PART ONE: GOING LONG
After Doctor Faustus defeated me last year, I developed a low-level psychic hum, an unease around a readerly question: could I still go long? I mean Don Quixote long; the three-volume Autobiography of Mark Twain long; The Complete Poems of Heinrich Heine long (982 pages, English only, translated from the German by Hal Draper). And what about Gibbon’s Decline and Fall? What, for cryin’ out loud, about Proust? Well, it so happened I’d embarked on such an adventure in 2020 with the first volume of Rodrigo Fresán’s three-book novel (not a trilogy, but one vast Proustian novel), The Invented Part. The third volume wasn’t available then, so I skipped a couple of years in order to read the final two sections, The Dreamed Part and The Remembered Part. They more or less book-ended (hah!) my 2023 and proved to myself that I could still go long. Best of all, the three novels altogether offer a large-hearted, mind-expanding experience, full of wit and insight and passion. But how many more years will going long be possible for me? The “Mother of Muses” Dylan sings about must know. But I doubt she’ll tell me any time soon.
As for the books before, between, and after my two Fresáns, they’re listed below. I recommend all of these (the two or three I read with, ultimately, little pleasure have been dropped from the list), although among my personal “short list” are those whose titles are shown in green.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
|Create Dangerously: The Power and Responsibility of the Artist
|Jeremy Bannister, or The Ups and Downs of an Aspiring Novelist
|Running Meter Press
|The Dreamed Part
|Farrar, Straus & Giroux
|All Souls Day
|Liberties 3:2 (Winter 2023)
|Liberties Journal Foundation
|The Newton Letter
|Farrar, Straus & Giroux
|Portrait of the Artist, as an Old Man
|Simon & Schuster
|The Long Take, or A Way to Lose More Slowly
|The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams
|William Carlos Williams
|Late Summer Ode
|Olena Kalytiak Davis
|Copper Canyon Press
|A Painted Field
|The Open Eye
|Leonard D. Moore
|Rivers & Mountains Press
|The Geography of Jazz
|Leonard D. Moore
|Rivers & Mountains Press
|Leonard D. Moore
|Wet Cement Press
|The Oxfordian 24
|Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship
|Faces Hidden in the Dust: The Selected Ghazals of Ghalib
|White Pine Press
|Tony Barnstone and Bilal Shaw
|A Different Distance: A Renga
|Marilyn Hacker and Karthika Naïr
|Abacus of Loss: A Memoir in Verse
|University of Arkansas Press
|Near to the Wild Heart
|Brief Homage to Pluto and Other Poems
|Princeton University Press
|Portrait Before Dark
|Saint Julian Press
|Liberties 3:3 (Spring 2023)
|Liberties Journal Foundation
|Questions About the Ride
|Main Street Rag
|Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence
|A Broken Man in Flower
|A Sleepwalk on the Severn
|W. W. Norton
|Farrar, Straus & Giroux
|Journal of My Father’s Last Days: Issa’s Chichi no Shūen Nikki
|Vol. 39, No. 1
|Robert N. Huey
|W. W. Norton
|Reprint of original edition
|Translated from the Russian
|And Now, Nowhere But Here
|Night Sky with Exit Wounds
|Copper Canyon Press
|The Big Sleep
|Farewell, My Lovely
|François Villon’s The Legacy & The Testament
|Story Line Press
|The Philosophy of Modern Song
|Simon & Schuster
|The Forest of Childhood: Poems from Sweden
|Johannes Edfelt, Harry Martinson, Artur Lundkvist, Kjell Hjern, Ǒsten Sjöstrand, Folke Isaksson, Lars Lundkvisdt, Kersten Thorék, Lars Gustafsson, Elisabeth Rynell
|New Rivers Press
|Edited and Translated by William Jay Smith and Leif Sjöberg
|Farrar, Straus & Giroux
|Liberties 3:4 (Summer 2023)
|Liberties Journal Foundation
|A Halo of Flies: Uncollected Poems, Lyics, and Selected Prose on Poetry
|Poetry and Prose
|Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master
|Dana Levin and Adele Elise Williams
|Unsung Masters Series
|Poetry and Prose
|Collected Poems 1939-1989
|William Jay Smith
|On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
|Simon & Schuster
|Down to the Bone
|Amy Wray Irish
|Wild Rising Press
|Those Last Few Moments of Light: Poems of the Dead Boy
|J. R. Thelin
|The Remembered Part
|A Time in Xanadu
|Copper Canyon Press
|The Thinking Root: The Poetry of Earliest Greek Philosophy
PART TWO: SELECTED EXTRACTS (a.k.a., “I Lied”)
Last year about this time I wrote, “I will be going back to handwritten extracts in good old journals or notes books.” True confession: I started to do that but in the end went back to typing extracts into the more fulsome version of the grid you see above. I deny that this was due to laziness! No, it was due to an already unsteady hand that seems to have declined into a scrawl. My first few entries were unreadable to me when I went back to them. Another example of Time’s cold brutality.
