Saturday, March 01, 2008

Still Life with Woodpecker-Book Review

One of the greatest pleasures in life for me is having the time to read a good book. I just finished Still Life with Woodpecker written by Tom Robbins back in 1980. Instead of summarizing the book I thought I would pull some quotes from the book to illustrate why this is such a good book. All that follows are lines from the book Still Life with Woodpecker.
This may be said for the last quarter of the twentieth century: the truism that if we want a better woprld will have to better people came to be acknowledged, if not thoroughly understood, by a significantly large minority.

The difference between a criminal and an outlaw is that while a criminals frequently are victums, outlaws never are. Indeed, the first step toward becoming a true outlaw is the refusal to be victimized.

Have we a common goal, that goal is to turn the tables on the nature of society. When we succeed, we raise the the exhilaration content of the universe.

Outlaws, like poets, rearrange the nightmare.

There are essential and inessential insanities. Essential insanities are those impulses one instinctively senses are virtuous and correct, even though peers may regard them as coo coo.
Poetry, the best of it, is lunar and is concerned with essential insanities. Journalism is solar (there are numerous newspapers named The Sun, none called The Moon) and is devoted to the inessential.

The outlaw is someone who cannot be gotten. He can only be punished other peoples attitudes.

That´s because only the better ideas turn into dogma, and it is this process whereby a fresh, stimulating, humanly helpful idea is changed into robot dogma that is deadly.

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who beleive that there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.

A better world has gotta start somewhere. Why not here with you and me?

Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.

Were our own dragons and as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.

I guess love is the real outlaw

What limits people is that they don´t have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it.

The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be
Loving makes love. Loving makes itself. We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love.

Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won´t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as it´s accomplice.

Jablonski came to beleive that Bernard simply had too much fun.
Fighting the system is serious business., the lawyer had reminded her client. It´s serious business that creates the system, answered Bernard.

That´s the trouble with political people, he said. There´s not one of you, left, right or center, who doesn´t believe that the means are justified by the ends.

no matter how fevered a romantic might support a movement, he or she eventually must withdraw from active participation in that movement because the group ethic, the supremacy of the group over the individual, is an affront to intimacy. Intimacy is is the the principal source of the sugars with which life is sweetened. It is absolutely vital to the essential insanities. Without the essential (intimate) insanities, humor becomes inoffensive and therefore pap, poetry becomes esoteric and therefore prose, ertoicim becomes mechanical and therefore pornography, behavior becomes predictable and therefore easy to control.

A romantic, however, recognizes that the movement , the organization, the institution, the revolution, if it comes to that, is merely a backdrop for his or her own personal drama and that to pretend otherwise is to surrender freedom and will to to the totalitarian impulse, is to replace psychological reality with sociological illusions,

The word that allows yes, the word that makes no possible. The word that puts the free in freedom and takes the obligation out of love. The word upon which all adventures, all exhilaration, all meaning, all honor depends.

every totalitarian society, no matter how strict, has had it´s underground. In fact´two undergrounds. There´s the underground involved in political resistance and the underground involved in preserving beauty and fun, which is to say, preserving the human spirit.

He made it in very midst of the Nazi occupation, filmed this beauty inside the belly of the beast. He called it Les Enfants du Paradis-Children of Paradise

Objecthood was by no means our only major theme. There was, for example, the matter of the evolution of the individual, how evolving is not accomplished for a person by nature or society but is the central dimension of a personal drama to which nature and society are but spectators. Wasn{t it made clear that civilization is not an end in itself but a theater or gymnasium in which the evolving individual finds the facilities for practice?

(1) Everything is part of it.
(2) It´s never too late to have a happy childhood.

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