phenomenon such as instinct or vegetative life, is nothing but the remote, isolated, insistent voice by which certain lines of buddhism, vendanta, sufism, western mysticism urges us to renounce mortality once and for all.

p. 551  when they give me back my house and my life, then i shall find my own true face

p. 555  the one who conquers the center wins.  from that point he dominates all possibilities, and it’s senseless for his adversary to insist on continuing the play.  but the center might be in some side square, or even off the board.

p. 558  oliveira took out the key, spun it around in a sunbeam, handed it over as if he were surrendering a city

p. 564  we are the makers of manners, eh.  it’s good for auscultation.  *very fine word


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