Quotable Quotes #4

“Oh, the unconscious misery, the dullness, the loneliness of the child who does not care for reading! No one pretends that a book is the only open sesame to knowledge, for we learn a thousand things by other means: by first-hand observation, by the cares and responsibilities of existence, through skill in handicraft, through creative work of any sort; but the book, the dear, enlivening, enchanting, stimulating, informing, uplifting book, is the most faithful of all allies, and, after human friendship, the chief solace as well as the most inspiring influence in human life.”

Kate Douglas Wiggin. My Garden  of Memory: An Autobiography. (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923), 31.

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In Memoriam, My Gramma

gramma and me
Me with my Gramma, about 1972

My grandmother, my Gramma Brow,* passed away this morning. She survived a bout with cancer, but experienced a long, difficult struggle with various weaknesses and illnesses that were the aftermath that fight. She gets to rest now. I have a lot of wonderful memories of her, and some complicated ones. Continue reading “In Memoriam, My Gramma”

There will be blood.

Let’s get this out there on the table right away:  I’m going to be 40 in August. As in years old.

When I was in my twenties, I didn’t think I’d live to see 40, and didn’t much give a fuck, to be honest. But I managed to survive my twenties, and my thirties, and so here it comes. I’ve been making lists of things I’d like to do before this happens. A few of them are coming to fruition. I’ll have three degrees. I’ll have a grown up sort of job. I’ve got a small press that’s making interesting things happen. But one thing that was looking like it might be left undone was learning to skateboard. Continue reading “There will be blood.”

Let’s get started, shall we?

Two semesters ago, while TA’ing for a section of a British Literature I survey at NYU, I used a bit from the end of Phillip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass to illuminate for my students the notion of multiple, interconnected universes promoted by John Donne and some other Metaphysical poets. What had been an abstruse, complex and, to be honest, really difficult to explain concept suddenly came clear to them. After some ooohs and aaahs and a few “Why didn’t you just say that?”s, one kid asked the unanswerable: “Wow, why don’t we ever get books like that in English classes?” Continue reading “Let’s get started, shall we?”