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Bill Marrs Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Bill Marrs" journal:

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June 29th, 2009
06:11 pm


Swinton on Jarman
"That the example you set us is as simple as a logo to sell a sports shoe; less chat, more action, less fiscal reports, more films, less paralysis, more process. Less deference. More dignity. Less money. More work. Less rules. More examples. Less dependence. More love."

This is a quote I liked by Tilda Swinton about Derek Jarman from the end of a documentary film she did about him (titled "Derek").

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March 20th, 2008
08:38 pm


Excerpts from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day. But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

-- from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

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March 1st, 2008
10:53 am


Excerpts from A Confederacy of Dunces
She offered Patrolman Mancuso a torn and oily cake box that looked as if it had been subjected to unusual abuse during someone's attempt to take all of the doughnuts at once At the bottom of the box Patrolman Mancuso found two withered pieces of doughnut out of which, judging by their moist edges, the jelly had been sucked.
"Thank you anyway, Miss Reilly. I had me a big lunch."

Then there were the noises that he had grown accustomed to over the years whenever his mother was preparing to leave the house: the plop of a hairbrush falling into the toilet bowl, the sound of a box of powder hitting the floor, the sudden exclamations of confusion and chaos.

"Oh," Ignatius said calmly and paused to chew on the tip of the hot dog that was sticking from his mouth like a cigar butt. "So that's who that obvious appendage of officialdom was. He looked like an arm of the bureaucracy. You can always tell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space where most other people have faces."

"That's even worse. Only degenerates go touring. Personally, I have been out of the city only once. By the way, have I ever told you about that particular pilgrimage to Baton Rouge? Outside the city limits there are many horrors."
"No. I don't wanna hear about it.
"Well, too bad for you. You might have gained some valuable insights from the traumatic tale of that trip. However, I am glad that you do not want to hear of it. The psychological and symbolic subtleties of the journey probably wouldn't be comprehended by a Paradise Vendor mentality. Fortunately, I've written it all down, and at some time in the future, the more alert among the reading public will benefit from my account of that abysmal sojourn into the swamps to the inner station of the ultimate horror."

At last I crossed Canal Street, pretending to ignore the attention paid me by all whom I passed. The narrow streets of the Quarter awaited me. A vagrant petitioned for a hot dog. I waved him away and strode forth. Unfortunately, my feet could not keep pace with my soul. Below my ankles, the tissues were crying for rest and comfort, so I placed the wagon at the curb and seated myself. The balconies of the old buildings hung over my head like dark branches in an allegorical forest of evil. Symbolically, a Desire bus hurtled past me, its diesel exhaust almost strangling me.

-- excerpts from A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

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January 31st, 2008
06:06 pm


Great Gatsby
He smiled understandingly--much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
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-- excerpts from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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05:41 pm


Gogol's Cloak
But Akakiy Akakievitch saw in all things the clean, even strokes of his written lines; and only when a horse thrust his nose, from some unknown quarter, over his shoulder, and sent a whole gust of wind down his neck from his nostrils, did he observe that he was not in the middle of a page, but in the middle of the street.

"Ah! I—to you, Petrovitch, this—" It must be known that Akakiy Akakievitch expressed himself chiefly by prepositions, adverbs, and scraps of phrases which had no meaning whatever. If the matter was a very difficult one, he had a habit of never completing his sentences; so that frequently, having begun a phrase with the words, "This, in fact, is quite—" he forgot to go on, thinking that he had already finished it.

-- excerpts from The Cloak by Nikolai Gogol

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January 19th, 2008
08:42 am


Tom Sawyer
And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement.

Then they began to lay their plans. Joe was for being a hermit, and living on crusts in a remote cave, and dying, some time, of cold and want and grief; but after listening to Tom, he conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a life of crime, and so he consented to be a pirate.

The moment he was gone, she ran to a closet and got out the ruin of a jacket which Tom had gone pirating in. Then she stopped, with it in her hand, and said to herself: "No, I don't dare. Poor boy, I reckon he's lied about it -- but it's a blessed, blessed lie, there's such a comfort come from it. I hope the Lord -- I know the Lord will forgive him, because it was such good-heartedness in him to tell it. But I don't want to find out it's a lie. I won't look."

"It is horrid, but I better, Becky; they might hear us, you know," and he shouted again. The "might" was even a chillier horror than the ghostly laughter, it so confessed a perishing hope. The children stood still and listened; but there was no result.

"Now less fetch the guns and things," said Huck. "No, Huck -- leave them there. They're just the tricks to have when we go to robbing. We'll keep them there all the time, and we'll hold our orgies there, too. It's an awful snug place for orgies." "What orgies?" "I dono. But robbers always have orgies, and of course we've got to have them, too.

-- excerpts from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

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January 9th, 2008
06:28 pm


Great God Pan
Villiers, that woman, if I can call her woman, corrupted my soul. The night of the wedding I found myself sitting in her bedroom in the hotel, listening to her talk. She was sitting up in bed, and I listened to her as she spoke in her beautiful voice, spoke of things which even now I would not dare whisper in the blackest night, though I stood in the midst of a wilderness.

The two men sat silent by the fireside; Clarke secretly congratulating himself on having successfully kept up the character of advocate of the commonplace, and Villiers wrapped in his gloomy fancies.

"No, it was more physical than mental. It was as if I were inhaling at every breath some deadly fume, which seemed to penetrate to every nerve and bone and sinew of my body. I felt racked from head to foot, my eyes began to grow dim; it was like the entrance of death."

