Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Here are some excerpts from Ye Kingdome of Accawmacke or the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century by Jennings Cropper Wise, which remind us once again that our ancestors were not wiser, kinder, or more Godly than us...but it doesn't hurt for us to continue our attempts at perfecting our human condition: "...the Rev. Mr. Treakle...[was accused of] improper relations with Lady Scarborough and combining with her to poison [her husband]..." (p. 101-102) "Upon the 2nd day of August, 1641, Goody Curtis was trying to milk her cow in the cowpen of the Widow Taylor, but the cow was not used to that pen and became restive. Goody lost her temper and cross words passed between her and Mrs. Taylor, who was looking on and no doubt making silly suggestions as women are wont at times to do. There upon the good ladies fell to calling each other bad names, ending in Mrs. Taylor smacking Mrs. Curtis's face, for which breach of the peace, the Court 'Ordered that the Widow Taylor shoall pay unto John Curtis or anie other for his use, one potte of milk per daye, at the cowpen of the Widdowe [sic] Taylor until the last of September next, and pay all charges expended in this suite." (p. 44-45)
Monday, July 23, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
I just finished reading (and looking at) a fun and inspiring book about writers, their libraries and reading history: Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books, edited by Leah Price. The book has photographs of their libraries and bookshelves, interviews (with great questions!) and their top ten list of books. There were some excellent quotes (see example below) and many of the books on their top ten lists, I had to add to my “must-read” list. “…the more sophisticated you are, the more annotated your mental life.”- Rebecca Goldstein, from her book Thirty-six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction Some of the writers included are: Alison Bechdel, Junot Díaz, Claire Messud and Philip Pullman. My only criticism is the length. I would have loved to see more writers featured. I realized while reading it, that writers are really fascinating people. I already felt that way, but hadn’t articulated it for myself. I also enjoy reading the weekend column, Word Craft, in the Wall Street Journal. Written by different writers, it covers different aspects of writing. This week, Anna Quindlen writes about inspiration and her dislike of writing: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304432704577348020550966282.html The Financial Times features a short interview with an author each weekend.This week, it’s David Park: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/cdbfcfa8-83bb-11e1-82ca-00144feab49a.html#axzz1smauqRTX If you’re an avid reader, an aspiring writer, and/or someone who just appreciates intelligent conversation and references, you’ll enjoy the book and the two columns I’ve provided links for.
Friday, July 20, 2012
From a letter of the Earl of Chesterfield to his son, in 1747: I knew a gentleman, who was so good a manager of his time, that he would not even lose that small portion of it, which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house; but gradually went through all the Latin poets, in those moments. He bought, for example, a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina: this was so much time fairly gained; and I recommend you follow his example. It is better than only doing what you cannot help doing at those moments; and it will make any book, which you shall read in that manner, very present in your mind. Really excellent advice, don’t you think?! :) (From Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books)