February 26, 2012
This speaks so beautifully to the middle class posturing that plagues literary talks:
The Crashaw Club had paid me to discuss
Why Poetry Is Meaningful to Us
I gave my sermon, a dull thing but short.
As I was leaving in some haste, to thwart
The so-called ‘question period’ at the end,
One of those peevish people who attend
Such talks only to say they disagree
Stood up and pointed with his pipe at me.
February 1, 2012
Oh goodness, I can’t say if I’m grateful to Christopher Hitchens for alerting me to the marvels of Nabokov’s prose (via the more recently deceased man’s memoirs) or deeply unhappy it’s taken me until now. This, for example:
His misshapen body, that gray mop of abundant hair, the yellow nails of his pudgy fingers, the bags under his lusterless eyes, were only intelligible if regarded as the waste products eliminated from his intrinsic self by the same forces of perfection which purified and chiseled his verse. He was his own cancellation.