Saturday, July 13, 2024

Elizabethan Memory #1 …

 … “The city was a powder keg”

Who exactly are we?

No Entity without Identity - by William F. Vallicella

A visitor …

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

And while we’re at it …'

 Paul Davis On Crime: My Counterterrorism Magazine Q&A With D.G. Macay, The Author Of 'Bubbleheads, SEALs And Wizards: America's Scottish Bastion In The Cold War'.

Something else to worry about …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Counterterrorism Magazine Piece On The Wide Array Of National Security Threats Coming From The Porous Southern Border.

Wordsworth @ Fearful Symmetry …

 … Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey on revisiting the banks of the Wye Valley during a tour, July 13, 1798.

A word for today …

… Phlegmatic - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Thursday, July 11, 2024

I can’t figure this out …

 I keep seeing all these commentaries about something actor George Clooney wrote about President Biden. Now I’ve never been a fan of Biden. But why am I supposed to care about what some actor thinks about him. In fact, I don’t care.

Let us pray …

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The journey of solitude …

 …  Alone Again, Unnaturally.

By the time I was 11 years old, my mother, my grandmother, and my brother were all working. I made my own breakfast and lunch and took care of myself. I’ve been pretty much a loner all my life. Now that Debbie is in hospice I’m a loner again. I’m  OK with that. And if I don’t wake up tomorrow I’m OK with that too. It’s all up to God.

It’s never “settled” …

 …Three Tells of Junk Science

Regrettably, many—especially members of the legacy media—have forgotten or chosen to ignore key principles of the scientific method. 

Vignette No. 2

He is eighty-two.  And lately wonders how he became who it is he happens to be. It occurs to him how that’s just the sort of thing one of his all-time favorite writers did. That would be Michel de Montaigne, the father of the essay. Now plenty of autobiographical discourses had been written before Montaigne wrote his essays. What makes his essays so different is their focus. They amount to  a phenomenology of himself. There’s nothing especially egotistical about it. He simply records his observations of himself as if he were watching pears ripen on a window sill.

To observe oneself in so detached a way really was original. The old man hopes he can pull it off.




 

Painter, soldier, inventor, and more …

 … Permit me to introduce you to Charles Willson Peale

Just so you know …

History’s Footnotes. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.) 

Something to think on …

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.
— Marcel Proust, born on this date in 1871

Monkey business …

 … Evolution v. Biblical Creationism on trial in Tennessee.

A word for today …

… Praxis - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

 … Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Vignette No. 1

 The old man notices how he sees things now as snapshots. Life has turned into paging through the photo album of his being. He thinks it may be worthwhile — surely for himself — to take notes. Whether these will be of interest to anyone else — hard to say. 

A way to spend summer …

 … For Pascal, It’s No Mystery. (Hat tip, Dave Lull)

Just so you know …

… 10 most walkable cities for tourists in the United States. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

I used to walk all over this. Now that I need a walker I only do short ones. The city is also as safe these days.

A classic reissued …

 … Brave Companions: Portraits in History. (Hat tip, Tim Davis)

I once had the privilege of having a long lunch with David McCullough. A very nice man.

What could possibly go wrong?

 … Army general plans “a unique use of the atomic bomb”

Important moment in history …

… POTUS makes statement about foreign interference in Cuba and elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere

I sure hope not …

Paul Davis On Crime: From Tajikistan With Love: Is Philadelphia A Terrorist Target?

Something to think on …

Never, in these United States, has the brain of man conceived, or the hand of man fashioned, so perfect a thing as a clipper ship.
— Samuel Eliot Morison, born on this date in 1887

A word for today …

… Inspirit | Word Genius.

Let us pray …

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

Monday, July 08, 2024

I’d talk to a lawyer …

(18) In stealing my story today, the New York Times committed a serious breach of journalistic ethics (yes, that's a thing) (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Just so you know …

… Bonjour! Discover Ten English Words Derived From French!

Well worth pondering …

 … Anti-Semitism is a real problem — but the Antisemitism Awareness Act is unconstitutional.

I’m just an old guy who remembers WWII and Auschwitz who never expected anti-Semitism to become so public again. And I’m a Catholic.

A book in need of an editor …

 An Unhappy Marriage of Poetry and Philosophy - Public Discourse. (Hatip, Dave Lull.)

A wise idea …

… Praying the hours with W. H. Auden | The Christian Century. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A word for today …

… Auteur - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Something to think on …

There can be neither beauty, nor trust, nor security between a man and a woman if there is not truth.

Grace Metalius, born on this date in 1924

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Hmm …

 No man who has managed to keep out of an office can be called a failure in life.

— Richard Aldington

Something to think on …

If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worthwhile.
— Samuel Eliot Morrisn, born on this date in 1887

Hmm …

 No Safe Place | An Official Journal Of The NRA.

Back in the day when my walking stick was a fashion statement, not a utility, a guy came walking toward me opening a switchblade. I positioned my stick in somewhat odd way and I said to him — yes, I know, I was swiping a famous line — “Go ahead, make my day.” He figured out that I was prepared to take out one of his eyeballs. He folded up the knife and walked away. That the advantage of starting life among factory workers in north Philly and being street smart and street tough. Which reminds me these days to avoid much of this city most of the time.

Another word …

… Perdurable - Word Daily.

Travel notes …

… Diners, Vintage German magazines, Insel Bucherei, and the Nazis.

A word for today …

… Curvet | Word Genius.

Special day at new blog …

 … David McCullough, Theodore Roosevelt, and others.

An interview …

 … with Haruki Murakami,

Celebrate the birth of a great writer …

 … Historian born on this day in 1933 in Pittsburgh PA.

Let us pray …

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

Something to think on …

Never assume that people in positions of responsibility are behaving responsibly.
— David McCullough, born on this date in 1933

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Offering a poem and a prayer …

 … The Second Coming and President Joe Biden

F. Scott Fitzgerald

 


It's not often that you willingly -- proactively -- read an unfinished novel. And it's probably less often, still, that you enjoy the experience. But having set a goal to read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's major novels, The Last Tycoon was on my list (it was the last of his novels on the list). I recently read the book, and I must say, despite is unfinished status, the experience was a rewarding one. 

Tycoon is not a perfect novel: in my reading, the book lacks the glitter of Gatsby and the thoroughness of Tender is the Night. There is, perhaps, too much dialogue in Tycoon and not enough context, not enough character arc. But then, the pleasure of reading the novel outweighed all of this. Fitzgerald was a stylist of the first order, and while his writing had a certain flourish, it was never overdone. Tycoon has that charm, that style, especially the sections where histories overlap.  

Tycoon is unfinished and the sense at the end is of a work wanting more. But that's understood when you start the novel: that's the deal you make. Given that Fitzgerald died days after completing the latest chapter, there's a certain poignancy to the whole thing: it's as if you're reading the story not only of Hollywood and its personalities, but of Fitzgerald's final moments. There are not many novels which serve this dual function. 

Something to think on …

It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief.
— Lionel Trilling, born on this date in 1906

A word for today …

… Virtu - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

This is terrible …

… Lesbian couple beaten up by gang in homophobic attack during birthday night out | World News | Metro News.

I’m terminally straight myself — several young woman have a crush on me —but my friend Katherine shared power for for a gay couple, who were dear friends. People are as thry are. Leave them alone.

Why no fireworks today?

 …  John Adams thought today was to be celebrated as the most memorable day in the history of America.

Tennyson’s tribute …

 … Milton, a name to resound for ages.

Haiku …

 Wisteria drapes

It's clusters over the world

Rendering heaven.

Jennifer Knox

A poem for todaty …

… Remorse - Joshua Mehigan - Literary Matters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Great woman, great novel …

 … ‘Helena’: Meet the remarkable woman who found the True Cross. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Pondering the mystery …

 (18) This Morning's Meditation - by William F. Vallicella.

A word for today …

… Precatory - Word Daily.

Somehing to think on …

Art is the contemplation of the world in a state of grace.
— Hermann Hesse, born on this date in 1877

Let us pray …

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

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Saturday, June 29, 2024

So true …

Guiltless Night - A Poem (Dedicated to Majed Abu Marahel) - Palestine Chronicle.

In case you wondered …

… The Best Final Lines in Literature (Hat tip, Jon Caroulis.)

Getting the day and date confused …

 … Before Johnstown PA celebrated Memorial Day, Waterloo NY had begun the tradition on May 5, 1866

Cancer …

 … On the occasion of receiving my latest biopsy result.

So true …

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

How we talk …

 … The Truth About English Grammar by Geoffrey K Pullum review – the pants rule and other pipe dreams. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on …

True love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, born on this date in 1900

RIP …

… Frederick Crews Obituary (1933 - 2024) - Berkeley, CA - San Francisco Chronicle. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A word fortoday …

… Compendious - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Friday, June 28, 2024

 I have never been a fan of Joe Biden. But I am dismayed at the commentary I have seen regarding his unfortunate performance at last night’s debate. How about we put away the politics? This is a fellow human suffering from a condition any of us could fall victim to. Why can’t we just pray for him?

P


Spotlight on POTUS …

 … The good, the average, the bad, and the worst.

Friday’s poem At Gawgawgamie River Soup …

 … It will look as though I am flying into myself.

God bless America …

 … Once upon a time in the White House

Something to think on …

Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can generate....It supplies us with a flow of sustaining power in our daily lives.
— Alexis Carrel, born on this dare in 1873

Worth pondering …

… Many Older Adults Are Still Taking Daily Aspirin Despite Recent Warnings Not To, Study Finds | The Epoch Times.

My cardiologist advised me to continue taking it.

In case you wondered …

 … How Solzhenitsyn Found Himself—and God. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Soviet conditions, Solzhenitsyn came to understand, followed directly from materialism and atheism. If people are nothing but material objects, if there is nothing resembling what we call the soul, then concepts like “the sacredness of human life,” “human dignity” and “the inviolability of the person” are merely bourgeois mystification.

Sound counsel …

 (18) Two Worries about Meditation - by William F. Vallicella.

A word for today …

… Profundity - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Thursday, June 27, 2024

I fear ‘tid so …

 … What’s Missing from Journalism: Journalists.

RIP …

… Kinky Friedman, Texas satirist, dies at 79 | The Texas Tribune.

…Another poem at Gawgawgamie River Soup …

 …   An abecedarian for “S” on Wednesday at GRS

Response to invasion …

 … POTUS orders U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea.

Imagine …

 … Wednesday’s poem on Gawgawgamie River Soup.

Something to think on …

A great many things which in times of lesser knowledge we imagined to be superstitious or useless, prove today on examination to have been of immense value to mankind.
— Lafcadio Hearn, born on this date in 1850

In case you wondered …

 (18) Renowned book scholar Jonathan Rose on Who Read Playboy.

A poem for today …

 … Louis Simpson Walt Whitman at Bear Mountain

A word for today …

… Osculate - Word Daily,

Let us pray …

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

More Woke crap …

Biden's radical Judge just punished a middle-schooler for the most absurd reason ever - Pro Life Press.

I remember when Oakland was a cool town …

Why Did the FBI Raid the Home of Oakland's Mayor?


Of course, that was a while ago.

Before he became Catholic …

Bicentenary of first sermon by one of the greatest preachers in modern times: St John Henry Newman - Catholic Herald. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Someone everyone should study. The Church is in a bad way these days.wish he we were here.

There’s a simpler explanation …

De Niro, Charlamagne Highlight Trump Derangement Syndrome.

These are people who enjoy celebrity, but have no more political expertise than the average citizen. I don’t care what they think and wish they would keep their opinions to themselves.

