Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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♦ What would happen if God leaned down and gave you a full, wet kiss?            — Daniel Ladinsky   Some words, like people, move us before we’re really aware of what’s happening. We return the glance from across the room instantaneously, spontaneously. Sometimes words are like that, a contagious spark. We dance in the […]

Categories: Ed Mooney | 2 Comments

  Herman Melville was mesmerized by a mysterious white whale. A new movie in town, In the Heart of the Sea, recounts the more or less true story of a whale ramming a ship in 1820. The Essex from Nantucket was stove in, in the South Pacific. Moby Dick is a distant relative of that […]

Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 3 Comments

Jason Wirth’s Commiserating with Devastated Things is a wonderful book tracing themes in the novels of Milan Kundera—not to mention the resonances of these themes with Virgil, Cervantes, and Hermann Broch (among others). I’ve learned about St. Francis joyously embracing a leper, about Holy Fools in Russian Orthodoxy and in Dostoevsky (in the person of […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 1 Comment

The massacres in Paris or Beirut, the stabbings and instant “justice-by-cop” in Israel, unabated slaughter in Syria or Yemen, or the crystal clear framing here in Zeteo of centuries of suffering attributable to brutal class warfare — if faced unblinkingly, all this can induce paralysis. Then we learn, within days, that three are murdered in […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney | Add a Comment

  In “Madeline, Imperfection, Love, and Loss” (Zeteo, 11.25.2015), Joy Yeager reminds us of that priceless book for children and adults called, simply, Madeline. It’s the story, as she reminds us, “of a little girl, an orphan, who lives in an old house in Paris, with eleven other girls.” A nun, Miss Clavel, is in […]

Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 4 Comments

Thinking sometimes seems like conversing and borrowing and remembering. A colleague or friend says something that starts one off on a path that is half conversational response and half remembering. One remembers having traveled sometime past the conversational thought-paths that are now emerging. When one writes down one’s thinking it is then borrowing from one’s […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 3 Comments

This post was largely finished before the Paris terror attacks. I criticized costumes that mock and mimic violence, writing, that these outfits “cut too close to the bone.” Those words of mid-week cut even deeper now. ♦ Halloween is over, but Fall Football isn’t. In his magisterial A Secular Age (45-6), Charles Taylor writes that […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

Is atmosphere important? — Can I control breeze? I usually leave political observation to one side, but today was my first voting experience in my newly adopted state, Maine, and it was distinctive and instructive. But before I get to the voting, let me pause on the place, pass on some impressions of the atmosphere. […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 11 Comments

A colleague has written a nice review of The Tragedy of Fatherhood: King Laius and the Politics of Paternity in the West. The book pursues the thesis that the role of fatherhood is a central trope in Western Political Philosophy. The author of The Tragedy of Fatherhood, Silke-Maria Weineck, traces that theme through all the […]

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Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | Add a Comment

What triggers a Zeteo rumination? Sometimes — usually — it’s an item from the media or from a book I’m browsing. Sometimes it’s the flash in memory of a line of poetry or philosophy. Things beg for connection. I try to assist. Sometimes it’s something close to anger, and I work to connect the dots. […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 6 Comments
Kids Traveling To A Boarding School Through The Himalayas, Zanskar, Indian Himalayas; photo by Timonthy Allen

Am I that unusual or touchy to think that “scum” is an unpleasant, if not vulgar, label to have squarely pinned to your back? In “Pond Scum” (The New Yorker, October 19) Kathryn Schultz does just that as she blithely presents a “misanthropic,” “horrible” Thoreau. Apart from the vulgarity of greeting him thus, the piece […]

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 6 Comments

Am I that unusual or touchy to think that “scum” is an unpleasant, if not vulgar, label to have squarely pinned to your back? In “Pond Scum” (The New Yorker, October 19) Kathryn Schultz does just that as she blithely presents a “misanthropic,” “horrible” Thoreau. Apart from the vulgarity of greeting him thus, the piece […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

A point of information... This book was translated as "A Fortnight in the Wilderness" and included as Appendix 2 in "Democracy In America: Historical-Critical Edition", edited by Eduardo Nolla. There this amazing text can be read in full. It is worth comparing the translation by James Schleifer to your own. In particular, the rendering of "désert" to "wilderness" is most intriguing.

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 6 Comments

Am I that unusual or touchy to think that “scum” is an unpleasant, if not vulgar, label to have squarely pinned to your back? In “Pond Scum” (The New Yorker, October 19) Kathryn Schultz does just that as she blithely presents a “misanthropic,” “horrible” Thoreau. Apart from the vulgarity of greeting him thus, the piece […]

ZiR

July 26, 2018

Thanks so much for this translation and excellent analysis.

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Categories: William Eaton, ZiR | 6 Comments
Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

Am I that unusual or touchy to think that “scum” is an unpleasant, if not vulgar, label to have squarely pinned to your back? In “Pond Scum” (The New Yorker, October 19) Kathryn Schultz does just that as she blithely presents a “misanthropic,” “horrible” Thoreau. Apart from the vulgarity of greeting him thus, the piece […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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