josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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4 Sep '16 11:34:18 PM

Along Summit, a brick wall, two or three feet, separating sidewalk from yard, with an eminently sittable concrete top surface, on which are placed two lavender signs written in chalk and kept in place with stone paperweights: 'DO NOT SIT ON THIS WALL'.

2 Sep '16 05:22:10 AM

(Obviously an interpolation by a frustrated rhapsode.)

2 Sep '16 05:21:19 AM

'Nine days of drifting followed; but in the night of the tenth the gods washed me up on the island of Ogygia, the home of Calypso of the braided tresses, that formidable goddess with a woman's voice; and she received me kindly and looked after me. But why go again through all this? Only yesterday I told you and your noble wife the whole story here in your home, and it is tedious for me to repeat a tale already plainly told.'

27 Aug '16 06:27:18 AM

'You almost want to write your own insane letter and publish it so that people will start sending you really crazy stuff.'

26 Aug '16 05:43:05 PM

Annual visitors on a ladder outside my window: the cable guy unstealing cable, and the neighbor a few days later who steals it back again.

24 Aug '16 06:52:33 AM

'The underground man writes as if he were thinking, but he thinks as if he were addressing others.'

21 Aug '16 03:59:50 AM

'To say, when they are at work, "Let’s have done with it now," is a physical need for human beings; it is the constant necessity when you are philosophising to go on thinking in face of this need that makes this such strenuous work.'

11 Aug '16 09:46:29 PM

'A dot-com address was considered crass.'

8 Aug '16 07:07:13 PM

'What are the sources of this life, the origins of such a business? This book began as both a cultural-historical and an autotherapeutic answer to this question. Its working claim is that the origins of error—as an ideology, a practice, a defining mode of scholarly identity—lie in the nexus of the editorial, the academic, and the political that has shaped textual adventures from the Renaissance to the present. My argument is that the professionalization of literary study took shape through such encounters with the erroneous: more specifically, through detailed engagements with the classical inheritance of rhetoric and philology. But my conception of error embraces both the erring and the errant (the Latin word “errare” means, of course, “to wander”). Being wrong is also about being displaced, about wandering, dissenting, emigrating, and alienating. The professionalization of the scholar, and, in turn, the pose of the vernacular rhetorician and philologist, was a means by which émigrés, exiles, dissenters, and the socially estranged gained private worth and public legitimacy. This is a book, therefore, about the academic’s search for institutional and intellectual belonging. By defining a rhetoric of error in professional self-shaping, by recalibrating the impact of canonical writers and readers, and by resuscitating long-neglected but historically vital early scholars, this book hopes to illuminate the texture of academic culture and the formation of university disciplines. Indeed, it hopes to show how scholarship itself can be a form of personal illumination—an encounter with the sublime, a romance of reading.'