Thursday, May 06, 2021

Goethe

 

I won't attempt here to analyze Goethe's Faust: the academic corpus surrounding this important work is extensive. That said, I'd like to offer a response to the Oxford edition of Part One: Goethe's play -- if that's what it can be called -- was more poetic that I was expecting. And for David Luke to translate this work so effectively is truly something to be celebrated. I can't imagine it's easy to translate eighteenth and early nineteenth century German in modern English, but that's exactly what Luke has done. I found Faust to be full of life: Goethe's language and characters are defined in equal measure by their movement, their sense of momentum. Again, I won't pretend to offer an academic analysis of Part One; I'll only say how surprised I was by the play: both in terms of how approachable I found it to be, but also in terms of how much I enjoyed its attempts at moral conjecture. This is a piece rich with European tradition and culture. I'm committed -- I think I am, at least -- to Part Two

He did pretty well here …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Poe In Philadelphia: My Philadelphia Weekly 'Crime Beat' Column On Edgar Allan Poe's Creative Peak In Philly.

Reading during quarantine …

… Bleak Expectations (2021 ed.): Sheltering and fretting at home with Holmes and Watson.

Alex, we hardly knew ye …

 Bleak Expectations (2021 ed.): Alexander the Great: Journey to the end of the earth.

Hear, hear …

 … In defense of dandelions - The Spectator. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Wordsworth may have been banging on about daffodils, but there is no objective reason why a dandelion, which supports far more wildlife than a daffodil, should be considered lesser. 

Fascinating …

… 78rpm Records Digitized by George Blood, L.P. : Free Audio : Free Download, Borrow and Streaming : Internet Archive. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The rise of photography …

Obscura No More: How photography rose from the margins of the art world to occupy its vital center(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

From the medium’s beginnings, starting in 1839, photographers sought to have their work recognized as art. Indeed, the modern history of photography has been written as a kind of pilgrim’s tale, a major plotline of which is a progressive discovery of the medium’s unique artistic nature following a series of unsatisfying imitative encounters with the arts of painting and drawing.

A week of photos …

… Top Shots: Compelling Photos From Around Our Region. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Something to think on …

 Our spaceship is a tiny bubble in a glass of God.

— Harry Martinson, born on this date in  1904

Remembering …

… Donald Junkins, writer & poet. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Donald Junkins died on April 15. He was 89.

Word of the Day …

… Redoubtable | Word Genius.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Dickens as poet …

Bleak Expectations (2021 ed.): The Song of the Wreck by Charles Dickens.

Sounds promising …

… 'Deplorable' professor creates 'anti-indoctrination mill' with new education startup | Just The News. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

American Scholars will "challenge the ideologies that are being purveyed" in mainstream schools, including critical race theory, postmodernism and socialism, he said. It wants to prepare students for the "political outlook" they are likely to face in college.

Latter day problem …

 Bleak Expectations (2021 ed.): Stopping by blogs on a frosty evening.

Hmm …

… EXCLUSIVE: Classified study found COVID-19 could have originated in Chinese lab | WJLA.


… Chinese leaders “have not been forthcoming through this process,” and that U.S. analysis “is not based on an assumption that what they say is true.”

Something to think on …

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
— Søren Kierkegaard, born on this date in 1830

Rejected no longer …

‘He’s got a wee spring in his step’: 92-year-old grandfather becomes bestselling poet. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

McCulloch’s son William told the Guardian that his father was “over the moon” at the sales. “He has been writing poetry for years, and sent it to different places, but always got rejected,” he said.

Word of the Day …

… Corrigendum | Word Genius.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Blogging note …

 I have to take Debbie to a doctor's appointment/ So I won't be blogging again until later.

Reason to hope …

… Capitalist Havens of Free Speech | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… After [Andrew] Sullivan left New York, he quickly attracted some 60,000 subscribers to his new newsletter on the independent online platform Substack; he more than doubled the income he was earning at the magazine, he said. One media critic described Sullivan’s success as “gut curdling” to other journalists. Substack reportedly recruited Yglesias, offering him a hefty advance to join after news of his clashes within Vox emerged. Among the other popular features on Substack are Mounk’s free-speech newsletter Persuasion, which aims “to persuade, rather than to mock or troll, those who disagree with us” and gained about 25,000 subscribers just weeks after it debuted in April 2020; and former Rolling Stonereporter Matt Taibbi’s widely read media criticism, published under the rubric TK News.

