Thursday, April 19, 2018

The shot heard round the world …

… Informal Inquiries: The revolution begins on 19 April 1775.

A poem for all seasons …

… and all faiths: 'Amen,' A Passover Poem – Tablet Magazine. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Bobber-fishing …

… Fishing for Bream by P. Ivan Young : American Life in Poetry. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

In case you wondered …

… How Do We Judge Translations? | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Soundness: the idea being that you should be able to use the thing made, to read it, to write on it, to drop it, to push at bits of it, to cite others, to set it to work and to activate it in all these ways in the context of your own life—and still it would hold. Comeliness:pleasing in its features and its proportions.
I’m not sure how much work these new criteria could be made to do in the evaluation of translations. But I like them (I offer them here as possibilities to think on).

Kay Ryan weighs in …

… wonderfully, of course: AdviceToWriters - Advice to Writers - Read Something of Thrilling Quality. (Hat tip, Dave Lull,)

Blurbs, Bromides, and Sulphites …

… The Seriocomic Origin of 'Blurb' | Merriam-Webster. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

… Harper’s Editor Insists He Was Fired Over Katie Roiphe Essay. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Here's Roiphe's essay: The Other Whisper Network.

I'm not sure Marcus should have been fired, but this sort of disagreement, if it became typical, would be problematic for any publisher. And, I would think, for the editor as well. As for the story, it lives up to its billing as contrarian. 

Something to think on …

Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can.
— Richard Hughes, born on this date in 1900

Pondering the future...

Mirroring reality...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dark forest tale …

 Informal Inquiries (Revisited): Nathaniel Hawthorne (Revisited).

Hints and guesses …

 A millionaire who buried treasure in the Rockies has offered one main clue.  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



The poem is also called "The Thrill of the Chase." You can google it, but the website is not responding just now. Wonder why?

In case you want to go there …

… Daniel Kalder picks five books that get inside the minds of dictators | Books | The Guardian.

Also, listen in.

FYI …

Stay where some famous writers stayed …


World Book Day 2018 Travel: Vacation where your favorite authors once stayed

MUNICH, April 2018 - If you love travel and literature, what better way to celebrate World Book Day (April 23, 2018) than by staying at a home once inhabited by your favorite author? Imagine reading “The Great Gatsby” in a classic 1920s-style hotel on the French Riviera – a hotel whose décor and legendary parties likely influenced Fitzgerald’s renowned novel? Or sipping a martini in the location where Ian Fleming first jotted down James Bond’s “shaken, not stirred” catchphrase?

Holidu.com a leading search engine for vacation rentals, presents a list of eleven vacation rentals where famous writers have once stayed. All of these homes can be found on Holidu’s website, and can serve as inspiration for literature-lovers who also suffer from wanderlust this coming World Book Day.

As a quick refresher: World Book Day is an annual event that falls on April 23, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

Mary Shelley (“Frankenstein”) and Percy Shelley (“Ozymandias”): Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales, United Kingdom

This elegant and stately country house, now a B&B, was once the holiday home of the famed English writer Mary Shelley and her husband, romantic poet Percy Shelley. Among Mary Shelley’s various works, “Frankenstein” is indisputably the most well-known. Travelers who love the Shelleys might be entertained by this tale: This historic house is where Percy Shelley dodged an assassination attempt. Legend has it that he was shot at from outside the drawing room window by a disgruntled local, one of many irritated with his outspoken views. After that, the couple fled the country and never came back to Wales. The Gwynedd National Park is a must-see for any visitor. https://www.holidu.com/s/united-kingdom/gwynedd?holiduId=7987123

F. Scott Fitzgerald (“The Great Gatsby”): Nice, France

When looking for a way to consolidate your love for travel with your love for books, look no further than Nice. Famous writers like Hemingway, H.G. Wells and F. Scott Fitzgerald loved the city and its famous coastline. Fitzgerald, in particular, was a big fan of the French Riviera; he and his family were known to spend lots of time there. Fitzgerald preferred to stay at the Negresco, one of the oldest classical hotels. With this apartment for two, you can stay within the famous Negresco building without spending a fortune on the rooms, and still get the classic 1920s feel that Fitzgerald was exposed to (and likely influenced by) when writing “The Great Gatsby.” It’s known that the Negresco used to host lots of wild parties – a recurring scene in Fitzgerald’s most esteemed novel. If you’re looking for something intellectual beyond the beach and the parties, check out Nice’s wide variety of art museums. It’s worth noting that Fitzgerald’s contemporary and rival, Hemingway, also stayed here. https://www.holidu.com/s/france/nice?holiduId=6952578

John Steinbeck (“Of Mice and Men,” “The Grapes of Wrath”): Pacific Grove, United States

As most of Steinbeck’s work is set in California, it should come as no surprise that the Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author owned a home in the Golden State. This Pacific Grove apartment belonged to Steinbeck in the early 1940s. He used it as a writing studio and worked on novels like “The Log from the Sea of Cortez” while residing here. Pacific Grove is on the very tip of the scenic, tree-shrouded Monterey Peninsula, which boasts a dramatic, craggy coastline and unbelievable ocean views. Besides the scenic beauty, the eclectic downtown has cute boutiques, art galleries, antique stores and more. Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are also half a mile away. Fun fact for Steinbeck lovers: The actual location Steinbeck was writing about in his famed novel, “Cannery Row,” was originally called “Ocean View Avenue.” It was later renamed “Cannery Row” in honor of the book. https://www.holidu.com/d/3619973

Ian Fleming (“James Bond”): London, United Kingdom

Action-lovers and James Bond aficionados will surely enjoy a stay at the Dukes in London. Within this luxurious and sophisticated boutique apartment/hotel, travelers can enjoy a typical British high tea, or sip on classic cocktails at the elegant hotel bar. It was here that Fleming came up with James Bond’s famous catchphrase “shaken, not stirred,” which still features prominently in James Bond books and films. To really feel like the secret agent himself, be sure to order the Vesper Martini. Book-loving travelers can also visit the nearby British Library, which is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. https://www.holidu.de/s/grossbritannien/london?holiduId=11378680

Sylvia Plath (“The Bell Jar”) and Ted Hughes (“The Thought-Fox”): Loubressac, France

Literary powerhouse couple Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were visitors of this beautiful, traditional two-bedroom original stone house in the tranquil rural village of Lacam de Loubressac. The property overlooks the Dordogne River, and the great 12th century castle of Castelnau de Bretenoux dominates the panorama below. This quiet, charming home, which boasts exposed beams, central heating, a wood-burning stove and an open fireplace is essentially one giant reading nook perfect for getting lost in both writers’ poetry, or to crack open Plath’s only novel, “The Bell Jar.” Once you’ve had your share of reading, rent canoes from one of the boating companies the Dordogne, for some outdoor exercise; bicycles can also be rented in nearby towns. Additionally, the pilgrimage village of Rocamadour is within a half hour’s drive, and its churches built among boulders and caves are worth exploring. https://www.holidu.com/s/france/loubressac?holiduId=4001208

Roald Dahl (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”): Tenby, Wales, United Kingdom

Book-lovers looking for a comfortable accommodation in which to relax, like Dahl did, may enjoy this cozy cabin where the British novelist used to spend time with his family. Holidays in Tenby with his Norwegian mother influenced him, what with her fascinating Nordic stories involving witches and trolls. These imaginative myths have therefore always marked his style of writing, full of unexpected and outlandish situations, especially in novels such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.” This seaside town is a holiday destination for people from all over the world, and its sandy shores, rows of multicolored houses and town walls make a perfect getaway from bigger cities. Close to Tenby, an evocative holy island is worth a visit: Inhabited by Cistercian monks, Caldey Island offers the perfect panorama in which you can lose yourself in a good book. https://www.holidu.com/s/united-kingdom/pembrokeshire?holiduId=14606686 

Miguel de Cervantes (“Don Quixote”): Barri Gòtic, Spain

Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote is probably one of the most famous books worldwide and the author influenced the Spanish language so much that modern-day Spanish is sometimes referred to as “la lengua de Cervantes” or “the language of Cervantes.” This luminous apartment is a celebration of this renowned author: Situated in one of the most beautiful areas in Barcelona, it was here that Cervantes lived and wrote for a couple of years. The rental, catalogued by the UNESCO as Artistic Heritage of the XVth century Catalan Gothic style, was completely reformed and turned into a duplex conserving the old stone walls and arches. The area around the apartment, Barri Gòtic (or Gothic Quarter), seems to be made especially for book-lovers: you can stop by theSunday book market at Carrer Comte d'Urgell or have a coffee at the Café Els Quatre Gats, originally a meeting place of bohemian authors (artists like Gaudi and Picasso). https://www.holidu.com/s/spain/barcelona?holiduId=4450267

Gustave Flaubert ("Madame Bovary"): Pont-l'Évêque, France

This comfortable holiday home, on the shores of an 80-hectare lake, was the former residence of French naturalist author Gustave Flaubert, best known for his worldwide masterpiece “Madame Bovary.” The greenery sprawling around the house, as well as the serene lake, make the perfect environment for reading outside and basking in nature’s glory. If you can pull yourself away from your book, be sure to visit the Normandy Natural Park and also get to Rouen, the writer's birthplace. There you’ll find the museum dedicated to the author. 
https://www.holidu.com/s/france/pont-l-eveque?holiduId=2323630

Nikos Kazantzakis (“Zorba the Greek”): West Mani, Greece

This charming seaside house built in the late 19th century has its own story to tell. Between 1917 and 1918 the famous author Nikos Kazantzakis from Crete lived here. This is where the original story of his world-famous book “Zorba the Greek” took place. The plot is partly inspired by Kazantzakis’s own life and focuses on a young man who works in a mine. The mine where Kazantzakis himself worked is only a few miles from the house. So is the beach where the famous “Sirtaki scene” from the movie with Anthony Quinn takes place. The rental offers a calm and private atmosphere in which one can relax and unwind, and houses between four to six people. https://www.holidu.com/s/greece/west-mani?holiduId=14280958

Paul Auster (“The Book of Illusions”): Azenhas do Mar, Portugal

The postmodern author and director Paul Auster spent some time in this spacious villa in Lisbon while filming “The Inner Life of Martin Frost.” His works are influenced by psychoanalysis and transcendentalism; therefore, some recurring themes are coincidence, failure and metafiction. This holiday house is surrounded by the magnificent gardens and is close in proximity to the 19th-century architectural monuments of Sintra, which has resulted in its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors may easily get carried away by the beautiful sites, especially the castle of Quinta da Regaleira: a romantic palace with luxurious park, that features lakes, grottoes and fountains. https://www.holidu.com/s/portugal/azenhas-do-mar?holiduId=2272476   

Carl Zuckmayer (“The Captain of Köpenick”)Saas-Fee, Switzerland

The famous German writer and playwright Zuckmayer shuttled between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the U.S. throughout his life. His play, “The Captain of Köpenick,” was a smash success, but like his other plays it became censored during World War II. Following the War, Zuckmayer settled down in Saas-Fee, Switzerland where he bought this luxurious wooden chalet in Zermatt. The breathtaking alpine scenery there probably inspired him to continue writing and this chalet is also a perfect place in which one can quietly read for hours on end. https://www.holidu.com/s/switzerland/saas-fee?holiduId=3171235

Not so apolitical after all …

… The University Bookman: Not Only Narnia: Lewis as Political Thinker.

Both books, in the end, open Lewis’s intellectual world to us and invite us to enter the conversation. Indeed, as McGrath writes, “Half a century after his death, the process of receiving and interpreting Lewis has still only begun.” In the same spirit, Dyer and Watson write that they hope their book “will contribute in some way to the conversation, still in its beginning stages, about Lewis’s surprising legacy in the world of politics and political thought.”

Recommended …

… Book review: 'Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners,' unforgettable free-verse poems for teens | The Kansas City Star. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Hmm …

… John Keene: Elements of Literary Style | Literary Hub. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Just get it down as best you can. Any style you may have will be manifest.Working at a style is like trying to be hip.

In case you wondered …

What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep | Outside Online. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The consequences of chronic sleep deprivation are far worse than one sleepless night. But the decision to pull an all-nighter just once can leave some serious damage in its wake.
 I once stayed awake for something on the order of 40 straight hours (I had deadlines to meet).  When I finally hit the sack I was surprised at how long it took for me to fall asleep and  how short a time I slept (about five hours). I was young, though, and my normal sleeping pattern soon returned.

Good for her …

… Tracy K. Smith, America’s Poet Laureate, Is a Woman With a Mission. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden,)
“More than anything now, I’m looking for the kind of silence that yields clarity,” she told me. “I’m interested in the way our voices sound when we dip below the decibel level of politics.”

A profile in courage …

 work and love – my online notebook since ALS. (Hat tip, Lee Lowe.)

What has been the hardest issue in my ALS journey, so painfully sad, was the losing of my voice, which has recently progressed at breakneck speed as if to say.: Well if you have something final to say,  say it NOW. And I said it. I told everyone within reach that l loved them. I sang something for my sister that might with some good will resemble Happy Birthday. 

Not so much these days …

… The Stillness and Silence of Mass. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The word is a thing of mystery, so volatile that it van­ishes almost on the lip, yet so powerful that it decides fates and determines the meaning of existence. A frail structure shaped by fleeting sound, it yet contains the eternal: truth. Words come from within, rising as sounds fashioned by the organs of a man’s body, as expressions of his heart and spirit. He utters them, yet he does not create them, for they already existed independently of him. One word is related to another; together they form the great unity of language, that empire of truth-forms in which a man lives.
The current Mass is rather too busy to promote reflection, I fear.

Hmm …

… Study: People with less political knowledge think they know a lot about politics.

“The Dunning-Kruger effect holds that individuals with little knowledge about a topic will be, paradoxically, the most confident that they know a lot about the topic. Knowledgeable individuals will also discount their knowledgeability,” explained study author Ian Anson, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Real knowledge makes one aware of how much more there is to know.

For your listening pleasure …

Leopold Stokowski was born on this date in 1882. Ottorino Respighi died on this date in 1936.

Crime and poetry …

… 26 Crime Writing Poets | CrimeReads. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A sort of autobiography …

… Freeman Dyson’s Life, Through His Letters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
“Maker of Patterns” is not autobiography. That would require something more than just the long letters reproduced here, occasionally annotated with italicized commentary. But these letters will delight any reader with their often contrarian observations. Dyson is an excellent witness, an acute observer of personality and human foibles. This volume should make any reader pine for a deep memoir.

Something tp think on …

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
— Albert Einstein, who died on this date in 1955

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Something to think on …

Faith is a never-ending pool of clarity, reaching far beyond the margins of consciousness. We all know more than we know we know.
— Thornton Wilder, born on this date in 1897


Appreciation …

… Clarify Me, Please, God of the Galaxies by Dana Gioia | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The sorrows of poets are legion, and their failures commonplace. Why does the case of Elizabeth Jennings deserve special consideration? Despite her worldly failures, her artistic career was a steady course of achievement. Jennings ranks among the finest British poets of the second half of the twentieth century. She is also England’s best Catholic poet since Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Free sample …

… “The Genius to Glue Them Together”: On René Girard and His Ideas - Los Angeles Review of Books.

he “Romantic lie” Girard attempts to dismantle is the myth of personal autonomy, the “authentic self” so dear to thinkers from Rousseau onward. The hero wants something, and it is really “he” who wants it — unaffected by others, as if he were not also a slave to public opinion and the approbation of friends and family. Girard saw an inevitable third in these transactions — the one who modeled the desire, who taught us to have it.

Listen in …

 Episode 265 – Jaime Hernandez – The Virtual Memories Show.

“Whenever I write Maggie & Hopey, they’re always looking at the past, always thinking back about what they were. I didn’t mean for it to be that way, but that’s what I do: ‘Remember when we were like that, well, we’re not like that anymore. . . .'”

Monday, April 16, 2018

Certainly modern …

… if not modernist: Robert Frost was a poet who turned prose into poetry and the everyday into the extraordinary. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Jerzy Kosinski


Jerzy Kosinski is not an author with whom I was familiar, despite his having won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1969. 

Over the past week, I've made my way through Steps, the collection for which Kosinski was recognized by the National Book Foundation (and the work for which he is most commonly associated today).  

I should say at the start that Steps is a hybrid: part novella, part short stories, the collection takes as its subject the sexual awakening of its unnamed protagonist, a university-aged student forced to navigate the repressive qualities an equally unnamed totalitarian state. The result is a work in which sexual relations become regulated: like financial currency, sex is subject to the edicts of a bureaucratic state. Kosinski's characters emerge as paranoid lovers, desensitized to their pursuits: everything functions as an exchange. 

But more than that: Steps, I thought, served as a reminder of the extent to which Stalinist states traded in rumor and reputation. On several occasions, characters are ruined as a result of association, of rumors traded about their backgrounds or love interests. Here, again, the result is a novella in which sex is regulated: Kosinski is clear that the act itself is subservient to laws and language regulating it. 

This is not a perfect collection, but Kosinski has certainly achieved something: as his central character evolves, so too do his sexual awakening. What starts with childish exploits ends with philosophical meditations on the limits of human arousal and the pain so often associated with pleasure. By the culmination of Steps, almost all sexual encounters in the book are tinged with a tragic quality, as if all that we can hope to do in our partnerships is identify a flicker of ourselves. This is one of the most bleak byproducts of the Stalinist state. 

Appreciation …

 Denis Johnson's legacy of grace evident in new, posthumous story collection - Chicago Tribune. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

And the winners are …

 Announcement of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winners - The Pulitzer Prizes. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A panoramic rendering …

 EVOLUTION OF DESIRE by Cynthia L. Haven | Kirkus Reviews.

… Haven ably, even elegantly, synopsizes the central tenets of Girard’s beliefs, in particular his pioneering views on mimesis—a kind of updated version of Rousseau’s amour propre—the notion that the desires and violent conflicts that often spring from people have their root cause in the gregarious mimicking of others.

Then and now …



  1.  Addicted to Addiction - The American Interest.


Lemon begins in the 1530s, when “addiction” begins to appear in English to designate both distorted desire for wine or riches and properly exclusive, single-minded desire for Christ. In 1534 George Joye asks God to “make faste thye promises to thy servant which is addicte unto thy worshyppe.” For these Protestant writers, Catholics were “addict to their supersticyons,” whereas they should be “addict unto none but to christ,” “addicted to praiers,” to “the meaneynge of the scripture.” Lemon’s Protestant sources share a suspicion of anything too material, too embodied—fasting, kneeling—as if Catholic sacraments were the original substance abuse. Lemon quotes a translation of the Letter of St. Paul to Titus which opens, “I Paule my selfe the addict servant & obeyer, not of Moses lawe as I was once, but of God the father, and ambassador of his sonne Jesus Christ.” That Paul should be an addict is obvious to his English readers; the important question is to whom he ought addict himself. 

Sense and sensibility …

 Life Without a View Other than the Immediate One - Maverick Philosopher: Strictly Philosophical. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

If there's one word that sums up everything that's gone wrong since the war, it's Workshop. After Youth, that is.
— Kingsley Amis, born on this date in 1922

The bond of memory …

 Forgotten Poems #40: "There Is a Mystic Borderland".

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Continuing …

… "Cosmography" Uranus-1.


Uranus/Ouranos/Prometheus is the ninth section of Cosmography's ten parts.

Oh, and by the way …

 Broward School Violence: Cruz's Massacre Is Far From the Whole Story | RealClearInvestigations.

Meanwhile, murders, armed robberies and other violent felonies committed by children outside of schools have hit record levels, and some see a connection with what’s happening on school grounds. Since the relaxing of discipline, Broward youths have not only brazenly punched out their teachers, but terrorized Broward neighborhoods with drive-by shootingsgang rapeshome invasions and carjackings.
Broward County now has the highest percentage of “the most serious, violent [and] chronic”juvenile offenders in Florida, according to the county’s chief juvenile probation officer.

April Poetry at North of Oxford …

… “On This World Where the Anglo-Zanzibar War Erupted” by Eileen R. Tabios.

… Abandoned soliloquy by James Walton.

… Still by m.f. nagel.

… Teresa: Translator by Stephen Page.

Hmm …

… Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray review – is every atheist an inverted believer? | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It would have been nice if more details of this “impressively erudite work” had been cited and less of the reviewer’s judgments. I was also unaware that Dostoevsky was a fanatical God-hater.  This is, after all, the fellow who once wrote, “even if someone were to prove to me that the truth lay outside Christ, I should choose to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.”

Q&A …

… Lionel Shriver: ‘Few writers are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech’ | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I’m not a natural activist, and I’m reluctant to embrace this role, but I am also dismayed by how few writers with any serious reputation are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech. …  Not only do we have to preserve the right to write characters who are different from ourselves, we have to preserve the right to have characters who think things that are unacceptable. 

Inquirer reviews …

… 'Dangerous Mystic': A true, gripping tale of a man's perilous search for God.

'Isaac Severy': Hilarious novel about family, death, madness - and math.

Something to think on …

I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.
— Helene Hanff, born on this date in 1916

Saturday, April 14, 2018

RIP …

 Milos Forman: 1932-2018 | Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Celebration …

… A book is born! A party launches Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard – and the French consul was there, too! | The Book Haven.

Take a look at this …

… Replay: the Rolling Stones on The Mike Douglas Show | About Last Night.


Here and there …

 A Review of Allison Coffelt’s Maps Are Lines We Draw | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

Facts and headlines …

… Nigeness: Seventh Worst Butterfly Year...

Persona …

 Zealotry of Guerin: Actor’s Mask (Klee), Sonnet #400.

Something to think on …

Religion holds the solution to all problems of human relationship, whether they are between parents and children or nation and nation. Sooner or later, man has always had to decide whether he worships his own power or the power of God.
— Arnold J. Toynbee, born on this date in 1889

Friday, April 13, 2018

Anniversary …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History 'Casino Royale,' Ian Fleming's First James Bond Thriller, Was Published.

Doris Lessing...

...And contemporary identity

Blogging note …

Once again, I must head for the day. I will resume blogging later.

The secret, silent space …

… Albion Awakening: Rediscovering the Centre - T.S. Eliot's 'Four Quartets'.  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



This is our calling - to search for meaning, to scope out a pattern, to light up the dark with whatever fire we've been given, knowing that as we do so more fire will be given to us and more light will be revealed. If we take one step forward, God takes ten towards us, because we're in a relationship with Him, not a contract, and this is what He wants from us, to become Divine as He is - what the Orthodox world calls theosis. This can give us confidence and hope when times get tough, both in our personal lives and on the world stage. We are not helpless, free-floating automatons but sons and daughters of the Most High God, whose lives and what we do with them matter every bit as much as the judgement calls of Presidents and Prime Ministers. 

Q&A …

… Freda Payne channels Ella Fitzgerald in 'Ella: First Lady of Song' at Delaware Theatre Company - Philly. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

… Why Printed Books Are Losing Popularity | bigessaywriter.com. (Hat tip, Sarah Hall.)

