Archive for ‘miscellaneous’


“See the curtains hangin’ in the window…”

Summer is nigh, the beans in my garden aspire to wind ’round a trellis, and sunshine breeds an early crop of clever and interesting links.

The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages finds knights at a Rhode Island community college.

Nancy Marie Brown rides an Icelandic horse named Doubt.

Jonathan Jarrett gets a kick from a medieval scribe who was also a “visual learner.”

Luminarium bakes up medieval illuminated initial cookies. (Hat tip: Dave Lull.)

Patrick at Anecdotal Evidence puts Donald Justice and Edward Hopper side by side.

The Book Haven sees fog around bad weather imagery.

Bill Peschel thinks publishers could stand to learn a little showmanship from Star Wars and Tor Books.

Jake Seliger reiterates what you should know before you start a graduate program in literature (although I think his advice applies broadly to the humanities).

Flavia, newly tenured, ponders pseudonymity and its discontents.

Adrian Murdoch finds a German museum disappointing.

James Gurney discovers a video interview with Andrew Wyeth, who wished he’d painted his father.

Dylan pens two ghazals: “And Flowers” and “Zephyr.”

Gabriele at Lost Fort takes you to the delightfully named Dunstaffnage Chapel.

George visits Mount Vernon.

Wuthering Expectations reads Washington Square.

Chris at Hats & Rabbits wonders how he’ll die.

First Known When Lost asks, “What will your epitaph be?”

“I can see the path you’re cutting…”

From Jefferson’s fascination with Old English to the indefatigability of Cajun ring-jousters, American medievalism has long enjoyed a reputation as (in the words of one prominent scholar) “a tough little sister just looking for Mister Right on the wrong side of town.” While the “Quid Plura?” kobolds and I track down traces of medievalism far afield from the D.C. area, please partake of these medieval-ish and literary links from the cleverest of souls.

Steve Donoghue reads Froissart’s Chronicles and St. Augustine’s Confessions.

Nancy Marie Brown’s A Good Horse Has No Color: Searching Iceland for the Perfect Horse enjoys new life as an e-book.

Dame Nora ekes out a medieval flower.

Ephemeral New York spies grotesques on 181st Street.

Makers of the Middle Ages is now available in print.

Steve Muhlberger alerts us to a book about a Tudor minstrel.

Julie K. Rose is reading from her novel Oleanna at Norway Day in San Francisco.

Is Edward Bulwer-Lytton mocked for all the wrong reasons?

Bill Peschel uses poet Rupert Brooke to rewrite Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Cynthia Haven recalls meeting, and re-meeting, Robert Bly.

Dylan pens “Ode 2.0,” a charmingly honest poem about social media.

Anna Tambour, connoisseuse of strange fruit, cultivates French crabs.

Benjamin Buchholz quaffs a cup of Khan.

Hats & Rabbits wonders what a science fiction author sees that others don’t.

Steven Hart want to give you the Kindle edition of his well-reviewed New Jersey crime novel.

Writer Beware warily eyes the restored “Poetry.com.”

Kevin at Interpolations is glad he’s no Middlemarch scholar.

First Known When Lost questions poems about poems.

“So, I continue to continue…”

“April,” said Edna St. Vincent Millay, “comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.” In the same giddy spirit, here’s a florilegium of sweet-smelling links.

First Known When Lost sees clouds in poems, poems in clouds.

Julie K. Rose, author of Oleanna, looks at meadows, trysts, and Norwegian identity.

Witan Press, publisher of scholarly medieval e-books, seeks a virtual intern.

Bill Peschel visits Cupboard Maker Books and tells parents to let their kids self-publish.

Prof Mondo spots a songwriter “at the intersection of Bacchan depravity and commerce.”

George reads In Plato’s Cave, an academic memoir.

Who deserves the Arthur C. Clarke Award? This year, there’s controversy.

Jake Seliger asks: Are you more than a consumer?

Hats & Rabbits pens a parable.

Dr. Beachcombing hails a handlist of adult changelings.

