Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Author and film a match …

 … Capturing a Misfit: A Review of “Wildcat” - Word on Fire. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Just as Wise Blood was not a conventional novel, Wildcat is not a conventional film. It is not a documentary, nor does it attempt to tell complete short stories verbatim; rather, it is the dramatic action of the mystery that is Flannery O’Connor’s intense and intelligent young life told primarily through judiciously chosen sections of her stories, essays, letters, and prayers, and a liberal dose of splendid acting, which come together in one beautiful and remarkable motion picture.

Time for a song …

 … "It's All Over" (Lyrics: Judith Fitzgerald; Music: Cris Cuddy)  (Hat tip,

Dave Lull.)

I presume the lyricist is the same JudithnFitzgerals I used to corresond with.

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Up, up and away …

 … Instinctively knowing how it would be to fly.

Something to think on …

You can get all A's and still flunk life.
— Walker Percy, born on this date in 1916

Faith as creative achievement …

… Flannery O'Connor's Leap of Faith | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Known for her uncompromising Catholicism from behind enemy lines, whether among Georgia evangelicals or New York bohemians, the Southern writer retained a rich, almost mystical prayer life, documented in a  journal published in 2013.

Anniversary …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History Ian Fleming, The Creator Of James Bond, Was Born.

A word for today …

… Lucubrate | Word Genius.

Let us pray…

…  to the Little Flower — Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese .

Monday, May 27, 2024

In honor of this day …

 In Flanders Fields by John McCrae | Poetry Foundation.

I first read this in grade school. It appeared regularly in the newspaper.

Before I forget …

 … I want to express my gratitude to all those patriots who are honored today. I was born just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. The troop trains went by across the street. Our butcher had spent time in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. What an ordeal they had to have undergone.

Witness to reality …

A Black Scholar Who Opposes the “Diversity” Mania.

Swain … explains that racial preferences have a detrimental impact on their supposed beneficiaries. For one thing, young blacks tend to do less than their best, since they know that they have the advantage of racial preferences behind them. Swain writes that she encouraged her sons never to rely on the crutch of preferences.

The rule of sadism …

… The masterpiece of our time | The New Criterion. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

As millions were forced to confess to crimes everyone knew were fabricated, interrogators soon found the daily torture routine boring. “The fact is that the interrogators like some diversion in their monotonous work, and so they vie in thinking of new ideas.” The types of torture were unregulated, Solzhenitsyn says, and “every kind of ingenuity was permitted, no matter what.” What happens to a person who can literally do anything to others? Tolstoy wrote about the “attraction” of power, Solzhenitsyn recalls, but for Soviet interrogators, “attraction is not the right word—it is intoxication!

Remembering …

 … Ode for the American Dead in Asia.


Something to ponder on this special day …

 … Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Colorful character …

 … Creator of Continental Op born on May 27, 1894.

Blogging note …

 I am about to take my morning walk. Blogging will resume when I return.

Blasphemy …

 … The Holy Eucharist and the Hint of an Explanation.. (hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

More history is made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills and proclamations.
— John Barth, born on this date in 1930

A word for today …

… Esculent - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … to the Little Flower —  Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

In case you wondered …

 (5) Why was Scipio Africanus treated so ignominiously by the Senate after ridding Rome of its main enemy? Was it purely down to jealousy alone? - Quora. (Hat tip, Felix Giordano.)

A Poem …

Facing Up


He finds himself adrift in memory,

Which proves elusive. And that’s OK.

Life is elusive, though he’d thought he’d have

A better grasp of things by now.




Time for some crime …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'The Cherry Boy'.

Those were the days, my friend…

 … Once upon a time we had a stringent immigration policy.

Something to think on …

A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.
— Edmond de Goncourt, born on this date in 1822

A word for today …

… Factoid | Word Genius.

Let us pray …

 … to the Little Flower —  Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Friday, May 24, 2024

In case you wondered …

 (5) Why was the concrete made by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago stronger than the one used today? - Knowledgia - Quora

Just the facts …

… Stop Making Plane Turbulence About Climate Change | The Free Press.

Blogging will be replaced by other activities …

 … Following the prescriptive example of Candide.

Appreciation …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Spy Writer Vs. Spy Writer: A Look Back At Ian Fleming and John le Carre.

Making the connection …

 …/Revisiting the epic story of the “great bridge”

Time flies but…

 … T is not too late to seek a newer world.

And the winner is …

 … 2024 Frost Farm Prize for Metrical Poetry. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

The eye identifies itself not with the body it belongs to but with the object of its attention.
— Jodeph Brodsky, born on this date in 1940

In case you wondered …

 … My songs spread like herpes’: why did satirical genius Tom Lehrer swap worldwide fame for obscurity? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


A poem for today …

 … Milo De Angelis — The Sounds That Arrived.

Another word …

… Mezzanine | Word Genius.