In any case, here are the extracts from various books listed in Part One. Enjoy!
Rodrigo Fresán, The Dreamed Part:
Family as subject is one of the two pillars of the novelistic genre. The other pillar is the solitary journey. 
The Canadian writer Robertson Davies also invoked the Russian word—”shamanstvo”—and cmopared it “to the silk-spinning and web-casting gift of the spider: and the writer who makes use of it “must not only have something to say, some story to tell or some wisdom to impart, but he must have a characteristic way of doing it….” 
… [W]hat Franz Kafka in his Diaries called “the essence of magic.” Something only comes and arrives if it’s called with the precise word and by the right name. Something that “does not create but summons.” Something that ceased to create when no one summoned it. 
Writers are bonsais who dream they are oaks. 
When you sleep you neither consume nor consult and don’t contribute to the growthj and perfection of your persona algorithm/robot portrait that needs to be monitored more or less periodically by databases of secruity agencies and stock exchange. And so, lat capitalism like the only economic system that never sleeps. Like sharks.” 
[W]hen you sleep badly or don’t sleep well, it’s been proven that the brain begins to create false memories. Cryptomnesia, they call it: the paradox that the impossibility of dreaming leas you to invent yourself a dreamed life, a waking-dream past that ends. up swallowiing the nightmare of the real. 
[Y]ou can be interesting for more years than you can be attractive. 
Now, editorial departments were virtual, places in the air and always on the verge of crashing, you connected to via cables and antennas. And journalism was virtual too. For a while now, the fixed or to-be-fixed idea that writing was done with no hope for remuneration beyond the one-off mention and the fleeting attention. Editorial straategy where the work of the cultural editors consisted of, basically, receiving spiels and responses via email. Bombarding you as if you were a family member when Kurt Vonnegut died or when they gave Bob Dylan the Nobel (to get him to recount his enounters with both; to his bewilderment, he’d received more congratulations for thje latter’s recent award than for any of his own books or achievements). Or when, spurred on byu the global psychosis cause by so many confessional blogs and comments where nobody showed their face but just their alias (more and more of them abandoned by their onetime proud owners, rusting in the air like those ars on the side of the road, that subject of fiction versus reality (what was true and what false in stories and ovels)—oh so scandaloously new and modern for so many, and as old as humanity for hyim—became “hip.” 
Nothing mattered less to him than reality, because, in his opinion, reality was always poorly written. 
[S]ooner or later everyone ends up an exiled king of their own childhood, driven mad by the memory of youth in a world far wider than the world of adult life, fearing that a shadow of that past will catch up to it and sacrifice it in its name and its story. 
A book with all times at the same time, which, when seen all at once, produce an image of life that’s beautiful and surprising and deep. There;s no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no cause, no effect. Nothing but marvelous moments, where invention is the control, dreams the entropy, and memory somewhere in between, somnambulant and ambulating through what’s created while awake and what’s thought while asleep. 
Adam Zgajewski, True Life:
A Provincial Roman Town
The town swept clean by archaeologists
no longer holds secrets.
Since they lived exactly like us.
They gazed at the sea each evening,
sipped sweet wine lazily,
and dreamed the same things we do.
They knew that dreams to unfulfilled.
They had their gods, quarrelsome, preoccupied,
neglectful. but there was also divinity,
hidden everywhere, invisible.
They tried to catch it in paintings,
inn poems and melodies, without success.
The town plan was transparent as the dawn,
and the sun made its way without toruble,
summer and winter, always, daily.
