Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sage advice …

Bernard Malamud to a young writer: “I have the feeling you haven’t yet been struck by lightning.”

Indeed …

 NOW HE’S A MARTYR TO TYRANNY.

Cause for optimism …

… Goodbye Pandemic, Hello Endemic.

The Nature paper disclosed that protective (IL-2 secreting) T cells are induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Accordingly, we could foresee that a wider spread of Omicron infection would induce a wider range of cross-reactive T cell immunity, subsequently offering more widespread protection against potential future SARS-CoV-2 variants. As a result, we are likely very close to being able to say goodbye to the pandemic.

Tracking a decline …





The Atlantic’s Nervous Breakdown.


Not all Atlantic writers are of this type. Caitlin Flanagan’s recent essays on living for decades with cancer are phenomenal, and Conor Friedersdorf’s conservativish-contrarian takes are always a welcome respite from the doomsaying. But the general tone of the Atlantic suggests something about the mindset of the segment of elite America it represents and caters to: The Atlantic reader is more driven by alarmism and panic than the Fox News–viewing folks on the other side of the partisan divide whom they criticize. The Higher Perspective of the Atlantic is an elite species of panic—it has no interest in the concerns of someone who is worried about how to put food on the table after getting laid off from her restaurant job. Rather, it feels deeply the emotional burden of those coming to the realization that “Office Holiday Parties Really Might Never Be the Same.” This is the class of people who, amid an ongoing pandemic, identified with an unmasked and glamorous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a “Tax the Rich” gown at the Met gala, not with the masked minimum-wage underlings standing silently nearby who served her and her fellow partygoers.

A double anniversary …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Meat cutters went on strike and I began my long odyssey.

January Poetry at North of Oxford …

 … Sisson’s by Eric D. Goodman.

… A Hard Spring by Antoni Ooto.

… Fetus in Fetu by P.C. Scheponik.

… The Ballad of Morbid and Putrid by Sawyer Lovett.

… carry by S.M. Moore.

And the winner is …

Joelle Taylor wins TS Eliot poetry prize for ‘blazing’ C+nto & Othered Poems. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Strange …

… The North Korean 'Ghost Ships' Washing Onto Russia's Coast. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

In case you wondered …

The 9 Most Popular Fairy Tale Stories of All Time. (Hatip, Rus Bowden.)

We’ve all been there …

… Eight Ball by Claudia Emerson | Poetry Foundation. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

An imaginative gem …

… Review of "The Morning Star" by Karl Ove Knausgaard | City Journal. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… even translation problems can’t ruin The Morning Star. If its opening pages make us feel as if we’re in the midst of something resembling life as we know it, by the end we’re looking at the whole enchilada sub specie aeternitatis—from the perspective of the eternal—having along the way been vouchsafed an acute sense of the fragility of human existence, the futility of our efforts to fathom it and do something meaningful with it, and the fallaciousness of any illusion that we’ve accomplished something remotely important in the big scheme of things.

But invoked incorrectly …

… Updike invoked in Thinking on Scripture essay | THE JOHN UPDIKE SOCIETY. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“Consider also this view of death by the atheist John Updike, from his novel, Pigeon Feathers:”

Wait. The atheist John Updike?


Please don’t celebrate …

January 16 is National Nothing Day, inaugurated in 1973 “to provide Americans with one National day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.”

Today would also have been my brother’s 88th birthday (he died five years ago). Norm would have loved that his birthday coincided with National Nothing Day. 

Still at it after all these years …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Federal government still interferes with lives and liberties.

Something to think on …

What is at first small is often extremely large in the end. And so it happens that whoever deviates only a little from truth in the beginning is led farther and farther afield in the sequel, and to errors which are a thousand times as large.
— Franz Brentano, born on this date in 1838

Sangfroid | Word Genius

… Sangfroid | Word Genius.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

A dubious charmer …

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

Democracy at work …

… Kazakhstan government resigns as demonstrators set fire to capital | TheHill.

Dark anniversary …

… Miscellaneous Musings : What a gruesome sight they stumbled upon in 1947.

