For this statement to make sense you have to understand the nature of the Yugoslavian brand of Communism. Take architects, for example, Say a public building is to be made. In Communism it's not the best architect who gets to make the building; it's the guy (almost always a man) with seniority in the Party who happens to be an architect that gets to make the building. And to get seniority you have to kiss a lot of ass, sit on committees for stuff you know nothing about, endure years of boring speeches, write and deliver years of borking speeches, and get drunk nightly with the bigwigs to show that you're involved in both the community and its social life. By then you're 90 percent bureaucrat and 2 percent architect. This is the reason why the public buildings in the Balkans all look like filing cabinets and why, in turn, they are almost always called "homes" (Home of Health, Home of the Youth, Home of the Workers, Home of the Army): to evoke that warm feeling inside to compensate for their actual soullessness. It's shit in your mouth, but officially it's called ice cream.
“So you seek safety in your sentences? Well, they seem safe, safe as sofas. Safe as sticks before they detonate. For if some smooth Bible-shitter mistranslates his text, for instance, sick from what he’s eaten maybe, drunk, malicious, who knows? does it matter? can we care? He may alter history for a thousand years—hence for a thousand thousand—hence forever.”
“The window of the car would not roll up and Lou’s face looked warm from the cold wind as if freshly slapped or shamed or elsewhere loved. My hand fell to hers, too, somewhat like a discarded glove, and she took it with a squeeze, so that the chilled soon lay within the chilled, I thought, like a bottle of champagne. Cold hand, moist part, I said. Hers slipped away.”
"Sing of disappointments more repeated than the batter of the sea, of lives embittered by resentments so ubiquitious the ocean’s salt seems thinly shaken, of letdowns local as the sofa where I copped my freshman’s feel, of failures as frequent as first love, first nights, last stands; do not warble of arms or adventureous deeds or shepherds playing on their private fifes, or of civil war or monarchies at swords; consider rather the slightly squinkered clerk, the soul which has become as shabby and soiled in its seat as worn-out underwear, a life lit like a lonely room and run like a laddered stocking.
Behold the sagging tit, the drudge-gray mopped-out cunt-corked wife, stale as yesterday’s soapy water, or study the shiftless kid, seedy before any bloom, thin and mean as a weed in a walk;
smell the grease that stands in the pan like a second skin, the pan aslant on some fuel-farting stove, the stove in its corner contributing what it can to the brutal conviviality of close quarters;
let depression like time-payments weigh you down; feel desperation and despair like dust thick in the rug and the ragged curtains, or carry puppy pee and plate-scrapings, wrapped in the colored pages of the Sunday paper, out to the loose and blowing, dog-jawed heap in the alley;
spend your money on large cars, loud clothes, sofa-sized paintings, excursions to Hawaii, trinkets, knickknacks, fast food, golf clubs, call girls, slimming salons, booze;
"So sentences are copied, constructed, or created; they are uttered, mentioned, or used; each says, means, implies, reveals, connects; each titillates, invites, conceals, suggests; and each is eventually either consumed or conserved; nevertheless, the lines in Stevens or the sentences of Joyce or James, pressed by one another into being as though the words before and the words after were those reverent hands both Rilke and Rodin have celebrated, clay calling to clay like mating birds, concept responding to concept the way passionate flesh congests, every note a nipple on the breast, at once a triumphant pinnacle and perfect conclusion, like pelted water, I think I said, yet at the same time only another anonymous cell, and selfless in its service to the shaping skin as lost forgotten matter is in all walls; these lines, these sentences, are not quite uttered, not quite mentioned, peculiarly employed, strangely listed, oddly used, as though a shadow were the leaves, limbs, trunk of a new tree, and the shade itself were thrust like a dark torch into the grassy air in the same slow and forceful way as its own roots, entering the earth, roughen the darkness there till all its freshly shattered facets shine against themselves as teeth do in the clenched jaw; for Rabelais was wrong, blue is the color of the mind in borrow of the body; it is the color consciousness becomes when caressed; it is the dark inside of sentences, sentences which follow their own turnings inward out of sight like the whorls of a shell, and which we follow warily, as Alice after that rabbit, nervous and white, till suddenly—there! climbing down clauses and passing through ‘and’ as it opens—there—there—we’re here!…in time for tea and tantrums; such are the sentences we should like to love—the ones which love us and themselves as well—incestuous sentences—sentences which make an imaginary speaker speak the imagination loudly to the reading eye; that have a kind of orality transmogrified: not the tongue touching the genital tip, but the idea of the tongue, the thought of the tongue, word-wet to part-wet, public mouth to private, seed to speech, and speech…ah! after exclamations, groans, with order gone, disorder on the way, we subside through sentences like these, the risk of senselessness like this, to float like leaves on the restful surface of that world of words to come, and there, in peace, patiently to dream of the sensuous, and mindful Sublime."
