Category Archives: Worth quoting

Breaking into the mansion

The mansion was the way I’d always feared a mansion would be, only more so. In my fear I’d never managed to conjure the spectacular astounding details. A quick inventory of only this one room made me hate myself. Made me hate myself and all my type that came before me. This mansion was sixteen levels higher than any place I’d ever been among.

As I stared about – gawked, probably – I likely blushed pink to go along with those trembles.

I’d say what such things as I saw in that room were, if I knew the proper names of such things, though I’d bet heavy I’ve never heard those names spoken. I’m sure such things have personal names – those moody lampshades made of beadwork, and a chair and a footstool put together with, like, weaved leather hung on frames of curled iron or polished rare bones, maybe, and end tables that had designs stabbed into them and stuffed with gold leaf or something precious, a small and swank desk over by the far wall, and a bookshelf so old our Revolution must’ve happened off to the sides of it, carved up with fine points and nicely shined, with a display of tiny statues and dolls arranged just so all across it.

Pretty soon I crawled away from the light, back to the dark parts of the mansion. That sinking feeling set in. Truly, I felt scared, embarrassed for the poorly decorated life I was born to.

The mansion is not but about a rifle shot distant from the trailer park, but it seemed like I’d undergone interplanetary travel. I’d never collided with this world before.

– Daniel Woodrell, Tomato Red

On the popular arts

“Once I was asked by a certain person to suggest a plot for a movie.  I was able to reply immediately.

How about having some poor, impoverished old man run down by a rich man’s automobile, I said.  He dies and his son goes to work in a factory, but, involved in a strike, he is arrested, charged with a crime he did not commit.  The poor old mother, left behind, is ill and has no money to buy food, much less medicine.  The daughter, Miss Something-or-other, gives up the piecework she has been doing, pasting boxes together, and sells herself as a geisha.  While she is thus caring for her mother, she acquires syphilis and loses the sight of both eyes, and so the whole family dies of starvation.

How would that be? I asked.  You would have them wailing in the aisles.

He looked at me with wide eyes, said that I seemed to have dangerous thoughts he had not suspected me of, and did not come again.”

– Nagai Kafu

nagai kafu

Nagai Kafu