Smile, though your heart is aching …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Olongapo R&R.

Olongapo in 1971 was Dodge City, Las Vegas, and Sodom and Gomorrah all rolled into one. Subic Bay was called “Septic Bay,” by the sailors due to the high rate of VD cases.
 

Something to think on …

Time is, as you are probably aware, merely a convenient fiction. There is no such thing as time.
— E. Nesbit, who died on this date in 1924

RIP …

… The death of the French intellectual - UnHerd.

When the talented Le Figaro columnist, Eugénie Bastié, recently asked Éditions Gallimard’s residing sage Pierre Nora, 89, what he thought of the state of intellectual life in France today, Nora couldn’t find enough epithets to characterise his disdain. “Do we have an intellectual life left? It has collapsed. Well,  subsided, really. Shrunk… Ran out of steam… French intellectual life is provincialised.” (And no worse insult is possible from the heart of the Septième Arrondissement.)


In case you don’t remember …

… 50 years of failed doomsday, eco-pocalyptic predictions; the so-called ‘experts’ are 0-50.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science. While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.

Worth considering …

… Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes — You can start late …

Word of the Day …

… Anamnesis | Word Genius.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Papa and the Game …

… The Son Also Rises - BallNine.

In his memoir Papa Hemingway, A. E. Hotchner wrote the author “loved baseball and would go to any game (in Cuba) and occasionally he came to New York just to see a World Series.”

Bittersweet wistfulness and wistful bittersweetness…

 First Known When Lost: April.

April would not be April without its characteristic tinge of melancholy.  All of those cherry, plum, and pear petals drifting down beneath a blue sky, carpeting the green grass and the sidewalks.  It's wonderful how April and October share a similar bittersweet wistfulness and wistful bittersweetness, isn't it?  Every six months, year after year, the falling of petals and the falling of leaves.  Trying to tell us something

Things are getting back to …;

… Vaccinated Man Licks First Doorknob In Over A Year | The Babylon Bee.

Wherein everything is askew …

…  “Caesar is in danger. Great danger!”

I just got a copy …

… Memoirs of a Woke Warrior - Daisy Waugh - The Oldie.

It will surprise no one that I am not a fan of wokeness.

But of course …

Newsalert: The Kentucky Derby bested the Oscars and the SOTU in ratings? Wow.

It had more to offer than just horses’ asses.

Pistol shot heard all around Europe …

… Bleak Expectations (2021 ed.): Singular moment in history of political assassinations.

Something to think on …

Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking.
— William Inge, born on this date in 1913

Sweet …

… Bedside Reading by Marilyn Nelson | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Appreciation …

In Praise of a Brazen Poet: On the Essays of Kay Ryan, Outsider. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“Something nonsensical in the heart of poetry is the very reason why one can’t call poetry ‘useful’,” she explains at one point, and then adds, a little later, “This is why Auden and others can say with such confidence that poetry makes nothing happen. That’s the relief of it. And the reason why nothing can substitute for it.” We don’t expect critics to assert such truths anymore, let alone with such confidence. We expect them to “problematize,” to qualify. Ryan’s own confidence, then, is thrillingly anachronistic: obstinate, sure, but warming, too, as if a cast-iron stove were squatting in the middle of that valley.

Worth considering …

… Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes — The blizzard doesn't last ….

Word of the Day …

… Zelig | Word Genius.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Not much blogging today …

 After Mass at noon I had to pick some things up for Debbie and bring them to her. I just got back and have some other things to do now.

Anniversary …

… “Tail-Gunner Joe” succumbs to illness and alcoholism.

Something to think on …

If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay.
— Theodor Herzl, born on this date in 1860

Word of the Day …

… Imprimatur | Word Genius.

Homicide and horror …

… Reviewing the Evidence: Coals of fire and cakes of glass (1998).

Start the day with a smile …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Hong Kong R&R.

Women's Prize for Fiction...

...The finalists have been announced

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Something to think on …

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, born on this date in 1881

Anniversary …

… Cold War “Mayday” alert sounded on this day in 1960..

The embrace of being …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: The Gate Contained (Michael Antman), Sonnet #561.