Body and soul …

… The Body of Notting Hill - The Catholic Thing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Incarnation of Christ, who is at once fully God and fully man, is a singular event, unprecedented and unrepeatable. And yet, it also reveals something universal about reality in general. The Logos, the creative Word, of God, has primacy over the material world it brings into being. And yet, while the world of his creation is inferior to the uncreated spirit of God, that world is by no means merely incidental. It expresses in itself something of the truth about our Lord and indeed is one of the pathways by which we journey back to him and come to know him. “Every creature is, in itself, a theophany,” writes Henri de Lubac.

Decadence …

… No Country for Old Saints - The Catholic Thing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

For the Saint went beyond popular imagination. Old-fashioned Catholics and most other Christians might assume that she could win converts by such behavior, but while the odd convert was won (among the dying, for instance), times had changed. By the end of the 20th century, the West and the “progressive” East, had been inoculated against the temptation to Christianity.

Few people nowadays are philosophically literate. 

Trust the science …

… Face masks may make men more attractive, study suggests - UPI.com.

Yeah, sure. Cary Grant would have looked better if he’d worn a mask. Maybe these were just dumb women.

Syrupy disaster …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Boston engulfed by monstrous wave of molasses.

Sad anniversary …

… Miscellaneous Musings : What a gruesome sight they stumbled upon in 1947.

Chill …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Winter Landscape (Alexey Savrasov), Sonnet #598.

Birthday …

… Miscellaneous Musings : The man who understood the reason for our failures.

Blogging note …

 I have urgent business to deal with today. Blogging will have to wait.

Something to think on …

Freedom requires guns.
— Franz Grillparzer, born on this date in 1791

Word of the Day …

… Volplane | Word Genius.

Friday, January 14, 2022

In memoriam …

… A Tribute to Terry Teachout (1956-2022) - by Ted Gioia.



(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Heads up …

… Miscellaneous Musings : So, whose skull is on display at Edinburgh University?

Anniversary …

… Miscellaneous Musings : J. Fred Muggs saved Dave Galloway and the Today Show.

Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon England...

...Context, history, meaning

Blogging note …

 I have business to attend to in Center City. I’ll get around to blogging later today.

A mercurial friendship and more …

… Crimes and Detectives: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and the Murder of Jose Robles.

Something to think on …

The world's becoming a museum of socialist failures.
— John Dos Passos, born on this date in 1896

Word of the Day …

… Phosphene | Word Genius.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Sounds reasonable …

Team Biden’s plan to ‘ensure scientific integrity’ should start with itself.

So how do you promote scientific integrity? To start with: by not lying. That alone seems like a stretch for Fauci, Collins and much of the rest of the public-health establishment. Treating disagreements about science in a scientific rather than political fashion would also help. And a sizable dose of personal integrity on the part of the people running these institutions is essential, though currently absent.

Another truly great poem …

… Do the Dead Know what Time It Is? poem - Kenneth Patchen poems | Best Poems.

My kind of girl …

Mattel Honors Black Conservative Activist, Suffragette, and Investigative Journalist Ida B. Wells With a Barbie Doll.

It took them long enough. Ida B. Wells has been ignored for years, mainly because she was a conservative activist before it was a thing, as well as a gun rights advocate, when the laws in the country were moving in the direction of creating more gun control laws solely to prevent Blacks from arming themselves.

Oh my God …

… Terry Teachout, 1956-2022 - John Podhoretz, Commentary Magazine.

Terry and I exchanged emails from time to time. He sent me a very kind note when I reviewed his wonderful biography of Louis Armstrong. He was a great critic. Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord and may perpetual light shin upon him. 

The immortal Simenon …

… Crimes and Detectives: A little love story that turned out badly.

Pathetic …

… Microsoft Word introduces new "woke" feature to monitor your language | Not the Bee.

They (probably) thought, "spelling and grammar checks are great and all but what we really want to do is influence and control the masses."

I gave up on Microsoft years ago, and Bill Gates has become a pretentious annoyance. Just because you’ve made a lot of money, Bill, doesn’t mean you have any great insight into anything — except perhaps making money. 

The discovery of human freedom …

… A Philosopher in Hard Times.

Hill’s Arendt is a thinker who moves easily from poetry to philosophy, from reflections on politics to an analysis of thinking itself. Like Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hill emphasizes her subject’s efforts to maintain her “love of the world” — an embrace of the plurality of what we can encounter, despite the “dark times” in which we might find ourselves. Hill writes lucidly about the key ideas and is particularly good on Arendt’s deep and lasting friendships. Arendt inspired love and loyalty among those close to her, and while her commitment always to “stop and think” led to sharp disagreements, it also resulted in meaningful, enduring relationships.

