Monday, February 27, 2017

Hard to figure …

 R.T.'s Commonplace Blog: Robert Frost ponders faith and the "cost-of-living".

Different beast...

Something t think on …

The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.
— Michel de Montaigne, born on this date in 1533

Something to think on …

Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born on this date in 1807

Meet Felix …

 Postcards from the End of [the] America[n Empire]: Obscured American: Felix the Artist, Ex-Grocer and Ex-Hospital Worker.

Remembering …

… William F. Buckley Jr.: Catholic Faith Was Central to His Life | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Person after person told of the one time they met him, and in each case the story was nearly identical: Bill treated them like they were the most important person in the world.
That was certainly my experience when I met him.


Well, this is certainly worrisome …

… Most scientists 'can't replicate studies by their peers' - BBC News.

"Replication is something scientists should be thinking about before they write the paper," says Ritu Dhand, the editorial director at Nature.
Well, yes.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Q & A …

… Ann Patchett on Stealing Stories, Book Tours, and Staying Off Twitter | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)

Anniversary …

… Rifftides | Happy 100th. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In case you wondered …

… If They Gave Oscars To Books, Our 2016 Nominees | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)

RIP …

… Norman Di Giovanni, the master’s translator - BuenosAiresHerald.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Listen in …

… Linkage | Brandywine Books.

FYI …

… The Writer's Curse: Carpel-Tunnel Syndrome and Other Aches and Pains | Bill Peschel.

Inquirer reviews …

… Art book takes Scorsese's 'Silence' to the next level.

David Grossman's new novel presents a stand-up comic in crisis.

He's better than that …

… The University Bookman: Roy Campbell: A Poet for Our Time? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Dave also sends along: `By This Clear Knowledge I Unread My Books'.

Something to think on …

Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.
— Joseph de Maistre, who died on this date in 1821

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Plautus, Decius, and others …

 A New Trumpist Magazine Débuts at the Harvard Club - The New Yorker.

Wissahickon Park, Valley Green Inn area, Feb. 25, 2017


Bleak charm …

 Nigeness: From Essex to Edward Thomas's Field.

Conservation …

… The Monk Who Saves Manuscripts From ISIS - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Meanwhile, How archaeology in Pakistan is forced to deny the nation's Hindu past (Post edited and bumped by Vikram Johri)

The master's voice …

(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Reniassance man …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Secret life Of The SS-GB Spymaster: How Author Len Deighton, Who Lived Next Door To A Nazi Spy In The War, Created A Nightmare Vision Of Britain Under The Jackboot.

Dismaying …

Last night, Debbie and I attended the Philadelphia Orchestra concert (we subscribe). The program was interesting — a selection from Brahms's 11 Choral Preludes, three orchestrated, four on the organ, followed by an early Bach cantata. After intermission, there was the Brahms Symphony No. 4.
I thought it the worst performance I have ever heard. It was certainly the loudest. If you like your Brahms full of bombast and devoid of nuance, this was the Brahms for you. In all fairness, the audience seemed pleased.

On second thought:

My friend and former Inquirer colleague David Stearns assures me that the problem lies with the acoustics of Verizon Hall. He reminds me that we had a similar discussion awhile back regarding a performance of the Rachmaninoff second symphony. As David put it in an email, "we aren't having a difference of taste. We heard very different mixtures of soundwaves."

Here's David's review: High-concept Philadelphia Orchestra concert renews Brahms.

Post bumped.

Hmm …

[Dennett] sets himself three main challenges here: to make sense of the idea of Design without a Designer that is so central to understanding evolution; to flesh out the concept of competence without comprehension, the key to much animal — and indeed human — thought and behaviour; to understand human consciousness as a natural, unmysterious, outcome of i) evolutionary design, ii) uncomprehending competence and, iii) a little something extra, shortly to be revealed. The overarching task is to enable us to understand ourselves, the intellectuals of creation, as the products of gradual, natural, processes, issuing out of dust yet eschewing the hand of God.
"… to make sense of the idea of Design without a Designer …  to understand human consciousness as a natural, unmysterious, outcome of i) evolutionary design …."  It seems to me we have more than a little begging of the question here. Aren't we assuming the truth of "design without a designer" in order to prove "evolutionary design," which would of course be "design without a designer," which itself is rather difficult to imagine, since the only demonstrable designs we know of are the work of designers.



… the effect of Dennett’s broad line of explanation for the way things are is to replace an ancient “mind-first” with a modern “mind-last” vision of creation." But mind just happens to be where it all did start. This still seems to me like trying to understand what someone is telling you over the phone in terms of the telephone's technology.  And what's this "creation" we are said to have a vision of?



Actually, the whole business of design seems to me to muddy the water. What the mind perceives in being is order. Order, one might say, is a necessary corollary of mind. From that, it does not seem a very large leap to conclude that mind is logically prior to order.

FYI …

… "Cli-Fi" : フィッシャーズ and a song from Japan by ハヤシユウ(Mr. Hayashi Yu, age 24)that has gone viral around the world -- "HOW_TO_PLAY".

Uniformity …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Parade (Peter Blume), Sonnet #338.

Something to think on …

Literature ceases to be literature when it commits itself to moral uplift; it becomes moral philosophy or some such dull thing.
— Anthony Burgess, born on this date in 1917

Friday, February 24, 2017

Amazing …

… It's a scary time for the world, says Martin Scorsese - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.

Exactly why am I supposed to care what he thinks? He makes movies. That's his area of expertise. So I'm supposed to take anything he says seriousl? Sorry. I don't.

Nabokov and Wilson...

...On the art of translation

Mysterious ways …

… An Ash Wednesday I’ll never forget | CatholicHerald.co.uk. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Complements …

… R.T.'s Commonplace Blog: Psalm 1 -- happiness and righteousness.

Something to think on …

Terrible is the day when each sees his soul naked, stripped of all veil; that dear soul which he cannot change or discard, and which is so irreparably his.
— George Moore, born on this date in 1852

Indeed …

… In praise of readability – TheTLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



One would think such a defense would be unnecessary (after all, the opposite of readable is unreadable), but apparently not.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Keeping the reaper at bay …

… Clive James announces new poetry collection – Injury Time | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

On Critics...

...Their judgements, writing, and motivation

Tales …

… R.T.'s Commonplace Blog: Shorts.

Have a look …

… 20 Ideas From the Mind of David Gelernter - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Poet and poem …

… R.T.'s Commonplace Blog: Robert Frost and "The Oven Bird".

Hmm …

… 10 Ideas That Could Save American Poetry | The Huffington Post. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)



I wasn't aware that American poetry needed saving, and I'm certainly sure about these ideas. We link, you decide.

Listen in …

… Episode 206 – Jessa Crispin | Virtual Memories.

“My advice of ‘Live a life that’s in alignment with your value system’ doesn’t go over super-great because that requires knowing what your value system is.”


Here's an interesting article Jessa had in the NYT last year: St. Teresa and the Single Ladies.