Monday, January 23, 2017

Check this out …

… Full Trailer for ‘Loving Vincent,’ a Feature-Length Film Animated by 62,450 Oil Paintings | Colossal. (Hat tip, Davis Tothero.)

Take up thy pen …

… Happy National Handwriting Day! – Notes on Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

And the winner is …

… Poet Jacob Polley wins 2016 TS Eliot Prize for Jackself, 'a firework of a book'. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

Hmm …

… US poet Anne Waldman at Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017: Poetry can wake the world up to itself: - India.com. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)



The "world" doesn't read. Individuals do. Poetry has better things to do than protest. And there sure in hell is more to life.

Try your hand …

 Burns Night Quiz: Test your knowledge of Scotland's national poet - Daily Record. (Hat tip, G. E. Reutter.)

Change of plans …

… R.T.'s Commonplace: Volte-face -- 2 epigraphs and 1 announcement.

Yet again …

… Evelyn Waugh Revisited | The Hudson Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I suppose you could claim that this later style was a development over the earlier one that immortalized the stoned fox, the Welsh band, and the Edgware Road, but it seems to me rather a forced, quite awkward attempt to do the highfalutin’, “poetic” manner about romantic love. The five months in which Waugh wrote Brideshead weren’t long enough to bring forth a convincing “serious” style to replace the earlier comic one. Like Charles Ryder’s sudden conversion, it doesn’t ring true to the nature of Waugh’s genius.
Well, it works for me, and worked when I first read it, more than half a century ago,  and a few years ago when I read it again. I first read it during the summer between sophomore and junior year in college.  It was on a list of novels we were expected to have read before starting a class on the modern novel in the fall. I started it on a Saturday night (for some reason I was at home). I chose it because I had laughed my way through Decline and Fall the previous semester and figured I could laugh my way through this one as well. It wasn't long, though, before I realized that this novel was quite different, and I will never forget pausing and saying to myself, "This is the saddest book I have ever read." My younger self was savvy enough to realize to compare it to early Waugh was to miss the point. In the passage Pritchard is referring to, the operative word, in my view, is death. It is about mutability, not romantic love (except, perhaps, to the extent that romantic love is emblematic of that).

Outside Quakertown PA, 1-22-2017



Something to think on …

If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be average.
— Derek Walcott, born on this date in 1930

Belated recognition...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Well, not quite …

… but it is interesting: Scientists run calculations to PROVE the existence of God | Science | News | Daily Express.

Birthdays …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Semper Cop: Happy 80th Birthday To Joseph Wamabaugh.



 On This Day In History George Gordon, Lord Byron, Was Born.

Issue 54 …

… Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction | Brevity: The journal devoted exclusively to the concise literary nonfiction.

Discovery …

… Nigeness: A Century of Poems.

Persons …

… First Known When Lost: Unknowable.

The utopian, inhuman worlds of politics and social science are concerned with groups and categories, not with individual human beings. Thus, many of those who are unhappy with the outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the American presidential election have reacted in a way that reveals a great deal (none of it good) about how they view their fellow human beings: they see caricatures and stereotypes, not individual souls. What the unhappy fail to realize is that, by objectifying others, they are at the same time objectifying themselves, and have in turn transformed themselves into caricatures and stereotypes. This is what happens when one becomes politicized.

Vintage commentary …

… Veronica Lueken’s Holy Visions Upset Bayside | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The dark side …

… R.T.'s Commonplace: Miller's witches and Hawthorne's demons.

Inquirer reviews …

… yours truly looks at Two books - and a life's work - from Tom DiNardo.

… Nick Petrie's hero in 'Burning Bright': A new Jack Reacher!

… Texas women, bad choices: 'Always Happy Hour' by Mary Miller.

Something to think on …

It is ironic to watch the churches, including large sections of my own religion, surrendering to the spirit of modernity at the very moment when modernity itself is undergoing a kind of spiritual collapse.
— Irving Kristol, born on this date in 1920

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A birthday and more …

 R.T.'s Commonplace: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow: Hawthorne and Melville.

Words and music …

All true Frenchmen should be immensely proud of these. All the rest of us should be grateful.

Beginnings …

… R.T.'s Commonplace: First Things.

Get the original …

 Parsing the Weightiness of Words - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage is suffused with the personality and idiosyncrasies of its author, more so perhaps than even Samuel Johnson’s famous Dictionary. Fowler had a taste for risky but amusing generalizations. In his entry on “Didacticism,” for example, he remarks that “men are as much possessed by the didactic impulse as women by the maternal instinct.” By way of usage, he also taught good manners. His entry “French Words” begins: “Display of superior knowledge is as great a vulgarity as display of superior wealth—greater, indeed, inasmuch as knowledge should tend more definitely than wealth towards discretion and good manners.”

Grasping what's real

 Zealotry of Guerin: Sunrise After Brief Ice Storm, Sonnet #333.

Something to think on …

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
— George Orwell, who died on this date in 1950

Friday, January 20, 2017

Minority report …

… R.T.'s Commonplace: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" -- a dissenting opinion.

I haven't read the story in more than half a century, so I can't say if I agree or not.

Paging Jeff Bezos …

… David Gelernter and the Life of the Mind - Washington Free Beacon. (Hat tip, Dave lull.)



… since politics over the past few decades has become perhaps the key marker of social class for those who see themselves as the intellectual elite, David Gelernter’s politics mean that he cannot be an intellectual. Unfortunately, he’s undeniably a very smart man, one of the youngest people ever to receive tenure at Yale. A dilemma, yes?
Proof that you can be a self-appointed member of the intellectual elite and dumb as a post (even a Washington Post).

Neglected …

… The piety and wit of Monsignor Ronald Knox. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Then there are the humorous essays, one proving that ‘In Memoriam’ was written by Queen Victoria, another exploiting the comic heart of an entirely serious attempt by Prebendary George Townsend in 1850 to convert Pius IX to Protestantism. All Knox’s devotional works of popular theology, like The Creed in Slow Motion, are discounted because they only interest believers.

Some music …

Walter Piston was born on this date in 1894.

Birthday boy …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History Edgar Allan Poe Was Born.

For those who like that sort of thing …

… Poetry as solace and social commentary: The best collections to read this month - The Washington Post. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)



I don't myself go to poetry for solace — I'm not sure what I would be seeking solace for — and I certainly don't go to it for social commentary. But that's just me.

Remembering …

… Poet’s values for the ages | Otago Daily Times Online News. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Q & A …

… National Treasure: Gary Snyder - Lion's Roar. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

And the nominees are …

… Ellies 2017 Finalists Announced | ASME. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Looks like mostly those who are in with in-crowd.

Something to think on …

The higher a man stands, the more the word vulgar becomes unintelligible to him.
— John Ruskin, who died on this date in 1900

On quietude...