We’ve all read some of these …

… The novels that became instant classics | The Spectator. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

There are common themes in writers’ lives: ‘alcohol’ appears almost 50 times, and deaths, where a really good one — Boris Vian ‘died of a heart attack while attending a screening of an unsatisfactory film adaptation of his book I Spit on Your Graves’ — can give a writer’s reputation a little frisson. As this suggests, The Penguin Modern Classics Book is at its most entertaining when filling its sidebars with juicy trivia, such as Maugham calling the Angry Young Men ‘scum’, or the Japanese bizarrist Kobo Abe patenting a new brand of snow chains for car tyres. The cross-references — author to author, movement to movement — give it dynamism, forever suggesting new routes.

Sounds about right …

… Military Brass, Judges Among Professions at New Image Lows.

Mark Milley, the dim-witted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has certainly contributed to this.

Hear, hear …

  ‘Graychin' weighs in... - Portland Dissent.

We can quit parroting the medico-political talking points of “experts” who are always contradicting themselves. We can stop pretending that mask-wearing is a virtue. We can quit scaring the hell out of our kids, most of whom aren’t even at risk from this disease – and we can stop injecting them with a failing “vaccine” (with a concerning risk profile) that they manifestly don’t need.

Our town …

.

… perhaps some finger pointing is appropriate. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was sworn in for his second term as DA on January 3rd. At the press conference afterward, Krasner did not mention the Germantown shootout. He said that during his next term as DA he plans to invest heavily in violence prevention, as opposed to prosecuting criminals vigorously, which he called derisively, “traditional prosecution.” He said the only true justice was to stop homicides before they happen.

One cannot help but wonder how  the loathsome Krasner would react were  he the victim of a violent crime. 


Word of the Day …

… Skirr | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

The separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution.
— Paul Feyerabend, born on this date in 1924

Leonid Tsypkin


A friend gave me a copy recently of Leonid Tsypkin's Summer in Baden-Baden. I'd not heard of the book -- nor of Tsypkin -- and so gave it a shot: I was curious. What I discovered was a gem. 

Tsypkin's novel proposes two -- often interwoven -- narratives: the first focuses on Fyodor Dostoevsky, the second on Tsypkin's pursuit of Dostoevsky. Summer in Baden-Baden was published before the novels of W. G. Sebald, but there is a lot here which is evocative of that master: Tsypkin infuses Summer with photographs, blurring the line between fiction and history. And more: he writes in a style entirely his own. As Susan Sontag notes in her introduction, there is an incessant quality to Tsypkin's prose: his use of dashes, as opposed to commas and periods, produces a sense of immediacy, of the past molding with the present. Each paragraph is a tidal wave of time.

Summer in Baden-Baden does not adhere to the rules: this is a novel which transitions between perspectives and narratives without recourse to page breaks or chapters. It is, instead, a book which seeks a universal present, one in which the present is defenseless against past personalities and events. Tsypkin's quest for Dostoevsky epitomizes this dynamic: as he searches for Dostoevsky, as he reconstructs the novelist's life, Tsypkin's own existence becomes infused with memory and commemoration. There are extended passages from Summer in Baden-Baden which transition back and forth -- and back and forth again -- from past to present. But they do so without artifice; the shift is seamless.

It would be hyperbolic, perhaps, to claim Summer in Baden-Baden as a lost masterpiece, or even as an undiscovered great. It seems that Tsypkin's work is slowly being recognized. But I must say: it's not everyday that you happen upon a novel with the power to both entertain and affect. Summer in Baden-Baden, despite its obscurity, is just such a book: I thoroughly recommend it to those with an interest in Dostoevsky, but equally, to those with an appreciation for European history. This is a special work of literature.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Fire and ice …

 Ennyman's Territory: Almost Wordless Wednesday: When A Building Catches Fire @32 below Zero. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Words of wisdom …

 Written by CS Lewis in 1948:

“‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of chronic pain, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.

It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about death. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

RIP …

Ronnie Spector: Be My Baby singer of The Ronettes dies at 78 - BBC News.

I’m shocked …

Why Do People Not “Trust the Science”? Because Like All People, Scientists Are Not Always Trustworthy.

