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).

5

I THINK IT IS POSSIBLE to track the onset of middle age exactly. It is the moment when you examine your life and instead of a field of possibility opening out, an increase in scope, you have a sense of waking from sleep or being washed up onshore, newly conscious of your surroundings. So this is where I am, you say to yourself. This is what I have become. It is when you first understand that your condition—physically, intellectually, socially, financially—is not absolutely mutable, that what has already happened will, to a great extent, determine the rest of the story. What you have done cannot be undone, and much of what you have been putting off for “later” will never get done at all. In short, your time is a finite and dwindling resource. From this moment on, whatever you are doing, whatever joy or intensity or whirl of pleasure you may experience, you will never shake the almost-imperceptible sensation that you are traveling on a gentle downward slope into darkness.

—p.5 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

I THINK IT IS POSSIBLE to track the onset of middle age exactly. It is the moment when you examine your life and instead of a field of possibility opening out, an increase in scope, you have a sense of waking from sleep or being washed up onshore, newly conscious of your surroundings. So this is where I am, you say to yourself. This is what I have become. It is when you first understand that your condition—physically, intellectually, socially, financially—is not absolutely mutable, that what has already happened will, to a great extent, determine the rest of the story. What you have done cannot be undone, and much of what you have been putting off for “later” will never get done at all. In short, your time is a finite and dwindling resource. From this moment on, whatever you are doing, whatever joy or intensity or whirl of pleasure you may experience, you will never shake the almost-imperceptible sensation that you are traveling on a gentle downward slope into darkness.

—p.5 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
20

Somewhere in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, the writer imagines himself as a peeping Tom in a darkened corridor, terrified by the sudden possibility that he’ll be caught, that The Other (that important Existential personage) will shine a flashlight on him and reveal his shame. As long as he feels he’s unobserved, his entire being is focused on what he’s doing. He is a pure consciousness, existentially free. As soon as there’s even the possibility of observation—a rustling sound, a footstep or the slight movement of a curtain—all his freedom vanishes. “Shame,” he writes, “is shame of self. It is the recognition that I am indeed that object which the Other is looking at and judging. I can be ashamed only as my freedom escapes me in order to become a given object….I am in a world which the Other has made alien to me.”

—p.20 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

Somewhere in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, the writer imagines himself as a peeping Tom in a darkened corridor, terrified by the sudden possibility that he’ll be caught, that The Other (that important Existential personage) will shine a flashlight on him and reveal his shame. As long as he feels he’s unobserved, his entire being is focused on what he’s doing. He is a pure consciousness, existentially free. As soon as there’s even the possibility of observation—a rustling sound, a footstep or the slight movement of a curtain—all his freedom vanishes. “Shame,” he writes, “is shame of self. It is the recognition that I am indeed that object which the Other is looking at and judging. I can be ashamed only as my freedom escapes me in order to become a given object….I am in a world which the Other has made alien to me.”

—p.20 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
35

There is a speaker in Goethe’s poem, someone who tells the reader about the mountains and the treetops and the birds. What interested me was the person the poem was talking to, the “you” who would soon be at peace. If I were a poet who went for a walk and was reminded of my mortality, the obvious thing would be to write “I.” “I heard the birds fall silent, it made me think of death…” But instead there was this “you.” Who was addressed? Was it Goethe talking to himself? To a lover? Some hill-walking poet friend? Eventually I stopped scratching at my pad, no longer thinking about “the turning away of lyric utterance from the world,” “the subject contemplating itself,” or any of the other important-sounding literary-critical phrases whose significance was just then escaping me. For the first time in however many readings of the poem, I understood it, or perhaps I should say I felt it, physically experienced its meaning as a small cold pebble in my stomach. The “you” was me. Me in particular. I too would fall into silence. I would die.