They waited for barbarians, afraid,
raisiing ever higher walls and towers.
(But the barbarians never came.)
Time’s light wagons crushed them,
the wheels ran swiftly, silently,
and still run.
W. C. Williams, The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams
These were the years just before the great catastrophe of our letters—the appearance of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” There was heat in us, a core and a drive that was gathering headway upon the theme of a rediscovery of a primary impetus, the elementary principle of all art, in the local conditions. Our work staggered to a halt for a moment under the blast of Eliot’s genius which gave the poem back to the academics. We did not know how to answer him. 
Almost no one seems to realize that this movement is straight form the Poetics, misinterpreted for over two thousand years and more. The objective is not to copy nature and never was but to imitate nature, which involved active invention, the active work of the imagination invoked by suh a person as Virginia Woolf. […] We have, above, all, for our own Occidental thought Shakespeare’s, “To hold a mirror up to nature”—as vicious a piece of bad advbie as the budding artist ever gazed upon. 
The Objectivist theory was this: We had had “Imagism” … which ran quickly out. That, though it had been useful in ridding the field of verbiage, had no formal necessity implicit in it. It had already dribbled off into so called “free verse” which, as we saw, was a misnomer. There is no such thing as free verse! Verse is measure of some sort. “Free verse” was without measure and needed none for its projected objectifications. Thus the poem had run down and became formally nonexistent. 
The little magazine is something I have always fostered; for without it, I myself would have. been early silenced. […] When it is in any way successful it is because it fills a need in someone’s mind to keep going. When it dies, someone else takes it up in some other part of the country—quite by accident—out of a desire to get the writing down on paper. I have wanted to see established some central or sectinal agency which would recognize, and where possible, support little magazines. I was wronbg. It must be a person who does it, a person, a fallible p;erson, subjerct to devotions and accidents. 
I believe heartily what Dallas Simpson has said or quoted that: “The whole aim of the gang that runs Russia, U.S.A., Britain, and France, is to destroy the contemplative life altogether, to its last vestige, and to create ‘WORK’ until no one shall be left with time to think about anything.” [307—and aren’t we reaching the apotheosis of this aim in Social Media and the Great Con that is A.I.? Replacing contemplation with distraction and a phony “intelligence”?]
The thing isn’t to find the time for [writing]—we waste hours every day doing absolutely nothing at all—the difficulty is to atych the evasive life of the thing, to phrase the words in such a way that stereotype will yiled a moment of insight. 
The key, the master-key to the age was that jump from the feeling to the word itself: that which had been got down, the thing to be judged and valued accordingly. 
“The first thing to do in hearing poems is not to try to understand them at the start at least, but to listen. The arts are sensual in their intention to impress. Let the poem come to you. Put all you have into trhying to hear the poem, hear it. Otherwise, how can you know it is a poem?” [386-387]
John Dewey has said (I discovered it quite by chance), “The local is the only universal, upon that all art builds.” 
Robin Robertson, A Painted Field:
Bandage your hand
against the bladed shell,
work the knife well into the slot
(imagine a paint-scraper at a rusted rim)
and prise the lid off,
keeping the juices in.
Raise carefully to the chin
then bite the tongue out by the root:
suck it from its mouth of pearl
and chew, never swallow.
This is not sex, remember;
you are eating the sea.
Leonard D. Moore, Long Rain:
quiet before dawn
the salty wind slipping
into the cottage
her black panties drift backwards
on the rusty hanger
fragrance of old lilacs
across the hospital lawn—
wheelchair in the sun;
beyond the gravel side road
the sea rumples more and more
Clarice Lispector, Near to the Wild Heart
Sometimes, for the sheer pleasure of it, she even invented reflections: if a rock falls, the rock exists, there was a force that caused it to fall, a place from which it fell, a place where it fell, a place through which it fell—I don’t think anything has escaped the nature of the fact, except the very mystery of the fact. 
She could not longer deny … what? she wondered in suspense.The luminous centre of things, the confirmation underpinning everything, the harmony that existed beneath the things she didn’t understand. 
“A certain blindness is necessary in order to see certain things. This is perhaps the mark of an artist. Any man might know more than him and safely reason, according to the truth. But those things in particular cannot be seen with the light on. In the darkness they become phosphorescent.” 