Benjamin Buchholz takes us to Oman, where they still build dhows by hand.

Y.S. Fing reviews a book about the man who invented Ignatius Reilly.

PeteLit finds Beatrix Potter’s bunnies bred from a letter.

Lingwë dabbles in absinthe.

Steve Donoghue, man of a million interests, introduces you to opera.

The Book Haven calls for an end to Orwellian “wars.”

Writer Beware! tells you why small publishers fail.

Stephen Akey reads raw Catullus.

Frank Wilson writes a haiku or two.

“We’re doing fine, I’ll see you on the Nightline…”

The soil is warming, my garden abounds with daffodils abandoned by the land’s last tenant, and spiffy links blossom wherever you look.

King Alfred calls! Study intensive Latin and Old English online through Bemidji State.

Better Living Through Beowulf teaches Tennyson’s “Ulysses” in retirement.

Michael Drout wonders: So how big was the dragon in Beowulf?

The Cranky Professor spies Abbot Suger at a Coptic funeral.

Spring is here, but Lisa Peet seeks winter tales.

Sam Sacks ponders Frank Kermode, novels, and angels.

As a Linguist utters Irish slang.

Lingwë visualizes The Iliad.

A Momentary Taste of Being concludes that literary criticism is collaborative fiction.

University Diaries imagines what pharmaceuticals do to the poetry of grief.

Interpolations gets why Legends of the Fall is short on dialogue.

Jake Seliger wonders if he’s sufficiently cool for Elmore Leonard.

Steve Donoghue reads the new comic-book take on a Conan tale.

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation launches a new biography.

Prof Mondo won’t let his students write papers on Poe.

Painting and poetry: Anecdotal Evidence notes verse about Wyeths.

D.G. Myers reviews life at 60.

Hats & Rabbits grows gray gracefully.

First Known When Lost finds hedgehogs in poignant places.

On YouTube, Tom O’Bedlam reads “Fairy Tale Logic” by A.E. Stallings.

Dylan pens a fine ghazal: “Opening Act.”

“So perhaps I should leave here, go far away…”

“You say I’m a dreamer; we’re two of a kind,” the Saxon theologian Gottschalk wrote to Frankish abbot Walahfrid Strabo in A.D. 848, “both of us searching for some perfect world we know we’ll never find.” Walahfrid never did convince his friend to spurn his heretical ways, but you’re doubly predestined to enjoy these Tuesday links.

Nora Munro, medievalist, responds to Jonathan Franzen’s e-book quips.

Vitoð ér enn, eða hvat? A.S. Byatt revisits Ragnarok.

Anecdotal Evidence: in praise of swink.

Michael Drout ponders why Tolkien’s writing lends itself to recitation.

Wuthering Expectations discovers Portuguese poet Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen.

A Poem a Day answers, twice, “How do I become a poet?”

Dylan looks askance at W.S. Merwin.

Rose Kelleher blurbs a poetry book about office work.

The Rumpus charts T.S. Eliot’s career in banking.

A decade ago, Cynthia Haven visited Cavafy’s flat in Alexandria.

Now she finds Ivanhoe, edited.

Flavia gets her students scanning Shakespeare.

Don’t miss the Richard III play Shakespeare should have written.

Lingwë explores the roots of “Gandalf.”

Dr. Beachcoming digs up Irish giants.

Bill Peschel remembers Dickens on stage.

Jeff Alessandrelli listens as Erik Satie Watusies His Way Into Sound.

Ephemeral New York hears the call of the South Bronx Lorelei.

Australian fantasist Anna Tambour spins a new tale: “Cardoons.”

The great New Jersey band Gaslight Anthem evokes “The ’59 Sound.”

“Though the interstate is choking under salt and dirty sand…”

The sprouts of spring are many weeks away—but let these literary links break through the frost-encrusted soil of your mind.

Michael Drout is amused by the Nobel Tolkien snub, but he also takes it seriously.

Richard Utz finds evidence for the “unique continuity” of medievalism.

