Category Archive: Commonplace Book

Commonplace Book: Inauguration Celebration Spectacular

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Utopian socialist philosopher Charles Fourier taxonomizes the character of President Donald J. Trump.

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Commonplace Book: Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Short-fingered Racist Vulgarians

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Captain Malcolm Reynolds has an opinion on our earthly shenanigans.

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Commonplace Book: An excerpt from “Tarantula,” Bob Dylan’s only novel

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An excerpt from “Tarantula,” Bob Dylan’s only novel.

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Commonplace Book/Translation Tuesdays: Elias Canetti on minds and monsters

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Compelling passages, notable quotables, bon mots, disjecta, ephemera, and miscellany. I admire those very broad people who through the decades become broader and broader yet do not give in. But the unyieldingly narrow… Continue reading

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Commonplace Book: G.K. Chesterton on politicians

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English conservative Catholic writer GK Chesterton tells us what’s wrong with the world … especially politicians.

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Short Takes III: John Updike

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Fun-sized distillations of prose and poetry.  Self-contained nuggets of literary craft. Oliver’s Evolution His parents had not meant to abuse him; they had meant to love him, and did love him.  But Oliver… Continue reading

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Short Takes II: Joyce Carol Oates

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“A Touch of the Flu,” by Joyce Carol Oates.

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Short Takes I: Chinese Poetry

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An early example of poetry by women in China.

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Commonplace Book: From a slightly water-damaged collection of Sylvia Plath

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Compelling passages, notable quotables, bon mots, disjecta, ephemera, and miscellany. “The Goring” [1956] Arena dust rusted by four bulls’ blood to a dull redness, The afternoon at a bad end under the crowd’s… Continue reading

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Commonplace Book: Priorities

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“She was a Calvinistic Sabbatarian in religion, and in worldly manners she was a devout believer in the high rank of her noble relatives.”

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