Sunday, September 25, 2022

Anniversary …

Operator, I’d like to place a very long distance call.

Something to think on …

If a story is in you, it has to come out.
— William Faulkner, born on this date in 1897

Appreciation …

… 75 years later, 'Prince of Darkness' continues to humanize priesthood | National Catholic Reporter. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Alternately comical and sentimental, ironic and poignant, Prince of Darkness, like much of Powers' work, exploits as well as subverts our expectations about men of God and their cloistered lives.

Reading a master …

… Portraits in History : An audiovisual prologue to my readings and postings.

RIP …

… Hilary Mantel, Prize-Winning Author of Historical Fiction, Dies at 70.

Today is Lancelot Andrewes Day …

… The Word and the words: a sonnet for Lancelot Andrewes | Malcolm Guite. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Two men and three books …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold on September 25, 1775.

Remembering Shel Silverstein …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: The circus train made an ice cream stop.


Back in the day …

… Michael Dirda looks back at Book World's roots in the Watergate era - The Washington Post. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Partly because I’d never worked at any newspaper before, everything about The Post struck me as magical. And surprisingly noisy. In those days, each staffer’s cubicle held a telephone, a heavy metal Rolodex and a Selectric typewriter. Phones in the open newsroom rang almost continuously, and reporters hammered out their stories on sheets of six-ply paper, instantly creating five copies of each page. One of those pages — called “takes” — would be scrolled up in a canister and sent via pneumatic tubes to the composing room. There, linotype machines would turn those paragraphs into rows of metal type.


Q&A …

William Boyd: ‘The books world is much tougher now. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

My mid-20s were steeped in Romantic poetry because I spent eight years at Oxford not finishing a PhD on Shelley. I’ve always felt that nothing is wasted, and I was asking myself how I could recycle this material when I read The Life of Henry Brulard, the fantastically modern-feeling autobiography by [the 19th-century French writer] Stendhal, who I don’t think is much read in UK literary circles. He called himself a romantic because he kept falling in love – he felt it was a curse – and I decided that this store of knowledge I had about Romantic poets could gel with writing about someone with that kind of temperament.

Word of the Day …

 Osmose | Word Genius,

Saturday, September 24, 2022

RIP …

… Pharoah Sanders, influential jazz saxophonist, dies at 81 - Washington Times.

Sherlock Holmes, up close and personal …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Reading a classic mystery about a family and blackmail.

Quite a correspondence

… ‘Dear John’: New archive of letters to John McGahern opens a window into his world. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The letters sent to an author are less often anthologised, if at all. Yet, they offer a remarkable cross-section through the literary and personal networks, friendships and relationships that intersect with the literary and creative worlds. How do other writers approach and critique McGahern’s writing? What of their own self do they bring to the reading of his works? So much in these letters ties to the world, both physical and imaginative, out of which McGahern wrote and crafted his stories and novels. Ian McEwan, for instance, wrote to McGahern in 2006 stating that he “would dearly love to come and see the land that lies around your imagination”.

Two great writers …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: How Twain Helped Grant Write His Personal Memoirs.

Ernest Hemingway

 


For Whom the Bell Tolls was the last of Hemingway's major novels I'd wanted to read: and over the past few weeks, I've immersed myself in this story of the Spanish Civil War. 

Like the other key Hemingway novels, style is paramount, and there's no question that Hemingway has done away with the artifice. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel without much scaffolding: this is not a book littered with complex adjectives; instead, it's one built on a certain accessibility: the simplicity of Hemingway's characterizations -- of war, of love, of Spanish -- open them to an added layer of emotion. There is no mistaking what is happening here. 

In many ways, though, I did not find For Whom the Bells Tolls to be as effective as The Sun Also Rises: the latter, in my estimation, is a more complete novel: the sense of time, character, and loss more effectively rendered. Which is not say that For Whom the Bell Tolls is without feeling: indeed, the final section of the novel -- full of action and tragedy -- evokes a clear sense of sorrow. But Sun does this without direct recourse to violence: it is the memory of this theme, and its impact, which guides Sun and which renders it such a success. 

All of that said, For Whom the Bells Tolls presents a candid, if at times predictable, account of Spain and its descent into fascism. This is a novel guided by action: by the preparation, the anticipation, and the inevitable loss. Not all of Hemingway's novels move in this way, and it's clear that not all of his literary techniques fully suited this approach. But in the end, Robert Jordan becomes a trusted guide: a man in search of honor and truth, who is fated, from the start, to sacrifice. 

