William Gass is ninety tomorrow. I needed to post this today. This is the traditional William Gass birthday post excerpt: from The Tunnel:
The other large carton unpacked in the same way - box into box - but the feeling it gave me was the opposite of that suggested by the endless nest of Russians dollies in otherwise resembled, for what I was opening was a den of spaces which now covered the floor near my feet. It was plain that every ten-by-ten-by eight container contained cubes which were nine by nine by seven, and eight by eight by six, and seven by seven by five, and so on down to three by three by two, as well as many smaller, thinly sided one at every interval in between, so that out of one box a million more might multiply, confirming Zeno's view, although at that age, with an unfurnished mind, I couldn't have known of his paradoxes let alone have been able to describe one with any succinctness. What I had discovered is that every space contains more space than the space it contains.
Like I said the past two years, that passage reminds me of a what I was trying to get at (much less successfully than Gass) with automocoblogography. I was thinking about it last night when I was deciding I won't go to another United home game tomorrow, driving backroads to RFK once as much of the fun as the game itself. United: it's gone. Lots is gone. Still, that post is one of my favorite things I've written, and remember that template? Yes, I branded it onto the new template last night, no one rightly cares. I did it for me. I deleted it for me too. Fuck me.
Here's what I bought Sunday night for William T Vollmann's 55th birthday yesterday, his new:
- To the extent that the dead live on, the living must resemble them.
- Confessing such resemblance, we should not reject the possibility that we might at this moment be dead.
- Since life and death are the only two states which we can currently postulate, then to the extent that they are the same, immortality, and even eternal consciousness, seems possible.
- We do not remember what we might have been before birth. This, and only this, gives hope of oblivion. - Insufficient!
- Many religions, not to mention our own egocentric incapacity to imagine the world without us, collude in asserting the existence of an afterlife.
- The universe is a best indifferent. Since eternal consciousness would be the worst torture possible, and God's own writings under various aliases hint at such a possibility, why not expect it?
- Besides, a ghost told me so.
William T. Vollmann - Last Stories and Other Stories.
Vollmann, among many things, writes about the how valuing one's complicity as contributing to clusterfuck is banal self-indulgence, a drip in self-regard's IV. I didn't know it was Vollmann's birthday on Monday when I bought the book Sunday evening, Blessed be Serendipity.
Fucked be the world. This is the Holiest Week of Egoslavia with High Holy Days for John Ashberry, William Gass, Kate Bush, Jerry Garcia, and Herman Melville, the 28th, 30th, 31st, 1st, 2nd. Fuck me. I started the week, I'll finish the week. Play this loud please or don't play it loud or don't play it at all: