Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

6

In the more recent fiction of a pacified Europe, a smooth EU-niversality prevails in place of the old strife within and between countries. Handke, such a late modernist that the party appears to have ended, is an Austrian who lives in Paris; but can you regularly identify the city or country his peripatetic characters are passing through, metafictional preoccupations in train? Much of the postwar European fiction, some of it very good, that we might read as World Literature — Perec, Bernhard, Nádas, Nooteboom, Jelinek, Marías, Sebald, now Knausgård — is extremely psychological in character and only vestigially social and geographical. Typically the narrator is a monologist, resembling the author, who tells of personal turmoil amid social stasis. He recognizes himself, with snobbish self-approbation, as a part of a stable polyglot pan-European elite; most other inhabitants of his country, as of the neighboring ones, are unthreatening idiots who turn on the TV after returning from work. The younger ones take drugs and dance to club music on weekends; the older ones go on package tours before dying of cancer. Nietzschean last men (and women), they can be roused neither to the self-promotion nor to the gun violence that lend spice to American life. Their tribune is Michel Houellebecq. Other big-name European novelists write books about personal relationships and international culture, and not much in between. Resigned to terminal minorness, this is a European novel written by, about, and for literary people who attain a critical mass only at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and then without taking the opportunity to riot against the European Central Bank. Many suicides occur in its pages. The wonder is there aren’t more.

dont fully get this but i enjoyed it

—p.6 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In the more recent fiction of a pacified Europe, a smooth EU-niversality prevails in place of the old strife within and between countries. Handke, such a late modernist that the party appears to have ended, is an Austrian who lives in Paris; but can you regularly identify the city or country his peripatetic characters are passing through, metafictional preoccupations in train? Much of the postwar European fiction, some of it very good, that we might read as World Literature — Perec, Bernhard, Nádas, Nooteboom, Jelinek, Marías, Sebald, now Knausgård — is extremely psychological in character and only vestigially social and geographical. Typically the narrator is a monologist, resembling the author, who tells of personal turmoil amid social stasis. He recognizes himself, with snobbish self-approbation, as a part of a stable polyglot pan-European elite; most other inhabitants of his country, as of the neighboring ones, are unthreatening idiots who turn on the TV after returning from work. The younger ones take drugs and dance to club music on weekends; the older ones go on package tours before dying of cancer. Nietzschean last men (and women), they can be roused neither to the self-promotion nor to the gun violence that lend spice to American life. Their tribune is Michel Houellebecq. Other big-name European novelists write books about personal relationships and international culture, and not much in between. Resigned to terminal minorness, this is a European novel written by, about, and for literary people who attain a critical mass only at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and then without taking the opportunity to riot against the European Central Bank. Many suicides occur in its pages. The wonder is there aren’t more.

dont fully get this but i enjoyed it

—p.6 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
12

[...] Rushdie emerged from the fatwa a damaged writer, his puns reflexes, his recourse to myth and fable showing signs of hackery. He took to appearing onstage with U2, grinning with Bono under the suspended Trabants of their Zooropa tour. To view him now — witty but humorless, soft and thick with moneyed confidence — is to view a wreck. The books are soft, too; the reviewers’ knives don’t even need sharpening. Rushdie himself reviewed Naipaul’s latest in 1987, for the Guardian: “I think it was Borges who said that in a riddle to which the answer is knife, the only word that cannot be employed is knife. There is one word I can find nowhere in the text of The Enigma of Arrival. That word is ‘love.’” For Rushdie, this made the book “very, very sad.” There’s something in this: if later Rushdie seems estranged from earlier Rushdie, the sadness, the lovelessness, he rightly identified in Naipaul’s work comes from Naipaul’s persistent implication that the only legitimate escape from “half-made” postcolonial countries is to become V. S. Naipaul.

damn

—p.12 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] Rushdie emerged from the fatwa a damaged writer, his puns reflexes, his recourse to myth and fable showing signs of hackery. He took to appearing onstage with U2, grinning with Bono under the suspended Trabants of their Zooropa tour. To view him now — witty but humorless, soft and thick with moneyed confidence — is to view a wreck. The books are soft, too; the reviewers’ knives don’t even need sharpening. Rushdie himself reviewed Naipaul’s latest in 1987, for the Guardian: “I think it was Borges who said that in a riddle to which the answer is knife, the only word that cannot be employed is knife. There is one word I can find nowhere in the text of The Enigma of Arrival. That word is ‘love.’” For Rushdie, this made the book “very, very sad.” There’s something in this: if later Rushdie seems estranged from earlier Rushdie, the sadness, the lovelessness, he rightly identified in Naipaul’s work comes from Naipaul’s persistent implication that the only legitimate escape from “half-made” postcolonial countries is to become V. S. Naipaul.

damn

—p.12 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
13

WORLD LITERATURE, in the form gestured at by Goethe and now canonized by the academy, has become an empty vessel for the occasional self-ratification of the global elite, who otherwise mostly ignore it. If an earlier World Literature arose in the four decades after World War II to challenge northern narratives of the south, these days writers from outside the rich countries don’t seem afflicted by white writing in the same way, not when titles like Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013) are being published. The contemporary phase is different, less contentious. Today’s World Lit is more like a Davos summit where experts, national delegates, and celebrities discuss, calmly and collegially, between sips of bottled water, the terrific problems of a humanity whose predicament they appear to have escaped.

—p.13 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

WORLD LITERATURE, in the form gestured at by Goethe and now canonized by the academy, has become an empty vessel for the occasional self-ratification of the global elite, who otherwise mostly ignore it. If an earlier World Literature arose in the four decades after World War II to challenge northern narratives of the south, these days writers from outside the rich countries don’t seem afflicted by white writing in the same way, not when titles like Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013) are being published. The contemporary phase is different, less contentious. Today’s World Lit is more like a Davos summit where experts, national delegates, and celebrities discuss, calmly and collegially, between sips of bottled water, the terrific problems of a humanity whose predicament they appear to have escaped.

—p.13 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
14

A developed internationalist literature would superficially resemble the globalized World Lit of today in being read by and written for people in different countries, and in its emphasis on translation (and, better yet, on reading foreign languages). But there would be a few crucial differences. The internationalist answer to the riddle of World Lit — of its unsatisfactoriness — lies in words never associated with it. These include project, opposition, and, most embarrassingly, truth. Global Lit tends to accept as given the tastes of an international middlebrow audience; internationalism, by contrast, seeks to create the taste by which it is to be enjoyed. The difference, crudely, is between a product and a project. An internationalist literary project, whether mainly aesthetic (as for modernism) or mainly political (as for the left) or both aesthetic and political, isn’t likely to be very clearly defined, but the presence or absence of such a project will be felt in what we read, write, translate, and publish.

The project can only be one of opposition to prevailing tastes, ways of writing, and politics. Global Lit, defined more by a set of institutions than a convergence of projects, treats literature as a self-evident autonomous good, as if some standard of literary excellence could be isolated from what writers have to say and how they say it. In its toothless ecumenicalism, Global Lit necessarily lacks any oppositional project of form (as, again, international modernism did) or of content (as international socialism did); the globally literary content themselves with the notion that merely to write or read “literary” books is to enlist, aesthetically and politically, on the side of the angels.

—p.14 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

A developed internationalist literature would superficially resemble the globalized World Lit of today in being read by and written for people in different countries, and in its emphasis on translation (and, better yet, on reading foreign languages). But there would be a few crucial differences. The internationalist answer to the riddle of World Lit — of its unsatisfactoriness — lies in words never associated with it. These include project, opposition, and, most embarrassingly, truth. Global Lit tends to accept as given the tastes of an international middlebrow audience; internationalism, by contrast, seeks to create the taste by which it is to be enjoyed. The difference, crudely, is between a product and a project. An internationalist literary project, whether mainly aesthetic (as for modernism) or mainly political (as for the left) or both aesthetic and political, isn’t likely to be very clearly defined, but the presence or absence of such a project will be felt in what we read, write, translate, and publish.

The project can only be one of opposition to prevailing tastes, ways of writing, and politics. Global Lit, defined more by a set of institutions than a convergence of projects, treats literature as a self-evident autonomous good, as if some standard of literary excellence could be isolated from what writers have to say and how they say it. In its toothless ecumenicalism, Global Lit necessarily lacks any oppositional project of form (as, again, international modernism did) or of content (as international socialism did); the globally literary content themselves with the notion that merely to write or read “literary” books is to enlist, aesthetically and politically, on the side of the angels.

—p.14 World Lite (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
21

[...] I, too, can almost imagine a dialogue, an ongoing symposium latently emerging among the drone operating personnel, the way blossoms from a tree planted in a sheltered courtyard, with sun coming only from the west, bloom late, only as afternoon light lengthens.

unexpectedly pretty

—p.21 The Drone Philosopher (17) by Marco Roth 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] I, too, can almost imagine a dialogue, an ongoing symposium latently emerging among the drone operating personnel, the way blossoms from a tree planted in a sheltered courtyard, with sun coming only from the west, bloom late, only as afternoon light lengthens.

unexpectedly pretty

—p.21 The Drone Philosopher (17) by Marco Roth 7 months, 2 weeks ago
22

Peter! I see you. Through the thin walls of my ground-floor studio, through glazed windows covered on the outside with steel lattice to keep out burglars and birds, I see you emerging onto the front lawn on a fresh spring morning in Massachusetts, as a robin pecks for worms and a squirrel scampers out of an open garbage bin. I watch you descend the steps of an eggshell-painted porch, blue-trimmed, a sturdy two-and-a-half-story wood-frame house behind you, in a city once known as the cradle of American industrial ingenuity. I hear things, too, the accompanying drone — the persistent aural kind — of a nearby handheld power drill — although this might be coming from the room next to mine. You’ve left your wife inside amid the green-striped Ikea sheets. In unbuttoned, breast milk–stained plaid flannels, she nurses the baby. A moment ago, you brought her a bowl of Great Grains cereal with soy milk and a mug of coffee, caught her gratitude in a softening of her cornflower-blue eyes and a sudden renewed attention to her appearance as she brushed away hay-colored bangs and covered an exposed, engorged breast, which gesture you took for an apology: “It won’t always be like this.” And now you are thinking, as you often do upon climbing into your leased, blue, bird-dropping bespattered Kia, of Kant of Königsberg and his daily walk around the city’s square, rain or shine, always at the same time. The phrase “Call of Duty” comes to mind and you wonder how it is that a popular computer game in which you shoot Nazis could be named in a way to resemble a Kantian first principle. As you mechanically ease the car out of the driveway, looking both ways down your one-way street, and set out toward your morning class, you think, “What is philosophy if not the ‘Call of Duty.’” It might be funny to title a chapter of your book with that phrase.

kinda weird but he's a hell of a writer

—p.22 The Drone Philosopher (17) by Marco Roth 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Peter! I see you. Through the thin walls of my ground-floor studio, through glazed windows covered on the outside with steel lattice to keep out burglars and birds, I see you emerging onto the front lawn on a fresh spring morning in Massachusetts, as a robin pecks for worms and a squirrel scampers out of an open garbage bin. I watch you descend the steps of an eggshell-painted porch, blue-trimmed, a sturdy two-and-a-half-story wood-frame house behind you, in a city once known as the cradle of American industrial ingenuity. I hear things, too, the accompanying drone — the persistent aural kind — of a nearby handheld power drill — although this might be coming from the room next to mine. You’ve left your wife inside amid the green-striped Ikea sheets. In unbuttoned, breast milk–stained plaid flannels, she nurses the baby. A moment ago, you brought her a bowl of Great Grains cereal with soy milk and a mug of coffee, caught her gratitude in a softening of her cornflower-blue eyes and a sudden renewed attention to her appearance as she brushed away hay-colored bangs and covered an exposed, engorged breast, which gesture you took for an apology: “It won’t always be like this.” And now you are thinking, as you often do upon climbing into your leased, blue, bird-dropping bespattered Kia, of Kant of Königsberg and his daily walk around the city’s square, rain or shine, always at the same time. The phrase “Call of Duty” comes to mind and you wonder how it is that a popular computer game in which you shoot Nazis could be named in a way to resemble a Kantian first principle. As you mechanically ease the car out of the driveway, looking both ways down your one-way street, and set out toward your morning class, you think, “What is philosophy if not the ‘Call of Duty.’” It might be funny to title a chapter of your book with that phrase.

kinda weird but he's a hell of a writer

—p.22 The Drone Philosopher (17) by Marco Roth 7 months, 2 weeks ago
46

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

I blubbered a bit. Just out of one eye, which had stuff coming out of it anyway, because of Fish Rot.

“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “Your evals are OK. We don’t care much what students say around here. They can suck it.”

I felt hopeful. “Really?” I said.

“No,” he said. “Not really. You better not be late anymore. Do you KNOW what those kids pay per YEAR? Get their comments to them on time from now on, or else. I know ninety people offhand who want your job.”

“OK,” I said. “No problem. I’ll make sure I do that from now on.”

My boss smiled. “Just kidding,” he said. “We honestly don’t take student evals that seriously.” He grinned. “Students bitch and carp about every little thing.”

weird story, pretty funny

—p.46 Fish Rot (31) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

I blubbered a bit. Just out of one eye, which had stuff coming out of it anyway, because of Fish Rot.

