One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rock Happy

No kin, so far as I know, to Rock Hudson or Kid Rock. I think a couple kids supplied the mud eyes yesterday (very good day for a swim) and brought Rock to life. Anyway, he congratulated me on "making the rounds" early and beating the heat.

*



Sunrise LA (8.28.15)

I guess this would be my second on-the-way-to-school pic: sunrise in the side mirror of my Element.

Forgot about it till now.

*



Saturday, August 29, 2015

"The English Mail-Coach" by Thomas De Quincey

The English Mail-Coach is an essay by the English author Thomas De Quincey. A "three-part masterpiece" and "one of his most magnificent works,"[1] it first appeared in 1849 in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, in the October (Part I) and December (Parts II and III) issues.
The essay is divided into three sections:
  • Part I, "The Glory of Motion," is devoted to a lavish description of the mail coach system then in use in England, and the sensations of riding on the outside upper seats of the coaches (in the author's often opium-tinged perceptions). With many digressions (on subjects ranging from Chaucer's poetry to a comparison of the River Thames with the Mississippi), De Quincey discusses the "grandeur and power" of the mail-coach ride; prior to the invention of the railroad, the mail coach represented the ultimate in transportation, in speed and force and controlled energy. Perhaps the most memorable and frequently-cited portion of Part I is De Quincey's comparison of one veteran mail-coachman to a crocodile. The crocodile-coachman's pretty granddaughter is memorialized as "Fanny of the Bath Road."
    • The concluding portion of Part I is set apart under the subtitle "Going Down with Victory," and relates the author's sensations as the mail coaches spread news of English victories in the Napoleonic Wars across England — though simultaneously spreading grief, as women learn the fates of men lost in battle.
  • Part II, "The Vision of Sudden Death," deals in great detail with a near-accident that occurred one night while De Quincey, intoxicated with opium, was riding on an outside seat of a mail coach. The driver fell asleep and the massive coach nearly collided with a gig bearing a young couple.
  • Part III, "Dream Fugue, Founded on the Preceding Theme of Sudden Death," is devoted to De Quincey's opium dreams and reveries that elaborated on the elements of Parts I and II, the mail coaches, the near accident, national victory and grief. Beginning with a quotation from Paradise Lost and a clarion "Tumultuosissimamente", the author introduces his theme of sudden death, and relates five dreams or visions of intense and exalted emotion and radiant language.
    • I — At sea, a great English man-of-war encounters a graceful pinnace filled with young women, including one mysterious, recurring, archetypal figure from the narrator's visionary experience.
    • II — In a storm at sea, the man-of-war nearly collides with a frigate, the mysterious woman clinging among its shrouds.
    • III — At dawn, the narrator follows the woman along a beach, only to see her overwhelmed by shifting sands.
    • IV — The narrator finds himself borne with others in a "triumphal car," racing miles through the night as "restless anthems, and Te Deums reverberated from the choirs and orchestras of earth." The "secret word" — "Waterloo and Recovered Christendom!" — passes before them. The car enters an enormous cosmic cathedral; with three blasts from a Dying Trumpeter, the mysterious female reappears with a spectre of death and her "better angel," his face hidden in his wings.
    • V — With "heart-shattering music" from the "golden tubes of the organ," the cathedral is filled with re-awakened "Pomps of life." The living and the dead sing to God, and the woman enters "the gates of the golden dawn...."
  • A "Postscript" concludes the whole and provides a conceptual frame for "This little paper," the unique literary artifact that precedes it.[2]
The English Mail-Coach is one of De Quincey's endeavors at writing what he called "impassioned prose," like his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Suspiria de Profundis. De Quincey had originally intended The English Mail-Coach to be one part of the Suspiria.
Its literary quality and its unique nature have made The English Mail-Coach a central focus of De Quincey scholarship and criticism.


[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_English_Mail-Coach]

From De Quincey

Still enjoying the entanglement of De Quincey's Mail Coach. Waiting for two new books to come in: Coetzee's The Good Story (pre-ordered via Kindle, coming out in late September) and a used copy of Heidegger's Hut by Adam Sharr (I came close to seeing the hut a few years ago, but didn't; this will have to do for now).