—p.35 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

There is a speaker in Goethe’s poem, someone who tells the reader about the mountains and the treetops and the birds. What interested me was the person the poem was talking to, the “you” who would soon be at peace. If I were a poet who went for a walk and was reminded of my mortality, the obvious thing would be to write “I.” “I heard the birds fall silent, it made me think of death…” But instead there was this “you.” Who was addressed? Was it Goethe talking to himself? To a lover? Some hill-walking poet friend? Eventually I stopped scratching at my pad, no longer thinking about “the turning away of lyric utterance from the world,” “the subject contemplating itself,” or any of the other important-sounding literary-critical phrases whose significance was just then escaping me. For the first time in however many readings of the poem, I understood it, or perhaps I should say I felt it, physically experienced its meaning as a small cold pebble in my stomach. The “you” was me. Me in particular. I too would fall into silence. I would die.

—p.35 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
60

[...] ne of the more unpleasant surprises of my fellowship was the weekly delivery of a piece of paper, pushed under my door like a hotel bill, with a statistical breakdown of my “activity.” Hours spent, documents created, sites visited, and so on. Naturally, the first time this happened, I was outraged, and went at once to see Frau Janowitz, but instead of putting her on the defensive, my complaint about this outrageous invasion of privacy merely led her to pull up the contract I’d signed (without reading) on arrival. Could I not see, she said, where I had agreed to waive all rights to privacy in furtherance of the Center’s “research goals”? What were these research goals, I asked. Research into the future development of a transparent public sphere, she said, primly. This was all one word in German. And might she also point out (Frau Janowitz was clearly enjoying herself) that I’d given the Center the right to cancel payment of my stipend in the event that my recorded working hours dipped below a target number during any week of my residency. I had already missed one week’s goal, but she was prepared to overlook it. I was new. I was finding my feet.

laughed out loud at the transparent public sphere part

—p.60 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

[...] ne of the more unpleasant surprises of my fellowship was the weekly delivery of a piece of paper, pushed under my door like a hotel bill, with a statistical breakdown of my “activity.” Hours spent, documents created, sites visited, and so on. Naturally, the first time this happened, I was outraged, and went at once to see Frau Janowitz, but instead of putting her on the defensive, my complaint about this outrageous invasion of privacy merely led her to pull up the contract I’d signed (without reading) on arrival. Could I not see, she said, where I had agreed to waive all rights to privacy in furtherance of the Center’s “research goals”? What were these research goals, I asked. Research into the future development of a transparent public sphere, she said, primly. This was all one word in German. And might she also point out (Frau Janowitz was clearly enjoying herself) that I’d given the Center the right to cancel payment of my stipend in the event that my recorded working hours dipped below a target number during any week of my residency. I had already missed one week’s goal, but she was prepared to overlook it. I was new. I was finding my feet.

laughed out loud at the transparent public sphere part

—p.60 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
62

[...] I’d developed a reliable strategy for warding off conversation. Whenever he started demanding that I justify my work because it didn’t meet some Edgarian criterion of relevance or value, I’d claim that “from a methodological perspective” I didn’t accept that there was a world outside the text of the poems I studied, that essentially the sphere of phenomena measured in SI units meant nothing to me, so his “concerns” (a good neutral word) had no relevance to “my approach.” He now believed that I was an extreme relativist, the kind of zealot who used to stalk university humanities departments in the nineteen-eighties, wearing a leather jacket and quoting Baudrillard. From Edgar’s perspective, this was more or less a form of mental illness, and he was shocked and not a little repulsed by it. This curtailed a lot of potentially annoying interactions.

heh

—p.62 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

[...] I’d developed a reliable strategy for warding off conversation. Whenever he started demanding that I justify my work because it didn’t meet some Edgarian criterion of relevance or value, I’d claim that “from a methodological perspective” I didn’t accept that there was a world outside the text of the poems I studied, that essentially the sphere of phenomena measured in SI units meant nothing to me, so his “concerns” (a good neutral word) had no relevance to “my approach.” He now believed that I was an extreme relativist, the kind of zealot who used to stalk university humanities departments in the nineteen-eighties, wearing a leather jacket and quoting Baudrillard. From Edgar’s perspective, this was more or less a form of mental illness, and he was shocked and not a little repulsed by it. This curtailed a lot of potentially annoying interactions.

