Saturday, January 27, 2018

Die With Chekhov's MEdia Dragon: RESIST MUCH / OBEY LITTLE

“There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.”
~ Beirne Lay Jr. and Frank D. Gilroy, screenplay for The Gallant Hours

Cold River toxicity: How a Library Handles a Poisonous Book: The arsenic-laden pages of “Shadows from the Walls of Death” should not be touched without gloves.

As sure as the rotation of the Earth itself, Dante is still in vogue in 2018 ...

This was the village where the deacon ate all the caviare at the funeral.
    Chekhov, ‘In the Ravine’

Is Dante for Our Time?
Forget your hopes.’ (As quoted in a modern translation by Clive James)Traditionally:Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Take your choice. One or both may help. ... read more

AJBlog: Straight|UpPublished 2018-01-23

"40 Publishing Buzzwords, Clichés, and Euphemisms Decoded” and “More Publishing Buzzwords Decoded With Wit on Twitter.” A tongue-in-cheek list of book-review clichés submitted by editors, authors, and others and its sequel.

For months after Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, President Trump openly flirted with firing him, delivering threats via public warnings about “red lines” Mueller shouldn’t cross.
It turns out that Trump wasn’t just rattling his saber publicly: According to a New York Times report late Thursday, the president attempted to fire Mueller in June 2017, roughly a month after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed him. But Trump was blocked by White House Counsel Don McGahn, who reportedly threatened to quit rather than make good on the order. The Washington Post confirmed the story.

George Soros unleashes on Trump administration in Davos speech

Sudden Savant Syndrome’ – Why Some People Develop Extraordinary Abilities After Brain Damage

There's Eadweard Muybridge, who was a bookseller until a traumatic brain injury in a stagecoach accident led him to become the pathbreaking photographer he was. There's the orthopedic surgeon who suddenly became a talented pianist after being struck by lightning, and the slacking college dropout who became a math and geometry genius after a bar fight. How could this happen? Neurologists have two ideas. … Read More

“Gusev” is claustrophobically sad, and yet exhilarating.  Chekhov gives us a clinically described death at sea:  “He slept for two days, and at midday on the third two sailors came down and carried him out.” Never has omniscient narration been so powerful and, in the final sentences, almost surreal. It’s as though Chekhov sees everything. The body is dumped overboard. Chekhov’s vision is audacious and unblinking:

“After that another dark body appeared. It was a shark. It swam under Gusev with dignity and no show of interest, as though it did not notice him, and sank down upon its back, then it turned belly upwards, basking in the warm, transparent water and languidly opened its jaws with two rows of teeth. The harbour pilots are delighted, they stop to see what will come next. After playing a little with the body the shark nonchalantly puts its jaws under it, cautiously touches it with its teeth, and the sailcloth is rent its full length from head to foot; one of the weights falls out and frightens the harbour pilots, and striking the shark on the ribs goes rapidly to the bottom.”

“Overhead at this time the clouds are massed together on the side where the sun is setting; one cloud like a triumphal arch, another like a lion, a third like a pair of scissors . . . . From behind the clouds a broad, green shaft of light pierces through and stretches to the middle of the sky; a little later another, violet-coloured, lies beside it; next that, one of gold, then one rose-coloured . . . The sky turns a soft lilac. Looking at this gorgeous, enchanted sky, at first the ocean scowls, but soon it, too, takes tender, joyous, passionate colours for which it is hard to find a name in human speech.”

It’s as though suddenly God takes over the story. Here is an entry from Chukovsky’s Diary, dated July 15, 1954:

"Today is the fiftieth anniversary of Chekhov’s death. Exactly fifty years ago, while I was living in London, I read the announcement of it in the Daily News and spent the whole night walking round and round the Bedford Square fence weeping—sobbing—like a madman. It was the greatest loss of my life . . . Fifty years have passed, yet my love for him—for his face, for his work—remains constant.”

`It Was the Greatest Loss of My Life'

What was a sensitive Jewish intellectual doing with a brutal Cossack regiment? Isaac Babel would take any risk to experience unexpected situations and strange cold river people... Cossack Steps

The product Jesinta Franklin swears by for a good night's sleep

And former Miss Australia Jesinta Franklin says thanks to this miracle product, she has it in spades. With a high-flying life of late nights and endless travel, when her head finally hits the pillow at night the Aussie beauty says Magnesium Oil is her secret to a good night's sleep. And the good news for us mere mortals? It costs ...
"What a great thing is a police station! The place where I have my rendezvous with the State."

SCIENCE: Face of Teenager from 9000 Years Ago Reconstructed. “Having reconstructed a lot of Stone Age women and men, I think some facial features seem to have disappeared or ‘smoothed out’ with time. In general, we look less masculine, both men and women, today.”

The truth is: at times I believe
in the existence of the other world, I believe in ghosts,

Here’s to not buggering it up

Want to Build a 3D Printer? Look No Further Than Your Electronic Junkyard Yale Global Online. Reduce, reuse, recycle

Winston Churchill: When will the lesson be learned! You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth!

Winston Churchill: We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering. We will know many old and famous states have fallen into the grip of the Nazi rule. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be! We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender! For without victory there can be no survival!

There's a gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Many gaps, in fact, but imagine just one of them.
That gap--is it fuel? Are you using it like a vacuum, to pull you along, to inspire you to find new methods, to dance with the fear?

Or is it more like a moat, a forbidding space between you and the future?

NEW YORK MAG:  Blogs to Riches - The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom.  by Clive Thompson
 Mary O’Connell on the largesse of her old teacher, Denis Johnson • A love letter to Borges: Read Susan Sontag’s homage to a master  Who gets to write about gentrification? Naima Coster writes from the center, not the margins • John Jeremiah Sullivan on craft: There's no such thing as wasted writing • The conversation I’ve been dreading: Ijeoma Oluo talks with her mom about race • 10 iconic Brooklyn books that every New Yorker should read • Finding yourself through food: On Alice B. Toklas and her radical cookbook  After the memoir: Molly Caro May is a different person now from the one on the page • Rebecca Solnit on life in the dark timeline and the 20 million missing people that could save America • The literature of bad sex: Hermione Hoby considers the contemporary canon • It was the worst of times: John Freeman on the reality TV president and our year in irreality · Aminatta Forna wonders what happens if you have an inauguration and nobody comes • Alison Hart on how to write a #MeToo story • “There are all sorts of caves, including ice caves, sea caves, volcanic caves, and glacier caves.” From Keats “Cave of Quietude” to the Tuckaleechee Caverns of Townsend, Tennessee, Susan Harlan goes deep • On Philip K. Dick and Black Mirror: Does speculative fiction really work on TV?