I don't intend to read [James] Atlas. There is a parallel between his book and the towel with which the bartender cleans the bar. What strikes me uncomfortably about Atlas is that he has great appeal for my detractors. He was born to please them. Another match made in heaven.
"...So I recorded a song called 'D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).' It wasn't because I was trying to destroy the career of anyone in particular. I wanted to kill Auto-Tune like Kurt Cobain killed the hair bands."
"On Sunday Lytton came to tea. I was alone, for L. went to Margaret. I enjoyed it very much. He is one of the most supple of our friends; I don't mean passionate or masterful or original, but the person whose mind seems softest to impressions, least starched by any formality or impediment. There is his great gift of expression of course, never (to me) at its best in writing; but making him in some respects the most sympathetic & understanding friend to talk to. Moreover, he has become, or now shows it more fully, curiously gentle, sweet tempered, considerate; & if one adds his peculiar flavour of mind, his wit & infinite intelligence — not brain but intelligence — he is a figure not to be replaced by any other combination."
"Google had gotten a lot of flak for its impersonal interface style—some thought its programs and search pages so plain as to be ugly. 'It’s like they almost want it to be insipid,' says Andy Hertzfeld, a former Macintosh wizard now at Google. Many decisions were made by testing rather than aesthetics—sometimes a minor tweak in spacing or the shade of a color could result in millions of dollars lost or gained in AdWord clicks. Also, Larry Page, wary of anything that would degrade performance, would routinely bounce any interface element with clever frills such as animation. 'Artsy' designers seldom lasted long in the company, and one defector left behind a blistering blog post on Google’s visual shortcomings. The fact was, Google didn’t want to be beautiful. Marissa Mayer, the fierce protector of Google’s look, once quelled an incipient revolt by designers by finally defining what rankled her about a stunning design submitted to her. 'It looks like a human was involved in choosing what went where,' Marissa told them. 'It looks too editorialized. Google products are machine-driven. They’re created by machines. And that is what makes us powerful. That’s what makes our products great.' In other words, the message Google wanted to convey was that its products had no human bias. 'It was like this lightbulb went off,' says Margaret Stewart, a key curator of the Google interface. 'Marissa said Google products are machine-driven. It was the locked-up principle that had never been expressed, and that was of enormous assistance to us.'"
"And [Charles Ephrussi] was a friend of the artists. 'It is now Thursday,' writes Manet to Charles, 'and I still haven't heard from you. You are evidently enthralled by your host's wit ... Come on, take up your very best pen and get on with it.'
"Charles bought a picture of some asparagus from Manet, one of his extraordinary small still lifes, where a lemon or rose is lambent in the dark. It was a bundle of twenty stalks bound in straw. Manet wanted 800 francs for it, a substantial sum, and Charles, thrilled, sent 1,000. A week later Charles received a small canvas signed with a simple M in return. It was a single asparagus stalk laid across a table with an accompanying note: 'This seems to have slipped from the bundle.'"