heh

—p.62 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
63

Listening to Edgar being patronized, Finlay’s eyes glittered violently. Laetitia actually became quite animated, telling us about a Vietnamese restaurant she’d found in Mitte which served a superlative larb. At a moment when everyone else was safely occupied in other conversations, I asked Finlay how he coped. He told me that he had trained himself not to hear Edgar talking. “When he starts on one of his—I don’t even know what to call them—his sock-puppet Socratic dialogues, I space out. The brain is very adaptable. You just have to think of a person as being very very unlikely, essentially impossible, and eventually your frontal cortex just edits them out. Also I check Grindr all through dinner.”

a little clunky as dialogue goes but the "unlikely" bit makes me chuckle (though maybe it needed more build-up)

—p.63 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

Listening to Edgar being patronized, Finlay’s eyes glittered violently. Laetitia actually became quite animated, telling us about a Vietnamese restaurant she’d found in Mitte which served a superlative larb. At a moment when everyone else was safely occupied in other conversations, I asked Finlay how he coped. He told me that he had trained himself not to hear Edgar talking. “When he starts on one of his—I don’t even know what to call them—his sock-puppet Socratic dialogues, I space out. The brain is very adaptable. You just have to think of a person as being very very unlikely, essentially impossible, and eventually your frontal cortex just edits them out. Also I check Grindr all through dinner.”

a little clunky as dialogue goes but the "unlikely" bit makes me chuckle (though maybe it needed more build-up)

—p.63 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
72

[...] Carson forced open the boyfriend’s bloodied mouth and pushed the drill between his teeth. Although nothing was shown beyond a few impressionistic frames, it was terrible to watch, and somehow I had forgotten that these were not real events and I had only to press the space bar on my laptop to pause them. Carson, whose face was now spattered with blood, looked directly into the camera and spoke. “The whole earth,” he said, “perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar on which all living things must be sacrificed without end, without restraint, without pause, until the consummation of things.” Then he went back to his grisly work.

The effect was strange and upsetting, doubly so because the line was entirely out of keeping with the rest of the show. Usually the actors never acknowledged the audience and Carson’s dialogue consisted of grunts and threats. Sacrificed without end, he said, and his eyes filled with sorrow. It was a different sorrow to mine, the sorrow of the accomplice who fears that watching will carry an unforeseen moral cost. Nor was it the sorrow of the victim whose screams formed the soundtrack to the image of Carson’s face. It was the executioner’s sorrow, the disappointment of a man who has been initiated into the great mystery of human suffering, only to find that it is just a puerile joke.

Finally the episode ended and as the credits rolled, I slapped the laptop shut before another could start. My breathing was ragged, my heart racing. I kept asking myself what I had just seen. The sense of transgression, of having done something wrong, was very powerful.

—p.72 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

[...] Carson forced open the boyfriend’s bloodied mouth and pushed the drill between his teeth. Although nothing was shown beyond a few impressionistic frames, it was terrible to watch, and somehow I had forgotten that these were not real events and I had only to press the space bar on my laptop to pause them. Carson, whose face was now spattered with blood, looked directly into the camera and spoke. “The whole earth,” he said, “perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar on which all living things must be sacrificed without end, without restraint, without pause, until the consummation of things.” Then he went back to his grisly work.

The effect was strange and upsetting, doubly so because the line was entirely out of keeping with the rest of the show. Usually the actors never acknowledged the audience and Carson’s dialogue consisted of grunts and threats. Sacrificed without end, he said, and his eyes filled with sorrow. It was a different sorrow to mine, the sorrow of the accomplice who fears that watching will carry an unforeseen moral cost. Nor was it the sorrow of the victim whose screams formed the soundtrack to the image of Carson’s face. It was the executioner’s sorrow, the disappointment of a man who has been initiated into the great mystery of human suffering, only to find that it is just a puerile joke.

Finally the episode ended and as the credits rolled, I slapped the laptop shut before another could start. My breathing was ragged, my heart racing. I kept asking myself what I had just seen. The sense of transgression, of having done something wrong, was very powerful.

