Tuesday, November 30, 2021
The ABC of Relativity (1925)
We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think – in fact they do so.
FROM JEWISH FOLK POETRY, OP. 79
2. Caring For Mum And Auntie
4. Before A Long Separation
6. Father Abandoned
7. Poverty Song
9. Good Life
10. A Girl’s Song
Monday, November 29, 2021
Sunday, November 28, 2021
In Praise of Idleness
One of the commonest things to do with savings is to lend them to some Government. In view of the fact that the bulk of the public expenditure of most civilized Governments consists in payment for past wars or preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a Government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
In Praise of Idleness
A prominent citizen in a small city state, such as Athens or Florence, could without difficulty feel himself important. The earth was the center of the Universe, man was the purpose of creation, his own city showed man at his best, and he himself was among the best of his own city. In such circumstances Æschylus or Dante could take his own joys or sorrows seriously. He could feel that the emotions of the individual matter, and that tragic occurrences deserve to be celebrated in immortal verse.
Thursday, November 25, 2021
In Praise of Idleness
A habit of finding pleasure in thought rather than action is a safeguard against unwisdom and excessive love of power, a means of preserving serenity in misfortune and peace of mind among worries. A life confined to what is personal is likely, sooner or later, to become unbearably painful; it is only by windows into a larger and less fretful cosmos that the more tragic parts of life become endurable.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
A Spy in the House of Love
We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.
Monday, November 22, 2021
Sunday, November 21, 2021
Thursday morning in the library:
A little while ago, going down the hotel stairs, I heard Lucie, who, for the hundredth time, was complaining to the landlady, while polishing the steps. The proprietress spoke with difficulty, using short sentences, because she had not put in her false teeth; she was almost naked, in a pink dressing-gown and Turkish slippers. Lucie was dirty, as usual; from time to time she stopped rubbing and straightened up on her knees to look at the proprietress. She spoke without pausing, reasonably:
“I’d like it a hundred times better if he went with other women,” she said, “it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to me, so long as it didn’t do him any harm.”
She was talking about her husband: at forty this swarthy little woman had offered herself and her savings to a handsome young man, a fitter in the Usines Lecointe. She has an unhappy home life. Her husband does not beat her, is not unfaithful to her, but he drinks, he comes home drunk every evening. He’s burning his candle at both ends; in three months I have seen him turn yellow and melt away. Lucie thinks it is drink. I believe he is tubercular.
“You have to take the upper hand,” Lucie said.
It gnaws at her, I’m sure of it, but slowly, patiently: she takes the upper hand, she is able neither to console herself nor abandon herself to her suffering. She thinks about it a little bit, a very little bit, now and again she passes it on. Especially when she is with people, because they console her and also because it comforts her a little to talk about it with poise, with an air of giving advice. When she is alone in the rooms I hear her humming to keep herself from thinking. But she is morose all day, suddenly weary and sullen.
“It’s there,” she says, touching her throat, “it won’t go down.”
She suffers as a miser. She must be miserly with her pleasures, as well. I wonder if sometimes she doesn’t wish she were free of this monotonous sorrow, of these mutterings which start as soon as she stops singing, if she doesn’t wish to suffer once and for all, to drown herself in despair. In any case, it would be impossible for her: she is bound.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
John Adams and Toby Poser
Friday, November 19, 2021
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
With Lenin it was always a substantial commitment. I always have a certain admiration for people who are aware that somebody has to do the job. What I hate about these liberal, pseudo-left, beautiful-soul academics is that they are doing what they are doing fully aware that somebody else will do the job for them.
HWV 006 (1710)
Joyce DiDonato, Luca Pisaroni, Franco Fagioli, Elsa Benoit, Jakub Józef Orliński
Il Pomo d'Oro