Thursday, January 16, 2014


I sprung for some early signs of Spring.
Where to begin? Where to begin? Actually, I am pretty sure that is where I started this blog three years ago, with that question or one like it. 

Today, I just wanted to share some beautiful writing. I'll admit that I went kicking and screaming into Joseph Roth's The Radetzky March with the Kermit Place Readers. In the long run, I did find it valuable. It is also memorable as the meeting that day was very small and it was the last one that our passed-along comrade participated in at full, and charming, force. 

Whilst in Brooklyn, I came across the next volume in Roth's trilogy, The Emperor's Tomb, in the library and picked it up. And "picking at it" pretty much describes how I have been reading it. Roth was (is?) a superb writer. This is from the point of view of a young Austrian fellow signing up to fight in WW1.

They came straight out of embraces, and they had the sense that they had already performed the critical part of their warriors' duties. They had set a date for their weddings. Each of them had lined up some girl or other to marry, even if it wasn't a proper match but a chance hook-up of a kind that in those times for unknown reasons seemed to come fluttering along from who knew where, not unlike moths fluttering in through an open window on a summer night to our tables and beds and mantelpieces — fluttering, flighty, effortless, devoted, the velvety gifts of a brief and generous night.

Velvety gifts of a brief and generous night? That's plain old poetry.

We did not have a particularly velvety night last night, but it was foggy/misty and that had its own charm.

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