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The Stars are Fire

I am Ill at These Numbers

9 February
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"I spend half my time talking about socio-economic divergences. I KNOW I'm pretentious. At least I don't charge people nine dollars for ninety plus minutes of it."

You've stumbled upon the LiveJournal of literarythread, more commonly known as Ashley. I'm a 23-year-old English teacher. If you would like to friend me, I am more than open to it. Just go ahead and comment, and I'll friend you in return.

Aside from occasional ramblings, I will be posting my critical thoughts on works I read or have read. Some will be nothing more than musings on a theme, others will be heavily researched.


'I've met God across his long walnut desk with his diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, and God asks me, "Why?"
Why did I cause so much pain?
Didn't I realize that each of us is a sacred, unique snowflake of special unique specialness?
Can't I see that we're all manifestations of love?
I look at God behind his desk, taking notes on a pad, but God's got this all wrong.
We are not special.
We are not crap or trash either. We just are.
We just are, and what happens just happens.
And God says, "No, that's not right."
Yeah. Well. Whatever. You can't teach God anything.'
-Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk

"Then call it what you like:
Call it happiness! Heart! Love! God!
I have no name
For it! Feeling is everything;
(The) name is sound and smoke,
Enshrouding heaven's glow."
-Faust, Goethe

"What is the Absurd? It is, as may quite easily be seen, that I, a rational being, must act in a case where my reason, my powers of reflection, tell me: you can just as well do the one thing as the other, that is to say where my reason and reflection say: you cannot act and yet here is where I have to act... The Absurd, or to act by virtue of the absurd, is to act upon faith ... I must act, but reflection has closed the road so I take one of the possibilities and say: This is what I do, I cannot do otherwise because I am brought to a standstill by my powers of reflection."
- Journals, Kierkegaard
Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage...
-John Milton: Paradise Lost, Book 1

O tell of his might, O sing of his grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;
His chariots of wrath the deep thunder clouds form,
And dark is his path on the wings of the storm.
-Robert Grant, from Hymns Ancient and Modern

O stars,
isn't it from you that the lover's desire for the face
of his beloved arises? Doesn't his secret insight
into her pure features come from the pure constellations?
-From The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (transl. Stephen Mitchell)

Fine vapors escape from whatever is doing the living.
The night is cold and delicate and full of angels
Pounding down the living. The factories are all lit up,
The chime goes unheard.
We are together at last, though far apart.
-John Ashbery, The Ecclesiast. From River and Mountains