Friday, December 02, 2022

What the Dickens …

Dickens — public readings then and private readings now.

Let’s hope he sticks around for another century …

World’s oldest tortoise has seen off two world wars and the British Empire.

A movie about poetry …

… Paterson and Poetic Fidelity - Front Porch Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I liked the film a lot. I was surprised, though, when some people found the scene near then when Paterson lays out a guy waving a revolver with one punch. A bus driver with a proclivity for poetry? Well, he doess seem also to habeen a cobat veteran in Iraq.

Johnstown History …

… another commonplace : Spectacular example of what talent can achieve.

Something to think on …

I am what I am because early in life I decided that I would please at least myself in all things
— Edmond Rostand, who died on this date in 1918 

Happy Birthday, Georges …

… another commonplace : Sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte.

Lovely …

… Venice 3: Titian's Assumption | Bryan Appleyard | Flickr. (Hat tip, Dave Lull..)

Word of the Day …

… Prolepsis | Word Genius.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

December Reviews at North of Oxford …

 These Days of Simple Mooring by Florence Weinberger

… The Girl Who Quit at Leviticus by Sueanne Rhodenbaugh.

… Under the Raging Moon – A Drama in Four Acts by Peter Thabit Jones.

… La Clarté Notre-Dame’ and ‘The Last Book of the Madrigals by Philippe Jaccottet (Trans. John Taylor).

… The Vanguards of Holography by Annie Christian.


… New from Poetry Editor, Diane Sahms - City of Shadow & Light (Philadelphia).

A wise priest …

… Fr. Marvin O’Connell: A Historian Who Saw the Past & Future.

O’Connell could be sharp-tongued. He could also be wrong. Several times in the volume he hinted at his own skepticism about the Church’s teaching on contraception. But he also had a bit of the prophet in him. His 1990 address to the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, “An Historical Perspective on Evangelization in the United States: Shifting Concentration of Interest,” looks remarkably prescient three decades later. At a time when Catholics in the United States had achieved a remarkable degree of power and prestige, O’Connell noted the already cratering numbers of priests, baptisms, and weddings. He thought that the American Church had returned to the state of its earliest days—a quest for “survival.”

Just so you know …

… 8 Fascinating Foreign Words With No English Equivalent | Interesting Facts.

Wisdom …

… though maybe nor comprehensible to today’s airheads: The Care And Feeding Of The Mind : Jacques Barzun : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive.

RIP …

… Gaylord Perry, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 2 Cy Young awards, dead at 84 | Fox News.

A duo debuts …

… another commonplace : Mildly successful physician publishes detective story.

Something to think on …

Labels are for the things men make, not for men. The most primitive man is too complex to be labeled..
— Rex Stout, borm om this date in 1886

Exactly like us …

… A Poem by Adam Zagajewski: 'A Provincial Roman Town' - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Good advice …

… Jack Kerouac's Belief and Technique for Writing Modern Prose In 30 Bullet Points - Flashbak. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Word of the Day …

… Deucedly | Word Genius.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

RIP …

Christine McVie, Keyboardist and Singer for Fleetwood Mac, Dead at 79.

Another birthday boy …

another commonplace : A modest proposal for Irish stewing, roasting, baking, etc.

My sentiments exactly …

A Unified Theory of “Backwardism.”
This sort of either/or thinking is absurd, but they appear to believe this. Such is the only explanation I can conceive for why it is better to close down healthy parishes if the only way they can be salvaged is to fill them with Latin Mass Catholics, or to let seminaries and religious orders die if the only way to perpetuate them is to restore traditional theological or liturgical practices to them. Better to let the Church die off, apparently, than have it fall into the hands of people you think are fundamentally evil.

I am at a loss as to why Jesus doesn’t call the Pontiff  home and have s chat. Happily, I remember that Jesus remains the head of the Church. Francis is only a stand-in.

Q&A …

Independent Author Spotlight: Lars Walker — DMR Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

We can be grateful they weren’t used …

… things that matter: President prepared to use nuclear weapons in Korea.

Something to think on

Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.
— Jacques Barzun, born on this date in 1997

Happy Birthday, Sam …

It’s finally the birthday of the man who mainly told the truth.

Word of the Day …

Scrutator | Word Genius.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Maybe the end times grow near …

… Census: Christians a Minority in England; Non-religious Grow | Newsmax.com.

A nightmare painting …

… Review of "Leopoldstadt," by Tom Stoppard | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Politics, for Stoppard, can only go so far in extricating us from the scourge of politics. A playwright preeminently of ideas, in such works as The Real Thing (1982), Arcadia (1993), and The Invention of Love(1997), Stoppard in Leopoldstadt shows his audience the vanity of ideas, especially political ones, when confronted by the monstrous evil of race hatred.

Something to think on …

The most dangerous ideas in a society are not the ones being argued, but the ones that are assumed.
— C. S. Lewis, born on this date in 1898

Anniversary …

… things that matter: I never tell anyone any story except his own.

