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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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Bust portrait of a young man representing the nativist ideal of the Know Nothing party, from Harp Week collection of American political prints, 1766-1876

“I Know Nothing”: Faith, Fear, and Politics in Antebellum America By Emily Sosolik   Let our opponents torture and distort the truth as they may, no specious reasoning, no political sophistry can alter the fact that those who are constantly laboring to fight down Americanism and Protestantism are enemies of their country, and tories or […]

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The same day when little ghosts and goblins haunt the neighborhoods, the Protestant world commemorates Reformation Day. The rest of the world may not celebrate, but it should take note of an event that started a process that shaped the Western world. On 31 October 1517 in the tiny German university town of Wittenberg, population about […]

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  A trip down memory lane, we could call this post. On an impulse-buy counter in a French bookstore I see a little yellow book with this title in neon pink letters: Esthéthique de l’éjaculation (the aesthetics of ejaculation). Fifty pages, used copy, on sale for less than four euros, hard to resist (though some might […]

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

  A trip down memory lane, we could call this post. On an impulse-buy counter in a French bookstore I see a little yellow book with this title in neon pink letters: Esthéthique de l’éjaculation (the aesthetics of ejaculation). Fifty pages, used copy, on sale for less than four euros, hard to resist (though some might […]

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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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

  A trip down memory lane, we could call this post. On an impulse-buy counter in a French bookstore I see a little yellow book with this title in neon pink letters: Esthéthique de l’éjaculation (the aesthetics of ejaculation). Fifty pages, used copy, on sale for less than four euros, hard to resist (though some might […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

A very nice piece, William. I am reminded of a Sung Dynasty poem that D.T. Suzuki quotes in one of his books. I'm not sure of its relevance here, but it seems to resonate somehow. Misty rain on Mount Lu, And waves surging at Che Kiang. When you have not been there, Many a regret you have; But once there and homeward you wend, How matter-of-fact things look! Misty rain on Mount Lu And waves surging at Che Kiang.

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Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

  A trip down memory lane, we could call this post. On an impulse-buy counter in a French bookstore I see a little yellow book with this title in neon pink letters: Esthéthique de l’éjaculation (the aesthetics of ejaculation). Fifty pages, used copy, on sale for less than four euros, hard to resist (though some might […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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