And I forgot, as I have just said, that when the house of life is thus thrown open, there may enter in that for which we have no name, and human flesh may become the veil of a horror one dare not express. I played with energies which I did not understand, you have seen the ending of it.

-- excerpts from The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

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December 25th, 2007
08:05 am


ovine unsurprisedness at my perfidy
She was still young then, they both were, my father and mother, younger certainly than I am now. How strange a thing that is to think of. Everybody seems to be younger than I am, even the dead.

Life, authentic life, is suppose to be all struggle, unflagging action and affirmation, the will butting its blunt head against the world's wall, suchlike, but when I look back I see that the greater part of my energies was always given over to simple search for shelter, for comfort, for, yes, I admit it, for cosiness.

If her sense of herself were tainted, by doubt or feelings of foolishness or of lack of perspicacity, my reguard for her would itself be tainted. So there must be no confrontations, no brutal enlightenments, no telling of terrible truths. I might shake her by the shoulders until her bones rattled, I might throw her to the ground in disgust, bit I must not tell her that I loved her mother before I loved her, that she smelled of stale biscuits, or that Joe from the Field had remarked the green tinge of her teeth.

No, what unsettled me was the expression of acceptance in his glance, the ovine unsurprisedness at my perfidy. I had an urge to hurry after him and put a hand on his shoulder, not so that I might apologise or try to excuse myself for helping to humiliate him, but to make him look at me again, or, rather, to make him withdraw that other look, to negate it, to wipe the record of it from his eye.

I recall walking in the street with Anna one day after all her hair had fallen out and she spotted passing by on the opposite pavement a woman who was also bald. I do not know if Anna caught me catching the look they exchanged, the two of them, blank-eyed and at the same time sharp, sly, complicit. In all the endless twelvemonth of her illness I do not think I ever felt more distant from her than I did at that moment, elbowed aside by the sorority of the afflicted.

She was the fairground mirror in which all my distortions would be made straight. "Why not be yourself?" she would say to me in our early days together--be, mark you, not know--pitying my fumbling attempts to grasp the great world. Be yourself! Meaning, of course, Be anyone you like. That was the pact we made, that we would relieve each other of the burden of being the people whom everyone else told us we were.

-- excerpts from The Sea by John Banville

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December 18th, 2007
08:50 pm


brains without their concomitant physical structure
After what he had told, I could scarcely imagine what profounder secrets he was saving for the morrow; but at last it developed that his trip to Yuggoth and beyond - and my own possible participation in it - was to be the next day’s topic. He must have been amused by the start of horror I gave at hearing a cosmic voyage on my part proposed, for his head wabbled violently when I showed my fear. Subsequently he spoke very gently of how human beings might accomplish - and several times had accomplished - the seemingly impossible flight across the interstellar void. It seemed that complete human bodies did not indeed make the trip, but that the prodigious surgical, biological, chemical, and mechanical skill of the Outer Ones had found a way to convey human brains without their concomitant physical structure.

There was a harmless way to extract a brain, and a way to keep the organic residue alive during its absence. The bare, compact cerebral matter was then immersed in an occasionally replenished fluid within an ether-tight cylinder of a metal mined in Yuggoth, certain electrodes reaching through and connecting at will with elaborate instruments capable of duplicating the three vital faculties of sight, hearing, and speech. For the winged fungus-beings to carry the brain-cylinders intact through space was an easy matter. Then, on every planet covered by their civilisation, they would find plenty of adjustable faculty-instruments capable of being connected with the encased brains; so that after a little fitting these travelling intelligences could be given a full sensory and articulate life - albeit a bodiless and mechanical one - at each stage of their journeying through and beyond the space-time continuum. It was as simple as carrying a phonograph record about and playing it wherever a phonograph of corresponding make exists. Of its success there could be no question. Akeley was not afraid. Had it not been brilliantly accomplished again and again?

Excerpt from "The Whisper in Darkness" by H.P. Lovecraft.
November 10th, 2007
03:43 pm


The Day of the Locust
He got out of bed in sections, like a poorly made automaton, and carried his hands into the bathroom. He turned on the cold water. When the basin was full, he plunged his hands in up to the wrists. They lay quietly on the bottom like a pair of strange aquatic animals. When they were thoroughly chilled and began to crawl about, he lifted them out and hid them in a towel.

But he couldn't let well enough alone. He was impatient and began to prod at his sadness, hoping to make it acute and so still more pleasant. He had been getting pamphlets in the mail from a travel bureau and he thought of the trips he would never take. Mexico was only a few hundred miles away. Boats left daily for Hawaii.
His sadness turned to anguish before he knew it and became sour. He was miserable again. He began to cry.
Only those who still have hope can benefit from tears. When they finish, they feel better. But to those without hope, like Homer, whose anguish is basic and permanent, no good comes from crying. Nothing changes for them. They usually know this, but still can't help crying.

None of them really heard her. They were all too busy watching her smile, laugh, shiver, whisper, grow indignant, cross and uncross her legs, stick her tongue out, widen and narrow her eyes, toss her head so that her platinum hair splashed against the red plush of the chair back. The strange thing about her gestures and expressions was that they didn't really illustrate what she was saying. They were almost pure. It was as though her body recognized how foolish her words were and tried to excite her hearers into being uncritical. It worked that night; no one even thought of laughing at her. The only move they made was to narrow their circle about her.

-- excerpts from The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

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