2022 09 06 Found Language 005

Found Language #005

This is an entry in my notebook.

It has been raining all afternoon and I’ve been listening to classical music from the Baroque era. From Pachelbel the track switches to Albinoni, which brings to mind a quote from Australian author Wendy Harmer:

“People who have never had a broken heart will never understand dead roses, Tolstoy, airport lounges, Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor, neat brandy, the moon and drizzle.”

Here’s Croatian cellist Stjepan Hauser (part of the duo 2CELLOS) playing said piece:

But truly—what is the sound of a heart breaking? For me it is Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in G minor, Op. 6/8 Adagio:

Here’s a dialogue from Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003) that I’ve been thinking about lately:

“CHARLOTTE: John thinks I’m so snotty.

BOB: You are.

CHARLOTTE: I know, but that’s what you like about me. Why do you have to be with your opposite, why can’t similar people be together?

BOB: Because that would be too easy.”

And while David Ehrlich perhaps obsessed over the symbolism of the pink panties in the film, let me share this bit:

“The film famously ends with Bob speaking words into Charlotte’s ear that we can’t hear, a sublimely romantic moment that galvanizes the relationship it concludes. Nevertheless, obstinately literal-minded fans of the film have done their best to solve Bob’s garbled whispers, and the most commonly accepted answer seems to be that his parting words to Charlotte are simply: “Don’t forget to tell the truth.” While any solution would be unsatisfying, this one is especially so—Charlotte has been broadcasting the truth from the very first frame, she just needed to find someone who didn’t need words to speak her language.”

From Henry Rollins’ Black Coffee Blues:

“When was the last time you wanted to say it all to the right person? To have it all come out right, to surprise yourself at how together you could be. When was the last time you ever met someone who made you want to give it all to them? I mean give yourself to them. Where you couldn’t express yourself enough – like you wanted to cut off one of your arms to be understood. That’s it – you would cut your head off to have someone understand you. You know how pointless that one is.”

Thinking of cooking fillet steak slathered in pâté de foie gras? A note from The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit:

“Lose your nerve and take it out too soon, and you’ll have soggy pastry and under-cooked beef; exactly what happens to Doris Scheldt in Saul Bellow’s Humboldt’s Gift, when she makes Beef Wellington for her boyfriend, Charlie Citrine. Charlie’s next girlfriend, Renata, plays it safe and sticks to serving Champagne cocktails while wearing feathers and a G-string. Worth bearing in mind if you are having an off day in the kitchen.”

In 2010, there was an interesting discussion about preserving the integrity of poetry in e-book form:

“Royalty disputes, philosophical objections and suspicions of technology are keeping countless books from appearing in electronic form, from ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ to ‘Gravity’s Rainbow.’ But for poetry, the gap is especially large because publishers and e-book makers have not figured out how the integrity of a poem can be guaranteed. And a displaced word, even a comma, can alter a poem’s meaning as surely as skipping a note changes a song.

‘The critical difference between prose and poetry is that prose is kind of like water and will become the shape of any vessel you pour it into to. Poetry is like a piece of sculpture and can easily break,’ Collins says.”

Marisa Meltzer searches for the Darias:

“So where did all the Darias go? Eight years after the show went off the air, the super-smart, dry, withering, righteously angry girls are largely absent from pop culture…It’s a transition that happened gradually from the late nineties to the present: There was the dry-humored Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the earnest clique on Dawson’s CreekMean Girls, the teen magazines that brazenly suggested $400 APC wedges for fifteen year-olds, the endless YA series that read like junior versions of Danielle Steel novels.”

On Robert Montgomery’s poem/art installations:

The City Is Wilder and Kinder Than You Think by Robert Montgomery

“The poems on Old Street are set in capital white letters on a brushed black background, in a sort of mangled Futura; it’s a type treatment that should send his words running and screaming through the streets but somehow does not. Instead, the words lean calmly against the wall and arouse a kind of subtle and unnoticed reflection. People pass by on their way to or from here or there. They do double-takes and slow down. Intrigue wraps their faces. They stop, read, think, and eventually move on, carrying something with them that maybe wasn’t there before. Something that came free, silent and unexpected, set in capital white letters on a brushed black background.”

Joan Didion in an interview with Hari Kunzru:

“I haven’t got a center. I don’t know where my center is. I don’t know where I’m going to find it. Once in a while I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and think well—I’ll have some flash of something that looks like a center, but it doesn’t signal—it’s a mirage.”

How do we measure time? I tend to say to friends sometimes—I’ve got a pocket of time to write you. But I guess the changing world has its ways:

“Before the industrial age, time was measured in days or seasons. However, when workers began punching in and out of work, our understanding of time changed, as did our enjoyment of our time off.”

Now, to end with Bukowski:

my hands dead
my heart dead
adagio of rocks
the world ablaze
that’s the best
for me.


Found Language is where I gather writing, turns of phrases, and other statements that I find interesting, exquisite, or thought-provoking.


Comments (2)

  • Until I listened to this Albinoni I thought Barber’s Adagio for Strings was top on my memorial playlist. Thank you!


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