(Sunday, 4 October 1998)

I guess my attention has been somewhere else this past month. Sorry. I'm surprised how many people have noticed (and complained).


(Monday, 5 October 1998)

Storm over Scheveningen

Surprised to find a copy of Klossowski's The Baphomet this afternoon in the Slegte in The Hague. Not because this book has been on my amazon order list for over a year but because it links this afternoon with June 1, 2002.

Afterwards N. and I went for a long walk through the dunes.


(Tuesday, 6 October 1998)

She Looked Like This

Hanadi Jaradat


Suicide bomber kills at least 19 in Israel (CNN)

Haifa Lawyer-bomber Avenged Brother, Cousin (Islam Online)

Background: An Arsenal of Believers (The New Yorker)

Compare scripts:

Albert Camus, The Just Assassins (Les Justes)

Gertrude Stein, Yes Is for a Very Young Man (especially the end of Act 1, Scene 2)


(Wednesday, 7 October 1998)

I love it, love it, love it, when it storms and rains. Especially when gusts of wind blow rain all over the windows.

Update on yesterday's update:

In the West Bank city of Jenin, Israeli troops in a column of 30 tanks and other armored vehicles dynamited home of Hanadi Jaradat, a female lawyer who had carried out the Rafah operation. The house is a bungalow where eight people lived.


(Thursday, 8 October 1998)

Drinking Cruz de Malta Yerba Mate Elaborada. Reading Mac Wellman's 1978 outing 'Harm's Way' (from his collection The Bad Infinity).

Apropos that exploratory meeting this afternoon with South African Brett Bailey and our conversation concerning exotic signifiers (trappings) and the traps of the mysterious... I think Cocteau put it so well way back when when he wrote:

The true Symbol is never planned: it emerges by itself, so long as the bizarre, the unreal do not enter into the reckoning.

In a fairyland the fairies do not appear.

This -- mind you -- from the author of the bizarre play The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party who's photographer publicly states: "Since these mysteries are beyond me, let's pretend that I arrange them all the time."


(Friday, 9 October 1998)

The moon was bothering me.


Dead of night. A dog barks. A series of short, low-pitched barks: Woof. Silence. Woof-woof. Silence. I look out the window and wonder what does it mean.

Surely something.


Who is Tiresias?

Surrounded by one's company of actors. One's company. One's actors. One's friends. Company. You know. That whole rumbustious machine.

Forget Memory

Don't even think about conjuring up the dead. Necrology is the art you don't want to have for conjuring or for purposes of prophecy. "I've got a friend who's got a friend as can make that stiff talk."

I've just finished reading Harm's Way (1978). It's good. Really good. Humorous too in the manner of the early black and white Fassbinder films like Der Amerikanische Soldat or Götter der Pest.


(Saturday, 10 October 1998)

Information Augury

Meaningful coincidences and metadata. Signs and signals from God. Where the form (and order and moment) of the signal is more meaningful than its content. Witness the signs. Hear and understand.

While reading The Baphomet I receive from Erick Beltran this image of 'El pudridero', literally the 'rotting room', the room in Phillip the Second's Escorial palace where the bodies of kings are stored for 25 years to decompose before their final interment.

Also received: from reader Joo Yoon Chung a recent article in Scientific American on Parallel Universes. The author of the article writes: "All possible states exist at every instant, so the passage of time may be in the eye of the beholder--an idea explored in Greg Egan's 1994 science-fiction novel Permutation City and developed by physicist David Deutsch of the University of Oxford, independent physicist Julian Barbour, and others."

Always. Already.


(Sunday, 11 October 1998)

Amsterdam Binge

These are the books that Paul bought (17 today). I've been reading -- and collecting -- plays this past month.


