- In this letter to his then-fiancée Frances Blogg, a twenty-five-year-old G. K. Chesterton describes an ordinary day for him. His descriptions are characteristically wonderful:
Out of the starless night of the Uncreated, that was before the stars, a soul begins to grope back to light. It gropes its way through strange, half-lighted chambers of Dreams, where in a brown and gold twilight, it sees many things that are dimly significant, true stories twisted into new and amazing shapes, human beings whom it knew long ago, sitting at the windows by dark sunsets, or talking in dim meadows. But the awful invading Light grows stronger in the dreams, till the soul in one last struggle, plunges into a body, as into a house and wakes up within it. Then he rises and finds himself in a wonderful vast world of white light and clear, frankly coloured shapes, an inheritor of a million stars. On enquiry he is informed that his name is Gilbert Keith Chesterton.
This amuses him.
- A botanist at the University of Florida recently published a book on the flora of Middle Earth.
- The hard drive containing all of Terry Pratchett’s unfinished novels has been run over with an antique steamroller, per his request.
- From Christopher Adamson, two different ways of looking at the same bird from two (very) different poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins and E. E. Cummings.
- I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about translated literature lately, so this article on the “flattening” of English authors’ voices in Chinese translation was eye-opening.
- John Milton’s home is in danger of falling into disrepair, and its owners are asking the public for help.
- I wasn’t very familiar with Fernando Pessoa before, so this piece by Adam Kirsch on Pessoa’s masterpiece The Book of Disquiet was pretty fascinating. (HT: Clarissa Aykroyd)
- And finally, readers are rediscovering what our great-great-grandparents knew years ago—memorizing poetry is awesome: “You can’t express your ineffable yearnings for a world that is not quite what you thought it was going to be until you’ve memorized three or four poems that give you the words to begin.”