“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “Your evals are OK. We don’t care much what students say around here. They can suck it.”

I felt hopeful. “Really?” I said.

“No,” he said. “Not really. You better not be late anymore. Do you KNOW what those kids pay per YEAR? Get their comments to them on time from now on, or else. I know ninety people offhand who want your job.”

“OK,” I said. “No problem. I’ll make sure I do that from now on.”

My boss smiled. “Just kidding,” he said. “We honestly don’t take student evals that seriously.” He grinned. “Students bitch and carp about every little thing.”

weird story, pretty funny

—p.46 Fish Rot (31) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
51

Another call flashed on my phone. I glanced at the bills on my table. I didn’t recognize the phone number but guessed it was my student loan company, a debt collection company, or the prerecorded voice of the woman who called me nine times each day from one of my credit cards.

we live in hell

—p.51 Fish Rot (31) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Another call flashed on my phone. I glanced at the bills on my table. I didn’t recognize the phone number but guessed it was my student loan company, a debt collection company, or the prerecorded voice of the woman who called me nine times each day from one of my credit cards.

we live in hell

—p.51 Fish Rot (31) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
174

In the summer, things picked up. I took a plastic lawn chair out to the parking lot and moved it throughout the day so I was always in the sun. Being inside, ready to greet customers, was not a requirement. I could just chase after them at the last minute. People would drive in from San Francisco to take surf lessons — when I started, with one of the two owners, but after a few years it seemed like every boy I knew was giving lessons. Silicon Valley companies were sending their employees to us on weekends for expensed team-building exercises. These were the people who went surfing once and dropped $1,500 the following weekend on all the equipment. It was understood that we were not to make fun of them. For the renters, I took credit card deposits, selected foam boards and wetsuits, and gave directions to the beach. A few hours later, they’d return, shivering, starving, caked in sand, either humiliated or ecstatic. The chief perk of the job was the key to the shop, which meant it never mattered if I forgot my own wetsuit at home on my way to the beach. Rather than drive the five minutes back up the hill to retrieve it, I could just grab a rental suit instead.

lol

—p.174 Mavericks (169) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In the summer, things picked up. I took a plastic lawn chair out to the parking lot and moved it throughout the day so I was always in the sun. Being inside, ready to greet customers, was not a requirement. I could just chase after them at the last minute. People would drive in from San Francisco to take surf lessons — when I started, with one of the two owners, but after a few years it seemed like every boy I knew was giving lessons. Silicon Valley companies were sending their employees to us on weekends for expensed team-building exercises. These were the people who went surfing once and dropped $1,500 the following weekend on all the equipment. It was understood that we were not to make fun of them. For the renters, I took credit card deposits, selected foam boards and wetsuits, and gave directions to the beach. A few hours later, they’d return, shivering, starving, caked in sand, either humiliated or ecstatic. The chief perk of the job was the key to the shop, which meant it never mattered if I forgot my own wetsuit at home on my way to the beach. Rather than drive the five minutes back up the hill to retrieve it, I could just grab a rental suit instead.

lol

—p.174 Mavericks (169) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
180

For Johnson, slavery is not something outside of capitalism or the American liberal tradition but the clearest instance of each. (John Locke lodged no complaints against human bondage.) Slavery should be seen not as a sure sign of economic backwardness, but as a technically refined system for coordinating abstract knowledge and bodily violence: intelligence and torture, free trade and imperial war, financial data and brutal physical toil—all adding up to booming world trade, accumulating wealth, and ecological degradation. In this picture, the Cotton Kingdom looks like nothing less than the homeland of neoliberalism, and master and slave, the origin story of contemporary America.

—p.180 On Walter Johnson (179) by Gabriel Winant 7 months, 2 weeks ago

For Johnson, slavery is not something outside of capitalism or the American liberal tradition but the clearest instance of each. (John Locke lodged no complaints against human bondage.) Slavery should be seen not as a sure sign of economic backwardness, but as a technically refined system for coordinating abstract knowledge and bodily violence: intelligence and torture, free trade and imperial war, financial data and brutal physical toil—all adding up to booming world trade, accumulating wealth, and ecological degradation. In this picture, the Cotton Kingdom looks like nothing less than the homeland of neoliberalism, and master and slave, the origin story of contemporary America.

—p.180 On Walter Johnson (179) by Gabriel Winant 7 months, 2 weeks ago