Archive for ‘miscellaneous’

“Well, I hit the rowdy road, and many kinds I met there…”

The best gifts come wrapped in a bit of mystery. Check out the old wooden box that surprised me this Christmas—and sent me on an art-quest.

This box is 11.75 inches square and 2.75 inches deep. The sides are painted turquoise and golden. It used to have a lock—but who is that royal rider?

After several dead ends and a lucky hunch, I had an epiphany and identified this noble fellow and the larger work he inhabits. If you’re up for a Google challenge, see if you can do the same. Scrutinize a close-up of the box cover, and don’t ignore that rectangle at the bottom.

Happy twelfth day of Christmas!

* * *

(Give up? Here’s a stock photo with identifying information. There’s a Wikipedia entry on the complete work of art, and another site shows the box-cover scene in its full context.)

“…and sing that rycht balulalow…”


Dead verse shines tonight:
all the voices in your head
  calling: “Gloria!”

“I bit off more than I can chew, only so much you can do…”

Each year, I notice an uptick in blog visitors on Thanksgiving night and the weekend that follows it, presumably because sated readers lumber to their computers in search of something savory to stuff inside their rested brains.

So here’s what I’ve collected in my mental stock-pot: a jumble of links about books, language, poetry, and art, with nary a turkey in sight.

Nancy Marie Brown sees Iceland’s trolls in Tolkien.

At Lingwë, Jason wonders what Tolkien’s “Esgaroth” means.

Leonore the linguist wonders what’s in her name.

Steve Donoghue reads Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra.

Bibliographing reads Treasure Island!!!

Cynthia Haven reads Proust in Paris.

George reads Inventing the Middle Ages.

Gargoyle Girl finds faces on facades in Prague.

Levi Stahl contemplates Thanksgiving as homecoming.

First Known When Lost reaps poetic misgivings.

Dylan sings of “bent rhyme and feeble reason.”

Pete finds a classy Walgreen’s.

Frederick Turner, the man behind neat epic poems about 24th-century America and the terraforming of Mars, has published a new book on epics.

Kevin at Interpolations wonders why he adores Moby Dick.

Julie K. Rose ponders patronymic patterns.

Photographer Guido Krüger documents his Potomac adventures in front of the Corcoran and on the streets during Hurricane Sandy.

Tim Hyde’s Photoriffs blog commingles beauty and disaster.

Jake Seliger says don’t go to law school and don’t become a doctor.

At last, a blog decrying dumb classroom projects: Wasting Time in School.

University Diaries is thankful for her students.

“In the words of Lincoln, ‘one by land and two by sea…'”

Flags! Explosions! Independence! Power outages! After dousing firework remnants and sweeping away picnic debris, ooh and aah at these sparkling links.

Michael Drout remembers the teacher who taught him Old English.

I find this odd: a play satirizing the International Congress on Medieval Studies. (It’s not that different from most professional conferences, folks.)

Nancy Marie Brown recalls stumbling into medieval Iceland.

The Medieval Material Culture blog finds LEGO castles in Massachusetts.

Megan Arnott surveys medievalism in children’s cartoons.

Scott visits Charlemagne’s Aachen, and takes pictures.

In New York, Gargoyle Girl finds the gargoyles and grotesques of Gramercy Park.

Ephemeral New York spots weeping angels in Brooklyn.

Luminarium makes cookies for the wives of Henry VIII.

Steven Hart remembers how rabbit ears died.

Interpolations administers last rites in the middle of the road.

Benjamin Buchholz tries self-critique through Sudanese art.

Laudator Temporis Actii scans the letterhead of the Society for the Prevention of Progress.

George posits a travel theorem: read instead.

So Many Books likes reading on public transit.

Friend of this blog Lex “Kid Beowulf” Fajardo is featured in A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics.

When the Gypsy Scholar’s blog was plagiarized, he got the runaround from Google.

The Grumpy Old Bookman publishes Daphne Before She Died.

In a poem about the 1980s, Dylan knows there’s no sign of life, it’s just the power to charm. He also, delightfully, spins a ghazal: “’80s Music.”

The Book Haven introduces the North Korean poet who defected.

Rose Kelleher reads forms she hates to love.

Julie Rose asks: What are your books of a lifetime?

Bill Peschel recalls how Shirley Jackson could wield an awesome curse.

Finally tanz den Spatz with Sven van Thom, Berliner popstar turned…rapper?

“In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green, and the redbird sings…”

Interesting links are the English-muffin sandwiches of the Internet: start your day with one and you’ll power that much more profitably through the hours, all thanks to lingering in the virtual Frühstückszimmer of your mind…

The Book Haven discovers what Frankenstein has to do with Walt Whitman’s brain, and, less whimsically, the man who volunteered for Auschwitz. 

Nancy Marie Brown votes for the most influential writer of the Middle Ages.

Dylan pens “Disreputable,” a great ghazal.

“Maybe the dingo ate your baby”: Steven Hart hears cruelty in popular culture.

Has Dr. Beachcombing found trolls in Staffordshire?

Brevity wonders: an essay renaissance?

University Diaries does Bloomsday.

The Classical Bookworm likes Duolingo, where translation leads to learning.

Collected Miscellany hails A Hero for WondLa.

So Many Books wonders what books mean to you.

Dan at Obscurorant underestimated H.P. Lovecraft.

Cinerati remembers Star Frontiers.

Adrian Murdoch reports on the discovery of the first Roman camp on the Mosel.

Rohan Maitzen says no, Middlemarch is not book-club suicide.

Bill Peschel thinks Hemingway and Gellhorn would hate Hemingway and Gellhorn.

Gregory Ferrand, painter of neat stuff like this, is part of Art-o-Matic.

First Known When Lost climbs “a flight of steps that end in mid-air, and there is nothing but the sky above them.”

“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 “”

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.”