I never heard of this writer …

… but Ed — who’s a friend — obviously doesn’t like her: Jami Attenberg: An Insufferable Narcissist for Insufferable Narcissists.

A great poet …

 The Welsh poet and priest who came within a whisker of a Nobel Prize - Wales Online. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

RIP …

… Maria Ewing, American Opera Star, Takes Her Final Bow (1950-2022) | Tributes | Roger Ebert. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Anticipating his centenary …

… Remembering Kingsley Amis | Chronicles. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Amis became known, affectionately, as “Sir Kingsley” after he was knighted in 1990. He left this world a Bohemian conservative who despised dogmas of all sorts, and an insider whose reputation depended upon his being an outsider.

The anatomy of God …

God’s Body Up Close. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Boldly simple in concept, God: An Anatomy is stunning in its execution. It is a tour de force, a triumph, and I write this as one who disagrees with Stavrakopoulou on broad theoretical grounds and finds himself engaged with her in one narrow textual spat after another. Let me place the theoretical issues on the record briefly and then move on to the spats, for they are really what make this book endlessly stimulating.

Something to think on …

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
— Jack London, born on this date in 1876

Taking a break …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Tabula rasa.

Word of the Day …

… Betoken | Word Genius.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Always a good idea …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Shedding light on biblical history.

RIP …

PETER BOGDANOVICH, R.I.P. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A great filmmaker.

This will end well, I’m sure …

… Hollywood's New Rules - Common Sense.

… in September 2020, the Academy launched its Representation and Inclusion Standards Entry platform (or RAISE). For a movie to qualify for Best Picture, producers not only had to register detailed personal information about everyone involved in the making of that movie, but the movie had to meet two of the Academy’s four diversity standards—touching on everything from on-screen representation to creative leadership. (An Academy spokesperson said “only select staff” would have access to data collected on the platform.) 

Our parlous educational system …

… Miscellaneous Musings : How my insomnia is caused by my ignorance of history (and how my fading memory disturbs and undermines me).

“Teachers should not be allowed to major in education,” McCullough said. Rather, “they should major in a subject,” such as history or literature.

Hmm …

… Edward Feser: Geach on authority and consistency. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… we do not always reject the authority of an expert simply because he has been inconsistent on this or that occasion.  But there are limits.  It cannot fail to undermine public trust when government officials, media sources, etc. repeatedly and shamelessly say inconsistent things.  (Some recent examples: Right-wing mass demonstrations during the Covid-19 pandemic were dangerous super-spreader events, but left-wing mass demonstrations were not.  Questioning the integrity of the 2016 election upholds democracy, but questioning the integrity of the 2020 election undermines democracy.  The left-wing riots that occurred throughout the summer of 2020 were “mostly peaceful protests,” but the right-wing riot that occurred on January 6 of 2021 was an “insurrection” and “worse than 9/11.”  Skepticism about Covid-19 vaccines is reasonable when Trump is president, but irrational when Biden is president.  To fail to wear a mask in public is to put grandma’s life at risk, except when Democratic politicians or journalists fail to do so.  Preventing a woman from killing her unborn child violates her right over her own body, but forcing her to take a vaccine injection does not violate her right over her own body.  Etc.)

I think worth noting that Emerson was referring to a foolish consistency and that Whitman wax making psychological statement, not a philosophical one.

Something of a mystery …

… Why do we prefer familiarity in music and surprise in stories? | Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What passes for journalism these days …

REVEALED: AP source who 'fact checked' Mass Formation Psychosis theory encouraged 'behavioral nudging' people into Covid compliance, quoted Goebbels | The Post Millennial.

The real point of the AP's "fact check" was not to discredit Malone, which they were unable to do given that one of the experts cited didn't even know what he was talking about, by his own admission, but to further press Americans to behave in the way they would prefer.

Sounds like something we should all read …

… What I Wish People Knew About Dementia, From Someone Who Knows, by Wendy Mitchell - Frances Wilson - The Oldie. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Good for her …

Mom, Radio Host, Arrested At School Board Meeting Files Federal Lawsuit: ‘I’m Not Gonna Back Down’.

A second look …

… Nigeness: Housekeeping Again. (Hat tip, Dave Lull,)

In case you wondered ….

