Friday, November 26, 2021

Wondrous …

… Jackie & Roy: Musical Joie de vivre - by Robert Gilbert - Listening Sessions. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I turned 20 that year. I was then — and may still be — a wannabe Beat — not a beatnik.

Not this year …

Gasoline rationing will begin in the U.S. on December.

Cause for concern …

… Heart attack warning.

Hmm …

… Salvation Army's Donors Withdraw Support in Response to Racial 'Wokeness' Initiative.

Something to think on …

If we wish to serve God and love our neighbor well, we must manifest our joy in the service we render to Him and them. Let us open wide our hearts. It is joy which invites us. Press forward and fear nothing.
— Katharine Drexel, born on this in 1858

Appreciation …

… Cool Ghost. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Together at last …

Charles Dickens, Lionel Barrymore, and savings bonds.

Word of the Day …

… Twee | Word Genius.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

RIP …

… Dave Hickey, influential critic who saw art as inseparable from everyday life, has died aged 82. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Armed with humour, a deep intellect and an alchemical ability to mix high and low, Hickey was unafraid of integrating talk of sports and food into his discussion of fine art, concocting a sort of intentional bathos that was all his own. He saw art not as a highbrow disruption of our lives but as an everyday occurrence, a view that gave shape to prophetic assertions such as “the title of artist has to be earned” and “all we do by ignoring the live effects of art is suppress the fact that these experiences, in one way or another, inform our every waking hour”.

Something to think on …

The rare moment is not the moment when there is something worth looking at, but the moment when we are capable of seeing.
— Joseph Wood Krutch, born on this date in 1893

A lot like today …

… Thanksgiving ... 1950 | The Saturday Evening Post. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The poem is by Edna St. Vincent Millay, who died in October 1950.


Hmm …

… Study finds possible editorial bias, 'nepotistic behavior' in subset of science journals - UPI.com.

In 2016, for example, a study showed the sugar industry meddled in medical research by Harvard researchers to downplay sugar's role in increased risk of heart disease.

Strange change …

… Do you have the 50p coin with Sherlock Holmes on it?

Word of the Day …

… Soupçon | Word Genius.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

War up-close and personal …

Driving through Minnesota During the Hanoi Bombings. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Robert Bly died on Sunday. I spent a very pleasant day with him many years ago.

Mark thy calendar …

… Author Events - Free Library.

Holiday treat …

This John Adams favorite can be yours on Thanksgiving.

Well worth considering …

… The Vaccine Moment, part one - by Paul Kingsnorth - The Abbey of Misrule. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Amongst the vast flock of contested facts that wheel around this virus like a murmuration of starlings, darkening the skies and addling the mind, one stands out. It is the single fact that blows a cathedral-shaped hole in the strategy being pursued by governments at present, and which offers a glimpse into the crypt. It is the fact that these vaccines, whatever their efficacy in other areas, do not prevent transmission of the virus.

And the winners are …

IBPC: Winning Poems for October 2021.


(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Anniversary …

“Hollywood 10” charged with contempt on this day in 1947.

Something to think on …

Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.
— Wiliam F. Buckley, Jr., born on this date in 1925

Word of the Day …

… Pensile | Word Genius.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Monday, November 22, 2021

Maverick …

… Tucker Carlson, Class Traitor | Wilfred M. McClay | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… these no-doubt-formidable analysts are on to something. Tucker Carlson is indeed a figure of real significance in the culture of today’s journalism. But not for the reasons they think. They might get further in their ruminations if they were willing to entertain the thought that it is not Carlson, but their own industry, that has changed almost beyond recognition; and that he is a brave outlier standing against a smug profession that routinely confers plaudits and prizes on itself for demonstrably false reporting and naked political advocacy.

This veteran journalist finds most contemporary journalism and journalists appalling.  

Remembering …

… CS Lewis: A Sonnet | Malcolm Guite. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

Tom Sawyer caused unsafe classroom environment.

Apparently, Ms.Stroud has problems with reading comprehension. Jim is the real father to Huck, not Huck”s biological father.

