Art Kavanagh

Talk about books: a newsletter about things I’ve read

A new viral ‘Bionic Reading’ tool … could completely change the way you read and consume content

… it says here. Well it might change the way I consume content but I can promise you it’s not going to affect the way I read. (Oh, and the example is a cheat. Can you spot why?)

Never mind — I found it: How to use the new text editing gestures. First attempts suggest it doesn’t work very well.

I’m really starting to hate i[Pad]OS. A particular irritant is when I tap in the middle of a body of text, hoping for the popup that will allow me to “Select all”, and instead I get one that helpfully tells me “No replacements found”! What’s the “Select all” gesture?

In the rhythm of “The Wife Is Praised”, Empson is alluding to Swinburne’s “Dolores”, jollied up: “I want it more homely and jolly”. But rereading it and writing about it reminded me of “The Fiddler of Dooney” more than anything else.

William Empson’s wife, Hetta (née Crouse), had a long-standing practice of taking younger male lovers. Her husband wanted to join in the fun. So naturally he wrote a poem, his second-longest. William Empson, “The Wife is Praised” — my newsletter

And not to yield: William Empson, “The Wife Is Praised”

And not to yield: William Empson, “The Wife Is Praised” William Empson lived into his late 70s but his career as a poet was over while he was still quite young. His first volume, Poems came out in 1935, when he was 28, while the second, The Gathering Storm was published in 1940. Collected Poems (1955) contains all the poems from those two volumes and a handful of others. He continued to write verse, at least into the late 1940s.

but if I had a sister, even if I didn’t care for her much, I don’t think I’d be quite so happy to stare at her corpse. And I stare at a lot of corpses.

What’s the strangest thing you ever dug up? Fun short story by Sarah Lofgren (sorry, usual Medium paywall).

As I’ve said before, I’m not generally a fan of Emil Viklicky’s piano-playing but I do like the duo album he made with George Mraz, Together Again (to which I’m listening right now) 🎹 🎶

Poets are not normally thought of as either efficient or conscientious.

The subject is Marvell, of course, but do you recognize the author?

I don’t believe it. I read (very nearly) a whole post on the subject of Bitcoin! Quite likely the last one I’ll ever read: Noah Smith (Noahpinion), “What kind of financial asset is Bitcoin?

I must remember not to go to Insomnia any more, old habits notwithstanding. I was in one branch yesterday where they still serve espresso in real cups but most are now using cartons. Oh well 🤷‍♂️ It was good while it lasted ☕️

I signed up to the waiting list to get an invitation to Copper books last year. Recently, the invitation arrived with a link to download the iOS app. However, the app is “currently not available in [my] country” 🤷‍♂️

Once again, we are among reasonably well off students at Trinity College Dublin.

Well, yes, on average. Frances is broke and Bobbi is rich, as in Normal People Marianne is oblivious to Connell’s inability to pay his rent over the summer. Conversations with Friends tv show 📺

Windows says it 13° and raining, iOS that it’s 16° and cloudy, with sunny spells expected for the rest of the day. At least iOS has a better idea of my location, so I think I am going to take the bike out.

My favourite Beatle is David Crosby 🎶

Finished reading Rosemary Jenkinson, Lifestyle Choice 10mg. The title of this collection should have given me a clue, but I was surprised by the amount of drug-taking in these stories. So, not what I was expecting, but some very good stories that I’ll go back to 📚

The latest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, is about Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2015 novel, The Buried Giant, with a brief reference to When We Were Orphans 📖

“Solemn oaths undone in cruel slaughter”: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant

“Solemn oaths undone in cruel slaughter”: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant Each of Ishiguro’s first six novels consists of the first-person narrative of its central character. The Buried Giant (2015) stands apart from them: while it too has an “I”, that “I” (a few asides apart) does not take up the narrative till the book’s final chapter. (There are in addition two “reveries”, in which an aged knight tells himself about his life.

Mr. Musk works in a way that only the “most confident leaders do,” said Tim Draper, a venture capitalist … “Think J.F.K., George Washington and Ronald Reagan.”

Just as well he wasn’t born in the US, then. Via Charles Arthur, The Overspill

If you could kill Putin, would you? I would. And I’m a total peacenik.

Graham Nash on toxic masculinity — there’s another kind? — not least his own 🎶

I’ve said before that iOS badly needs a fast way to collapse the selection (either forwards or backwards). What it needs even more is a way to paste the contents of the clipboard at the insertion point without having to tap the screen (and risk moving the insertion point).

Is it time to retire psychoanalytic literary criticism?

Henry Oliver asks. And he’s not too impressed by Four Thousand Weeks📚 (which I’ve no immediate intention of reading)

I’ve gone back to reading printed books as much as possible. But I don’t print out drafts of my own writing. Not yet anyway though that Paul Graham thread has me asking why not.

Paul Graham reading essays on a phone screen

I somehow overlooked The Garlands of Repose when I was writing my thesis on Marvell, though its title comes from “The Garden” and O’Loughlin’s essay on “Upon Appleton House” is more influential than has been acknowledged. I wonder if I can find a copy of the book. @ayjay, DNA 📖