Agreeable eye.

an eudæmonistarchives

Generally: nor good red herring

04.03.02 – Monday

Yea verily it was indeed cold, and God, seeing the toes of the many were ruddy in hue, put socks upon the face of the earth, that the toes of the many might be covered. The Earth, however, was thoroughly ticked off by this and called God a chauvinist, littering pig. Thereupon God sore repented […]

19.03.02 – Tuesday

And god said let there be work. And there was work. And then god said, no, really, let there be good work. And then the workers complained that that wasn’t in their contract. They decided to go on strike. Union management sat in circles, each rubbing their palms in greedy satisfaction. And it was good.

A Footnote (20.07.2002)

In what later became a notorious media event, librarian Marvin S________ was found to be breeding bookworms in the library’s basement. When questioned by authorities, Mr S________ declared: It is for the cause of science; and if I am permitted to advance the light of understanding even one inch against the dark of ignorance, my […]

Whole food

The child was small, with glasses, and carried a bright bouquet of Gerbera daisies wrapped in cellophane. He offered a pint of ice cream to his mother. Mother: No, dear, put it back; we don’t need ice cream today. Child: Why not?

Wednesday

Hellenistic figure of a mime Louvre (from Rostovtzeff, SEHHW) Seminar (1) Of John the Baptist: ‘he was as clean as a baby.’ ‘Stupidity is also a blemish.’ Rapid, fluid interchange: ‘ ‘No, not boring…’ ‘You have too good manners to say that.’ ‘Or indeed to feel it, in such a case as this.’ ’ The […]

Queries

Dear C, In response to your application ‘to be treated like a living, breathing human being for a change, and not some benumbed automaton’ we regret to inform you that all such positions are filled at the present time. This is by no means a reflection of your qualifications to be human. We have simply […]

Annales

In the year were children born, were wars waged, and markets opened. In the year were ships sunk, were markets falling, were deserts crossed, was oil spilt more freely than wine. In the year were plagues driven through towns and cities, were roads built, were bridges burnt; in that year, too, were pestilences common and […]

an Observation (1)

Oh, elegies are easy, I suppose. It is simple to sing of sorrows, and tumble through agonies towards some great katharsis, as though every strong emotion needs its purge. All happinesses are alike, the knowing novelist intones. But this very violence in ourselves, this need for grief, for rage, for some last word, even to […]

Absurdity

‘Without a doubt, this, this is the place to be!’ she cried, throwing wide her arms to embrace the magnanimous hillside replete with trees and grasses and charming little shrubs. Alphonse, somewhat bewildered, looked at her and cleared his throat. ‘Yes, well, if you say so, my dear. But I don’t think young Herbert would […]

Part the First

Breakfast that morning consisted of lumpy porridge, dry toast and watery tea. They sat around a large rough table, taking special care not to spill gruel onto the linens. Except for the scrape and click of silverware, they made very little noise. Young Herbert cleared his throat. Everyone stopped eating, their spoons hovering in the […]

Introductory

As the orchestra is warming up and the actors are completing their pre-show gargling, there is doubtless time for an introduction. Just as every story needs a preface, a truly erudite narrative simply cannot do without an introduction. The introduction gives some pompous literary windbag the chance to rattle on at length about aspects of […]

Part the Second

Gazing through the frilly lace curtains at the filigree of frost upon the desiccated vines in the xystus, Muriel frowned slightly. Shaking her head, she turned to Rosemund and said, ‘We leave today, as we planned; they said they’d come this afternoon to fetch us. I suppose we should get out the dust-cloths and pack […]

The Nineteenth Part

‘Utopia can never exist, as well we know,’ she said, half-turning at the door to look at him for the last time, ‘and I will never see you again. I am sorry I cannot love you and, for your sake as well as mine, I think it best that we part now. I would not […]

Part the Fourth

Elspeth, half-hidden by delphiniums, peered gravely at the butter knife Richard was attempting to spirit away in the interior pocket of his much-worn jacket. ‘That’s wicked, Richard,’ she intoned. At this unexpected remonstrance, he started and the errant butter knife clattered onto the floor. The company looked up. The clock ticked in the hallway. Young […]

the Third Day

It was the third day, I think—it has been so long, you see, I have almost forgotten. This forgetfulness comes from habit, I suppose—days numbered to the umpteenth power ratcheting one to the next, the turning of the mechanism grown monotonous, something simply there but scarcely noticed. Not like at first, when each day seemed […]

Part the Fifth

Zealously denying the accusations, Richard waxed eloquent in his own defense. Words of unimaginable beauty, wit and intelligence poured forth from his rosy lips as he flaunted the erudition acquired by years of wearing navy blue jackets at elegant institutions at the expense of some unnamed patron. The company at the table listened attentively, their […]

supranational blue

IKB # ?1 Link rotted; substitute information; and this might also be helpful or interesting [↩]

The Fourteenth Part

On the edge of a distant district, down an obscure boulevard, he kept a small studio crammed with charming antiques and valuable paintings. Though he did not much like to talk about it, he was extremely talented both at the exact replication of important pieces of art and the stealthy exchange of his copies for […]

The Thirteenth Part

Xanthochroi, svelte from their xerophagy, were uninterested in xenagogical activities. Xeniality was by no means widespread; nor, it should be added, was geniality. Rather, the denizens wandered to and fro, up stairs and down, content to busy themselves only with themselves, giving never a thought to anything else. Thus were they deeply enraptured with their […]

The Fiendish Belly

How good one feels when one is full — how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper and more easily obtained. One feels so forgiving […]

inventio, -onis f.