Flight of fancy …

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

Something to think on …

To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, born on this date in 1896

Worth watching — once …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Criticized correctly for incomplete or false reporting.

Word of the Day …

… Lability | Word Genius.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Hair today …

Mark Twain’s hair held by the UC Berkeley Library.

A hero passes …

… John Train, 1928-2022 | Washington Examiner. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Train's industrious pleasure in the human condition didn't blind him to the darker precincts of the human universe. Prompted by the example of his friend and sometime colleague Alexander Solzhenitsyn, he was founding chairman of a foundation that awards an annual Civil Courage Prize "for steadfast resistance to evil at great personal cost." And during the 1980s, he established the Afghanistan Relief Committee, which provided humanitarian aid to civilian refugees and assistance to the mujahedeen warriors resisting the Russian invasion.

Blogging note …

 I have to go out shortly to run some — one of which  in in West Philly. So I won’t be blogging until later.

A great poet’s too soon passing …

Written In Water:Keats’s Final Journey. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Keats wrote no poetry in this period and his own unmediated voice falls silent after 30 November, when he pens his last ever letter, addressed to his friend Charles Brown and containing his poignant envoi:‘I always made an awkward bow.’ But Severn’s on-the-spot correspondence offers a harrowing running commentary on his decline. It was to Severn that Keats dictated his own epitaph, ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water’, from which Gallenzi adapts his title.

A biography worthy of its subject …

… Sigrid Undset: Reader of Hearts: A Review - Ad Fontes. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It would be a little bizarre to say I couldn’t put a literary biography down. But that was very nearly the case with Sigrid Undset: Reader of Hearts. Granted, that’s partly because the author’s wide-ranging references often touch on my personal interests – from the English Inklings to Olav, royal patron saint of Norway. The narrative never lags, and Undset provides a surprisingly dramatic subject, the kind of “difficult” woman who continually rocks the boat while celebrating subordination.

Something to think on …

I have always maintained that the one important phenomenon presented by modern society is — the enormous prosperity of Fools.
— Wilkie Collins, who died on this date in 1889

The arms race begins …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: News about bomb causes panic in American government.

Word of the Day …

… Congruous | Word Genius.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

A wondrous poem …

 The Community of Minds - Image Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Spying can be dangerous …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Schoolteacher and soldier executed in NYC.

Sounds like a must-read …

. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The spectacle of his age and his life overpowered him into art. His immense energy assaulted journalism, the theatre and finally fiction where it spilled out into glorious English that could find no peace with itself. It was the first expression that could find no peace with itself. It was the first expression in prose of the legacy of romanticism. Ackroyd calls the style ‘passionate, comic, direct, plangent, farcical, lachrymose’ and adds with casual brilliance: ‘Prose as a principle of animation.’ Academic English departments should study such superb critical distillations and then abolish themselves.

A general’s general …

… Diplomacy was not one of General Patton’s many gifts.

And the nominees are …

Business book of the year 2021 — the shortlist.

Something to think on …

How has anyone ever understood anyone, except through love, which is wordless?
— Fay Weldon, born on this date in 1931

An interview with James Matthew Wilson …

… The Emerging Catholic Literary Renaissance - Homiletic & Pastoral Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The period during which I was not a practicing Catholic was so brief as hardly to be worth mentioning. It was an adolescent revolt rather than a lasting apostasy. But, certainly, the grace of faith came to me in new ways and like a flood — or floods.

Candies away …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Dropping candy to kids during Operation Little Vittles.

Word of the Day …

… Keystone | Word Genius.

Hemingway memorabilia...

...Some incredible pictures and artifacts recently uncovered

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Hooray for a prodigy …

Meet Elliott Tanner: At Age 14, He’s Pursuing His Ph.D. in Physics.

Elliott’s family has long known he’s gifted — the youngster started doing math as a toddler and became a member of Mensa International at the tender age of 6, Minnesota Parent reported. But the rest of the world was made privy to his academic prowess when he graduated from UofM earlier this year at age 13 with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a minor in math, making waves in the media and earning him a loyal following of supporters wanting to see him succeed.  

