October 29, 2006
My goodness. It seems like every half year it gets more difficult to remember when to "Spring Forward" or "Fall Back". If the lady at the sushi place hadn't mentioned it last night, I might not have realized.
So now I go through that weird period where I don't quite trust any clock in the place, not sure if automagically updated or not.
Quote and Meanderings of the Moment
Life has a buoyant, carefree quality that you can feel as you read, like a physical sensation in your belly. If is this that Whitman is celebrating, though actually he does it very badly, because he is one of those writers who tell you what you ought to feel instead of making you feel it.
--Inside the Whale by George Orwell, a rumination on writing of the first half of the century and Henry Miller in particular.
He pins down some of why I really dislike Whitman... that "tell not show" and the general arrogant ignorance of When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer... like Feyman says
The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, comes again and again when we look at any question deeply enough. With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still.(The Feyman link is pretty good, actually.)
Anyway, I heard about "Inside the Whale" from this Slate piece Henry Miller School of Overseas Living for Misanthropes. I don't know how new "modern" literary criticism is, but it seems kind of strange to hear one author writing about another author when they are contemporaries from long ago.
After getting through all 3 sections of Orwell's rather meaty essays, agreeing with some parts, disagreeing with others, reading that sites dismissive and snarkily brief Criticism was kind of amusing.