Just so you know …

… If you like heart problems, you'll love the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines - by Alex Berenson - Unreported Truths. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

But of course some people just by the party line. I, however, happen to be in the top 1 percent of those likely to die of a heart attack (my father died of one). At 80, I don’t much care, but why take an unnecessary risk? And we’re two years into this, and Test negative for Covid.

Something to think on …

It's never too late to be who you were meant to be.
— George Eliot, born on this date in 1819

Miss Abby …

13 Fascinating Facts About Abigail Adams.

Word of the Day …

… Germinal | Word Genius.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The need for prayer …

… Evelyn Waugh in the Light of Eternity| National Catholic Register. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… we need to be very precise about the provenance of such ailments as boredom, sloth or ennui,because it is deeply and inescapably theological. Sloth, for example, is among the Seven Deadly Sins, sometimes called Capital Sins, because they have the capacity to beget still other sins. Just as, for example, anger can lead to acts of brutishness and murder, so too can sloth lead to despair and suicide. It is the sin against the Holy Spirit, the taxonomists of sin tell us, which cannot be forgiven so long as one remains in that forlorn state. Not until, that is, one is actually moved to ask God for forgiveness can one overcome its particular malice.

The language of the soul …

‘The Music of Christendom’: Why the World Should Thank the Church for ‘Classical’ Compositions.

Although there are some similarities to doctrinal development, musical development does not offer an exact parallel, as seen in The Music of Christendom. When the Catholic Church was rent by the multifaceted rejection of the faith in the 1500s known collectively as the Protestant Reformation, secular music began to develop separately from Catholic music. While faithful Catholics worshipped according to one set of musical standards, Treacy points out, the cultural listening material of the day was often pulling them in another direction. 

History and memory — revised …

… My obsession with American history began when I was a friendly Indian among the hungry Pilgrims in the 4th grade.

Birthday boy …

Celebrating Francois-Marie Arouet’s birthday.

Something to think on …

Life is God's novel. Let him write it.
— Isaac Bashevis Singer, born on this date in 1903

Word of the Day …

… Curvet | Word Genius.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Home in Connecticut …

Experience Victorian high style at the Mark Twain House.

A man within …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Head Within An Aureole (Odilon Redon), Sonnet #590.

Frida Kahlo...

 ...Self-portrait nets over $34M

A happy memory …

… I Once Met... Stevie Smith - Patric Dickinson - The Oldie. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In this exalted company, a schoolboy in his early teens was doubtless an unwelcome presence. But Stevie Smith was very sweet to me, sat me down and with penetrating eyes asked me about myself – what I was studying at school, what I enjoyed doing and other such questions but not (as far as I can remember) what poetry I liked. In the photograph I took, she is clutching a cigarette and wearing (as she often did) the collar of a white blouse over the top of her dress. But for some reason it is her knitted stockings of which I retain the most vivid memory.

Something to think on …

The ways of Providence cannot be reasoned out by the finite mind ... I cannot fathom them, yet seeking to know them is the most satisfying thing in all the world.
— Selma Lagerlöf, born on this date in 1858

I remember it well …

… Snapshot: Tony Bennett sings “If I Ruled the World”.

Aspirations …

… zmkc: Rules for a Traditionalist Contemplating Contemporary Life: No. 3.

Word of the Day …

… Excursus | Word Genius.

Friday, November 19, 2021

RIP …

… Dave Frishberg, a legendary songwriter who called Portland home, dies at 88 - oregonlive.com.
(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

People magazine never did get around to profiling him (though it did briefly review one of his albums in the 1980s). But his niche in the niche-songwriting world of the cabaret smart set, when such a breed still existed, was lofty. Superb saloon singers came to be identified with the Frishberg tunes they sang. One of those singers was Blossom Dearie, whose rendition of his “Peel Me a Grape”was, in Mr. Frishberg’s view, definitive.

Well, why not …

Happy birthday to famous father’s spendthrift playboy son.