These times …

… A Journey into Mask Country | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Then it happened. Upon exiting the car in downtown Washington, I had one of those Charlton Heston end-of-civilization epiphanies. Here in the cool spring air were people who actually wore these things outdoors, as a matter of habit. “You maniacs!” I shouted more or less to myself, trying to remember when it had first been established beyond any reasonable doubt that there was no meaningful risk of outdoor transmission of the virus. I stumbled along in a daze past double maskers, a species I assumed were bred only in captivity, and a child wrapped in some kind of translucent garbage bag. Rain began to fall.

Worth considering …

… Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes — Set wide the window …

Word of the Day …

 Raillery | Word Genius.

Yesterday …

 Paul Davis On Crime: A Dark Day In American History: Today Is The Anniversary Of The Fall Of South Vietnam.

Getting ready for the Booker...

 ...An innovate approach to the shortlist

Friday, April 30, 2021

Sounds good …

… Substack: A Crack in Our Media's Berlin Wall | The Stream.

The Stasi became a highly effective secret police organization. Within East Germany it sought to infiltrate every institution of society and every aspect of daily life, including even intimate personal and familial relationships. It accomplished this goal both through its official apparatus and through a vast network of informants and unofficial collaborators (inoffizielle Mitarbeiter), who spied on and denounced colleagues, friends, neighbours, and even family members.

Notable anniversary …

… Bleak Expectations : George Washington and valuable lessons from the past.

Take a look at these …

 5 Surreal Fine Art Photographers to Blow Your Mind - Digital Photo Pro. (Hat tip,  Rus Bowden.)

RIP …

… Anthony Thwaite obituary | Poetry | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

For these days …

NORTH OF OXFORD – SPRING 2021 PANDEMIC ISSUE #7.

Yes, indeed …

… What is true in life is true in baseball is true in politics - The Spectator. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 Localize. Decentralize. Break down the overly large into a smaller and more human scale. I mourn the death of the minors but perhaps it presages the death of the majors, or at least the rebirth of baseball in organized forms that respect the local, the idiosyncratic, the unregimented.

Something to think on …

I do not choose the right word, I get rid of the wrong one.
— A.E. Housman, who died on this date in 1936

A very worthwhile revival ¬

… ‘A Picture of Autumn’ Review: The Waning Days of Aristocracy.  (Hat tip, John Lehman.)
My guess is that Hunter meant for the Denhams’ plight to symbolize the condition of England after World War II, when unrelieved gray austerity was a way of daily life. But when I saw “A Picture of Autumn” in the theater, I was no less struck by the way in which it portrays the difficulties of sons and daughters whose aged parents can no longer care for themselves. That both interpretations are equally valid is a sign of the play’s thematic richness, and the fact that so much of it is so funny is a tribute to the author’s dramaturgical skill. Mr. Kaikkonen’s cast gets its laughs without stretching for them, and the production, as always with the Mint, is designed and mounted with consummate skill.

Our town …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Peruto Means Business: Part Two Of My Philadelphia Weekly 'Crime Beat' Column On Chuck Peruto's Run For Philly DA.

I'll take anybody to get rid of Krasner.

Anniversary …

… Bleak Expectations : The season of Light and Darkness (again).

Word of the Day …

… Ocher | Word Genius.

A good year for books...

 ...Sales way up in 2020, despite it all

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Anither blogging note …

 I am still not feeling well. I am also in my 80th year. Sometime later tomorrow blogging will resume. I apologize.


Sounds good to me …

… US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop taking Communion. (Hat tip, Tim Davis.)

If you want to advertise yourself as a Catholic, Joe, try practicing the faith. Of course, given the bishops wonderful witness in response to Covid, I won’t hold my breath. Of course, Biden is also senile.

Blogging note …

 I’m not feeling well. I’ll do some blogging again tonight.

Something to think on …

To certain people there comes a day when they must say the great Yes or the great No.
— C. P. Cavafy, born on this date in 1863

Word of the Day …

… Leonine | Word Genius.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Blogging post …

 Believe or not, doing the things that must when some passes and you are one those responsible for putting things in or order. Thank God my brilliant friend Katherine Miller was there to help. I could not conceivably have done it without her help. So: I will blog again tomorrow.

Blogging post …

 I have to go out shortly to begin making funeral arrangements for my friend Harold Boatrite.  So I won't be blogging again until later in the day.

Classic …

 

Blossom Dearie was born on this date in 1924.

Looking to the past to understand the present …

… Beyond Eastrod (again): Ye shall be broken in pieces (Isaiah 8:9).

