Ramblings & ephemera

Ray Bradbury on an encounter that changed his life

From Sam Weller’s interview of Ray Bradbury in “The Art of Fiction No. 203” (The Paris Review: Spring 2010, No. 192): Circuses and carnivals were always passing through Illinois during my childhood and I was in love with their mystery. One autumn weekend in 1932, when I was twelve years old, the Dill Brothers Combined […]

Woody Allen on immortality

From Michiko Kakutani’s interview of Woody Allen in “The Art of Humor No. 1” (The Paris Review: Fall 1995, No. 136): As I’ve said many times, rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fellow man, I would rather live on in my apartment.

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Spring and Fall”

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Spring and Fall” (1880) To a young child Margaret, are you grieving Over Goldengrove unleaving? Leaves, like the things of man, you With your fresh thoughts care for, can you? Ah! as the heart grows older It will come to such sights colder By and by, nor spare a sigh Though worlds […]

Immortality, poetically

From Roger Ebert’s “Go gentle into that good night” (Roger Ebert’s Journal: 2 May 2009): And there is Shakespeare, who came as close as any man to immortality. In my plans for life after death, I say, again with Whitman: I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you […]

1 Henry VI: Lucy lists Talbot’s titles

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 7): LUCY: But where’s the great Alcides of the field, Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, Created, for his rare success in arms, Great Earl of Washford, Waterford and Valence; Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield, Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton, Lord Cromwell of […]

Talbot describes his son’s valiant death

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 7): TALBOT: Where is my other life? mine own is gone; O, where’s young Talbot? where is valiant John? Triumphant death, smear’d with captivity, Young Talbot’s valour makes me smile at thee: When he perceived me shrink and on my knee, His bloody sword he brandish’d over […]

1 Henry VI: Joan of Arc on glory

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (I:2): JOAN LA PUCELLE: Glory is like a circle in the water, Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.

A living story, tattooed on flesh

From The New York Times Magazine‘s “Skin Literature“: Most artists spend their careers trying to create something that will live forever. But the writer Shelley Jackson is creating a work of literature that is intentionally and indisputably mortal. Jackson is publishing her latest short story by recruiting 2,095 people, each of whom will have one […]

The social perils of immortality

From John Shirley: Immortality? Maybe. There’s one company …: “There’s that UCSF scientist who keeps cropping up with roundworms. Now and then you hear something new about her and her program: Cynthia Kenyon. She’s started a company called Elixir. She’s working on ways to tweak a gene called daf-2 which controls how well cells repair […]