Archive for 2013
A view (35)
4 January 2013, around 14.01.
Frostbound at home.
a definite achievement
6 January 2013, around 7.01.
Wittgenstein on organizing one’s library
hours of indolence
23 January 2013, around 18.56.
…and of course one begins the year with the best of intentions, sweeping through books at a gallant pace, which one’s attempts at scribbling cannot match.
on biography (3)
8 February 2013, around 0.02.
Karl Popper & Michel Foucault looking suitably philosophical. After reading Didier Eribon’s biography of Foucault, I turned with some relief to Karl Popper’s memoir Unended Quest. The biography of Foucault was maddening because it did what good biographies should do, and didn’t speculate, especially where speculation was warranted. Popper, meanwhile, positively disinvites speculation. There’s nothing […]
10 February 2013, around 5.14.
Charles Reade, under the banner of imagination, departs from everyday life to parts unknown.1 Charles Reade shows up in Jean Strouse’s biography of Alice James: Her improving health allowed Alice to enjoy a greater range of intellectual life than before. She went to the theater […] and she was reading a great deal, particularly the […]
Crambe repetita (26)
26 February 2013, around 9.11.
Olivia Manning, The Balkan Trilogy.
11 March 2013, around 19.44.
The Balkan Trilogy
15 March 2013, around 12.09.
From a series of postcards of Bucharest in the 1940s. Olivia Manning. Fortunes of War: The Balkan Trilogy. New York: NYRB Classics, 2010 (1960–1965). This is an odd way to start a consideration of Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy, but I want to take a moment to think about Graham Greene. His novels inhabit a peculiar […]
18 March 2013, around 5.52.
melodramatic laocoon attitudes…
remarks on teaching
11 April 2013, around 10.40.
Students in the English club. After five years of teaching and team-teaching and teacher-training and observing lessons, I look at this picture and still cringe that one of the students is texting. It’s a club, sure, but do me the favor of paying attention.1 Students paying attention isn’t the point of English classes or clubs, […]
A view (36)
14 April 2013, around 5.31.
out and about
17 April 2013, around 5.07.
‘Ejemplar Acontecimiento! Un Espiritu maligno en figura de mujer bonita’ (cf.) The style was strange. The writing was clear and sometimes even transparent, but the way the stories followed on after another didn’t lead anywhere: all that was left were the children, their parents, the animals, some neighbors, and in the end, all that was […]
Crambe repetita (27)
19 April 2013, around 10.00.
Fanny Burney, Journals and Letters.
the dim view
21 April 2013, around 5.17.
By sacrificing thought, which in its reified form as mathematics, machinery, organization, avenges itself on a humanity forgetful of it, enlightenment forfeited its own realization. By subjecting everything particular to its discipline, it left the uncomprehended whole free to rebound as mastery over things against the life and consciousness of human beings. But a true […]
Old Books and New Histories
26 April 2013, around 18.58.
By Leslie Howsam, Univ. Toronto Press, 2006.
the arrow of time
27 April 2013, around 17.53.
An enlightened voyage: ‘The Vessel of the Constitution steered clear of the Rock of Democracy, and the Whirlpool of Arbitrary Power’ From antiquity to fascism, Homer has been criticised for garrulousness – both in the hero and in the narrator. – Theodor Adorno (Dialectic of Englightenment: ‘Excursus 1: Odysseus or Myth and Enlightenment’, p. 53) […]
An Undisciplined Discipline?
29 April 2013, around 5.40.
By Cyndia Clegg, Renaissance Quarterly (2001).
29 April 2013, around 5.47.
…life’s earnestness is in no way to sit on the sofa and pick one’s teeth… – Søren Kierkegaard (Repetition, p.4) In Repetition Kierkegaard tells the story of two trips to Berlin – one of his attempts to prove the theory of repetition. On the first trip he had a grand time, stayed in a fine […]
Crambe repetita (28)
1 May 2013, around 5.06.
Victor Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary.
