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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Experience The Rime of The Ancient Mariner Big Read as one symphonic piece.

Tweet Of The Day

Friday, July 03, 2020

16th Century Bookwheels

In the 16th century, Italian military engineer Agostino Ramelli designed the bookwheel for serious Renaissance scholars. The mechanical device allowed the user to turn from one book to another in relatively quick succession, kind of like today's e-readers. In 2018, a group of undergraduate engineering students at the Rochester Institute of Technology set out to build two.

Joshua Foer's Ramelli Wheel from Cabinet on Vimeo.

Read more: Open Culture

Brilliant Book Dedications

More: Sad and Useless

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Speed of Travel in Jane Austen's England

"I’m going to expand upon an earlier blog post, as I’ve been looking at very fast horses, to look at the speed of travel in late 18th and early 19th century England.
I originally wrote this because I was a little irritated at reading books in which the heroine left London in the morning and had tea in Devon. Presumably she shoehorned a V-8 into her carriage and the horses were just for show."
Read More


Wednesday, July 01, 2020

“The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth,” by Charles Portis

The Editors are spiking most of my copy now, unread. One has described it as “hopeless crap.” My master’s degree means nothing to this pack of half-wits at the Blade. My job is hanging by a thread. But Frankie, an assistant city editor, is not such a bad boss and it was she who, out of the blue, gave me this choice assignment. I was startled. A last chance to make good?

Frankie said, “Get some bright quotes for a change, okay? Or make some up. Not so much of your dreary exposition. Not so many clauses. Get to the point at once. And keep it short for a change, okay? Now, buzz on out to the new Pecking Center on Warehouse Road, near the Loopdale Cutoff. Scoot. Take the brown Gremlin. But check the water in the radiator!”

Read the rest of “The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth” by Charles Portis at Oxford American.Via: Biblioklept

Monday, June 29, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Looking Out the Window Poem

Looking Out the Window Poem

The sounds of traffic
die over the back lawn
to occur again in the low

The voices, risen, of
the neighborhood cannot
maintain that pitch
and fail briefly, start
up again.

Similarly my breathing rises
and falls while I look out
the window of apartment
number three in this slum,
hoping for rage, or sorrow.

They don’t come to me
anymore. How can I lament
anything? It is all
so proper, so much
as it should be, now

the nearing cumulus
clouds, ominous,
shift, they are like the
curtains, billowy,
veering at the apex
of their intrusion on the room.
If I am alive now,
it is only

to be in all this
making all possible.
I am glad to be
finally a part
of such machinery. I was
after all not so fond
of living, and there comes
into me, when I see
how little I liked
being a man, a great joy.

Look out our astounding
clear windows before evening.
It is almost as if
the world were blue
with some lubricant,
it shines so.

Poetry Foundation

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

John Kennedy Toole @50

A reflection on John Kennedy Toole's masterpiece, A Confederacy of Dunces, written 50 years after the author's death.
"What I remembered was in the novel’s opening scene. When Patrolman Mancuso tries to arrest Ignatius—thereby setting off the novel’s madcap chain of events—Ignatius Jacques Reilly is standing alone on Canal Street, waiting for his mother, lost in his private worldview: doing nothing more than minding his own strange and beautiful business."
Read the article: Public Books

Monday, June 22, 2020

Imagining One Last Lunch with My Father, John Cheever

Susan Cheever imagines a final meal with her father:
The promise of barbecued spare ribs routed any misgivings I might have had about seeing my father again, though I hadn’t met with him—outside of dreams—since he went and died on me back in the spring of 1982.
I was surprised and pleased by the eagerness with which he accepted my invitation to lunch at the China Bowl, at its original location, 152-4 West Forty-Fourth Street. This social victory was given considerable heft by the theory that the approval of a parent is all a child needs to make her-or-his entire life a triumph. Though the theory is patently false, it’s wildly defended, and even when said child is fully grown and said parent, a feast for worms.
Besides which it’s fun to socialize with the dead because they know so little about what’s happened since they left.
Read More: Literary Hub

From One Last Lunch, a collection in which dozens of contributors imagine one last lunch with someone they cherished.

Friday, June 19, 2020

'What happened when we all stopped'

An animated poem exploring how the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of living in harmony with nature. Download a free children's book version: https://bit.ly/TEDEdWhisper


Via  Creative Boom

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

"Blood" - Lorna Cervantes

 There was blood evidence, and still
the culprit got away. There was surveillance
footage, a positive ID. There was a smoking
revolver. We know who did it. There was blood
on his shoes. There were fingerprints
on the trigger. There were eyewitnesses.
There were multiple videos. There was power
of the press. Attorneys were involved. It was
a done deal, an open and shut case. It
was justice or bust. The blood was on
the wall, a message was written in the empty
street. There were no sidewalks. There
was no way to abide. It was an abomination,
an outrage. The people were outraged. This is
not the way lives are supposed to be. This is
a free world, a free country, a free one walking,
a free America. Free America. Free all
who walk therein. No man is created
unequal. We are all women on the face
of the earth. We walk in beauty in the shadow
of the police. All hail the barrage of gunfire
upon us. All notice and hail, the hail of blood
this time. 

Excerpted from The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 4: LatinextVia Literary Hub

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

After great pain, a formal feeling comes - Emily Dickinson

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –


Notes of a native son: The world according to James Baldwin

Christina Greer explores the life and works of James Baldwin.