Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Placelessness & Traveling

He watches, but what he sees isn't real to him. Too much traveling and placelessness have put him outside everything, so that history happens elsewhere, it has nothing to do with him. He is only passing through. May be horror is felt more easily from home. This is both a redemption and an affliction, he doesn't carry any abstract moral burdens, but their absence is represented for him by the succession of flyblown and featureless rooms he sleeps in, night after night, always changing but somehow always the same room.
-In a Strange Room, Damon Galgut

Why is it that words on travel, like these, make me yearn to leave home, and somehow still make me sad with loneliness.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Austere Communists

"Have you noticed", she asked the girl, "that the left are always drab? When I was in the Party they thought I was frivolous. They did not trust me because of my dresses."...

..."They dressed like they had no hope. It is capitalism, I told them, that is bleak, not socialism. When there is a revolution the people should wear wonderful clothes, streamers, flags, balloons. It should be full of joy and love, not look like a funeral. Do you like picnics?"

-Illywhacker, Peter Carey

What a cracker of a book -you can expect humorous wickedness on every page. It's characters are an ensemble of weird, fickle, not-quite-there folks. Their morals - I just love the gray area each one perennially hangs in.