I feel too much the harmonious nearness of home to be able to brood over any sorrow. In the past I wept. I was so far away from my native country… (Robert Walser, Little Snow Landscape, trans. Tom Whalen) “Home” was a word that had no personal meaning for me for a very long time….

Insomnia reading redux

I spent a goodly portion of the latter half of my PhD staying up all night, every night storming through books fully unrelated to my dissertation. I’ve been dancing a weary turn with insomnia since 1986 or so, when TV ended every night at 1am and the internets were barely a gleam in William Gibson’s…

Love letters

About three years ago, one of my beloveds sent me this short email: I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared with you my creed, which was put into words for me by the considerate E.M. Forster. This is it: “I believe in aristocracy, though–if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it….


There’s a man in my neighbourhood I see nearly every time I leave the house and travel south. I think he suffers from some sort of mental illness, though I have no idea what. I know he hurts and sometimes screams his pain. When I see him, he is usually walking; still in his 40s, I think,…

Alright fine

I submit, surrender, and beg forgiveness; at the rate things are going with getting ready to move and doing home renos, I have finally accepted that I am just never going to get caught up on my book posts unless I corral them. Well then, giddyup. Barry Lyndon, William Makepeace Thackeray. I wanted to love…