Lebbeus Woods, renegade architect, someone who threads his politics into his designs and appreciates one essential fact of human existence, how we organises the spaces in which we live is not a mere aesthetic question.
Raymond Williams on why the Labour left ends up being into Labour as an electoral machine and integrated into moderate politics. Written back in 1968 and unfortunately – despite the massive increase in the Labour left under Corbyn – this is the same picture today
One of the worst aspects of Labourism is the tendency to use political categories and labels interchangeably. Tom Watson’s latest attack on Corbyn is no different
The decision to revoke the citizenship of Shamima Begum is racist. Continue reading Shamima Begum and British racism
The US poet Walt Whitman on humanity
The newly formed The Independent Group has already picked up 8 Labour MPs, with more scheduled to follow and they may be joined by a few Tories and the Liberal Democrats. People are calling this a Blairite split, but let’s look a little more closely.
What if… The Nazis invaded Britain in 1940? Continue reading It happened here
The final scene in Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’ when Albert Finney’s ailing father figure is being carried into the river by his son, surrounded by all the fantastical people he had fashioned who live in his memories, a character who lived a life of myth, a vision of what he wanted it to be when he was a younger man (played with innocent wit by Ewan MacGregor)… being carried into the river to finally become the big fish that he always wanted to be and knew in his heart he was…. Well, that scene really packs a punch.
Don’t expect me to be sane anymore.
Don’t let’s be sensible. It was a marriage at Louveciennes—you can’t dispute it. I came away with pieces of you sticking to me; I am walking about, swimming, in an ocean of blood, your Andalusian blood, distilled and poisonous […] I saw you as the mistress of your home, a Moor with a heavy face, a negress with a white body, eyes all over your skin, woman, woman, woman. I can’t see how I can go on living away from you—these intermissions are death. How did it seem to you when Hugo came back? Was I still there? I can’t picture you moving about with him as you did with me. Legs closed. Frailty. Sweet, treacherous acquiescence. Bird docility. You became a woman with me. I was almost terrified by it. You are not just thirty years old—you are a thousand years old.
Here I am back and still smouldering with passion, like wine smoking.
Not a passion any longer for flesh, but a complete hunger for you, a devouring hunger.
I read the paper about suicides and murders and I understand it all thoroughly. I feel murderous, suicidal. I feel somehow that it is a disgrace to do nothing, to just bide one’s time, to take it philosophically, to be sensible. Where has gone the time when men fought, killed, died for a glove, a glance, etc? (A victrola is playing that terrible aria from Madama Butterfly—”Some day he’ll come!”)
I still hear you singing in the kitchen—a sort of inharmonic, monotonous Cuban wail. I know you’re happy in the kitchen and the meal you’re cooking is the best meal we ever ate together. I know you would scald yourself and not complain. I feel the greatest peace and joy sitting in the dining room listening to you rustling about, your dress like the goddess Indra studded with a thousand eyes.
Anais, I only thought I loved you before; it was nothing like this certainty that’s in me now.
Was all this so wonderful only because it was brief and stolen?
Were we acting for each other, to each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness to believe that this could go on? When and where would the drab moments begin? I study you so much to discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don’t find them—not any. That means I am in love, blind, blind. To be blind forever! (Now they’re singing “Heaven and Ocean” from La Gioconda.)…
While it thunders and lightnings I lie on the bed and go through wild dreams. We’re in Seville and then in Fez and then in Capri and then in Havana. We’re journeying constantly, but there is always a machine and books, and your body is always close to me and the look in your eyes never changes. People are saying we will be miserable, we will regret, but we are happy, we are laughing always, we are singing. We are talking Spanish and French and Arabic and Turkish. We are admitted everywhere and they strew our path with flowers.
I say this is a wild dream—but it is this dream I want to realize. Life and literature combined, love the dynamo, you with your chameleon’s soul giving me a thousand loves, being anchored always in no matter what storm, home wherever we are. In the mornings, continuing where we left off. Resurrection after resurrection. You asserting yourself, getting the rich varied life you desire; and the more you assert yourself the more you want me, need me. Your voice getting hoarser, deeper, your eyes blacker, your blood thicker, your body fuller. A voluptuous servility and tyrannical necessity. More cruel now than before—consciously, wilfully cruel. The insatiable delight of experience.
August 14, 1932