I really look up to writers who are able to write compressed, single-scene stories, where everything happens in a kitchen. But I just can't think that way. For me it would be impossible to write a story where I didn't know what someone's parents did and what their grandparents did and who they used to date.
There is only one moment; its events are infinitely unfolding, increasing at every passing second-meaning that they were somehow compressed before. This moment was never smaller, but less beauty was exposed in the physical form, yet still this flower blooms. I think we tend to see time as the events alone; in this sense, we view objects as a means of measurement to time. But we forget the place of events in time is change. I am the measurement to my own happiness; time is the breadth of that beauty, and that beauty is the measurement of this moment's grandeur. Somehow compressed, potential beauty was enfolded infinitely from the start of time, and now waits in vain for its fullest blossoming. The fact that there is a progression to time proves that time is not infinite; you can't approach infinity. Time is more like a dot, expanding on a plane that is infinite; but that dot may as well not be growing, because the plane that its on is growing too. Stagnant, this explains what we call 'now' that moment, ever unfolding; matter changes, but not the moment; the only proof that a past exists is our memories. What did it feel like to be four? Like now. My memories of a past are an illusion, because they take place in the now, the one moment.
The psychedelic experience is simply a compressed instance of what we call understanding, so that living psychedelically is trying to live in an atmosphere of continuous unfolding of understanding, so that every day you know more and see into things with greater depth than you did before. This is a process of education.
Well, the whole trick to doing an independent film, is to keep great pace and momentum. You're shooting maybe three times as many scenes in one day that you would on a big, luxurious budget on a luxurious schedule, and you try not to sacrifice quality for that. Things are just compressed, but essentially the same.
If the entire course of evolution were compressed into a single year, the earliest bacteria would appear at the end of March, but we wouldn't see the first human ancestors until 6 a.m. on December 31st. The golden age of Greece, about 500 BCE, would occur just thirty seconds before midnight.
Jerry A. Coyne
Watching movies simply is a promiscuous experience. The voracity it breeds! That quantity of quiddity compressed and quickened and sent at you! It's a little bit mad, isn't it, to hold a faithful flame for the one you've picked, when no such choice is required of you? The sane response to a rainbow is not to pick your favourite colour.
She felt so old, so worn out, so far away from the best moments of her life that she even yearned for those that she remembered as the worst... Her heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart with the first waves of nostalgia. The need to feel sad was becoming a vice as the years eroded her. She became human in her solitude.
Gabriel GarceÂa Me¡rquez
Dogs are a really amazing eye opener for us humans because their lives are compressed into such a short period, so we can see them go from puppyhood to adolescence to strong adulthood and then into their sunset years in 10 to 12 years. It really drives home the point of how finite all our lives are.
Whether our feet are compressed in iron shoes, our faces hidden with veils and masks; whether yoked with cows to draw the plow through its furrows, or classed with idiots, lunatics and criminals in the laws and constitutions of the State, the principle is the same; for the humiliations of the spirit are as real as the visible badges of servitude.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
As to the mouth, it delights at times in laughter; it is disposed to impart all that the brain conceives; though I daresay it would be silent on much the heart experiences. Mobile and flexible, it was never intended to be compressed in the eternal silence of solitude: it is a mouth which should speak much and smile often, and have human affection for its interlocutor.
Even in the investigations into direct production of calcium peroxide in an alkali melt with highly compressed oxygen, it was found to be necessary to bring the high-pressure gas into contact with the suspension of lime in caustic alkali melt by agitation or some other means of mixing.
What the newer landscape artists see in a circle of a hundred degrees in Nature they press together unmercifully into an angle of vision of only forty-five degrees. And furthermore, what is in Nature separated by large spaces, is compressed into a cramped space and overfills and oversatiates the eye, creating an unfavorable and disquieting effect on the viewer.
Caspar David Friedrich
Of course, the self-righteous demand and expectation for love, and exactly how it should be expressed, is not the most streamlined method for producing it in another for you. That is, it does not compel or create the love itself. You're neither loving nor producing that which would compel the love toward you. You're compressed between them both and incapable of accepting either. And rightly so. Which then accelerates the accumulating suffering.