Sounds good …


The idyllic hamlet of Sweet Haven; populated by ex-military men, caring women, and their children; affects the protagonist and the reader like the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Present combined. Klavan, being one of the best living American novelists as well as a classicist (he has a book on the Romantic poets coming out next year), knows what the Dickens he’s doing. He makes the town’s insular traditionalism more than a theme, in fact a crucial plot point, full of clues. He also drives three parallel narratives to a thrilling divergence.https://spectator.org/christmas-comes-early-with-andrew-klavans-new-mystery/

Fiction for these days …

BCCC professor releases new fiction collection based on real-life Covid experiences (and beyond) - Times Publishing Newspapers, Inc.

True to its title, there are “mostly good things” detailed within these pages, a riveting style and character development that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Seems so …

 Milton Friedman Is More Relevant Than Ever - Bloomberg. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Friedman also stressed that discretionary monetary and fiscal policy would lead to errors, as policymakers were unlikely to prove omniscient. He has been proven correct on that yet again.

Another anniversary …

19 November 1985 — US and USSR summit conference.

Boozers bombarded …

Booze and boozers face fierce opposition in 1874.

Jobs in the arts...

 ...A challenging stretch

Something to think on …

It is not man who pursues truth, but truth man.
— Lev Shestov, who died on this date in 1938

By Elizabeth Bishop …

 … Insomnia. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Tellurian | Word Genius.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Hmm …

… Silenced but Unquiet: a Faithful Jesuit’s Witness.

A talented Jesuit, disciplined for defending the integrity of the faith: The situation was manifestly unfair, but it did not surprise the victim. Father Mankowski was vocal (when he could be) about both his love for the Jesuit vocation and his recognition that the order had become thoroughly corrupt. Among friends, he likened his situation to that of a husband who knew his wife was unfaithful, but was determined to honor his own vows.

I am myself Jesuit trained. What seems to have happed to the order appalls me. 

 

Anniversary …

Touch-Tone phone finally available after years of testing.

Something to think on …

Let us not go faster than God. It is our emptiness and our thirst that He needs, not our plentitude.
— Jacques Maritain, born on this date in 1882

Dream poem …

Dream in Which My Body Is a Snow Storm. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Beautiful …

… West Coast Photographer Captures Stunning Vistas and Starry Skies. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Word of the Day …

… Parley | Word Genius.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Good news …

… David McCullough on the Wright brothers.

Something to think on …

At dramatic rehearsals, the only author that's better than an absent one is a dead one.
— George S. Kaufman, born on this date in 1889

Blogging note …

 I have to spend today getting things together for Debbie. Her son and his wife are coming by here tomorrow to pick them up and then they are to pick Debbie up at the rehab and drive her to Connecticut, where they live. They have arranged for her to live for a while an assisted living facility. This will give Debbie a chance to connect with her grandchildren. It’s a bummer for me, but one must do what is best for  her. 

Anyway, I won’t be blogging much today.

Word of the Day …

… Anadromous | Word Genius.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Happy birthday …

.… This is my song.

Petula Clark turned 89 today. I feel chilly and grown old.

Something to think on …

Surrender to a logic more powerful than reason.
— J. G. Ballard, born on this date in 1930

The new puritanism…

… William Hogarth's Paintings Now Come With A Trigger Warning | Blog Posts | VDARE.com.

Poetry and prayer …

… She Walks in Beauty Like a Prayer | Christianity Today. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The poets examined in this book reflect shifts in forms of religious devotion. Stokes argues that the theology of prayer reflected in this age and its poets parallels the growing importance of individual practices in religious life, when devotion became as much about doing as believing. Poetry, likewise, was increasingly becoming a personal practice, not merely an objective art.

Reappraisal …

… ‘A Splendid Intelligence’ Review: The Incisive, Elusive Elizabeth Hardwick. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hardwick’s famous marriage to the poet Robert Lowell, in all its ups and downs, has threatened to overshadow her own literary achievement to such an extent that Cathy Curtis takes care to warn us that “A Splendid Intelligence: The Life of Elizabeth Hardwick” includes “only as much information about her famous husband . . . as is necessary to tell the story of her life.” The author of three studies of somewhat critically neglected women artists, Ms. Curtis is aware that her subject is in danger of subordination to Lowell, an especially glamorous figure who has been treated in more than one biography.

