Category: media

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Olga Plümacher: Pessimism Past and Present

Olga Plümacher (1839–1895) published a book entitled Der Pessimismus in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart in 1884. It was an influential book: Nietzsche owned a copy (as did Sam Beckett), and there are clear cases where Nietzsche borrowed phraseology from Plümacher.

Plümacher specifies philosophical pessimism as comprising two propositions: ‘The sum of displeasure outweighs the sum of pleasure’ and ‘Consequently the non-being of the world would be better than its being’.

Plümacher cites Schopenhauer as the first proponent of this position, and Eduard von Hartmann as the thinker who has developed it to its fullest potential. She heavily criticizes Schopenhauer in many respects, not for being a pessimist, but rather for not achieving as good a pessimism as he might have done, on the following major grounds: that his account of pleasure as merely privative is implausible, that he has a confused account of individuation, that his retention of a Christian notion of guilt is gratuitous, that he lapses into the self-pitying subjectivity of the condition she calls Weltschmerz, and that his philosophy leads to quietism, and is thus inferior to von Hartmann’s combination of pessimism and optimism, which allows for social progress.

From Abstract : Worse than the best possible pessimism? Olga Plümacher’s critique of Schopenhauer, by Christopher Janaway

Google Books:

Der Pessimismus in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Geschichtliches und Kritisches, by Olga Plümacher · 1884

Sam Beckett is Beckett

Samuel Beckett: avant-garde dramatist, brooding Nobel Prize winner, and…gritty television detective!

Beckett — a Quinn Martin Production

Sylvia Plath Reading Poems from Ariel

Found reference to Open Culture‘s reference to

“Hear Sylvia Plath Read 18 Poems From Her Final Collection, Ariel, in 1962 Recording”

at Warren Ellis Experience. Thank you friends of Warren. Thank you Tudor Ciurea for uploading.

There is even a poem called Nick and the Candlestick.

They are brave horrible beautiful and relentless. Reading from her book Ariel:

Lady LazarusTulipsCutPoppies in OctoberBerk-PlageArielThe ApplicantMedusaA Birthday PresentDaddyFever 103The Rabbit CatcherThe SecretStopped DeadPurdah

The Little Birthday Book

Victorian birthday book + Room for Notes

BASED ON quotations from Nick Cave for each day of the year.

The Little Birthday Book

Created and designed by Nick Cave

Published by Cave Things
Size: 10,2 x 12,5 cm (hardcover)
Number of pages: 136
Printed and bound in Denmark by Narayana Press

Compiled by Rodrigo Perez Pereira

Dispatching from 4th December

Samuel Beckett Reads Watt

Watt will not
abate one jot
but of what

of the coming to
of the being at
of the going from
Knott’s habitat

of the long way
of the short stay
of the going back home
the way he had come

of the empty heart
of the empty hands
of the dim mind wayfaring
through barren lands

of a flame with dark winds
hedged about
going out
gone out

of the empty heart
of the empty hands
of the dark mind stumbling
through barren lands

that is of what
Watt will not
abate one jot

McSweeneys Top 50


43. Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002 For The Fellowship Of The Ring (Platinum Series Extended Edition) DVD, Part One by Tom Bissell and Jeff Alexander (4/23/03)

40. Hamlet: Facebook Newsfeed Edition by Sarah Schmelling (7/30/08)

19, Kafka’s Joke Book by John McNamee (3/19/14)

12. Seven Bar Jokes Involving Grammar and Punctuation by Eric K. Auld (11/8/11)

The Vampire’s Wife: Stuff

Suzy Cave’s The Vampire’s Wife. Am indebted to her approach to beauty that plumbs artistic and dramatic strains across the universe, however curious, transgressive, or both.

Virginia Wolfe

Virginia has been much on my mind lately. Experimental way approaches her paragraphs — My LuLu du Lac loves how she starts to slip into passages with fingers running freely either side like its an open maze, where language funnels off and tunnels back in.

Sun through leaves breakaway breakaway open handed chasing seedpuffs that dehiscse on a hot day in Britian, Gorse bushes exploding pods sound almost like gunshots.

Unavoidable with participation, earnest interest, eagerness, shock, tenderness, injury, inquiry. Etc.

