Friday, October 31, 2003

Servant of the Dead
E-mail from a friend:
While I was going over to see mother there was a good interview on NPR. The man's thesis was that the dead have always had a role in our lives. From the old times of ancestor worship and appeasement to today in literature and law. He had this mantra-like saying about how we build a house to house our books and that our books house the voices of the dead. He talked about Odysseus and ├ćneas and Dante all needing to consult the dead at an important juncture, how we use the words of the dead, the Law, to resolve issues in our time. It was really cool.
He was a professor of French and Italian at I forget what university. The interviewer asked him what had led him to this view. He said he had been raised in Turkey until he was twelve and then in Rome and had always been keenly aware of the "overburden of the past. He said that his work teaching literature required him to spend an inordinate part of his time with the voices of the dead. (That reminded me of Byatt's Possession.)
And of course I thought of you working in that house that houses the books that house the voices of the dead. Freaky, huh? Like driving through the cop party.
- posted with permission of the author

Closeted Blog?
Sometimes when I read this blog or this blog, I wonder - Should my blog be more gay?
I write about what I want to write about. My life of books and studying and trying to study is more interesting than my so-called gay life, anyway. I don't live in New York or D.C.
Besides, I usually write this at work. How gay can I get?
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Okay, okay. I went to the mountains last weekend with my boyfriend.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

So I'm (sort of ) reading Daniel J. Boorstin's The Discoverers, right? Here's food for thought - Boorstin starts off by describing how our calender evolved, and this evolution's relationship with different cultures' mythologies.
"The Babylonians made the whole sky a stage for their mythological imagination . . . The evening star, later called the planet Venus - the brightest heavenly object next to the sun and moon - became a luminous lion roaming the sky from east to west. The great god El, jealous of so bright and high-rising a luminary, put the lion to death again at every dawn. The Old Testament presents this fantasy in the vision of Lucifer cut down for his pride: 'How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! . . . For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.' (Isaiah, 14:12-14) This diurnal assassination was accomplished by the messanger of El, Michael (meaning 'Who is like El'?)."
Boorstin, The Discoverers, Random House, New York, 1983, p.17
Just another reminder that the Bible is a bunch of different stuff, from a bunch of different places in a bunch of different time periods. Best not to try and take it too literally.
The name "Lucifer" means "light bringer," and aspects of our "Satan" were also derived from the story in Greek mythology of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods to give to mankind so that man might better himself, and Prometheus was cast down for this impudence.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The Friendsteriment
A friend has lured me into Friendster. I don't really know what to do with it. I mean, I know what the site is supposed to do, but I don't really get it. Plus it's a little depressing to log in and see "You have 2 friends."
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It occurred to me last night that my new apartment is an undiscovered country. I must conquer it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Back at the plate
The weekend was good. Long live the weekend.
The antique phonograph show was actually there. It looked a lot like this. Not many people bothered to haul in floor models, though, and most of the ones who did brought Edisons. I don't really know what's up with those Edison people.
But I did meet a guy who lives right over in Raleigh. He said he sees the kind of machine I want all the time. He took my name and etc., and said he'd hook me up.
The mountains were very groovy Saturday. I didn't go to Roaring Gap - I was misinformed. I went to a place named Volunteer Gap.
Sunday was solid fog all day.
Pictures of my own will follow someday.
I meant to mention this organisation. They had a table at the phonograph show, trying to raise money to create some tribute, a memorial or museum, for an early, ground-breaking, jazz label.