From Henry Miller's The Colossus of Maroussi.
Henry's leaving Marseilles on a boat heading toward the Athens port of Piraeus where Lawrence Durrell is to meet him and take him to Corfu. Henry decides to get acquainted with certain passengers on the boat:
"Quiet by accident the first friend I made was a Greek medical student returning from Paris. We spoke French together. The first evening we talked until three or four in the morning, mostly about Knut Hamsun, whom I discovered the Greeks were passionate about. It seemed strange at first to be taking abut this genius of the North whilst sailing into warm waters. But that conversation taught me immediately that the Greeks are an enthusiastic, curious-minded, passionate people. Passion--it was something I had long missed in France. Not only passion, but contradictoriness, confusion, chaos--all these sterling human qualities I rediscovered and cherished again in the person of my new-found friend....
"The next day I opened conversation with the others--a Turk, a Syrian, some students from Lebanon, an Argentine man of Italian extraction. The Turk aroused my antipathies almost at once. He had a mania for logic which infuriated me. It was bad logic too. And like the others, all of whom I violently disagreed with, I found in him an expression of the American spirit at its worst. Progress was their obsession. More machines, more efficiency, more capital, more comforts--that was their whole talk. I asked them if they'd heard of the millions who were unemployed in America. They ignored the question. I asked them if they realized how empty, restless and miserable the American people were with all their machine-made luxuries and comforts. They were impervious to my sarcasm. What they wanted was success--money, power, a place in the sun. None of them wanted to return to their own country; for some reason they had all of them been obliged to return against their will. They all said there was no life for them in their own country. When would life begin? I wanted to know. When they had all the things which America had?... Life was made up of things, of machines mainly, from what I could gather. Life without money was an impossibility: one had to have clothes, a good home, a radio, a car, a tennis racquet, and so on. I told them I had none of those things and that I was happy without them, that I had turned my back on America precisely because these things meant nothing to me. They said I was the strangest American they had ever met" [pp. 5-7, New Directions Paperback, 24th printing].
"'Leisure' doesn't refer to indolence or quiescence--What it connotes is non-productive consumption of time" [p. 46, The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen].
"I'm an anarchist. I don't make laws for other people, just myself" [the late Utah Phillips].
"No man could stand being overshadowed by a successful wife.... Love and ambition can coexist in a man but not in a woman" [pp 5, 6, From Reverence to Rape, Molly Haskell].
"It's good to be fast" [from an AT&T Blackberry television ad].
"You push people against a wall and start strangling them--nowhere in history do oppressed people in that situation have ever said 'Thank you.'" [Grandpa Al Lewis on his WBAI-FM radio broadcast from 2001].
"Baseball is our game, the American game: I connect it with our national character" [Baseball Is Our Game, Walt Whitman].
"...an interest in any art-activity from poetry to baseball is better, broadly speaking, if held as a part of life, or of a life, than it sets itself up as a whole" [Preface to 114 Songs by Charles Ives].
"Don't let your worries get ahead of your long-term goals" [an Edward Jones Financial Planners television commercial].
A definition of "Gremlin": "Gremlin. One of a tribe of imaginary elves, to whom the RAF in World War II attributed inexplicable faults in their aeroplanes. The phrase was coined just before this war by a squadron of Bomber Command serving on the N.W. Frontier in India. It was compounded from Grimm's Fairy Tales, the only book available in the mess, and Fremlin, whose beer was the only drink available. It first appeared in print in Charles Graves's Thin Blue Line (1941), the author having heard it previously used by Group Captain Cheshire, V.C., at a Yorkshire airfield" [from The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, 1993 Wordsworth Editions Ltd. This book was originally the work of Ebenezer Cobham Brewer].
"Invention comes from people of special talent and genius, not from those who are circumscribed by routine" [p. 2o8, Stompin' the Blues, Albert Murray].
"Industry is effort that goes to create a new thing; with a new purpose by the fashioning hand of its maker out of passive ('brute') material; while exploit, so far as it results in an outcome useful to the agent, is the conversion to his own ends of energies previously directed to some other end by another agent" [p 28, The Theory of the Leisure Class, Thorstein Veblen].
"Configuration, structure, theme, structural relationship (Korzybski) or meaningful organized whole most closely approximate the originally German word Gestalt, for which there is no exact English equivalent. As a linguistic example: pal and lap contain the same elements, but the meaning is dependent upon the order of the letters within their Gestalt. Again, bridge has the meaning of a game of cards or a structure joining two river banks. This time the meaning depends upon the context in which 'bridge' appears. The color lilac looks bluish against a red background, red against a blue background. The context in which an element appears is called in Gestalt psychology the 'ground' against which the 'figure' stands out" [p. ix, Introduction, Gestalt Therapy, by Perls, Hefferline, Goodman, 1951, Delta Book, Dell Publishing].
for The Daily Growler
Added Attraction From thedrummerboyfromcollegepoint: A cool blog featuring an interview with a young Miles Davis. Check it out: