Doug Bruns

Posts Tagged ‘Dante’

An old journal (repost)

In Memoir, Writers on March 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

I’m sorting through packing boxes. I found an old journal, from the 1970s. Here are a few notes & quotes:

“Life is either mostly adventure or it’s mostly psychology. If you have enough of the one then you don’t need a lot of the other.” ~ Stanley Elkin

I watch a man in a corner booth of a McDonald’s. He cleans his fingernails with a pocket knife. Another man, every few minutes, sniffs his arm pits, pretending he is wiping his brow on his sleeve.

She called her boyfriend “sweet baby.” She said it to his face. She said it in public. It embarrassed him when she said it around his buddies, but it was too early in the relationship for him to comfortably tell her. So he just took it and his buddies smirked.

Overheard at a dinner table: “I can’t believe you said that. I’m going to go into the lady’s room and get myself back together.”

“These jeans are professionally torn.”

“Fame is the thirst of youth.” ~ Byron

It sat like a fart in church.

“People struggle not only to define themselves but to avoid being defined by others.” ~ Leonard Kriegel

I wrote once an unpublished, unfinished, uninteresting novel.

“In the middle of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost.” ~Dante

Review of Miscellany

In Books, Reading, Technology, Wisdom on November 5, 2010 at 8:17 am

In a piece called Generation Why? one of my favorite contemporary writers, Zadie Smith, reviews The Social Network in The New York Review of Books. I mentioned it because I found the movie an unlikely favorite, a sort of Melvillian study in obsession, à la Moby Dick, but with a computer replacing the whale.

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There is a terrific article in the current The New Yorker on Daniel Patrick Moynihan‘s collection of correspondence and letters. I confess to infrequently investing in a full reading of a New Yorker article, but this one was different. I knew of Moynihan, of course, but didn’t really know why I knew of him.  Moynihan: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” The piece is a nice introduction. Where are the Moynihans of today?

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My favorite local beer–local or not, always a favorite–is Allagash White. But there is a contender, though not local, but close. Three Philosophers beer from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown. I mention it because of the label description, which reads: “cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.” If one were so inclined, there is an apt and wonderful epitaph.

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In the category: Not yet read but going to read: Hamlet’s Blackberry. As you may know from reading my occasional rants here, I am conflicted over the import of technology on our lives. This book takes up the question. One reviewer, quoted on the author’s homepage, states: “To those dithering over whether to close down Facebook accounts, resign from the Twitterati, and resume a more contemplative and more properly connected life, this remarkable book presents the answers and the validations for which you have been hoping.  William Powers, brave in intent and wise in argument, offers in these pages an oasis of serenity and sanity, a sanctuary from a world fast turning into a limitless digital Sahara.

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There are three blogs I read regularly. I thought I should link them here. There is The Millions, a site for readers. It was here I started my David Foster Wallace Infinite Jest journey. There is The Rumpus, a terrific site for all things cultural (popular). And then, The Nervous Breakdown, an energetic blog of ideas and notions, leaning in the writerly direction. I contribute regularly to The Nervous Breakdown (TNB). To wit, a new essay, “I have no natural capacity for anything.”

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I leave you with a quote: “Doubting pleases me no less than knowing.” ~ Dante