Appreciation …

… Woody Allen: Not Dead, But Done? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This past Saturday, Woody, who’s in Spain making his 50th movie as director, told the newspaper La Vanguardia that it’ll be his last. If so, it will, like the death of Queen Elizabeth II, mark the end of an era. Is it hyperbolic to compare the conclusion of Woody’s film career to the death of the queen? Perhaps. But maybe not for a native New Yorker who was there at the height of Woody’s career, when for many of us in the Big Apple he was something close to local royalty. Elizabeth, born in 1926, ascended to her throne in 1952; Woody, born in 1935 and allergic to formal education, quit college and kicked off his show-business career around the same time. 

Tomorrow …

… Financial Times Business Book of the Year 2022 - Shortlist Announcement #BBYA22 / Twitter.

Horror fiction gets a King in 1947 …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Writing stories after watching Earth vs the Flying Saucers.

Philosophy and philosophy …

… Technical Philosophy, Compartmentalization, and Worldview.

I distinguish philosophy-as-inquiry from philosophy-as-worldview. These are two ideal types of approach to the deepest problems that vex the thoughtful.  Roughly, a worldview is a more or less comprehensive system of more or less precisely articulated action-guiding beliefs and values. Despite the word, a worldview is more than a view; it is a guide to life. It sets goals and prescribes and proscribes courses of action. It provides an overarching context of meaning in which individual actions assume a meaning that transcends their momentary meaning. It is practical rather than merely theoretical.  A worldview is something one lives by, and sometimes dies for. (Transfinite cardinal arithmetic is not a worldview: it has no practical implications. One cannot 'take it to the streets.')

Take a look …

 … Pacific Light: a short film.

Listen in …

Virtual Memories: Episode 505 – Richard Butner.

Candy and toys — an anniversary …

… Beyond Pigeon Hollow: Two brothers decide to sell toys in addition to candy.

RIP …

… Saul Kripke, R.I.P. | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave lull.)

Discovery …

I DID NOT KNOW MONTAIGNE FROM ADAM. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Exemplar | Word Genius.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

September Poetry at North of Oxford …

 … Two Poems by Alexander Lazarus Wolff.

…  Two Poems by Donna Pucciani.

… Two Poems by Michael Gushue.

… What You Want by David Kozinski.

Getting to the poont, sort of…



The book’s short chapters are written in paragraphs, as all writing in English is, but about two thirds of these paragraphs have little dots to the left. “The bullet point is a wonderful way to isolate important facts or ideas,” the authors write. Maybe so, but the excessive use of bullets leads you to wonder why some bulleted paragraphs have no important facts or ideas, and some nonbulleted ones do. And anyway why am I thinking more about these little dots than about the subject matter? It’s a fine way to read if you want to go insane.

Something to think on …

The Divine Thing that made itself the foundation of the Church does not seem, to judge by his comments on the religious leadership of his day, to have hoped much from officers of a church.
— Charles Wiliams, born on tis date in 1886

Change of seasons …

… Poem: Autumn in Chrysalis-Time by Ned Balbo. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This doesn’t sound good …

… Fibrous Clots, Foreign Matter in Blood After COVID Jabs: Is There a Way to Detox?.

Sad anniversary …

Jim Croce — a great singer, songwriter and musician.

Word of the Day …

Habituate | Word Genius

Monday, September 19, 2022

What a wonderful story …

Old Bill. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

One such was Old Bill, who only ever worked for room and board and chewing tobacco. He wasn’t that old, really, probably in his fifties, but Old Bill put my young grandfather in mind of Abraham Lincoln, tall and lanky with dark hair and whiskers. He would just show up on the farm one day, and even if Grandpa’s father didn’t exactly need him (Bill required lots of supervision), he always took him on.

Christ redeemed us all …

…. Talking Race: Community Over Conflict | The Russell Kirk Center

I
n Feser’s analysis, Marxism, postmodernism, liberation theology, and CRT pivot on conflict, power, and domination among classes or racial groups. The individual is marginalized, reconciliation is not possible, and division is necessary for victory. The Catholic paradigm, in contrast, sees each human person as created in the image and likeness of God, as equally, individually, and uniquely sacred, and as called to love God and others with full mind and body through spiritual and corporal works of mercy (e.g., Mother Theresa of Calcutta).  

Our grand market ……

… Talking at the Table Conversations at Reading Terminal Market.

A peculiar anniversary …

 … Frivolity and tensions end as Disneyland closes its doors.

