Sunday night: thesis play by play

Expect updates on the hour, half hour, or whenever I am distracted. Expect the tone to change dramatically from entry to entry. Other than that, expect nothing, other than I make a fool of myself.

9:50 PM Back from a wonderful potluck dinner with friends. I feel less like a hermit in the middle of Vermont. Not for the last hour of Ken Burn’s: THE WAR. I will be depressed afterwards. But the research is worth it. I finally feel like I might be able to capture what the American people were feeling about the war, and the internment.

10:55 PM War is ugly. 6 more episodes to go before the research is done. Not tonight though. Definitely. not. tonight.

11:23 PM In all honesty, I’m absolutely beat. Best to sleep now, get an early start tomorrow.


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Filed under Thesis, Writing

The Modern Library Reading Challenge

A challenge after my own heart:

The Modern Library Reading Challenge.


I have a similar kind of challenge to myself — to read all the books on this list.  (My running count is can be found here, under the BOOKS tab.)  Granted, I have not been doing too much of this lately, or really writing my thoughts about said books.  Many are in my memory, but it would be interesting to see how much I remember.  Some I owe an unbiased reread — like Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby.  Others, I can’t get out of my life.  Just click the Ulysses, Stephan Dedalus, James Joyce, or Portrait of the Artist categories and you’ll see for yourself how often these emerge.

What would I say about these books if I gave myself 500, or 1000 words like Edward Champion?  What would happen if I did read in order?

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Lightbulb #4

That which we call a rose by any other word...

This is one of my favorite Joyce quotes: “I desire to press into my arms a loveliness that has not yet come into this world.” It has come to define my ideas on art and literature, my work, my life… everything. Why am I writing about this again?

Having roses in my room has made me stop and appreciate loveliness every morning.  And this loveliness is already in the world.   I have so many pictures of these roses, which are beautiful even as they die and wilt.  What is the point of longing for that other kind of loveliness if I cannot appreciate what is right in front of me?  These two things are not mutually exclusive and should not be.


I love Stephen Dedalus dearly.  I identify with him on so many different things — but I think that one of his big flaws is that he has a very hard time appreciating the loveliness before him at any given moment.  While I totally relate to his striving for something greater and looking ahead, I think it would be a mistake to follow his lead.  I wonder now what Joyce’s thoughts on the matter are.  I know from Ulysses that he wrote about very immediate pleasures — eating liver, lemon soap, things like that.  And then there’s his love letters to Nora.  My instinct is saying that he saw the immediate and future loveliness.  Even if he didn’t. I will.

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Filed under Joyce, Lightbulbs, Portrait of the Artist, Stephen Dedalus, Ulysses