What Makes The Princess Bride Such a Great Movie?  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Originally a bedtime story that Goldman told his daughters to lull them to sleep—not exactly what you want to hear in a movie pitch—the film employs the same narrative device. It’s a story told by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his grandson (Fred Savage), who asks that he skip the boring parts. The result is magic: a beautiful, fun, suspenseful, lovely film. It’s a movie that any right-thinking person will defend to his or her death.

Just so you inow …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: How to Write Good.

Word of the Day …

… Auricular | Word Genius.

Anniversary …

Pittsburgh’s KDKA and the 1st networked TV broadcast.

Something to think on …

You may not get everything you dream about, but you will never get anything you don't dream about.
— William James, born on this date in 1842

Monday, January 10, 2022

Our ruling class …

… Fed Vice Chair Clarida to step down early following scrutiny over his trades during pandemic.

I’m so old I remember when government officials thought they were serving us citizens. Almost makes me happy that I’m an old man. Because I don’t want to see what is happening to the country I was taught to love

Interesting …

 T Cells From Common Colds Cross-Protect Against Infection With COVID-19: Study.

Time for a smile …

… Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Humor: Online Scam.

I hadn’t heard about this …

Potcake Poet’s Choice: Maryann Corbett, ‘The Vanished’.



(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Shooting for the moon …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Traveling to the moon and back in 1946.

What a wonderful poem …

… The House Dog's Grave.

Anniversary …

Whittaker Chambers’ Witness, 70 Years Later. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Seventy years later, the outcome of the conflict Chambers identified is still in doubt. Sure, the Soviet-communist empire collapsed in 1989–91, but the Chinese Communist Party poses perhaps an even greater external threat to our way of life in the 21st century. Closer to home, the “progressive” religion of reason, science, and technology reigns in our government, media, academic, and cultural institutions (indeed, even in some of our religious institutions), while traditional religions continue to decline. What Chambers described as “the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world” is winning. 

Word of the Day …

… Welkin | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

Long live freedom and damn the ideologies.
— Robinson Jeffers, born on this date in 1887

Sunday, January 09, 2022

The decline of education …

Warning – these books may make you think.

Students on a university course are being given a “trigger warning” that Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations contain “distressing” content.

Machinations and more …

An insider’s view: Barber Conable’s journal offers inside view of Congress. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Anniversary …

Miscellaneous Musings : Truman, the Communist threat, and a Gideon Bible.

Something to think on …

It's not possible to search for God using the methods of a detective... There is no way. You can only wait till God's axe severs your roots: then you will understand that you are here only through a miracle, and you will remain fixed forever in wonderment and equilibrium.
— Karel Čapek, born on this date in 1890

A satire on human nature …

… Nigeness: Don't Look Up: A silly film about human silliness. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In case you wondered …

 … WHY IS ALL COVID-19 NEWS BAD NEWS?

We analyze the tone of COVID-19 related English-language news articles written since January 1, 2020. Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals. The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials. Media negativity is unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience. U.S. major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general. Stories of increasing COVID-19 cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases by a factor of 5.5 even during periods when new cases are declining. Among U.S. major media outlets, stories discussing President Donald Trump and hydroxychloroquine are more numerous than all stories combined that cover companies and individual researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines.

Word of the Day …

… Howbeit | Word Genius.

I had thought this was pretty widely understood …

… Gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon impact behavior of all organisms - even humans - Study Finds.

But I guess it’s always good to have further corroboration .

Saturday, January 08, 2022

A Holmes exhibition …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Sherlock Holmes in 221 Objects.

Appreciation …

 … Review | T.S. Eliot may have been flawed, but a new book reminds of his greatness on the page.(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)


During the last months of 2021 I passed many happy, desultory hours grazing in “The Complete Prose of T.S. Eliot.” Under the general editorship of Ronald Schuchard, this set — from Johns Hopkins University Press, which also offers its eight volumes in a less expensive digital format — must be one of the most ambitious and revelatory scholarly achievements of our time.


Q&A …

Literature: Nobel Intentions.

Miłosz landed in Berkeley at a time of great social upheaval. He was “bemused, angered and sympathetic — sometimes all at once’’ with protesters, Haven says. “He was against the Vietnam War, too, but he was also mindful of how few rights students had in the Eastern bloc. ‘They rage because they have too much,’ he once said.”