November Poetry + Holiday Reading Recommendations 2021 …

 … Welsh Coast by Robert Nisbet.

… When it Rains on K Street by Henry Crawford.

… Two Poems by Jonel Abellanosa.

… Peace by Charles Rammelkamp.

… Holiday Reading Recommendations 2021.


From the Editors: 

Thunder, Lightning and Urban Cowboys by g emil reutter.

… Covid 19 2020 – A Poetic Journal by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri.

Mark thy calendar …

… Paul Davis On Crime: TCM Offers A Look Back At Dean Martin, 'The King Of Cool'.

Word of the Day …

… Sthenic | Word Genius.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Worth remembering …

Belated celebration of the “Plymouth Combination”,

RIP …

… Paul Davis On Crime: John Pearson, Biographer Of Ian Fleming, Has Died.

Lovely …

… Michael Septimus Waugh: Eulogy | The Evelyn Waugh Society. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 ‘I was a very devout little Catholic when I was at school because it was the air I breathed’ he said ‘and as I’m grown older I find it less easy to believe in any fixed faith though I will still, in times of anxiety, pray.’ He received last rites shortly before his death and requested a Catholic mass to be said at his funeral.

It’s that time again …

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (again already).

Fleeing disaster …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: The Last Day of Pompeii (Karl Bryullov), Sonnet #589.

Word of the Day …

… Overegg | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

There is nothing but God's grace. We walk upon it; we breathe it; we live and die by it; it makes the nails and axles of the universe.
— Robert Louis Stevenson, born on this date in 1850

Friday, November 12, 2021

Latter-day censors …

…  And the book-banning beat goes on and on in 2021.

Poet in exile …

“A Home in the Neon Heat of Nature”: A New Biography of Czesław Miłosz.

Miłosz felt that the United States, specifically the American West, could provide that lofty vantage, that distance, that relative stability from the “demoniac doings of History.” He would live in the Golden State for 40 years, from 1960 to 2000, but according to Czeslaw Miłosz: A California Life, Cynthia Haven’s deeply considered new biography of the poet, Miłosz’s move to America was predicated on a fundamental error. “In immigrating to the United States, and specifically to California in 1960,” Haven writes, “he thought he was coming to the timeless world of nature. However, Berkeley was about to become a lightning rod for […] the world of change […] and he would be in the thick of it.”

Something to think on …

Man does not exist prior to language, either as a species or as an individual.
— Roland Barthes, born on this date in 1915

Maybe Eastwood’s last …

… Lumpily scripted and poorly plotted: Cry Macho reviewed | The Spectator. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Epiphenomenon | Word Genius.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Thank you for your service …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Sailors Hunting Sharks In Loch Fyne.

The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the world’s second largest shark, but despite its size and looks, the shark is quite docile and passive and eats plankton rather than people. The small-brained creatures are called basking sharks due to their swimming slowly and feeding near the surface, which makes them appear to be “basking” in the sun.

Maybe …

… Law is Hell - Econlib. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

My own experience is that if you don’t let some lawyer intimidate you, you’ll have no trouble and the lawyer will go home with his tail between his legs.

Hardly surprising …

… The nearest thing to Paul McCartney’s autobiography: his guide to the Beatles’ songbook. (Hat tip, Dave.)

The Lyrics, presented in two huge volumes in a slipcase, is at once engrossing and frustrating. It is the closest McCartney is likely to come to an autobiography: 154 song lyrics, ranging from a scrap from a fourteen-year-old hand in 1956 to songs from McCartney III at the end of last year. His comments on each song and the circumstances of its composition are drawn from edited interviews with Paul Muldoon that point towards his muses (his parents; Lennon; Linda.

Honoring the dead …

Something different for Veterans Day from Walt Whitman.

