July 12. The human predicament.

This day is intentionally left out. Writing this some weeks later, I can hardly remember what I did. I guess I hung out with my new friends in Seoul. Played pool on the 28th floor of an apartment building overlooking greater Seoul and the surrounding mountains we hiked a few days ago. Watching movies and sleeping on soft pillows. Probably.
Consider yet another depiction of the human predicament:
“You are not alone” he tells her with a deep, hissing voice in an attempt to console her. He leans over her and tries to kiss her forehead. He feels her sweat on his lips, it tastes like warm butter. She moves her head away. “Don’t. Don’t lie to me.” He takes a napkin and wipes her forehead. “I’m not lying to you, I’m here, look!” He takes off his sweater and shirt and then takes her hand, slowly moving it towards his breast. “It’s my heart, do you feel it?” She nods dimly, like a schoolgirl that has asked a silly question. “I feel it. You are here.” He sighs. “Do you understand now? You are not alone!” he says, rising his voice a little bit. “But I still feel alone” she whispers. “Please don’t. Don’t let me down!” he yells to her and then he takes of his pants. A painful smile lingers on the girls lips. He enters her body. Five minutes later it’s over. He throws away the condom and makes himself a cup of coffee to stay awake. When he comes back, he sits next to her and caresses her cheek. “You are not alone” his voice is singing now he feels, he is the little hummingbird courting her, she is the purpose of his life, the enigma of first and last and infinite love. His hands is striking her hair and he keeps repeating his words. “I know” she replies because she knows how much he needs her.

July 12. The human predicament.

This day is intentionally left out. Writing this some weeks later, I can hardly remember what I did. I guess I hung out with my new friends in Seoul. Played pool on the 28th floor of an apartment building overlooking greater Seoul and the surrounding mountains we hiked a few days ago. Watching movies and sleeping on soft pillows. Probably.
Consider yet another depiction of the human predicament:
“You are not alone” he tells her with a deep, hissing voice in an attempt to console her. He leans over her and tries to kiss her forehead. He feels her sweat on his lips, it tastes like warm butter. She moves her head away. “Don’t. Don’t lie to me.” He takes a napkin and wipes her forehead. “I’m not lying to you, I’m here, look!” He takes off his sweater and shirt and then takes her hand, slowly moving it towards his breast. “It’s my heart, do you feel it?” She nods dimly, like a schoolgirl that has asked a silly question. “I feel it. You are here.” He sighs. “Do you understand now? You are not alone!” he says, rising his voice a little bit. “But I still feel alone” she whispers. “Please don’t. Don’t let me down!” he yells to her and then he takes of his pants. A painful smile lingers on the girls lips. He enters her body. Five minutes later it’s over. He throws away the condom and makes himself a cup of coffee to stay awake. When he comes back, he sits next to her and caresses her cheek. “You are not alone” his voice is singing now he feels, he is the little hummingbird courting her, she is the purpose of his life, the enigma of first and last and infinite love. His hands is striking her hair and he keeps repeating his words. “I know” she replies because she knows how much he needs her.

June 25. A Nobel Writer.

I walk around the Namdaemung area, and enter the famous market. A Japanese history writer takes me into his friend’s Ginseng store. He has written some books about Korean-Japanese history.
“Five books. But I still very poor.”
-“Aren’t most writers?”
“You will have success. Be Nobel writer.”
His friend smiles. “Nobel writer.” he repeats nodding his head and let some more cigarette smoke pass his lips. In the ashtray they have laid wet some paper to neutralize the smell of smoke. I smile back and suck on the ginseng candy. “You poor. Take many” he says and demonstrates what he expects me to do by grabbing a fistfull of candies.
“No, thank you”. He fumed again and I imagined being in a Wong Kar-Wai movie.
“You can be Nobel writer” he repeats.
“Yes”, I say, and then I tell him the truth.
“I want to be a noble writer.”

That evening… you know what. I’m visiting like heaven and stuff. It’s a little bit personal but so interesting that I want to mention at least something here. It is a mise-en-scène, a trick of the mind, that I’m sitting on that leather chair. “It’s like I’m dreaming” the mother says and yes YES, that is what it’s supposed to be. A dream, the past is a dream never dreamt. I ask for a dictionary. What is this all about? Stammering “it is a thing of the past” and silence. Silence in heaven – damn I’ve been there, what’s that as a traveling destination. Getting all tipsy and stuff, will they serve ambrosian here (and marchmellows). Continue. In Korean – what a challenge. So I miss her. Want to see she’s happy and all. Happy. You know, my mother: her I cannot visit no-more, but she I can, still, now, today, on the eve of her birthday. “She veeerrry angry” the mother says. Tame smile from the father. “It depends on her mind.” Of course. Never mind. At least I know you guys are healthy. Thanks for letting me peek in again. And by the way, are you still so keen about Jesus and going to church and all? Yes. But you don’t seem so keen about the forgiveness business. You know what? I think that religious veil is just a farce. A shrewd means to cope with your own bitter and vindictive personality. I know some psychology, and I can tell. Worshipping that beautiful man on the cross, chanting amen and all the world is love – why? Take your mental shovel and dig, dig deep. You ploughed the ground to sow the seed of hatred. I know, you don’t want to hear it. It’s too ugly. The smooth chants of Jesus and the smiles and the sermons of redemption and forgiveness they enable you to be inhumanely cruel to others, to people from outside of your pious contemptuous pack. But it’s cool de ma part. Look, it’s good for a writer, like doing a field experiment, stuff like that. What? It’s an interesting experience. The intermingling of present and past, things that last and those that pass, the quintessence of so many pages of prose of prose of Proust. Anonymity here please, privacy. But if you’re going trough something similar just contact me I’m sure we can work something out. You want to cope with someone’s death? Get rid of someone else, but make sure that person is still alive somewhere on the planet. Wait a couple of years and then visit that person. If you plan and execute it well that might be like a lever to scoop you out of your mourning.

