– photographs and messages from inside the Sausurrean Bar –

Category: other people’s writings

Archive for the ‘other people’s writings’ Category

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

There are doors

Things are really busy at the moment, so all I have for you is a photo that came about from a combination of learning the macro function of my new camera and the finer details of the photo editing software that came with said camera, and a quote by William Blake that one of my colleagues recently posted to his door, and which I think rings a lovely bell:


“In the universe, there are things that are known,
and things that are unknown,
and in between, there are doors.”
William Blake


Friday, April 22nd, 2011

I wish that could be me.

For five centuries the Colosseum nourished artists and writers, but it was precisely the features which conflicted with the original ‘truth’ of the Colosseum which triggered their creativity. The black Martyrs’ Cross, on whose steps sat Daisy Miller, Chateaubriand and Pauline de Beaumont. Moonlit solitude, and the owl’s cry heard by Byron. The spectral smoke which drifted away to reveal Cellini’s demons, Goethe’s geometries and Poe’s dizzying vortex of Eld. The hermit who grew his hay; William Beckford’s reverie in the cypresses; and Deakin’s Christ’s Thorn. All have gone, and the Colosseum is extinct. Today it is the most monumental bathos in Europe: a bald, dead and bare circle of stones. There are no shadows, no sands, no echoes and if a single flower blooms in a crevice it is sprayed with weed-killer. The monument is open to the public from nine-thirty a.m. to six p.m., when the gates are locked. At nightfall one day in the 1820s Stendhal watched an Englishman ride his horse through the deserted arena. I wish that could be me.

Woodward, Christopher. In Ruins. London: Vintage, 2001. page 30f.

Yes, once I make it to the colosseum, that photo is totally getting replaced. Still – different ruin, same phenomenon.

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Adieu, slow journeys

pic 373

Never again will we hear stamping on the road
The lively foot of a horse on the burning cobbles;
Adieu, slow journeys, distant noises that one hears,
The laughter of the passersby, the slow turning of the wheel,
The unexpected bend on varying slopes,
A friend met, the hours forgotten,
The hope of arriving late in the wild place.

Distance and time are defeated. Science
Traces around the earth a sad and straight road.
The world is reduced by our experience
And the equator is only too narrow a ring.
Chance is no longer. Everyone will slip along his line
Immobile in the single place which departure allots him,
Immersed in a silent and cold calculation.

A. de Vigny

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011


The corruption in things is not only the best argument for being progressive; it is also the only argument against being conservative. The conservative theory would really be quite sweeping and unanswerable if it were not for this one fact. But all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


Saturday, December 18th, 2010

There’s a certain slant of light…

… on winter afternoons.


There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
‘Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ’tis like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson