Sunday, July 31, 2011

Examination of conscience ...

... Who Is to Blame? By Theodore Dalrymple. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Is it possible ... that by emphasising the less attractive aspects of modern society and culture, by repeatedly drawing attention to the deleterious social and psychological effects of welfare dependence, by criticising multiculturalism as a doctrine and as corrupt bureaucratic opportunism, I may have contributed, if only a mite, to the poisonous, paranoid, narcissistic, grandiose and resentful brew in the mind of Breivik, who took what I wrote, even if at second-hand, in completely the wrong way and drew ludicrous but murderous conclusions from it? And if I did contribute that mite, does it mean that I should now retire into guilty silence, lest there be other Breiviks in the world?

Online now ...

... Autumn Sky Poetry 22.

Ron Slate again ...

... on Where Art Belongs, essays by Chris Kraus (semiotext[e] intervention series) | On the Seawall: A Literary Website by Ron Slate (GD).

Dueling Ahabs ...

... Paul Davis On Crime: Whale War: Encore Offers A Cable TV Film Based On Herman Melville's Classic Novel, 'Moby Dick'.

Debbie and just watched the Huston film the other night. Tough one to beat. This new one sounds awful.

Let's hope ...

... The Greater Good Will Prevail � Speak Without Interruption.

Silence and light ...

Ron Slate on Here On Earth, A Natural History of the Planet, by Tim Flannery (Atlantic Monthly Press) | On the Seawall: A Literary Website by Ron Slate (GD).

Fresh coupling ...

... Zealotry of Guerin: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa (Hokusai) and Sinbad The Sailor (Klee).

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... Books - philly.com.

Thought for the day ...

Universities exist to transmit knowledge and understanding of ideas and values to students not to provide entertainment for spectators or employment for athletes.
Italic
- Milton Friedman, born on this date in 1912

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thought for the day ...

For the speedy reader paragraphs become a country the eye flies over looking for landmarks, reference points, airports, restrooms, passages of sex.
- William H. Gass, born on this date in 1924

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hiatus ...

Between now and Monday, I plan to do little blogging. Our vacation is winding down and I want to squeeze the last drops out of it before it's over.

Fragment in the round ...

... Narrative Magazine's Friday Feature: "The Garden Of Eden At Twenty-Five". (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Oh, my ...

... 'L.A. Times' Cuts Review Freelancers. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)

I would have expected greater reliance on freelancers, since they're more cost-effective.

Hmm ...

... Centanium: From the Journal of an Automaton. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In brief ...

... Links: Short Subjects | Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.

Hey, man ...

... Beats In Time: A Literary Generation's Legacy | Literary Kicks. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Influential pen ...

... AbeBooks: Ronald Searle: From Prisoner of War to Prolific Illustrator.

High praise ...

... Edward Feser: Kenny on TLS in TLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Thought for the day ...

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.
- Dag HaAlign Rightmmarskjöld, born on this date in 1905

Thursday, July 28, 2011

FYI ...

... Sorcery and Witchcraft � Witchcraft And Sorcery.

My, my ...

... BBC News - Writer Sarah Thornton wins �65,000 damages over review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Life and work keeping company ..

... Joseph Brodsky: A Literary Life - Books - Night & Day - The Prague Post. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Yes and no ...

... A Commonplace Blog: Literary fiction. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I agree about literary fiction, but I don't agree about The Sea, which I think is wonderful. De gustibus ...

A good point ...

... more Sydney Greenstreet would be good: Ivebeenreadinglately: Short, round, tall, short, or, "Now that was a silly business."

Shot through with glory ...

... Film Review: Tree of Life – A Response � The Dabbler. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Radical conservative ...

... or conservative radical? Young at Heart - by David Kaufmann > Tablet Magazine - A New Read on Jewish Life. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Lyrical excursion ...

... First Known When Lost: "Where Any-Angled Light Would Congregate Endlessly".

Narrow spectrum ...

... All The Colors of Penguin’s Rainbow on AbeBooks.


In brief ..

... Maverick Philosopher: Serious Faith. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49...

Well, I finally read it. Can't claim, though, to have understood a thing. If this is a novel about the nature of interpretation, then so be it, but I far prefer Paul Auster's City of Glass. Now there's a book that gets at the intricacies of hermeneutics without veering toward the unreadable. And if this is a novel about the postmodern condition, well, then, I give up entirely...

Murder on campus ...

... When Falls the Coliseum � Lisa reads: Dominance by Will Lavender.

Not to be missed ...

... That time again: Bulwer-Lytton contest for bad writing | The Book Haven.

Thought for the day ...

There is the view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation Army.
- John Ashbery, born on this date in 1927

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Q & A ...

... The Jesse Reklaw Interview | The Comics Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Evoking restlessness ...

... Dabbler Verse: Journeying Boys meet West End Girls � The Dabbler.

And you know you do ...

... TT: So you want to get reviewed.

Mighty fine..

... Anecdotal Evidence: `Clean Abstract Poems in Plainest Style'.

Contentions ...

... Poetry Society annual meeting ends in no confidence vote | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

FYI ...

... About Us - Poetry Archive. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Judith Fitzgerald ...

... on Amy Winehouse: MuseSplashes - The Globe and Mail. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Deeply distressed, terminally self-destructive and incomprehensibly tormented, the ne-plus-ultra-talented OneOf responsible for tunes the calibre of Stronger Than Me, Take The Box, You Know I'm No Good, Love Is a Losing Game and Back to Black ultimately proved herself incapable of either picking up the kaleidoscopic array of jagged ragged pieces or allowing the precious few around her who truly gave a damn, who did genuinely love and care for her to do something — anything — to help push her towards the kinds of care and unconditional love Winehouse so desperately craved and literally cried out to receive, to pull the emergency brake on her ever-escalating, always accelerating downward descent.

Hmm ...

... Book Review: The Believing Brain - WSJ.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Mr. Shermer marshals an impressive array of evidence from game theory, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. A human ancestor hears a rustle in the grass. Is it the wind or a lion? If he assumes it's the wind and the rustling turns out to be a lion, then he's not an ancestor anymore. Since early man had only a split second to make such decisions, Mr. Shermer says, we are descendants of ancestors whose "default position is to assume that all patterns are real; that is, assume that all rustles in the grass are dangerous predators and not the wind."

This doesn't look like evidence to me. It looks like pure imaginative speculation. I have no idea -- and neither does Shermer nor anybody else -- what thoughts ran through the minds of our distant ancestors. These are Shermer's thoughts. I suspect that our ancestors were far better attuned to variations among rustles in the grass than any of us can imagine. Of course, that also is pure imaginative speculation.

FYI ...

... Poetry & Poets in Rags: July 26th forum announcement.

Worlds apart ..

... Edmund White on Verlaine and Rimbaud - TLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Thought for the day ...

Statistics are the triumph of the quantitative method, and the quantitative method is the victory of sterility and death.
Hilaire Belloc, born on this date in 1870

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The march of time ...

... Old media must make way for new media landscape | The Examiner | Op Eds | Washington Examiner.

Q & A ...

... The dabbling dervish: an interview with Robert Irwin � The Dabbler.

Kindred spirits ...

... Detectives Beyond Borders: Black and Burke.

Go West, young man ...

... Jack Foley’s “chronoencyclopedia” – California poets and poetry in 1,287 pages | The Book Haven.

At last ..

... Science Fiction Great, Robert A. Heinlein—His Biography | James Russell Ament.

Offbeat roundup ..

... Philosophy, lit, etc.: Austro-Hungarian subjects.

Ongoing ...

... zmkc: Battered Penguins IX.

Jung on death ...

Tonight ...

... MPS: Robert C. Jennings & Joe Roarty | MOONSTONE ARTS CENTER.

I suppose so ...

... Historic Concert of the Day - The Daily What. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I'm not much of a Wagner fan myself, though though I do like the Siegfried Idyll.

Hmm ...

... The Joy of Curmudgeonry: Without Borders.

Insecurities ...

.... Down Living | Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.

Cornering knowledge ..

... A bookshelf the size of the world - Boston.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Thought for the day ...

I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life - that is to say, over 35 - there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.
- Carl Jung, born on this date in 1875

Monday, July 25, 2011

Euphoric era ....

... First Known When Lost: How To Live, Part Eight: "The Only True Teaching Subsists In Watching Things Moving Or Just Colour Without Comment From The Scholar."

Well, maybe ...

... Three Golden Rules for book reviewing: What are they? - By Robert Pinsky - Slate Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I've never thought of it that way myself. My own rule is that if you accurately and precisely record your experience of the book -- with appropriate references thereunto -- the reader will know how you feel about the book. Certainly reviews that focus exclusively or even principally on Pinsky's third rule are a waste.

Punchy name ...

... Knockemstiff, that is: The Devil All the Time | Books and Culture.

Separated ...

... by a common language: British Readers’ Least Favorite ‘Americanisms’ - Ideas Market - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Who knows?

... Book apps: A reading revolution, or the end of reading? - The Globe and Mail. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Here's a possibility: Lots of people who like to read will continue to, and others who don't will have a way of learning things they might not otherwise have.

The perfect combo ...

... Issa's Untidy Hut: Dream Gérard & The Lobster Quadrille: Issa's Sunday Service, #s 111 & 112.

The debate continues ...

... sp!ked review of books preview | Admit it: environmentalism was an ugly experiment.

RIP ...

... 20011: Bookstores Gone.

Toothsome study ...

... Book Review: Words to Eat By - WSJ.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Thought for the day ...

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
- Eric Hoffer, born on this date in 1902

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sound and sense ...

.... Inky Fool: Unsteadily. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Career change ...

... Petrona | Mainly about reading with an accent on crime fiction from around the world.

Checking in ...

... with Elberry: curtains � Elberry's Ghost.

The future ...

... at present: Game-Changing Technology: 3-D Printing → Washington's Blog. (Hat tip, David Tothero.)

Desire and belief ...

... and more: Nicholas Rescher - Issues in the Philosophy of Religion - Reviewed by Laura Garcia, Boston College - Philosophical Reviews - University of Notre Dame. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The cabin wherein we are currently ensconced is a fine place to reflect and ponder and I have spent a good bit of time this past week reading about Zen, which seems to encourage us to abandon words and concepts in order to (possibly) grasp reality directly. The effect of this, if I understand it -- and mere understanding is hardly the point -- is that living itself, in all its least details, would be sacramental, i.e., an outward sign of God's grace. Zen seems to understand that most talk about God is talk about an idea.

Grit ...

... Bar Man — G Emil Reutter � DARK CHAOS.

Hmm ...

... G. E. Moore on Santayana's Life of Reason. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I think that Moore's critique of Santayana's peculiar take on religion is quite to the point.

Indeed ...

... Can't top this - NYPOST.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I wrote headlines for years. In fact, my only journalism prize came for writing one. So yes, it's hard to imagine this one being topped.

Quite lovely ...

... In Abstentia Out: Etipaf.

On second thought ...

... It's Time to End the War on Salt: Scientific American.

Ordinarily ...

... I would not link to this, since I try to keep a certain distance from politics, but Dave Lull sent it along with a 2006 post from Peter Stothard's blog that I had forgotten about, and since Peter's blog -- along with Mary Beard's -- seems at least temporarily unreachable, I thought I'd post both: Klavan On The Culture � Demonic and The Underrated Ann.

Here is Peter's post: Ann Coulter in Latin.

The Death of the Adversary

I've read a fair number of books about the Second World War, but I can't remember reading one quite like Hans Keilson's Death of the Adversary.


I came to this novel by way of Francine Prose's review in The New York Times - a review which declared the book "a masterpiece" and Keilson a "genius." In the end, the novel - and its author - are as Prose suggests: masterful.


Death of the Adversary charts the experiences of an unnamed German Jew, who, by way of his written reflections, develops a complex emotional relationship with his "enemy." Like his adversary, however, the Jew is never properly identified. That is: we recognize, without having been told, that the Jew is Jewish and that his enemy is Hitler.


The fact that this information is never made explicit endows Keilson's novel with an ethereal quality - as if, at any moment, both characters might fade away. Death does not discriminate, he implies, though we wish it would.


While Adversary takes the Second World War as its subject, it is distinct, for instance, from Sebald’s Austerlitz. The darkness embedded in Keilson’s book is built on pyschological distress; it is a novel that exists in the mind and tangled thoughts of its nameless central character. Austerlitz functions in a similar fashion, it’s true, but for Sebald, that darkness is a function of plot, of action, of tortured discovery.


In the end, Death of the Adversary is a novel in search of oblivion - which is where it finds itself when Keilson concedes that beauty is as ordinary as enmity.


The last word is reserved for him:


“Enemies will never die out in this world," he writes. "They are recruited from former friends.”




A day late ...

... but I am on vacation: Paul Davis On Crime: Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... Books - philly.com ... including my review of Julian Barnes's Pulse: Unions, undertaken and ended.

Thought for the day ...

All generalizations are dangerous, even this one.
- Alexandre Dumas, born on this date 1802

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Better get started ...

... 60,000 Years of Reading | So Many Books.

Jacobson

Roth, melancholy, and more! Video from the author of The Finkler Question...

Sad, but true ...

... Blue's Blog: no one wears pocket watches any more.

Break for a smile ...

... David R. Godine, Publisher: Superior Person's Tuesday!

Reminding the reader ...

... of what the writer is doing -- or intending to do: An Academic Author’s Unintentional Masterpiece - NYTimes.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

My heavens ...

... hard to believe these are painitngs: The Whispering Trees - ruminant.

He has a point ...

... The Missing Murdoch � The Dabbler.

We are all Harry Potter ..

... Epileptic Fits of Blogging: 800 Words: Harry Potter and the Magic of Money - Part 2.

Someone else ...

... up for honors: zmkc: Almost Canonised.


How sad ...

... Police: Singer Amy Winehouse dies at age 27.

She was really quite a talented singer.

Irresistible ...

... Barzun on Maugham: I can't resist - The Best American Poetry. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What I was waiting for ...

... Judith Fitzgerald on Marshall McLuhan (July 21, 1911-Dec. 31, 1980) - The Globe and Mail. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The color of time ...

... Zealotry of Guerin: Nativity at Night (Geertgen Tot Sint Jans).

The sacrament of the moment ...

... Robert Ellsberg: Remembering Dorothy Day. (Hat tip, Cynthia Haven.)

And yes, I do think Dorothy Day deserves to be canonized.

Thought for the day ...

Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic.
- Raymond Chandler, born on this date in 1888

Friday, July 22, 2011

Haiku ...



On the roof shadows
Of leaves and branches consort
With morning sunlight

FYI ...

... Russian translations get a shot at the Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize and Ms. magazine celebrates its 40th with an essay contest | The Book Haven.

I once had a brief, but very pleasant conversation with Stephen Spender. He seemed to be a very nice man.

Roundup ...

... Links: Cleaning Up | Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.

Online now ...

... THE CRITICAL FLAME :: Issue 14, July 2011.

RIP ...

... Lucian Freud, OM - Telegraph.

I wish him well ...

... Paul Davis On Crime: A Writing Detective Retires To Focus On Books.

Conlon's a nice guy and a damned good writer. I have no doubt at all that he is also good cop.

I'm not surprised ...

... Who's knowledgeable about science, technology, history and literature? : Confessions of a Science Librarian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Information science is the field more young people -- especially those who want to write -- ought to be looking into.

FYI ...

... The Hunter S. Thompson You Don't Know - Hampton Stevens - Entertainment - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Of a mind ...

... Dave Lull and I agree that this video is the best way to celebrate my having notched a million page loads (which I discovered yesterday while trying to figure out why PayPal is having such a hard time renewing my StatCounter subscription).



Online now ...

... Issue #13 - Triple Canopy.

Haiku ...



Gravel between trees
Beneath an overcast sky
Mind-clouds drift away

Vicissitudes ...

... TT: The snare of perfectionism. (Joe of New York.)

Thought for the day ...

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.
- Stephen Vincent Benet, born on this date in 1898

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Birthday guy ...

... Paul Davis On Crime: Happy Birthday, Ernest Hemingway.

Place of refuge ...

... LRB � Alan Bennett � Baffled at a Bookcase. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Stand-up guy ...

... When Falls the Coliseum � Using “the R-word” is exactly the same as using “the N-word,” and if you can’t see that, then you’re feebogzh.

Characters ...

... Ivebeenreadinglately: Old favorites.

I think the character I most identify with is François Seurel, the narrator Le grand Mealnes.

Favorites, though, would include Captain Ahab, Martin Eden, Rat in The Wind and the Willows, Widmerpool in A Dance to the Music of Time (grotesque, but fascinating).

Q & A ...

... Getting to know: Paul Siegell. � We Who Are About To Die.

Terrific ...

... TT: Snapshot.

See also: TT: Almanac.

FYI ...

... NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces $200,000 for 16 Literature Translation Fellowships.

Who knew ...

... Philosophy, lit, etc.: Ur-hippies from Germany to California.

Disparate ingredients ...

... When Falls the Coliseum � Lisa reads: Keeping the Feast: One Couple’s Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy by Paula Butturini.

Classic adventure ...

... Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini.

I rather like the Grainger film, which I saw when it came out in theaters. It boasts, I believe, the longest sword fight in films.

Escape from frumpery ...

... The Smart Set: Clothes Make the Humanities Professor - June 20, 2011.

Thought for the day ...

An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him.
- Marshall McLuhan, born on this date in 1911

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When less is more ...

... Laudator Temporis Acti: Parvo Dives.

Layout and more ...

... AbeBooks: ABC of Books about Typography, Typographers & Typophiles.

Greeneland revisited ...

... Shades of Greene—Zadie Smith on Graham Greene | James Russell Ament.

Once again ...

... Nige and I are of a mind: Alma-Tadema – ‘the worst painter of the 19th Century’ � The Dabbler.

Nige is right. Alma-Tadema is not a great painter. But he's not a bad one, either. In fact, technically, he's quite impressive. And he created an alluring world, a sort of "classical" dreamscape.

Lively variety ...

... It Is Almost That | The Comics Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Not so fast ...

.... Flashman? In David Cameron’s dreams perhaps… | Life | Sabotage Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull)


More on Paul Scott ...

... He got it right: The letters of Paul Scott, the man behind Jewel in the Crown | The Book Haven.

A grand time ...

... was had by all: Poets in the Park 2011- A Great Evening of Poetry � fox chase reading series.

Complete ...

... Stone Arabia Roundtable — Part One.




The chef's tale ...

... Wolfgang Puck | Bryan Appleyard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

FYI ...

... Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture | Science Sushi, Scientific American Blog Network.

I was a subscriber to Organic Gardening & Farming back when it started up in the 1950s, and I have a nice composter in my patio garden at home, but I have long thought the claims were exaggerated, and that it poses its own dangers to the environment.

Thought for the day ...

There is no lighter burden, nor more agreeable, than a pen.
-Petrarch, born on this date in 1304

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Haiku ...



Water sounds threading
Through the middle of the night
Like a train of thought

A timely warning ...

... The Hate That Dares Not Speak Its Name | Via Meadia.

Stories and stories ...

... Has plot driven out other kinds of story? | Books | guardian.co.uk. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Poetry and truth ...

... Anecdotal Evidence: `Of Horrors That Happen So'.

Essential ...

... Orwell Watch #13, continued: “The American people” | The Book Haven.

Sad ...

... Remembering Cheryl B — Lambda Literary.

Bottoms up ...

... F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'On Booze': America's Drunkest Writer - The Daily Beast. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Novel retorts ...

... Anti-Fiction | Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.

RIP ...

... Borders Says It Will Shut Down All of Its Stores for Good.

FYI ...

... Poetica Critique: Shin Yu Pai, "Adamantine".

My latest column ...

... When Falls the Coliseum � Daring to create anything.

Thought for the day ...

A human life is a schooling for eternity.
- Gottfried Keller, born on this date in 1819

Monday, July 18, 2011

Comeback ...

... The return of Marshall McLuhan - The Globe and Mail. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

FYI ...

... Ragbag: My novel is now available. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Once and future ...

... The Elegant Variation: COMPARE AND CONTRAST: ARTHUR THROUGH THE AGES. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hung up ...

... Brevity 32: Paul Lisicky. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

RIP ...

... Dumbledore, Nevermore - Harry Potter and the shadow of death - Obit-Mag.com.

Indeed ...

... Love does not dominate but serves: Ko Un. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

On men without chests ...

... Philosophy Weekend: C. S. Lewis and the Abolition of Man | Literary Kicks. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Does no one remember that Lewis was a professor of medieval and renaissance literature, and that The Allegory of Love and A Preface to Paradise Lost are still well worth reading? Nice to see that Chris Matthews remembered who Lewis was. As for getting divine inspiration out of Lewis's work, what's so odd about that? You can get divine inspiration from a leaf floating downstream or from a frog leaping into a pond (ask Basho).

Phone readings ...

... Poet creates 'buzz' around work by reading over phone to potential buyers | Books | guardian.co.uk. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Mental reserrvation

... What the Memoirist Prefers Her Child Does Not Know � BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

Much in what he says ...

... AttackingtheDemi-Puppets: Spotting the Pseudo-Intellectual. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I'm not too keen on intellectuals, period, though I have from time to time been accused of being one. Sure, I like ideas, but I don't think the intellect is most important faculty of consciousness. That, in my view, would be imagination. I'm also not sure if we've lost any real intellectuals to the academy, which has certainly bred a bumper crop of the pseudo variety. But then, so has journalism.

And the winners are ...

... IBPC's Winning Poems for June 2011.

Thought for the day ...

Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.
- Thomas Kuhn, born on this date in 1922

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Normal blogging ...

... resume shortly. On Friday, I re-entered retirement, having completed my temporary part-time gig editing the letters to the editor at The Inquirer. But today Debbie and I are driving to the mountains for a two week vacation. One we settle in there, blogging will resume.

Shorter is better ...

... Paul Davis On Crime: On Ernest Hemingway's Great Short Stories.

Lovely ...

... Zealotry of Guerin: Mountain Stream (Ansel Adams).

What a scam ...

...Instapundit � Blog Archive � “WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE?” Thoughts On Administrative Bloat In Higher Education.

Location, location ...

... René Girard’s archives go to the Bibliothèque Nationale | The Book Haven.

Too bad...

... Why has Britain turned into a giant rubbish bin? - Telegraph. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The cause is people's thinking that public property is no one's, when actually it's everyone's.

Immortal hearts ...

... David Margolick, Henryk Grynberg, Władysław Szlengel: “There are hearts that do not die.” | The Book Haven.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... Books - philly.com.

Thought for the day ...

