Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preserved lemons ii

    I don't know anything
    about substituting hon-
    ey for sugar so I don't
    do it. But I do believe
    in the health-giving
    properties (if only men-
    tal) of honey ..

                 I tolerate my own apathy as long
                 as it remains within limits, that
                 is, as long as it is only the tem-
                 porary reaction of one whose spir-
                 it is exhausted by the constant ef-
                 fort of making distinctions and sim-
                 ply needs a rest. It would be more
                 serious, however, if something of
                 the indifference I sometimes feel
                 were to leave its mark.. Indiffer-
                 ence and resignation, I believe,
                 are the most serious forms of hu-
                 man decline into nothingness.. I
                 hope no such decline threatens me.


Jeremiah Tower
Donald Sultan, paintings
Jeremiah Tower Cooks:
  250 Recipes from an
  American Master
op. cit.

Václav Havel
Letters to Olga
  June 1970 - September 1982
February 22, 1981
Paul Wilson
Alfred A. Knopf, 1988©

Friday, November 28, 2014

Back home, see Paris

  Mike Figgis, a moviemaker whose
  works I've admired, is seen re-
  marking in a Criterion supple-
  ment to the first Browning Ver-
  sion (1951), of which he made
  the second (1994), that Ratti-
  gan's story has to do with "a
  man who has somehow fallen out
  of time with himself." This a-
  perçu has the merit of applic-
  ability to whole truckloads of
  post-War theatre and cinema,
  but has also a way of touch-
  ing upon the custom of return-
  ing home for the holidays, and
  how suddenly one's in Paris.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

The university down the road: its hour

     Suffer little children, and forbid
     them not, to come unto me: for of
     such is the kingdom of heaven.

The suffering of casuistry, of denial, of the equation of pleasure with force, which has been the lot of every Virginian since the taking root of a peculiar institution in his midst, has finally come to the attention of the universe of pupils in the watershed, eye-opening years of their ostensible idyll as undergraduates at their commonwealth's supreme institutional ornament. This has exposed the institution's unblinkable inadequacy as that buffer between an-guished assumption and development which marks radiant academies of this world, famous and not, as oases of surpassing trust. We know the innocence of the innocents is necessary, we have observed that it is wise, and that it can be redeemed. They, every civilization has emerged to protect. Inevitably, it falls to this university, at last, to choose them.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The thrum, unforgettable

 I cannot look long
 at any old photo-
 graph of the city
 without hearing some
 music in the background.

 The voice is the immigrant,
 Charles Simic, a poet-laur-
 eate of the United States,
 born in Belgrade and living
 in New Hampshire. He admits
 to loving soccer, and I ad-
 mit, I don't. The harp with-
 in the city is our bridge.

Charles Simic
The Renegade
  Writings on Poetry
  and a few Other Things
  The Life of Images
George Braziller, 2009©

Margaret Bourke-White
San Francisco