𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 تعميرة رمضان

– بس، حاسبي.. بلا قافية إيدك حاتوقع الرق من فوق الصره على العود تنقطم رقبته.
– شر بره وبعيد.. شيلله يا سيدي جابر، إلهي يجبر بخاطرنا بسره الباتع. إلا يا حاج محمد، دي المستعجله دي ولا المفتخر؟
– المستعجله، عو من غير مؤاخذة المفتخر يبقى فيه ترسو؟
– هه يا جماعة، مش لازمكم حاجة؟
فصرخت سلّم الضريرة:
– حاج محمد، يا حاج محمد.. لازمنا قلة ميه..
فأجاب الحاج محمد منتهرا:
– قلة ميه إيه إحنا في رمضان يا وليه.. اتقي الله واختشي على عرضك.
فهزت نجية الطبالة رأسها وقالت:
– حِكم.. بقا الميه يا حاج محمد وإلا التعميره؟!
فصاح الحاج محمد بغضب:
– تعميره إيه يا مره؟ وحق صيامي..
فقاطعته نجية:
– صيامك؟ صيامك أنهو ده يا روحي.. ما تقولش كده أمال، دانا شايفاك بعيني الصبح في إيدك الجوزه وقاعد تكح وتنبر!
— من قصة العوالم لتوفيق الحكيم

1927 (1981)

𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 In the Glove Market

Such complexes of fortifications, said Austerlitz, concluding his remarks that day in the Antwerp Glove Market as he rose from the table and slung his rucksack over his shoulder, show us how, unlike birds, for instance, who keep building the same nest over thousands of years, we tend to forge ahead with our projects far beyond any reasonable bounds. Someone, he added, ought to draw up a catalogue of types of buildings listed in order of size, and it would be immediately obvious that domestic buildings of less than normal size—the little cottage in the fields, the hermitage, the lockkeeper’s lodge, the pavilion for viewing the landscape, the children’s bothy in the garden—are those that offer us at least a semblance of peace, whereas no one in his right mind could truthfully say that he liked a vast edifice such as the Palace of Justice on the old Gallows Hill in Brussels. At the most we gaze at it in wonder, a kind of wonder which in itself is a form of dawning horror, for somehow we know by instinct that outsize buildings cast the shadow of their own destruction before them, and are designed from the first with an eye to their later existence as ruins.

— from Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

2001

 

𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 The Whole Damn #amwriting Thing

Writing is one thing, reading is another, but the Literary Twitter is something else. At best it’s an improvised, collective, ever-updating fount of news, knowledge, and wit. At worst, it’s a column of ice chipped at by the axes of cutely compressed links to the world’s ever-expanding online literary content; endless self-promotion and sycophantic promotion of others; quipped opinion regarding live televised events (cable TV dramas, disasters du jour); public conversations better served by texts unread by thousands of strangers; declamations upon the craft of writing and everything else (as though there were anything else, ha ha ha); lesser-known writers retweeting better-known writers hoping to gain better-known writers’ favor; middling writers retweeting publicity staff hyping middling reviews in middling publications of middling novels; writers offering mash-up puns of canonical novel titles; writers tweeting daily pics of their word count function on their latest novel manuscripts; the whole damn #amwriting thing; pretentious young writers pitching surreal/absurdist novels or films or products or outerspace expeditions; famous novelists tweeting insights ripped from novels published long ago that no one reads anymore; writers with their Goodreads accounts synched with their Twitter so everyone can see they’ve given five stars to some non-fiction anthology published by their friends; writers who’ve tweeted nearly 50K times proclaiming their gratitude for writing and reading on the day of a domestic terrorist event; writers playing nice in the character-restricted sandbox but rarely letting loose and saying exactly what they think, that is unless their handle is @breteastonellis.

— from “Leeching the Seething in One Long Paragraph: @ThomasBernhard and the Comedy of Contempt” by Lee Klein

2018

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