As a child, I had a reasonable amount of exposure to, if not very good instruction in, Christianity and its texts. One story I didn’t understand until very recently (as in, a couple months ago when the consumption partner finally explained it to me) was that of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Chances [...]
Several passages in Sartor Resartus focus on the attainment of happiness or contentment, and I have not yet assembled the whole Meta-Philosophy of Clothes into a coherent whole to explain exactly what Teufelsdröckh and Carlyle might think about it. A start.
Teufelsdröckh attributes the unhappiness of humans to their “Greatness,” that is, “there [...]
So what of the Philosophy of Clothes? It’s quite possible I may not really get to that at all until a re-reading rolls around, but one piece of pre-clothing philosophy stuck out as particularly Melvillean:
The first purpose of Clothes, as our Professor imagines, was not warmth or decency, but ornament. …”[T]he pains [...]
I will continue out of pattern, and write this week about Sartor Resartus even though I only just read it and have lots of things waiting in the queue. But (a) reading this was the most fun I’ve had in a long time, and (b) a big part of that was the joy [...]
Rudyard Kipling’s short story “Baa Baa, Black Sheep” was published in 1888, and its origins are, sadly, autobiographical. It tells of young siblings Punch and Judy, who live a happy, near-carefree life in India with their young, loving parents—until it’s time to go Home.
First the idea of going Home must be introduced. [...]
This will certainly be my most spoilerific Butcher’s Crossing post, so, fair warning.
I mentioned earlier in the week that Will Andrews had gone out to Butcher’s Crossing because a family friend was based there, working in the hide trade. This man, McDonald, is a trader and outfitter of buffalo-hunting trips. Most of [...]
The Alienist, another of the recent Art of the Novella publications, is, shamefully, the first thing I have managed to read in full by Machado de Assis. (Dom Casmurro, I hear you calling my name, and loudly, don’t worry!) The title may be a bit puzzling—it’s a little-used synonym for psychiatriast, and probably [...]
I don’t like to say that “the work project is under way,” or that it’s gotten under way, since my last week’s post on it, because really the work project was always under way—or at least, it has been for several years. It’s just one of those things that I notice when I [...]
Earlier this week when I began writing about Wuthering Heights Amateur Reader joked that I was “mak[ing] the novel sound almost sane, as if it were about humans.” Whether or not this approach is in fact productive, it’s something I was conscious of throughout my read: how realistic any of the characters’ psychologies [...]
This is probably something that’s been done to death, and I don’t have the heart to look it up, so I’ll just address it briefly my way. I’ve been thinking, as I always do, but perhaps slightly more articulately this time, about character names in Wuthering Heights. Specifically about the two Catherines. In [...]