Monday, November 22, 2010


The Soviets were a menace to Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze’s generation. As his daughter and granddaughter recount, the legacy continues.

...Titsian’s generation of poets saw its most brilliant representatives die, almost without exception, before full maturity. Already in 1925, Titsian prophesied his own death in an elegy to his friend and fellow poet Sergei Esenin:

My friends, if our heads roll
somewhere into a deep pit, may
the world know: among the poets,
Esenin was the brother of us all.

Like every poet with a conscience in Russia at that time, Esenin had been infected with enthusiasm for the revolution. Propelled to despair, Esenin had killed himself shortly after returning to Moscow from a sojourn in the Caucasus. Although they died twelve years apart, the reasons for Esenin’s and Titsian’s deaths are hardly unrelated.

Esinen burialTitsian could not have known for certain that his head was destined to roll "into a deep pit," as were those of his fellow poets, Paolo Iashvili and novelist Mikhail Javaxishvili. But already in 1925 he could detect signs boding disaster...

Titsian went to his daughter’s bedside one night and whispered in her ear: "Something bad may happen to me soon. I want you to know, Nitka, that your father never did anything to make his daughter ashamed"

Georgian literary modernity was liquidated by the Soviet state from the nineteen thirties onwards....Read it all

Autumn Light
By Caroline Langston

Now that the time change has taken place, the season of fall has finally settled in, and buckled down. The weeks are barreling past now, downhill, bearing their inevitable way toward Thanksgiving and the grey months of winter. Here in Washington, DC, the tourists are gone and the ducks have flown away.

More than anything else, the signal characteristic of the season for me is neither the falling leaves or the morning frost, but rather the strange and distinctive quality of autumn light. Gone is the florid haze of summer, Impressionist sunset colors superimposed and flowing into one another—“like lovers on opium,” to quote a line from a workshop poem I read back in grad school, and still remember twenty years later.

Instead, fall light is jewel-toned, sharp, shiny as a plate glass window. An artist acquaintance of mine, a painter who suffers from a debilitating mental illness, once described how unbearable the fall light was to him. Its very glassiness made him feel terrified, as though he himself were, at any moment, going to shatter. I find the light both unsettling and exhilarating ...Read on (Zoom the text)

A-hem. Epicurus Redux. Mixing some sense with hallucination, Richard Klein, whom I imagine wiping his mouth of half-digested truths, writes,

"To be "against health" is to utter a paradox, a sort of oxymoron in the Greek sense, from oxus, meaning "sharp," and moros, meaning "stupid." The Garden of Epicurus has inspired many adherents to its teachings, including the poet Horace in Roman times and later Pierre Gassendi, François Bernier, Ninon de l'Enclos, Denis Diderot, Jeremy Bentham, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Thomas Jefferson referred to himself as an Epicurean. [No surprise there. Where's that slave Sally? Bring in my Sally!!!---sh]

"You may not have heard of Ninon de l'Enclos. One of the greatest courtesans in the court of Louis XIII, she slept with royals and the most desirable men in the realm, conducted the most brilliant salon, and wrote the wittiest philosophical letters ever to speak about the nature of love. She was a great reader of Epicurus and his disciple Montaigne...But there are other classic paths to health. Socrates believed in dancing every morning...Bartolomeo Platina, the great 15th-century scholar, papal librarian, and Epicurean, wrote De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On Honest Pleasure and Good Health") while imprisoned in the castle San Angelo in Rome, where a vengeful Pope Paul II had thrown him" ...Er, continue

[The happy author in a flight of delirium says, "In our time, it has become un-American to be Epicurean, to consider pleasure, even moderately indulged, to be the highest good...In America, we have become strangely divorced from our bodies..." [Huh? He's kidding, right?]; what he neglects to relate of the rascal is that "not even Platina denies that the members of the Roman Academy, imbued with half-pagan and materialistic doctrines, were found guilty of immorality....[Source: CE, a rich summary here]" -- Into the clinker then with him for a few months. Platina's hagiographers for a long time told tall tales of sordid torture as though Dick Cheney were gloriously reigning as Pope at the time.

--->Daniel Hannan: Here's what we Eurosceptics were saying about Ireland and the euro in 1998...

--->Revolt: Passenger Chooses Strip-Down Over T[&]A Pat-Down

--->St. Louis tops list of most dangerous US cities...

--->Brutal China. Cardinal Zen: there is no religious freedom in China...

They shall inherit the earth--->‘The Big Apple Abortion Conspiracy?’ This proposed New York City law could be a model for national legislation. But will NARAL get its way?

--->Peter Kreeft: Priestesses? Why Only Boys Can be Daddies... Hear the talk here... Along the way Mr. Kreeft also says the rich have a higher suicide rate than the poor. Take that all thou Malthusians. But now let's try to help the depressed rich.

--->Haaretz: Pope Benedict: Nazi-era pope saved more Jews than anyone else. "Dr. Michael Hesemann, a German historian who is combing through the Vatican archives for the U.S.-based Pave the Way Foundation, has found in recent research that Pope Pius XII may have arranged the exodus of about 200,000 Jews from Germany just three weeks after Kristallnacht. The new research shows that the perception of Pius XII as "Hitler's Pope" may be historically incorrect..."

--->Journalist Peter Seewald: ‘I know of few young people so alive, so curious and so modern as the Pope...

--->The Pro-Life Leader Who Is Also an Exorcist says
Harry Potter Not Good...

--->Brooklyn rabbi busted for violating order of protection against boy, 12...

---> Brave New Heartless Time? Despite the graphic which refers to another event you may recall, in what follows I truly hate to be even involuntarily amused ---especially by way of the half-truth slap-shtick of Alex Jones---because it is after all about a man's misfortune; but it is also chilling existentially (thus the involuntary amusement) for him to relate Dick Cheney as "undead cyborg" of the 21st century who literally has no pulse. What a time we are living in ---which is my point. Jones says "We now have undead zombies giving speeches on television!" Hmmm...See for yourself...

--->Big Tobacco is in the addiction business, and thanks to its invisible manipulation of the brains and bodies of young American men, business is good... [Note: Why isn't all tobacco products simply banned as a lethal drug? If we ban asbestos and lead paint, why not tobacco products for goodness sake?]

--->Benedict XVI told a recent gathering that health care cannot “divorce itself from moral rules.” As an example he cited how the concept of “reproductive health” does more to work against the care of human life than for it...

--->Israel's parliament has passed a bill setting stringent new conditions before any withdrawal from the Golan Heights or East Jerusalem...

--->Alright, please close your books and take out your pencils...

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