Thursday, February 17

Cage's birds, Tillman's birds, Kafka's watchman

"We are free as birds. Only the birds aren't free. We are as committed as birds, and identically."

-John Cage, A Year from Monday

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"...their travails necessitated small, light brains; otherwise, with heavier, bigger brains, how could they manage flight and why would they go on living like that? If they could think, they might think, as many humans do, life is meaningless if all I do is fly back and forth."

-Lynne Tillman, "That's How Wrong My Love Is," Someday This Will All Be Funny

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"I ran past the first watchman. Then I was horrified, ran back again and said to the watchman: 'I ran through here while you were looking the other way.' The watchman gazed in front of him and said nothing. 'I suppose I really oughtn't to have done it,' I said. The watchman still said nothing. 'Does your silence indicate permission to pass?' ..."

-Franz Kafka, "The Watchman," Parables and Paradoxes

3 comments:

Dunia Berkarya said...

thanks good article to read, greetings from Indonesian bloggers.

Justin R. Morris said...

Wonderful. The Kafka one made me smile for some reason.

James said...

@ Dunia, thanks for reading, greetings to you and Indonesian bloggers.

@Justin, yeah, that's maybe my favorite very short story, period. Did you ever read DFW's essay in Harper's, "Laughing with Kafka?"