If I watch the end of a day--any day--I always feel it's the end of a whole epoch. And the autumn! It might as well be the end of everything.
That's from an excerpt of The Sheltering Sky in a reader called The Portable Paul and Jane Bowles. I first read "Pages from Cold Point," a short story by Paul Bowles, which is fascinating; it's very suspenseful and the whole thing hinges on a father's realization about his son, but the realization is never made explicit. I didn't understand what had happened, and when I asked John, he wasn't sure if he had read the story, but he guessed that the realization was that the son was gay; at the time you would have had to tiptoe around that. In hindsight I'm sure that's what it was, but it hadn't occurred to me while reading. From the details and the tone you get the sense that the son contains a secret darkness, is evil; the people of the town think he is a "bad boy." I tend to be naive about these old codes. Now I'm reading "Camp Cataract" by Jane Bowles, which is very funny.
Here's another epigraph up for grabs:
There are no colors in nature, only electromagnetic radiation of varying wavelengths.
That's the part I think is most epigraphable, but here's the rest of the passage: "If we were aware of our 'real' visual worlds, we would see constantly changing images of dirty gray, making it difficult for us to recognize forms. Our visual stimuli are stabilized when the brain compares the variations in the different wavelengths of light; the consequence of these comparisons is what we perceive as 'color.' The brain creates a sense of 'color constancy': no matter the lighting conditions--bright sunlight, filtered sunlight, or artificial lighting--colors remain more or less the same. This phenomenon is not fully understood. But colors themselves are not in our surroundings. Brains therefore create something that is not there, and in doing so they help us to make sense of our environment." That's from a review of Oliver Sacks's new book by Israel Rosenfield in the April issue of Harper's.