And the winners are …

… Here are the winners of the 2022 Ig Nobel Prizes | Ars Technica

A strange poem …

… The Coronet by Andrew Marvell | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Blogging note …

 Debbie is currently scheduled to come home at the end of this week. So I am going to be busy getting things ready for that. I will be blogging, but it will be spotty throughout the day.

Something to think on …

I am astonished at the ease with which uninformed persons come to a settled, a passionate opinion when they have no grounds for judgment.
— William Golding, born on this date in 1911

Word of the Day …

… Utopian | Word Genius.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Debut …

… Reading Books by David McCullough : Beginning this blog by reading The Johnstown Flood

Blogging note …

 I am about to leave for Mass. After that, A friend and I are heading into town for lunch. It’s restaurant week.

A writer remembers …

… John Updike On Death, Writing And the Last Words - Flashbak. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Updike saved almost everything. His papers, stored at Harvard, include his golf scorecards, legal and business records, fan mail, video tapes, photographs, drawings and rejection letters. Was saving and preserving the past done so we could remember him, and he could better remember himself, and try again?

A stern appraisal …

… Lowell’s Limits. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… why do so few of his vast number of poems—his Collected Poems runs to nearly 1,000 pages—stay in mind? Perhaps the best explanation came from F.W. Dupee, the critic who for many years taught at Columbia, who regretted Lowell’s abandoning his earlier structured—by meter and rime—poems for more loosely formed verse, influenced by William Carlos Williams, that he seemed to be able to turn out by the bushel. In his earlier poems, Dupee declared, Lowell "wrote as if poetry were still a major art and not merely a venerable pastime which ought to be perpetuated." Dupee found, as do I, something "inconclusive" about Lowell’s poetry, of which he asks: "Where, as Henry James would inquire, is your denouement?" In much of Lowell’s poetry one encounters the interesting image (he called Ford Madox Ford's novel The Good Soldier the best French novel in the English language), the arresting phrase (his poem "For Santayana" ends, "There is no God and Mary is his mother") but never at a poem’s conclusion that marvelous click that signals perfection.

Something to think on …

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
— Samuel Johnson, born on this date in 1709

Anniversary …

… once upon a time : NYT first edition published in a dirty, candlelit office.

Word of the Day …

 Supersedence | Word Genius.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Anniversay …

 once upon a time : 1st formal treaty between new USA and American Indians.

The tale of a cuppa …

… Unlikely Centers of Cultural Change | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In his study Coffeehouse Culture in the Atlantic World, Wesley Reynolds illustrates the depth, breadth, and history of his topic in a well-written and convincing manner, tackling a subject that could be drab and pedantic in lesser hands while bringing to life a remarkable historical period. A history professor by trade, Reynolds combines a knack for research and writing into a compelling argument for the import of colonial America’s most overlooked grinder and filter of culture.


A mystery …

 Maryann Corbett on Twitter: "There's lots of excellent stuff in the issue of THINK that came this week. I'm very curious about this poem by #LenKrisak. Who is the "epigrammatist," does anyone know? https://t.co/gHhivqBhUw" / Twitter. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.) 

Wonderful …

… Hildegard of Bingen: A Sonnet | Malcolm Guite. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The dusk of being …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: There is Only One Gray.

Something to think on …

It isn't by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.
— Ken Kesey, born on this date in 1935

Word of the Day …

… Galvanize | Word Genius.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Very worth reading …

… Congress doesn't have the power to legislate on.

I interviewed Glenn quite a few years ago,  at the beginning of blogging.  Glenn’s as sharp as they get. A pretty nice guy, too.

Setting sail in September …

 it happened once upon a time: Storms and poor navigation will force them off course.

Something to think on …

Spanish civilization crushed the Indian. English civilization scorned and neglected him. French civilization embraced and cherished him.
— Francis Parkman, born on this date in 1823

America the ideal …

Norman Rockwell’s America. (Hat tip! Dave Lll.)

Even his critics concede that he was a master draftsman. The drawings and paintings really do draw you imaginatively into the lives of the figures on the canvas, and often do so with a mischievous, if sometimes corny, sense of humor. Yes, his illustrations and paintings are celebrations of an idealized America, one mostly devoid of conflict or political turmoil. But ideals have their uses. It’s hard to make progress without them. 