*

     The situation here contemplated exposes a dreadful ulcer, lurking far down in the depths of human nature. It is not that men generally are summoned to face such awful trials. But potentially, and in shadowy outline, such a trial is moving subterraneously in perhaps all men's natures -- muttering under ground in one world, to be realized perhaps in some other. Upon the secret mirror of our dreams such a trial is darkly projected at intervals, perhaps, to every one of us. That dream, so familiar to childhood, of meeting a lion, and, from languishing prostration in hope and vital energy, that constant sequel of lying down before him, publishes the secret frailty of human nature -- reveals its deep-seated Pariah falsehood to itself -- records its abysmal treachery. Perhaps not one of us escapes that dream; perhaps, as by some sorrowful doom of man, that dream repeats for every one of us, through every generation, the original temptation in Eden. Every one of us, in this dream, has a bait offered to the infirm places of his own individual will; once again a snare is made ready for leading him into captivity to a luxury of ruin; again, as in aboriginal Paradise, the man falls from innocence; once again, by infinite iteration, the ancient Earth groans to God, through her secret caves, over the weakness of her child; "Nature, from her seat, sighing through all her works," again "gives signs of woe that all is lost;" and again the counter sigh is repeated to the sorrowing heavens of the endless rebellion against God. Many people think that one man, the patriarch of our race, could not in his single person execute this rebellion for all his race. Perhaps they are wrong. But, even if not, perhaps in the world of dreams every one of us ratifies for himself the original act. Our English rite of "Confirmation," by which, in years of awakened reason, we take upon us the engagements contracted for us in our slumbering infancy, -- how sublime a rite is that! The little postern gate, through which the baby in its cradle had been silently placed for a time within the glory of God's countenance, suddenly rises to the clouds as a triumphal arch, through which, with banners displayed and martial pomps, we make our second entry as crusading soldiers militant for God, by personal choice and by sacramental oath. Each man says in effect -- "Lo! I rebaptize myself; and that which once was sworn on my behalf, now I swear for myself." Even so in dreams, perhaps, under some secret conflict of the midnight sleeper, lighted up to the consciousness at the time, but darkened to the memory as soon as all is finished, each several child of our mysterious race completes for himself the aboriginal fall. 

The New Blue


The inversion therapy (I think) will help you make the connection: orange and blue.

*



The Orange Men

Maybe a mix of a Blue Man and an Easter Island head (a more distant perspective might help)? Anyway, only semi-interesting pic I've taken thus far on the way to school (2015 - 2016 has begun).

*



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Heart @ The Hollywood Bowl

I'm a Bowl fan more than a Heart fan, but still it was a good gig and it's nice to see two old girls (sisters to boot) still kickin' it.

*

 
 
 

 
 
 





 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 



Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Mail Coach


 
 


Mr. Palmer and the English Mail Coach

Mail Coach

In Great Britain, the mail coach or post coach was a horse-drawn carriage that carried mail deliveries, from 1784. In Ireland, the first mail coach began service from Dublin in 1789. The coach was drawn by four horses and had seating for four passengers inside. Further passengers were later allowed to sit outside with the driver. The mail was held in a box to the rear, where a Royal Mail post office guard stood.

The mail coach was faster than the stage coach as it only stopped for delivery of mail and generally not for the comfort of the passengers. They were slowly phased out during the 1840s and 1850s, their role being replaced by trains as the railway network expanded.


History in Britain

The postal delivery service in Britain had existed in the same form for about 150 years - from its introduction in 1635, mounted carriers had ridden between "posts" where the postmaster would remove the letters for the local area before handing the remaining letters and any additions to the next rider. The riders were frequent targets for robbers, and the system was inefficient.[1]

John Palmer, a theatre owner from Bath, believed that the coach service he had previously run for transporting actors and materials between theatres could be utilised for a countrywide mail delivery service, so in 1782, he suggested to the Post Office in London that they take up the idea. He met resistance from officials who believed that the existing system could not be improved, but eventually the Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Pitt, allowed him to carry out an experimental run between Bristol and London. Under the old system the journey had taken up to 38 hours. The coach, funded by Palmer, left Bristol at 4pm on 2 August 1784 and arrived in London just 16 hours later.[1]

Impressed by the trial run, Pitt authorised the creation of new routes. By the end of 1785 there were services from London to Norwich, Liverpool, Leeds, Dover, Portsmouth, Poole, Exeter, Gloucester, Worcester, Holyhead and Carlisle. A service to Edinburgh was added the next year and Palmer was rewarded by being made Surveyor and Comptroller General of the Post Office.[1]

Initially the coach, horses and driver were all supplied by contractors. There was strong competition for the contracts as they provided a fixed regular income on top of which the companies could charge fares for the passengers. By the beginning of the 19th century the Post Office had their own fleet of coaches with black and scarlet livery.[2] The early coaches were poorly built, but in 1787 the Post Office adopted John Besant's improved and patented design, after which Besant, with his partner John Vidler, enjoyed a monopoly on the supply of coaches, and a virtual monopoly on their upkeep and servicing.[1]

The mail coaches continued unchallenged until the 1830s but the development of railways spelt the end for the service. The first rail delivery between Liverpool and Manchester took place on 11 November 1830. By the early 1840s other rail lines had been constructed and many London-based mail coaches were starting to be withdrawn from service; the final service from London (to Norwich) was shut down in 1846. Regional mail coaches continued into the 1850s, but these too were eventually replaced by rail services.


[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_coach]

Reading De Quincey

Finished the somewhat rambling but usually interesting (not unlike Borges, De Quincey is seemingly encyclopedic) essay on Joan of Arc (see below), started "The English Mail-Coach; Or The Glory of Motion" (I've read this before -- many moons have passed -- but I'm sure I'll find it exciting and new).

*

From the end of De Quincey's essay on Joan of Arc:

Bishop of Beauvais! thy victim died in fire upon a scaffold -- thou upon a down bed. But for the departing minutes of life, both are oftentimes alike. At the farewell crisis, when the gates of death are opening, and flesh is resting from its struggles, oftentimes the tortured and the torturer have the same truce from carnal torment; both sink together into sleep; together both, sometimes, kindle into dreams. When the mortal mists were gathering fast upon you two, Bishop and Shepherd girl -- when the pavilions of life were closing up their shadowy curtains about you -- let us try, through the gigantic glooms, to decipher the flying features of your separate visions.

Walking (8.22.15)


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 



Monday, August 17, 2015

Réunion

Even if it was just a random hit, Réunion deserves some attention.

*

Réunion[discuss spelling] (French: La Réunion, IPA: [la ʁeynjɔ̃]; previously Île Bourbon) is a French island located in the Indian Ocean. It is situated east of Madagascar and about 175 kilometres (109 mi) southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island. As of 2014, its population numbered 844,994 inhabitants.[1]

Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France. Like the other four overseas departments, it is also one of the 27 regions of France, with the modified status of overseas regions, and an integral part of the Republic with the same status as those situated on the European mainland. Réunion is an outermost region of the European Union and, as an overseas department of France, a part of the Eurozone.


[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9union]

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Thomas De Quincey: Miscellaneous Essays

Having read some of his "biggies" years ago, I decided to start here (besides, it was free on Kindle). If I get on a De Quincey "roll," perhaps I'll read more. Enjoyed the first essay re MacBeth (see quote below); eventually got a bit tired of Murder-as-Art in the next two; have started one on Joan of Arc.

*

From the end of "On the Knocking at the Gate, in MacBeth":

     O, mighty poet! Thy works are not as those of other men, simply and merely great works of art; but are also like the phenomena of nature, like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers, -- like frost and snow, rain and dew, hail-storm and thunder, which are to be studied with entire submission of our own faculties, and in the perfect faith that in them there can be no too much or too little, nothing useless or inert -- but that, the further we press in our discoveries, the more we shall see proofs of design and self-supporting arrangement where the careless eye had seen nothing but accident!



Virginia Woolf on De Quincey

She is at least part of why I am dipping into De Quincey again. In which of her works did she say, Read Quincey. That I no longer remember.

