Sunday, February 02, 2014

Fields of Waters & Certainties of Life

David Henderson, Marginal Tax Rates: Singing Taxman to My Class:

Think about the Beatles’ earnings. Late 1963 was when they first started making real money. Then in 1964, they hit it big. Presumably they didn’t spend it all but started investing, figuring that they would get interest and dividends on their investments. They probably did. But those returns would be taxed at the 95% rate. When would they start noticing this? Probably some time in 1965. Thus the 1966 song. 
Escapes into reading and living: "[Isaac] Babel exhibited a trait common, perhaps, to all writers: he was not merely an observer, he was also a snooper. All his life he spied 'through the keyhole' in the hope of seeing something interesting. As an author, he was always himself off stage, looking from outside at the bizarre scenes he picked out from some squalid area of life -- hence his reticence about his own views and the elusive quality of his biography. What kind of views, indeed, can a man have if he is entirely engrossed in the search for outlandish things and subjects buried among the rubbish? And his biography is that not of a living person, but of one seconded to life (his job of clerk in the Red Cavalry suited him admirably), who could fit into any surroundings or situation and look at it without prejudice. He was a spy in the service of literature who ferreted out wonders in everyday existence, a declassesecret agent who once rented a room in the house of a 'finger man' in order to write his Odessa Stories. His non-Russian origins were also a convenience for him.”

Cyril Connolly’s The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus (1944): “While thoughts exist, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.” 

“Comparison of a preacher and a locksmith: The one says: `You should not want to steal’; and the other says: `You should not be able to steal.’” 
In a journal entry from July 16, 1850, Thoreau writes: “A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air. It is continually receiving new life and motion from above. It is intermediate in its nature between land and sky. On land only the grass and trees wave, but the water itself is rippled by the wind. I see where the breeze dashes across it by the streaks or flakes of light.” 
On Nov. 12, 1841, he writes: “I seem to discern the very form of the wind when blowing over the hills it falls in broad flakes upon the surface of the pond…” [ "flakes."]  

And in Cape Cod (1865) he notes: “On another day, [the surface of the ocean] will be marked with long streaks, alternately smooth and rippled, light-colored and dark, even like our inland meadows in a freshet, and showing which way the wind sets.”