There are certain common privileges of a writer, the benefit whereof I hope there will be no reason to doubt; particularly, that where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath; and again, that whatever word or sentence is printed in a different character shall be judged to contain something extraordinary either of wit or sublime.
There are certain common privileges of a writer, the benefit whereof, I hope, there will be no reason to doubt; particularly, that where I am not understood, it shall be concluded, that something very useful and profound is couched underneath; and again, that whatever word or sentence is printed in a different character, shall be judged to contain something extraordinary either or wit of sublime.
The ultimate dreamer is Vishnu floating on the cosmic Milky Ocean, couched upon the coils of the abyssal serpent Ananta, the meaning of whose name is Unending. In the foreground stand the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the epic Mahabharata, with Draupadi, their wife: allegorically, she is the mind and they are the five senses.
Very few women have become famous for being who they actually are, nuanced and imperfect. When honesty happens, it's usually couched in self-ridicule or self-help. Dunham doesn't apologize like that-she simply tells her story as if it might be interesting. The result is shocking and radical because it is utterly familiar. Not That Kind of Girl is hilarious, artful, and staggeringly intimate; I read it shivering with recognition.
It's a lot of anti-gay, racist humor""which people like in America""all couched in 'I'm telling it like it is.' He's in the right place at the right time for that gee-shucks, proud-to-be-a-redneck, I'm-just-a-straight-shooter-multimillionaire-in-cutoff-flannel-selling-ring-tones act. That's where we are as a nation now. We're in a state of vague American values and anti-intellectual pride.
I rarely use the Internet for research, as I find the process cumbersome and detestable. The information gained is often untrustworthy and couched in execrable prose. It is unpleasant to sit in front of a twitching screen suffering assault by virus, power outage, sluggish searches, system crashes, the lack of direct human discourse, all in an atmosphere of scam and hustle.
Somebody told a lie one day. They couched it in language. They made everything Black ugly and evil. Look in your dictionaries and see the synonyms of the word Black. It's always something degrading and low and sinister. Look at the word White, it's always something pure, high and clean. Well I want to get the language right tonight. I want to get the language so right that everyone here will cry out: 'Yes, I'm Black, I'm proud of it. I'm Black and I'm beautiful!'
Martin Luther King
Meanwhile, as we read, two little girls slept as if couched on zephyrs on the south side of the parlor floor, in a room that had bunny wallpaper...and a bookcase crammed with the collected Beatrix Potter. Snow White was in a youth bed and Rose Red was in a crib, and next to them was the little blue and white guest room that one of them would have one day. Because I recognize emotions only in retrospect, I didn't know that I was happy. As always, there was something nagging at my mind's corners. But I did know that I had all that it is proper in this world to wish for.
It takes a very long time to sever a marriage in which children are involved. There is a table, two chairs, and a small pile of bargaining chips. This is how it begins, but it ends with one chair in an empty room. The days darken. The children are slices open and split down the middle. Someone takes an arm; someone takes a foot. The car pulling into the driveway on a Friday afternoon becomes a hearse, and everything is couched in lies. The house of old assumes a silence.
And in me too the wave rises. It swells; it arches its back. I am aware once more of a new desire, something rising beneath me like the proud horse whose rider first spurs and then pulls him back. What enemy do we now perceive advancing against us, you whom I ride now, as we stand pawing this stretch of pavement? It is death. Death is the enemy. It is death against whom I ride with my spear couched and my hair flying back like a young man's, like Percival's, when he galloped in India. I strike spurs into my horse. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
By now, I hope you recognize this as one more example of the reductionist paradigm at work, even when it's couched in natural and alternative terms. As we saw in chapter ten, one of the major problems with modern medicine is its reliance on isolated, unnatural chemical pharmaceuticals as the primary tool in the war against disease. But the medical profession isn't the only player in the health-care system that has embraced this element of reductionism. The natural health community has also fallen prey to the ideology that chemicals ripped from their natural context are as good as or better than whole foods. Instead of synthesizing the presumed "active ingredients" from medicinal herbs, as done for prescription drugs, supplement manufacturers seek to extract and bottle the active ingredients from foods known or believed to promote good health and healing. And just like prescription drugs, the active agents function imperfectly, incompletely, and unpredictably when divorced from the whole plant food from which they're derived or synthesized.
T. Colin Campbell
Men, Kellhus had once told her, were like coins: they had two sides. Where one side of them saw, the other side of them was seen, and though all men were both at once, men could only truly know the side of themselves that saw and the side of others that was seen-they could only truly know the inner half of themselves and the outer half of others. At first Esmenet thought this foolish. Was not the inner half the whole, what was only imperfectly apprehended by others? But Kellhus bid her to think of everything she'd witnessed in others. How many unwitting mistakes? How many flaws of character? Conceits couched in passing remarks. Fears posed as judgements ... The shortcomings of men-their limits-were written in the eyes of those who watched them. And this was why everyone seemed so desperate to secure the good opinion of others-why everyone played the mummer. They knew without knowing that what they saw of themselves was only half of who they were. And they were desperate to be whole. The measure of wisdom, Kellhus had said, was found in the distance between these two selves. Only afterward had she thought of Kellhus in these terms. With a kind of surpriseless shock, she realized that not once-not once!-had she glimpsed shortcomings in his words or actions. And this, she understood, was why he seemed limitless, like the ground, which extended from the small circle about her feet to the great circle about the sky. He had become her horizon. For Kellhus, there was no distance between seeing and being seen. He alone was whole. And what was more, he somehow stood from without and saw from within. He made whole ...
R. Scott Bakker
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well-or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life-not the end or accomplished goals in it-that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking-about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels-many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man-and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy-don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.