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Golden Rule Jones

Literary Events and Topics, with a Chicago Angle

Last Build Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:08:46 +0000


Wider than fear, wider than mind

Wed, 19 Sep 2012 00:23:58 +0000

On Francis Spufford’s Unapologetic, from The TLS Blog, September 17, 2012: Spufford makes a courageous fist of putting his glimpse of the transcendent into words. A pivotal moment came in a cafe one day, when he heard the slow movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto while ruminating on a row with his wife. He describes the […]

What Made Hanno Buddenbrook Sick?

Sat, 07 Jul 2012 02:24:18 +0000

Seems like it was just yesterday that I was singing you that song about Don Quixote and his teeth. As a matter of fact, it was just yesterday. Yesterday of last year. Well, tonight I was reminded, as I leafed through a 2004 copy of the New England Journal of Medicine, that the Man of […]

The sum of his performances

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 03:05:00 +0000

I confess that I did not fully appreciate — until Mrs. Jones began reading passages aloud to me — how hilarious Moby-Dick could be: They say that men who have seen the world, thereby become quite at ease in manner, quite self-possessed in company. Not always, though: Ledyard, the great New England traveller, and Mungo […]

The holy ghost of Irish modernist writing

Thu, 06 Oct 2011 13:01:19 +0000

Great article in the TLS by the poet David Wheatley marking the centenary of the birth of Flann O’Brien. I hadn’t heard of “Speak English Week” or “Myles Away from Dublin,” so always something to be learned about The Master. O’Brien has long been seen as part of a literary trinity whose two other members […]


Mon, 02 May 2011 01:11:14 +0000

Cool event in Chicago on Wednesday of this week … Assouline@Assouline Meet “en personne” the celebrated French author (In French and in English) Thursday, May 05, 2011 6:30 p.m. 54 W. Chicago Ave. entrance Members and students with ID $5, non-members $10 Pierre Assouline, the celebrated French author, has published 6 novels and 10 biographies […]

Don Quixote’s Countenance Before and After Losing His Teeth

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 02:51:07 +0000

I’ve always enjoyed literary criticism which applies specialized knowledge in a scientific or technical domain to further elucidate a literary work. My favorite in this vein is Herbert F. Smith’s 1965 classic, “Melville’s Master in Chancery and His Recalcitrant Clerk.” I recently found a new one: “Don Quixote’s Countenance Before and After Losing His Teeth,” […]

That’s not for you to say

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 04:00:15 +0000

From Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty, by Phoebe Hoban, p. 19: Even then, she had her own aristocratic way of doing things. When an old-fashioned art teacher criticized her naturalistic method of painting hair, suggesting she simply color it in, she told him, “Well, that isn’t the way the hair goes. I […]

Like the first name

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 01:47:03 +0000

From poems by Gottfried Benn, translated by Michael Hofmann, in the March 2011 issue of Poetry. People Met I have met people who, asked after their names, shyly—as if they had no title to an appellation all to themselves— replied “Fräulein Christian” and added: “like the first name,” they wanted to make it easy for […]

A small Alpine form

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 19:24:28 +0000

From The World of Nabokov’s Stories (1999), by Maxim D. Shrayer: In an 1971 interview with Stephen Jan Parker, Nabokov said: “In relation to the typical novel the short story represents a small Alpine, or Polar, form. It looks different, but is conspecific with the novel and is linked to it by intermediate clines.” Critics […]

19 variations on the spelling of “mosquito”

Thu, 05 Aug 2010 02:01:13 +0000

William Clark’s spelling is one of the delights of reading any account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. An Indian tribe, for example, is described by Clark as “Durtey, Kind, pore, and extravigent pursessing national pride. Not beggarly.” An extravigent number of mosquito bites on this summer evening brought to mind Clark’s famous “19 variations […]