(Monday, 12 October 1998)

N. has left for a week here.


(Tuesday, 13 October 1998)

From Genet's forward to The Blacks - A Clown Show:

"This play, written, I repeat, by a white man, is intended for a white audience, but if -- which is unlikely -- it is ever performed before a black audience, then a white person, male or female, should be invited every evening. The organizer of the show should welcome him formally, dress him in ceremonial costume and lead him to his seat, preferably in the front row of the stalls. The actors will play for him. A spotlight should be focused on this symbolic white throughout the performance.

"But what if no white person accepted? Then let white masks be distributed to the black spectators as they enter the theatre. And if the blacks refuse, then let a dummy be used."


(Wednesday, 14 October 1998)

In a Certain Style

Thomas Bernhard and Gertrude Stein
wrote exquisite plays
using repetitive language and phrasing

Mac Wellman too

Why didn't William Burroughs write plays?

This is as close as he got: The Last Words of Dutch Schultz.


(Thursday, 15 October 1998)

The Divine Aspirations of Destiny's Child

Follow up to this morning's taikonaut launch:

"no less than 270,000 are employed by the Chinese space program"

"the goal is to establish a permanent outpost on the moon within 15 years"


(Friday, 16 October 1998)

An event comparable to the discovery of the coelacanth in 1938? A "living fossil" frog is found in the in the Western Ghats Mountains.

Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis

CNN story.
The Frogs of Coorg in the Western Ghats


(Saturday, 17 October 1998)

Tea tip: throw four or five whole cardamom pods into the pot with your Assam. After a couple of minutes remove the tea but leave the pods. Enjoy.

Tautological art. "I make this art because I am an artist" is more tautological than "I make this art because I am black, white, gay, schizophrenic" etc. An earlier post on this subject here.


(Sunday, 18 October 1998)

Flipping through 'Theatre Experiment', Michael Benedikt's out-of-print anthology of American experimental theater this afternoon, I found and read a very interesting short piece by Paul Goodman called 'The Birthday'. This play, which Goodman considered a 'dance poem' was originally published in 1941 in Goodman's Stop-Light: 5 Dance Poems and an Essay on the Noh. It is of course out-of-print, even the usually abundant Abebooks lists only 12 copies ($30 to $150). However I did find a good review of it :

Goodman's provocative opening essay, 'The Drama of Awareness', establishes the thesis that the 'deepest distinction' between the nô and European drama is that the former 'imitates a State, of the soul or nature', while the latter imitates 'an Action'. Thus the 'movement of drama' in the nô is not 'the working out of will', but rather 'a coming to awareness'. In his 'dance poems' that follow, Goodman explains, he has 'tried to borrow from' the nô the 'technique for producing this effect in a play'. DUSK, THE BIRTHDAY, THE THREE DISCIPLINES, THE CYCLIST, and THE STOP LIGHT are set in identified locations in modern-day New Jersey and New York, but each includes the dramatis personae of the nô, a recognisable waki and shite, and a chorus, and each works toward a central lyrical passage accompanied by the dance of the shite...

Rest of the review at

Goodman's The Cyclist is also available online.


(Monday, 19 October 1998)

Interested in the structure of dreams, especially the types of transformations which can occur, I've being attempting to get a handle on Freud's work in this area. Happily London's Freud museum has an excellent synopsis of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams annotated with Freud's own examples.

The following account of one of Freud's own dreams together with his analysis is strikingly beautiful.

The Three Fates

"Tired and hungry after a journey, I went to bed and had the following dream:

I went into a kitchen in search of some pudding. Three women were standing in it; one of them as the hostess of the inn and was twisting something about in her hand, as though she was making dumplings. She answered that I must wait till she was ready...

"In connection with the three women I thought of the three Fates who spin the destiny of man, and I knew that one of the three women was the mother who gives life, and furthermore gives the living creature its first nourishment... When I was six years old and was given my first lessons by my mother, I was expected to believe that we were all made of earth and must therefore return to earth. This did not suit me and I expressed doubts of the doctrine. My mother thereupon rubbed the palms of her hands together - just as she did in making dumplings - and showed me the blackish scales of epidermis produced by the friction as a proof that we were made of earth. My astonishment at this ocular demonstration knew no bounds and I acquiesced in the belief that we all 'owe nature a death'. So they really were Fates that I found in the kitchen when I went into it - as I had so often done in my childhood when I was hungry, while my mother, standing by the fire, had admonished me that I must wait till dinner was ready."