Oh, maybe she was exaggerating, maybe women’s divinity wasn’t specific, but merely resided in the fact of their existence. Yes, yes, there was the truth, they were the symbol of the thing in the thing itself. And woman was mystery in itself, she discovered. There was in all of them a quality of raw material, something that might one day define itself but which was never realized, because its real essence was “becoming.” Wasn’t it precisely through this that the past was united with the future and with all times? 
She learned to think at a young age because she hadn’t seen any human being up close except herself, she was awe-struck, she suffered, her pride was painful, sometimes light but almost always difficult to carry. 
Where does music go when it’s not playing? 
“It’s just that everything I have can’t be given. Or taken. I myself could die of thirst in my presence. Solitude is mixed up with my essence …” 
“[E]verything that comes to us is raw material, but there is nothing that escapes transfiguration.” 
“The mystery explains more than the light….” 
Pattiann Rogers, Flickering:
The Perfect Lover
Be brave, be skilled, the one who rappels,
draped with rings and double ropes, kicking
away down the mountainside named for you.
Be pale, shriven too, shrinking in a crumpled
white linen suit beside your tea table in July
under a striped beach cabana.
Bring red grapes in a muslin bag
when you come. And bring half a cow
roasted, balanced on your shoulder.
In your spotless spats and vanilla suede
gloves, carry sugar lace and vials of rose
water, jujubes and cherry brandy.
Wear right leather trousers and rattlesnake
armbands. Wear a silk kimono lined
with violet velvet, appliquéd with satin willows
sewn with silvewr threads.
Shirtless, just in off the harvest, wear wheat dust
and sweat, wear grain gavel in your hair.
Be fire eater. Be flame chewer. Suck smoke.
Suffer. Burn. Blow frost, implacable,
unmoved, a cylinder of ice buried
in furry sawdust.
Be bold. Before crowds, ikn a loincloth, swallow
brass swords with musk/horn handles from Asia.
Squat, at the same time, in rat feces, hidden
among the balcony audience, thumbing
your nose at the stage.
Be embarrassed, be fumbler, be novice.
Be virgin. Be slick, seasoned, oiled
and patted with aphrodisiacs, smoothed
in particular places with opium cream, all over
with sweet plum blossom and emerald jelly.
Be Moses. Be Buddha. Be saved. Be God,
Beelzebub gaping, straggly goatee, a sharp
diamond barb stuck in your navel.
Disappear. Don’t exist.
Come back tomorrow night. [51-52]
Homero Aridjis, Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence:
City Without Sleep
In the sky, no one sleeps.
—Federico García Lorca, “City Without Sleep”
No one sleeps in the city of crime.
Fear creeps in under closed eyelids.
Anxiety seals the lips of men
hiding out in basements of silence
while killer patrolmen make their rounds.
Mounted on black motorbikes, pale riders rake up and down
the unlit avenue. They carry no scythes,
they carry machine guns, pistols, and grenades.
Their mouths smack of semen, ashes, and dust. And blind butterflies.
No one sleeps in the city of man.
The streets are an open-air graveyard,
the field of loneliness where the orphans graze
their day-to-day hunger. On the tombstones, among
howling dogs, to no music, death dances a paso doble. 
Anger is a brief madness
Amazonia turned into the biggest bonfire in the world.
The Alps and the Andes were converted into chasms.
On the tree of life, the bird that sang the four hundred
voices of blue faded into the flames.
Of all creatures, human eyes had the deepest pits.
Suddenly, it was night on earth.
A searing silence came over all.
The most orphaned of beings was the son of man.
Old as the moon was the baby’s face.
Eons dissolved into instants.
Somewhere, at some moment
a deranged Godzilla and a maddened Batman
pitched nuclear strikes at one another.
All of it was brief.
The Apocalypse shall be the work of man, not of God. 
Self-Portrait at Age Eighty
I never thought I’d spend my eightieth
in a year of plague and populists.
But here I am, confined to my house
in Mexico City, accompanied by Betty,
my wife—all life long,
and by three feral cats that came in off the street;
and oh, by the Virgin of the Apocalypse’s image
lit day and night on the stairway wall.
Astral twins, my daughters Chloe and Eva
have turned into my spiritual mothers,
and Josephine, my only grandchild, into a playful grandma.