Something to think on …

To love another person is to see them as God intended them to be.
— Fyodor Dostoevsky, born on this date in 1821

Hmm …

… Should Kenny G Make a Record with a Software Reconstruction of Stan Getz? - by Ted Gioia - The Honest Broker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

And the winners are …

Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 Winners. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Q&A …

… Guilt Is Fecund: The Millions Interviews Frank Bidart - The Millions. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Word of the Day …

… Quinquennial | Word Genius.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

As well they should …

“Working People” Resist.

The great divide in America today is between middle-class “working people” on the one hand and the educated elites and their pet “marginalized” peoples on the other. The elites are insulated from the consequences of the policies they espouse. The “marginalized” people are the beneficiaries (in theory) of the elites’ compassion. By contrast, the “working people” (of whatever race) are the ones who pay the price when neighborhoods become unsafe, when schools fail to teach, when taxes go up, when electric rates increase, when gasoline prices double, when hamburger costs $2 more per pound, and when their daughters get raped in high school bathrooms.



Wonderful …

 The Archies - Sugar, Sugar (Old Movie Stars Dance) - YouTube.

This — shall we call it a collage? — is simply a masterpiece. Matching the scenes to the song is wondrous. This is a new art form.

A meditation on death …

AS YE ARE NOW. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Of the three moments when I have come closest to death, two have been on the road, where you may be hurled into eternity with almost no warning, and one was on assignment in a chaotic place. What I remember about all these is the swift withdrawal into an inner silence and powerless immobility, once I realized how bad it was.

Four years ago, a physician came to me in the cubicle in the ER, where  I had spent the night, and told me I had a life-threatening condition and needed to be operated on immediately. I had no affect. He might as well have told me it was pretty cloudy and there could be rain that afternoon.


 

Don't we all …

Avuncular, almost cuddly Twain had his sharper edges.

About time …

THE BULL AGAINST LITURGISTS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

*But not against “[. . .] those fine men and women, but mostly men, who, out of deep faith and abiding antiquarian interest, reach into papyri, codices, sacramentaries, missals, pontificals, breviaries, consuetudinaries, antiphoners, vesperales, nocturnales, diurnales, and other suchlike tomes, books, volumes, or collections, and therein find the most interesting tidbits and colorful rituals for the delectation of, for the most part, similarly minded young men, but even the whole world. To such people, We give Our heartiest Apostolical Approbation and Encouragement.”

Cold War days …

Chambers as witness — a singular man in singular times.

Something to think on …

Ceremonies are different in every country, but true politeness is everywhere the same.
— Oliver Goldsmith, born on this date in 1728

Have a listen …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Night Music: Sean Connery Reads Beatles' Lyrics To 'In My Life'.

Pleasant indeed …

… zmkc: Pleasant Surprise.

Word of the Day …

… Curtail | Word Genius.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Worrisime …

… Scammers impersonate guest editors to get sham papers published.

Lidsten in …

… Bob Dylan - Every Grain of Sand (Cleveland, OH) - NOV 5 2021 - YouTube. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In case you wondered …

… How Sweden swerved Covid disaster - UnHerd.

During the year that followed, the virus continued to ravage the world and, one by one, the death tolls in countries that had locked down began to surpass Sweden’s. Britain, the US, France, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain, Argentina, Belgium — countries that had variously shut down playgrounds, forced their children to wear facemasks, closed schools, fined citizens for hanging out on the beach and guarded parks with drones — have all been hit worse than Sweden. At the time of writing, more than 50 countries have a higher death rate. If you measure excess mortality for the whole of 2020, Sweden (according to Eurostat) will end up in 21st place out of 31 European countries. If Sweden was a part of the US, its death rate would rank number 43 of the 50 states.

Promising debut …

Read Robert Frost’s first published poem, written when he was 18. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Epiphany …

… The 1952 novel that changed my life in a 1996 classroom.

Something to think on …

To desire and expect nothing for oneself and to have profound sympathy for others is genuine holiness.
— Ivan Turgenev, born on this date in 1818

Sounds good …

… University of Austin founded by writers and entrepreneurs.

