I wrote this about a proposed character for a story or novel: "She had a keen ear for linguistic nuance. Spanish sounded to her like birds chirping, too fast and about an octave higher than her ear could accommodate. Italian was at least on a proper level, but it always sounded so sweaty, so sexually loaded. Then there was German and Russian and all those other Slavicky languages--like someone gargling or a smoker erupting phlegm. French was the most agreeable, though always sounding a little too much like people whispering dirty words in bed, but in a pleasant tone of voice. English was really the best, though, American English, that is. People from England sounded a little too faggoty for her taste."
One of my Arizona dreams: I was teaching a small high school class, all upper level students. I was giving a test in poetry and they were all busy doing it. One of the poems on the test was by Han Su, called “The Question”: “We declined the invitation of the day-- / Instead we spent / Three nights together, / Watching stars and moonshine, / Searching for an answer.” One boy finished his test early and handed it in. Then the bell rang and I told the students to each bring in one favorite poem for the next class. They left and then I noticed that none had handed in the test. End of dream. An odd dream, especially the exactness of the poem by Han Su. Now, as far as I know there is no such person, and the poem was written by my sleeping mind.
James Lee Burke is an eminently quotable author. Here his continuing character, Dave Robicheaux, talks about memory and time and the past: “I reflected upon the ambiguous importance of the past in our lives. In order to free ourselves from it, I thought, we treat it as a decaying memory. At the same time, it’s the only measure of identity we have. There is no mystery to the self; we are what we do and where we have been. So we have to resurrect the past constantly, erect monuments to it, and keep it alive in order to remember who we are.” Isn’t that nice?
More Burke: “I’ve often subscribed to the notion that perhaps history is not sequential; that all people, from all of history, live out their lives simultaneously, in different dimensions perhaps, occupying the same pieces of geography, unseen by one another, as if we are all part of one spiritual conception.”
Now, that's a really interesting concept.