Friday, December 27, 2013

:: baburnama ::

from Thackston's preface:

"Babur writes in his native tongue,  a language that had little or no literary pretensions, and his style is devoid of the sumptuous Persianate artifice and literary contrivance, with its penchant for rhyming synonym and seemingly endless parallel constructions, that characterize the Chaghatay prose of Sultan-Husayn Mirza and Ali-Sher Nawa'i."

"...bearing in mind that it is impossible to reproduce in English, with its centuries of literature, the ambiance of a book written in a language with few, if any, literary antecedents, like Chaghatay."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

v. woolf on reality . . .

"What is meant by 'reality'? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable -- now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now in a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech -- and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Picadilly. Sometimes, too, it seems to dwell in shapes too far away for us to discern what their nature is. But whatever it touches, it fixes and makes permanent. That is what remains over when the skin of the day has been cast into the hedge; that is what is left of past time and of our loves and hates. Now the writer, as I think, has the chance to live more than other people in the presence of this reality. It is his business to find it and collect it and communicate it to the rest of us."

v.woolf :: a room of one's own

"Like most uneducated Englishwomen, I like reading -- I like reading books in the bulk."


"I need not say that what I am about to describe has no existence; Oxbridge is an invention; so is Fernham; 'I' is only a convenient term for somebody who has no real being."

"The indifference of the world which Keats and and Flaubert and other men of genius have found so hard to bear was in her case not indifference but hostility. The world did not say to her as it said to them, Write if you choose; it makes no difference to me. The world said with a guffaw, Write? What's the good of your writing?"


"Her gift is all grown about with weeds and bound with briars."

"As it was, what could bind, tame or civilize for human use that wild, generous, untutored intelligence? It poured itself out, higgledy-piggledy, in torrents of rhyme and prose, poetry and philosophy which stand congealed in quartos and folios that nobody ever reads. She should have had a microscope put in her hand. She should have been taught to look at the stars and reason scientifically. Her wits were turned with solitude and freedom."


"She left her story, to which her entire devotion was due, to attend to some personal grievance. She remembered that she had been starved of her proper due of experience -- she had been made to stagnate in a parsonage mending stockings when she wanted to wander free over the world. Her imagination swerved from indignation and we feel it swerve. But there were many more influences than anger tugging at her imagination and deflecting it from its path. Ignorance, for instance. The portrait of Rochester is drawn in the dark. We feel the influence of fear in it; just as we constantly feel an acidity which is the result of oppression a buried suffering smoldering beneath her passion, a rancor which contracts those books, splendid as they are, with a spasm of pain."

"It is fatal for a woman to lay the least stress on any grievance; to plead even with justice any cause; in any way to speak consciously as a woman. And fatal is no figure of speech; for anything written with that conscious bias is doomed to death. It ceases to be fertilized. Brilliant and effective, powerful and masterly, as it may appear for a day or two, it must wither at nightfall; it cannot grow in the minds of others."


"Indeed, it was delightful to read a man's writing again. It was so direct, so straightforward after the writing of women. It indicated such freedom of mind, such liberty of person, such confidence in himself. One had a sense of physical well-being in the presence of this well-nourished, well-educated, free mind, which had never been thwarted or opposed, but had had full liberty from birth to stretch itself in whatever way it liked."

"But - here I turned a page or two, looking for something or other - the worst of it is that in the shadow of the letter 'I' all is shapeless as mist."


"By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dig deep into the stream."

"Do not dream of influencing other people, I would say, if I knew how to make it sound exalted. Think of things in themselves."


"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind."


Sunday, December 1, 2013

contemporary tibetan art/ists!


tsering nyandak

tenzin jigme

sonam dolma

poetry of gendun chopel.

selections, trans. by don lopez

In the youth of past, unseen today, there is no aging.
The maiden of the future, still unarrived, lives a human life, ever young.
The meeting of those two in the house of thoughts produced in the present:
This is the seed of all histories in the voices of migrators in the three realms.


First kiss the arms and under the arms
Then slowly kiss the belly.
Becoming more intoxicated, kiss the thighs and vulva;
Draw the streams of the channels into the sea.


Seeing this thread of the lightning of language
Connecting strings of body, speech, and knowledge,
The light from the minds of humans of like nature
Creates the sole stream radiating to each other.
With the great familiarity of a long-staying guest
In the snowy realm of Tibet, my borrowed homeland,
I will gather into one place and record
All the scattered ancient terms and latter-day expressions.