Clarice Lispector

She is an Angel for me. Influence very real even needy — but not nearly as traumatic. Startles yet brightens, exhilarates yet fights for it, reaches — as I reach, back for Clarice again and again —

“They would understand,” my LuLu equates out loud to herself. How must be able to work at peak intervals, engage with beauty — who as part of creation often dances with darker forces, battles “for real.” What leads body of hate back to surface of love. Sleeps tender with the undead. Tender yet monstrous, when love explodes with horror and light —

La Folie Charles Baudelaire

Vampire Poem, by Charles Baudelaire.

Leaves Open to Question

Les Fleurs Pensée sur l’Amour

Two books had super heavy influence on me very early on.

Ezra Pounds translation of Remy du Gormant’s The Natural Philosophy of Love. A later 1800’s serious tract about sexual instincts in animals. And translated with marked succinctness and intensity by the great Ezra. Loved it.

Also: The infamous In Praise of Folly. A satirical essay written by Erasmus of Rotterdam, first printed in June 1511. “Folly praises self-deception and madness and moves to a satirical examination of pious but superstitious abuses –” WIKI.

A comedy really. Found it a great relief to “wisdom” as heads in bible and prayers, scriptures that howled at my want of freedom — like an escaping thief. Who bothered to, dared.

Rouge et Noir

Soul, wilt thou toss again?
By just such a hazard
Hundreds have lost, indeed,
But tens have won an all.

Angels' breathless ballot
Lingers to record thee;
Imps in eager caucus
Raffle for my soul.

Skunk Hour

by Robert Lowell

(For Elizabeth Bishop)

Nautilus Island’s hermit 
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son’s a bishop. Her farmer
is first selectman in our village;
she’s in her dotage.

Thirsting for
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria’s century,
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore,
and lets them fall.

The season’s ill—
we’ve lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.

And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall;
his fishnet’s filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler’s bench and awl;
there is no money in his work,
he’d rather marry.

One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill’s skull;
I watched for love-cars .
Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind’s not right.

A car radio bleats,
“Love, O careless Love. . . .” I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat. . . .
I myself am hell;
nobody’s here—

only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their soles up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes’ red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.

I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air—
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.

Beckett with Lacan by Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek talking up Beckett & Lacan: “If there ever was a kenotic writer, the writer of the utter self-emptying of subjectivity, of its reduction to a minimal difference, it is Beckett. We touch the Lacanian Real when we subtract from a symbolic field all the wealth of its differences, reducing it to a minimum of antagonism. Lacan gets sometimes seduced by the rhizomatic wealth of language beyond (or, rather, beneath) the formal structure that sustains it. (My emphasis).” – Its the glue its the glue –

And on the infamous Not I: “When asked if the Auditor is Death or a guardian angel, Beckett shrugged his shoulders, lifted his arms and let them fall to his sides, leaving the ambiguity intact – repeating the very gesture of the Auditor.” Auditors! I love it. Fab a Lot!

Anna Maria Maiolino

FAB A LOT has fallen in love with this piece by Anna Maria Maiolino from her In and Out series. Yarn that tumbles out of the mouth of desire, exacerbating after knots? of beauty folly death. So simple so true.

The Force Be with Vous

Do it your own way. No matter what that is.

Untamed, joyous stubbornness that yearns and burns — for whatever that is. Struck right alongside the εἶδον, Greek for behold/experience, alas: the image, as complicit implicit duplicit trifarious etc, the force mejeure.

Uninhibited the cuts, set in motion (like a whirlwind of madness) the wag hag nag rag bag fog sog cog, sod prod and log.

Influence — noyous, joyous, rascally, loveable, intractable.


Dagda, comes from proto celtic word dago-s for “good”. A fertility monster with bottomless cauldron who spawned at least six and was known as a trickster – with a magic staff that could kill with one end / bring to life with the other.

Daughter Brigid wears helmet with bird on head. Guards pagan shrine tending eternal flame.

Wad Squad

By Dusty Hope

Dear hands down your pants.

So the wind won’t blow it all away.

In regards to horror and sin

embraced in waves

of haunting panic

reaching for free

and the wanting to be.

The pie o my, dialed in

upsurging with overtures

pang gangs of angst.

Wending a way way

beastly balk delectation

laying waters to waste.

Plunging for runnels of love

sacred allures

staring eyes with evil

in battle for the shadowing

intubational wreck

everything open at aw heck neck.

Blame blame

sorrows deep

and put to sleep.

Cumulate histrionic habit

for rabbit that can dance

the flamingo macabre.

At sounds of a muddying

cry and nigh. Fills

the monster romantic

with incurrents coursing through.

Illure illure like an open casket

at devil’s peak

running down the wind.

Blue and thin.

Glory to performative abstraction.