June 25. A Nobel Writer.

I walk around the Namdaemung area, and enter the famous market. A Japanese history writer takes me into his friend’s Ginseng store. He has written some books about Korean-Japanese history.
“Five books. But I still very poor.”
-“Aren’t most writers?”
“You will have success. Be Nobel writer.”
His friend smiles. “Nobel writer.” he repeats nodding his head and let some more cigarette smoke pass his lips. In the ashtray they have laid wet some paper to neutralize the smell of smoke. I smile back and suck on the ginseng candy. “You poor. Take many” he says and demonstrates what he expects me to do by grabbing a fistfull of candies.
“No, thank you”. He fumed again and I imagined being in a Wong Kar-Wai movie.
“You can be Nobel writer” he repeats.
“Yes”, I say, and then I tell him the truth.
“I want to be a noble writer.”

That evening… you know what. I’m visiting like heaven and stuff. It’s a little bit personal but so interesting that I want to mention at least something here. It is a mise-en-scène, a trick of the mind, that I’m sitting on that leather chair. “It’s like I’m dreaming” the mother says and yes YES, that is what it’s supposed to be. A dream, the past is a dream never dreamt. I ask for a dictionary. What is this all about? Stammering “it is a thing of the past” and silence. Silence in heaven – damn I’ve been there, what’s that as a traveling destination. Getting all tipsy and stuff, will they serve ambrosian here (and marchmellows). Continue. In Korean – what a challenge. So I miss her. Want to see she’s happy and all. Happy. You know, my mother: her I cannot visit no-more, but she I can, still, now, today, on the eve of her birthday. “She veeerrry angry” the mother says. Tame smile from the father. “It depends on her mind.” Of course. Never mind. At least I know you guys are healthy. Thanks for letting me peek in again. And by the way, are you still so keen about Jesus and going to church and all? Yes. But you don’t seem so keen about the forgiveness business. You know what? I think that religious veil is just a farce. A shrewd means to cope with your own bitter and vindictive personality. I know some psychology, and I can tell. Worshipping that beautiful man on the cross, chanting amen and all the world is love – why? Take your mental shovel and dig, dig deep. You ploughed the ground to sow the seed of hatred. I know, you don’t want to hear it. It’s too ugly. The smooth chants of Jesus and the smiles and the sermons of redemption and forgiveness they enable you to be inhumanely cruel to others, to people from outside of your pious contemptuous pack. But it’s cool de ma part. Look, it’s good for a writer, like doing a field experiment, stuff like that. What? It’s an interesting experience. The intermingling of present and past, things that last and those that pass, the quintessence of so many pages of prose of prose of Proust. Anonymity here please, privacy. But if you’re going trough something similar just contact me I’m sure we can work something out. You want to cope with someone’s death? Get rid of someone else, but make sure that person is still alive somewhere on the planet. Wait a couple of years and then visit that person. If you plan and execute it well that might be like a lever to scoop you out of your mourning.

June 25. Pleasures.


Seoul is a city of pleasures. I mean, it’s a brilliantly composed ouverture to heaven with all its incredible restaurants, comfortable private cinemas (DVD-bang), relaxing saunas, karaokebars, 24-hour-nightlife, well-kept parks, shining glass facades facing every street – and quiet Buddhist temple retreats.

I start resuscitating my hibernating writer side today, so blog entries will be less about what I did, and more what I did.

I am reading Plays because my friend Jean-Marie adviced me to do so. Today I am enthousiastic about Brecht’s “The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny” which has a very acceptable English translation made in 1960 for a planned staging by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman. Now enjoy a few quotes from that play.

You’ve learned to mix your cocktails every way
You’ve seen the moonlight shining on the wall:
The bar is shut, the bar of Mandalay:
And why does nothing make sense at all?
You tell me, please, why nothing makes sense at all.

Clap your hands when a hurricane strikes:
Who cares for being immortal?
When a man can do just what he likes
Who’s afraid of the storm at his portal?

One means to eat all you are able;
Two, to change your loves about;
Three means the ring and gaming table;
Four, to drink until you pass out.
Moreover, better get this clear
That Don’ts are not permitted here.
Morover, better get it clear
That Don’ts are not permitted here!

June 25. Pleasures.


Seoul is a city of pleasures. I mean, it’s a brilliantly composed ouverture to heaven with all its incredible restaurants, comfortable private cinemas (DVD-bang), relaxing saunas, karaokebars, 24-hour-nightlife, well-kept parks, shining glass facades facing every street – and quiet Buddhist temple retreats.

I start resuscitating my hibernating writer side today, so blog entries will be less about what I did, and more what I did.

I am reading Plays because my friend Jean-Marie adviced me to do so. Today I am enthousiastic about Brecht’s “The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny” which has a very acceptable English translation made in 1960 for a planned staging by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman. Now enjoy a few quotes from that play.

You’ve learned to mix your cocktails every way
You’ve seen the moonlight shining on the wall:
The bar is shut, the bar of Mandalay:
And why does nothing make sense at all?
You tell me, please, why nothing makes sense at all.

Clap your hands when a hurricane strikes:
Who cares for being immortal?
When a man can do just what he likes
Who’s afraid of the storm at his portal?

One means to eat all you are able;
Two, to change your loves about;
Three means the ring and gaming table;
Four, to drink until you pass out.
Moreover, better get this clear
That Don’ts are not permitted here.
Morover, better get it clear
That Don’ts are not permitted here!