Sunday, August 25, 2013

From Another Tongue: the story of the human race is war

"This evening heard Carmen on the radio, and reflected how hard it was to vamp a man while singing at the top of one's voice. That is the operatic problem; the singer must keep up a head of steam while trying to appear secretive, or seductive, or consumptive. Some ingenious composer should write an opera about a group of people who were condemned by a cruel god to scream all the time; it would be an instantaneous success, and a triumph of verisimilitude."
Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks (courtesy of Paul Moravec - from Morava River?)

What (if anything) gives literature value? Not originality or profundity, says Terry Eagleton. Great literature requires great criticism. How to Read Literature
Needing nothing less than a miracle to save myself Of I value Scrivener templates too
Arion Press is the only full-service letterpress left in America. From its cavernous workshop emerges that rarest thing: the perfect book A “peculiar slant / Of memory
Political power, said Mao, “grows out of the barrel of a gun.” His fondness for bloodshed should not blind us to the accuracy of his observation *** Anthony Less or Lesser *** Why Violence Works
Melville’s marginalia. His gifts weren’t born in a vacuum, but of a relentless rereading of the great books. Forget that blog is just one letter away from bog, or that the passel of burgeoning “literary” websites is largely a harvest of inanity with only the most tenuous hold on actual literature. "So many people write because they lack the character not to."

War and marriage. After World War I, survivors craved stability, not passion. After World War II, love (and sex) was prized above all Times are a changing ~ Moritz Erhardt had been interning with investment bank Merrill Lynch Magic Roundabout ~  A public-spirited chap called Adam Andrzejewski got fed up with the lack of governmental transparency and decided to do something about it.  Hence his invaluable website Open the Books, a project of For the Good of Illinois, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization founded by Mr. Andrzejewski in 2007. The goal of Open the Books is something that the Obama administration came to office promising but never delivered: transparency.  Hence its motto: “Every dime. Online.” Every Dime. Online

"There are very few of us who are strong enough to make circumstances serve us."
Somerset Maugham, The Circle