NITASHA KAUL
ROOM OF RANDOM SENTENCES

A PERMANENT SCAFFOLDING IN THIS ROOM, ON THIS PAGE OF INDULGENCE, CONSTANTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

Imagine the practice of sortes Virgilianae - but with many books and one person, instead of one book and many people - and forget the foretelling aspect!

Now and again, and in order, here are some sentences 'dialled' over time and across space: books on my shelves, page opened at random, words seen.






In a moment of philosophical frankness a woman once told me something like this: 'If I were ever to give up my liberty, the man I should ultimately choose would set a higher value on my feelings because I had always been sparing of even the lightest preference before.'
(Stendhal, Love, p.85) 


'What are you doing? Aren't you playing?'
'I have already.'
'Lost?'
'Yes. Oh, it wasn't much.'
'I've won a little. Take some of my money'.
(Hesse, Klein and Wagner, in Klingsor's Last Summer, p.89)

As long as it dares to exist as spirit instead of obeying,
the machine threatens everything we've gained.
It hacks the stone starker for more determined building
so we won't be drawn by the lovelier lingering of the master-hand.
(Rilke, Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus, second series, p. 157)




It is said that Odin, as compensation for her, did this: he took Thiassi's eyes and threw them up into the sky and out of them made two stars.
(Sturluson, Edda, p.61)

When my father read this he was furious.
(Shen Fu, Six Records of a Floating Life, p. 75)

And sculptured in plaster a kinky plaster sheep bleating with truth in the hand of a plaster shepherd standing near a flatiron
Next to an empty box of cigars
Next to a forgotten pencil
Next to Ovid's metamorphoses
Next to a shoelace
Next to an armchair with legs worn down by the wear and tear of years
Next to a doorbell
(Prevért, Paroles, p.155)

Care had been taken to spread the most sinister rumours.
(Sartre, Nausea, p. 138)

They listened to my discs too, I had been surprised and flattered to learn at one time. As for the star billing I just knew what I had to do to please everyone. A few stories about Chicago in the twenties, about how I came to compose a certain blues and then, sitting at the piano with the spotlight on the keys, going into playing and singing something I had played and sang a hundred times, with the orchestra backing me in the final chorus. Funny thing was that it never became second nature to me.
(Gant, World in a Jug, p. 134)

These privileged instants were as rare as they were intoxicating, as fleeting as they were seemingly effective. Bartlebooth would soon revert to being a sandbag, a lifeless lump chained to his worktable, a blank-eyed subnormal, unable to see, waiting hours without knowing what he was waiting for.
(Perec, Life A User's Manual, p. 338

The name Simplicio recalled no particular colleague of Galileo's, but rather the sixth-century Greek philosopher Simplicius, a renowned commentator on Aristotle.
(Sobel, Galileo's Daughter: A Drama of Science, Faith and Love, p. 149)