In reality, genuine epiphanies are extremely rare. In contemporary adult life maturation & acquiescence to reality are gradual processes. Modern usage usually deploys epiphany as a metaphor. It is usually only in dramatic representations, religious iconography, and the 'magical thinking' of children that insight is compressed to a sudden blinding flash.
David Foster Wallace
He blows out a breath, takes a step toward me. The hallway is so narrow that I'm pinned between the wall and his body, heat rolling off him in waves. 'Yeah, ' he says, voice low. 'I feel things.' His green eyes burn. It's the most emotion I've seen from him so far, and I have trouble taking a full breath, my lungs compressed with tension. 'That's the whole point, Ivy. I want you to feel them, too.
I love the combination of smartness, pain, and what one might call conscious postmodern trashiness in this book: a version of the erotic full of nervous tension which animates the sensuality, and also Zimroth's feeling for words, compressed, ironic, withholding, but also 'asking for it . . . the siege, the thrill, the battle fatigue.' A profoundly urban book, of harsh memory and fantasy, set in harsher reality.
Think light! Try to impart a feeling of lightness to the body. Think light. This can be achieved by mentally extending yourself outwards from the centre of the body, i.e., think tall. Think not just of raising your arms but of extending them outwards and when you are holding them still, think again of reaching still further away from your body. Do not think of yourself as a small compressed suffering thing. Think of yourself as graceful and expanding - no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time.
Zalasiewicz is convinced that even a moderately competent stratigrapher will, at the distance of a hundred million years or so, be able to tell that something extraordinary happened at the moment in time that counts for us as today. This is the case even though a hundred million years from now, all that we consider to be the great works of man""the sculptures and the libraries, the monuments and the museums, the cities and the factories""will be compressed into a layer of sediment not much thicker than a cigarette paper.
And then the work bears a strong sense of leave-taking for me personally. It ends the work I began in the 1960s (paintings from black-and-white photographs), with a compressed summation that precludes any possible continuation. And so it is a leave-taking from thoughts and feelings of my own on a very basic level. Not that this is a deliberate act, of course; it is a quasi-automatic sequence of disintegration and reformation which I can perceive, as always, only in retrospect.
Eugene Peterson points out that "the root meaning in Hebrew of salvation is to be broad, to become spacious, to enlarge. It carries the sense of deliverance from an existence that has become compressed, confined and cramped." God wants to set free, to make it possible for us to live open and loving lives with God and our neighbors. "I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free," wrote the psalmist.
To better understand God we must first shatter our own idea of God - maybe even day after day. Maybe he's too great to stay compressed in the human mind. Maybe he splits it wide open; this is why pretentious intellectualism so often fails to comprehend the concept of God: it is only accepting of what it can explain while in the process finding higher sources offensive. What we may confidently assert is that faith is the opening that allows God, this unpredictable, unseen power, to travel in and out of the mind without all the pains of confusion.
Sport is where an entire life can be compressed into a few hours, where the emotions of a lifetime can be felt on an acre or two of ground, where a person can suffer and die and rise again on six miles of trails through a New York City park. Sport is a theater where sinner can turn saint and a common man become an uncommon hero, where the past and the future can fuse with the present. Sport is singularly able to give us peak experiences where we feel completely one with the world and transcend all conflicts as we finally become our own potential.
George A. Sheehan
On numerous visits to Manhattan, I have found myself poking around the city trying to find a moment of quiet and once located a hint of it in Central Park during a windless, late-night snowfall. There I stood absolutely still in the lemon glow of the city, a sky full of snow. The city still roared from all sides, a thousand noises compressed down to just one. I counted that distant, mild roar as quiet, a welcome relief from the more pressing noises of the daytime city.
Consider a cask filled with a highly compressed gas. If we open one of its taps the gas will escape through it in a continuous flow, the elasticity of the gas pushing its particles into space will continuously push the cask itself. The result will a continuous change in the motion of the cask. Given a sufficient number of taps (say, six), we would be able to regulate the outflow of the gas as we liked and the cask (or sphere) would describe any curved line in accordance with any law of velocities.
