Posts in: readings

Today, I had to abandon a book on a topic I’ve been obsessed with for many years. The book is incredibly valuable: exhaustively researched, written by someone who’s a leading expert on the subject.

And yet…

The writing is atrociously, embarrassingly bad. I just couldn’t go on.

I was thinking about the early days of blogging, and remembered an old post from 2003. I reposted it a few years ago, but I took my archives offline earlier this year. (I’ve been republishing them gradually & selectively.)

Here is Blogs: A Brief Reader’s Guide, dead links & all.

Q: Why was he doubly irritated?
A: Because he had forgotten and because he remembered that he had reminded himself twice not to forget.


Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

These books arrived for xmas this year.

The spines of four books - Thomas: Religion and the Decline of Magic; Hoban: The Mouse and His Child; Hofstadter: The Paranoid Style in American Politics; Richardson: William James, In the Maelstrom of American Modernism

No poetry? No. I have sixty-eight books of poetry on my TBR shelf: thirty-seven I’ve started but not yet finished, and thirty-one others I haven’t even begun. (C’mon, I lived a 20-minute walk from Powells for five years; I can resist everything except temptation.)

Names on the Land

My bring-along book for this trip has been the majestic Names on the Land, by George R. Stewart. I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of this man, but there have been several aspects of our world that he was directly or indirectly responsible for. In 1941, he wrote a novel more or less from the point of view of a massive storm quite similar to the historic storm of a few weeks ago, sweeping in from the Pacific and raging across North America.

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No Damn Cat

This dark morning, the rain lashes my front windows and Monstrance is on for at least the fourth time in the last twenty-four hours. So it goes. The Internet and all the channels on Blogovision are overrun with Vonnegut tributes and redundant notifications, so I will add my voice to the cacophony only to point toward this, by Lance Mannion. And to say, Exactly so: ruined. My life was ruined when I was about thirteen, when my eighth grade English teacher assigned Cat’s Cradle.

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