Every work of art should give utterance, or indicate, the awful blind strength and the cruelty of the creative impulse, that is why they must all have what are called errors, both of taste and style.
- Christina Stead, born on this date in 1902

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Well, here's a classic ...

... just look at that lineup!

Enter now ...

... The 2011 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose � BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

Busy, busy ...

... Light reading: Closing tabs (strangulation edition).

Who knew ...

... The Excellence of the Latin Novus Ordo | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Through whom flashed forth today the transaction of the healing of our nature, because, when our frailty is received by thy Word, not only does human mortality pass across to everlasting honor, but it also, by a wonderful fellowship, renders us eternal

Can't say I've ever come across anything this good in the translation they've been using, doubtless because there isn't anything that good. The new translation is supposedly better, or at least more accurate. The lectionary choices in the vernacular missal that is used are frequently unimpressive. Then there's Owen Alstott's godawful music.

Thought for the day ...

Life... is not simply a series of exciting new ventures. The future is not always a whole new ball game. There tends to be unfinished business. One trails all sorts of things around with one, things that simply won't be got rid of.
- Anita Brookner, born on this date in 1928

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hmm ...

... On Experts and Global Warming - NYTimes.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

From the comments: "Anyone who seriously makes the claim that 'science is best left to the experts' fails to understand science (and the true nature of expertise, which must be demonstrated, not merely claimed)."

Aquinas couldn't have put it better. It isn't just that scientists can be wrong. It is rather that scientific consensuses have been, and quite often. Most of the scientists who signed the IPCC's famed petition years ago had no expertise regarding climate. Your doctor is a scientist, but he may know less about climate science than you do. And one does not need to be a specialist to spot specious arguments, weak correlations, etc.

Roundup ...

... Links: A Familiar Story | Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.

By Paul Johnson, no less ...

... Paul Davis On Crime: When The Going Got Tough: A Review Of The Early Works Of Evelyn Waugh.

Writer and personality ...

... Paul Scott's Raj letters - Jacqueline Banerjee - TLS.

Trove ...

... Thackeray's inheritance, 200 years on - Charlotte Mitchell -TLS.

Thought for the day ...

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.
- Richard Armour, born on this date in 1906

Thursday, July 14, 2011

This week's batch ...

... TLS Letters: ‘Betrayal’ in context, Defoe’s politics, Libraries, and more!

Sibling rivalry ...

... Margaret Drabble: 'It’s sad, but our feud is beyond repair’ - Telegraph. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Sewn up ...

... In Stitches: Embroidered Book Covers on AbeBook.

Who knew ...

... The 5 Most Stolen Books � PW. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Make up your mind ...

... Say 'non' to phrasebook foreign language in fiction | Books | guardian.co.uk.

Individuation ...

... Maverick Philosopher: Does Classical Theism Require Haecceitism? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It may well be that classical theism does not require haecceitism. But obviously it doesn't exclude it, either, and I think may be strengthened by it. If the essence of a thing is that which makes it what it is, then what makes this particular thing what it is in particular must be something it does not have in common with anything else. It is that indefinable something that I think is what we call the image of God, who is also indefinable. (This is very roughly put, because it is early in the morning and I have to start getting ready for work. Also, I am not a professional philosopher.)

Not for the funkless ...

... Back Where I Belong – Joshua Tree | Bryan Appleyard. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Books aboard ...

... A bookshop going places | Books | guardian.co.uk. (Hat tip, Lee Lowe, who thinks it a grand idea, as do I.)

Thought for the day ...

Just as a new scientific discovery manifests something that was already latent in the order of nature, and at the same time is logically related to the total structure of the existing science, so the new poem manifests something that was already latent in the order of words.
- Northrop Frye, born on this date in 1912

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yes!

... Critique ll � Colin Wilson. (Hat tip, Dave Lull)

He remains so well worthy of being taken seriously as a philosopher precisely because – unlike 98.9% of other writers/philosophers - he actually does concentrate on questions of supreme importance – what is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What should we be doing about it?
Wilson is messy, inconsistent, and contradictory. So is life. And anyone who tries to deal with life will be also. Wilson is much more of a philosopher than most professors of philosophy.