—p.72 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
202

Rei was leaving agitated messages on my phone. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to them. Ignoring a string of emails with all-caps subject lines, I sent one to her telling her not to worry, that I was in no danger, just “taking some time to think.” I didn’t say where I was. Then I spent an hour scrolling through videos of Nina, watching her chatter and play at various ages, forwarding and rewinding her three years of life to persuade myself that I was keeping faith with her and Rei, and even if I couldn’t speak to them, they were on my mind. I wished I could send a transcript of my thoughts, a log or spreadsheet. Hours spent thinking of: Total of boxes C1 to C16. The woman who took sudden unscheduled naps all through her pregnancy, who I used to find asleep on the sofa, or her yoga mat, even once nestled among hangers and plastic wrapping in a pile of dry-cleaning left on our bed; the baby girl I’d carried in a milk-stained sling, whose head I’d surreptitiously sniffed as I walked to the supermarket, woozily intoxicated by new fatherhood. I haven’t left you. Not in my heart. See, I have receipts.

sweet

—p.202 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

Rei was leaving agitated messages on my phone. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to them. Ignoring a string of emails with all-caps subject lines, I sent one to her telling her not to worry, that I was in no danger, just “taking some time to think.” I didn’t say where I was. Then I spent an hour scrolling through videos of Nina, watching her chatter and play at various ages, forwarding and rewinding her three years of life to persuade myself that I was keeping faith with her and Rei, and even if I couldn’t speak to them, they were on my mind. I wished I could send a transcript of my thoughts, a log or spreadsheet. Hours spent thinking of: Total of boxes C1 to C16. The woman who took sudden unscheduled naps all through her pregnancy, who I used to find asleep on the sofa, or her yoga mat, even once nestled among hangers and plastic wrapping in a pile of dry-cleaning left on our bed; the baby girl I’d carried in a milk-stained sling, whose head I’d surreptitiously sniffed as I walked to the supermarket, woozily intoxicated by new fatherhood. I haven’t left you. Not in my heart. See, I have receipts.

sweet

—p.202 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
205

[...] The second film was a scroll through the socially mediatized life of a man with a job at a fashion magazine, the kind of publication with a small circulation and a large budget for parties and promotions. He took pictures at the parties and had his picture taken. He frolicked in exotic locations and was served fine food and drink. It was hard to say if all these things were his inspiration or only some of them or whether he himself was the inspiration, inspiring and taking inspiration from himself in an endless autocatalytic loop.

—p.205 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

[...] The second film was a scroll through the socially mediatized life of a man with a job at a fashion magazine, the kind of publication with a small circulation and a large budget for parties and promotions. He took pictures at the parties and had his picture taken. He frolicked in exotic locations and was served fine food and drink. It was hard to say if all these things were his inspiration or only some of them or whether he himself was the inspiration, inspiring and taking inspiration from himself in an endless autocatalytic loop.

—p.205 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago
206

[...] Cut to a shot of a total eclipse of the sun, a computer animation that turned black and abstracted itself into a spinning wheel. The soundtrack doubled down on cosmic synthetic chords. Dissolve to Anton at the wheel of a small boat, navigating between two islands. Scudding clouds. A gull overhead. “This is what drives me,” he announced, looking to camera. “You can sail over the horizon as a pauper and return with wealth and power beyond your wildest dreams. You can be Cortés. You can be some man’s younger son and go to the other side of the world and burn your ships on the beach when you get there because either you’re going to sit on the throne or die trying. My people go west in wagons, building roads behind us. We see a mountain, we plant a flag on top of it. We don’t accept limits. My inspiration? It’s in the blood.”

yikes

—p.206 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago

[...] Cut to a shot of a total eclipse of the sun, a computer animation that turned black and abstracted itself into a spinning wheel. The soundtrack doubled down on cosmic synthetic chords. Dissolve to Anton at the wheel of a small boat, navigating between two islands. Scudding clouds. A gull overhead. “This is what drives me,” he announced, looking to camera. “You can sail over the horizon as a pauper and return with wealth and power beyond your wildest dreams. You can be Cortés. You can be some man’s younger son and go to the other side of the world and burn your ships on the beach when you get there because either you’re going to sit on the throne or die trying. My people go west in wagons, building roads behind us. We see a mountain, we plant a flag on top of it. We don’t accept limits. My inspiration? It’s in the blood.”

yikes

—p.206 by Hari Kunzru 2 years, 11 months ago