rhyme being no necessary adjunct or true ornament

One of the problems with turning more time and attention towards prose fiction writing is that it leaves even less time and attention for the more instant gratification of blogging.

Anyway, I wrapped up volume three of In Search of Lost Time, thereby advancing my knowledge of Proust somewhat higher than it was a decade ago, and decided I needed a break before going further with the French aesthete. But instead of doing what a more reasonable person would do in picking up some lighter reading, I’ve returned again to Joyce and to Milton.

Continue reading

Posted in Assigned Reading, fragments of culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

love’s neverdoneing lawlessness

I’ve talked a lot about pop-culturey stuff on this blog, so perhaps one way to ease into a somewhat different kind of normal is to talk about it from an angle I rarely do: music.

A little over a decade ago, I picked up Joanna Newsom’s indie folk album, Ys on a recommendation. In the abstract she had some points in her favor: she played the harp, had a prog-rocker’s sense of compositional overreach, and penned the sort of lyrics an overeducated English major would write. It didn’t stick the landing, though. In large part because the music on Ys tended to resist anything like dynamism, and to an extent the lyrics just seemed too buried under inscrutable allegory. The whimsical Van Dyke Parks orchestration only underlined just how mannered the thing felt.

But I started giving it a listen again about a year ago, and it clicked with me a bit. I’m not quite sure what’s changed; perhaps the ensuing years have made me more amenable to music that sounds like a partially-sedated Edmund Spenser reading. Anyway, it inspired me to check out her followup 2010 album, Have One On Me, which is what this blog post is really about.

Continue reading

Posted in fragments of culture, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recherche

At a certain point I think it’d be good to attempt a more positive explication here of where I’m at, faith-wise, where I find myself in the Anglican communion and so forth. But maybe later: Although I’m no longer writhing on the floor as my axioms shift about me, I’ve run the risk of theological burnout enough recently to not want to immediately keep spinning the wheels for the edification of the small audience I have here.

Continue reading

Posted in fragments of culture | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It’s really too late for me to think up a good title

Sorry. I still don’t know how to bring things down to earth again here. Partly because nothing about my life right now feels normal. Stuff like blogging has felt just a tad frivolous.

Continue reading

Posted in this seemed important to say at the time | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thinking of divers things fore-known

I’m not quite sure how to get this blog back into a place of normality again. Assuming, of course, that I can arrive at an understanding of what “normal” is supposed to look like here, where there has been no strong sense of continuity to begin with.

But I still want to post something, so here’s an anecdote.

Continue reading

Posted in Assigned Reading, fragments of culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I couldn’t come up with a clever title

Remember when I used to blog here?

These recent months have been such that I haven’t felt the desire to keep up the usual rate of blogging fluff, nor have I wanted to blog about what’s been going on until arriving at some degree of peace. Which I do believe I have now found, though there’s no gentle way to ease into the present state of affairs.

So, here goes: I’m an Anglican now.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Your theses, my angels, are they not cruel?

So, Neon Genesis Evangelion hit Netflix recently, which prompted a re-watch on my part, which means I have an Opinion on it.

Continue reading

Posted in Our Allies in Nippon, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Stand by me

I don’t want to live a double life. That’s part of why I write here about a lot of my weird personal stuff here in addition to all the…whatever it is I do on this blog. Anyway, it turns out that Utena auteur Kunihiko Ikuhara has a new anime called Sarazanmai, which is all about secrets and double-lives. I’ve been trying to write about it for some time, and I think I’m just going to have to settle for just a bunch of scattershot, semi-complete thoughts if I don’t want to be too late to the party.

(Spoilers I guess?)

Continue reading

Posted in Catholicism, Our Allies in Nippon, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Only skin

I suppose it’s been about a year or so since the initial existential freakout which caused the ensuing months to be a bit of a mess, spiritually speaking. So maybe it’s worth taking stock of where I’m at right now, what we’ve learned in the interim.

Continue reading

Posted in Catholicism | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

End of an era

Let’s do a movie thing. It’s been a while.

Writer-director Whit Stillman is probably the closest thing American cinema has to a Jane Austen, in that his movies tend to be comedies of manners about insular, WASPish social circles with a slant towards romance and sexual politics. What I’ve seen of his stuff is really quite delightful, and I’m only surprised at how slow I’ve been in working through his slim filmography. I saw Damsels in Distress when it was in theatres back in 2012 or whenever and loved it for its skewering of undergraduate pretentiousness, then only about a year ago saw his most recent one, Love and Friendship, which actually is an adaptation of an Austen novel (Lady Susan) and managed to be a visually beautiful period piece in addition to being hilarious.

Continue reading

Posted in fragments of culture, Politics as Opium | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment