Why I Never Get My Filing Done : A Photoessay

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17 thoughts on “Why I Never Get My Filing Done : A Photoessay

  1. What Cat’s Averse To Fish? Oh dear — I have known that one since I was a rug rat and it broke my heart then and now, not least because it’s so flippant. She couldn’t have been a “favorite” cat if he was so ready to use her death as a chintzy parable about Maya, and I always hoped fervently that Gray made it all up.

    Have you ever run across this book?

    Edgy choice of name for the moggie.

    I am sure you know tons of poetry that I don’t; I’m very weak on Americans.

    • You’re right, Sled. It’s flippant, though I don’t have your sensitivities in this area. But here’s what I think: “A favorite has no friend!” is suddenly not flippant. Or not necessarily so. And that’s the line that breaks my heart–mostly because I’ve been a willing participant in the fun up to that point.

      Thanks for the book recommendation. Where else am I going to go for stuff like this?

      • I hadn’t thought of it that way. (Now I think, sadly, of animals who have suffered because some horrible spouse or parent or hateful kid thought: “You love that creature more than you love me!” or “I want to hurt you so I’ll hurt your pet.”)

        I also have on my bookshelf a pornographic Tolkien ripoff, the almost complete works of Henry Rider Haggard and the Hans Breitman ballads, annotated. Send SASE for a complete list. 🙂

  2. I was looking for a recent exchange between you and Jenny on American poets I had noticed a few days ago, but couldn’t find it any more, so I’ll here paste my two cents’ choice of American poets.

    (I dedicated some time to American poets but not enough because my reading are scattered)

    Carl Sandburg (the fog comes on little cat feet …) and of course (Hog Butcher for the World / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat etc., which to me beautifully evoke the ‘solidity’ of Chicago and its people).
    I also like Whalt Whitman – as I said in my blog – and was reading his poems quite a lot when I was travelling about the States in 2008.
    Longfellow too: some people say he’s too traditional, he’s a children’s poet, but to me he’s special for his musical talent, suffice his translation of the Divina Commedia, the closest imo to the original rhythm of Dante’s verse. Besides he being very easy to understand I basically started reading poems in the English language via him. Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound may come next, but I never know :-).

    I am sure you people could not live content without my opinion on some American poets.

    Incidentally, I am a lurker of your blog but you cannot often know because I at times use a VPN 😉

    • Ah! But sometimes you don’t and I spot you.

      I had a comic-book version of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” when I was a small Sled — the text interleaved with pretty crude illustrations, from a series called “Classics Illustrated.” (That series was also my first exposure to Hamlet, the Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Moby Dick. http://www.tkinter.smig.net/ClassicsIllustrated/) The fight with Chibiabos was the thing that stuck with me. I admit the jog-trot of the meter did wear me out a bit after a while, but I can imagine it being chanted.

      All the poems of Emily Dickinson can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” or so I am soberly assured by a favorite character on the Babylon 5 TV series (in an episode scripted by the morbid and elegiac Neil Gaiman).

      Of all the poets you mention Whitman is the one who most reliably moves me to tears. He whiffs of the prophets. I have to take him in small doses. 545454545454545454545454545454545454545454545454

      That last is Torvald’s commentary.

  3. All the poems of Emily Dickinson can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”

    You made me laaaaugh.

    I never watched the Babylon 5 TV space opera. I’m reading now in the Wiki that it was no child’s stuff, with philosophy, politics, religion and good character development. I’ve been into SF for a while recently (Arthur Clarke, Olaf Stapledon and Robert Heinlein) but I now am very busy with Balzac and other stuff even crazier (Balzac was crazy).

    Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha I had started but quit because too long. Musical too though, as the rest.

    To a foreigner Whitman is not only fascinating but important to understand areas of the American mind. You won’t believe it but I keep a painting of a VERY stern prophet in my living room (coming from my father’s side: the Calvinists) that Flavia wanted to send to rest in a closet but I decidedly refused.

    • B-5 is remarkable and rewarding, unusual (perhaps even singular) in that the entire story arc was conceived as a single narrative, with “trapdoors” included by the producer (Joseph Straczynski) in order to admit or release characters without screwing up the over-arching plot in case actors left the series. Our old friend Zeus characterized it to me as “Gnosticism in outer space.” There is thought provoking material about diplomacy, about how peace is made and broken, about the way that one man’s foibles can trip up history, and about the folly of rushing to judgment on human (or at least sentient) character. It was a five year series so it represents a lot of time commitment, and the “pilot episode” was clunky and awful, but there were points in the extended story that made me weep. The story about the Yellow Rose was one of them.

      Olaf Stapleton — “Odd John”?

      Heinlein is fun, and has some trenchant points, but I can’t help noticing that with each of his novels the old goat who gets the young babes gets older. Equal time for old babes I say.

      Which prophet have you got?

  4. I found a lot of religion in Arthur Clarke, and religious feelings in Stapledon (Heinlein I cannot tell). That there exist some beings out there more advanced than us, observing us and perhaps caring for our development (or just don’t giving a damn: the view of Epicure) – is a (very remote) possibility and actually one of the religions existing in the world, in the US but not only. After all, the human species (well, some of its members) having begun to care and to try to preserve all the living species on this planet – it is not wholly impossible that this is done on a bigger universe level. Though very unlikely, I believe, it is fun to stargaze.

    Olaf Stapleton — “Odd John”?

    No, I didn’t read “Odd John” although I am tempted (a man is suddenly born whose diversity vs us is that of Homo Sapiens vs Australopithecus).

    I read Stapleton’s “Last and First Men”, which really impressed me and started “Star Maker” but could not finish it. The former is a real gold mine of reflections on ‘cultures’, evolution, philosophy, psychology and many other things. It is known that Jorge Luis Borges, Bertrand Russell, Virginia Woolf and Winston Churchill too were enthusiastic about Stapleton.

    Which prophet have you got?

    No one in particular. Just an old man with long beard and hair and very a stern look in his face. A bit like Longfellow’s face, but more severe looking.

    The Tom Lehrer’s video is great. Some Jewish people are a bit like Odd John.

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