Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Waste Books

Years ago I had a selection of Lichtenberg's aphorisms in the toilet of a shared house. There was also a massive pile of newspapers in there (yes, Liam used to...) and when they were cleared up it must have gone with them. I mourned it. It was some years before I got hold of another copy – this time with the title by which it is better known, The Waste Books (rather apt, in retrospect). Here's a few of the entries, from notebook F:

They sneezed, wheezed, coughed and made two other kinds of sound for which we have no words in German.

The frogs were much happier under King Log than they were under King Stork.

A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is unlikely to look out.

Whenever he spoke every mousetrap in the neighborhood snapped shut. [what does that even mean? But it's good]

A bound book of blank paper has a charm all of its own. Paper that has not yet lost its virginity and is still decked in the color of innocence is always preferable to paper that has been used.

The publisher has had him hanged in effigy in front of his work.

In Goettingen there is no formal theatre, to be sure, but that only makes it all the easier to put together a comedy for oneself: a scene here, a scene there.


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