Tag Archives: Roman empire

“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt to her. Robert Kaplan is the most open about it (his Balkan Ghosts, which launched his career, has him … Continue reading

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2020 Books Read

What a year, huh. What a dumpster-fire year. I read a lot, mostly in the mornings, and it helped create rituals for the days, which often seemed endlessly the same, interchangeable. I read a lot of long and challenging books … Continue reading

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Recommended Books: Non-Fiction

I have been meaning to do a Part 2 to my Recommended Books: Fiction list – put together years ago. I wanted to recommend non-fiction, from history books to biographies to essays to whatever. Here is the Non-Fiction list. I’ve … Continue reading

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The Books: Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints, ‘Becoming the Emperor’, by Joan Acocella

On the essays shelf: Twenty-eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays by Joan Acocella. The next essay I want to excerpt is called ‘Becoming the Emperor’, originally published in The New Yorker in 2005. It is about the French author Marguerite … Continue reading

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November 8: “Prope est a te deus, tecum est, intus est.”

Excerpted from Christopher Morley’s A Book of Days: Being a Briefcase packed for his own Pleasure: NOVEMBER 8, SUNDAY 1931 Non sunt ad coelum elevandae manus nec exorandus aedituus, ut nos ad aurem simulacri, quasi magis exaudiri possimus, admittat. Prope … Continue reading

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On The Stairmaster in the Roman Empire

I’m reading Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic, this book on the fall of the Roman Empire. And the author uses words such as “big business”, “working out”, “blitzkrieg”, “fiscal-military establishment” … There are more. I should keep … Continue reading

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The Books: “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (Edward Gibbon)

I’m on my history bookshelf. Next book on this shelf is called The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Penguin Classics) by Edward Gibbon. It’s one of those things where you say … uh … SOME … Continue reading

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LM Montgomery on “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, by Edward Gibbon

LM Montgomery read the entire 3-volume thing 3 or 4 times in her life. She loved it. I read it, because she read it. I’m nuts. But it is extraordinary indeed. “I am on my third volume of him now … Continue reading

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LM Montgomery on “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon

More on Decline and Fall. “I finished ‘Decline and Fall’ this evening. It is the third time I have read it…It is a monumental piece of work. I know of no historian so coldly impersonal as Gibbon. He seems more … Continue reading

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LM Montgomery on “Ben Hur” by Lew Wallace

“There is a certain couplet in Ben Hur which always makes me incredibly homesick. No more does the Nile in the moonlight calm Moan past the Memphian shore. Gods! There comes the ache! I see that moonlit shore … I … Continue reading

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