*

Woolf on De Quincey:

Clearly, therefore, De Quincey as an autobiographer labours under great defects. He is diffuse and redundant; he is aloof and dreamy and in bondage to the old pruderies and conventions. At the same time he was capable of being transfixed by the mysterious solemnity of certain emotions; of realising how one moment may transcend in value fifty years. He was able to devote to their analysis a skill which the professed analysts of the human heart–the Scotts, the Jane Austens, the Byrons — did not then possess. We find him writing passages which, in their self-consciousness, are scarcely to be matched in the fiction of the nineteenth century:
And, recollecting it, I am struck with the truth, that far more of our deepest thoughts and feelings pass to us through perplexed combinations of concrete objects, pass to us as involutes (if I may coin that word) in compound experiences incapable of being disentangled, than ever reach us directly and in their own abstract shapes. . . . Man is doubtless one by some subtle nexus, some system of links, that we cannot perceive, extending from the new-born infant to the superannuated dotard: but, as regards many affections and passions incident to his nature at different stages, he is not one, but an intermitting creature, ending and beginning anew; the unity of man, in this respect, is co-extensive only with the particular stage to which the passion belongs. Some passions, as that of sexual love, are celestial by one-half of their origin, animal and earthly by the other half. These will not survive their own appropriate stage. But love which is altogether holy, like that between two children, is privileged to revisit by glimpses the silence and the darkness of declining years. . . .

[From:  http://www.berfrois.com/2014/05/woolf-on-de-quincey/]

Thomas De Quincey (1785 - 1859)

Thomas Penson De Quincey (/ˈtɒməs də ˈkwɪnsi/;[1] 15 August 1785 – 8 December 1859) was an English essayist, best known for his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821).[2][3] Many scholars suggest that in publishing this work De Quincey inaugurated the tradition of addiction literature in the West.

Medical Issues:

A number of medical practitioners have speculated on the physical ailments that inspired and underlay De Quincey's resort to opium, and searched the corpus of his autobiographical works for evidence. One possibility is "a mild … case of infantile paralysis" that he may have contracted from Wordsworth's children.[28] De Quincey certainly had intestinal problems, and problems with his vision – which could have been related: "uncorrected myopic astigmatism … manifests itself as digestive problems in men."[29] De Quincey also suffered neuralgic facial pain, "trigeminal neuralgia"  – "attacks of piercing pain in the face, of such severity that they sometimes drive the victim to suicide."[30]

As with many addicts, De Quincey's opium addiction may have had a "self-medication" aspect for real physical illnesses, as well as a psychological aspect.[31]

By his own testimony, De Quincey first used opium in 1804 to relieve his neuralgia; he used it for pleasure, but no more than weekly, through 1812. It was in 1813 that he first commenced daily usage, in response to illness and his grief over the death of Wordsworth's young daughter Catherine. During 1813–1819 his daily dose was very high, and resulted in the sufferings recounted in the final sections of his Confessions. For the rest of his life his opium use fluctuated between extremes; he took "enormous doses" in 1843, but late in 1848 he went for 61 days with none at all. There are many theories surrounding the effects of opium on literary creation, and notably, his periods of low usage were literarily unproductive.[32]

He died in Edinburgh and is buried in St Cuthbert's Churchyard at the west end of Princes Street. His stone, in the southwest section of the churchyard on a west facing wall, is plain and says nothing of his work.

Influence:

His immediate influence extended to Edgar Allan Poe, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Charles Baudelaire and Nikolai Gogol, but even major 20th-century writers such as Jorge Luis Borges admired and claimed to be partly influenced by his work. Berlioz also loosely based his Symphonie fantastique on Confessions of an English Opium Eater, drawing on the theme of the internal struggle with one's self.



[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_De_Quincey]


Fuseli's "The Nightmare"


 
 


Henry Fuseli (1741 - 1825)

Henry Fuseli (German: Johann Heinrich Füssli) (7 February 1741 – 17 April 1825) was a Swiss painter, draughtsman and writer on art who spent much of his life in Britain. Many of his works, such as The Nightmare deal with supernatural subject-matter. He painted works for John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, and created his own "Milton Gallery". He held the posts of Professor of Painting and Keeper at the Royal Academy. His style had a considerable influence on many younger British artists, including William Blake.


What Fuseli supposedly said re Wollstonecraft:

In 1788 Fuseli married Sophia Rawlins (originally one of his models), and he soon after became an associate of the Royal Academy.[1] The early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, whose portrait he had painted, planned a trip with him to Paris, and pursued him determinedly, but after Sophia's intervention the Fuselis' door was closed to her forever. Fuseli later said "I hate clever women. They are only troublesome".