Coded information …

 … Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing makes history in Ohio

Wednesday’s poem at Gawgawgamie River Soup …

 … Life must go on; I forget just why

Something to think on …

To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.
— Pearl S. Buck — born on this in  1892

A word for today …

… Kine | Word Genius.

Let us pray …

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Here’s where we find ourselves …

 Crime and Punishment in the 21st Century.

Important Connections …

 … Remembering the American Heritage magazine, David McCullough, and the Johnstown Flood.

Great American classic

 …  Remembering “the greatest Packard of them all”

Archive shrinks …

 … Internet Archive forced to remove 500,000 books after publishers’ court win. (H tip, Dave Lull.)

Tuesday’s poem at Gawgawgamie River Soup …

 …Baseball looks easy from a distance. 

And so it begins …

 … Communist armed forces smash into South Korea.

Another word …

… Numismatic - Word Daily.

Just so you know …

 (18) Crime and Punishment in the 21st Century.

Something to think on …

There is no swifter route to the corruption of thought than through the corruption of language
— George Orwell, born on this date in 1994

A word for today …

… Assay | Word Genius.

Let us pray …

 …. To the Little Fkower —  Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Too close for comfort …

 …

The Classic Thriller That Put Alfred Hitchcock on the FBI’s Watchlist.

Monday morning’s poem …

 … Monday morning’s poem.

Trouble with sonnets (sort of’) …

 … Ordinary Genius-5.


Alienation and respect …

 … The Elegiac X.J. Kennedy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Rough language …

 … Eloquent Contentiousness: On “Farnsworth’s Classical English Argument” (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Are they nuts?

 … DHS Doc: Trump Supporters, Military, Religious People Most Likely Terrorists.

The military? Religious people?

Another word

… Lightsome | Word Genius.

A poem …

 … Today’s Poem: Songs of the Soul, (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

End of peaceful coexistence …

 … King Philip’s War begins with massacre in Massachusetts.

Something to think on …

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.
— Henry Ward Beecher, born on this date in 1813

Listen in …

… René Girard, Mimesis, and Conflict (with Cynthia Haven) - Econlib. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In case you wondered …

 … The 20 Greatest English-language Poets of All Time and Why. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.(

A word for today …

… Gustatory - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Here’s lookin’ at you …

 … Having a Salena Zito Moment.

My first one was a Christmas gift …

 … The history of an endangered but beloved species.

I pray he doesn’t …

… Will Pope Francis kill the Latin Mass? - UnHerd. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The poem I read on Sunday morning …

 … About suffering, they knew no more or less than we do.

Another word …

… Accouter | Word Genius.

Something to think on …

Beauty is one of the rare things that do not lead to doubt of God.
— Jean Anouilh, born on this date in 1910

A word for today …

 Perorate - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Appalling …

 … Illegal Animals Ravage Three Girls in Four Days; Democrat Harpies Laugh.

Finding your away around poetry …

 … Navigating poetry’s tumultuous waters. (Hat tip, Dave Lull..)

Hardly surprising …

… Polls: Confidence in colleges and universities continues plummet to ‘new lows’

I must read this again …

 … ‘TILL WE HAVE FACES,’ BY C. S. LEWIS (Hat tip, Dave Lull.’

Keeping the printers busy …

 … Giving in to the urge to issue new paper currency.

A source of magic …

 Zealotry of Guerin: Poetry and Fiction by Christopher Guerin: Sestina: Light.

Let us pray ~

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

A word for today …

… Delphic - Word Daily.

Something to think on …

Never do anything complicated when something simple will serve as well. It's one of the most important secrets of living.
— Erich Maria Remarque, born on this date in 1898

Friday, June 21, 2024

Down the aisle to tie the knot …_

 |…June 21st weddings for two future U.S. presidents.