To be used for transportation, either of individuals, groups, or objects; insofar as the invention will reduce the friction of locomotion, speed and ease of travel will be increased — as, for instance, in the displacement of heavy objects from one point to another for the purpose of pleasure or profit. Also, productive elements: spinning, […]

phrases

general principles • moral turpitude • progressive non-action • radical self-sufficiency • righteous indignation • pompous twit

The Twentieth Part

Philosophically speaking, one can wander up and down a great many stairs in a train station without ever finding the lavatory…

Part the Sixth

Heroically, Elspeth persevered, as her Aunt Maude had always encouraged her to do. (This was the same Aunt Maude who had fallen in love with a dead Russian novelist and, whenever the radio happened to play Rachmaninov, would shake her head sadly, saying with a gentle smile, ‘oh… the Russians,’ before wandering to the kitchen […]

Zukunftsphilologen!

Theodor Mommsen Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorf Erwin Rohde Friedrich Nietzsche

ruby yachts

By way of explanation. I wake up at five-thirty, tumble downstairs to make coffee, which I drink while translating my daily five-hundred lines of the Odyssey (looking out, like Matthew Arnold with the Greek Anthology, all the words I do not know). After attending to the merely corporeal, I go the library, climbing the stairs […]

prosopopœia (1)

… or, an introduction to the history of classical scholarship1 The imminent schollrs of the 6/10 century — including the fatuous Scaliwag who eateded Easelbus, and the imperspicuous Käseböh who collected Athenians and fatted xviii chiliads — are now seldom dead but by kabbalists.The text is believed to be corrupt, the manuscript tradition poor, and […]

the very marrow

I’ve reached a point where the OED is of no use, for it cannot tell me why some people call them zucchini and other people call them courgettes, nor can it tell me on earth they were not more popular before the mid-twentieth century. The most it can say is that the young fruit of […]

de aquis urbis Romæ

Because everyone is familiar with Frontinus and is eager for more information about aqueducts and Roman water-supply, allow me to recommend A. Trevor Hodge’s charming survey Roman Aqueducts and Water Supply. Hodge eschews incomprehensibility (in so far as possible) and has the virtue, which Ashby lacks, of a modern bibliography. He is, however, rather chatty […]

curatores cloacarum

History of Sanitary Sewers: quite. WaterHistory.org: ‘Our objective is to explore prehistoric and historic water projects worldwide … without taking ourselves too seriously. We are particularly interested in the effect that water has on the quality of life.’ From Creek to Sewer: Sewerage and Drainage in Philadelphia. Let me remind you once again of our […]

miaros

fragment of a dialogue Is there a reason you haven’t bathed in almost a week? Is there a reason you consider my personal hygiene to be of general interest? Answer the question. Yes. There is a reason. Would you care to elaborate? When have I ever cared to elaborate? Let me rephrase: please share your […]

the trial

K.

epistulæ immaniores

I was quite pleased with myself: I managed to trim a ten-paragraph letter down to nine words, excluding salutation. Sadly, neither the grammar nor spelling were all that they should be, and I am pleased no more.

WBY

I cannot think of a writer I dislike more than William Butler Yeats; mind you, I’m sure such an author exists – the literary world would be a sad place indeed if the most unlikeable creature it could offer was WBY – but I can’t think of one right now. Aside from being a pompous […]

Portrait of the Author

Portrait of the Author in University Parks

exquisite

meme (ex machina):1 Intrigue me?2 The impression is that the lay-out of the whole area resembled that of the Seraglio in Constantinople, with palaces, barracks, and other royal buildings set in an area of parkland.3 A house of sin you may call it, but not a house of darkness, for the candles are never out; […]

madárka

unsettled

Books to be packed. She sat rather glumly looking at her own hands, her chin drawn in as though suffering from indigestion, or a surfeit of English. – Patrick White The Vivisector, p. 317. I am, as it were, at sea. The most difficult part of packing books is deciding which ones I am most […]

a quiet evening

hats

There was once a rich king who had three daughters. The eldest was the most beautiful of the three, while the youngest was the most clever. The middle child was neither beautiful nor clever and had nothing in particular to recommend her except that she could make the best bread in all the world. She […]

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 […]

petrified

10 Gower St, Hope Mirrlees in a hat, with Lytton Strachey et al.1 Pigeons perch on statues And are turned to stone.2I found this image via the Persephone Post, but they persist in reorganizing their archives and breaking links – a laudable pastime, but one which prevents me from giving them credit as directly as […]

affected

There are books which are too powerful, or which are too powerfully effective. I was reading such a book just a few minutes ago – but I won’t name it – about miserable people, leading miserable aimless lives in a gray and dismal country thousands of miles away. It is sunny here, and warm, as […]

sketchy

Richard Kennedy’s sketch of the Hogarth Press; there is also a larger version

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