Raymond Hendler exhibited a group of abstract paintings that displayed rare high spirits. Using a great deal of fresh white, Hendler devised extremely simple symbols which he dispersed felicitously on his shining grounds. These bright, often linear hieroglyphs serve both as pictorial animators-they often flow in winding patterns or like fluent handwriting-and as references to the plentitude of the artist's existence. Gardens and sky and human joy are read in these exceedingly compressed forms.
For the machine meant the conquest of horizontal space. It also meant a sense of that space which few people had experienced before "" the succession and superimposition of views, the unfolding of landscape in flickering surfaces as one was carried swiftly past it, and an exaggerated feeling of relative motion (the poplars nearby seeming to move faster than the church spire across the field) due to parallax. The view from the train was not the view from the horse. It compressed more motifs into the same time. Conversely, it left less time in which to dwell on any one thing.
For the machine meant the conquest of horizontal space. It also meant a sense of that space which few people had experienced before - the succession and superimposition of views, the unfolding of landscape in flickering surfaces as one was carried swiftly past it, and an exaggerated feeling of relative motion (the poplars nearby seeming to move faster than the church spire across the field) due to parallax. The view from the train was not the view from the horse. It compressed more motifs into the same time. Conversely, it left less time in which to dwell on any one thing.
Love you, ' Xavier said just before he drifted back to sleep. 'Love you more, ' I said playfully. 'Not a chance, ' Xavier said, fully awake now. 'I'm bigger, I can contain more love.' 'I'm smaller, therefore my love particles are more compressed, which means I can fit more in.' Xavier laughed. 'That argument makes no sense. Overruled.' 'I'm just basing it on how much I miss you when you're not around, ' I countered. 'How can you possibly know how much I miss you?' he said. 'Have you got some sort of built-in miss-o-meter that can give us a reading?' 'I'm a girl; of course I have a built-in miss-o-meter.
To some, the image of a pale body glimmering on a dark night whispers of defeat. What good is a God who does not control his Son's suffering? But another sound can be heard: the shout of a God crying out to human beings, "I LOVE YOU." Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to - because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice. Any discussion of how pain and suffering fit into God's scheme ultimately leads back to the cross.
The Warrior archetype is hard-wired into our brain structure. Socialization means repression, which only keeps aggressiveness in an all the more volatile, compressed, and explosive form. But aggression is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. In many ways legitimate aggression contributes vitally to our lives. In aggression we find our drives for life, career, social contact, self-definition, and service. Perseverance and fidelity are products of the Warriors determination. Though the Lover initiates a relationship, it is the Warrior who maintains it-without the Warrior the Lover is merely promiscuous. The answer then is not to banish any of the archetypes, but to work on achieving the maturity necessary to manage them.
I never knew him. We both knew this place, apparently, this literal small backwater, looked at it long enough to memorize it, our years apart. How strange. And it's still loved, or its memory is (it must have changed a lot). Our visions coincided-'visions' is too serious a word-our looks, two looks: art 'copying from life' and life itself, life and the memory of it so compressed they've turned into each other. Which is which? Life and the memory of it cramped, dim, on a piece of Bristol board, dim, but how live, how touching in detail -the little that we get for free, the little of our earthly trust. Not much. About the size of our abidance along with theirs: the munching cows, the iris, crisp and shivering, the water still standing from spring freshets, the yet-to-be-dismantled elms, the geese.
He had felt that a moment before his making the turn, someone had been there. The air seemed charged with a special calm as if someone had waited there, quietly, and only a moment before he came, simply turned to a shadow and let him through. Perhaps his nose detected a faint perfume, perhaps the skin on the backs of his hands, on his face, felt the temperature rise at this one spot where a person's standing might raise the immediate atmosphere ten degrees for an instant. There was no understanding it. Each time he made the turn, he saw only the white, unused, buckling sidewalk, with perhaps, on one night, something vanishing swiftly across a lawn before he could focus his eyes or speak. But now, tonight, he slowed almost to a stop. His inner mind, reaching out to turn the corner for him, had heard the faintest whisper. Breathing? Or was the atmosphere compressed merely by someone standing very quietly there, waiting? He turned the corner.