California livin’ …

… CZESŁAW MIŁOSZ: A CALIFORNIA LIFE’ BY CYNTHIA L. HAVEN: THE WEST COAST’S MYTHIC ALLURE.

Much of the biography is thematically centered on four interconnected concepts: être, to be; devenir, to become; esse, being; and natura, nature. While the translations are simple, the concepts are nuanced and dense, grounded in Thomistic theology and serving as lenses through which to understand the world. Haven introduces these concepts in the opening chapter and returns to them throughout, linking the words and their attendant deeper meanings to key parts of Miłosz’s life and analyzing how his poems stem from and respond to each concept. The concepts become a guide for the biography, a heuristic through which the reader begins to gain some insight into Miłosz’s singular mind.

Sad, but uplifting …

… TORPEDO FOR MY HEART. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

For some reason, my earlier link to this didn’t work. This seems to.

No kidding …

… Scientists Endorse Covid Boosters, But to a Point - The New York Times.
Everyone should get a booster shot. In the long run, though, doses every few months aren’t a viable public health strategy, scientists say.
I am 80 years old. I have been tested many times. When Debbie was in rehab awhile back, I couldn’t visit her until I was tested. So that was two or three times a week. Result was always negative. I have spent a lot of time with vaxxed people — who can infect me. We are now into this for more than two years. Think there’s a chance I have natural immunity?


As we often must …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Fighting against my large impressions from boyhood.

Nice …

… Newly formed Jack Kerouac Foundation aims to build a museum and performance center in Lowell. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

“What we’re trying to do is create a beautiful setting, a beautiful museum space, that is very [welcoming],” said Jim Sampas, the literary executor of Kerouac’s estate and CEO of the new foundation. “We can have various arts, whether it be spoken word, music, lectures on literature, all sorts of different things take place in that setting,” said Sampas, who is also Kerouac’s nephew.

The power of ruins …

… Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: The Acropolis, 1842 ( Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey), Sonnet #595.

Something to think on …

Every fool stands convinced; and everyone convinced is a fool. The faultier a person's judgement the firmer their convictions.
— Baltasar Gracián, baptized on this date in 1601

In case you wondered …

… How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture - Minding The Campus.

We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders. What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”

Word of the Day …

… Bosky | Word Genius.

Newton and religion...

 ...A rediscovered notebook sheds light

Friday, January 07, 2022

Quite a tale …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: Crime Boat.

Quite a tale …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: Crime Boat.

RIP …

… Sidney Poitier, Who Paved the Way for Black Actors in Film, Dies at 94.

A backward glance …

… Where Did the Poetry Go? : languagehat.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Worrisome …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Hours of lead chill me yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Let us all say a prayer for Mrs. Davis.

A cup of wonder …

… Oolong by Adrienne Su | American Life in Poetry. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Something to think on …

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.
— Zora Neale Hurston, born on this date in 1891

50th anniversary …

… Anecdotal Evidence: 'This Work of Almost Despair'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A friend and I once drove by the place Berryman jumped from.

From Berryman’x Love & Fame: He Resigns.

Word of the Day …

… Vulnerary | Word Genius.

Traveling for art in 2022...

 ...If you make it to the UK

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Frighteningly true …

… especially these days: FROM THE COMMENTS TO LAST NIGHT’S OPEN THREAD.

Trust the science …

Cancer journal with hefty retraction record retracts another 15.

Lovely …

… Photographer Creates Dreamy Images of Ethereal Women in Nature. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

As a mostly self-taught artist, Rikalo began practicing photography while she was studying law. During this time, she quickly fell in love with the medium and its capability to create different narratives. Since then, she has channeled her love of clothing—particularly dresses—and respect for nature into transportive images that straddle the line between reality and a dream.

Flowers and their meaning …

… Eliza Eve Gleadall: forgotten British botanical artist and author. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Professor Maggie Atkinson of Grenfell Campus Memorial University in Canada in her, Religion and the Arts paper published in 2015, attributed Gleadall’s publication – drawn from nature and embellished with botanic, poetic and emblematic plants – as being instrumental in the importance of understanding the religious imagery of flowers and their meanings to a Victorian society seeking to square a religious pedagogy with new science.



One point of view …

‘A Letter to Robert Bly.' (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Whatever works is the best rule for poetry.

And the winners are …

 … Winning Poems for November 2021: IBPC.


