More specifically concerning: academic
Up, email, breakfast, coffee, read, library, chinaware (the only truly silent reading room available), room, books, lunch, library, Greek Literary dialects (using words such as ‘aposeosis’ – is that an anachronistic Doric sigma? – and phrases such as ‘this text goes in for unnecessary iotas every so often’ and ‘it would be syntactically cruel of […]
Up, coffee, email, breakfast, library, Greek Religion – what role do the Greek gods play in everyday life? From whence and how did they evolve? What is structuralism? Are you a structuralist? Is Gallic subtlety any match for the brute force of History? – lunch, essay, read, breathe, bed.
Up, coffee, essay, e-mail, breakfast, Hellenistic History with the public-school man – post-imperialist and orientalist subtexts in Greek literature after Alexander! – pretend not to suffer from nerves, lunch, Thucydides and Rhetoric (i.e., nearly two hours of sitting, staring at the floor and attempting to conjure an innovative opinion about Pericles’ funeral oration; also, if […]
Breakfast, library, J. E. Harrison, coffee, Historical Methods of Herodotus, postmodern critical article on palm-trees in Attic vase painting, Greek Religion, lunch, room, bath, computer, Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World, email, dinner, room, bed.
(unwell) Up, coffee, breakfast, room, Herodotus, bath, Herodotus, library, lunch, library (return book), race to → class, room, bed & sleep & sleep & sleep.
(unwell) Snooze, up, coffee, library, J. E. Harrison (couldn’t even manage a full hour…), coffee, bookstore (Themis), lunch, library (Divinity and History: the Religion of Herodotus; OCM), apple-mango juice, room, much sneezing & coughing &c., Chopin, read, tea, snooze, read, Satie, bed.
(unwell) Up, coffee, laundry, library (return books), coffee & sandwich, groceries (orange juice & instant soup), room, nap, idleness.
Up, coffee, email, breakfast, library (return book), Athenian culture and society, library, coffee, groceries, lunch, room, tidy, bath, Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography, Mozart, Athenian Religion, tea, snooze, bed.
Up, coffee, Momigliano, breakfast, library, coffee, groceries, room, Athenian Religion, lunch, read, library, room, Satie, German, read, dinner, lecture, room, bed.
Up, coffee, Momigliano, breakfast, library, museum, essay, room, lunch, Greek literary dialects, library, essay, room, bed.
Up, coffee, breakfast, library, coffee, Greek religion, lunch, room, read, bed.
Up, coffee, breakfast, library, read, coffee & lunch, bookstore, class room, smirk, read, bed.
Up, coffee, read, library, coffee, bookstore (Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vol. 2), brunch, talk, room, snooze, movie, room, relax, coffee, socialize, room, bed.
Up, coffee, laundry, email, room, read, coffee, cudgel poor brain about grad school, muddle, read, essay, bed.
Up, coffee, breakfast, Athenian culture and society (paideia), library (return books, browse periodicals, etc.), lunch, room, read, essay, bed.
Up, coffee, essay, breakfast, library, translate, tutorial, lunch, room, read, bed.
Up, coffee, Greek historiography, email, breakfast, coffee, museum, lunch, Greek literary dialects, room, out for dinner, room, bed.
Up, coffee, ΑΝΑΓΚΗ in Thucydides, email, breakfast, coffee, museum, read periodicals, Greek religion (also, womens’ festivals…), lunch, room, essay, read, dinner, room, bed.
Up, coffee, essay, email, breakfast, room, read, lunch, class (‘You’ve stunned them,’ this following a long silence when I’d read my essay; no constructive comments thereafter — no comments at all, in fact), sulk, room, tea, Ulysses, dinner with company, room, bed.
Up, coffee, Greek historiography, Kagan YCS 24, send letters, breakfast, library (return books), Athenian culture (the oikos, the womens’ sphere, pederasty), coffee, library (return books, renew, and borrow Arethusa 11), groceries (bread, milk, etc., no honey), room, At Swim-Two-Birds, email, lunch, package, treats, novel, bath, At Swim-Two-Birds, bed.
Up, coffee, At Swim-Two-Birds, email, breakfast, library (return books), coffee, museum (periodicals, course reading), library (Thucydides, etc.), The Blessing, lunch, room, The Blessing, bread, Thucydides, bed.
Up, coffee, Greek historiography, email, breakfast, library, coffee, milk, room, Thucydides Mythistoricus, lunch, Euripides as social critic (‘question authority’ — I can’t believe I skipped two hours of discussing the Boeotian elements of Pindar to attend), room, generally well-disposed to world and lacking any desire to indulge in excessive criticism (this state being induced by […]
Up, coffee, email, breakfast, library (return book), bookstore, coffee, library (request books), Greek religion (the importance of myth!), lunch, bread & milk, room, read, dinner, room, bed.
