This is not my beautiful house

Now I am reading The Art of Fielding, which I like okay so far. . . .

Lately I’ve had to walk to work through town, which I don’t usually do. It’s because I’ve had to go to the post office.

There’s something nice about walking by people doing things that apparently happen in the morning — vacuuming zipcars, emptying the street bins — as well as all the other things you’d expect — walking to work, sitting at a counter drinking coffee and eating a scone.

Book group tonight. We read The Swerve, which I did not altogether love reading, but am glad to have read. Jeanne asked what time you’d like to time-travel to, and my answer is some time like the 1400s which I cannot really quite imagine. Greenblatt does a good job of making it imaginable, kind of.

Here’s what he says:

For me, the fascination is not the rise of secular humanism as such, but the extraordinary notion of the survival of fundamentally intolerable, unacceptable ideas during periods of quite ruthless persecution. How do they make it? And not only how do they make it during the very, very long periods during which the text disappears and somehow survives as a ticking bomb on a monastery shelf, but how does it survive after 1417 when it comes back, carrying a set of propositions that are utterly unacceptable — more unacceptable than they were in the early years of Christianity?

But actually, the survival of the physical object bearing those ideas is as interesting to me. That’s the part that I can now almost imagine.

Another really good book about imagining the dark past, I’m now remembering, is Connie Willis’s The Doomsday Book.

Okay — things to do.


One thought on “This is not my beautiful house

  1. Walking by people doing morning-only work is one of my favorite things about being in the city. I love watching the shopkeepers hosing off their bits of sidewalk, the kids skateboarding to school, the construction workers already taking their morning breaks, the food carts setting up on Fifth Avenue, the line down the block for the coffee cart.

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