I had to send two C. P. E. Bach books back to the libraries that sent them to me via interlibrary loan. Before leaving to do so I did another request for each one and will soon have them again in my greedy little hands. I finished reading Anthony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare this morning. Great stuff! I also started reading Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner. I was chatting with Jeremy about this author the other day. I was surprised that I didn’t have any books by him in my library. But now I do. I had to go look up the year in which Burgess published Clockwork Orange. The syntax in the books are related. Burgess mixes up Russian and English to come up with pidgin language Alex and his cronies use. Brunner coins words that mix up English and Corporate language. Burgess (1962) turns out to predate Brunner (1968). Both men are writing under the spell of Joyce.
We had a good Christmas. Jeremy, Elizabeth, and Alex came for Christmas eve and left the next day. I enjoy having them around. I even did a bit of cooking even though Eileen and I swore we were going to make easy eating with salads and cheeses from Meijer.
The above picture is of the New York Times recipe for Creamed Greens Potpie. It uses store bought puff pastry. I modified it and used a Spanakopita filling of Spinach and Feta cheese. I thought it was great but Eileen said it was too garlicky and tasted too much of spinach.
We are descending (with permission) on my poor brother and his wife in a few days. Now that Edison has gone to his reward (died), we are freer to leave the house. We are all severely vaccinated so it should be relatively safe.
I’m planning to use the remaining puff pastry in some kind of Cheese Pinwheel thingo. Something along these lines bur probably not quite as fancy.
I also promised Mark I would bring fresh baked bread. We will take whatever is left from Christmas meals as well.
I have been enjoying the hell out of Susan Howe’s The Birth-Mark.
It’s a unique blend of scholarship and poetry and what not. The title comes from a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne of the same name. My edition does not have a hyphen in it. But thinking about the different versions of published works is very much what Howe is about.
She is also into marginalia. As she writes her prose she will point out what Melville wrote in the margins of his copy of a Hawthorne work. Since she is into marginalia she is attuned to the silencing of great women writers like Emily Dickinson. I am digging all the American crap. The whole discussion is something I resonate with.
Here are some cool quotes from Howe’s book.
“The enthusiast … is a solitary who lives in a world of his own peopling.” Coleridge quoted in Howe
In describing archived presentation of original documents, Howe quotes Richard Sieburth’s introduction to his translation of Hymns and Fragments by Friedrich Hölderlin: “[P]resenting Hölderlin’s texts as events rather than objects, as processes rather than products, [converts] the reader from passive consumer into active participant in the genesis of the poem, while at the same time calling attention to the fundamentally historical character of both the reader’s and the writer’s activity.”
I dig that sort of stuff. This relates a bit to the way I see music as a verb about group process.