Saturday, January 07, 2006

Let us now praise famous men

1/5/06: Get Out of Your Own Way at Work ... and Help Others Do The Same by Mark Goulston, M.D. It's not a bad book, with 40 bite-sized chapters about how to overcome procrastination, impulsiveness, and so forth. The author's a psychiatrist, so I'm sure he knows which buttons to push. Still, if I were he, I don't think I'd mention that I advised the prosecution in the O.J. Simpson trial.

1/6/06: David Denby's profile of James Agee in The New Yorker.

Agee was impressed by the notion that other human beings idiosyncratically are what they are, in every ornery fibre. Flesh, bone, desire, consciousness — in almost every way, the farmers were different from him and therefore obdurate in their singleness and as capable of pleasure and misery as he. A young couple sitting on a porch and staring at Agee had in their eyes “so quiet and ultimate a quality of hatred, and contempt, and anger, toward every creature in existence beyond themselves, and toward the damages they sustained, as shone scarcely short of a state of beatitude.”

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