In memoriam …

The Corgi's Lament – a poem by Lady Antonia Fraser. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Tale of one city …

… Review of Berlin: Life and Death in the City at the Center of the World, by Sinclair McKay. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… after the western zones were combined into West Berlin, the gulf between the quality of life in the city’s two halves grew steadily. The Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949, a heroic response to a Soviet attempt to cut off supplies to West Berlin, only intensified the feeling among West Berliners that Americans had their backs: “Where the Soviets moved with cruelty . . . the Americans were seen to be bringing joy to the children of their former enemies.” Yet for all the Americans had done for them, one of the chief complaints by West Berliners by the time the 1950s rock-and-rolled around was that “alien” and “vulgar” American pop music was poisoning their culture. Nor did they hide their racism toward black American performers. You would think they would have been embarrassed to express such sentiments so soon after the Holocaust, but no. It was almost as if, having been lifted by America back to a position of dignity and self-respect, they were returning to master-race form and looking upon their saviors with the same old arrogance and contempt. (This is a phenomenon I’ve often reflected on when visiting Germany; I wish McKay had devoted more time to it.)

In case you wondered …

… Why the Model T was Henry Ford's epic poem - Big Think. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The car inspired affection in its owners. The T rapidly acquired nicknames: Tin Lizzie, flivver – a word of indeterminate origins – or jalopy, which might be derived from Jalapa, a Mexican town where many old cars were sent to be turned into scrap. 

Word of the Day …

… Effectuate | Word Genius,

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Talk about incompetence …

… Black Author Shocked, Book Publisher Prints a Photo of Hitler Inside His Memoir With Nazi Symbols on Every Page. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Compelling indeed …

 Top Shots: Compelling Image From Our Region. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden,)

Up close and personal …

… Charles Brooks' Architecture in Music | Moss and Fog. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Sad …

A HOMELESS TRAVELING STATESMAN. (Hat tip, Dave lull.)

In case you wondered …


This resentment of external imposition extends beyond education to any tradition or institution that places a responsibility on the individual from without. For example, Giroux betrays this larger goal when he derides our society for setting up the “nuclear family as the institution of preference.” When anyone marries or has children, the institution demands that he set his own desires and sense of entitlement as secondary to the needs of his family. And so the traditional family must go.

Q&A …

… The Novel That Made Karen Armstrong Quit Her Reading Group - The New York Times. (Hat tip, Dominick DiTullio.)

Everybody has heard of the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist classic. Less well known, but equally important and far more accessible, is “The Book of Zhuangzi,” written in the fourth century B.C., which also enables the reader to become aware of the Tao, the sacred reality that permeates every aspect of life. Zhuangzi’s style is energetic, ebullient, bracing, humorous and accessible. The secret, he explains, is to let ourselves go, laying aside the ego that we cherish so diligently. We do this not by abstruse meditation; instead, we must focus on simple tasks so thoroughly and wholeheartedly that we forget ourselves and allow the qi, the sacred force that permeates the whole of reality, to take over

Faith in these times …

… A Book from the Brink - The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

One might be surprised to find such vitality in a novel that both begins and ends in a cemetery, but Hren vividly depicts the various members of the Yourrick family and the villainous Hape in such a way as to clarify a point from Caroline Gordon’s The Art of the Novel. Gordon’s novelist friend Mr. X claimed that there was no such thing as a novel of ideas, because novels deal with life, with action, but Hren reveals within the lives of his character the power of both truth and sophistry.

Dave also sends along this other review of the book: An Infinity of Imperfections.

Sounds interesting …

… Cultivating a Life of Learning: an Online Conversation with Zena Hitz | The Trinity Forum.

And the winner is …


In its citation, the Malaparte jury singled out the themes of exile, displacement, and memory in Mendelsohn’s three major memoirs, especially The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, an investigation into the deaths of six relatives who perished during the Holocaust in what is now Ukraine. “The choice of Mendelsohn may seem like a tribute to current events and to Ukraine,” says Gabriella Buontempo of the 2022 Malaparte Prize decision. “In truth, at the time we decided it, the Russian aggression did not start. But when literature is really well addressed, almost naturally its themes turn out to be current.”

Something to think on …

Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people.
— Robert Benchley, born on this date in 1889

These are great …

… 15 Finalists of the 2022 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Murders, she wrote …

… Studies in Detection: The mystery of the best-selling novelist of all time.

Word of the Day …

… Zeal | Word Genius.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

September Poetry at North of Oxford …

 … Two Poems by Alexander Lazarus Wolff.