Frustrated with how modern universities stifle free thought and academic diversity, a group of writers and entrepreneurs announced Monday that they are launching their own institute of higher learning: The University of Austin. Joe Lonsdale, a partner at 8VC and a founder of Palantir, Addepar, Resilience Bio, and other multi-billion dollar technology companies, is one of the founders. Here, in an exclusive for The Post, he outlines the school’s mission.

Word of the Day …

… Tinctorial | Word Genius.

A lovely remembrance …

 … Gerald Russello, R.I.P.  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Monday, November 08, 2021

A poem …

 The Owl

Elusive you are, as if I've done wrong.

From madmen, there is a faraway din.

As deep in the forest comes your hooting song,

And then I feel naked, as though I have sinned.


When flying, you gesture to the wise old tree

That is the gateway to my mystical walk.

In a vision your face comes to me.

I want to befriend you, but to that you would balk. 


Later, as I am driving home, I see a shaft of sunlight

Connecting heaven and earth with a deity's nod.

I pray for the owl,perhaps he prays for me,

While my car sends up smoke signals to God.


Then the owl rends forth a heart-wrenching scream.

Right as rain. Here that? We're all right as rain.

— Jennifer Knox

Blogging note …

 I am not feeling well today. Took my morning walk, but knees were not cooperative.  Have spent much time since just lying down. Blogging may resume later should  I feel better. Otherwise, see you tomorrow, folks.

To the rescue …

… Bookmobile visits saved me from becoming a basket case.

Something to think on …

A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy.
— Rumer Godden, who died on this date in 1998

Q&A …

… The Interview R.S. Gwynn by Luke Stromberg | Better Than Starbucks November 2021


(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Arcuate | Word Genius.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Good for them …

… MIT Caves to Wokeness | City Journal

We owe much to our alma mater and have donated to it regularly.

No more.

The current MIT administration has caved repeatedly to the demands of “wokeness,” treating its students unfairly, compromising the quality of its staff, and damaging the institution and academic freedom at large.

Very nice …

A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918 by Natalie Clifford Barney - Poems | Academy of American Poets. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Barney had a fifty-year relationship with Romaine Brooks, one of my favorite painters. 

Hmm …

Does Mark Zuckerberg know what Meta means in Hebrew? (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Sad news…

 R.I.P. Susan de Sola | Form in Formless Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is.
— Albert Camus, born on this date in 1913

Interesting …

… The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb). (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Back in the day …

Hollywood teaches me about the persecution of Christians

Word of the Day …

… Cloven | Word Genius.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Yes …

Songs as poems: Lennon-McCartney, ‘Eleanor Rigby’. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I was teaching at the University of Dayton when you heard the song just about whenever you turned on the radio. I told my students to listen to it carefully, that it was a poem.

Fascinating …

… 58th and Lexington. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Indeed …

Happy 99th birthday, Ronald Blythe! (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I remember these …

Featuring stories by the world’s greatest authors,

Something to think on …

What is philosophy for the Catholic but the way intelligence lives its faith?
— Don Colacho

The mystery of the gift …

Stories on the Side of Grace. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Theroux seeks to crush our illusions and fantasies. He pulls back the veil and shows humanity in all its arrogance and cruelty and, yes, stupidity. While grace is possible, it is not guaranteed

Word of the Day …

… Apologue | Word Genius.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Virginia Woolf


I took a break recently from fiction to read a collection of essays by Virginia Woolf. Let me say, they did not disappoint. 

It's clear while reading the essays just how gifted Woolf was, and how attuned she was to the art of narration. Woolf enhances many of her essays by introducing imagined characters (even, at times, imagined dialogue). The result is tremendous: here is an essay, focused on the politics of writing, which incorporates fictional digressions in order to further an argument which in itself is only loosely connected with literature. 

In other essays, Woolf is ahead of her times, prescient and perspicacious. On any number of issues -- including women's rights and capitalist inequality -- Woolf offers insights which appear decidedly modern. I would not overstate the case: Woolf does not proceed as a contemporary feministic might. But there is a very evident strain in her work which focuses on looking ahead, on envisioning what could be. 

And of course, there's the writing itself. Over and over again, Woolf delights with a clever aphorism here, a memorable turn of phrase there. The essays are metered and deliberate, but build, in almost all cases, toward a crescendo. Woolf loved literature, it is clear. But she also had a real admiration for England, and for London. Those emotions, and others, are on display in her essays -- which I found uncluttered and refreshing. 

The last word is reserved for Woolf:

"And what greater delight and wonder can there be than to leave the straight lines of personality and deviate into those footpaths that lead beneath brambles and thick tree trunks into the heart of the forest where live those beasts, our fellow men?"

Blogging note …

 I am very preoccupied right now. My youngest daughter is ill, my wife is in rehab, among other things. Blogging, I fear, must take a back seat for now. 

Back in the day …

New full-screen focus and black-magic contrast in 1951.

City of firsts …

… Kidnappers, robbers and murderers - Philadelphia Weekly.

Something to think on …

If we have never been amazed by the very fact that we exist, we are squandering the greatest fact of all.
— Will Durant, born on this date in 1885

Word of the Day …

… Purlieu | Word Genius.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Those were the days …

The one fine car in the low-price field.

A youthful indiscretion …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Beat Column: A Sailor Busted In Disneyland.

And the winner is …

… The Petrona Award: The Petrona Award 2021 - Winner. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

 Of Possums and Pomposity: T. S. Eliot’s “Complete Prose”. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I remember going to Leary’s Book Store — a legendary used bookstore that when it closed was thought to be the oldest in the country — and buying Eliot’s Collected Poems 1909 to 1939 and reading on the El “Preludes” and realizing that poetry didn’t have to be about daffodils, that the city was poetic also. I have always liked his funereal readings of his poetry. In short, I remain a fan. I don’t get from this review the sense I have had of Eliot all these years. And I suspect Eliot would have been delighted with his Tony Awards for Cats

The way things were …

Guard against throat-scratch with these fine tobaccos

Interesting …

Legendary Photos: The Stories Behind 5 of David Hume Kennerly’s Iconic Images. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Hmm …

…  Covid-19: Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… for researchers who were testing Pfizer’s vaccine at several sites in Texas during that autumn, speed may have come at the cost of data integrity and patient safety. A regional director who was employed at the research organisation Ventavia Research Group has told The BMJ that the company falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events reported in Pfizer’s pivotal phase III trial. Staff who conducted quality control checks were overwhelmed by the volume of problems they were finding. After repeatedly notifying Ventavia of these problems, the regional director, Brook Jackson, emailed a complaint to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ventavia fired her later the same day. Jackson has provided The BMJ with dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings, and emails.

Something to think on …

Poems have a different music from ordinary language, and every poem has a different kind of music of necessity, and that's, in a way, the hardest thing about writing poetry is waiting for that music, and sometimes you never know if it's going to come.
— C. K. Williams, born on this date in 1936

Another cave myth …

… Light by C. K. Williams | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

C. K. Williams was born on this date in 1936. He used to hang out at Dirty Frank’s.

Calling evil evil …

… Boo to the Boo-Hurrahs: how four Oxford women transformed philosophy - Prospect Magazine.
(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Lipscomb’s book succeeds wonderfully in presenting a particular era in philosophy, and the huge influence of, in particular, Anscombe and Foot in the field of ethics. One area not explored much is that of sex and gender. In a way, this mirrors the women’s writing. Lipscomb notes that only Midgley wrote anything about the (philosophical) question of “women,” and then mostly in the context of being allowed to think and to work.

Word of the Day …

… Aporia | Word Genius.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Blogging note …

 Very preoccupied today with having my wife transported from Pennsylvania Hospital to a rehab facility. Have been on the phone most of the day getting in touch with this person and that. So blogging is taking a back seat today.

Something to think on …

In the realm of human destiny, the depth of man's questionings is more important than his answers.
— André Malraux, born on this date in 1901

Word of the Day …

… Conation | Word Genius.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

RIP …

… Legendary Jazz Guitarist Pat Martino Dies At Age 77. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

Twain’s Indians.