[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Fuseli]


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Seal Beach: Main Street and Pier

Bolsa Chica turned into more of a chat than a walk (Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley -- and a little bit of Pretty Boy Percy), so I stopped in Seal Beach on the way home. Two short walks = not so bad. Hadn't been on Main Street in some time (Is the Bay Theater closed? When does Paradis open?), and I wanted to walk to the end of the pier and back before the heat flared. I walked until I came to the fence that said No More. I knew Ruby's was boarded up, but it's a shame that nothing has replaced her yet (she looked so sad, as if she wanted to fall off the end of the pier). Anyway, a little more walking and a few pics to prove I was there.

*

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 



Friday, August 14, 2015

Joseph Brodsky's "Törnfallet"

Thought of this poem this morning while reading Mary Wollstonecraft. Not sure why, I guess because she's in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) and constantly waxing romantic re the landscape. (I've seen a bit of Denmark and Norway, so I can imagine it.)

Not much for end-rhyming myself (I question Brodsky's insistence), but still a pretty picture of a poem.

***


Törnfallet


There is a meadow in Sweden

where I lie smitten,

eyes stained with clouds'

white ins and outs.


And about that meadow

roams my widow

plaiting a clover

wreath for her lover.


I took her in marriage

in a granite parish.

The snow lent her whiteness,

a pine was a witness.


She'd swim in the oval

lake whose opal

mirror, framed by bracken,

felt happy, broken.


And at night the stubborn

sun of her auburn

hair shone from my pillow

at post and pillar.


Now in the distance

I hear her descant.

She sings "Blue Swallow,"

but I can't follow.


The evening shadow

robs the meadow

of width and color.

It's getting colder.


As I lie dying

here, I'm eyeing

stars. Here's Venus;

no one between us.        

Bolsa Chica: Circus Maximus for Birds

Not all birds of course. Some prefer wading, diving, dipping, etc. These birds are small, gather early on the mudflats (low tide), fly in low clouds across the mud and mirror as though coming from Escher's brush.

*



More Bolsa Chica (8.14.15)


 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 



Tapestry (Carole King Spider)

Bolsa Chica again. An end of summer fetish.

*

 
 
 



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mary Must Be Forgiven Her Uber-Optimism

Mary Wollstonecraft can wax poetic re what she sees and feels. Given that, plus two centuries of "advancement," we can forgive her uber-optimism.

*

Excerpt from her letters:

     The increasing population of the earth must necessarily tend to its improvement, as the means of existence are multiplied by invention.
     You have probably made similar reflections in America, where the face of the country, I suppose, resembles the wilds of Norway. I am delighted with the romantic views I daily contemplate, animated by the purest air; and I am interested by the simplicity of manners which reigns around me. Still nothing so soon wearies out the feelings as unmarked simplicity. I am therefore half convinced that I could not live very comfortably exiled from the countries where mankind are so much further advanced in knowledge, imperfect as it is, and unsatisfactory to the thinking mind. Even now I begin to long to hear what you are doing in England and France. My thoughts fly from this wilderness to the polished circles of the world, till recollecting its vices and follies, I bury myself in the woods, but find it necessary to emerge again, that I may not lose sight of the wisdom and virtue which exalts my nature.

Heron @ Breakfast (8.13.15)

They're out of the palms but still around. This one was breakfasting with such stealth that I almost missed him.

*



Extra-talented Bunny (Bolsa Chica)

He can climb on benches and knows how to find fresh water. Introducing the amazing extra-talented Bunny of Bolsa Chica.

*

 
 
 
 



Saddleback @ Sunrise (8.13.15)

Crazy dream in which I was student and teacher. Something like that. Seemed good when I woke at about 4 to empty the bladder. Couldn't sleep so I headed to Starbucks in Sunset Beach. Walked in Bolsa Chica. Hadn't been for awhile.

*



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Following Borges' polvo el polvo, this post might lead you to form the wrong conclusion: RLS is down today. Not true, I'm feeling quite well thank you. A bit hotter than my ideal, but I've dabbled with a poem and am reading Wollstonecraft from Norway. Apparently, she's entered a little church where some old human remains are on view. She is disgusted by the sight. It leads her into a bit of poetic rambling on death in general.

