Monthly Archives: December 2018

*Affectedly Quaint

Following Dr. [Donald] Knuth’s doctrine helps to ward off moronry. He is known for introducing the notion of “literate programming,” emphasizing the importance of writing code that is readable by humans as well as computers — a notion that nowadays … Continue reading

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There’ll Always Be an England

Persons from the UK had a bit of fun with the NYTimes in responding to a query concerning “crimes” to which they had been victim in their native land. The following tweet, among others, appeared in The Guardian in mid-December: … Continue reading

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Adrienne Rich

http://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/books/review/adrienne-rich-essential-essays-selected-poems-1950-2012.html I don’t mean to claim some instant, magic woke-ness upon reading these books. But Rich offers me a powerful and necessary reminder of the continuous self-reflection required to fight ignorance — one’s own and others’. We need to reread … Continue reading

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Unsung Heroes, Sung Villains

Hannah Arendt lamented the damage done by translators to some of her favorite German poems. (“Remembering W. H. Auden,” The New Yorker, Jan. 20, 1975 — recently reprinted). As best I recall, she as good as said that trying to … Continue reading

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“Something Like America”

http://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/books/review/political-poetry.html Wordsworth’s description of “emotion recollected in tranquillity” is sometimes cited as shorthand for what poets refer to as the lyric “I,” the poet’s vehicle for private, meditative reflection. So what becomes of the lyric “I” if poems are not … Continue reading

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Truth in Fiction

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/dec/08/nicola-sturgeon-rachel-kushner-in-conversation-fiction-politics-prison My job, fundamentally, is all about people and it’s the individual stories that give me a sense of the issues I need to use my position to influence or change. That’s why I see reading fiction as an indispensable … Continue reading

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Profound Word Funk Unlocked

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/dec/07/earl-sweatshirt-some-rap-songs-review Beats-wise, it’s a little like one of Madlib’s Medicine Show mixes, where grainy, sample-driven productions blurt like a haunted radio searching for a frequency in the past. Soul, funk and disco samples are cut up with blunt safety scissors, … Continue reading

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