The Gutenberg Elegies
2 May 2013, around 21.06.
By Sven Birkerts, faber & faber, 2006.
4 May 2013, around 5.06.
‘Plate 28: two figures, one composed with a bell the other with a knife-grinder’ by Giovanni Battista Bracelli, in Bizzarie di varie figure … 1624
adventures and misadventures
24 May 2013, around 16.42.
Like everything that had to do with him, the narration of his past depended on a complex alchemy of humors, climates, and correspondences, and only when it had been fully achieved would the floodgates of his memory open, launching him into long recollections that did not take into account either time or the disposition of […]
The Printing Revolution
26 May 2013, around 5.57.
By Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, Cambridge UP, 1983.
A view (37)
26 May 2013, around 5.59.
the open road
Crambe repetita (29)
1 June 2013, around 11.14.
Roberto Bolaño, 2666.
20 July 2013, around 8.35.
William Hazlitt on cleverness.
The Business of Books
21 July 2013, around 4.38.
By André Schiffrin, Verso, 2000.
it would do beautifully
21 July 2013, around 5.05.
The inconstant reader. … I reminded him how often we had talked about my travels on the five continents and sixteen seas, and my inability to stay very long in one place. Although I was living peacefully in Pollensa, there was not guarantee it would be permanent. – Álvaro Mutis (Triptych on Sea and Land, […]
22 July 2013, around 17.02.
A view (38)
24 July 2013, around 5.38.
out and about
27 July 2013, around 7.03.
Crambe repetita (30)
2 August 2013, around 5.19.
Gyula Krúdy, The Adventures of Sindbad.
19 October 2013, around 11.32.
Your novel has been read by several of us, and we are very sorry that we have had to conclude that we cannot make an offer of publication. It is quite readable and has vitality, but, in general, it is our impression that you have not yet sufficiently mastered the technique which is necessary to […]
20 November 2013, around 17.23.
From Darley’s Bookbinding Then and Now (1959; printed opposite p. 85).
portrait of a bookbinder
24 November 2013, around 9.33.
Roger Payne, 1739–17971 Image taken as-is from Bookbinding Then and Now. [↩]
16 December 2013, around 18.06.
Having got to know Liska the way a man gets to know a woman only if he lives with her for years, sleeping with her all that time – well, he’s got not to know her again. It’s like reading a wonderful poem, and learning it off by heart because you like it so much […]
24 December 2013, around 14.10.
No snow, sadly. And of course expected – hoped for – snow at the mountain for Christmas; I’m sure there is, too, another few hundred feet further up. The only thing for it is to skate Skarphedin-like across the hardwood floors in stocking’d feet for another cup of tea.
Life Story of a Technology
25 December 2013, around 6.04.
By Nicole Howard, Johns Hopkins UP, 2005.
25 December 2013, around 6.05.
Richard Kennedy’s sketch of the Hogarth Press; there is also a larger version
26 December 2013, around 5.05.
The typewriter has found a new home. Well, I found a new home for it some months ago – hopefully with someone who will it give it some use. I don’t hold out much hope for it, though. One acquires things like this, of dubious beauty and doubtful utility, either as a pose or because […]
27 December 2013, around 8.35.
The reproductive instinct urges the poet to scatter his seeds beyond his boundaries. I repeat it: poorly transmitted, they fructify. Certain species (Pushkin) refuse transmission. But this does not prevent them from scattering at large and even when reduced to insignificance, from fructifying. Shakespeare remains the model of the explosive plant. His seeds have taken […]
28 December 2013, around 16.41.
The path thither. There has been a stagnant air warning for the area during the past couple of days – extending through the middle of the next week (and into the new year, I suppose). Smoke from the local stoves collects in any open space, and probably mingles with the exhaust from day-trippers going up […]
A view (39)
30 December 2013, around 17.46.