I suspect printed books will survive, but mostly as art objects. There are some I have that mean a great deal to me.

Round-up …

 A New Approach to the Old Ball Game - WSJ. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Indeed …

 Prayer for the Farmers by Timothy Murphy | Articles | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Anniversary …

 … Informal Inquiries (2nd edition): This day in history — 1909.

Something to think on …

The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.
— Samuel Beckett, born on this date in 1906

Mark thy calendar …

FOR POETRY MONTH 2018

THE GREEN LINE CAFE 
POETRY SERIES &
POETRY IN COMMON
Present:


THE OSAGE POETS – TUESDAY EDITION & THURSDAY EDITION


featuring: 

* Jerry Lindauer * Dennis Moritz *

* Drew Lewis * Diane McManus * Jim Brennan * 

* Helen Mirkil * Charles Carr * Jerry Morgan *



Tuesday, April 17, 7 PM



Hosted by Leonard Gontarek



GREEN LINE CAFE 
45TH & LOCUST STREETS
PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA

     This Event Is Free


(Please note the address, there are
  other Green Line Café locations.)

greenlinecafe.com

Forethought …

… by J. D. McClatchy:  “My Plot” | The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The dumbest generation …

 Instapundit —  ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II.

Hmm …

Climate change dials down Atlantic Ocean heating system - BBC News.

I can’t be the only person who finds it interesting that science appears to be returning to its roots in alchemy and astrology and devoting itself to prophecy.

Dave Eggers...

...A review of his most recent novel, The Monk of Mokha

Sheep may safely tweet …

 Museum Of English Rural Life tweets inexplicably popular picture of sheep, goes mad with power. (Hat tip, John Timpane.)

Man about town …

 on Orphic Paris by Henri Cole (New York Review Books) | On the Seawall: A Literary Website by Ron Slate (GD). (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Sounds like a must-read. In fact, I just bought the Kindle edition.

Why read …

… Informal Inquiries (2nd edition): Digression — The Great Escape.



I suppose, since I've mostly made my living by reading books and writing about them, I could be said to have spent my entire life on the lam.

The auditory imagination …

… DeLillo, Lethem, and the Seductive Sentence - The Millions. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Forgotten no more …

 Gil Orlovitz, Poet, Died in July; Traced to City Paupers' Grave - The New York Times.

A collection of his long out-of-print short stories, poems, and essays entitled What Are They All Waiting For? compiled and edited by Richard Schober, is scheduled for publication on June 7 by Tough Poets Press. Here is a biographical essay that Schober has written as the Introduction to that collection.

Ah, yes …

… The Strange Magic of Libraries. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In the human mind, the word library seems to sit alongside other pregnant and evocative words such as garden, forest, galaxy, and labyrinth. Book lovers speak of their possessions as beautiful flowers, verdant leaves, precious fruit, flowing fountains. Books are stars and planets and meteorites. To browse library shelves is to wander in a maze or a mirror gallery. Cemetery is another neighboring word. Libraries have always been a matter of life and death. They are places of reverence, homes for things long gone. Through books, the dead speak.

Something to think on …

The basic drive behind real philosophy is curiosity about the world, not interest in the writings of philosophers.
— Bryan Magee, born on this date in 1930

Episode 136 – J.D. McClatchy – The Virtual Memories Show

… Episode 136 – J.D. McClatchy – The Virtual Memories Show.

“I’m now older than the two most important men in my life were when they died: my father and James Merrill.”

Listen in …

… Episode 264 – Dean Haspiel – The Virtual Memories Show.

“I decided at age 12 that I wanted to dedicate my life to making comics, so I became otherwise unemployable.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In case you wondered …

 Historically informed performance: How does it translate into the real world?

