Archive | books

An Army of Bears

I’ve been having fun recently poking around on a Facebook page, Discarding Image, that shares pictures from medieval manuscripts. I’ve been especially fond of the various illustrations that picture more or less anthropomorphic animals acting like people. Rabbits besieging a castle, a boar monk on camel back, and an army of bears with swords and […]

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The Best Secret Garden

“Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?” Recently while browsing through pages of art from children’s books, I stumbled upon a Russian blog that had posted pictures from the most beautiful illustrated copy of The Secret Garden. Dozens of pictures. Beautiful, detailed, lavish pictures that cunningly captured the magic of the […]

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The Bible: A Way of Thinking

“The Bible, like the philosophy of Aristotle, for example, contains more than a sum of doctrines; it represents *a way of thinking*, a specific context in which general concepts possess a particular significance, a standard of evaluation, a form of orientation; not only a mental fabric but also a certain disposition or manner of interweaving […]

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Reading Notes February 2017

Finished 1. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett Could also be known as Death Takes a Holiday. There are moments in this one that I really love but I don’t follow the ending. Really, the whole thing with Azrael and the universe clock kind of makes me go: huh? 2. The Drover’s Road Collection by Joyce […]

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The Parentheses of Palms

“Kneel to your load, then balance your staggering feet and walk up that coal ladder as they do in time, one bare foot after the next in ancestral rhyme. Because Rhyme remains the parentheses of palms shielding a candle’s tongue, it is the language’s desire to enclose the loved world in its arms; or heft […]

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School of Athens, Raphael

The Invention of the “Middle Ages”

I came across this snippet about the invention of the Middle Ages in today’s reading, one of those things that immediately lit up a dozen different connections in my brain: “Flavio Biondi of Forli (1392-1463), while celebrating Florence and Italy, provided a scheme that would dominate and tyrannize European historical thought for centuries to come. […]

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