— Miwnay, Sogdian woman in Dunhuang, wife of Nanai Dhat, c. 313 CE. She was dependent on a Zoroastrian priest for support after Nanai abandoned her and saddled her with his debts, and wrote two bitter letters to her husband.
— Overheard on the street.
Santa Maria by PerKelt. Some fine recorder work!
Little cutie Luca, two years old, sings the blues. (Via Language Log.)
The standard blues has 12 bars grouped 4, 4, and 4, which important harmonic changes at the beginning of each 4-bar group. In traditional blues the vocal lines not only are cut to those 4-bar phrases, but they may take a call and response pattern: 2 bars call, 2 bars response (& the response may be purely instrumental). The kid is clearly aware of all that, but doesn’t quite follow it. Either he doesn’t quite have it, or he’s a young master and is playing around with the form. (Bill Benzon)
— Andrew Martin, Belles and Whistles.
— Nicholas Tucker, reviewing a book, Good Ideas by Michael Rosen, in the Independent.
Perhaps it’s because of spellcheck or the exigencies of global business English, perhaps it’s because we read on the bus rather than in the armchair, perhaps it’s because IQs are falling, but this is an age that misunderstands Hemingway’s terseness as simplicity and one in which James Patterson is the world’s best-selling novelist: “Dressed now in a black leather jacket, black jeans, black polo shirt, and black harness boots, Marcus Sunday hurried…”
Come on, James. Why not make that jacket obsidian, the jeans melanoid, that shirt atramentous, those boots stygian? Here’s to Will."
— James Kidd, ‘How to read Will Self’, The Independent.
— Sesquipedalian eructation by Will Self, author.
— Sesquipedalian eructation from Will Self, author.
Khalil Ullah (Hindustani Muslim) to Ganiullah (Muttra District, UP)
2nd Lancers, France
3rd March 1918
I am sending you a picture of an American lady aviator, I want you to study it and see what the women of Europe and America are doing. I want you to contrast them with our womenfolk, and to think what sort of education they can give to our children when they themselves are lacking in knowledge and training. I am hopeful that, if you pay careful attention to what I have written, you will be able to effect some improvement. The advancement of India lies in the hands of the women; until they act, India can never awake from her hare’s dream. Forgive me if I have spoken too strongly.
— Indian Voices of the Great War: Soldiers’ Letters, 1914-1918, edited by David Omissi.
— Dorothy Parker’s Art of Fiction interview, from 1956, in the Paris Review.
— Jewish proverb