It took a few months, but I managed to transfer this blog to a new host. Links to posts from outside sources may no longer work, so if you’ve linked to a book review or favorite post in the past, you’ll need to find it via the search box in the sidebar and re-link to … Continue reading “…and in this town of stops and starts…”
On June 1, 2020, almost thirteen years to the day since it began, this blog will disappear. My hosting service is shutting down, and I don’t have time right now to find an orderly home for hundreds of old posts. In truth, this blog has been held together by pipe cleaners and putty for years. … Continue reading “Check if you can disconnect the effect, and I’ll go after the cause.”
Every December I do a roundup of blog posts from the passing year, mostly as an easy index for my future self. This year has been the least prolific in the thirteen years I’ve been doing this, and I’m okay with that. Since January, I’ve been helping a local organization write a book that’s going … Continue reading “People don’t sing like they used to sing…”
A knight sliced in half like a sesame bagel, a saint tossed down a hillside in a barrel lined with nails—pain is an ageless wellspring of humor, but we were too weirdly willing to laugh. As graduate students, we were honing our sense of which aspects of the Middle Ages were born of certain eras … Continue reading “Break all the windows in the cold, cold ground.”
This blog has been fallow for six months. I regret the silence, but not the reasons. I’ve gotten involved in three local nonprofits, including one whose leadership asked me to help them write a book. Theirs is the sort of worthwhile project a history-writer dreams about, I’m working with good people, and I can’t wait … Continue reading “We’ve tried potions and waxen dolls, and none of us could find any cures…”
Poets pray for remembrance on the pages of an anthology—but whenever I saw Fenton Johnson’s poems in collections of African American verse, the selections were too limited for me to get a real sense of him. Fond of forgotten writers, I tracked down more of Johnson’s work to find out who he was and what … Continue reading “I can’t get unwound, why do I throw myself into the night…”
I hopped the barbed hedge of graduate school more than 20 years ago, but the burrs and brambles of medieval thinking still cling to my life. I never know if they’re brittle twigs, best brushed off and swept away, or green sprigs that can be woven into some new, small, useful thing. Take “Deor,” an … Continue reading “Pharoah’s army, they got drowned in the sea one day…”
Impermanence is a shock, even in a faith that makes clear it’s the way of the world. Yesterday’s terrible fire in Paris was jarring and sad, but all shall be well: Notre-Dame can be rebuilt, because it’s been rebuilt before. Throughout the day I heard many melodramatic and sentimental pronouncements, most of them by commentators … Continue reading “…and the fire and the rose are one.”
When it comes to blogging, 2018 was not a prolific year around these parts. Work on a new nonfiction book, big professional and civic commitments, and the nine-month search for a new home out here in the woods all kept me away from my favorite forum for writing stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else. That … Continue reading “There, behind the glass, stands a real blade of grass…”
[This is the fourth of four blog posts focusing on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s medieval-themed stories. The first post can be found here, the second can be found here, and the third one is here. If it matters to you, please be aware that these posts about obscure, 80-year-old stories are pock-marked with spoilers.] Six years passed … Continue reading “Believing he listened while laughing you flew…”
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