Sunday, August 28, 2016

Indeed …

… DEVASTATING: Jake Tapper shares a Gold Star mother’s takedown of Colin Kaepernick – twitchy.com.

On the road …

 The Book Haven goes to Sweden’s Sigtuna Literary Festival! | The Book Haven.

The burden of the Cole …

… Syrian author Iman Al Ghafari: “I did not want to leave my country forever!” | The Book Haven.

Take the longer way …

 Ayahuasca, Plato, and this summer of drugs - Philosophy and Life.

Well, I certainly did my share of drugs back in the day. Just about any you'd care to name (including the hard ones). But I can't say I ever experienced anything particularly transcendent from them. Pleasant times, good highs, little more than that. I get far more now from the active prayer life I have finally managed to achieve. I am surprised almost every day. 

Living words …

… Solitary Praxis: Emily Dickinson: words, words, words . . .

Act of gratitude …

… for Geoffrey Hill: Anecdotal Evidence: `I Have Not Finished'.



I have been reading  Hill's The Mystery and Charity of Charles Peguy. I met Hill once, and reviewed The Orchards of Syon.


Cold case …

… Judge opens investigation into death of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca | World news | The Guardian. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

Anniversary …

… Nigeness: A Party Poem for Betjeman's Birthday.

Imagine that …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Something New Under The Sun: A Hemingway Biography That's Original.

Inquirer reviews …

… 'White Nights': Poetry and scars of adulthood.

… Sparkling outlook and common sense.

… 'Brandeis': A great lawmaker who left his mark.

… Is Amy Schumer's $9M tell-mostly-all her next big hit?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A poem

Discernment


Amid the darkness place the sun,
That veteran god, from deepest night
Evoking brightest day. Make plain
Imagination’s gestures are
But acts of faith, and loss of faith 
An absence of imagination.
Merely perceiving misperceives:
We must invite what the eye bears —
Sunflower, catbird, passing cloud —
Into the heart's sanctuary,
And watch as revelation flares.

Who is a Hindu?

Masterful …

 At Home with the Irrational by Glen Baxter | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

That piece "Paying Attention" is extraordinarily well-crafted.

Sic transit …

 Paul Davis On Crime: Wildwood Days: From Plastic Palm Trees To Looping Neon Signs, Striking Images Of Mid-Century Motels Capture The Vanishing Architecture Of A Bygone Era.

A lovely volume …

 Nigeness: Bird, Beast and Flower.



I just bought a copy for 16 cents (of course, the shipping charges are much greater).

Faith and doubt …

 Solitary Praxis: Emily Dickinson on religion.



I think this is her way of saying what Cardinal Newman said: "Faith means being capable of bearing doubt." But doubt is always subordinate  to faith.

Who knew?

… Tolkien Influenced Rock More Than The Velvet Underground Did.

'Twas ever thus …

… The Bloody History of the True Crime Genre | JSTOR Daily. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Between 1550 and 1700, British authors and printers produced an unprecedented number of publications that reported on capital crimes. As literacy rates expanded and new print technologies emerged, topical leaflets began to circulate among newly literate and semiliterate consumers. Hundreds of crime pamphlets—short, unbound books of roughly six to 24 pages, usually detailing horrific murders—circulated during this era. But these pamphlets were not the sole form of crime reportage. Ballads—narrative verses recounting the dastardly deeds of England’s Most Notorious—were printed on broadsides and posted around cities and towns. Trial accounts also provided a broad swath of society with details of juridical proceedings.

Sorry ledger …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Death and the Miser (Bosch), Sonnet #312.

And the winner is …

… Marilynne Robinson wins literary peace prize for tales 'of reconciliation and love' | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.
— Lope de Vega, who died on this date in 1635

RIP...

The last visit...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Very interesting …

 Artistic Statement - Poems | Academy of American Poets. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

RIP …

 Joyce Carol Thomas, children’s author who accented black rural life, dies at 78 - The Washington Post. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Seeds of smiles …

… Solitary Praxis: Emily Dickinson: a chivalrous offering.

Hmm …

… How climate change challenged, then strengthened my faith (COMMENTARY) | Religion News Service. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

She sees a bogus documentary produced by a failed politician and takes that as science. Someone should remind her that she lives on a planet that revolves around a star and that there have been several geologic epochs characterized by different climatic features. This is ignorant sentimentality mistaken for religious faith. Has she ever gardened? It's a good way of getting a real feel for weather. Perhaps she should read this:

Most Scientific Findings Are Wrong or Useless. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
A 2015 editorial in The Lancet observed that "much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue." A 2015 British Academy of Medical Sciences report suggested that the false discovery rate in some areas of biomedicine could be as high as 69 percent. In an email exchange with me, the Stanford biostatistician John Ioannidis estimated that the non-replication rates in biomedical observational and preclinical studies could be as high as 90 percent.

Or:
Consider climate change. "The vaunted scientific consensus around climate change," notes Sarewitz, "applies only to a narrow claim about the discernible human impact on global warming. The minute you get into questions about the rate and severity of future impacts, or the costs of and best pathways for addressing them, no semblance of consensus among experts remains." Nevertheless, climate "models spew out endless streams of trans-scientific facts that allow for claims and counterclaims, all apparently sanctioned by science, about how urgent the problem is and what needs to be done."

Blogging note …

I have obligations to meet this morning. So my blogging will resume sometime this afternoon.

In case you wondered …

… The true story of Dr Zhivago’s Lara. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Hmm …

… 18 More Classic Literature Characters Who Will Bamboozle You With Their Gay Gayness | Autostraddle. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)



I think some of them are a stretch.

Hmm …

… the first thing I want to note about this topic is how many people will reflexively reject the idea that there is any such topic worth discussing. “French Muslims,” they will say, “are no different then any other French person: they are rights-bearing individuals who are citizens of the French nation, and more importantly, of Europe. And even to suggest that there could be some issue of the relationship of the French nation as such to the Muslim community as such is probably an indication of racism or Islamaphobia.”
But Manent sees such a response as a symptom of an ideological delusion, a deliberate refusal to look at reality. France is an historical entity, not an abstraction, and to be French is much more than to simply possess certain rights. And Muslims do not see themselves as atomic individuals adrift in a Gallic sea of other atomic individuals, but as members of a community of believers, the Ummah, who together share a moral way of life. Thus, the secular liberal response of denying there can even be an issue of how the nation of France relates to its Muslim population is doubly false, and starting, even with great intentions, from a doubly false view of a situation, one typically only makes a further botch of it, like one who is trying to operate on his pet frog, with his eyes closed, while repeating to himself that the frog is actually a pocket watch.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

So very true …

… With Perry Como’s Music, Dig Deeper Than ‘Hot Diggity’ - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
…  there was nothing somnolent about Como’s unassuming, soft-spoken vocalism, which was intensely musical. His phrasing was unostentatiously elegant, his diction flawless, and though he wasn’t a jazz singer, he floated atop the beat so effortlessly that he was able to sing Brazilian bossa-nova songs like Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “Dindi” and “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” with the same unhurried poise that he brought to the pre-rock standards that he loved best.
Here's some proof:



Actually, I remember liking "Hot Diggity" when it came out (I was 14 — and yes the tune is derived from Chabrier's España). As the sales indicate, so did lots of other people. Nothing wrong with "Silly Love Songs," right? By the way, I once dated a young lady who grew up next door to the Comos in Port Washington, NY. Apparently, he was just as he seemed — laid-back, kind, and unassuming. An exemplary Catholic, too, I gather.

Piety from an unusual source …

(Hat tip, Wendy Emery.)

Good for them …

 Univ. of Chicago pushes back on trigger warnings, safe spaces | Intellectual Takeout. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

Poetry and the news …

… The Writer’s Almanac for August 21, 2016 | The Sunday News | The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Take a look at these …

… Rus Bowden Member Profile -- National Geographic Your Shot.

Connecting with Jesus …

… By the Light of the Cross: Christian Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss”. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Our moments of contact with God are often moments when we notice that we are being perceived and comprehended by Someone outside ourselves. 

Hmm …

… Better To Reign In Hell: Literature's Unpunished Villains : NPR. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

I think what we have here is a standard misreading of Milton, whose Satan is certainly interesting, but gets away with nothing. He demonstrates C. S. Lewis's point that the door to Hell is locked from the inside.

What exactly is she getting at?

… Solitary Praxis: Emily Dickinson on a puzzling, pushing, piercing, puncturing anguish.

I think the only way to get to the bottom of a poem like this is to treat it as Alan Watts said we should regard a Zen koan: as a pebble dropped in the well if the mind.

Begging to differ …

… Cynthia Ozick Has Issues — And So Do We - Culture – Forward.com. (Hat tip,

Dave Lull.)

I’d like to say these judgments remind me of Edmund Wilson, and not in a good way; his 1945 New Yorker essay “Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?” dismissed crime fiction in similarly elitist terms, as “a kind of vice that, for silliness and minor harmfulness, ranks somewhere between smoking and crossword puzzles.” But then, such a comparison relies on precisely the sort of equivalencies that Ozick claims reviewers (as opposed to critics) are not equipped to identify.