March 30th, 2008

rengeek kit & tilda lucifer/gabriel

when google fails--

Dostoevsky once wrote: “If God did not exist, everything would be permitted”; and that, for existentialism, is the starting point. Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself. He discovers forthwith, that he is without excuse. For if indeed existence precedes essence, one will never be able to explain one’s action by reference to a given and specific human nature; in other words, there is no determinism – man is free, man is freedom. Nor, on the other hand, if God does not exist, are we provided with any values or commands that could legitimise our behaviour. Thus we have neither behind us, nor before us in a luminous realm of values, any means of justification or excuse. – We are left alone, without excuse. That is what I mean when I say that man is condemned to be free. Condemned, because he did not create himself, yet is nevertheless at liberty, and from the moment that he is thrown into this world he is responsible for everything he does. The existentialist does not believe in the power of passion. He will never regard a grand passion as a destructive torrent upon which a man is swept into certain actions as by fate, and which, therefore, is an excuse for them. He thinks that man is responsible for his passion.

--Jean-Paul Sartre, "Existentialism is a Humanism," 1946

All right. Does anybody out there in LJ land know if the quote Sartre attributes to Dostoevsky is accurate? I have never actually made it all the way through The Brothers Karamazov, which is supposedly the source of the quote, but a little googling around seems to indicate that Sartre took the sense of a phrase that's repeated in the book-- "...everything is lawful" --and sort of made up the rest.

Anybody got a definitive answer?

(This is not a request for people to run right out and google for me. I have done that part already. However, I know there are at least two people with degrees in Russian literature reading this: I am looking for an expert answer.)
writing literature vonnegut

jazzer, drop your axe, it's jazz police!

Progress notes for 30 March 2008


New words: 1750. There may be a second sitting later tonight, when the gang shows up in chat. The live of the working artist is pretty much ceaseless toil.
Microsoft wordcount: 49844
Manuscript wordcount: 58750 
Deadline: May 1
Mammalian assistance: Mebd mugged her catnip banana and beat it brutally
Reason for stopping: quota, needed food badly, caffeine-deprivation headache from failure to stop working long enough to get tea

Darling du jour: he could have had wings, if he wanted them badly enough to put up with the nuisance value
Jury-rigging: arbitrarily closed off an avenue of exploration
There's always one more quirk in the character:  Chelsea is now humming the Hawaii 5-O theme...

Today's words Word don't know:  hyperoxygenated,
Sustenance: I just walked down and got a Subway meatball grinder. That was kind of exceptionally bland and way too sweet. Why did I think I wanted that?
Mean Things: still more carnivorous plants
Other writing-related work: none

Exercise: walked to Subway. ;-) Should try to yoga later, maybe, though not too much, as today is technically a recovery day.
Miles to Lothlorien: 248.5
Guitar practice: Just about to start
Mail: nomail
criminal minds fate

(no subject)

As many of you probably already know, the fourth episode of Shadow Unit goes live tonight.

This marks the halfway point of the first season, with Will Shetterly's excellently chilling story, "A Handful of Dust."

I have to say, working on this project has been one of the greatest privileges of my career so far. I hope you like it.
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