Time Capsule

Have you ever tried fasting? Funny how fasting freezes time for the subject while for everyone else time appears to simply flow on. (And no, I am not thinking here of controlled calorie restriction as a means of life extension.) On the last day of August this year (which seems a long time ago to me) I posted this link to the Hunger Artist. The Hunger Artist redux.


(Tuesday, 20 October 1998)

The Eternal Recurrence of the Same

A sentence which has stuck in my head after reading Usama bin Laden's recent message to the Iraqi people is reproduced in red below (full text at

"I will tell my Mujahidin brothers in Iraq that I share their concerns and feel what they feel while I envy them their jihad. As God is my witness, if I had the opportunity to join you, I would not delay.

"How could I not join you when our Prophet and leader (peace be upon him) said that were it not too hard for Muslims, he would join every invasion for the sake of Allah. He also said he wished he could join an invasion and be killed, invade and be killed and again invade and be killed."

Francis Galton

As a way of expressing his idea of dream 'condensation' Freud refers in The Interpretation of Dreams to Galton's composite photography. The Galton Collection has examples online.

Steering clear of the obvious questions surrounding Galton's work (aka the eugenics 'bugbear') Andreas Broeckmann has some interesting things to say on Galton's 'statistical photography'.


(Wednesday, 21 October 1998)

Jalal's back in Holland to give a seminar at the Rijksakademie on "the back and the face" (full title: Saving the Living Human's Face & Backing the Mortal). I'm happy to be able to attend today and tomorrow.

Dreams Before Language

Who can help me find to a copy of George Steiner's lecture 'The Historicity of Dreams (two questions to Freud)' which appeared in the journal Salmagundi, Fall 1983 (pp. 6-21). It seems that no libraries in this part of the world have it.


(Friday, 23 October 1998)

Currently reading Ionesco's last play Journeys Among the Dead. Structurally, it seems more of a dream play than Strindberg's A Dream Play or Williams' Camino Real but (at least so far) it definitely seems less of a bardo journey than Hedayat's The Blind Owl.

Footprints in hardened concrete. 19 October 2003. Koningsbrug Rotterdam.


(No entry 5 years ago today.)

From The New York Times columnist David Pogue's review of OS 10.3: "The reputation of the personal computer has taken a horrible hit this year. Viruses have made headlines week after week. Spam now exceeds 50 percent of all e-mail. Hackers and academics have uncovered one Windows security hole after another, turning Microsoft into a frantic little Dutch boy at the dike without enough fingers..."


(Monday, 26 October 1998)

Last entry before a two month lapse.

Rogério and I started work this weekend on our reality bending project.


Links to 5 years ago to resume on the 30th of December.

Do you believe? (Bad title but good overview of Victorian spirit photography at the American Museum of Photography.)


Links to 5 years ago to resume on the 30th of December.

N. and I watched Bresson's 'Au Hasard, Balthazar' this evening. Wow.

Senses of Cinema has many articles praising Bresson. I like this one: Destinies Making Themselves in a Work of Hands, by M. C. Zenner, as it comments extensively on Bresson's own notes and aphorisms collected in Bresson's 'Notes on the Cinematographer'.


Links to 5 years ago to resume on the 30th of December.

If one considers theoretical physicist Julian Barbour's conception of the 'Now', the Tibetan conception of 'death - intermediate stage - rebirth' as a moment to moment activity doesn't sound so strange:

"Each moments consciousness is said to be a product of the fading out re-arising of a previous moments consciousness. The present mind is thus a unit born from the death of the last moment's mind."

(From Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition by Glenn H Mullin.)

September 2003

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