Recently I’ve written in praise of favorite blogs and bloggers. I can think of no better way to mark my nine hundredth posting on Books to the Ceiling than by doing more of the same.
A Commonplace Blog is written by D.G. Myers, a man of uncommonly rigorous intellect and great courage as well. Whether he is writing about books, Judaism, current affairs, philosophy, or any other topic, Professor Myers displays the same fluency and erudition. In particular, I owe him a debt of gratitude for his recommendation of The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis. He calls it “the perfect historical novel.” I agree.
Two blogs that take full and rich advantage of the visual component of blogging are In So Many Words and Letters from a Hill Farm. Yvette blogs at the first; Nan, at the second. In both cases, one feels the full force of their love of books, of life and general – and of grandchildren in particular!
Two blogs that I truly cherish are My Porch and The Argumentative Old Git. At My Porch, Thomas chronicles his love of books and the arts with flair and exuberance. Likewise his unabashed affection for his dog Lucy, as delightfully documented in a series of photos. Oh, and Thomas – thanks for writing in praise of Eric Ambler. I had the great good fortune to be reading A Coffin for Demetrios when I was in Paris in 1995.
As for the The Argumentative Old Git – well, he most certainly is not that! Concerning the name chosen for his blog, Himadri explains that “it’s best to be self-deprecating before someone else deprecates you.” So: sense of humor – check! Also deep erudition and love of books and music – in other words, the Things That Matter. I first found this blog when I was writing- -yet again – about reading – yet again – The Turn of the Screw. Himadri had written a wonderful post on Henry James’s infuriating, fascinating novel and on the terrific 1961 film, called The Innocents and starring Deborah Kerr. I then became aware that he’d also written about Wagner’s Parsifal. It seems we’d both seen the HD broadcast of the Met’s production of this opera in March of last year. Himadri described himself as “somewhat shaken by the experience.” I felt the same. I’ve seen this opera three times, and every time it perplexes me and moves me profoundly. About a week later, I wrote a post on The Turn of the Screw; in that post I wrote yet again about Parsifal. I linked to Himadri’s blog, and we had a most pleasing exchange in the Comments section of that post.
Anyway, Himadri is unfailingly gracious and learned; I recommend The Argumentative Old Git to all those who value literate discourse (which I fear is becoming increasingly rare).
Before leaving the subject of blogs, I’d like to mention that Martin Edwards of Do You Write Under Your Own Name recently shared the great news that he has written a book about the history of crime fiction. Called The Golden Age of Murder and focusing in particular on the Detection Club, it is to be published in May of next year by HarperCollins. You can pre-order this book on Amazon – I’ve already done it.
Finally, I’d like to conclude with some things of beauty:
Svetlana Zakharova and Andrei Uvarov:
And finally…’Beauty too rich for use; For earth, too dear!’
Alessandra Ferri and Angel Corella