Italian Ways: Signorelli and the Sacristy of San Giovanni in Loreto.
You can clearly see where Michaelangelo riffed off of Signorelli.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: What Classics Professors Can Teach the Rest of Us.
Yet little seems to rub off. Today’s writers seemed mired in descriptive trivia that the writers of classics simply didn’t need in order to paint a lively tableau. Perhaps it is my age - I don’t need to have my imagination prompted. I suspect today’s Disney-raised need textual cartoons to paint their cerebellums.
I would not change my era or childhood for *anything*.
Case in point: “Adrenalized coots”, “hotheaded moorhens”, “sly-bones heron”, “susurrant reeds”? Fellow writers, can you not see the thesaurus being hauled out for those? You can feel the streeeeeetch. Words over feelings, emotions. Words that break the song of location.
From my journal this weekend by the South Fork of the Rio:
There is a peace - a zen space - in watching the dance of sedge-flies in the morning, arcing and lilting over the water. A glancing touch on the surface, a sudden swirl ... swift death by trout. Chipmunks dart through the boulders and dead wood searching for forgotten morsels. Red-shafted flickers spark their crimson underwings seeking an easy insect breakfast buffet in the beetle-ridden deadwood. You can hear the river at work. Dull bass booms as the rocks shift. Curious, that flora and fauna manage to manifest such joy and happiness in the face of daily mortal danger, yet we humans seem to always be bored, testy and unsatisfied. An eddy in the river ... suds. Sticks to the rocks like plaque to teeth. Who would be so inconsiderate? Mother Nature has much to teach us, if we still have the capacity to listen. If we don’t murder her first.
I like those, but do not consider them finished thoughts; even that feels ‘not spare enough’.
Guardian.UK: Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon: ‘It puts a spell on people’.
When Lyndon was released, it seemed to never leave the theatres it occupied. I swear it felt like for half my youth, I’d walk up to the Hobby Shop past Lyndon movie posters at The Garden theatre in Princeton. A few years ago, I deigned to watch it, and was enchanted. It’s a must-see.
ANN: Vatican Library digitises 1,600 year-old manuscript containing works of Virgil.
Virgin Virgil. Nice.
DYT: China Unveils Colossal 1,320-ton Sculpture Of Chinese God Of War “Guan Yu”.
Ya gotta admit, it’s cool.
Electric Lit: Brad Watson on Scoundrels, Medical Mysteries & Building His New Novel.
“Cowardice never gets a novel written.” Great quote. Write that one down.
Atlas Obscura: Found - Exactly How Much of His Ear Van Gogh Sliced Off.
Dude was serious. I understand his agony, though ... I’m reading the wails of the Sanders faithful post-Clinton endorsement ... (wink) ...
Colossal: A Giant Illuminated ‘Castle in the Sky’ Ship Built for the Studio Ghibli Exhib
Had to deal with car servicing, work issues.
Links as I can. And Folk Art Market’s this weekend - traffic’s a snarl. Be safe out there.
Discover/D-brief: 6 Story Arcs Define Western Literature, Data-Mining Study Reveals.
Like peeking at the last chapter.
Atlantic: The Art of Handwriting.
“For many artists, it is easy to see how writing is performative.” I’ve been working on my printing lately (a couple of nice fountain pens encourage that). My handwriting has suffered from years of keyboard-only writing. If in a rush, my script is on pharmacist/physician/attorney level.
Guardian.UK: Joanna Kavenna, ‘A Field Guide to Reality.’
The Toast: Miss Havisham, A History.
Catapult: Misadventures in Micronesia.
Clever. Flavor of Griffin and Sabine.
The Millions: There Is No Handbook for Being a Writer.
“You’ve only failed when you’ve stopped trying.” Sort of like blogging (wink).
Guardian.UK: Elizabethan theatre, Chateau d’Hardelot review.
Pretentious. The best Shakespeare performances I ever enjoyed, were on a simple curved platform in a wooded park. Esp. good for “Tempest” and “Midsummernight’s Dream”. You could imagine spirits flitting about.
NPR: Bill Cunningham, Iconic ‘New York Times’ Photographer, Dies At 87.
Dangit. RIP. The king of streetstyle photography. I suppose we should be grateful he didn’t have to suffer the aftereffects of the stroke. You will find tons of tributes and other photos of the man on various social channels ... Tumblr, etc.
Hazlitt: Our Adored Cadavers.
ANN: Codex Rossanensis, original Biblical manuscript, goes on display in Calabria.
Looks rather amazing.
Popular Archaeology: Found - The “Throne of Agamemnon”.
OK. Protesteth a smidge too much? Schliemannizing?
The New Yorker: “Hamilton” and the Books That Hamilton Held.
“Burr turns out to have been a voracious, monumental reader, the kind of guy libraries are made for.” While Hamilton read romance novels.
Italian Ways: Rome from an airplane.
LA Times: Race, inequality, polarized politics: Why Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio matters in 2016.
What astonishes, is that a simple book could resonate through the ages. When I saw it here, it was in a glass case, turned to Hamlet (‘To be or not to be’), with a single overhead light. I didn’t understand the minimalism at that time, but now it’s clear. You don’t have to create earthquakes to change a civilization. You just have to write what is true.
Guardian.UK: Memorising poetry is an art of the heart.
“There are some people I know who are just able to carry around absurd amounts of poetry in their heads.” I used to, when a kid in Princeton. It was a novelty in my social group. I have to have a certain amount of alcohol now to revive the neurons. I should make time to reestablish the pathways naturally; it’s something I’d like to add to my everyday conversation. On the endless life to-do list ...