The kaleidoscope of 2020: year in review

A tradition that I have embraced on this blog over the last few years has been to write year in review posts in December. In 2019 I reflected on walking through the desert, notes on my reading, the democratic rebuff to progressivism, and walking through the circles of hell. In 2018 I reflected on ambiguous … Continue reading The kaleidoscope of 2020: year in review

Axel’s Castle, a mirror and an encyclopaedia

Today I am reposting this post from April 2, 2018 that reflected on some of the literary symbols that formed uncanny fascinators in my mind. *** When I was about fifteen, I found Edmund Wilson's Axel's Castle in a library. It was my introduction to literary modernism, and their progenitors, the French symbolists. Over time … Continue reading Axel’s Castle, a mirror and an encyclopaedia

A solution to political decay: the ordinary virtues of governing well

I am reposting this reflection on the response to political decay in the midst of the constitutional crisis under way in America, which reveals dramatically the rot in America's institutions and elites. Over the next weeks I want to focus on some long-term writing projects outside the blog and so will mostly be reposting some … Continue reading A solution to political decay: the ordinary virtues of governing well

Poem: The mask

The mask I connect through the transparent maskTriggering autostart with the first breath The first gasp creates a suction cupA short panic of asphyxiation While expelled air learns to escapeThis prison I evaded for decades I enter the augmented worldWhere dream rejoins machine To return the night to silenceTo make morning the green dawn When … Continue reading Poem: The mask

Reflections on 2019: walking through the desert

It has been a barren year. My writing projects have not developed as I would like. I have made progress with Ivan's Singer, but I have not been finishing the sections according to schedule. I think it is still viable for me to finish next year this Sebald-like novel about Ivan the Terrible and my … Continue reading Reflections on 2019: walking through the desert

Reflections on 2019: notes on my reading

The year's reading has been among my least studious. The troubles of the year have robbed me of time and concentration to read deeply and widely, and there has been less discovery of new topics or rediscovery of old masters than in recent years. Yet still if I document my reading I may discover curiosities … Continue reading Reflections on 2019: notes on my reading

Reflections on 2019: walking through the circles of hell

It has been a difficult and personally challenging year. Much of the year has been consumed by profound stressors. I have been stalked by the threat of redundancy. I have endured the daily reality of ostracism and being an outcast at work. I have stared into the frightening prospect of unemployment in my later 50s … Continue reading Reflections on 2019: walking through the circles of hell

Where is virtue in dark times?

"It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another; and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our age in Europe and North America and the epoch in which the Roman Empire declined into the Dark Ages. Nonetheless certain parallels there are. … Continue reading Where is virtue in dark times?