They are in London and Brooklyn, separated from us,
behind windows, seeing and hearing
the ambulances of death pass by.
Paradises there are that have no country
and my suns are interior suns,
and love—more so than dream—
is a second life,
and I will live it to the last moment
in the tremendous everydayness of the mystery.
Surrounded by light and the warbling of birds,
I live in a state of poetry,
because for me, being and making poetry are the same.
For that I would want, in these final days,
like Titian, to depict the human body one more time.
Dust I shall be, but dust in love. 
Yannis Ritsos, A Broken Man in Flower:
Ritsos’s poem Epitaphios (1936), a lament for a young man shot dead by the police during a tobacco workers’ strike, was publicly burned by the Metaxas regime and his books banned. During the post-World War Two civil war – because he sided with the left – Ritsos was arrested and sent to prison camps. Then, in 1967, when the Papadopoulos military junta took control of the country, he was again arrested, again his books were banned, again he spent time in prison camps, before being confined to house arrest on the island of Samos. The poems in A Broken Man in Flower were written during that period of arrest.
He grew distant, silent, sad, and strangely calm,
as though he held some overwhelming secret,
knowledge beyond knowledge, beyond imagining.
‘What?’ we asked. ‘What is it?’ He stayed silent. Strangely calm.
You’re not worthy, he seemed to say. You never will be.
We were his friends but, yes, we turned him in.
He stood silent in the dock and strangely calm.
They questioned, cross-questioned. Not a word.
The judge was enraged. ‘Quiet!’ he bellowed;
his gavel hammered the bench, ‘Don’t listen to his silences!’
The verdict came in.
One by one, we turned our faces to the wall. 
A wind blew in from nowhere. The shutters creaked.
The leaf-fall was suddenly airborne, then gone.
Stones were left; just stones.
When night falls on the mountain,
a black door slams and locks. The key is in the well.
This is all we have, he said, stones, just stones, these stones.
I’ll cut faces into them, nameless, and cut
the image of myself, fist raised above the wall. 
He sits down. He wants to find peace. It’s here.
That’s a door, he’s sure of it, and that’s a window. Good.
Outside there are houses, a street, a garden. Good.
A leaf falls to the garden railings and holds for a moment. Good.
These things are lost to darkness, but still exist.
Get up. Light the lamp. Rinse the cup.
Change the water in the birdcage.
Small movements sanctified by repetition. 
He’d had enough. He wanted to scream.
There was no one to hear him. No one gave a damn.
His own voice frightened him.
He buried his voice in himself: an explosive silence.
If I explode, he thought, I’ll gather the pieces in silence
and put myself back together.
If I happen to find a poppy (and perhaps a yellow lily)
I’ll make them part of the pattern.
And that’s how it is — a broken man in flower. 
Vangelis never came back. The house has been locked
and the shutters up for years. Dead vines, thorn-bushes, stones,
the garden patch laid waste. A broken jug.
There’s a view of the sea if you look beyond the stable.
He sold the horse but that didn’t save the day.
A bay gelding with white fetlocks, I remember…
A seagull shed a feather. An old woman sat in her doorway.
The feather fell at her feet. She said:
‘Small moments such as that can seem a blessing.’
That man in the doorway opposite seemed lost in thought,
but he crossed himself and went to her and stooped
as if to kiss her hand, or lift the feather. 
I believe in love, he said, and I believe in death.
I believe in poetry, so I believe in the immortal.
I write lines: I exist. I write the world: the world exists.
A river flows from my fingertip. The sky is impossibly blue.
This vision is all I have and all I need.
Rodrigo Fresán, The Remembered Part:
No place better to bring it all together than scattershot Mexico. No place more apropos than Mexico the incomprehensible […] to wind up comprehending everything. 
“Why can’t we all forgive each other before becoming inoffensive?” [Re: Saul Bellow]. 
Writing and always remembering that you write to forget: extracting a given memory and putting it in writing to convince yourself that something that already happened is happening again somewhere else, corrected, invented and dreamed and remembered better. 
He’d always had a real problem with reality. For him, reality wasn’t life but just the opposite. 
One thing was certain: sooner or late—if you didn’t protect them as you should—memories wound up taking on the consistency of dreams. 
