Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Preview …

Succinct commentary …

… Daily Signe Cartoon 12/04/16.

Will power …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Introduction to Shakespeare.

My great experience of seeing Shakespeare performed was Peter Hall's production Lear with Paul Scofield.

Avian convocation …

… A Murmuration of Starlings on a frozen afternoon on Otmoor - Mail Online - Peter Hitchens blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

They were in constant motion, yet seeming to think as one, making sudden turns in almost total unison. Seen from directly underneath they were all individuals, flying or gliding at their own will. But seen from the side, and from far away, they had an ordered, unified purpose. Even in the increasingly biting cold (I had not dressed warmly enough) I was unable to stop watching until the light had gone.

Loving remembrance …

… Lessons from My Mother - The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Every son feels an orphan when his mother dies.

Something to think on …

On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.
— Evelyn Underhill, born on this date in 1875

Professional …

… A Rage to Write | The Weekly Standard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Annals of the book trade...

Monday, December 05, 2016

In case you wondered …

… Bob Dylan won't be at the Nobel ceremony; Patti Smith singing instead - LA Times. (Hat tip, dave Lull.)

Larkin times two …

… Nigeness: Larkin in the Corner.

Nigeness: Larkin again: 'Something people do'.

Mark thy calendar …

Come Over To The Window, My Little
Darling, I’d Like To Try To Read Your Palm

A Celebration Of LEONARD COHEN

An Open Reading

(Read from the Poetry, Prose,
or Lyrics of Leonard Cohen –
about 5 minutes)

TUESDAY, December 20, 20116, 7 PM

Presented by


Hosted By

If You Would Like To Participate, Contact:

Philadelphia, PA


This Event Is Free

A change of mind …

… Julian Barnes: I was wrong about EM Forster | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I read Howards End  just a few years ago. I thought the characters interesting, but the message ("only connect") lame.

Anniversary …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Happy Birthday, Christina Rossetti (and, as part of the celebration, here is an invitation to "Goblin Market").

The Shock of Discovery

How do I go against
everything I’ve learned?
Soft not hard
Receptive not reactive

How is this me?

How do I do it?

And now when I’m old
And thought I was settled
And accomplished
And done

But it’s come to naught
It’s all ashes

Know Thyself Socrates taught
And Jesus
And just about everyone else
Even relativism tries

But what when you know thyself
All of a sudden and clearly
In the bright light of day

And it makes everything in the past different
And the present
And the future
How do you cope with Knowing Thyself then?
And God where are you now?

Sunday, December 04, 2016


… Inspirational writing advice from Louisa May Alcott & 26 other great women authors - Books.

Despite what this says, I believe that Virginia Woolf died on March 28, 1941 not November 29, 1941.

Q&A …

… ‘We’re teaching university students lies’ – An interview with Dr Jordan Peterson | C2C Journal.

Probably better experienced than read…

… Six Easy Pieces (Modern Library Nonfiction #88) | Reluctant Habits.

Q&A …

… An Interview with Andrew Motion – The Hopkins Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

What’s Happening to the Bees and Butterflies?

As a species, we repeatedly fail to acknowledge the equal and inherent right of all other species to exist, a right implicit in existence itself and in no way subordinate to our own. We ignore, as if instinctively, nature’s right to itself—its autonomy, if you like. No matter how we feel or act as individuals, what matters when it comes to saving nature is how we feel and act as a species. The news on that score is very grim.
Well, so far as we know, no other species makes any such acknowledgment, either. Ninety-nine percent of all species known to have existed are extinct. Obviously, most of that extinction was not caused by humans. We should, of course, do everything we can to prevent the spoliation of nature. But these grand lamentations over "poor Nature" remind me that we are living through another age of sentimentalism (the college snowflakes are latter-day Werthers). Interesting that the last such period took place during the Age of Reason, and that this one is taking place during the Age of Technology. 

Endgame or not …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Death is a Dialogue between / The Spirit and the Dust.

Something I missed …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History Author Joseph Conrad Was Born.

Inquirer reviews …

… Carli Lloyd memoir: Working hard to prove 'em all wrong.

… Michael Chabon on telling beautiful lies in his faux-memoir 'Moonglow'.

… John O'Hara's 'Stories': Much-needed collection of local novelist's fiction.

… 'Playing Dead': The weird business of faking your demise.

Something to think on …

Teach a parrot the terms 'supply and demand' and you've got an economist. 
— Thomas Carlyle, born on this date in 1795

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Trading punches …

… The King of White Collar Boxing.


… DR. ROGER DANIELS FORSETH | Duluth News Tribune. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Exponential dimness …

… Nation Shocked, Horrified As Christians Hold Christian Position | The Babylon Bee.

“We’re not saying people can’t be Christians,” a Seattle woman said in a Facebook comment. “This is a free country, after all. But when Christians decide to actually have Christian beliefs about things—I’m sorry, that’s just too far.”

As Jeff Mauvais  points out in the comments, this is satire, and I did not notice, obviously. Of course, the point of the satire, remains sound.

A cautionary tale …

 My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic - WSJ.

There is no place in science for heresy trials. Because science is not a creed. It is a technique.

His rival, himself …

De Quincey: So Original, So Truly Weird. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
But by the end he is living in a dream world that “resembled a place like Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland or JM Barrie’s Neverland.” He is a boy who never grew up, “the quintessential Peter Pan.” Yet he is also the sophisticated, autobiographical genius whose works will influence the Brontës, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Oscar Wilde, as well as William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Peter Ackroyd, and even Alfred Hitchcock. He is the man whose dreams were hailed by Borges as “the best in literature.” He is one of the few English authors now issued in the classic French Éditions Pléiade (2011).

A classic …

 ON RELIGION: After 70 years, catholic's still a wonderful life | Lifestyles | muskogeephoenix.com.

A 2008 Times essay called it a “terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams ... of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife.”
The Times essay was written by the paper's Metro editor, Wendell Jamieson. Guess he wasn't raised Catholic.

Deadly encounter …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Fallen Tree Cluster, Sonnet #326.

Falling out …

… Inside Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson’s Epic Literary Feud. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

They both come off as rather creepy to me.

Let's dance …

… Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: The Amalgamation Polka by Stephen Wright.

Something to think on …

Only in men's imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.
— Joseph Conrad, born on this date in 1857

Friday, December 02, 2016

Great song …

Backstory …

… Paul Davis On Crime: The Interplay Between Truth And Fiction: The Man With The Poison Gun.

Blogging note …

One of my current obligations involves selling a friend's house. I have to be over there shortly to show it to a prospective buyer. I then have errands to run, so blogging on my part will resume sometime later on.

A fresh look …

Beyond 221B Baker Street Redux: Friday's (nearly) Forgotten Book -- Cauldron by Jack McDevitt (Ace, 2007).

Postmortem …

… Blame the identity apostles – they led us down this path to populism | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

For myself, I cheer as people protest that it no longer “means” anything to be left or right, liberal or conservative. If the left is so lacking in confidence it needs to launder itself as “progressive”, that is fine by me. But I just want to kick over the tables, rip up the rule books, get on with the debate.
Vikram was on to this awhile back.

Hmm …

 On Free Verse: A Minority Report — Samuel Hux. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Taking a tip from Dave, who mentioned in an email what he called the Potter Stewart test ("I can't define it, but I know it when I see it"), here is what I think anyone — even the fastidious Mr. Hux — would agree is a poem:

Something to think on …

The public school has become the established church of secular society.
— Ivan Ilich, who died on this date in 2002