This compulsion among many of our contemporaries to pass judgment on our forebears strikes me as unwise. We can learn from their mistakes, which is why we study history, but we should never presume we are not making different but equally grievous mistakes.

The new journalism …

To Protect Fauci, The Washington Post is Preparing a Hit Piece on the Group Denouncing Gruesome Dog Experimentations. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I wonder. does Jeff Bezos read the paper that he owns?


Preservation and recovery...

 ...In contemporary England

The new Puritans …

… as bad as the old ones, and probably more ignorant: Twitter Suspension of Quin Hillyer is Absurd | National Review.
 I canceled my Twitter account awhile because I don’t want to encourage an ass like Jack Dorsey.

Fascinating …

… The mystery of the Cahokia Mounds | Popular Science.

As well she might …

… Campus Reform | Condoleezza Rice has harsh words for CRT.

“And let me be very clear; I grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. I couldn’t go to a movie theater, or to a restaurant with my parents. I went to segregated schools till we moved to Denver,” Rice continued.

“My parents never thought I was going to grow up in a world without prejudice, but they also told me, ‘That’s somebody else’s problem, not yours. You’re going to overcome it, and you are going to be anything you want to be.’ And that’s the message that I think we ought to be sending to kids.”

In memoriam …

… The Tragedy of Eva Cassidy - by Ted Gioia - The Honest Broker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

How can you watch this poignant video [of “Over the Rainbow”], and not think of that place beyond the rainbow as the fame she never tasted, the successes she never knew about because they happened too late, or the years and decades robbed from her by illness—and just a month after the Blues Alley gig, doctors told her that the cancer was terminal.


Watch and listen …

… Tom Stoppard on 'the strange art form' of theater - CNN Video. (Hattip, Dave Lull.)

Speaking of haecceity …

So there I was … (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


The link to Patrick’s post is where you will find Cunningham’s poem.

Something to think on …

In the last generation, with public Christianity in headlong retreat, we have caught our first, distant view of a de-Christianized world , and it is not encouraging.
— Paul Johnson, born on this date in 1928

A most interesting tale …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Sailor On Sunset Strip.

Sounds useful …

… Book Review: The Babylon Bee Guide to Wokeness | Stand Firm. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The subtitle How to Take Your Wokeness to the Next Level by Canceling Friends, Breaking Windows, and Burning It All to the Ground tips off the book’s approach. It purports to be a guide by the woke on how to become woke. In so doing, it time and again comes very close to or even repeats what the woke crowd actually advocates – which makes the humor that much more effective and increases the chances that the dullards at Snopes, Facebook and elsewhere will be fooled again.

A credulous author …

Spiritual savants supported by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Word of the Day …

… Haecceity | Word Genius.

Monday, November 01, 2021

I remember this …

… though I was only nine years old: POTUS escapes assassination attempt at Blair House.

Mark thy calendar …

… Visit with Abigail Adams on 6 November.

November Reviews/Essay at North of Oxford …

 … Last Stop on the 6 by Patricia Dunn.

… Reefer Madness by Robert Cooperman.

… the deering hour by Karen Elizabeth Bishop.

… Slap by Rustin Larson.

… Literature and Random Chance.



Dinner by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri at Poetry X Hunger.

 

Something to think on …

It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.
— Étienne de La Boétie, born on this date in 1530

Word of the Day …

… Exiguous | Word Genius.

Appreciation …

Ken Dodd, Stockhausen and Psycho: unlocking Paul McCartney’s musical genius. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The depth and durability that are the hallmarks of McCartney’s lyrics derive from the combination of two seemingly irreconcilable forces that I characterise as the “physics” and the “chemistry” of the song. The physics has to do with the song’s engineering. One estimate has the Beatles playing nearly 300 times in Germany between 1960 and 1962. That sheer exposure to the business of how songs are constructed lies at the root of the word “poet”, a version of the Greek term for a “maker”. It’s no accident that one Scottish term for a poet or bard is makar.