Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:52:54 +0000



Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:52:54 +0000

Anne Curzan at Lingua Franca writes about a phenomenon I’ve noticed but not really thought about: the distinction between the traditional use of hence meaning ‘as a result, for this reason’ as an introduction to full clauses (her example: “Hence, vaccines with enhanced serotype coverage … might be needed to prevent IPD in this age […]

Tolstoy’s Youth.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:02:20 +0000

I’ve finally finished Tolstoy’s Юность [Youth]; it took me twice as long as it should have, because for a couple of weeks I only read one short chapter a day. This wasn’t just indolence — it usually takes me a while to get into a long work, but here I felt like I was slogging […]

The OED’s Surf Consultant.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:12:28 +0000

A nice squib by Nick Paumgarten from the New Yorker about Matt Warshaw, “the world’s leading surfing scholar”: Warshaw is the world’s leading surfing scholar, the Linnaeus of the lineup. Over the years, he has assembled a research library, in his home, of hundreds of books, thousands of periodicals, and some three hundred and fifty […]

Katexic Clippings.

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:12:56 +0000

From the About page: Founded during the high heat of the 2014 Alaskan summer, Katexic Clippings is a (now) weekly email newsletter for bookworms, word nerds and the incurably curious. In each issue: WORK: a concise, compelling work or excerpt WORD(S): a wonderful word or fascinating phrase WEB: a bijou suite of links WATCH/WITNESS: a […]

Rewarded with Oppugnancy.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:50:53 +0000

I finally reached the back page of the TLS from August 7 of last year (I just resubscribed to the NYRB so I’ll have something to read in 2018), and there was a brief mention of what sounds like a dreadful book about the Bard, prefaced with the following paragraph cobbled together from “words said […]

Bottom’s Dream.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:43:00 +0000

Edwin Turner writes: Arno Schmidt’s 1970 novel Bottom’s Dream is finally available in English translation by John E. Woods. The book has been published by the Dalkey Archive. It is enormous. […] Look, I know that dwelling on a book’s size probably has nothing to do with literary criticism, but Bottom’s Dream poses something of […]

Gilliver on Lexicography.

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:18:00 +0000

OUPBlog has an interview with OED editor Peter Gilliver that is short but enjoyable; here’s his answer to “How did you become interested in lexicography?”: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in language. Both my parents were language teachers, and the family was always discussing English words and usages. And I remember […]

Another Large Pearl.

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 01:14:23 +0000

The other day I posted about Tsvetaeva’s poem «Отмыкала ларец железный…» [I unlocked the iron casket]; I’ve just come to one she wrote a couple of months later, «На крыльцо выхожу — слушаю…», that uses so much of the same imagery I can’t resist posting a rough translation so anyone interested can compare and contrast: […]

A Corfiot Complaint.

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:19:54 +0000

My wife and I recently watched the first episode of the new PBS Masterpiece series The Durrells in Corfu and thoroughly enjoyed it; it is, as this review says, delightful, and it makes a very pleasant and undemanding way to finish an evening. But I do have one complaint I have to get off my […]

Primordial Myths?

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:22:52 +0000

Julien d’Huy has a Scientific American piece about “how stories change in the retelling down through the generations sheds light on the history of human migration going as far back as the Paleolithic period”: The Greek version of a familiar myth starts with Artemis, goddess of the hunt and fierce protectress of innocent young women. […]