Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Random Assortment

~ On combining books in a relationship:

Reasons get thrown around, and one is common. “I told her,” a friend said, who had just completed this process, “‘That stack of doubles by the entrance, that you will not get rid of, that is your doubt about our long-term future.’” He laughed as he said this.
Doubles, inside this world of library marriages, is the seemingly easy problem of when each member of the couple has one copy of the same book. 
(Even better is the essay, "Marrying Libraries.") (Francisco and I had no trouble at all throwing away our doubles, which is to say, no doubt about our long-term future. I mean, if books are an issue, just think about a baby!)

~ I always wondered if it was acceptable to have three drinks with one meal (for me: orange juice, coffee, and water for breakfast; coffee, liqueur, and water after dinner) and here I see the answer is, at least in Paris, yes.  (Also, I'm obsessed with water, but you knew that.)

~ From Rowan Williams' review of the new biography of Eliot:

Crawford touches very briefly on one of the most illuminating passages for grasping Eliot’s poetic vision when he describes the poet reading the film-maker and critic Jean Epstein’s La Poésie d’aujourd’hui in 1921. The linking of the modern poet’s sensibility with the aesthetic of film is a striking insight, anticipating some of Walter Benjamin’s ideas about film as the characteristic art form of late modernity. And if we think of Eliot’s poetic voice in practically all his early verse, it suddenly makes sense to read them as “filmic” – stills, close-ups, slow motion, fades, cross-cutting of scenes, the alternation of distant with close views, and so on. Epstein wrote of the “rush of details” in film; it is possible to see Eliot’s fragmented poetic world as one of cinematic succession, neither continuous nor simply disjointed, but challenging the reader to follow and make his or her own sense as the time of representation elapses....
it is good to have at last a fuller account of his abortive romance with Emily Hale just before his departure for England. The way in which shyness and misunderstanding derailed this relationship is worthy of Hardy; and we see how Eliot’s awareness of this road not taken was, from the beginning, an uncomfortable factor in his marriage – as it was to become a creative factor in so much later work, not least “Burnt Norton”: another “hurting into poetry”.
(I guess I will have to read it, after all.) (Via Hopkins.)

~ I think I love the idea of Free-Range Parenting (and what a great name). Also, it looks like I'm pretty ideological when it comes to parenting--there isn't a parenting philosophy or book out there that I don't have an opinion about, I guess. (Meanwhile, Francisco is less ideological than ever.)


Sonetka said...

A new biography! I had no idea -- for some reason I'd assumed that people were waiting for the Hale letters to become publicly available. (There are probably scholars already lining up outside the Princeton library, getting ready for a mad dash towards the archives). Learning more about their early relationship will be interesting; I always found the whole story odd and a bit frustrating to contemplate.

Emily Hale said...

Yes! I think that the new biography is due to all the letters being released--lots more information now than ever.