Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday February 3, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

Everything and Nothing

"I know what 'nothing' means…."

— Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990 paperback, page 214

"In 1935, near the end of a long affectionate letter to his son George in America, James Joyce wrote: 'Here I conclude. My eyes are tired. For over half a century they have gazed into nullity, where they have found a lovely nothing.'"

— Lionel Trilling, "James Joyce in His Letters," Commentary, 45, no. 2 (Feb. 1968), abstract

"The quotation is from The Letters of James Joyce, Volume III, ed. Richard Ellman (New York, 1966), p. 359. The original Italian reads 'Adesso termino. Ho gli occhi stanchi. Da più di mezzo secolo scrutano nel nulla dove hanno trovato un bellissimo niente.'"

— Lionel Trilling: Criticism and Politics, by William M. Chace, Stanford U. Press, 1980, page 198, Note 4 to Chapter 9

"Space: what you damn well have to see."

— James Joyce, Ulysses

"What happens to the concepts of space and direction if all the matter in the universe is removed save a small finite number of particles?"

— "On the Origins of Twistor Theory," by Roger Penrose

"… we can look to the prairie, the darkening sky, the birthing of a funnel-cloud to see in its vortex the fundamental structure of everything…"

Against the Day, by Thomas Pynchon (See previous entry.)

"A strange thing then happened."

L. Frank Baum

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