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Personal story

Experiments with Morning Routines

So today I experimented with restoring my morning routine, but with a twist. So today the plan is….

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literature

Republishing blogs as books

The focus of my writing attention over the last couple of weeks has been on editing a collection of my blog posts that I will publish as books.I don’t know how common it is to republish blogs as books, if in edited and curated form. It seems little different to me to the many collections of oped, short essays, book reviews and occasional pieces that do get published quite often.

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Personal story

A New Direction for the Burning Archive

I am going to approach the blog with the advice of “document, don’t create” that I saw on popular vlogger on youtube, Ali Abdaal. For periods of the last ten years the blog has been my primary creative outlet. But that is now changing. I have my books in preparation, my podcast, my poems and my essays. And driving all of that my restless curiosity about how to save culture and history from the flames. So I am going to use the blog as the platform for all of those aspects of my author life.

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Flowers of the Mind

Flowers of the Mind 3. Asvina (week 1) 2021

Wallace Stevens. COVID zero fanatics. The Novel is dead. Saint Galgano. Louise Glück. How democracies die. Solzhenitsyn.

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Flowers of the Mind literature

Flowers of the Mind 1. (září, week 3, 2021)

Michael Oakeshott, Marina Tsvetaeva, Elena Shvarts, Russian Ark, St Petersburg

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literature quotations to write by

A task: from Milosz to me

This morning I read this poem. “A task” by Czelaw Milosz, chosen randomly from his collected  poems. It reminded me of the post I made on reading this poem initially in 2017.  It resonated again today amidst so much degraded public discourse. I will add to this repost the closing paragraph of the other poem […]

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literature quotations to write by

Cantos from a cage

Today I am reposting this reflection on the true heritage of Ezra Pound, Cantos from a cage, which I originally posted in April 2018. I have borrowed from the local library, Daniel Swift The Bughouse: the poetry, politics and madness of Ezra Pound (2017) that tries “to make our peace, as best we can, with […]

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literature Personal story

Taking time with Szymborska

I have established several practices for the New Year to make it a more mindful, culturally enriched and satisfying year than the plague year of 2020, now buried in an urn of oblivion. I have begun a bullet journal to record habits, moods, and experiences, and in which to write the plans and dreams of […]

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culture literature Personal story

Fragments from the Burning Archive: Mikhail Bakhtin

I plunged again into my white box of old handwritten index cards today, and pulled from the archive, laid down in my twenties and thirties, a fragment from Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975), the Russian literary critic and philosopher. The text comes from a late work of Bakhtin, Speech Genres, although I took the text from Clark […]

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Personal story the real world today

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 […]

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culture history literature

Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857

Today, I am reposting this response to William Dalrymple’s magnificent The Last Mughal: the Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857. I wonder if, over the next 5 to 10 years, we will be conducting sad online mushairas (poetic symposiums) and singing laments for the collapse of the Washington court? Cultural collapse: Delhi 1857 (February 4, […]

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culture literature Personal story

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 […]