A word for today …

… Cryptonym - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … to the Little Flower — Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Q&A …

… Nearing the Origin - by A.M. Juster - Wayfare. (Hat tip, Dave Lull)

… I’m grateful that many of the people you mentioned at BU reached out and befriended me, such as Christopher Ricks, who encouraged both my poetry and my scholarship, even long after I’d left. Carne-Ross in particular made me a protégé. Silber, along with one of his vice-presidents, Peter Schweich, changed my life by going out of his way to offer me my first job when I was very young and (on paper) underqualified

Something to think on …

Nothing is more foreign than the world of one's childhood when one has truly left it.
— Pär Lagerkvist, born on this date in 1891

Hmm …

… (18) Michael Walzer on Religion - by William F. Vallicella.

I call that piece a wonder…

 … Robert Browning wrote my favorite dramatic monologue.

Time for some crime

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'Old MacDonald Had A Gun'. 

Lively correspondence …

 … “To be alive, is power”: Emily Dickinson’s Letters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In their welcome new edition of The Letters of Emily Dickinson,[1] Cristanne Miller and Domhnall Mitchell demonstrate through their concise, non-intrusive annotations how the “thought” she recorded in her correspondence does not “walk alone,” but keeps company with a multitude of authors … 

Just so you know …

 … Mauna Kea, Not Mount Everest, Is the Tallest Mountain From Base to Summit. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A word for today …

… Descant - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … to the Little Flower — Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Mother and daughter …

 … The horrible myth surrounding Cass Elliot’s death.

A wondrous piece …

… We Do Not Come in Peace | Church Life Journal | University of Notre Dame.

This sounds worrisome …

… Human Sacrifice Is Now Legal in Indiana - Secular Pro-Life.

As an illegitimate child, I was theoretically a candidate for abortion, though I’m sure it never crossed my mother’s mind. But I don’t see why rape should be a cause for abortion, since baby and mother are both victims. 

Singing the blues …

 … London Grip Poetry Review – G Emil Reutter.

One of the great works …

… Saint Augustine's "Confessions": An Introduction ~ The Imaginative Conservative.

Appreciation …

… 10 Facts About Hermann Hesse to Celebrate His Birthday | by Loren Mayshark | Medium.

Of course, today is not Hesse’s birthday. But I came upon the piece and liked it.

Poem for Wednesday …

 … Where size really matters (according to Alexander Pope.

Another word …

… Dictum | Word Genius.

Probably not …

 … Does Philadelphia Need Krasner’s New Prolific Gun Offenders Unit?

A word for today …

… Notional - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 …. To the lLittle Flower. — Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

In case you wondered …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'What's In A Nickname?'.

Special poem for Tuesday …

 … Ode on Solitude (on the poet’s birthday).

RIP …

… Testament to doomed media - Engelsberg ideas. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The agent of change is obvious: the internet. This has eviscerated the newspaper business, draining advertising revenue and circulation, and it will continue to do so. Newspapers have been turning themselves into online subscription services, but online ads are worth a lot less than print. Furthermore, subscriptions are now a very crowded market and buyers are finding themselves choosing between the Mail Online and Disney Plus. Media author Andrey Mir speaks of the problem of ‘subscription fatigue’: ‘People get more and more annoyed by digital services of all kinds seeking to sneak and charge them pennies for a subscription to something.’

Something to think on …

Form is never more than an extension of content.
— Robert Creeley, born on this date in 1926

A word for today …

…  Canard - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … to the Little Flower — Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Happy birthday …

… Cheers to the man whose name is a rhyme! Poetry champion Mike Peich turns 80! | The Book Haven

Wallace Stegner

 


Please excuse my silence on the blog. I've been knee deep in Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose. A reminder: this is six-hundred page novel! But I've now emerged. And with some thoughts to share: 
  • This is a strangely constructed book: you have the novelist -- Stegner -- who imagines that he's inherited a cache of letters from his grandmother; he -- the novelist -- quotes directly from those letters in order to provide the basic scaffolding for his book. The rest of the novel is narrated in a traditional fashion; these sections include dialogue, description, and the like, and attempt to bridge the gap between letters. And then on top of all this, you have the life and times of the novelist, whose own story becomes part of the larger book, which includes sections focused on his own evolution and relationships. 
  • All of which is to say: parts of this work, but parts do not; and to the extent that Angle functions as an epistolary novel, it does so with only partial success. The reason for this, I think, is strange: at times, Stegner seems to invalidate his own narrative, calling into question the dialogue he's created, wondering whether what he's presented is realistic or reasonable. For me, this became a distraction -- as I soon wondered whether any of the dialogue I was reading could be considered "believable." 
  • And more: this is a long novel, but strangely, it was not long enough. Stegner seems to finish, in my reading, about half way through: his characters are still very much in a state of development when the novel ends, and the result a rushed effect: Stegner concludes that his own life -- his own decisions and mysteries -- resemble those of his grandparents. But this can only be so true, as we are forced to imagine what shape the final fifty years of their lives took. 
  • I don't want to be too critical of Stegner: there were parts of Angle, certainly, which I enjoyed and which I found to be quite emotional: this is the 1880s and 1890s in Idaho and Colorado. Life is brutal: even the wealthy had few comforts (or comforts as we would know them). When Stegner's characters feel disappointment, it's real: that emotion is raw and believable. 
  • And the title itself was evocative and emotive: this is the angle at which we suspend action; at which we no longer roll; at which, I suppose, we die. But I did not take it that way: not with such emphasis on death. For me, the title was about the great push -- the emphasis in our lives on action and accomplishment; and then, the moment when we decide that enough is enough, or that we have accomplished enough, and that we are willing to let things lay. 
There's a healthy reminder in Stegner's title for all of us. And while I don't think that this is the perfect novel in terms of its construction and arc, it is one which encourages thought and reflection. And that's worth the price of admission.