… Two Poems by Donna Pucciani.

… Two Poems by Michael Gushue.

… What You Want by David Kozinski.

Sad anniversary …

.… once upon a time : President dies after being shot by anarchist in Buffalo.

This is worrisome …

… The Catholic Church Abandons Its Fundamentals in Favor of the New World Order | Human Events | humanevents.com.

Cardinal Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, announced on an interview program that the Catholic Church had no interest in opposing Italy's law allowing abortion. Indeed, while encouraging more women to have children, Paglia called the law "a pillar of our social life."

Just so you know …

… Campus Reform | These are the top 10 worst schools for free speech this year.

Blogging note …

 I will be hosting a cleaning service shortly (trying to get the ready for Debbie’s return home). So I won’t doing any blogging for awhile.

Plus ça change …

… once upon a time : John Adams had his birthday postponed by new calendar.

Something to think on …

Ours is the age of substitutes: Instead of language we have jargon; instead of principles, slogans; and instead of genuine ideas, bright suggestions.
— Eric Bentley, born on this date in 1916

Word of the Day …

 Infracaninophile | Word Genius.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

RIP …

… Jean-Luc Godard, Enfant Terrible of French Film, Dies at 91 | RealClearBooks.

Check this out …

… Outstanding Books, 1931-1961 on JSTOR. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Anniversary …

The “pink panther” launches a famous cosmetic company.

Listen in …

 … Richard Rodriguez discusses the 40th anniversary edition of his classic book, Hunger of Memory. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

We all have our faults …

… Meet a mild-mannered murderer you can’t help liking.

Still thriving …

… The Catholic Imagination in 2022 | Jessica Hooten Wilson | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The fourth Catholic Imagination Conference will be held at the University of Dallas, from September 30 until October 1. It has been a staple of this event to bring back together friends from previous years, such as Gioia, Sarah Cortez, Phil Klay, Philip Metres, Sally Thomas, and others, while also introducing new writers each time. The 2022 Conference will feature Christopher Beha, Gloria Purvis, Uwem Akpan, Haley Stewart, Tsh Oxenreider, and a host of other notable Catholic luminaries, while recognizing that there is a lengthy list of those who could have also been invited. It is a beautiful problem to have too many worthy Catholic writers to invite and not enough space and time to hear from all of them.

Something to think on …

To show a child what once delighted you, to find the child's delight added to your own - this is happiness.
— J. B. Priestley, born on this date in 1894

In memoriam …

… Queen Elizabeth II: Poet laureate Simon Armitage marks death of monarch - BBC News. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Word of the Day …

… Dissertation | Word Genius,

Monday, September 12, 2022

Thank you, Dr. Fauci …

 More Reports of COVID Vaccine-Linked Heart Inflammation in Young Males Submitted to CDC.

I guess the media deserves a round of applause for this also.

We all like to read about crime …

… Studies in Detection: The discrete criminal inquiry enters its final phase.

The poetry of faith …


The fine arts of their nature depend upon the act of sublimation or transformation. Our ancient ancestors expressed this by proclaiming Mnemosyne (Memory) the mother of the nine muses (the inspiring goddesses of the fine arts). Events occur in time; no sooner do they appear from the nonexistent future and manifest themselves as the present than they have already been carried off into the nonexistent past. Sunk as we are in the mutability of things, existence is momentary and thinner than the glassy surface of a pool of water. Before we can touch its sheen, we have already broken it. Thus it is, Hesiod and Homer, Plato and St. Augustine, all teach us that Memory allows what passes away to be gathered up and held together. Memory gives to what is always dissolving a place of timeless stability; it is from that deep and invisible place that the muses draw forth materials that will, finally, inspire the artist to give them manifest and permanent form. The arts give to passing events the permanent form of a story; they give to invisible, elusive ideas and wisdom permanent expression; they allow even the most evanescent of passions to strike us with an everlasting note.

This is very worrisome …

… Navy veteran exonerated, released from prison after serving nearly 30 years for a murder he didn't commit - TheBlaze

Adventures in grammar …

… Communication Breakdown. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Teachers no longer pay such close attention to errors in grammar and spelling. Instead, they leave it to the spellchecker. Jovin’s fieldwork confirms that teachers, by failing to teach the basics, are making millions of us look foolish. Hal, a businessman in Decatur, Ala., confuses "accept" and "except." Tara in Venice Beach confuses "affect" and "effect." No one seems to know the difference between "further" and "farther." And then there is the morass of confusion and rage that is the lie/lay distinction.

