Saturday, July 04, 2015

interesting question …

 Was the South Ever Confederate, Anyway? | The Knoxville Mercury.

Encountering the living God …

… Beyond Eastrod: the journey continues: On reading the Bible and the works of Flannery O'Connor -- looking into the mirror of recognition, asking the questions, searching for answers, and hoping for something better in this life (and beyond).



I'm a big fan of God as he appears in Job. No namby-pamby he. How dare you question me. I'm God, and you're not. I can do anything I want. That's why they call me God.

That question again...

...Why College Kids Are Avoiding the Study of Literature
In each of these interest-killing approaches—the technical, the judgmental, and the documentary—true things are said. Of course literature uses symbols, provides lessons in currently fashionable problems, and can serve as a document of its times. The problem is what these approaches do not achieve. They fail to give a reason for reading literature.

Can Delhi be...

...India's Cultural Capital?

Something to think on …

Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers.
— Nathaniel Hawthorne, born on this date in 1804

Still going …

… Burt Bacharach, Royal Concert Hall: review and photos | Nottingham Post. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Cover story …

… Detectives Beyond Borders: My second book cover as a photographer!

Navel-gazing...

Friday, July 03, 2015

Worth remembering...

About Chekhov …

… William Boyd: A Chekhov lexicon | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Submissions wanted …

… Redux, Recycle | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

In case you wondered …

The sturdy Keats …

… Anecdotal Evidence: 'When I Get Among the Highlanders'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Dave brings this to my attention because of the comment. Certainly, anyone who appreciates poetry must admire what Keats has to say of it in his letters. But to value the letters above the poetry seems perverse. Decades before the French Symbolists, Keats made words into music, and without any blurring of sense. 

Beg, borrow, and steal …

… The Con Man Who Invented American Popular Music. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Although he didn’t know much about the American South, Stephen Foster did grasp that the “business of America is business”—even composers needed to respect that fact. In fact, he was a skilled bookkeeper, having worked in that capacity for his brother’s steamship business in Cincinnati. As a professional songwriter, Foster applied this talent to his new craft, tabulating current and anticipated payments from publishers with actuarial precision. His surviving legal contracts are in his own handwriting. In fact, they are the earliest commercial agreements of this sort that we know of in American music. True, Foster died in poverty—with exactly thirty-eight cents in his pocket. Yet, commentators have extrapolated falsely from this sad end. Nothing could be less accurate than the mythic image of Stephen Foster as a careless artist, heedless of his finances and driven solely by his creative, poetic spirit. Foster was as much an entrepreneur as an artist: Long before ASCAP and BMI stepped in to defend the intellectual property of songwriters, he was fighting a lonely and hard battle to ensure proper remuneration for his work.

Something to think on …

That I have the right to express myself freely at all times in all circumstances entails the idea that free speech is a 'basic human right' possessed by each individual, and, as such, trumps the interests of the society or group, including my neighbour.
— Tom Stoppard, born on this date in 1937

Although none was needed …

… Beyond Eastrod: the journey continues: Beyond Eastrod continues: Chicken Little offers you an apology, an explanation, and the promise of an another attempt at reading novels, stories, poems, plays, and more.



It all sounds perfectly human and natural to me.

Online now …

 Fox Chase Review Summer 2015 Edition.

Preparing for persecution …

… The Benedict Option | Junior Ganymede. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Civil War Veterans

Not an inherently literary post, but still, incredible: see here.

Vintage review …

… Review-a-Day — Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, reviewed by The Atlantic Monthly - Powell's Books. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The only profitable point of view from which Leaves of Grass can be regarded is one that, while giving distinctness to the serious error of unclean exposure and to the frequent feebleness of form and style which reduce large portions of the work to tedious and helpless prose, leaves our vision clear for the occasional glimpses of beauty that the book discloses. We must also take into account the imagination often informing some one of these rhapsodies as a whole, even when its parts are found to be weak, repetitious, and blemished by inanity or affectation. The absurdities, the crudities, in which Whitman indulges are almost unlimited and all but omnipresent. 

In case you wondered...

The way we were …

… Capturing America - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Photos three through five are by Esther Bubley, who hailed, as Dave does, from Superior, WI.

Nice to know …

… Non-fiction publishing in the UK is in fine health, actually | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

FYI …

… The American Scholar: Summer Reading, 2015 - The Editors.

Academic solipsism …

… When Sociologists Go Bad | Klavan On The Culture. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… while I think it’s nonsensical to blame the police for the criminality of poor black people, it is not nonsensical to note that the dysfunctions of modern poverty are generationally self-replicating. A kid with no father and a crack whore for a mother is going to have a difficult time learning moral self- control — and that’s going to be true of the fatherless child he fathers too. I do not believe such behaviors are related to race in any way. They’ve appeared too often in too many people throughout history. Read Germinal by Emile Zola. Read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Read some of the writing about the Irish in England during the Victorian period. The poor have children out of wedlock and fatherless children commit more crimes.

Something to think on …

Those who cannot think or take responsibility for themselves need, and clamor for, a leader.
— Hermann Hesse, born on this date in 1877

And where it leads to...

The illusion of choice...

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Wonderful...

Religion of peace strikes again…

… 74 children executed by ISIS for 'crimes' that include refusal to fast, report says | Fox News.


Warning: Complex system …

 Response: Climate experts and bank risk managers have both failed us | Comment is free | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Of course, as Mencken observed, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

Personality without confession …

… Max Unillustrated | The Weekly Standard.

Mark thy calendar …

 POETS ON THE PORCH – 2015 | Fox Chase Review.

Parody of the real thing...

...The Rewriting of David Foster Wallace
A word on that speech and why I dislike it. Wallace begins with two parables: one about a pair of fish who are asked how the water is and don’t even know what water is (i.e., they don’t appreciate the wonder of the world around them), and another about an atheist who believes that God didn’t answer his prayers when he was lost in the blizzard and that he was instead saved by two Eskimo who happened to be passing by (i.e., he’s too set in his beliefs to recognize the hand of God when it saves his life). 
I may be wrong but I thought the meaning of the fish story was that we omit to observe that which is most obvious. 

Something to think on …

A lot of novelists start late—Conrad, Pirandello, even Mark Twain. When you're young, chess is all right, and music and poetry. But novel-writing is something else. It has to be learned, but it can't be taught. This bunkum and stinkum of college creative writing courses! The academics don't know that the only thing you can do for someone who wants to write is to buy him a typewriter.

— James M. Cain, born on this date in 1892

Q&A...

I weigh in...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

An extraordinary poem …

… Midsummer Twilight Ramp.

Amazing …

 Amid Puerto Rico debt woes, reality hits San Juan streets | Miami Herald Miami Herald.

Yet many people continue to look to politicians and government to solve these problems, conveniently forgetting that politicians and government created them. I guess we can thank the media for this. Journalists have long since forgotten this maxim of Mencken's: "The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down."

Today's music …