Something to think on …

Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine.
— Kurt Gödel, born on this date in 1906

Just listen to the music …

The Truth it is a-Changin’. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Crepitate | Word Genius.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Q&A …

… Annotating Frost - Harvard University Press Blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Father and son …

… In search of the Bible’s sacred kings.

Blogging note …

 I have to get ready to go out. I am finally scheduled to get my knee shots. I am looking forward to walking again without so much pain. Blogging will resume sometime later today.

Something to think on

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, who died on this date in 1882

Hmm …

… Scott Galloway: the wolf at Big Tech’s door.  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The vastly inflated valuations of Big Tech have also, Galloway says, made it easier to become a billionaire than a millionaire. The obsession with not just money, but with enormous sums of it, has distorted the economy by squeezing out middle-class aspirants and wealth creators in favour of market manipulators and socially dysfunctional coders (that last bit is me, not Galloway). “The data’s overwhelming – in the last 30 years the top 1 per cent have increased their share of wealth by a third. And people under the age of 40 in the lower 50 per cent have seen their share of wealth cut in half.”

I think the problem facing this country today is how timorous, credulous, and servile so many of our citizens have  become.

Worth considering …

… Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes — Tell your heart ….

Word of the Day …

… Solatium | Word Genius.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Human, all too human …

 Bleak Expectations : Complicated and compromised Founding Father.

Blogging note …

 My friend, the composer Harold Boatrite, passed away this morning. I share power of attorney for him with our friend Katherine Miller. So we will be involved in the funeral arrangements. We were friends for 50 years and I just spoke with him last night. So I'm pretty bummed out and really not interested in blogging just now. Here is a piece of his:


Good for him …

… Dad says NYC school 'teaches children to feel bad about their skin color' | Daily Mail Online.

Something to think on …

If God be God and man a creature made in image of the divine intelligence, his noblest function is the search for truth.
— Morris West, born on this date in 1916

Word of the Day …

… Irrefragable | Word Genius.

Interesting choices …

… Cherwell Recommends: University Reads | Cherwell. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I haven’t watched them in years …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Why I And Millions Of Other Viewers Don't Watch The Oscars: Oscars 2021 Celebs Rip Derek Chauvin, Police Brutality.

Worth considering …

… Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes — Don't try to lessen yourself.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes …

… Drood reviewed (and a feckless fellow’s fickle about face).

Remembering …

Auberon Waugh: 20 years since he’s gone. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Waspish, contrarian and mean spirited but never banal: Auberon was one of a kind. He was the son of the celebrated novelist Evelyn Waugh. Auberon came from a long line of writers and eccentrics. His forekind would be traced to 17th century North Britain. Waugh actually has a meaning: it means something like valiant. Thence they transmigrated to northern England wherein their surname was pronounced ‘woof.’ The Waugh’s were a most gifted race. They produced physicians, palmary writers and even a religious maniac who argued that the evidence for evolution was planted by Beelzebub to fool those of little faith

Nice to know …

… Where life is normal - The Spectator.

… outside of the Twitter bubble and large city centers where mask virtue-signaling reigns supreme, no sane person has been wearing a mask outdoors for months. The science doesn’t support it. As Slate noted in its late-to-the-party piece, the chances of catching COVID during a brief moment passing someone else on the sidewalk are lower than getting struck by lightning.

Like we really needed them to weigh in …

… Charles Dickens Society’s anti-racism rant.

I really don’t know what they bring to the discussion other than a large helping of self-righteousness.

Mark thy calendar …

… Bleak Expectations : Charles Dickens museum opening on 19 May.

Something to think on …

Now that cleverness was the fashion most people were clever — even perfect fools; and cleverness after all was often only a bore: all head and no body.
— Walter de La Mare, born on this date in 1873

Tyranny alert …

… Richard Dawkins Punished for Inviting Us to Think > New English Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The American Humanist Association, in withdrawing its award to Professor Dawkins for his work, did not in the least revise their estimate of its worth, but rather condemned him for obliquely expressing an opinion contrary to a moral orthodoxy at least as doubtful as any religious orthodoxy. Its closedmindedness is worthy of any totalitarian regime.

I, too, am no big fan of Dawkins, but I certainly he should be allowed to say what he wants. 

Worth considering …

 Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes — There is no rememdy for love ….