Posts tagged Vancouver
Like the great medieval commentators, Benjamin demonstrated by example that commentary may be an instrument of originality. And in his case, not only of originality, but also of redemption: in Benjamin’s view, interpretation does not so much discover meaning as release it, and loose it upon the world so as to liberate it. Benjamin read messianically. Insight, for him, was a variety of intoxication.
Leon Wieseltier, preface to Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations
Yet take care to avoid the “aspiration to cultural power — a dazzling distraction from the possibility that there may be nothing lasting at the core.”
It seems a great, kind, beautiful gift when Wieseltier says, “Benjamin’s work is evidence of the light that a religious sensibility may shine upon secular existence.”
The human person, like Israel, is invited, expected, and insistently urged to engage in a genuine interaction that is variously self-asserting and self-abandoning, yielding and initiative-taking.
Walter Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament
Let’s be real: it’s been a tough summer. It’s been a really good one, I wrote a week or two ago, “oddly and unexpectedly.” Barefoot sidewalk, brambley, pebbly, climbing, sitting, solitary summer (blackberries really do have thorns: they are brambles, Sleeping Beauty-style!); a photogenic one, but a difficult one, but a good one.
Nolan and I were in the car on Sunday waiting for the bridge to go down, playing KANYE (the song, not the artist) very, very loudly with the windows down, and it was so so so good. Maybe a few days here and there have been enough to make it a social summer, quiet as it’s been. This morning became much better with the song coming on again, loud loud loud in my ears.
O Friends, I’ll love you ’til the record stops. Which, really, is never.
Writing to you on the Fourth of July from Vancouver, Canada — for yes, dear reader, I’ve moved. I packed two bags and moved with them across the continent, switching coasts and countries, and I didn’t even bring a suitcase. (The three boxes of books arrive next week.)
I haven’t much to say, much to share. My job has me thinking and writing all day, so my brain craves fiction — an unfamiliar feeling. I reread The End of the Affair on the plane, and then, my hunt for more Graham Greene foiled by the small bookstore down the street, J. G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun (not my favorite), then — triumph! — Greene in The Tenth Man, and now, I’m beginning Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. I adore it already, and it made me a friend in the chain-bookstore cashier, too.
Signing off early: it’s been a busy three weeks. More soon — don’t I always say that? Why do you stick around?
P.S. Photos recycled, which I believe is a terrible travesty, but my parents haven’t seen them, at least. Vancouver x2, and a weekend whirl in Seattle. beautiful.