*

Life, what art thou? Where goes this breath? -- this I, so much alive? In what element will it mix, giving or receiving fresh energy? What will break the enchantment of animation? For worlds I would not see a form I loved -- embalmed in my heart -- thus sacrilegiously handled? Pugh! my stomach turns. Is this all the distinction of the rich in the grave? They had better quietly allow the scythe of equality to mow them down with the common mass, than struggle to become a monument of the instability of human greatness.
     The teeth, nails, and skin were whole, without appearing black like the Egyptian mummies; and some silk, in which they had been wrapped, still preserved its colour -- pink -- with tolerable freshness.
     I could not learn how long the bodies had been in this state, in which they bid fair to remain till the Day of Judgment, if there is to be such a day; and before that time, it will require some trouble to make them fit to appear with angels without disgracing humanity. God bless you! I feel a conviction that we have some perfectible principle in our present vestment, which will not be destroyed just as we begin to be sensible of improvement; and I care not what habit it next puts on, sure that it will be wisely formed to suit a higher state of existence. Thinking of death makes us tenderly cling to our affections; with more than usual tenderness I therefore assure you that I am yours, wishing that the temporary death of absence may not endure longer than is absolutely necessary. 
 

The Suicide (Jorge Luis Borges)

I put randomness aside and turned to Borges' poems. I found a blue textbook receipt (blank on the inked side, filled with silliness on the other) signaling "The Suicide." I remember liking the phrase "dust of dust" (probably not unique in itself), especially the Spanish version: polvo el polvo. I must've walked around with that in my head for weeks.

I've got miles to go today, so I'll only give the English translation (by Alastair Reid).


The Suicide

Not a single star will be left in the night.
The night will not be left.
I will die and, with me,
the weight of the intolerable universe.
I shall erase the pyramids, the medallions,
the continents and faces.
I shall erase the accumulated past.
I shall make dust of history, dust of dust.
Now I am looking on the final sunset.
I am hearing the last bird.
I bequeath nothingness to no one.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 - 1797)

Mary Wollstonecraft (/ˈwʊlstən.krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.

Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships, received more attention than her writing. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay (by whom she had a daughter, Fanny Imlay), Wollstonecraft married the philosopher William Godwin, one of the forefathers of the anarchist movement. Wollstonecraft died at the age of thirty-eight, ten days after giving birth to her second daughter, leaving behind several unfinished manuscripts. This daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, would become an accomplished writer herself, as Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

After Wollstonecraft's death, her widower published a Memoir (1798) of her life, revealing her unorthodox lifestyle, which inadvertently destroyed her reputation for almost a century. However, with the emergence of the feminist movement at the turn of the twentieth century, Wollstonecraft's advocacy of women's equality and critiques of conventional femininity became increasingly important. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and work as important influences.


[From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft]

Letters on Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (Mary Wollstonecraft)

I had heard of Mary Shelley (Frankenstein, The Last Man) but not her mother: Mary Wollstonecraft. The spur of a friend (she's reading the mother/daughter bio) led me to these letters (free via Kindle). A good romantic read (even if interrupting a reread of Dante's Comedy) before heading back to school (already tasting it this week).

Anyway, this is a good bit alluded to in the introduction: a remembrance of a childhood friend, Fanny Blood, who had died young of consumption:

     When a warm heart has received strong impressions, they are not to be effaced. Emotions become sentiments, and the imagination renders even transient sensations permanent by fondly retracing them. I cannot, without a thrill of delight, recollect views I have seen, which are not to be forgotten, nor looks I have felt in every nerve, which I shall never more meet. The grave has closed over a dear friend, the friend of my youth. Still she is present in me, and I hear her soft voice warbling as I stray over the heath.

More Randomness & Borges

I grabbed up the Non-Fictions again and looked for the first Hogarthian squiggle. This one also added an exclamation mark. Maybe if I keep this up, I'll get around to rereading the whole.

This one's from a piece titled "The Creation and P. H. Gosse":

I wonder if he knew the ancient sentence that is quoted at the beginning of Rafael Cansinos Assens' Talmudic anthology: "It was only the first night, but a number of centuries had already preceded it."

Downtown Side of the Pier (8.11.15)

Summer's over. This is how I'll survive the school year. Flipside of yesterday: Everything said take my pic.

*