Some of the appreciation for the savage and descriptive genius present in Moby Dick reminds me of Thoreau's Walden. Published only three years apart to similar unspectacular receptions, I suppose it's not unusual that I'm attracted to both. What is it about that 1850s that so enthralls? Charles Dickens wrote most of his great stuff then as well. Poe too.
Henry James, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson all leave me cold, and all were writing just three to four decades after that “golden age” of the 1850s. A changed aesthetic.
Moby Dick is remarkably dense lyricism; five pages of Melville is equivalent to 15-20 pages of a typical novelist, and ten to fifteen poems of the typical poet. Lots of bang for your buck.
The originator of the Luminous Mysteries - not St. John Paul II? I did not know this.
Read some of Pirates' Steve Blass book. I've always thought of Blass as a tragic figure - the first victim of mental illness I was aware of (defining mental illness down, surely, given that he was simply unable to pitch with control, with no physical explanation).
He seems to have a mostly positive attitude now, not letting it get him down even though he's so defined by it that his name is on the illness (Steve Blass Disease).
It scared me to hear of it, back in '73 when I was a tender kid, just as spontaneous combustion cases and serial killers did. Would've helped to know statistics I suppose, although for the pessimist stats are little comfort.
It's sort of uncanny how my mom's five brothers were so astoundingly frugal. Normally siblings have different sensibilities including, one would think, around the use of money, but they all seem to have inherited their parent's frugal gene. Who'd have thunk it? I can understand how my grandmother and grandfather, being of Depression-era, ended up frugal but not their baby boomer kids. You'd think that at least one or two would "rebel". I can only assume that my grandparents didn't shove frugality down their throat (because that leads to rebellion), but instead led by example. Or something like that.