To say that style was the absence of style (not to mention being proud of it) was to him as idiotic as stating that justice was the absence of injustice. Because for him style was synonymous with truth, with essence: that thing that had always been and would always be there: because trends changed and passed, but true style would remain. 
He’d even fantasized about a multimillion-dollar prize, the Mortem Prize, which, to win, first a writer had to die. And in that way become one of those many rediscoveries that came far too late for the recipient. But thanks to which, for a while, that writer who’d been ignored while alive, would become the best dead writer of the year. 
The whole Canon thing was really contrived for people who didn’t read or for those who wanted to read only what was necessary to feel well-read and so they needed those training wheels on the bicycle of universality because they couldn’t pedal their own Canon and maintain the most personal of balances, no hands, at top speed and, every so often, fall and crash with a smile of pleasure and pain at the same time. 
Do you remember the last time you read or heard the phrase “the twenty-second century”? It’s not used, it serves no purpose, it doesn’t work. The twenty-second century is the same as the twenty-first century: part of the present. We don’t have a future in the same sense that our grandparents had one. We no longer have that unattainable and solid and distant and futuristic “Tomorrow” that they enjoyed and longed for and that we even briefly touched with our fingertips during our childhood. What we have now is, merely, tomorrow, tiny tomorrow…. 
It was, yes, the best beginning of the worst of times … that would bring increasingly small screens and increasingly brief messages wherein orthographical errors would be allowed and been validated as a distinctive and inclusive feature of a new language! 
The imminent artistic maturity of Proust was already demonstrating the eloquent knowledge that “For, although our memories are entirely personal, they resemble those estates which have hidden side-gates, which often we ourselves have not discovered and have to have opened by a neighbor, so that we find ourselves arriving home from at least one direction which we had never taken before.” 
Proust actually thinking so wisely about how “Some critics now liked to regard the novel as a sort of procession of things upon the screen of a cinematograph. This comparison is absurd … the sort of literature which is content to ‘describe things,’ to provide nothing more of them than a miserable list of lines and surfaces, despite calling itself realist, is the furthest away from reality, the most impoverishing and depressing, because it unceremoniously cuts all communication between our present self and the past, the essence … it is precisely this essence that an art worthy of the the name must seek to express.” 
“Accumulated little by little in the memory, the chain of all the obscure impressions where nothing of what we actually experienced remains, constitutes our thought, our life, reality and it is that lie which a so-called lived art would only produce, an at crude as life, without beauty…. The duty and task of a writer are those of a translator.” [Proust] 
… The art of tsundoku, which made you buy books that you wouldn’t necessarily read, but that you just had to have. To have them there, not reading them, but so you were able to read other books in peace. 
Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. 
He and Ella would never forgive Dalí—with the consent of Alfred Hitchcock—for that absurd and implausible and exceedingly childish oneiric sequence in Spellbound. 
He knows that they’re his parents because they look at him in a way that only parents look at their children: with one eye full of love and the other eye full of fear. 
Autumn is the season of memory and the sepia of fallen leaves is its color. 
[John Updike:] “When I set out on this trail, in the Fifties, writers were not expected to promote their books, go on the road, or sign them, none of that. You were supposed to produce the books, and that was about the extent of your responsibilities, Now producing the books is almost the beginning of your real responsibilities, which are to get out and sell it.” And Updike added: “If an artist had a set of opinions for purvey he’d be a preacher or a politician. A work of art, a work of literary art … is an attempt to make a kind of an object, with the mystery that objects have. You can look at it in one way, find another light, and see another. All of these breaches of [artists’] privacy are in danger of taking the art out of it.”
And, yes, if you think about it, there may be no greater form of humiliation for a writer—for any artist—than finding himself obliged to explain, live and in person, as if defending a terrible crime before a court, what he does and what he did and what he hoped to do in private. 
He’d read that thing about how the molecules of a person—their words and even the vapors given off by their imagination—remained, in a way and forever, in the places that person had inhabited and frequented. Not like a ghost but like a kind of echo of what’d once lived there. 
Everybody has and passes through a golden age but they’re never aware of it until it’s too late, when the shine has faded to reveal the corrosion and make apparent everything you didn’t know how to see at the time. So, better, try to be aware of it at the time and not after; knowing that the most important decisions you make are only understood as decisions and important a long time ate you make them without even realizing that you are making them. 
