All the elements that make what I write recognizable as mine seem to me a cage that restricts my possibilities. If I were only a hand, a severed hand that grasps a pen and writes… Who would move this hand? The anonymous throng? The spirit of the times? The collective unconscious? I do not know. It is not in order to be the spokesman for something definable that I would like to erase myself. Only to transmit the writable that waits to be written, the tellable that nobody tellas.
— Italo Calvino - If on a winter’s night a traveler
atrabilious: morose, melancholy, or in a like way ill-tempered (from the latin for ‘black bile’) jonquil: corruption of the bird ‘junco,’ revised to refer to an associated type of narcissus sough: a rustling or sighing noise; or, to speak or preach whinily; or, a ditch or marsh mythomane: abbreviation of mythomaniac, similarly graphomane, monomane, etc imbrangle: also embrangle, to involve in a brangle, a noisy fuss or squabble afflatus: divine or otherwise miraculous creative inspiration or knowledge posset: an old cold remedy, spiced milk curdled with beer or wine bistre: a brownish-yellow pigment derived from wood soot petroliferous: capable of yielding petroleum, e.g. oil shale palter: to act or talk carelessly or deceitfully, or to haggle parclose: a rail or screen dividing parts of a church cark: care or worry; to carken is to burden
When he arrived at a clearing, he saw a dragon holding a lion by the tail and burning its flanks with its flaming breath. My lord Yvain did not waste time observing this marvel. He asked himself which of the two he would help. Then he determined that he would take the lion’s part, since a venomous and wicked creature deserves only harm: the dragon was venomous, and fire leapt from its mouth because it was so full of wickedness.
This classic, while it is by far the poorest book by Dickens I have read, nevertheless somehow endures as one of the author’s most visible and popular works. Perhaps if it were not the first Dickens people were often tasked with reading, they would not develop a dislike towards the man. All its qualities are inferior, and all its flaws deeper, than every other work of his.
Houndmouth - “Penitentiary” From the Hills Beneath the City
This folk-orchestra item impressed me in the car with its resonant chorus harmonies and authentic sounding insertions of “oh mama” and “oh lord.” Not my usual wheelhouse, but a great song is a great song. (insound)
Who can tell how scenes of peace and quietude sink into the minds of pain-worn dwellers in close and noisy places, and carry their own freshness, deep into their jaded hearts! Men who have lived in crowded, pent-up streets, through lives of toil, and who have never wished for change; men, to whom custom has indeed been second nature, and who have come almost to love each brick and stone that formed the narrow boundaries of their daily walks; even they, with the hand of death upon them, have been known to yearn at last for one short glimpse of Nature’s face; and, carried far from the scenes of their old pains and pleasures, have seemed to pass at once into a new state of being. Crawling forth, from day to day, to some green sunny spot, they have had such memories wakened up within them by the sight of the sky, and hill and plain, and glistening water, that a foretaste of heaven itself has soothed their quick decline, and they have sunk into their tombs, as peacefully as the sun whose setting they watched from their lonely chamber window but a few hours before, faded from their dim and feeble sight!