Thursday, December 03, 2015

Beyond the valley and the terraced foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the two volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, rose clear and magnificent into the sunset. #QotD

2015.12.01-DSC04927Once more, down in Mexico City in December and though not quite "under the volcano" but in the general vicinity of Popocatépetl.

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Some quotes from Under the Volcano: A Novel by Malcolm Lowry:

TWO MOUNTAIN CHAINS TRAVERSE the republic roughly from north to south, forming between them a number of valleys and plateaus. Overlooking one of these valleys, which is dominated by two volcanoes, lies, six thousand feet above sea level, the town of Quauhnahuac. It is situated well south of the Tropic of Cancer, to be exact on the nineteenth parallel, in about the same latitude as the Revillagigedo Islands to the west in the Pacific, or very much further west, the southernmost tip of Hawaii— and as the port of Tzucox to the east on the Atlantic seaboard of Yucatán near the border of British Honduras, or very much further east, the town of Juggernaut, in India, on the Bay of Bengal.

Far to his left, in the northeast, beyond the valley and the terraced foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the two volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, rose clear and magnificent into the sunset.
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Wer immer strebend sich bemüht, den können wir erlösen. Whosoever unceasingly strives upward … him can we save. GOETHE

I think I know a good deal about physical suffering. But this is worst of all, to feel your soul dying. I wonder if it is because to-night my soul has really died that I feel at the moment something like peace.
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Over the town, in the dark tempestuous night, backwards revolved the luminous wheel.

...no, that too, whatever it was, was going: perhaps it had only been the coppery-tailed trogon stirring in the bushes, his “ambiguous bird” that was now departing quickly on creaking wings, like a pigeon once it was in flight, heading for its solitary home in the Canyon of the Wolves, away from the people with ideas.

“And perhaps it’s fortunate I’ve had some whiskey since alcohol is an aphrodisiac too. One must never forget either that alcohol is a food. How can a man be expected to perform his marital duties without food? Marital?

Enormously high too, he noted some vultures waiting, more graceful than eagles as they hovered there like burnt papers floating from a fire which suddenly are seen to be blowing swiftly upward, rocking.
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The bag, decanted on the faded, rustic seat, disgorged into its lid a bald toothbrush, a rusty safety-razor, his brother’s shirt, and a second-hand copy of Jack London’s Valley of the Moon, bought yesterday for fifteen centavos at the German bookstore opposite Sandborns in Mexico City.

However he was drinking tequila again now—and with no very clear idea how he’d returned so quickly and found the bottle. Ah, the subtle bouquet of pitch and teredos! Careless of being observed this time, he drank long and deeply, then stood—and

Finally the cat extended a preparate paw for the kill, opening her mouth, and the insect, whose wings had never ceased to beat, suddenly and marvellously flew out, as might indeed the human soul from the jaws of death, flew up, up, up, soaring over the trees: and at that moment he saw them.
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Veda—God knows, Peter Rabbit; “Everything is to be found in Peter Rabbit,” the Consul liked to say

Ah, to have a horse, and gallop away, singing, away to someone you loved perhaps, into the heart of all the simplicity and peace in the world; was not that like the opportunity afforded man by life itself? Or course not. Still, just for a moment, it had seemed that it was.

IMG_20151202_181027“It’s mescal with me … Tequila, no, that is healthful … and delightful. Just like beer. Good for you. But if I ever start to drink mescal again, I’m afraid, yes, that would be the end,” the Consul said dreamily.

“I admit the efficacy of your tequila—but do you realise that while, you’re battling against death, or whatever you imagine you’re doing, while what is mystical in you is being released, or whatever it is you imagine is being released, while you’re enjoying all this, do you realise what extraordinary allowances are being made for you by the world which has to cope with you, yes, are even now being made by me?”

Life changes, you know, you can never drink of it.” “Not ‘drink of it,’ Señora Gregorio, you mean ‘think of it.’”

“Adiós,” she added in Spanish, “I have no house only a shadow. But whenever you are in need of a shadow, my shadow is yours.”

“Otro mescalito. Un poquito.”
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“If you’ve really read War and Peace, as you claim you have, why haven’t you the sense to profit by it, I repeat?” “At any rate,” said Hugh, “I profited by it to the extent of being able to distinguish it from Anna Karenina.”

Ranged on either side stood bottles of Tenampa, Berreteaga, Tequila Añejo, Anís doble de Mallorca, a violet decanter of Henry Mallet’s “delicioso licor,” a flask of peppermint cordial, a tall voluted bottle of Anís del Mono, on the label of which a devil brandished a pitchfork. On the wide counter before him were saucers of toothpicks, chiles, lemons, a tumblerful of straws, crossed long spoons in a glass tankard. At one end large bulbous jars of many-coloured aguardiente were set, raw alcohol with different flavours, in which citrus fruit rinds floated.

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