Reading was one of those “soft” and recreational drugs that ended up being a gateway to the “hard” and demanding drug of writing. 
Ellipsis is a figure of speech whose sound and letters come from the Greek (έλλειψη, élleipsis) and that it amounts to omitting or leaving something out of the story and yet, that absent thing is still sensed, intuited, it’s there, though it’s neither seen nor mentioned. 
If all of this were being written, it would be the third and final part of a third and final book. Not the revelatory conclusion of a linear trilogy advancing in a single direction through time an space. No. Rather, yes, something more reminiscent of a triptych: something that would fold in on itself with the mechanism of a divider or partition or taboret or screen. And that would overlay thoughts with actions, memories with predictions, reflexive repetition with calculated insistence. And on like that, until it achieved the beautiful and surprising grand style of the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time. [654-655]
The Love of the Last Tycoon, where first it said that thing about how “Writers aren’t people exactly: and then conceded that, if they are, “they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one peson.” 
Kubrick achieved in film the most special effect of all, the one literature had been putting into practice since the dawn of time: turning the first and third perrson—character and reader—into a single person. 
A good life is a life in which you comprehend that you have more things you want to remember than things you want to forget. 
Lars Gustaffson, A Time in Xanadu:
Centuries and Minutes
poem for New Years Eve 1999
It is short, and it is always laoite,
all of it far too short—
it doesn’t last long
and the end rears up
like a graphite-colored snow-cloud
on the northern horizon.
But it is also wrong.
Time never ends.
There is always time,
but time—what is it?
What is time? A coiled snake
that slowly unwinds
from the dark hole of night where it resided?
A breeze through peaceul fields?
The velvet surface of water
that softly parts before the bow.
Clocks make no difference.
It is not the clocks, not the small sharp
sounds of the balance wheel that ticks
and not centuries either,
not death that comes no matter what we do.
Time is presence.
Yesterday’s tennis ball is irrevocably
gone and cannot be returned.
All that exists is a now
and that now can never end.
Come, new century—you cannot scare me!
You clocks, you pendulums, you banners that flutter
in the wind, you waves that break,
and you stubborn rain that falls—
if only you could be still for a moment
it would be a beginning, the second coming
that we always dreamed of. A beginning without time,
a beginning where everything is stillness, is peace,
where the wind blows in rain
across light green fields where no one
knows anymore the clenched fist of fear
in the solar plexus, a beginning of wind and of light
in a land that is not here but very close by;
real time has no cracks;
real time is whole like a still ocean.
Come, new centuries. You cannot scare us. 
Dan Beachy-Quick (commentator/translator), The Thinking Root:
[About and by Heraclitus]
It [the word ethos in ancient Greek] says, as Sir Thomas Browne does, channeling across the millennia something of Heraclitean wisdom, “Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us.” [47-48]
Heraclitus sees, and so asks us to see, that the world is full of gods, and life the sacred work of being among them. 
Time is a child playing checkers. 
Those born wish to live and have their fates—mostly they want to go to sleep and leave behind children born to their own dooms. 
We all work together toward one total end, some knowingly and with undestanding, others knowing nothing at all—I think, says Heraclitus, even the sleepers are workers laboring together to bring forth the world. 
Most of us endlessly battle the burden we spend our whole lives bearing. 
To hide your ignorance is best—hard work when relaxing over wine. 
[Parmenides:] Gaze in on all that is absent but still rooted in the mind—
You won’t be cut away from being if you hold on to what is…. 
[Empedocles:] It is proclaimed necessary, by god’s ancient decree,
eternal, made fast by broad oaths—
when from fear one fails, he defiles his lovely limbs,
and from that failure follows the holy oath sworn false;
then souls gain a life long-lasting, but not immortal,
three times, for endless hours, they stray from bliss’s blessing,
born into time and eery mortal form,
life changes into this painful path—
from air tossed down to angry sea,
from sea crushed to earth’s edge, from earth to the sun’s
dawn-day blinding shine, then thrown into the whirling eddies of the air—
each from the others is taken, each grown hateful to all.
And now I am among them, too; god’s exile, wandering—
all because I put my faith in Strife’s madness. 
Know this: all things think and have their share of mind.