April 5th, 2009


she's french. you know that.

saturday lxxxvi

ghostbusters 2 gets a bad rap.
it also contains a bad rap, but that's its prerogative.
sure, it's not as good as its predecessor, but la statue de la liberté walking the streets of new york?
quelle consolation fantastique!

unfortunately there were no extras whatsoever.

i am writing up this part of the diary whilst i am waiting for the coach, which is, of course, late; and the crucifix is still round my neck.

the topmost line, divided, shows its subject with his house made large, but only serving as a screen to his household. when he looks at his door, it is still, and there is nobody about it. for three years no one is to be seen.
the fourth line, divided, shows its subject like the moon nearly full, and like a horse drawing a chariot whose fellow disappears. there will be no error.
the topmost line, undivided, shows its subject in chanticleer trying to mount to heaven.

no doubt--i thought to myself-- had miss vanlo not been thirty and damaged by the climate he would have found it possible to entrust fred vanlo with this confidence. and then the figure of hermann's niece appeared before my mind's eye, with the wealth of her opulent form, her rich youth, her lavish strength. with that powerful and immaculate vitality, her girlish form must have shouted aloud of life to that man, whereas poor miss vanlo could only sing sentimental songs to the strumming of a piano.

"pest!" cried cremiere; "he can't take a step without that girl!"

a general, who has access to the sea, may exercise the faculty as follows: he may either, whilst apparently engaged in fitting out his vessels, strike a blow on land; or with a make-believe of some aggressive design by land, hazard an adventure by sea.

"you must choose between us. our vendetta is a part of our being. whoso does not share my vengeance is not a member of my family."

he then murmured an utterly mysterious allusion to the necessity for peculiar domestic arrangements.
  • Current Music
    don't change your plans for me

on the similarities between the ghostbusters and the dharma initiative

members of both wear tan jumpsuits with name labels on the left breast.
members of both include scientists whose work takes them outside of the established scientific community.
members of both have headquarters and operations on an island.
members of both have to deal with ghosts and phantasmagorical monsters.
both were basically defunct from 1992 forward.

thematically important phrases from lost which appear in ghostbusters:

"i'll fix you, venkman! i'm gonna fix you!"
"we've got work to do."
  • Current Music
    too hot to handle and too cold to hold
blue legacy

everybody's a critic - addendum

pauline kael on bill murray:

his patent insincerity makes him the perfect emblematic hero for the stoned era. he has a genuine outré gift: he makes you feel that his characters are bums inside – unconcerned and indifferent – and he makes that seem like a kind of grace. (he's always an onlooker; he won't commit himself even to being in the movie.)
47 ronin

i guess most people don't get excited about notebooks. even really nice notebooks.

abe (homer's dad): oh, son, you know how i love a good analogy.
[they hugs]
homer [laughing]: it was apt.

in "tlön, uqbar, orbis tertius", an encyclopedia article about a mysterious country called uqbar is the first indication of orbis tertius, a massive conspiracy of intellectuals to imagine (and thereby create) a world: tlön. in the course of the story, the narrator encounters increasingly substantive artifacts of orbis tertius and of tlön; by the end of the story, earth is becoming tlön.

the story unfolds as a first-person narrative by a fictive version of borges himself. events and facts are revealed roughly in the order that the narrator becomes aware of them, or becomes aware of their relevance. the bulk of the story is from the point of view of 1940, the year the story was written and published. a postscript is from the point of view of the same narrator, anachronistically writing in 1947. the timing of events in borges's first-person story is approximately from 1935 to 1947; the plot concerns events going back as far as the early 17th century and culminating in 1947.

there in fact exists an anglo-american encyclopaedia, which is a plagiarism, differently paginated, of the tenth edition of the encyclopedia, and in which the 46th volume is TOT-UPS, ending on p. 917 with upsala, and followed by ural-altaic in the next volume; uqbar would fall in between [or more precisely, would appear at the start of the 47th volume]. in the 11th edition of the britannica, borges's favorite, there is an article in between these on "ur"; which may, in some sense, therefore be uqbar. different articles in the 11th edition mention that ur, as the name of a city, means simply "the city", and that ur is also the aurochs, or the evil god of the mandaeans. borges may be punning on the sense of "primaeval" here with his repeated use of ursprache, or on the story's own definition of "ur" in one of tlön's languages as "a thing produced by suggestion, an object elicited by hope."

for some time before his father's death and his own accident, borges had been drifting toward writing fiction. his historia universal de la infamia (universal history of infamy), published in 1935, used a baroque writing style and the techniques of fiction to tell the stories of seven historical rogues. these ranged from "el espantoso redentor lazarus morell" ("the dread redeemer lazarus morell") — who promised liberty to slaves in the american south, but brought them only death — to "el incivil maestro de ceremonias kotsuké no suké" ("the insulting master of etiquette kôtsuké no suké"), the story of the central figure in the japanese tale of the 47 ronin, also known as kira kozuke-no-suke yoshinaka. borges had also written a number of clever literary forgeries disguised as translations from authors such as emanuel swedenborg or from the tales of count lucanor. recovering from his head wound and infection, borges decided it was time to turn to the writing of fiction as such.


* borges, jorge luis. "tlön, uqbar, orbis tertius" trans. alastair reid. borges, a reader. 111–122.
* rodríguez monegal, emir, and alastair reid (eds.). borges, a reader. new york: dutton, 1981. ISBN 0-525-47654-7.
* beatriz sarlo's borges: a writer on the edge provides an analysis of the story and a detailed reconstruction of its (often implicit) plot. however, sarlo wrongly claims (in chapter 5) that the historical figure of john wilkins is an "invented character of one of borges['s] essays."
* (spanish) guía de lectura de ficciones, de jorge luis borges, centro de comunicação e expressão, universidade federal de santa catarina, brazil. the list of real and fictional people above draws heavily on this spanish-language reader's guide. (accessed 26 november 2006.)
* andrew hurley, "the zahir and i", a fictional lecture delivered at the "borges, time, and the millennium" conference, new york city, December 13, 1999. (accessed 4 july 2006.)
* bernard quaritch company website. (accessed 4 july 2006.)
* (spanish) la alquimia del verbo: 'tlön, uqbar, orbis tertius' de j.l. borges y la sociedad de la rosa-cruz. article by santiago juan navarro about borges' story and the rosicrucians. published in hispanófila 120 (1997): 67-80.
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    the city lit by fireflies