Again With the Books

Djuna Barnes (1892-1982)

Nightwood, Barnes’ best novel, has the distinction of being the only lesbian-themed Modernist gem to garner praise, and an introduction, from arch-conservative T.S. Eliot. Before writing it, Barnes was born in a log cabin, raped as a teen, and lived as a Bohemian journalist in Greenwich Village. She was ahead of her time in just about every way possible, even pioneering the kind of New Journalism that wouldn’t catch fire until mid-century. A poet, novelist, playwright, and illustrator, Barnes exemplified both the glory and isolation that come with being a perpetual outsider. Hemingway wouldn’t have known what to make of her.

Posted by Book Riot

This from Book Riot’piece on “Five Women Writers Tougher Than Hemingway,” which is why the ending sentence is a reference to Hem.

And I went to get my copy of Nightwood so I could snap a photo of said book, the one we are chatting about here. I could not find it. This will—no doubt, no doubt at all—lead to the great Rabbit Hole Adventure of August 16. I’ll look for the book, have to rearrange some bookshelves (technically the books on the bookshelves), then stop to play on the keyboard, then maybe…

And so of the day, to make much of the lovely Djuna. And there is so much more to say about her. But I must go look for the book.

Happy Birthday!

To Oscar Peterson—what a person and musician! Peterson

is credited with giving birth to modern Jazz.

He, along with Bird Parker and many other Jazz Greats, often played for Jazz at the Philharmonic, JATP. Their records did a lot to publicize and further instill Jazz as an up and coming musical form. That is, beyond those places and states where it seems the music of jazz was a way of life, born before records themselves. That was mainly in the south, and then New York, Detroit, and Chicago.

Luckily, I managed to hang on to the JATP among my collection, and I still have them. Of course occasions such as this prompt me to play some of that music! And jazz, it seems for many of us, must be played loudly.

Consider The Octopus


Published by Quartz Magazine

There’s no clear way of evaluating consciousness in other animals (or in other humans, for that matter—it’s quite possible that you’re the only conscious being alive and everyone you know is merely displaying signs of consciousness rather than truly experiencing it). But we can certainly make educated guesses. Broadly speaking, consciousness is often defined as there being an experience of what it’s like to be said creature. (This notion is explored in depth in philosopher Thomas Nagel’s essay, “What is it like to be a bat?”)

Octopuses display signs of curiosity, and Godfrey-Smith believes it’s extremely likely that they’re conscious beings. “I think the exploratory behaviors, the fact that they attend to things, they have good eyes, they evaluate, are little bits of good evidence that there’s something it’s like to be an octopus…”

I have found the magnificent octopus endlessly fascinating. Unfortunately, our history with them—as is mostly the case with other creatures—is not glorious. But, on the positive, we have just begun to really study and respect them.

A story comes to mind of an oceanic explorer who has spent some time with them. He is astounded by their curiosity and friendliness. He does warn, however, to not give them a retractable measuring tape if you want it back. You won’t get it returned. They love them and seem to have found an endless study and application for them. I personally believe they’re just playing with them. Who wouldn’t?

About consciousness—that’s another topic, just hinted at here. Later for that.

Books & Art & Words

Paperbacks Plus BookstorepaperbackBookstore Abibliophobia – noun: (uh-bib-li-uh-foh-bee-uh)            
                  An extreme fear of running out of reading material—————————————————————————————————
But it’s not the fear of running out of just any books, it’s the fear of running out of the Right books. There are Right books, you see. The books written by a favorite author, The books you know you will read, just waiting for the right time and savoring the time before the reading, books that require days filled with rain and storm, books you’ve wanted to read for years. Those sorts of books. Yes?

Manitou Trail

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Cactus along the trail as we climbed up the mountain in front of the condo. This part of the trail went along behind the school that was also up above us. It was a beautiful trail.

Last night was movie night here. We watched movies far too late into the night. The cat was the first among us to fall asleep. She only watched for a short while. We all fell asleep with a movie still playing, each to our own movie. I awoke thinking of Manitou and the wondrous trails we would follow and play along as they wound up and around the mountain. They were good thoughts. It was a good trail.

Last Night


Last Night
I was going to die
It was a soft thing,

The rain itself slow
over the forest
and without wings floating

Until I saw the child I love
And all stars and nights
and moons and blood

into the marrow of dreams
And splintered like lights
bursting across the skies

Until sorrow soon itself
once raped of joy
shook this sweet death
until it woke the lie