Friday, July 31, 2020

What I Had Discovered Is That Every Space Contains More Space Than the Space It Contains

William Gass born ninety-six years ago yesterday  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 it 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.

That passage reminds me what I'm trying to get at here (2020: everywhere) though of course Gass does it better (2020: considering a WIHDITESCMSTTSIC tattoo first before the IHTWTGADTLWLIPTD tattoo)

More Gass here from here

From The Tunnel, read out loud if you can, if you want:

Also too:

Excerpt from The Tunnel
William Gass

I built, of blocks, a town three hundred thousand strong, whose avenues were paved with a wine-colored rug and decorated by large leaves outlined inappropriately in orange, and on this leafage I'd often park my Tootsie Toy trucks, as if on pads of camouflage, waiting their deployment against catastrophes which included alien invasions, internal treachery, and world war. It was always my intention, and my conceit, to use up, in the town's construction, every toy I possessed: my electronic train, of course, the Lincoln Logs, old kindergarten blocks—their deeply incised letters always a problem—the Erector set, every lead soldier that would stand (broken ones were sent to the hospital), my impressive array of cars, motorcycles, tanks, and trucks—some with trailers, some transporting gas, some tows, some dumps—and my squadrons of planes, my fleet of ships, my big and little guns, an undersized group of parachute people (looking as if one should always imagine them high in the sky, hanging from threads), my silversided submarines, along with assorted RR signs, poles bearing flags, prefab houses with faces pasted in their windows, small boxes of a dozen variously useful kinds, strips of blue cloth for streams and rivers, and glass jars for town water towers, or, in a pinch, jails. In time, the armies, the citizens, even the streets would divide: loyalties, friendships, certainties, would be undermined, the city would be shaken by strife; and marbles would rain down from formerly friendly planes, steeples would topple onto cars, and shellfire would soon throw aggie holes through homes, soldiers would die accompanied by my groans, and ragged bands of refugees would flee toward mountain caves and other chairs and tables.

O! Jerry born seventy-eight years ago tomorrow, gonna bump his traditional BLCKDGRD Holy Day to today because (a) there's yet another BLCKDGRD Holy Day tomorrow and (b) because you'll see, or not.

Jerry Garcia was born 78 years ago tomorrow. Something else I say once a year: that 4/12/78 Durham show ▲? , one of the five best nights of my life, the buzz, the girl and that week, the intimacy of the venue, the Dead on (despite the shitty recording - trust me). Saw dozens of dozens of shows, others who have can vouch too, there were stinkers, there were the many meh minus to meh plus shows (though, with few exceptions, BLAST was had), then there were the shows when the band clicked, as infrequent as a come-from-behind walk-off home run home game, and made all the mehs and stinkers worth it.

Click THIS for LOTS more songs. Was at this show too:


  1. 1) i only went to a grateful dead show once - august 1991, shoreline amphitheatre, mountain view, california - my perception was that it was a shared religious experience, a connection with one's fellow devotees and a participation in the ongoing activity of the creative forces of the universe

    2)gass grimly and determinedly asserts he writes out of hate

    3)i am reminded of something i quoted in the comments here three months ago

    which begins

    “To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love,” the great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh admonished in his terrific treatise on how to love — a sentiment profoundly discomfiting in the context of our cultural mythology, which continually casts love as something that happens to us passively and by chance, something we fall into, something that strikes us arrow-like, rather than a skill attained through the same deliberate practice as any other pursuit of human excellence. Our failure to recognize this skillfulness aspect is perhaps the primary reason why love is so intertwined with frustration.

    That’s what the great German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, and philosopher Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980) examines in his 1956 masterwork The Art of Loving — a case for love as a skill to be honed the way artists apprentice themselves to the work on the way to mastery, demanding of its practitioner both knowledge and effort.

  2. Always look forward to this date and post because of these just desserts.

  3. Good to see you're still doing this. A lot of water has gone over the dam. Damn. But here we are, still.