Daily Office: Monday



¶ Quiet: The calendar is blank. Nothing on for the entire week. No excuses, in other words, for not attending to the prosaic domesticalities that have been piling up for weeks.


¶ Eco: At Varieties of Unreligious Experience, the Web site that he revived not too long ago (how quickly I lose track, though!), Conrad Roth lays into the historical fiction of Umberto Eco, which he used to like but now finds emptily pretentious.


¶ Parade: Make nice, sez hizzoner. Don’t board up the borders because the [epithet deleted] are coming.


Morning, contd

§ Quiet. But first, a little reading. That is all that I’m going to do today. On Saturday, I picked up a book on impulse, William J Bernstein’s A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. For once, a How … World subtitle that doesn’t seem implausible on its face. I have already learned that camels were nearly extinct when humans discovered their utility for the long haul, c 1500 BCE (page 12).

Noon, cont’d

§ Eco. When asked what I thought of Conrad’s post, I had to confess that I haven’t read any of Eco’s fiction since The Island After the Day Before, which I found worse than boring. Conrad’s essay feels like the start of something — for me, though, not for him; I think that he’s done with Eco.

Night, cont’d

§ Parade. Let the Puerto Ricans do their worst, and they’ll still never come close to the show that New Yorkers used to put on for St Patrick’s Day. Specifically, New Yorkers attending Catholic high schools. It’s a matter of taste: would you rather be menaced, vaguely, or thrown up upon? The vomitage came to an end when the Archdiocese decided to keep the schools open during the parade.