Saturday, February 10, 2018

Lewa Crossing `More Far Than Near'

"Man is not made for defeat.  A man can be destroyed but not defeated."
The Old Man and the Sea

 The implicit theology of Jordan Peterson: “No one has come to save you; you will have to save yourself

Can the Catholic Church become Silicon Valley once again?  “That the Catholic Church should put Silicon Valley—or any other institution or culture—to shame when it comes to world-changing innovation is not some tantalizing yet naïve prospect. It should be the baseline expectation for any educated Catholic.”  And indeed that once was the case.

Lewa, like exclusive on  Levoca via the familia connection, are linked tonight  @  MEdia Dragon via in law blood ... Wildlife virtual reality moments come to readers courtesy of Ruby & UNESCO

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy first to be featured on Virtual Reality

Now you'll get to experience the wilderness like never before. Kenya's Lewa
Wildlife Conservancy, a UNESCO World Heritage ...

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Kenya

*Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Speaking of Lewa, few days ago in 1927 while honeymooning in France with his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, Hemingway contracted Anthrax.  A few months later in Paris, he pulled a skylight down on his head thinking he was pulling on a toilet chain.  This left him with a permanent scar on his forehead.  In the early 1930's, Hemingway took writer John Dos Passos elk hunting in Montana.  After dropping off Dos Passos at the train station, Hemingway crashed his car and broke his arm.  The surgeon bound the bone with kangaroo tendon.  Hemingway was hospitalized for two months and it took more than a year for the nerves in his writing hand to heal. (Unmasking Bioterror - Newsweek)

PEAK SALON: Why is the Bible, like Cold River,  so badly written?
Update: Apparently peak Salon is too Salon even for Salon, so Salon pulled the article. But Paula Bolyard has the details and the reaction.

Redfish, a Berlin “grassroots” media group, is a Kremlin-backed disinformation outlet infiltrating Europe’s left.

WELL, MY ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IS LOW FOR STEPHEN GREEN, DOES THAT COUNT? Study reveals low alcohol consumption has brain-cleansing function

Joe Imrich was an young and penniless and unemployable tall man who came to the city in 1980 and ducked and dodged and held on as hard as he could for fifty-five years.”
~ from Second Chances in Sydney Memoirs

Sans titre (Paysage de dunes), entre 1927 et 1933 Raoul Hausmann
 The culture that is Traiskirchen Vienna, Austria (NYT)

EFF's founder, visionary, and our ongoing inspiration, John Perry Barlow, passed away...
RIP John Perry Barlow, 1947-2018

WHAT HAPPENS... AFTER YOU DIE... AND OTHER QUESTIONS: Why… do old people… text… like this…? An investigation

Are you there, God? It’s me, The Good Place ‘The Good Place’ is a rare show — a cultural phenomenon that gets us talking about the afterlife. 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was the first major history of Nazi Germany and remains the most-read book on the subject. Time for a corrective  

William Collins is to publish Girl With Dove: A Child’s Escape Through Reading, a memoir from Oxford lecturer Sally Bayley.

Cole’s Roles at Metropolitan Museum: Hudson River School Progenitor, Environmentalist Precursor
The Metropolitan Museum’s just opened Thomas Cole‘s Journey: Atlantic Crossings (to May 13) is easy on the eyes and a balm to the spirit. But it also sounds a warning that gained new resonance with ... read more

One might suppose that Yezhov had Babel arrested for sleeping with his wife, but in fact he was arrested after Yezhov fell, apparently because it was routine to incarcerate anyone associated with an enemy of the people. Under interrogation, which almost always involved torture, Babel implicated other cultural figures—not as spies, but for the views they actually held, which no one but a totalitarian would find objectionable. Sergei Eisenstein, according to Babel, had remarked that under current conditions gifted individuals could not fully realize their talents, while the writer Ilya Ehrenburg complained that “the continuing wave of arrests forced all Soviet citizens to break off any relations with foreigners.” As was not uncommon, Babel’s confession was bloodstained.

`More Far Than Near'

The narrator stands on the bank of the River Goltva, waiting for the ferry. The coming of spring has swollen the river and flooded the surrounding fields and farms. The next day is Easter and the narrator of Chekhov’s 1886 story “Easter Eve”(trans. Constance Garnett, The Bishop and Other Stories, 1919) wishes to visit the monastery on the other side of the river:  

“The world was lighted by the stars, which were scattered thickly all over the sky. I don't remember ever seeing so many stars. Literally one could not have put a finger in between them. There were some as big as a goose's egg, others tiny as hempseed . . . . They had come out for the festival procession, every one of them, little and big, washed, renewed and joyful, and every one of them was softly twinkling its beams. The sky was reflected in the water; the stars were bathing in its dark depths and trembling with the quivering eddies.”

1.     I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.

2.     That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.

3.     That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.

4.     In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.

5.     That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.

6.     That “this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people,” shall live always.

7.     That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.

8.     That sooner or later . . . somewhere . . . somehow . . . we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

9.     That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever.

10.  I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

The narrator, if not always Chekhov, has a taste for whimsy. After the Easter service he observes: “The stars had gone out and the sky was a morose greyish blue.” In “Easter Eve,” Chekhov, not a religious man, relates an experience less spiritual than human. Call it communion. In the passage above, which begins with what must have been a common sight in pre-electrified Russia – a night sky dense with stars, with more stars than black emptiness – turns into a stellar parade: “washed, renewed and joyful.” It’s almost a cartoon, with promenading stars. That combination of awe and cartoons reminded me of “Far Out,” a poem about stars by Philip Larkin that he declined to publish during his lifetime:
Larkin completed the poem on this date, Feb. 1, in 1959. InComplete Poems, editor Archie Burnett notes what Larkin scrawled on the manuscript: “no, this is awful, really – worse than E[lizabeth] Jennings. Tripe, tripe, tripe, tripe, tripe.” He’s wrong. Unlike many poets – Elizabeth Jennings, for instance -- Larkin was scrupulous and refused to publish poems he judged inferior. The three volumes of poems he chose to see into print are nearly flawless. “Far Out” is worthy of their company.

Seeing them side by side, it occurs to me that Chekhov and Larkin have much in common. Both have been misunderstood. Both see nothing amiss in humorous grimness or grim humor. Both are endearingly funny but neither tells jokes. As Nabokov says in Lectures on Russian Literature (1980): “Things for him were funny and sad at the same time, but you would not see their sadness if you did not see their fun, because both were linked up.” Nabokov continues:

“Chekhov managed to convey an impression of artistic beauty far surpassing that of many writers who thought they knew what rich beautiful prose was. He did it by keeping all his words in the same dim light and of the same exact tint of gray, a tint between the color of an old fence and that of a low cloud. The variety of his moods, the flicker of his charming wit, the deeply artistic economy of characterization, the vivid detail, and the fade-out of human life — all the peculiar Chekhovian features — are enhanced by being suffused and surrounded by a faintly iridescent verbal haziness.”