(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Mark Twain and St. Joan …

What was Mark Twain’s favorite book?

Let’s hope it has wakened her up …

ISN’T IT IRONIC? COP CRITIC CONGRESSWOMAN CALLS COPS AFTER CARJACKING

Mayor Jim Kenney also weighed in with a statement that read he was appalled by the carjacking. “It’s disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of tranquility and peace – one of Philadelphia’s beautiful parks.”

Well, Mr. Mayor, the city did just hit a new homicide record.  Maybe you and Congresswoman Scanlon — to say nothing of our defense attorney DA — may bear some responsibility for that. 

 

A good start …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Introduction to Poetry.

Blogging note …

 I have to go out early today to do some errands. Blogging will resume this afternoo.

Something to think on …

Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.
— Alan Watts, born on this date in 1915

Appreciation …

… Dazzled by the World: A Master of the Essay. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Joseph Epstein may not be better than every other essayist,  but no other essayist is lbetter than he is.

Word of the Day …

… Spatulate | Word Genius.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

No kidding …

… Covid: Vaccines for all every four to six months not needed, says expert - BBC News.

I don’t ever remember a vaccine that needed to.be supplemented every few months. These are half-assed vaccines

So are we all …

I’m still waiting for Godot, and it has been awful.

If you really want to know …

Climate Crazies Are Wrong, Polar Bears Aren't Dying Out, Arctic Ice Is Stable - The Lid.

In July 2021, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) revealed that temperatures ran below the average of the 2021 season. “Climate alarmists have their beliefs grounded in dogma –whether they know it or not– and this is the reason that their “tipping point” prophesies continue to uneventfully pass by, year after year, decade after decade.” These colder than average Arctic temperatures mean any losses in ice ‘extent” this year can only be attributed to other causes –such as wind direction/speed, etc.

Turns of phrase …

Which Pleasure! Which Charm! (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

RIP …

 Oldest WWII veteran dies at 112: Lawrence Brooks called 'best of America' by President Biden | Daily Mail Online.

I don't think there are many like him around these days.

Good for them …

… Norman Mailer anthology picked up by 'anti-woke' publisher Skyhorse after Random House cancels book | Daily Mail Online. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Whta the hell is going on in Australia?

… Australia's PM says Novak Djokovic will 'be on the next plane home' without 'sufficient' exemption | Daily Mail Online.

How do people put up with tyrants like Morrison?

Hmm …

… Miscellaneous Musings : When the Middle East became a Cold War battlefield.

The following is from my review of Paul Johnson’ biography of Eisenhower:

There was, in fact, only one American military intervention abroad during Eisenhower's eight years in office: the July 1958 landing of troops in Lebanon at the request of that country's president. There was no fighting, there were no casualties, and the troops were withdrawn in November. The success of the operation was no accident. Eisenhower, Johnson points out, "was an experienced and successful general who knew what troops could, and could not, do." He drily notes that "the contrast between Ike's movement into Lebanon and John F. Kennedy's abortive Bay of Pigs misadventure … could not have been more marked."

Last year, a survey of historians ranked Ike as our fifth best president. 


Hear, hear …

“NO ONE HAS EVER COMPLIED THEIR WAY OUT OF TOTALITARIANISM – THIS IS THE HILL WE NEED TO DIE ON” – ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR. RELEASES NEW YEAR’S STATEMENT.

As its centenary nears …

… One hundred years of Ulysses - The Spectator World. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

After Ulysses was blocked from the English-speaking world, Sylvia Beach, the proprietor of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, heroically agreed to publish the book using French printers. It was finally released on Joyce’s fortieth birthday: February 2, 1922. The Anglophone banning of Ulysses, like some contemporary cancellations, turned out to be a PR gift. Beach immediately emphasized the novel’s edgy allure. In the initial prospectus to potential subscribers, there were boasts in large font of the novel being “suppressed four times during serial publication.”

A powerful, lyrical novel …

… Miscellaneous Musings : Going soon to where all the ghosts yearn to travel.

You can expect more of this …


When I started at the national public broadcaster in 2013, the network produced some of the best journalism in the country. By the time I resigned last month, it embodied some of the worst trends in mainstream media. In a short period of time, the CBC went from being a trusted source of news to churning out clickbait that reads like a parody of the student press.