Three Quotes from Literature about Saint Simeon Stylites
Simeon Stylites, who spent thirty-six year on top of a sixty-foot pillar in the Syrian desert. For most of that time his body a mass of maggot-infested sores.
The maggots no more than eating what God had intended for them, he said.
– David Markson, Reader’s Block
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And her eagerness to learn the preparations he had set himself to teach her was sometimes pathetically touching, and sometimes it frightened him: touching, delicately absurd for there was no mockery in her when, for instance, she affirmed the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin with that of Little Eva in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as the only historical parallel she knew; frightening, when she brought from nowhere the image of Saint Simeon Stylites standing a year on one foot and addressing the worms which an assistant replaced in his putrefying flesh, —Eat what God has given you . . .
– William Gaddis, The Recognitions
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These considerations, which occur to me frequently, prompt an admiration in me for a kind of person that by nature I abhor. I mean the mystics and ascetics—the recluses of all Tibets, the Simeon Stylites of all columns. These men, albeit by absurd means, do indeed try to escape the animal law. These men, although they act madly, do indeed reject the law of life by which others wallow in the sun and for death without thinking about it. They really seek, even if on top of a column; they yearn, even if in an unlit cell; they long for what they don’t know, even if in the suffering and martyrdom they’re condemned to.
July 1st, 2013 / 8:17 pm
Hill of Beans, Can of Words
These are some books I bought or otherwise acquired recently. A hill of words.
& that is a can of beans.
Pittsburgh, PA — 2010
I read most of this book at the park that is in the book on a pretty much perfect day and it was a hell of a pairing I have to say. It has the kind of restraint my own work lacks a lot. Makes me jells but not bad way. Read the rest at my ex’s apartment who is no longer my ex while she made me dinner, which I could not believe was happening and yet there it was happening. I often felt breathless and thought maybe that’s not such a dumb name for a movie after all. READ MORE >
January 25th, 2011 / 6:24 am
“…philosophy is music, music is philosophy, and the other way round.” – Thomas Bernhard
Abner Jay reinverts the age-old ‘looking for a virgin’ myth in “Don’t Mess With Me Baby.”
Anthony Braxton called Abner Jay an American master.
December 11th, 2010 / 3:01 am
Man shouldn’t be able to see his own face – there’s nothing more sinister. Nature gave him the gift of not being able to see it, and of not being able to stare into his own eyes.
Only in the water of rivers and ponds could he look at his face. And the very posture he had to assume was symbolic. He had to bend over, stoop down, to commit the ignominy of beholding himself.
The inventor of the mirror poisoned the human heart.
–from The Book of Disquiet
October 16th, 2009 / 7:49 am