Aural Hobgoblins

I was speaking with a kind gentleman the other day. Reluctant though I was to disagree with him because of his generosity to me, I could not help but contradict his thesis. As I understand it, film music should not be interpreted apart from the context that made it...

Lost Covenant

[an open letter to our bookshop customers, March 17th, 2004] I met a man the other day. Not a great man perhaps, but at least a very good one, I can tell you. Cyril P. Foley played first class cricket for Cambridge (right-hand bat, right arm slow), fought in the Boer...

Greed!

If I were to suggest that no author should be paid more than, say, $100,000 per book, some readers would actually accept the premise, if not the exact amount. I have spoken to such people. I have listened, not very patiently, to a proposal that great books should be...

In the theft of time

The theft of time has always been a primary fascination and pursuit. Beyond my own conceit, the subject is more commonly known as history. But I have always seen the subject both more broadly and more personally than would be accepted by, say, the typical academic....

In our time.

In his time, one of the most admired of the Transcendentalists who hold such a prominent position in the American literary firmament of the 19th century was a man who is all but forgotten today—would in fact be forgotten but for one daughter who was in her own...

The Hound and its consequences.

The predicate for this web site is the publication of a novel, Hound, by Small Beer Press in the fall. I would not have attempted to establish this forum just now if the suggestion had not been made repeatedly that I needed to create some greater context for that...

Newton’s Fig

Before Newton observed the descent of the apple, the gravity of his realization was well known. However, he was the first to establish this identification in a code that might be applied as principle to the understanding of other mysteries. As a result, the whole...

Wicked Wikipedia

On January 12, 2009, the Wikipedia website presented a front page with an account of King Arthur. Having a life-long interest in the subject–one of my several unfinished novels is based on the legends—I read it with some interest. The article was noteworthy, but...

The Crepuscule

Twelve reasons for the death of small and independent book stores: Ever thankful to those who made the effort before us, with heartfelt apologies to those who are still in the fight and the few who support them–offered upon the closing of Avenue Victor Hugo...

Turn! Turn! Turn! . . .

but laid upon its edge, the grindstone becomes a wheel. My mother’s father watched as an early airplane crash-landed in a corn field near Canton, North Carolina about 1908, and he noted to me fifty years later how the dried stalks ripped the fabric of the wings....

When a paradigm ain’t worth 20 cents

So I had this idea. I was reading an article I printed out from Drudge about how the newspapers were dying because nobody was reading them anymore. This was during a break in my own work wherein I bemoan (as in piss and bemoan) the passing of the book and the end of...