Claire Keegan

 

Because I'd recently read Kairos, winner of this year's International Booker Prize, the Internet suggested that I read the work another acclaimed contemporary European author, Claire Keegan. And so I obliged: this time having picked up Small Things Like These

Let me start by saying that this novel is more of a novella, and that it's been very well received. In many ways, this praise is deserved: I agree that the book is spare, but exacting; it's beautiful without being precious. Every word is measured, and the result, if this is the sort of literary style you enjoy, is a novella that is almost perfectly constructed. Everything that needs to be said is included, and what's not made explicit lurks just below the surface. 

But then, Small Things Like These felt to me like an unfinished work: just at the moment of conflict, the novel ends, leaving us to wonder what comes next. And to a certain extent, this can be envisaged. It's just that it would be have been satisfying if the plot had continued, and if the characters had been compelled to confront this conflict. As I say, they are not, and the result is a convincing ascent toward tension -- but one which ends without resolution. (To argue that the remainder can be left unspoken is not fully convincing to me.)

I won't be negative, though, because Keegan does pack a serious punch: this is a novella which functions on a number of levels: political, religious, cultural. There's identity and gender there, too. Ultimately, this is a book about Ireland: its history, its unspoken trauma. It is a book which can be read in a single sitting -- which is a relief of sorts because there is a lot here to unpack and process.

Indeed! …

 … God bless that wonderful librarian in New York City who helped David McCullough with his early research.

Lionel pegs these days …

… Social Justice Against Smarts | Peter J. Leithart | First Things. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The Mental Parity (MP) movement begins its blitzkrieg through the institutions, inspired by the best-selling The Calumny of IQ: Why Discrimination Against “Dum People” is the Last Great Civil Rights Fight. It’s no longer permissible to speak about, or even to acknowledge, differences of intelligence. “Smart,” “stupid,” “dumb,” and all the related assemblage of evaluative terms are placed on the MP Index. CPS visits Pearson because her youngest child, Lucy, reports to a teacher that her mother uses these insulting words at home.

In memoriam …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Donald Sutherland, M*A*S*H And Hunger Games Actor, Dies at 88.

The man who knew about witch hunts …

 … Playwright refuses to name suspected communists.

Something to think on …

Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.
— Reinhold Niebuhr, born on this date in 1892

Another poem …

 … Tadeusz Dąbrowski Hilltop.

A poem for today …

 …. Hyla Brook. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Another word …

… Pied - Word Daily.

A word for today …

…. Artificer | Word Genius.

Let us pray …

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

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The former newspaper of record …

(18) NYC sees Trump was right - Don Surber

Once upon a time I wrote pretty regularly for the Times book section

I’m on his side …

Archbishop Vigan� says he faces schism charges from Vatican's doctrinal office | National Catholic Reporter.
  
I’m no big fan of Pope Francis either, even though I’m Jesuit-trained and he8s a Jesuit. The Church seems in a bad way these days. Too woke.

RIP …

 … Donald Sutherland, ‘Klute’ and ‘Ordinary People’ Actor, Dead at 88.

Preview of coming attractions …

 … Looking at the past instead of the future.

First things first …

 … Getting things started with a book review.

Something to think on …

Since when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?
— Lillian Hellman, born on this date in 1905

Why aren’t the news channels telling you this?

 … U.S. Navy battles attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

Sounds intriguing …

 … John Freeman’s Hit and Run is gorgeously crafted. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Just so you know …

… NASA Predicts Rare Nova Explosion This Summer.

Good news …

 (18) What Exists Exists - by William F. Vallicella.

Q&A …

… An Interview With Grace Paley - Boston Review. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A poem …

 … The NS Poem: On Rachmaninoff’s Birthday. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A word for today …

… Succor - Word Daily.

Let us pray …

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

RIP …

 (7) SFGiants on X: "It is with great sadness that we announce that San Francisco Giants Legend and Hall of Famer Willie Mays passed away peacefully this afternoon at the age of 93. https://t.co/Qk4NySCFZQ" / X

Read away …

… Paris Review - Writers, Quotes, Biography, Interviews, Artists.