Thus identified with astronomy, in proclaiming truths supposed to be hostile to Scripture, Geology has been denounced as the enemy of religion. The twin sisters of terrestrial and celestial physics have thus been joint-heirs of intolerance and persecution-unresisting victims in the crusade which ignorance and fanaticism are ever waging against science. When great truths are driven to make an appeal to reason, knowledge becomes criminal, and philosophers martyrs. Truth, however, like all moral powers, can neither be checked nor extinguished. When compressed, it but reacts the more. It crushes where it cannot expand-it burns where it is not allowed to shine. Human when originally divulged, it becomes divine when finally established. At first, the breath of a rage-at last it is the edict of a god. Endowed with such vital energy, astronomical truth has cut its way through the thick darkness of superstitious times, and, cheered by its conquests, Geology will find the same open path when it has triumphed over the less formidable obstacles of a civilized age.
Our forefathers were not only brave. I believe they were right. I believe that what they meant was that every man born had equal right to grow from scratch by way of his own power unhindered to the highest expression of himself possible to him. This of course not antagonistic by sympathetic to the growth of all men as brothers. Free emulation not imitation of the "bravest and the best" is to be expected of him. Uncommon he may and will and should become as inspiration to his fellows, not a reflection upon them, not to be resented but accepted-and in this lies the only condition of the common man's survival. So only is he intrinsic to democracy. Persistently holding quality above quantity only as he attempts to live a superior life of his own, and to whatsoever degree in whatever case he finds it; this is his virtue in a democracy such as ours was designed to be. Only this sense of proportion affords tranquility of spirit, in itself beauty, in either character of action. Nature is never other than serene even in a thunderstorm. The assumption of the "firm countenance, lips compressed" in denial or resentment is not known to her as it is known to civilization. Such negation by human countenance may be moral (civilization is inclined to morality) but even so not nature. Again exuberance is repose but never excess.
Frank Lloyd Wright
If you imagine the 4, 500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth's history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It's a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
Let's press ahead a little further by sketching out a few variations among short shorts: ONE THRUST OF INCIDENT. (Examples: Paz, Mishima, Shalamov, Babel, W. C. Williams.) In these short shorts the time span is extremely brief, a few hours, maybe even a few minutes: Life is grasped in symbolic compression. One might say that these short shorts constitute epiphanies (climactic moments of high grace or realization) that have been tom out of their contexts. You have to supply the contexts yourself, since if the contexts were there, they'd no longer be short shorts. LIFE ROLLED UP. (Examples: Tolstoy's 'Alyosha the Pot, ' Verga's 'The Wolf, ' D. H. Lawrence's 'A Sick Collier.') In these you get the illusion of sustained narrative, since they deal with lives over an extended period of time; but actually these lives are so compressed into typicality and paradigm, the result seems very much like a single incident. Verga's 'Wolf' cannot but repeat her passions, Tolstoy's Alyosha his passivity. Themes of obsession work especially well in this kind of short short. SNAP-SHOT OR SINGLE FRAME. (Examples: Garda Marquez, Boll, Katherine Anne Porter.) In these we have no depicted event or incident, only an interior monologue or flow of memory. A voice speaks, as it were, into the air. A mind is revealed in cross-section - and the cut is rapid. One would guess that this is the hardest kind of short short to write: There are many pitfalls such as tiresome repetition, being locked into a single voice, etc. LIKE A FABLE. (Examples: Kafka, Keller, von Kleist, Tolstoy's 'Three Hermits.') Through its very concision, this kind of short short moves past realism. We are prodded into the fabulous, the strange, the spooky. To write this kind of fable-like short short, the writer needs a supreme self-confidence: The net of illusion can be cast only once. When we read such fable-like miniatures, we are prompted to speculate about significance, teased into shadowy parallels or semi allegories. There are also, however, some fables so beautifully complete (for instance Kafka's 'First Sorrow') that we find ourselves entirely content with the portrayed surface and may even take a certain pleasure in refusing interpretation. ("Introduction")
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