Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 11, 2017

Early morning tasks included the most melancholy of all– hauling the Christmas tree out to the curb. It is a holy thing and deserves better, but I am at a loss how to provide. Various exertions exhausted me, and I’ve not been able to recover. I feel most moments on the verge of passing out, though I never do. Back to the iron pills. Can sleep soundly simply by lying down. Bought a Victorian marble table for my plants. Bought some antique books: a two volume poetry collection edited by James Russell Lowell, the collected poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary, and a two volume Universal History from the Creation of the World to the Eighteenth Century written in by Alexander Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee near the end of that expanse. My edition is from 1858. I’m still in extreme antiquity, where I found what I was hoping to find: deep atrocities of misapprehension from before the birth of archaeology. His lordship is wrong not only about particulars– one can forgive him that– but in the grand generalization which are meant to give context where particularities are lacking.  Sumer and Minoa are unknown. The bible is considered not only as history, but as the oldest text available about happenings in the Middle East. He reads Genesis as reliable chronicle, He takes it as a matter of faith that the great civilizations arose from crude and humble beginnings, but I think there is no evidence of that, only the supposition that it must logically be so. There may have been crude stone-chuckers on Crete or in the Nile Valley, but there is no evidence that they’re connected in any way with the brilliant cultures that succeeded them, except in accident of location. Some historian five thousand years hence may try to derive Manhattan as a natural outgrowth of the culture of the Delawares, but we who are closer to the moment know that to be absurd. Anyway, days of scrumptious reading.

One hundred eighty seven email messages since I last checked, Maybe two were actually about me or my interests.

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