Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"In polite stories the world had been made acquainted with the picturesque lives of these commonplace but worthy people. In detail their story had been told. Over the precipice in Yosemite the Bridal Veil Falls had been launching its water for a thousand years and ignorance was fattening his belly apace."

William Carlos Williams, The Great American Novel, 1923

1 comment:

Walser & Co. said...

"The lump in my breast hardened and became like the Aztec calendar of stone which the priests buried because they couldn't smash it easily, but it was dug up intact later. At least, so I prided myself that I felt. But after a few moments, seeing the man himself, I was unexpectedly confused. He is a student, I am a block, I thought. I could see it at once: he knows far more of what is written of my world than I. But he is a student while I am--the brutal thing itself.

At the bottom of an alley which opened out into a court, as of a decayed cloister, was the doorway which bore the number upon the card in my hand. It was a small room, nearly filled by a great table. He excused himself for a moment to accompany a lady to the bus. We sat and looked at each other. So it was a pleasure to be sitting in this small room, in this secluded court, with this man whose totem is the hippopotamus--slumped down in his chair, smiling and looking. He knew what I had attempted. Almost at once he began to speak out of my imagination. He presumed too much. I am not a student; presently he will ask me questions I cannot answer!

IN THE AMERICAN GRAIN, 1925