Dear visitor, if you take the trouble to read: I apologize for all the bad, syrup-thick blog prose here. Man is it bad, so much of it. I wish hereby to take responsibility and express regret for many wrongs committed by keyboard.  — pdb

H ere is a nice little Latin phrase, and rare too, (one can’t be too recherché or brief in one’s Latin, it’s getting so common) …

That’s Poe in full smirk, ‘How to Write a Blackwood Article’ — parody it might have done me good to come across sooner than I did, some years back now.

Quare id faciam I pulled from one of Catullus’ better-known little verses, encountered in low-level Latin courses in college. Embarrassing, yes, that I borrowed it in the first place (albeit without much pretension; just liked the excised snippet for itself) twenty years ago. More embarrassing that I’m kind of using it as a handle still !

Well, I’m kind of attached to it still — what can I say? Not every dumb thing you do when young has to be repudiated utterly.

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Brush

Feb 23, 2015

2 Comments

It’s been kind of tough for me in New York since coming here in December, a rough introduction (owing in part, but only in part, to unrelenting ‘polar vortex’ winter) to living and working in this city of cities. And I don’t love it here to begin with; didn’t come  …

Transition

Dec 19, 2014

3 Comments

Writing this from the New York subway — leaning against one of those ugly painted steel columns on the boarding platform at the moment. In a few minutes I’ll be getting on the G to return from my new employer’s office in Brooklyn to the room I’m renting in Queens,  …

Nose means heart

Dec 1, 2014

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Noting here a two-week-old article in the NYRB about the Jew-caricature in medi­eval Europe and its connection to evolving Christian tradition. In accord with the new devotions, artworks had just begun to portray Christ as humbled and dying. Some Christians struggled with the new imagery, dis­comfited by the sight of  …

Levity

Sep 29, 2014

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Sunday

Sep 21, 2014

2 Comments

Went to Mass today. It’s some years now since my Rome-ward shift, and though I can say that it’s proven a substantial thing, I’m still very much in process of finding my way. I don’t go to church every week. I would like to, but I don’t. Sometimes there are  …

Random

May 21, 2014

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The last two posts here cracked open the door, just a bit, to some discussion of visual stereotyping and race. I didn’t have any definite plan to open that door further, but it’s interesting stuff, to say the least, and a good way to go for a wider historical field  …

Thus Milton thought

Sep 2, 2013

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And now, merely for example’s sake, I will, with your permission, read a few lines of a true book with you, carefully; and see what will come out of them. I will take a book perfectly known to you all. No English words are more familiar to us, yet few  …

Personal

Jun 18, 2012

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This beast, the power opposed to God, has no name, but a number. The seer tells us: “Its number is six hundred and sixty-six”. It is a number, and it makes men numbers. We who lived through the world of the concentration camps know what that means. The terror of  …

Alien

Jan 18, 2012

1 Comment

By the very cogent anthropology of Judeo-Christianity, whether or not one agreed with it, human existence was by no means to be understood as the transaction of a higher organism satisfying this or that need from its environment, by being “creative” or enjoying “meaningful relationships,” but as the journey of  …

Pledge

Dec 29, 2011

5 Comments

Stewardship of words is a high calling, though not one that can be relegated to professionals. We are all called to be responsible hearers, speakers, and doers of the word. Still, telling the truth is something like an extreme sport for the very committed. . . . We learn, gradually, from those who  …

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