From the monthly archives:

November 2009

“The God Abandons Antony” by C.P. Cavafy:

When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
as is right for you who were given this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
listen—your final delectation—to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

Some backstory from Roger Housden:

“In Plutarch’s version, the night before the city falls, Mark Antony hears an invisible troupe of musicians and singers leaving the city. At that moment he passes out, in the realization that the god Bacchus, his protector, and god of music, wine, and festivity, is deserting him, and that he, Antony, is destined to lose the city. Historically, Antony and Cleopatra, on realizing that all is lost, are said to have committed suicide rather than suffer defeat.”

Leonard Cohen also reinterpreted this poem in his song “Alexandra Leaving”.

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The FCC has conditioned us to hear prurience where a beep replaces…counting.

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Kate Monahan shares her experience with putting Carolyn See’s “charming note” idea into practice.

Quoting See:

“These notes are like paper airplanes sailing around the world, and they accomplish a number of things at once. They salute the writer (or editor or agent) in question. They say to him or her: Your work is good and admirable! You’re not laboring in a vacuum.  There are people out in the world who know what you do and respect it.”

And:

“These are paper airplanes of affection.  They are the glue of human sweetness in literary society.”

Tip of the hat: Mark Levy

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A Happy Collision

November 25, 2009

in History,Image

CERN flipped the switch again on the Large Hadron Collider, two proton beams sped towards each other — a crash, then sub-atomic shrapnel.

And a roomful of people experience a moment of joy that’s been 14 years in the making:

LHC Scientists: Professional Ecstasy

LHC Scientists: Professional Ecstasy

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Breaking the Log Jam

November 25, 2009

in Adaptation,Process

Yoinks! I have 80+ possible items in the queue for publishing on this scrapbook, but I’ve been so busy with other projects I haven’t taken the time to edit and post them.

Here’s the good news: not only am I going to get caught up, but I’m going to pre-schedule at least two or three items a week so there’s bit more consistency in the publishing schedule in the future. I hope…

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From My Muse, My Self by Hazel Dooney:

“I am still both artist and muse. Because of my feminist upbringing, I used to interpret the role of muse with scepticism. It was, I used to think, related to looks, not intellect, and so inevitably ephemeral and ultimately destroyed by time.

Now I’m not so sure. In the muse that is myself, I am only just beginning to penetrate layers of 20-something years of tightly woven emotional, psychological and intellectual fabric that are enriched, not eroded, by the slow decay of the physical self.”

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