Agreeable eye.

an eudæmonistarchives

More specifically concerning: style

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 […]

Incomplete Associations (Latin)

The prose of Cicero is a ripened plum, the dusky purple austerity concealing a rich and summery sweetness. The lines of Ovid are a silver ring; of Horace, a poet’s faded crown, gone gray and dusty down the centuries. Yet Vergil’s lines are as a shepherd’s staff, for cudgeling foes or correcting friends. The works […]

Incomplete Associations (Greek)

The fragments of Sappho flutter like a silken ribbon caught in thorny centuries. Herodotus is the sound of nodding asleep amid the low murmur of unuttered secrets and improbable truths. The dialogues of Plato are a sly glance between clever friends. Thucydides marshals his words, setting them in trim, ordered lines, bristling and iron-edged. The […]

Aposiopesis

In a word, my work is digressive, and it is progressive too,—and at the same time. This, Sir, is a very different story from that of the earth’s moving round her axis, in her diurnal rotation, with her progress in her elliptic orbit which brings about the year, and constitutes that variety and vicissitude of […]

the end of English letters

April 9 [1937]: VirginiaWoolf’s The Years and F. Tennyson Jesse’s A Pine to See the Peep Show read at once—what with rain and fairies and walloping bells at Oxford and Missie dying of love for Teacher with a dash of beans and fish with the lower middle class—impress one again with the constipation of English […]

Flibbertigibbet

I have the misfortune to own a first edition of Trees and other Poems by one Joyce Kilmer; it has filled many a dull hour with indignant mirth and there the matter might have ended, had it not been for the following stanza in ‘Old Poets’: For these young flippertigibbets      A-rhyming their hours away They […]

diction

Wherefore, I beckoned to Gioffredo to take the ankles: but I myself took the hollow armpits; and terribly the head waggled between. In this manner we flung the dead slave from the balcony: but, after we had heard the splash of his fall in Tiber, we returned, expecting new events. (chapter xii) ‘Terribly the head […]

the emphasis was helped

Menas: These three world-sharers, these competitors, Are in thy vessel: let me cut the cable; And, when we are put off, fall to their throats: All there is thine. Pompey: Ah, this thou shouldst have done, And not have spoke on’t! In me ’tis villany; In thee’t had been good service. Thou must know, ’Tis […]

dedication

Although the new A. S. Byatt collection Little Black Book of Stories is something of a disappointment because three1 of the five stories have been published before, the last paragraph in the book book almost makes up for it: Finally, this book is dedicated to my German translator and to my Italian translators, all good […]

you may

Now although this elegant ordination of vegetables, hath found coincidence or imitation in sundry works of Art, yet is it not also destitute of naturall examples, and, though overlooked by all, was elegantly observable, in severall works of nature. – from the Garden of Cyrus I dreamt I was made to sit an examination on […]

Citation (15)

I shall say but little at present of their Learning, which for many Ages hath flourished in all its Branches among them: But their Manner of Writing is very peculiar; being neither from the Left to the Right, like the Europeans; nor from the Right to the Left, like the Arabians; nor from up to […]

colonoscopy

As the abandonment of periodic arrangement really makes the colon useless, it would be well (though of course any one who still writes in formal periods should retain his rights over it) if ordinary writers would give it up altogether except in special uses, independent of its quantitative value, to which it is being more […]

pseudaphoristica (17)

shapeliness.

Citation (49)

melodramatic laocoon attitudes…

a mere habit

It is snowing outside and there is nothing to do save sit in front of the fire and read. Indeed, there is nothing one would rather be doing. Did she distrust all figurative language because she was sharply aware of the aptitude of the most languid figurative expressions for persisting as a mere habit of […]

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