Archive for the ‘Books, Literature, the Arts’ Category

Interesting weblog: Aristotle’s Feminist Subject

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Aristotle's Feminist Subject: interesting weblog: This blog has been a way to interact with some of you around "subjects" that Aristotle has taught too many of us in the west, even today, to disparage: females, rhetoric, and translation. Until we’ve recovered, I guess I'll blog a bit more . Also: The WOMBman's ...

Michigan: A Primer

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Fun Michigan poem in the May 19, 2008 issue of the New Yorker by Bob Hicok, entitled "A Primer." You never forget how to be from Michigan when you’re from Michigan. It’s like riding a bike of ice and fly fishing. The Upper Peninsula is a spare state in case Michigan goes flat... The entire poem: ...

Golden Gate Singing 2008 &c.

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I enjoyed the Golden Gate Sacred Harp Singing this past week in San Francisco, and even managed to record the afternoon session (not a great recording, but not terrible either; the altos were strong, but perhaps not as strong as they sound in the recording). The singing was chaired ...

Jordan

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I like (parts of) this poem, which I found in the "Hutchinson's Republican Songster, for the Campaign of 1860" on Google Books. The 'Hutchinson' is question is a member of the Hutchinson Family, a famous singing family of the mid-1800s. This is from Lincoln's first campaign for president. JORDAN. By J.J.H. I ...

The Young Geek, Mocked by His Crush, Fantasizes About Future World Domination, When He’ll Have Cyborg Raping Powers

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Jonathan Coulton is "a musician, a singer-songwriter and an internet superstar." He wrote a sweet, goopy song called Code Monkey that I like, as well as a song about the Mandelbrot set. But he also wrote a song called "The Future Soon." It it, the protagonist sings: Last week I ...

Why the New Yorker cartoon caption contest winners are not especially funny

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Here's a QA with the primary gatekeeper to the New Yorker cartoon caption contest: Q. Did your predecessor or Bob give you any advice when looking through the responses? A. My predecessor stared me in the eyes and warned me that reading too many captions in one sitting could make a man ...

Ficlets?

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

An interesting idea: Ficlets. Anyone can write a 1k story portion (a "fictlet"); anyone can write prequels and sequels to any ficlet. All under a Creative Commons 2.5 license. Is this a "bite size medium," or will a chains of ficlets (or the entire space of probabilities for a ficlet chain) ...

Onomastical poem

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

How do all things with names combine? Words are but nests, the meanings are the birds, Body the bed through which the spirit-river flows. The surface of this mental watercourse Is not without its chaff of good and bad repute: It flows, but you would say it stagnates; It moves but you would say it stays; From ...

Is there really a controversy regarding “The Higher Power of Lucky”?

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

The blogosphere is abuzz with discussions about the controversy about censorship of the Newbery Medal winning children's book "The Higher Power of Lucky," because it contains the word 'scrotum' on the first page, especially after an article about the controversy appeared on the first page of The New York Times ...

Fourth century words about words

Friday, February 9th, 2007

St. Basil, who lived from around 330-379 CE, is one of the "three hierarchs" of the Orthodox Church. I've just finished reading (in a translation by RJ Deferrai), an excellent essay On the distinction between ousia and hypostasis. In this letter, he writes very clearly about the Christian view of ...

Harry Potter and the …

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

... Deathly Hollows. You read it here, first.

The Man in the Ceiling (A review)

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Jules Feiffer began writing children's books in the early '90s; his first children's book, apparently somewhat autobiographical, was The Man in the Ceiling. Lovely wife got it out of the library, and I've read it this evening. The story centers around Jimmy, a boy who isn't much good in at ...

Freddy and Fredericka (a short review)

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

I've just finished Mark Helprin's picaresque novel Freddy and Fredericka. It's a good book that could have been a great book--or, perhaps, a pretty good book that could have been a good book--with better editing. It's conceit is wonderfully ludicrous: Freddy and Fredericka, the Prince and Princess of Wales, (based ...

The Barn at the End of the World

Friday, August 4th, 2006

I've been quite enjoying reading The Barn at the End of the World, by Mary Rose O'Reilley, published by Milkweed Press. It reminds me a lot of the writing of Annie Dillard (who has her own website: 'The Secrets of the Universe as Decoded by the Unhinged'): essays about ...

Duels and breaks with lardy eggs on Saturday

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

In the first chapter of Don Quixote, Cervantes introduces us to the modest straights of "the Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha" by describing his diet: Una olla de algo más vaca que carnero, salpicón las más noches, duelos y quebrantos los sábados, lantejas los viernes, algún palomino de añadidura ...

The Bible as “messy”

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Extremely surprising article at über-evangelical Christianity Today: Messy Revelation: Why Paul would have flunked hermeneutics by historian and biblical studies expert Susan Wise Bauer. It's a very positive review of a book by Peter Enns titled Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. Enns argues that ...

Qual question: What is the worst poem?

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Daughter Jane has an assignment to "savor [the] awfulness" of a very bad poem, so we got to read some one unto another. Seamus Cooney has a Bad Poetry page, but there isn't much that's truly awful there, except perhaps, Kalamazoo (bottom of page) by JB Smiley: Kalamazoo On the outskirts are ...

Boats against the current

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

I used F. Scott (no relation) Fitzgerald's last line from the Great Gatsby, So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. in an email note today, basically as an excuse for why something I've been working on probably won't be finished on time, and why ...

Would Orwell blog?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

So the Financial Times has a pretty good article on weblogging, Time for the last post (via kottke), but snarks about Orwell: The great critic and editor Cyril Connolly fell into despair over the prolixity of Orwell’s wartime writing: “Being Orwell, nothing he wrote is quite without value and unexpected gems ...

“On outsourcing art”

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

Nice essay by Natalia: On outsourcing art. Singing is a particularly sticky issue. There’s something horribly personal about letting a sound that’s unique to your body come out of your belly, susceptible to being heard by others — a bodily emission rendered as sound. Could such a thing ever be ...