Friday, December 20, 2013

they've got the right idea, that lot

"Never says no, that Alyoshka [the Baptist], whatever you ask him to do. If everybody in the world was like him, I'd be the same. Help anybody who asked me. Why not? They've got the right idea, that lot." 
[from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich]

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

debate about art in the Gulag

"'Yes, but art isn't what you do, it's how you do it.' 
Kh-123 reared up and chopped at the table with his hand. 
'I don't give a damn how you do it if it doesn't awaken good feelings in me!'"
[from Aleksandra Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich]

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

for I, except you entrall me, never shall be free

Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. 
[John Donne]