The inimitable Dr. Beachcoming reads up on medieval dog-heads.

“From imperial representation to barbarian fortress”: Lost Fort visits Trier.

Sadly, the Ozark Medieval Fortress will likely go un-built.

Brian Murphy seeks the starting line of fantasy.

Bill Peschel reads a much-praised fantasist and wonders what the fuss is all about.

The Sliver Key learns how to stop worrying and appreciate Peter Jackson.

Jason Fisher asks: Is “alright” all right?

(Jason’s Tolkien and the Study of His Sources is also now available for the Kindle.)

Dylan plays familiar verses: “American Pied Beauty.”

University Diaries seeks “verbal consciousness” in poetry.

Clive James praises poetry’s technicians.

First Known When Lost looks for poems about ice skating.

My friend Ephemeral New York discovers a gorgeous mosaic dome.

Patrick Kurp picks poems at a yard sale.

Steve Donoghue travels with Penguins.

Jake Seliger writes about trolls, and attracts them.

The terrific Poetry News in Review has a new home on the Web.

Hats & Rabbits proffers a parable.

Writer Beware advises iBook users to study the fine print.

Bibliographing imagines Tolstoy’s A Christmas Carol.

Steven Riddle reviews The Sharper the Knife, the Less You Cry.

The Book Haven sees senescence in Stevens, Eliot, and Miłosz.

“If you want to tell me something new, I might stick around…”

The Internet is an overwhelming source of wonderful reads—so much so that in the past year, you may have overlooked these articles and posts by bloggers, journalists, scholars, writers, and poets. In the relative peace between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, click a link or two; perhaps you’ll find something terrific you’d hate to have missed.

What did the Norse call Constantinople? The Ruminate expounded.

Jonathan Jarrett explored what it meant to call yourself a “Goth” in tenth-century Spain.

Lingwë wondered what Samwise Gamgee meant by “neekerbreekers” and looked at a Hogwarts professor’s curious name.

Cynthia Haven asked if visual clichés affect how we write and noted the “bland endeavor” of National Poetry Month.

Michael Livingston showed you what it’s like to edit a medieval text. (He continued his lesson in part two.)

The enigmatic Withywindle imagined Ernie Pyle remembering Clark Kent.

As a Linguist painted a portrait of a polyglot and remembered expat life in Istanbul.

Classical Bookworm discovered a forgotten Hungarian polyglot. Sixteen languages?

“But above all, One Who Walked Alone is brave.” The Silver Key reviewed Novalyne Price’s memoir about Robert E. Howard.

“Inside,” said Hats & Rabbits, “we are all great pipe organs waiting for the right wind to bring us alive. But it seems to me that, often, the delicate pipes go unused until they rust and fall into disrepair.” Chris later weighed the darkness without, rode a roller coaster arabesque, and overheard what kids say about their parents.

ZMKC recalled childhood loneliness.

Ruff Notes showed us what Washington National Cathedral almost looked like.

Dr. Beachcombing dug up the Zambian space program.

Anna Tambour charted a parrot confidence course.

Flavia asked why there isn’t more Protestantism on American television. She also contemplated grief, mourning, and the elusiveness of “closure.”

What do a Pakistani-American fourth-grader and Isaac Bashevis Singer have in common? Anecdotal Evidence explained.

“The literature of the Holocaust is so vast that newcomers to the subject are disheartened from beginning,” said D.G. Myers, who offered an annotated list.

Thinking about the lack of novels about work, Bibliographing revisited “Office Space.”

Jake Seliger pondered imaginative career paths and writing in terms of computer programming.

At Interpolations, a philosopher-in-training met an owl.

Dame Nora blogged “quince week” with some quince history, thoughts on quince marmalade, and a recipe.

Overthinking It explored the political economy of My Little Pony.

Kij Johnson penned a creepy fantasy tale about girldom: “Ponies.”

Debate time! James Gurney (whom I like) versus Frank Gehry (whom I don’t).

Prof Mondo read Gardner’s On Moral Fiction in light of young-adult lit.