Better days ahead …

 … Conditions improved for Philadelphia residents.

Turning slower but longer …

 … Music began playing longer on phonographs in 1948.

A word for today …

… Inveterate - Word Daily.

Something to think on …

Public toilets have a duty to be accessible, poetry does not.
— Geoffrey Hill, born on this date in 1933

Let us pra …

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

Monday, June 17, 2024

Fire rhem …

 

Nolte: NYT, WaPo Team Up to Destroy Incoming WaPo Editor

Friends and brothers …

… The odd couple | Jeffrey Meyers | The Critic Magazine. (Hat tip, Dave. Lull.)

A word for today …

… Inveterate - Word Daily.

Required reading …

 … John Hersey (b. June 17, 1914) wrote the book that “everyone able to read should read”

Don’t shoot until you see the white of their eyes …

 … June 17, 1775 — despite their loss, inexperienced forces inflicted significant casualties against the enemy

Let us pray …

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

Something to think on …

Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it.
— John Hersey, born on this date in 1914

Friday, June 14, 2024

Influential writer’s birthday …

 …  She would write the book that would start the great war.

Haiku …

 It's a life lesson:

The rose, lovely as it seems,

Might hurt you with thorns.

Jennifer Knox

Jenny Erpenbeck

 


It was not until recently that I became acquainted with the work of Jenny Erpenbeck, winner of this year's International Booker Prize. But these prizes, of course, drive attention. And this in case, for good reason: Erpenbeck's Kairos is a moving, dire, complete novel. 

Part of what I most admired about the book is its symmetry: this is a love story that emerges under the shadow of two distinct German nations and which, perhaps not surprisingly, unravels as those nations become one. And more, it's a story about generations: about a young woman and an older man, and their attempts to bridge the history between them: the Second World War and the transition -- nearly immediate -- to a divided Germany. 

Kairos, the god of "fortunate moments," is just that: the serendipity of social interaction: the random quality of love. For the first part of the novel, Kairos is everywhere: a love born of a fortunate moment becomes a web of fortunate moments, each more poignant and charged than the next. But then, these moments become something else: they represent the weight of time, of promises broken and partnership betrayed. There's considerable pain, loathing, and abuse in the second part of the novel: it's the unraveling of something fueled by passion but also by discretion, infidelity, and secrecy. The emotional pain uncovered by Erpenbeck is pointed, indeed. 

And then, cast over it all, is the geopolitical maelstrom that was the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the eventual unification of the German states. This tectonic moment would test any relationship. But its significance tests this one -- between Katharina and Hans -- more than most because, in East Germany, collaboration was rampant. The result is that no one was truly who they were supposed to be, or who they were understood to be. And thus, when the state collapsed, so did its many unassuming agents, its small army of men and women as brittle, in the end, as the political body they served. Lovers were lovers, but they played many other roles, too. That division is what separates the novel in half. 

This is a sharp, multi-layered, seductive novel: one of history, of love, and longing. I highly recommend Kairos as an entry into the work of Erpenbeck. 

Hero and saint …

…  Review: 'Cabrini' Depicts the Patron Saint of Immigrants.

The bad guys in this movie are the bureaucrats. And they’re pretty bad.

In remembrance of a reluctant astronaut …

 … Rest in Peace: Albert II (d. June 14, 1949)l

Something well worth pondering …

 … The Morning Briefing: The U.N. Is a Terrorist Haven That Needs to Be Abolished.

Something to think on…

I look back into past history, the stored experiences or products of the imagination. I look no further forward than the evening.
—Jerzy Kosinski, born on this date in 1933

Remembering when…

 … It happened on this day in history: June 14, 1777.

I have proof of its presence …

 … On the existence of the soul.

What does it mean to be?

 (18) Plato, Power, and Existence - by William F. Vallicella.

In memoriam …

… Martin Amis and the pursuit of pleasure - New Statesman. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Noteworthy event …

 … POTUS addresses the nation on Flag Day.

A word for today …

̷