Word of the Day …

… Alabastrine | Word Genius.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Happy birthday, Bill — and more …

… things that matter: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire!

Hear, hear …


Are their own voices so compelling that the rest of us are expected to listen, heeding advice which overturns two-thousand years of Catholic Christianity? Are the witness of countless saints and scholars, popes and martyrs, to count for nothing? The authority, no less, of Christ Himself, who made provision for none of the changes being proposed today?

Q&A …

… A Universe Reveals Itself From Within: An Interview with Anthony Bukoski — Hypertext Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Over a period from, say, 2007-2012, I’d come to the end of the line. J. W. Beecroft, the independent bookstore which hand-sold my books, closed in late 2007. My beloved editor of eighteen years had tired of my work. Then in 2010, Southern Methodist University Press, my home all those years, suspended operations. Sometime during this period, the midwestern representative for Publishers Weeklyhinted she might profile me for the magazine but instead profiled Marilynne Robinson, a better choice. After publishing four short-story collections with SMU Press, I’d gotten to the end.

Something to think on …

There is nothing more vindictive, nothing more underhanded, than a little world that would like to be a big one.
— Stefan Zweig, born on this date in 1881

Weird …

… things that matter: No action on behalf of man claiming to be Billy the Kid.

Word of the Day …

… Nostrum | Word Genius.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Time for a smile …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: The Off-Kilter Wisdom Of Alfred E. Neuman.

Seems like there may just be …

… Is There a Science of Musical Transformation in Human Life? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

For our purposes here, it’s more important to focus on the two very different ways our competing hemispheres have of changing the world. For the left hemisphere, we change the world by manipulating and controlling it. For the right hemisphere, we go out into the larger environment and transform both ourselves and our world in a way that feels more like merging or transcending. That is precisely the hero’s journey described in this book, and songs are better tools for that transformation than a hammer or a gun.

I remember him well …

… things that matter: A political career based on war service and war associates.

That damned global warming …

… Snow Extent in the Northern Hemisphere now Among the Highest in 56 years Increases the Likelihood of Cold Early Winter Forecast both in North America and Europe

Cold War memories …

I’m posting this because I remain fascinated by the 1950s,

Something to think on …

As a whole part of "psychological education" it needs to be remembered that a neurosis can be valuable; also that "adjustment" to a sick and insane environment is of itself not "health" but sickness and insanity.
— James Agee, born on this date in 1909

Word of the Day …

…  Dyad | Word Genius.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Just so you know …

7 of History’s Strangest Coincidences.

Sign up …

… CS Lewis on Christianity | Hillsdale College.

Rhyme and reason …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Number.

Anniversary …

 things that matter: FDR leads me finally to the Mayflower and my Kindle.

Birds and a legend …

 … A. E. Stallings: Two Poems: Crows in the Wind & The Younger Memnon(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A singular masterwork …

… Cole Porter’s Lasting Song of Longing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Porter’s unconventional harmonic shift from the first to the second theme surprises the listener. His second delivers a gift: instead of the standard 32 bars, we get 48, heightening the lyric’s expression of passion.

Something to think on …

It is a lesson we all need — to let alone the things that do not concern us. He has other ways for others to follow Him; all do not go by the same path. It is for each of us to learn the path by which He requires us to follow Him, and to follow Him in that path.
— Katharine Drexel, born on this date in 1858

Mark thy calendar …

… Priests for Life to host day of mourning for baby whose abortion death was played on NPR - LifeSite.

Birthday boy …

… things that matter: Cartoonist gets nicknamed after the horse in a comic strip.

Word of the Day …

… Prepone | Word Genius.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Noble savages …

 No Pasarán!: Is Thanksgiving a "Myth " or "Problematic Holiday"? What Nobody Tells You About Indians and Other Native Americans.

She could well be …

… Therese of Lisieux, dangerous saint - Aleteia.

Therese takes away every excuse, dismissing every good reason we can give for not being holy, for not at least striving after sanctity. She’s proof that great holiness is possible for every soul, and so our lack of sanctity is a matter of our own will, rather than our luck or our circumstances. In other words, Therese’s message is this:  If we’re not holy it’s because we don’t want to be.

Something to think on …

To have passed through life and never experienced solitude is to have never known oneself. To have never known oneself is to have never known anyone.
— Joseph Wood Krutch, born on this date in 1893

Anniversary …

… things that matter: His organ donations would lesson the pain of the sermons.

The Holmesburg Library, where I spent a lot of time when I was a kid, was endowed by Carnegie

Just so you know …

… The Ten Best Photography Books of 2022 | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Looking back and around …

… The Old Painter on a Walk. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.(

Appreciation …

 Dr Henry Marsh - Oldie Brainbox of the Year. By Dr Theodore Dalrymple - The Oldie. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Neurosurgery entails what for most of us would be would be an intolerable burden of risk and responsibility; of no type of surgery is it more true that the surgeon should have the eye of a hawk, the heart of a lion and the hand of a lady.

