Archive for 2011
I always thought that he did himself injustice in his account of what he had read, and that he must have been speaking with reference to the vast portion of study which is possible, and to which few scholars in the whole history of literature have attained; for when I once asked him whether a […]
pears before նոր տարի These pears were remarkable both for their color and their flavor, and the pigs had already been slaughtered.
layers upon layers
‘That’s the nice thing about foreigners,’ said the fat woman who had stopped in at the corner shop, ‘they’re always willing to acknowledge you.’ She was, as the poet said, spherical, like a globe, rather bilious in her fur coat, and completely blocked the narrow square of floor between the door and the queue for […]
Thomas Goltz. Azerbaijan Diary. London: M.E. Sharpe, 1999. You cannot persuade a party of frenzied nationalists that two blacks do not make a white; consequently, no day went by without a catalogue of complaints from both sides, Armenians and Tartars, of unprovoked attacks, murders, village burnings and the like… – C.E. Bechhofer (1920) (qtd. in […]
The Age of Property holds bitter moments even for a proprietor. When a move is imminent, furniture becomes ridiculous, and Margaret now lay awake at nights wondering where, where on earth they and all their belongings would be deposited in September next. Chairs, tables, pictures, books, that had rumbled down to them through the generations, […]
1 February 2011
a snow day Guests were supposed to arrive in the afternoon, but the constant snow made the passes dangerous and the roads, if not actually closed, perhaps should have been. The students were restive and fussy, as were the teachers. Snow kept falling, and managed to find the gap between my scarf and the back […]
fresh your feeling
A little light reading when the fog outside is so thick I can’t see the building opposite.
the local library
NB: This entry was initially published as a page to solicit donations to fund a project supporting the library; the campaign was successful. Goris is a small town located in the rugged mountains of Syuniq marz, which is the southernmost region in Armenia. Once the cultural center of the region, its situation on the road […]
aydqan mard es
The more languages you know, the more of a (hu)man you are.
the importance of reading long books.
derring-do among the philologists
Sow seeds for flowers right now, I thought this spring, and sowed many more than usual
woke up to rain, which turned to snow, which I had to walk through to get to work
a spring febricitation
on overstimulation and minor authors and spring-time
Books. There’s an invoice there, too.
paper bullets of the brain
After a while books grow matter of fact like everything else and we always think enviously of the days when they were new and wonderful and strange. That’s a part of existence. We lose our first keen relish for literature just as we lose it for ice-cream and confectionery. The taste grows older, wiser and […]
A view (31)
The sky is huge.
Design for a chimneypiece (ca. 1762) A few months ago, I was reading Nikolaus Pevsner’s 1968 article on ‘The Architectural Setting of Jane Austen’s Novels’ and it got me to thinking. It must have, for here I am, still muddled by it months after the fact, which is not something that normally happens after my […]
Crambe repetita (19)
William Hazlitt, ‘On the Pleasure of Painting’.
And in choosing, from the midafternoon drowse, between a biography of Virginia Woolf, some slightly silly essayettes,1 and English Society in the Eighteenth Century (which is, as it sounds, an introductory history to society in 18th century England), I must choose the latter – because its aims are clear, and it will not fight with […]
in which Lord Chesterfield gives some useful advice regarding time management
A view (32)
the common reader
…or observations on using a digital reader.1 My brain hasn’t figured out the digital reader yet.2 It doesn’t know how to process the small swiping screen of text with the same efficiency as even the most crabbed, cramped printed page. Of course that efficiency is the product of decades of practice, which obviously haven’t been […]
goats and sheep
books and souls, sheep and goats.
The other sign in the classroom says ‘Knowledge is essential to freedom’.
in which Boswell observations some annotations.
Women from the surrounding rural districts come to the city to sell food; milk and yogurt in the morning, and vegetables in the afternoon. Running late for school one morning, I saw two women quarrel over their barrels of yogurt. Three men in fur-collared coats had difficulty in keeping them apart, as they went at […]
The opposite of showy excess was neatness. Neatness was an utterly positive quality with many nuances of meaning. Indeed, neat emerges as a Georgian keyword of unexpectedly wide social purchase, which could be applied to towns, houses, objects, personal appearance, and even events. […] Neat conveyed a simple elegance of form, finely made and proportioned, […]
View of Darkhan. The snow stays on the ground mingling with the dust, not melting even under the sun. Everything is very dry. The dust is the same color and texture of finely ground coffee, as though one could scoop it up into a սրճեփ and enjoy one’s cup of bitterness on the rolling steppe. […]
Adorno laments the writer’s living situation.
on biography (1)
Alexander Theroux. The Strange Case of Edward Gorey. Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2011. After much consideration of this point, I came to the resolution of writing truly, if I wrote at all; of withholding nothing, though some things, from their very nature, could not be spoken of so fully as others. – Elizabeth Gaskell (Life of Charlotte […]
Getting ready for the talent show. It was the last day of the fall vacation, and the teachers competed in a talent show. Each of the departments put together as many performances as they could, in the least amount of time. I think the foreign language department started working on their act on Monday. Luckily […]
the doubtful guest
Mrs. Boswell reacts to a visitation by Samuel Johnson.
Four men in orange vests clean the street. Two men work with overgrown spatulas – or worn down snow shovels – tapping the surface to break up the compacted snow, then scraping it towards the side of the road. They work together, each working on half of a lane (with, meanwhile, a clear lane of […]
Crambe repetita (20)
Boswell, Life of Johnson.
A view (33)
a writer’s notebook
The changing patterns of frost on the window are always interesting to me.