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for godot [archive]

research in poetry

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* "Holub's concentration on molecular destiny, perhaps strategically, overlooks the fact that we are storytelling animals dependent on each other, and moving towards a goal in ways that are partially constrained by the way we have already moved. (...) Holub has been called a humanist -- why, I can't say. Perhaps "humanist" is intended to designate someone who finds no human act or discovery or experience too odd. Otherwise, Holub is about as far from the Erasmian ideal as it is possible to be." - Iain Bamforth, Parnassus (2001 ; Vol.25, Issue 1/2)

* "Holub is an immunologist, and the rigorous logic of the scientist shows in many of the poems, which are almost mathematical in their analogies. But it is a mathematics with blood in it." - Paul Breslin, Poetry (7/1997)

* "His dislike of "poetical" embellishment, his concern that poetry should be rooted in plain, unadorned fact, is a product of years of Communist propaganda in Stalinist Czechoslovakia. It has also been influenced by the methods of the laboratory, which depend, above all things else, upon clear-headed inquiry." - The Economist (5/8/1995)

* "This ability to find wonder in the betrayals of DNA and the workings of viruses and cancers is one of Holub's greatest poetic gifts. He is endlessly fascinated by the grotesque, diseased and deformed. Accordingly, for all its talk of genes and genomes, Holub's poetry seems as much imaginatively indebted to Robert Chambers's theory of monstrous birth as to Darwinian natural selection." - Tim Kendall, Times Literary Supplement (15/5/1998)

* "His wry humour was, paradoxically, eminently serious. He may not have been out to improve the world- he probably did not believe in the perfectibility of man - but he was entirely serious about showing up human frailty and folly." - Ewald Osers, New Statesman (7/8/1998)

* "Witty, austere, classical, totally without egotism or sentimentality, he was a tireless awakener of the cynical and the servile. Throughout his poems and his prose writings, he insists that we learn a humility that can oppose the corrupt and vicious totalitarian state - the labyrinth in which his favourite symbol the minotaur stalks and stumbles and growls. His poems have a strict, undogmatic openness and wit as well as a heartening strictness and throwaway severity. In them we had that distinctive form of ethical joy we find in Aeschylus." - Tom Paulin, The Guardian (16/7/1998)

* "Holub has much in common with Auden -- a profound interest in science, a highly developed sense of irony, a strong sense of oneself as a citizen, and not least a distrust of the ego and the ego's sense of its own value, what he describes (...) as "the dubious theatre / of a thousand actors and one spectator". It is not the world which vanishes, in Holub, but ways of coping with it, such as Communism, serum shots, or particular types of humour." - John Redmond, Times Literary Supplement (28/3/1997)

* "Miroslav Holub seems to expect his readers to act like scientists, who are curious in every direction, take nothing for granted, and are willing to accept any truth, however unexpected." - Matthew Zapruder, Verse (Volume 15, Numbers 1 and 2)

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Trapped in thought; a study of the Beckettian mentality.

Levy, Eric P.

Syracuse U. Pr.

2007

248 pages

$24.95

Hardcover

Irish studies

PQ2603

To some critics, to describe certain passages by Beckett as empty pits would be to assign them too much space and air. Levy (English, U. of British Columbia) understands well that critics have difficulty interpreting what may appear to be nothing but what he calls "formal brilliance." Instead of assigning Beckett's less-penetrable texts to the category of mystery, he seeks the great paradox of Beckett, which is the purpose of purposelessness, the understanding of life as the inability to begin that which is not yet ended or to end that which has not yet begun. After a review of critics that also serves as his introduction, Levy shows how Beckett's opacity hides an open wound carefully tended so it cannot be touched by healing, a construct in which all content is removed from experience except that consistent with the attitude registering it.

([c]20072005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR)

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A thank you from Citi.

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the most science fictional city in the world

no longer a country but a hedge fund

reckless night battles

the ceaseless becoming of the universe

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for godot is a bread and roses test poem.
for godot is wanderlust.
for godot is cancer.
for godot is seedbed.
for godot is a cure for migraines.
for godot is the criterion collection.
for godot is greyhound trailways.

for godot is a crate of oranges.
for godot is a body of work.
for godot is a piece of work.

for godot is cubans in a '49 mercury taxicab.
for godot is mercury.
for godot is cuba.
for godot is key west.

for godot is motown.
for godot is lacan.
for godot is turbo pascal.

for godot is what have you.
for godot is neither here nor there.

permeable boundaries



for godot is permeable boundaries.

philosophy of history



The concept of history plays a fundamental role in human thought. It invokes notions of human agency, change, the role of material circumstances in human affairs, and the putative meaning of historical events. It raises the possibility of “learning from history.” And it suggests the possibility of better understanding ourselves in the present, by understanding the forces, choices, and circumstances that brought us to our current situation. It is therefore unsurprising that philosophers have sometimes turned their attention to efforts to examine history itself and the nature of historical knowledge. These reflections can be grouped together into a body of work called “philosophy of history.” This work is heterogeneous, comprising analyses and arguments of idealists, positivists, logicians, theologians, and others, and moving back and forth over the divides between European and Anglo-American philosophy, and between hermeneutics and positivism.

Given the plurality of voices within the “philosophy of history,” it is impossible to give one definition of the field that suits all these approaches. In fact, it is misleading to imagine that we refer to a single philosophical tradition when we invoke the phrase, “philosophy of history,” because the strands of research characterized here rarely engage in dialogue with each other. Still, we can usefully think of philosophers' writings about history as clustering around several large questions, involving metaphysics, hermeneutics, epistemology, and historicism: (1) What does history consist of—individual actions, social structures, periods and regions, civilizations, large causal processes, divine intervention? (2) Does history as a whole have meaning, structure, or direction, beyond the individual events and actions that make it up? (3) What is involved in our knowing, representing, and explaining history? (4) To what extent is human history constitutive of the human present?

(from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Anthology: Great Literature in Comic Sans


Free of the waves I'm welcomed first by the shores
of the Strophades, the Clashing Islands. The Strophades
are fixed now in the great Ionian Sea, but are called
by the Greek name. There dread Celaeno and the rest
of the Harpies live, since Phineus's house was denied them,
and they left his tables where they fed, in fear.


Virgil, from mythfolklore.net.


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


Robert Frost, from blog.daum.net/nosyneko.


I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy, I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it --
Came out with a fortune last fall, --
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.


Robert Service, from a Geocities page.


He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.


Billy Collins, from panhala.net (thz k).



&& The History of Comic Sans at ROFLThing NYC.