Mark thy calendar

... Poets in the Park 2011 – July 16th � fox chase reading series.

Move over, Harry ...

... AbeBooks: Georgette Who? Meet the Author Who Outsells Rowling, Dickens & Patterson.

Concise and measured ...

... Anecdotal Evidence: `The Sheer Accumulation of Delicious Stuff'.

All will be well ...

... Love in the Face of Sin | Books and Culture.

Looking for wisdom ...

... Adam Kirsch Reviews "The Bible Now" | The New Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


FYI ...

... The American Mind, or The Logic of Freedom � Suitable For Mixed Company.

Young Iris ...

... Ivebeenreadinglately: Under the Net.

Crime fiction ...

... The Millions : Megan Abbott, Literary Criminal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

So does Debbie ...

... Paul Davis On Crime: I Love Those Wildwood Days.

I'm not much a shore guy myself. I prefer the mountains.

Thought for the day ...

As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can.
- Julius Caesar, born on this date in 100 B.C.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hmm ...

... Climate Change and Confirmation Bias - Reason Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Well, I am skeptical of it because I was trained in criteriology and the evidence is dubious. It has, for instance, been warmer in the past than it is now. There have also been times when atmospheric CO2 was vastly higher than it is now. A computer model is not reality. And if it is as serious as people like Al Gore tell us it is, why is his carbon footprint so gargantuan?

A good choice ...

... National Book Critics Circle: NBCC Reads: Cynthia Ozick’s Favorite Comic Novel - Critical Mass Blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

FYI ...

... English, the not-so-universal language.

Cultural spring ..

... Beckett's Berlin - The Irish Times - Sat, Jul 09, 2011. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Neat ...

... Dragoncave: Papier-Mache Art Bowls 11: Paper, Pencils, Fractals, Talismans.

A belated pause ...

.... for Issa's Untidy Hut: The Oxford Comma: Issa's Sunday Service, #109.

Raymond Chandler ...

... on Writers in Hollywood - Magazine - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

But not realism ...

... Real Life | Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.

Thought for the day ...

God is a verb, not a noun.
- R. Buckminster Fuller, born on this date in 1895

Monday, July 11, 2011

Self-expression ...

... How Handwriting Builds Character - Edward Tenner - National - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Online now ...

... Avatar Review.

Most interesting ...

... at least to me: Bruce Charlton's Miscellany: Clarification - Christian denominations, my ideal and in practice.


I also try to regard The Church as a mystical institution, and not as an organization or a collection of organizations.

Me, too.

The biography business ...

... Nigeness: A Book of Secrets.

An odd mix ...

... Mark Adams talks about Machu Picchu, adventure travel and guinea pigs | Bill Peschel.

An odd crime ...

... Quid plura? | “I need him now to meet me face to face…”

Join in the fun ...

... What are the most beautiful words in the English language? | The Book Haven.

I've always been fond of lavender.

Metaphors be with you ...

... What's a Metaphor For? - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Thought for the day ...

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
- E. B. White, born on this date in 1899

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sounds sound ...

... that business about chaotic, that is: Why We Need the New News Environment to be Chaotic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Worth remembering ...

... John Jay Chapman.

In case you wondered ...

... Maverick Philosopher: Were the Greatest Philosophers Theists or Atheists? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Splitting the difference ...

... I get a nice review, but Agustín Maes gets Paris | The Book Haven.

Passing the time ...

... A life in writing: Cynthia Ozick | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull,)

Dialogue ...

... Putting A Value On Human And Animal Life | Standpoint. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The art of growing up ...

... AbeBooks: Bildungsroman Novels: The Literary Journey of Youth to Maturity.

Take care ...

... The Inherent Dangers of Memoir Writing � BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... Books - philly.com.