Frank Wilson penned an earthquake poem.

First Known When Lost hailed the “Dance of the Macabre Mice.”

University Diaries led us through “Sublunary,” a poem by A.E. Stallings.

Michael Lista heard his heartbreak echoed in a villanelle.

Dylan composed a Christian triolet and wondered, “how would Smiths lyrics sound from the pen of Gerard Manley Hopkins?

If you haven’t yet read the first part of Adam Golaski’s funky new translation of “Sir Gawain,” what are you waiting for?

Paul Laurence Dunbar would have liked this recitation of “Sympathy.”

Edwin Arlington Robinson would have liked this recitation of “Miniver Cheevy.”

I liked this bluegrass cover of “Walk Like an Egyptian.”

“I was dreaming like a Texan girl…”

Oh ring, ring the yule log
   And sound the holly wreath!
Open up the missile, too,
   And trim your crispness treeth.

– Walt Kelly, The Stepmother Goose (1954)

Whether you’re itching from tinsel or scouring tree sap from your coat and gloves, here’s a set of glittering links to ornament the Douglas fir in the Rockefeller Center of your mind.

“Do ye nae see that great writing–prose or poetry–is not the shriek, but the shriek mediated by consciousness?” University Diaries shows why writing is a cool medium.

“But what struck me most on the personal tour is how William Nicholson’s play and subsequent film misrepresented a life that was not a passionless, solitary bachelorhood, but crowded with people and noise and human obligations.” Cynthia Haven visits the home of C.S. Lewis in Oxford.

“Amazing, isn’t it, the things you notice when you hold a map up to the light!” Jason at Lingwë teases Old Norse out of a Tolkien manuscript.

“I guess no translation will ever satisfy every reader; that’s why we should all translate the Edda for ourselves!” Old Norse News looks at two new published translations.

“Hodel’s last comment might be the finest expression of a grown child’s need to lead an independent life, and a parent’s need to let the child go, that I’ve ever seen.” Pete finds a nice passage in Sholom Aleichem.

“For the most part, it seemed, the faculty studying higher education were proceeding with their fairly narrow-gauged research as if Rome were not burning.” The enigmatic Fenster Moop attends a scholarly conference.

“Copper had its place in classical civilization, alloyed to make bronze, and as currency, but evidently one didn’t make pipes of it.” George plumbs the etymology of “plumber.”

“Despite her utter failure as an author, screenwriter, and publisher, she has the chutzpah to peddle a book that she’s written.” Lee Goldberg notes an inept scam publisher rising from the dead.

“The question Conrad asks and never answers is, can one person love both composers?” Tom Glenn reviews Verdi and/or Wagner.

“[P]art of the problem is that ‘plagiarist,’ like ‘racist,’ is a term that doesn’t allow for gradation or nuance, and no one believes he can be that thing.” Flavia reminds herself that plagiarists are people too.

“Sassoon speculates often on what death is like, and though he has several reuseable phrases at hand to euphemise it—’gone out patrolling in the dark’, ‘beyond the wire’, ‘gone West’—even these are poignant and not (yet?) cliché.” Bibliographing is reading the literature of World War I.

“Is this just luck or is the stuff disappearing invisibly, draining away somehow, like sand?” ZMCK wonders what becomes of the chunks of debris that fall off Eastern European buildings.

“Parents in my neighborhood banned their kids from playing at my house because they always came home with their pockets full of dirt.” James Gurney unearths the roots of Dinotopia.

“[A]s a lover of the idea of shaking hands with the past, I could think of no better way of doing so than by drinking a drink cherished by my predecessors.” Hats & Rabbits thirsts for the lost pages of an 18th-century magazine.

“Nkoloso was, in short, one of those wonderful eccentrics who usually only appear after three or four generations of middle class parliamentary democracy.” Dr. Beachcombing rediscovers the Zambian space program.

“…and the little ones chewed on the bones-o….”