Just so you know …

… All Is Not Quiet In the Library Catalogs. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In the discussions I mentioned above, fellow catalogers were unabashedly stating that certain  marginalized groups should get to decide how a book should be labeled. If a cataloger who is a  member of a marginalized social group believes the book in question is harmful or offensive, he is fully in the right to add a note in the catalog stating his beliefs. Thus we now have four books in the international catalog (used by libraries worldwide) with the label “Transphobic works”. Several books that are critical of the current gender affirmation care model now have the subject heading “Transphobia”. These books are not about transphobia, so the subject heading is likely being used as a way to warn the reader of the record (and potentially the librarian choosing which books to order for the library) that these are “bad books” and should not be read or purchased.  

 

Poem for this morning …

 … “The Skylark” by John Clare.

Let us pray …

 … tothe Little Flower — Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Something to think on …

I saw not till now what sin brings with it - that we must tread others underfoot.
— Sigrid Undser, born on this date in 1882

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cornucopia …

 … Hitting The Links: 5/19/24.

Screwez vous …

… Robert Kennedy Jr.: We need laws to 'punish global warming skeptics' - Washington Times..

There are actually sound reason for being skeptical of global warming, not the least of which is that we have only a couple of centuries worth of accurate thermometer data. Also, try reading the First Amendment asshole.

Once upon a time …

… A Tale of Two Composers | The Hudson Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is a brilliant piece. Do listen to the music. Why woukdn't one want to hear Leontyne Price? And Cheryl Studer is also wonderful. I’m from the generation that watched Amahl and the Night Visitors every Christmas..

In the tradition of. Robert Frost …

… Taking the Road Less Traveled | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Another word …

… Apollonian | Word Genius.

Light those candles …

 … New England’s Dark Day in 1780.

A word for today …

… Heuristic - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … to the Little Flower —Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Something to think on …

I wish to live because life has within it that which is good, that which is beautiful, and that which is love.
— Lorraine Hansberry, botn on this date in 1940

Saturday, May 18, 2024

God bless her …

… This Fox News personality just explained why she chose life as a pregnant teenager - Pro Life Press.

“An example to all” …

 ^ Celebrating the birthday of a great American singer.

Blogging note …

 My friend Katherine is here helping me to get ready for my move. So blogging will again be delayed.

Quite a tale …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: The Bewitched Groom: A Dramatic Monologue (Hans Baldung Grien).

Sometthing. to think on …

Anything you can do, I can do meta
— Rudolf Carnap, born on this date in 1891

A poem for today …

  “Water Becomes Water,” Zheng Xiaoqiong.

A word for today …

… Limn - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … tothe Little Flower … Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Haiku …

     

Tiresome winter

Gave way to lackluster spring,

Now tepid summer

Vignette …

 He is eighty-two.  And lately wonders how he became who it is he happens to be. It occurs to him how that’s just the sort of thing one of his all-time favorite writers did. That would be Michel de Montaigne, father of the essay. 

Now plenty of autobiographical discourses had been written before Montaigne wrote his essays. What make his essays different is their focus. They amount to  a phenomenology of himself. There’s nothing especially egotistical about it. He simply records his observations of himself as if he were watching pears ripen on a window sill.



RIP …

… Dabney Coleman, best known for villainous '9 to 5' and 'Tootsie' roles, dead at 92.

Take your pck …

 … VFYW: Passing Gogh.

In praise of formal poetry …

… The Nature of Things Fragile: A Review - Ad Fontes. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Almost all of the poems in The Nature of Things Fragile are metrical, and most of them also use rhyme. His diction usually lacks the ornamentation of Auden and Hecht; his style seems closer to the plain language of Robert Frost. His book demonstrates mastery of most of the major received forms, but his most inventive work may be in his epigrams.