Again, up early. Restless. Still reading the Letters of Rupert Brooke. Aside from having a perfectly splendid name and being a tremendously handsome (in the English manner, if you like that sort of thing) minor poet, I find he even manages to write amusing letters, about such interesting things as, well, life—which is nice (tho’ admittedly I’ve only got through 1908, and he was only twenty-one at the time…).
Something like a gloomy day; morning in the library, then returned couchwards for coffee & short stories. The old brain could handle nothing stronger; I put it down to a slight overindulgence in Shostakovich string quartets yesterday evening…
Ineffably charming, oozing good humor & politic attention; I listen & ask questions—then run to the library and hide among my friends, their dusty spines bristling at imagined indignities.
One drop of pity is enough to lift our doing beyond intellectual distinctions. Springing as it does from a belief in justice and divine grace, conscience, which is moral awareness, will always whelm the question that eludes and deludes us to the end, in a lasting silence.
– Johan Huizinga, (Homo Ludens, p. 213)
Carrel-choosing at the Library — it seems to be one of the social events of the early fall semester… (Yours truly now the proud resident of of carrel no. 502 — fifth floor, by the window, one shelf away from Greek & Latin poetry, twenty-seven paces from Stendhal.) Up very late reading again.
Gainful toil + useful work = wasted time. No reading. Only joy in Monteverdi & a bit of Horace and Pindar and Epicurus (‘Send me a little pot of cheese so that I can indulge in extravagance when I wish’, as per Diogenes Laertius) and Epictetus (Τῶν ἡδέων τὰ σπανιώτατα γινόμενα μάλιστα τέρπει – Those of our pleasures which come most rarely are especially delightful).
Console myself with reading & umpteen cups of watery tea. Afternoons of such sweet enjoyableness are so rare with me that I tend to savor them, hold them lingering to myself, rather than share them.