Unfortunately, I got smothered by autumn leaves before I could offer “Quid Plura?” readers the annual Thanksgiving exercise in applied paleobromatology, such as last year’s medieval Islamic carrot jam, or candied Baghdad lamb, or medieval hogdepodge duck gone awry, or that much-googled classic, galangal ale.

Still, I’m grateful for those of you who stop by, and I’m equally thankful to the people who make the Internet a perpetual buffet of tidbits about art, books, history, and life. Settle in with a plate of leftovers—and these links—and stuff the cornucopia of your mind.

The Washington Independent Review reads Kimberly Cutter’s new Joan of Arc novel.

Weirdly, late medieval paintings of martyrs have become a hot commodity.

At the British Library, Book Haven browses royal manuscripts.

Steve Donoghue (whose reading time I envy) explores The Age of Bede.

Steve also wonders: Will we ever see a King Charles III?

I may need to check out Creole Medievalism: Colonial France and Joseph Bédier’s Middle Ages.

Patricia Emison remembers the Renaissance, and wants you to do the same.

Dr. Beachcomber seeks big bones in churches.

Anecdotal Evidence praises the worth of the hunt.

First Known When Lost finds Herrick in the teriyaki.

The Silver Key remembers pulp writer Harold Lamb.

Dylan pens “Viva Voce,” a nonsense rhyme that makes sense to me.

Lingwë wonders what Samwise Gamgee meant by “neekerbreekers.”

Collected Miscellany asks: Are All the Giants Dead?

Classical Bookworm hops the Bulgarian book bus.

Laudator Temporis Acti meets the First Earl of Balfour, bibliophile.

Wuthering Expectations hosts those two German horrors, Max und Moritz.

Adrian Murdoch likes a review of an Elagabalus biography.

For a police thriller with a Garden State twist, check out Steven Hart’s We All Fall Down.

A Momentary Taste reviews The Revisionists.

Thinking about the lack of novels about work, Bibliographing revisits “Office Space.”

Jake Seliger thinks too few students think thoughts of their own.

Lee Goldberg notes a spy writer who plagiarized damn near everything.

Cinerati suggests interesting kids in myth and history with Badass of the Week.

ZMKC jogs ’round Gellert Hill in Budapest.

Gabriele at Lost Fort tours castles in Thuringia.

As a Linguist paints a portrait of a polyglot.

Pete Lit links to a basketball sonnet.

Intelligent Life weighs up Warhol.

Philip A. Lobo reviews the game Bastion.

Ephemeral New York spots sheep heads on East 13th.

“Everybody’s coming, leave your body at the door…”

The Eve of All Hallows draws nigh! Here, dear readers, is a bowl of candy-sweet links, littered with literary razor blades to trouble the tender pink gums of your mind.

Cinerati sees medievalism in very cheesy ads.

Steve Donoghue reads King Harald’s Saga and books about birds.

Dianne notes that no one’s buying a medieval fake.

Makers of the Middle Ages, covering such souls as Erasmus, Shakespeare, Morris, and Heaney, is now free to download.

The Anglo-Saxon Narrative Poetry Project has translated all of Genesis A and B.

The curious Dr. Beachcombing seeks connections ‘twixt fairies, mermaids, and eggs.

The Book Haven hears out a Russian novelist who aims to turn you off.

Urgelt reads, wonderfully, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”

Hats & Rabbits weighs the darkness without.

The Era of Casual Fridays explains where “Ozymandius” came from.

Prospero spots what Arthur Conan Doyle got right.

Marginalia questions the quantification of literary enjoyment.

James Gurney asks why we invented magenta.

First Known When Lost hails the “Dance of the Macabre Mice.”

Pete Lit looks for imaginary books.

Bill Peschel laughs at a new scam for authors.

Fenster Moop doubts the fall of the faculty.

George notes the death of the man who made C.

ZMCK looks at sign design in Budapest.

Jake Seliger reads Steve Jobs.

New Jersey residents of a certain age remember a castle by the sea.

Finally, here’s last year’s Halloween gargoyle poem.