Wednesday, May 07, 2014


At the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal on Andrew Stauffer's BookTraces project:
A woman named Ellen received a book by the sentimental poet Felicia Hemans. Years later, her seven-year-old daughter died, and she adapted lines from Hemans to create a memorial inside the book. Mary, Mary, Mary.

Moved by this, Stauffer looked at another edition of Hemans in the UVA library and found a similar tribute to a lost child. "This really tells us something about how people were using Hemans and this book to refract their own grief," he said.
A short piece, but full of interesting bits.

In other news, I am what can only be described as thoroughly discombobulated! I have two meetings tomorrow (plus an allergy doc appointment), then a day off before flying to Israel on Saturday night to give two lectures at Tel Aviv University; but I woke up this morning to the news that B.'s father died early this morning in Ottawa. I will fly up there tomorrow evening so that I can keep the bereaved company and help out with practical stuff for a day and a half; then I'll fly back to NYC and go straight from one airport to another for my Saturday evening flight. Head about to explode from complexity of packing requirements, compression of preparation and packing time, etc.!

(Chuck was a very dear man, kind and thoughtful; he had been suffering from Alzheimer's for almost a decade, and it had begun to really get the better of him, even as his hearing and vision had almost completely deserted him: not a good combination. That said, he and Brent and I had one particularly lovely day out together two years ago - I don't seem to have the photos on my computer, but I will retrieve one from B.'s fridge door and post later on.)

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