Up, coffee, email, breakfast, library (return book), library II (read), library III (return book & photocopy), coffee & sandwich, room, read, class, which put in mind of Meredith: …one is not altogether fit for the battle of life who is engaged in a perpetual contention with his dinner… …which holds true for Thucydides as well; […]
Up, coffee, bath, Love in a Cold Climate (it troubles me somewhat, being clever and charming and not especially brilliant, the characters remain, as intended I suppose, card-board cut-outs — Cedric, for instance, is an insult to one’s intelligence — though it is entertaining to ponder the actual schedule of the narrator), library (Greek Religion, […]
Up, coffee, languish (a sleepy stupidity tucked amongst the blankets, watching the light seep across the wall and hiding from the sharpness of out-of-doors), laundry, email (a process which, with some manipulation, can be made to consume an hour and half), room, coffee & sandwich, grocery store (for the purchase of weekly necessaries such as […]
(unwell) Up (after a night of heated sleep, not tossing and turning, but trapped in the stillness inimical to rest), coffee, Ulysses, email, breakfast, library (return books & borrow Greek Prose Style), Athenian Culture, museum (return & borrow books), bookstore (check on religion books in cheap paperbacks), library (translations & TLS), email, lunch, room, tea, […]
(unwell) Up, coffee, essay, email, breakfast, library, essay, tutorial, buy books, coffee, purchase tea, room, tea, Ulysses, meet to arrange Latin, room, Ulysses, library (return books), dinner, room, bed.
(unwell) Up (after a night broken by coughing), coffee, Ulysses, email, breakfast, library, coffee, pick up tickets, room, rest, lunch, room, read, essay, rest, bed.
(unwell) Up (after a night broken by coughing), coffee, Ulysses, e-mail, breakfast, Bodley, coffee, pick up tickets, room, rest, lunch, room, read, essay, rest, bed.
(unwell) Up, coffee, essay, breakfast, email, essay, snooze, deliver essay, room, bed, A Room with a View, talk to Mama, mint tea, drift in & out of wakefulness, sleep.
Up, coffee, Baroque, Women in Ancient Persia (559 — 331 bc), Brahms, tea, notecards, Elgar, African Civilizations, brunch, groceries, room, Omeros, tea, continue reading, call M, Bach, bed.
Up, coffee, Women in Ancient Persia…, email, breakfast, letters, Athenian Culture, library (kinship diplomacy), library II (return book, renew books on Greek cults & borrow book on Roman Rhetoric), coffee, bookstore, bread & milk, room, settle, lunch, write letters, tea, Bach, Ulysses, &c., talk (dreadful and dull), room, bed.
Up, email, breakfast, library (kinship diplomacy), coffee, museum, bookstore, post-office (stamps for letter & forms), room, read, St. John’s Passion, tea, read, Ninth, read, email, dinner, room, bed.
Up, tea, email, breakfast, library (kinship diplomacy), coffee, room, read, idleness, bed.
Up, tea, email, breakfast, library (kinship diplomacy — finished at last), coffee, Greek Religion, room, read, coffee, collections, dinner (which invariably causes indigestion), concert, stroll, room, bed.
Up, email, breakfast, coffee, read, museum, bookstore, bread & juice, room, Lucky Jim, coffee, pita, read, class (medicine; more dreadful silences and skirting the essentials), room & mirth, potluck, taxi, room, bed.
A fine day today, overcast, with a light rain whispering the warmth of spring (to be purple about it). Finished Lucky Jim in the morning, which was adequate so far as novels go, but nothing out of the ordinary. Into college to, idle before the morning meal, which last I spent in moderate socialization with […]
Overcast toneless gray, neither warm nor cold. Reading The Ambassadors, then up, out and to coffee. Purchased litre of orange juice, email, return to room, where reading Hellenistic history, Sophocles & Antiphon whilst trying to organize my bibliography. Dull and stupid, partook of tea & more Henry James, then tired at last, to bed.
Awoke to sunshine and roseate light brushing across the plaster walls. In a good humor, surprisingly, and spent much of the morning in the Bod. reading about Cicero, which was curiously enough entertaining. Much caffeine required thereafter, though. Finished The Ambassadors, and greatly pleased thereat; so spent the rest of the day in useful reading […]
Idled in coffee-shops & the library, and read and read and read. Such pleasure. Day started clear, but now overcast. Perfect.
Wandered around town, easing into habits. Babbitt-dom is still distant, one hopes. Vague unease, unsettled, unsure, balancing only barely. As usual. Spent too much money on books. Again.
Overslept and the morning passed while my brain was still leaden; an hour at the Bod., then coffee, the Ashmolean, lecture & lunch. In a frenzy to finish my essay for tomorrow & attend a lecture on Roman religion this evening.
Broken blue sky and translucent clouds after a night of rain. A typical Sunday, doing laundry, reading, preparing for another week. Churchbells call to all good Christians; the response, if any, is hidden from my window.
Tuesday. A heavy day, with mind weighted, wandering through the hours without leisure and without interest. Reading, too, for my essay, attending lecture, and a seminar (on the 18th century: curious how I had never viewed the 1700s as being ‘wedged’ between the monoliths of early modern and late modern history, but have always thought […]
Up early, and in good humor, scampering too and fro with mind at ease; taking great care not to overburden the old brain, which might crumble without warning. ‘…and though the merriment was rather boisterous, still it came from the heart and not from the lips: and this is the right sort of merriment, after […]
The morning in the Bod, nodding over libertas (& eleuthería), then to the Ashmolean for a few articles. Lecture as usual. Too sunny for comfort; in a malaise, if you like. Still, the afternoon listening to Bach & Beethoven & Mahler, a pleasant change, and pondering that most ideal of monarchs, Nero.
One of those very strange mornings, indecisive rain and sunshine, which last shone in (when it shone at all) an eerie perfect white upon the shadowed wall. Spent the early morning reading Seneca’s De Clementia and scrupulously avoiding any thought of Cicero.
After the ever-entertaining lecture on the city of Rome – the lecturer condescending to swear at the slide projector, which had a disposition to be willful — went to the Ashmolean. God’s gallery was shut for construction and conservation work, the red walls and the tops of paintings barely visible over a temporary divider; so, […]
People sat or sprawled on the lawns, soaking in the sunshine or lolling in the shade. I, meanwhile, was content to walk along the river bank and admire the scene, the hum of bees, &c. The rest of the morning passed amid thoughts of the ancient Greek aristocracy, kaloikagathoi, the beautiful and the good. Have […]
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.
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 […]
16.10.01 – Tuesday
At some point I find myself watching the clouds — the leaves are changing — some trees are already bare — but the clouds, the warm, the cold, the gathering, dispersing. Autumn puts me in mind of wool jackets, wood smoke, the break of apples, dust of books; also: steam rising from coffee; yellow-orange leaves […]
1.11.01 – Thursday
Much of the day spent in reading — Agora excavations and Dreiser’s The ‘Genius’. Waited late into the night in the language center for befuddled first-year Latin students to seek help; apparently, on Thursday nights, beginning Latinists have no difficulties with the lingua. I was left, then, to amuse myself as best I could, which […]
5.11.01 – Monday
I have come to the inevitable conclusion. Running into the eternal interrogative (thinking Forsterian here, can you tell?): the answer can, the answer must, for me at least, be yes. Not the ‘yes’ that means ‘no,’ not the affirmative that scorns, but that quiet ever so blank ‘yes’ which means everything & nothing, offers no […]
18.11.01 – Sunday
Lulled, gently, into the certitude of reading. Carefully writing out ideas and quotations on 3×5 cards, printing neatly, citing assiduously. Met J. at the Haymarket, chattering away about the month of October (where did it go? what happened? what did you do?) and the inchoate, incomprehensible fear of application (both to one’s studies and to […]
19.11.01 – Monday
Softly, softly. Malthakôs. The oak leaves are falling at last — air of unreality, setting a scene (tho’ not making one). Received two glorious letters — read them in the afternoon light while waiting for the bus. Invariably waiting for the inevitable bus. There really is something about reading Plato. I can’t explain it. The […]
29.11.01 – Thursday
The library. Dusty concrete steps to metal stacks and weak green-blue light. Reciprocity — sincerity — altruism. Walking. Cafés. Leading. Following. Chasing. Darkness. How the history crowds around one, pressing in on all sides, heading towards some incontrovertible truth.
22.12.01 – Saturday
Sent the last of my applications off yesterday, along with a story to JC and treats for other people. Well, maybe it is a bit overbold to call that little booklet a ‘treat’: more of a glorified holiday card, actually, except, of course, that it has nothing to do with the holidays, red cover notwithstanding. […]
2.02.02 – Saturday
Read Zelda Fitzgerald’s novel; one gets the sense of scene and character, but the plot does not hang together particularly well and the flourishes can be heavy-handed. Immensely clever, but lacking something, some artistry, some polish, some ineffable thing, which might have made it very good indeed. Poor kid. Listening to Haydn string quartets as. […]
09.03.02 – Saturday
10 a.m. — overcast — damp concrete and asphalt — buildings and cars reduced to slick darkness. The taste of old coffee settles, permanent, in my mouth, ashen, dull. I woke up late and my only desire was to read about history — Chinese history, architectural history: history. Anyway. Then, after noon. Appeareth the sun, […]
17.05.02 – Friday
Reading Halliwell’s book on Aristotle’s Poetics (University of Chicago Press, 1999): mimêsis, katharsis, etc. I paced across the deep red of the carpet, carefully keeping within the wool boundary, my attention buried in the book; to leave the rug would be to fall into the abyss of daily life — and also to risk running […]
25.05.02 – Saturday
Awoke at 4:40 this morning owing to the heat of the room and the itchiness of my feet, on which the mosquitoes had seen fit to bestow their generous attentions. Today’s events will run as follows: up moderately early, read, breakfast, partake of massive quantities of milky tea, drive to college, attend the social events […]
28.05.02 – Tuesday
Warrington and Paley had been competitors for University honours in former days, and had run each other hard; and everybody said now that the former was wasting his time and energies, whilst all people praised Paley for his industry. There may be doubts, however, as to which was using his time best. The one could […]
30.05.02 – Thursday
At Oxford his personality expanded and developed in a remarkable way. Never in the strict sense of the word a clever man—even by the academic standard (he took only a third in Mods. and a second in Greats, and worked hard for them, too)—he became an extraordinarily well-educated one. His passion for literature was intense. […]
The Topless Towers of Ilium
Archaeologists are a fiesty bunch. Take, for instance, this argument about Troy. How many people, really, would exchange insults about the size of ancient Troy? How big was Troy, really? Huge? Perhaps. Just the citadel? Maybe. Can we say? Depends about what era you’re talking about, I suppose. Like most cities, what once was Troy […]
[Bloom] claims to be of the school of aesthetic critics, remarking that, in an ideological age, ‘I feel quite alone these days in defending the autonomy of the aesthetic.’ Yet he himself doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to produce anything approaching the aesthetically pleasing in his own writing. In an interview in […]
It was the Distance
For no good reason1 I’ve been reading The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (ed. W. Martin, CUP: 2002). It is somewhat refreshing to find books which do not concern Cicero. And it is interesting to step outside the charmed circle of academics and then to peer back in, as though through windows. For one can […]
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 […]
They took us into the store rooms of the Ashmolean, bright blue metal shelves crammed with funerary monuments, busts of Romans (or Sir Arthur Evans), and sculptures of every sort of absurdity. We are to look at inscriptions. And here we see an inscription from Smyrna; it is quite nice actually—the person carving it was […]
The thing is
That it seems nothing is happening. I spend each and every day following the same routine, the dull rhythm of the week waxing and waning, more timely than the moon. Waking up at 5:30 in the morning, the darkness still swirling like the fog, I stumble, tumble down the stairs, make dark coffee and a […]
The scene was, necessarily, amusing. The setting—the dining room of New College, Oxford, shadows flickering across wooden panels and stained glass from the candles upon the table, which was set for a three-course dinner. We had by this point moved on to the port and chocolates portion of the feast, a few lingering half-filled glasses […]
It was very simple once; just a chronicle, a chronological exuberance bogged down in the details. E.g.: 13.01.2003 — Monday — Up late, then to the Bodleian, Gorgias, Blackwell’s (Sylvie & Bruno, £9.99 — cash), coffee, groceries, room, read… &c. But that is not quite right, is it? For who really wants to make of […]
For the words and facts of the ancients are as bricks, from which we build the fortresses of our arguments, ever quarreling over the lines of the walls. These walls are torn down and rebuilt with such haste and such fury, that it does not seem strange when they are torn down again, or prove […]
Dusk, rain. I don’t know. Maybe I was expecting something different. It’s possible. Something other than the nights of fog and afternoons of rain, rudely punctuated by dawns and dusks and gloamings serene and unencumbered. Come to think of it, though, no one uses the word ‘gloaming’ anymore; nobody sane, anyway. Certainly not the young […]
A dark and stormy night
It is a melancholy thing, which none but those educated at a college can understand, to see the debilitated frames of the aspirants for academical honours; to mark the prime—the verdure—the glory—the life—of life wasted irrevocably away in a labor ineptiarum, which brings no harvest either to others or themselves. For the poet, the philosopher, […]
I remembered the incident because the young man with the gray velvet coat dropped a note card on the bridge, swearing faintly as he chased the wind-driven scrap of knowledge (carefully color-coded in blue and black and red) along the sidewalk, before snatching it at last from the path of an on-coming cyclist. The incident […]
The truth is, unless a man can get the prestige and income of a Don and write donnish books, it’s hardly worth while for him to make a Greek and Latin machine of himself and be able to spin you out pages of the Greek dramatists at any verse you’ll give him as a cue. […]
The Most Illustrious Purpled Person will choose to hear the rogue’s confession of his crime. – Don Tarquinio, chapter xvii It is a hot, and it is summer, and there is soymilk and milk made of almonds, and there is also water purchased in blue plastic containers, and I too sometimes think there should be […]
Talk of religion, it is odds you have infidel, blasphemer, atheist, or schismatic, thundered in your ears; touch upon your politics, you will be in luck if you are only charged with a tendency to treason. – Richard Porson, from the Orgies of Bacchus (1797) qtd. 2003.145, p. 47.