Word of the Day …

… Apposite | Word Genius.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Inside Broadway …

… Two books give Stephen Sondheim and Mary Rodgers the last word - Los Angeles Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

To be a religions man and to pray are really one and the same thing. To join in the thought of God with every thought of any importance that occurs to us ; in all our admiration of external nature, to regard it as the work of His wisdom ; to take counsel with God about all our plans, that we may be able to carry them out in His name ; and even in our most mirthful hours to remember His all-seeing eye ; this is the prayer without ceasing to which we are called, and which is really the essence of true religion.
— Friedrich Schleiermacher, born on this date in 1768

So much for patriotism …

… “Boiling Water” causes big headaches for Washington.

Word of the Day …

 Polyglottal | Word Genius.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

God bless her …

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Took a Blowtorch to Emmanuel Macron.

I will soon be reading them …

… The gospels according to E.V. Rieu - George Hunka. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I just ordered a copy of Rieu’s translation. I have made my way through a chunk of the Gospels in Greek. They are very impressive.but I want to see what Rieu has to ffer. You can never stop learning.

Well worth watching …

… things that matter: Enjoying a detour while reading about the revolution.

I have probably mentioned in the past that I once spent a delightful afternoon at lunch with David McCullough. A genuinely learned gentleman.

I’m afraid so …

… Servility Will Cower to Force - by William F. Vallicella.

And yes the people are ovine and servile and will cower to power. That has been amply demonstrated of late by the masses' mindless donning of useless masks. Don we now our fey apparel! Let us signal our specious virtue and adherence to the party line of Lord Fauci and his minions.  And when the party line shifts, we shift with it!

Time for a chuckle …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: When I Was Your Age...

Weighed in the balance …

… and often found wanting: A sentimental education by William Logan | The New Criterion.(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In case you wondered …

… things that matter: Ben Franklin publishes a statement of his religious beliefs.

Something to think on …

Nothing on earth can make up for the loss of one who has loved you.
— Selma Lagerlöf, born on this date in 1858

Inspiration …

“…  that one creature … which must remain unpainted”

Word of the Day …

… Anent | Word Genius.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Pictures in words …

… The Unphotographable: Jack Kerouac’s Soaring Diary Entry About Self-Understanding and the Elemental Vastness of the Windblown World.  (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Q&A …

… Claire Hamner Matturro interviews poet Lola Haskins - Southern Literary Review (Hat tip, Rus Bowden,)

If you think sounding musical and/or stringing turns of phrase together is enough, AI can write poetry. But since for me poetry is so much more than surface effects, I’d argue that it can’t. And that, furthermore, it won’t be able to for a long time, if ever. And why not? Because we don’t know how to code emotion, intuition, and understanding of context. And they’re essential. The first is what makes the reader feel something. The second enables the leaps that when you read them leave you breathless for days. And without the combination of those two and the third, poetic wit and humor would be impossible.

Good to know …

… The Chosen, TV Series on the Life of Christ, Pleases Protestants and Catholics Alike With Its Portrayal of Virgin Mary - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A most interesting story …

Embracing Grace: Amy Ford Shares A Powerful ‘Pro-Love’ Message.

At the Care Net conference, Ford shared a testimony about the reconciliation that eventually happened with the pastor who refused to marry the young couple when she was first pregnant.

“He asked my husband for forgiveness and said it was the worst mistake he has made as a pastor,” recalled Ford.

A couple of years later, Amy Ford was asked to speak at that pastor’s church for a Mother’s Day service. After she spoke, the pastor asked Ford and her son Jess, who was 16 at the time, for forgiveness in front of his congregation.

“He was very open about what he had done years before. He said that he had a religious spirit, a pharisee heart,” Amy Ford said.

In an apology to Jess Ford, the pastor said, “While you were in your mother’s womb, I rejected you. Will you forgive me?”

“It was such a powerful moment,” Amy Ford said. “You could feel church wounds being lifted in the room. The fact that the pastor would humble himself in that way was so amazing. And he has his own [testimony] about grace and mercy and what God did in his heart.”

In case you wondered …

… The Dirt on Pig-Pen | Elif Batuman. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In the 1954 strips, Schultz establishes the basic rules of Pig-Pen’s dirtiness. Pig-Pen doesn’t dislike baths; he just prefers getting dirty. He doesn’t try to get dirty; he just doesn’t go out of his way to stay clean. Dirtiness, if not precisely an elected state, is one Pig-Pen can initially control — sometimes to fantastical precision. At one point he tricks Patty into leaving him alone by seeming to have washed his face; when she walks away, we see that the other half of his face is dirty. 

 

A noted jumper …

Famous frog’s first appearance gets belatedly celebrated.

The seeming and the real …

 … Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Dreaming.

Something to think on …

Your preschool child will chatter endlessly to you. If you half-listen and half-reply the whole conversation will seem, and become, tediously meaningless for both of you. but if you really listen and really answer, he will talk more and what he says will make more sense
— Penelope Leach, born on this date in 1937

Digging ditches …

… things that matter: The man who developed the paths between the seas.