Midweek Staff Meeting: Vinteuil

According this fellow, the Saint-Saens sonata above if the little piece by ‘Vinteuil’ that so inspired Swann and Odette. I’d read it was something by Franck, but this a nice piece… so whatever.

Make yourself feel bad with personality tests.

Fredric Jameson has really gotten into the philosophy of SF lately.

I feel like album covers, maybe, used to be cooler.

Weekend Reading: Community

IMG_4342It’s an old argument and can frankly get boring, but it also has some merit. The sense of community created by people sitting on their stoops and front porches and interacting with their neighbors. While that’s hurt by the increase in apartment buildings and condos, our city frankly needs more and denser housing (it also needs a lot more affordable housing, but that’s another matter – but, in any case, more single family homes are almost certainly not the answer to the problem) But lest you think I’m some sort of grinch, I think this ‘mobile stoop’ is a great idea.

At the end of a terrifyingly claustrophic passage… a treasure trove of fossils and a new hominid. But I’m getting the willies just thinking about getting stuck in the narrow chute.

The destruction of a ruin is like the desecration of a body. It is a vengeance wreaked on the past in order to embitter the future. And how often it is that those who destroy ruins are the same ones who desecrate bodies.

Humans Rescue Great White Shark (Kind Of Moving Actually, I Love Sharks; And Did You Know That Many Marine Biologists Believe The Great White Shark To Be In Danger Of Extinction And That It’s Our Fault? Yeah)

Midweek Staff Meeting – The Man Who Taught Proust To Speak English

A detail from Joshua Reynolds’s ­portrait of James Boswell

Not literally, but if you’ve read and English translation of Remembrance of Things Past, as I have, you probably read his translation (as I have).

The Enlightenment’s most prominent unenlightened.

A review of Charles Simic’s latest books (it’s a generally positive review, but I have become less and less enamored of the poet over time; honestly, most of his poetry from this millenium feels lazy and recycled, whereas his best work is arresting, comic, and faintly melancholy).

And some poetry by Monica Ong. I love that Hyperallergic publishes the occasional poem. Appropriately, for a website focusing on the art world, these poems might be best described as vispo.

Another study of a hypothetical link between madness and creativity (in this cause, examining whether a correlation between increased likelihood of schizophrenia and participation in artistic a/vocations is the result of a shared, causative, genetic root).

Yes. Yes, it can.

On disliking poetry. And, maybe, on learning to love it.

Weekend Reading – I Can’t Believe An Oil Company Would Want To Hide Information From Us!


I’m shocked that Shell Oil didn’t want a science museum talking about… climate science. What next? People putting naked pictures on the internet? Toddler spilling food? Someone making a poor decision while drunk? It’s a world gone mad!

Bookstores. Not dead yet. Actually, they’re growing.

While Seattle and Portland buy the most total books on Amazon, DC buys the most print books.

Is nature writing America’s greatest contribution to world literature?

Weekend Reading – Reviews

When the poems are better than the book (this is a review of a book by Terrance Hayes, but I once read about Sharon Olds something to the effect of: there is no poet whose poems I like so much and whose books of poetry I dislike so much; but that was more about too much Olds being way too much of a good thing, especially when themes and ideas overrepeat)

The faultlines of reference.

Apparently, there is a brontosaurus. Or there might be.

I am confused now. Let’s talk about poetry instead. Here’s an interview with Marilyn Chin.

What Is Best In Life?


Weekend Reading – The Lit Smugglers

2013-Evacuation-manuscripts-Timbuktu-copyright-Prince-Claus-Fund-3The rescued literature of Timbuktu.

Digitizing the east.

The physics of Jackson Pollock.


Live Forever! Through Your DNA Clone! Just $1200!

DNA Live.

For some reason, it was popping up as a sponsored post in my twitter feed and I am so glad that I clicked on it because it is hilarious.

You send this company $1200 and a some samples of your DNA, which are vacuum sealed and put into a fireproof safe, to be kept intact until the technology is there to grow your clone. $200 of your fee will be put into… I don’t know, a savings account, I guess… and used to pay for your new clone and provide a handy nest egg. This is the same theory behind paying for your dinner at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. You put a penny into a bank account and when you’ve time traveled to the temporal end of the universe, interest has made that penny sufficient to pay for your insanely expensive meal.

And just in case you were worried, you can read wonderfully detailed and theologically sound argument for why this is totally cool with whatever your religion happens to be (as long as its monotheistic) and reassures you that God, the big guy himself, is personally totally cool with this and it’s actually totally part of his plan for you, so maybe not doing this is a terrible sin or something.

Check it out. The website looks like it was created on a CompuServ account in 1998.