Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry

Marc Mosteirin left a musical sketch on my computer that I put words to one random afternoon. The words are from the opening paragraph of William Gass's meditation on the color blue in the book of the same name. If you're not looped now, hopefully you will be after listening.


On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry by William Gass
Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stocking, the language of birds, bees and flowers as sung by longshoremen, that lead-like look the skin has when effected by cold, contusion, sickness and fear; the rotten rum or gin they call blue ruin and the blue devils of its delirium; Russian cats and oysters, a withheld or imprisoned breath, the blue they say that diamonds have, deep holes in the ocean and the blazers that English athletes earn that gentlemen may wear; afflictions of the spirit- dumps, mopes, Mondays- all that's dismal- low-down gloomy music, Nova Scotians, cyanosis, hair rinse, bluing, bleach; the rare blue dahlia like that blue moon shrewd things happen only once in, or the call for trumps in whist (but who remembers whist or what the death of unplayed games is like?), and correspondingly the flag, Blue Peter, which is our signal for getting under way; a swift pitch, Confederate money, the shaded slopes of clouds and mountains, and so the constantly increasing absentness of Heaven (ins Blaue hinein, the Germans say)....

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“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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