Duncan knew that he and Elliott weren’t the same. Elliott had surely never written about Crowe- or, if he had, the work would almost certainly unpublishable. Duncan also doubted whether Elliott had the emotional maturity to appreciate the breathtaking accomplishment of Juliet (which, as far as Duncan was concerned, was a darker, deeper, more fully realized collection of songs than the overrated Blood On The Tracks), and nor would he have been able to cite its influences: Dylan and Leonard Cohen, of course, but also Dylan Thomas, Jonny Cash, Gram Parsons, Sheley, the Book of Job, Camus, Pinter, Beckett and early Dolly Parton.

Nick Hornby, Juliet, naked.


Undressing for sex when you feel you’re fat.

It’s easy to tell someone’s self conscious about being
because when they undress for sex
they always take their trousers off
before their shirt.

Another dead giveaway
is the futile attempt to hold their stomach in
whilst trying to pull off their socks.

With practise what usually happens is this-
firstly they make a bee-line for the side of the bed away from
the bedside lamp. Then back turned to both
the light and their partner
they slip down their trousers past their knees
whilst at the same time loweing themselves into the upright
position on the edge of the bed.
Next, they step out of the trouser legs, tread off their socks,
undo all
their shirt buttons, breath in and try in one swift movement
to discard their shirt and slip gracefully under the cover.

A complete waste of effort.
No one, but no one has a hope in Hell of ever enjoying sex
whilst trying to hold their breath.

Nevertheless, in the cold light of morning
they attempt once more to continue the deception and try
to ooze out of bed unnotices.

Henry Normal.


“Todo tiene su momento y, cada cosa, su tiempo bajo el cielo:

Hay tiempo de nacer
y tiempo de morir.
Hay tiempo de plantar
y tiempo de arrancar lo plantado.
Hay tiempo de matar
y tiempo de sanar.
Hay tiempo de destruir
y tiempo de edificar.
Hay tiempo de llorar
y tiempo de reír.
Hay tiempo de gemir
y tiempo de bailar.
Hay tiempo de esparcir piedras
y tiempo de recogerlas.
Hay tiempo de abrazarse
y tiempo de desprenderse del abrazo.
Hay tiempo de buscar
y tiempo de perder.
Hay tiempo de guardar
y tiempo de desechar.
Hay tiempo de rasgar
y tiempo de coser.
Hay tiempo de callar
y tiempo de hablar.
Hay tiempo de amar
y tiempo de aborrecer.
Hay tiempo de guerra
y tiempo de paz.

¿Qué provecho saca de su obra el que en ella se fatiga?

Eclesiastés 3, 1-9.


Un petit coup au carreau, comme si quelque chose l’avait heurté, suivi d’une ample chute légère comme de grain de sable qu’on eût laissés tomber d’une fenêtre au-dessus, puis la chute s’étendant, se réglant, adoptant un rythme, devenant fluide, sonore, musicale, innombrable, universelle: c’était la pluie.

Marcel Proust, Por el camino de Swann. En busca del tiempo perdido.

Blah, blah, whatever.

For a long time there has been a general assumption that women talk more than men and are better at talking than men are(…)

Scientist at Arizona University then decided to try to prove or disprove the claim by studying the daily utterances of nearly four hundred people. Matthias Mehl, the lead researcher, commented that the claims that women speak three times as much as men appeared to have achieved the status of a cultural myth, having been so widely reported in so many different media. Yet this study showed conclusively that there was no statistically significant difference between men and women in the amount they talked. Women used a little more than 16,000 words a day on average, and men a little less, but the difference was insignificant.

Mark Liberman also investigated Brizendine’s claim that girls speak more quickly than boys. He found that the only evidence she cited in support of the claim that girls speak at 250 words per minute as against 125 words per minute for boys was a paper that had no findings in it at all about speech rates broken down by gender. The only research that has been carried out into different speech rates among men and women has found small differences in the opposite direction, finding that men speak slightly faster than women. One paper that Liberman and his colleagues presented in 2006 found that: “Males tend to speak faster than females… The difference between them is, however, very small, only about 4 to 5 words or characters per minute (2%), though it is statistically significant. (…)

If it is wrong to believe that men and women communicate so differently, then why do so many people buy into this myth? Why do millions of people buy Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and so (relatively) few a debunking book like Deborah Cameron’s excellent The Myth of Mars and Venus? I think that the resilience of the myth of men and women’s differing communication rests on the fact that it foregrounds something we all feel to be true: that we are often misunderstood. Many of us long for the perfect partner, who can understand everything without being told; many of us are disappointed by reality. Many of us find that we are blocked, whether in our working life or our home life, from achieving the transparent communication we desire. It is easy, therefore, to look at the communication problems described by writers such as John Gray or Deborah Tannen and to nod in agreement. If we are honest, however, we would acknowledge that the problems men and women face when they talk to one another do not always run along the lines of the grunting male and the chattering female. We are more individual, more variable, more subtle, than that narrative will ever allow.

Natasha Walter, Living Dolls. The return of sexism.

Un poco de obra social:

¿Por qué masturbarse puede tener consecuencias políticas?

Para Tomoko, que estaba intrigada por esta pregunta.

I must have been about eighteen at the time, still hopelessly in love with Ilona and hungering to embrace any woman, when I found myself alone one day in the deserted wing of a university library with a girl student who later became a star tennis player, Margit S. We bandied words, kissed, fondled. She was a flashy brunette with red lips and nipples and she let me kiss them and suck them, but I begged her in vain to go somewhere with me; she kept saying, ‘that’s enough’, she had no time, and then she suddenly left. Giddy from the taste and smell of her breasts, I had rarely felt such a desperate craving for a woman. I felt seasick. She had stirred up an ocean of longing in me, setting off a storm: I could feel the waves of blood coursing through my brain, then rushing downward. Sitting at my reading table, I masturbated quickly. Of all the children I might have had, few could have been as full of life as the one I should have fathered at that instant: my palms filled with semen to the brim. And while I sat at the table with my hands full, wondering what to do with it, Margit S. came back to say that she had changed her mind and we could go to her aunt’s place, since her aunt wasn’t home.

Today I would have confessed to her what has happened and she might found it funny or perhaps even flattering, but at the time I was so ashamed, so afraid she might come closer and see what I had in my hands, that I told her rather sourly that I had go back into my book and wanted to go on reading. Her eyes widened, she turned, hurried away, and became my deadliest enemy. Ever since then I have thought of masturbation as missed opportunities. For her part, Margit denounced me to the communist party secretary of the University of Budapest, telling him I had boasted to her that I invented quotations from Das Kapital for the Marxism-Leninism exams, on the assumption that none of the examiners could possibly have read the whole book.

Stephen Vizinczey, Praise for older women.

Por cierto, cuidado con las falacias.

Juventudes políticas.

(…)he was the short of conservative who was also an anti-fascist, and alarmed by Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, he used his influence ands authority to have local meetings of the Hungarian Nazi Party banned. In 1935, when I was two years old, he was stabbed to death by an adolescent Nazi chosen for the task because he was not yet eighteen and couldn’t be executed for the murder.

Stephen Vizinczey, Praise for older women.