Recordings of music on period instruments have acted almost like performance research – seeing what’s possible in studios where acoustics could be fashioned to suit the size and nature of the sound envelope at hand. Few Historically-Informed Performance (HIP) pioneers have opened my ears more than Arthur Schoonderwoerd, whose recordings of the Beethoven piano concertos (and, most recently, the Mozart Requiem) played with ultra-small scale forces are radical but historically responsible departures from what we normally hear. Keep in mind that some Beethoven premieres were in ballrooms, not concert halls, which why the super-small scale makes sense: They showed what was the mind’s ear of Beethoven as he was writing.

Considering a genre …

 Informal Inquiries (2nd edition): Detective Fiction.

Seamus Heaney...

...The man, his poetry, and his legacy

RIP …

… J. D. McClatchy: The American Scholar: Last Words - Our Editors. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Blogging note …

Once again, I must be out and about. I will resume blogging when I can.

Focus on a tireless combatant …

 Neal Freeman’s National Review | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

As Lionel Trilling would famously put it in The Liberal Imagination in 1950, “In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.”
In 1955 Bill Buckley challenged that premise by gathering an eclectic group of thinkers and activists around him at his new magazine—James Burnham, former spokesman for Leon Trotsky in North America, whose book The Managerial Revolution remains a classic today; Frank Meyer, an ex-communist who lived with his family in Woodstock, New York, slept during the day and worked through the night, frequently calling some of us at 2 or 3 a.m. to discuss book reviews and political happenings; Whittaker Chambers, suffused with pessimism and a haunting sense of tragedy; Russell Kirk, living in a manse in Mecosta, Michigan, author of the magisterial The Conservative Mind (1953), published by Henry Regnery. Regnery, incidentally, the publisher of Buckley’s God and Man at Yale, nearly single-handedly kept conservative literature alive through the 1940s and ’50s, much in the manner of a medieval abbot preserving Christian manuscripts.

Beating time …

… A Homework Assignment from W. H. Auden. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

well there you go...

Transgender sex robots in mass demand thanks to rise in curious couples experimenting with his and hers parts

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Q&A …

… Paris Review - Kay Ryan, The Art of Poetry No. 94. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The problem for me was that I willed my poetry at first. I had too much control. But in time the benevolences of metaphor and rhyme sent me down their rabbit holes, in new directions, so that my will—my intention—was sent hither and yon. And in that mix of intention and diversion, I could get a tiny inkling of things far beyond me. 

James Wood...

...And the state of contemporary criticism

Together at last …

Bad day …

 April 9, 1940 | Brandywine Books.

For the defense …

 On the Dragging of Kevin Williamson - Volokh Conspiracy : Reason.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hiatus …

 Informal Inquiries (2nd edition): Blogging note.

Something to think on …

A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
— William Hazlitt, born on this date in 1778

Monday, April 09, 2018

Ripping Apart the Enemy

This is on Channel 69 and related channels tonight, at 7 p.m. eastern,
 and reedited from our show last year.

Mr. Sharp, the guy against trans people like me, had to leave "unexpectedly early."  

lololol 
chicken



Incredibly speculative nonsense that people work on and gets published

Eyebrows and forehead brows. 
“The authors’ suggestion is an intriguing one, I think it remains speculative,” Ian Tattersall, the curator emeritus of human origins at the American Museum of Natural History, writes in an email.
And there are some important limitations to this study too. This work is the result of a computer manipulation of one skull that was missing a lower jaw. So the authors took some assumptions as to what the jaw would look and move like.

Odd …

 Anecdotal Evidence: `I Have Waded Through Much Blood'.

I wonder why he even wanted to translate something he found so repulsive.

That Twain anniversary …

… Informal Inquiries (2nd edition): Mark Twain gets his pilot’s license.

Appreciation …

… A life in books: Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road – Kate Macdonald. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Helene Hanff died on this date in 1997.

Q&A …

 Snapshot: a 1989 interview with John Updike | About Last Night.

Anniversary …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History Mark Twain Received His Steamboat Pilot’s License.