This Machine is Obsolete


Revisiting ideas. Silence. Voice.

James Joyce covers his mouth.
Czeslaw Milosz covers his mouth.

May Swenson writes this in her diary:
I’m two eyes looking out of a suit of armor. I write because I can’t talk.


Thanks to The Paris Review for the note on this photo of Joyce.

Even sound seemed to fail in this air, like the air was worn out with carrying sounds so long.
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
He will be least afraid of becoming nothing in death who has recognized that he is already nothing now.
Arthur Schopenhauer
For the rest of the earth’s organisms, existence is relatively uncomplicated. Their lives are about three things: survival, reproduction, death—and nothing else. But we know too much to content ourselves with surviving, reproducing, dying—and nothing else. We know we are alive and know we will die. We also know we will suffer during our lives before suffering—slowly or quickly—as we draw near to death. This is the knowledge we “enjoy” as the most intelligent organisms to gush from the womb of nature. And being so, we feel shortchanged if there is nothing else for us than to survive, reproduce, and die. We want there to be more to it than that, or to think there is. This is the tragedy: Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical position of striving to be unself-conscious of what we are—hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones.
Thomas Ligotti
I am very tired, very banal, very confused. I do not know who I am tonight. I wanted to walk until I dropped and not complete the inevitable circle of coming home.
Sylvia Plath

I have a new job, and it’s actually relevant to my education. I moved. I got a new apartment. There are people who love me. Yet no matter what happens, I still just feel miserable. When does it end? When do I get to feel something else?

Woe to him whose desert is within.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Dithyrambs of Dionysus