My boredom resembles a repeated and mysterious interruption of the electric current inside a house: at one moment everything is clear and obvious- here are armchairs, over there are sofas, beyond our cupboards, side tables, pictures, curtains, carpets, windows, doors; a moment later there is nothing but darkness and an empty void.
Author: femi oyebode
Ursula Le Guin & social anthropology
In The Left Hand of Darkness, Le Guin introduces the concept of shifgrethor and that was my introduction to the wonderful, wonderful and rich world of Le Guin’s social anthropology.
Kobayashi Issa & Death
Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) along with Basho and Buson, is considered one the greatest Haiku poets of Japan. His most endearing gift was attention to detail, with such intense delicacy and sometimes playfulness, that the ordinary came to transcend its everyday mundaneness. Even though my interest today is in his focus on death, but I will start with the birth of his daughter.
Kafka and Marriage
I don’t believe that I have ever met a single person who in the long run in his ordinary human relationships, in normal everyday life (and what else is it all about?), could be more hopeless than I.
Differences Require Identity
Outside in the already darkened dusk, the din of traffic attacks your senses as does the unairconditioned air and there’s too the odour of tropical humid Africa, that aromatic fragrance of soil and vegetation.
Distress Signals from Wilderness
We walked up Hampsfell, on a bright sunny day and could see across Morecambe Bay and to the north the Lakeland fells. It was the season for fungi and there they were in their myriad forms and colours. Sometimes we walked through swarms of wasps.
Reading Garcia Lorca in Almeria
Africa was just across the sea, perhaps a few miles due south. We were in a small village, Alfaix, in Almeria. Sadly, there wasn’t any glimpse of Africa. There were no lights shimmering on the ocean surface, speaking to my inner Africa. Nonetheless, North Africans lived here, in Andalusia, for 700 years, before retreating to Fez and Marrakesh.
A single industrial bureaucrat, if he is sufficiently vital and nervous, should be able to create a ton of meaningless papers a year for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to examine.
No 10 Downing Street is probably the most famous front door in the world. It is different from the other centres of power because it has the appearance of an unassuming, ordinary front door on an ordinary street. So, it’s not the White House, nor is it the Kremlin. The doorway could be the doorway…
Houses and Their Noises
All houses or should I say, each house has a particular noise, a kind of signature that is like a finger print identifying and memorialising it. I remember our first night at the Moskva, a modern hotel, in the Soviet style in Moscow, in 1984. Remarkably, it groaned and spluttered at night more or less…