Thursday, August 21, 2014

Posthumous Marginalia

Reading David Foster Wallace's reading...

Sick bay report …

… Paul Davis On Crime: It's A Cruel, Cruel Summer: Once Again In The Hospital.



Let's all say a prayer for Paul tonight.

For mature readers …

… About Last Night | Truth without bullets. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

If you’ve never heard of Guard of Honor, you’re not alone. Though it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1949, it is as poorly remembered as the rest of Cozzens’ novels, and I doubt that it is ripe for revival. Set in a stateside Army Air Force base nine months before D-Day, most of its main characters are desk jockeys who almost certainly never made it to Europe or the South Pacific. Not surprisingly, nobody ever thought to turn the exploits of these indispensable yet invisible warriors into a movie; probably, nobody ever will. Yet Guard of Honor is a great novel all the same, the only English-language novel of World War II that can withstand comparison with Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour.

And more still …

… beyond eastrod: and here is a caution, in the form of an impromptu pair of haiku, for the unfortunate freshmen in my English composition classes (poor souls). . .

More haiku …

… Issa's Untidy Hut: Patrick Sweeney & Daryl Nielsen: Wednesday Haiku, #188.

The importance of tempo …

… On the Slow, Deliberate Making of a Story | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.
… Quantum Gravity Expert Says “Philosophical Superficiality” Has Harmed Physics | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 If the question is whether I think that there is a person who has created Heavens and Earth, and responds to our prayers, then definitely my answer is no, with much certainty.
Be interesting to know what his grounds for certainty are.

Secular faith …

… Bryan Appleyard — The Pursuit of Goodness. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Logically, evolution can account for goodness only sometimes, when goodness contributes to survival. Otherwise, not. Except, of course, that in the ethics of evolution, survival by whatever means is the highest good.

Yes, I'd think...

...Are videos of Islamic violence propaganda?

Personally, I don't think the video itself need be seen. One knows what has happened. What is the point in seeing it and marinating in these butchers' gruesomeness?

Haiku …


The city sirens
Entice no one, but do prompt
Longing for ear plugs.

Blogging note …

I have a full day of appointments, for which I am about to take off. No more blogging by me until this evening.

A thought for today …


While I am busy with little things, I am not required to do greater things.
— St. Francis de Sales, born on this date in 1567

It should go on tour …

… zmkc: That Ineluctable Binary.

The man who died …

… “Mom, Mom, it’s me, Jim.” Remembering James Wright Foley, 1973-2014 | The Book Haven.

Please be seated …

… beyond eastrod: Channeling Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" - the scourge of the classroom comes out of retirement and returns to campus as a professor of English composition.

A Booksinq notable film...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RIP …

… Licia Albanese, opera singer, dies aged 105 | Music | The Guardian.

Begging to differ …

… more than 95 theses — It is not a journalist’s job to protect us from...



I don't know. I think you should report whatever you find out.

Ah, the business of writing …

… The Millions : Practical Art: On Teaching the Business of Creative Writing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Haiku …


Dark clouds gathering.
May they pour torrents on us.
We need some cleansing.

A roundup of characters …

… When Falls the Coliseum � Lisa reads FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci.

Submissions wanted …

… Bluestem Seeks Nonfiction Submissions | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

An evolving life …

… The Last Cowboys at the End of the World By Nick Reding | Fox Chase Review.

Indeed …

… Report the truth — the whole truth — on Robin Williams' death — LA Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull. )

… that's the journalist's job: the story. His only job: to tell the whole story straight.

Outside the comfort zone …

… Hands Turning the Earth by Bill Wunder | Fox Chase Review.

By one who was there …

… Attending James Joyce's Birthday Party | New Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

…  so when he speaks of his aversion to aggressiveness, turbulence, violence of any kind, his words are impressive. "Birth and death are sufficiently violent for me," he says. The state for which he has the highest esteem was the old Hapsburg Empire. "They called it a ramshackle empire,” he says, "I wish there were more such ramshackle empires in the world." What he liked about old Austria was not only the mellowness of life there, but the fact that the state tried to impose so little upon its own or upon other people. It was not warlike, it was not efficient, and its bureaucracy was not strict; it was the country for a peaceful man. 
There is much in what he says.

A thought for today …


Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
— Paul Tillich, born on this date in 1886

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The original tweeters …

… Revealing the Hidden Beauty of Birdsong — Sound and vision blog. (Hat tip, David Tothero.)

Haiku …


When he was fifteen
He planted the maple tree
Someone has cut down.

Mystery and mastery …

… “Logarithms” | TLS. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

That is a very good poem. I had never heard of Pudney.

FYI...

Interior voices …

… Samuel Beckett's articulation of unceasing inner speech | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Charismatic and ruthless …

… Who Was Cleopatra? | History | Smithsonian. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)



What kind of pharaoh was Cleopatra? The few remaining contemporary Egyptian sources suggest that she was very popular among her own people. Egypt's Alexandria-based rulers, including Cleopatra, were ethnically Greek, descended from Alexander the Great's general Ptolemy I Soter. They would have spoken Greek and observed Greek customs, separating themselves from the ethnically Egyptian majority. But unlike her forebears, Cleopatra actually bothered to learn the Egyptian language. For Egyptian audiences, she commissioned portraits of herself in the traditional Egyptian style. In one papyrus dated to 35 B.C. Cleopatra is called Philopatris, "she who loves her country." By identifying herself as a truly Egyptian pharaoh, Cleopatra used patriotism to cement her position.


Good Lord, it's me …

… Podcast: Critical Mass — Frank Wilson | Virtual Memories.

A thought for today …

Real rebels are rarely anything but second rate outside their rebellion; the drain of time and temper is ruinous to any other accomplishment.
— James Gould Cozzens, born on this date in 1903

Someone had to say it...

...Against Editors
This is not to say that editing is not a legitimate job. It is. It is also a necessary step in the writing process. But it is not the most important role in the writing process. That would be writing, which any honest editor will tell you is much harder than editing. (An editor who will not admit this is not worth listening to.) Reporting is a difficult chore. Writing is a psychologically agonizing struggle. Editing is not easy, but not as onerous as either of the two tasks that precede it. You would never know that, though, by looking at the relative salaries of the people who do the work.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spiritual, not religious …

… Catholicism After Catholicism in Irish Poetry — University of Notre Dame.



It seems there are better ways to engage Catholicism than how most of these poets did.

Dark Lady …

… Book Review: 'Susan Sontag: A Biography' by Daniel Schreiber - WSJ.

Something I happened upon …

Frank Wilson | gists.



I link to this because of the poem, which I think is quite good.

Scientist or mystic?

..Seeds of doubt
When Shiva writes that “Golden Rice will make the malnutrition crisis worse” and that it will kill people, she reinforces the worst fears of her largely Western audience. Much of what she says resonates with the many people who feel that profit-seeking corporations hold too much power over the food they eat. Theirs is an argument well worth making. But her statements are rarely supported by data, and her positions often seem more like those of an end-of-days mystic than like those of a scientist.