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 […]
I was sitting on the floor outside one of the meeting rooms at a rather silly academic conference—as one does, you know: it makes one ‘memorable’.1 It was the morning of, I think, the third day, about fifteen minutes before the first round of papers was to begin.2 As I was sitting on the floor, […]
Postcard (from the editor of the text to his godmother) found in a copy of ‘Urne Buriall’ and ‘The Garden of Cyrus’ … according to the notion I have of reason, neither the written treatises of the learned nor the set discourses of the eloquent are able of themselves to teach the use of it. […]
After about two hours of reading or discussion, we would go for a walk and then have tea at Lyons, or in the restaurant above the Regal cinema. Sometimes he came to my house in Searle street for supper. Once after supper, Wittgenstein, my wife and I went for a walk on Midsummer Common. We […]
It was a most comfortable house to visit. Gertrude Stein liked it, she could stay in her room or in the garden as much as she liked without hearing too much conversation. The food was excellent, scotch food, delicious and fresh, and it was very amusing meeting all of the Cambridge dignitaries. We were taken […]
To Mervyn Noseigh, M.A. Dear Mr. Noseigh: When you put the question to me so baldly – ‘What led you to become a writer?’ – I am momentarily nonplussed. On what level do you expect me to answer? The objective? If so, I became a writer because it looked like easy money. But that won’t […]
… of undarkness
The adequacy of the cultural categories of, in this case, university England, to provide a frame of intelligible reasonings, creditable values, and familiar motivations for such oddities as poison oracles, ghost marriages, blood feuds, and cucumber sacrifices recommends those categories as of somehow more than parochial importance. Whatever personal reasons E-P may have had for […]
Ho yuss! Vurry true.
Properly, we shd. read for power. Man reading shd. be man intensely alive. The book shd. be a ball of light in one’s hand (55).1 Reading Pound’s Guide to Kulcher, I was perplexed; partially because it is an odd book, aimed at those who don’t mind attending the university of the brain of Ezra Pound […]
derring-do among the philologists
hope against hope (1)
in which nothing much is said, especially about Hope Mirrlees.
‘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 […]
Old Books and New Histories
Leslie Howsam. Old Books and New Histories. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006. This is an introductory ‘state of the discipline’ textbook suitable for undergraduates or first-year graduate students. It gives a brief overview of what is involved in studying ‘book history’, as well as current theories and controversies. From the preface: These approaches are […]
the arrow of time
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?
Cyndia Clegg, Renaissance Quarterly (2001): A dispassionate, professional review article on a selection of books relating to books, literacy, and print culture in the Renaissance…
The Printing Revolution
Elizabeth L. Eisenstein. The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: CUP, 1983. This is an abridgment – intended for the general reader – of Eisenstein’s longer monograph The Printing Press as an Agent of Change; it suffers from some of the faults of ‘popular’ history: no footnotes, inadequate references, and a certain condescension on […]
Notes on Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Colour: Wittgenstein muddles his thinking about color – visualizing rather than looking: the dullness of phenomenology. The removal of colors from context, which changes the ‘meaning’ – what is at once ‘reddish green’ might, in other settings, be called ‘brown’. ‘I took a green painted lead cupola to be translucent greenish […]
Sunshine, from The Illustrated London News (1865) Peter Toohey’s Boredom: A Lively History is a competent bit of work, hitting the key surface points of the topic, from Aristotle to Heidegger, with an obligatory early twenty-first-century excursus on neuroscience. It is, as the acknowledgements give away, a commissioned book – an editor’s idea of something […]
…if ever we should find ourselves disposed not to admire those writers and artists […] whom all the learned had admired, not to follow our own fancies, but to study them until we know how and what we ought to admire: and if we cannot arrive at this union of admiration with knowledge, rather to […]