Something to think on …

On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
— H. L. Mencken, born on this date in 1880

Why study the classics?

… Doing Things Badly, and the Good That Comes of It. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The modern education system, with its stupid and unhealthy obsession over testing metrics, constantly requires young people to demonstrate what they can give.  But the classical school only asks the student to show up ready to receive.  This emphasis on the students’ receptivity has one obvious corollary, which is that young people of highly differing aptitudes can benefit from a course of study so conceived.  If the significant thing is not what students bring to their studies, but what they take away, then a considerable disparity in talents can be accommodated in classrooms where engagement is prioritized above all things.Frank 

Worth noting …

UK Announces it Will No Longer Offer COVID Jabs to Children Under 12 Amid New Data That Shows Risks Outweigh Benefits.

Horse and rider …

… once upon a time : The 7th most popular show featured Hopalong and Topper.

Word of the Day …

… Cenatory | Word Genius.

Eliot before and after...

 ...'The Waste Land'

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Dames and ABCs …

… once upon a time : Master John learns reading, writing and arithmetic.

Whither we sre bound …

… Opinion | What John Donne Knew About Death Can Teach Us a Lot About Life - The New York Times. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A certain amount of ease around death would have been in character. John Donne was honest about death and its place in the task of living, just as he insisted on joy. Both his life and his work tell us the same thing: It is only by keeping death nearby that one can truly live.

Confronting the darkness …

… Even Wearing Black the Church Shines - The Catholic Thing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

No prim turning aside, with perfume and flowers, from the brute fact of death and the decay of the flesh.  It is as if the Church says, “I know the worst, and Christ has overcome it.”

Speaking her mind …

Abominations by Lionel Shriver review – into battle with a culture warrior. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… a good place to begin might be with her 2016 speech to the Brisbane Writers festival in which she spoke – rightly, in my view – against the notion of cultural appropriation (novelists, she said, must be free to inhabit characters unlike themselves and to relate experiences alien from their own). As you may recall, not only did someone walk out; afterwards, the festival, which had signed off on the subject of Shriver’s address long before she arrived in Australia, panicked and, with utmost cowardice, organised a “right of reply” event.

I just pre-ordered the Kindle version Lionel’s. I haven’t seen her in years, but  I remain a fan. 

 

Giving peace a chance …

… once upon a time : In the hope of bringing an end to the nascent Revolution.

Something to think on …

Freedom is a very great reality, but it means above all things, freedom from lies.
— D. H. Lawrence, born on this date in 1885

Word of the Day …

… Parenthesize | Word Genius.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Not quite getting to know her …

… The life and work of Barbara Pym - Claire Jarvis - Bookforum Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Byrne uses Pym’s fiction, primarily, to decode the novelist’s real-life romances. Her episodic approach offers a tidy chronology. We follow Barbara on her romantic peregrinations, touching on the Oxford of the 1930s, the life of a Wren in WWII, a single editrix’s life in postwar London. Byrne’s focus, perhaps shrewdly, is on a sort of sentimental eroticism. In her hands, Pym’s loves and flirtations—the moody, irritable, movie-star handsome Henry Harvey; the urbane, weak, married Gordon Glover; the Nazi officer Friedbert Glück, whom she romanced in Germany in the 1930s—are all snapshots of romance that is searching, urgent, and weirdly imbricated in political and social upheaval. But the major project of Pym’s life, turning the deeply mundane activities of a single woman in England into surprisingly complex novelistic art, falls somewhat by the wayside …

Listen in …

… Robert A. M. Stern’s Journey in Architecture: A Conversation with Francis Morrone. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Words, words, words …

We Added 370 New Words to the Dictionary for September 2022. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Heroic spy …

… once upon a time : Volunteering to gather intelligence behind enemy lines.

Stormy weather indeed …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Close/Soon.

Something to think on …

Words were her plague and words were her redemption.
— Hilda Doolittle, born on this date in 1886

Religion with a beat …

…. Hillbilly Thomists: Dominicans tracing their roots into Appalachian music and faith. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The band's name is a nod to Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor and her blunt, surreal fiction. In a letter, she once said that while some have called her "a hillbilly nihilist," she would prefer "hillbilly Thomist" – referring to her love of the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.