Mar 022019
 

So I was chatting with my eleven year-old niece about the Harry Potter books that I’m starting and she’s close to finishing, and right away she asked the inevitable and impossible question: “So what house are you?” I hesitated, unsure.

To help me out, she let me know that without question she is absolutely, certainly a Slytherin. To which, I replied “oh no!” Well, she was having none of it and explained that the books gave the house a bad rep, which wasn’t fair, because there were clearly many, many good Slytherin. Slytherin, for example, like her. How could I resist such logic? Answer: I could not.

My niece, a young woman of great talent, is probably also a parslemouth. (via)

This settled, she turned back to the original question: “So what house are you?”

“Well,” I confessed. “I don’t know. I think I’m either a Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw.” To which my eleven year-old niece responded, without hesitation: “Hufflepuffs are dim, and you aren’t dim.”

This was the best moment of my day. Maybe my week.

May 132018
 

The enjoyment of a work of art, the acceptance of an irresistible illusion, constituting, to my sense, our highest experience of ‘luxury,’ the luxury is not greatest, by my consequent measure, when the work asks for as little attention as possible. It is greatest, it is delightfully, divinely great, when we feel the surface, like the thick ice of the skater’s pond, bear without cracking the strongest pressure we throw on it. The sound of the crack one may recognize, but never to call it luxury.

—Henry James, Preface to The Wings of the Dove

 James on Attention to Art  May 13, 2018  Tagged with: ,
Apr 212015
 

So I’ve been reading (more on that later) and I have a dilemma: eBook or paper?

The options are pretty straightforward. I like how paper books make each book seem different from the other. I like reading EBooks in bed with the light off.

How to choose?

I feel like the potential for dealing with quotation and annotation in EBooks is greater but I feel too that, at least personally, that potential is not realized. So it doesn’t count much in the decision.