William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Montaigne’

Dostoevsky and Van Gogh

Having fortunately lived long enough to finish reading all three volumes of Vincent’s letters, I have moved on to Dostoevsky’s Diary of a Writer, in Boris Brasol’s English translation, published in two volumes by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1949. After years of being away from Dostoevsky’s great novels and stories, coming upon him in the somewhat more casual, conversational mode of his periodical writings is much like having coffee with […]

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All Face

Yesterday afternoon, while I was out in a windstorm, picking up debris from a windstorm the day before that, I was so impressed by the spread of deep, thick moss everywhere that I vowed to spend a lot more time outdoors with my shoes off — after the weather warms just a bit. This morning, though, I wonder if I should wait at all. The uncovered part of my face […]

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Canvas 792 — Montaigneity

Canvas 792 — November 25, 2016

On any given day — and all days are given, and never to be taken for granted — what I think, what I know, and whatever conclusions I reach are of such a temporary nature that I can hardly see how they might be useful to another. They are born of what I might call the Montaigneity of the moment, and serve as matches held up in the darkness of […]

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Happiness

All of Herman Melville’s poetry, complete in a beautiful, one thousand-page book — the new Library of America edition, out just days ago, is already in this reader’s hands. This is another of those projects I enjoy so well, like the slow and careful reading aloud of Thoreau’s fourteen-volume journal, which I have currently under way, Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, and the complete works of other writers I have […]

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Of Lives and Letters

The Life and Letters of John Muir

All too often, those of us who call ourselves writers speak of the books we read as if their very mention were an indication of our learning, depth, and worth. I speak about them because I love them, knowing full well that even after they are read, I will be at a loss to explain the profound or mean effect they have had on me, my understanding, and my thinking. […]

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Moving Books Around

Jonathan Swift 1812-1813

At the moment there’s scarcely room here to sit, leave alone exercise free movement of my elbows. And while this is only a slight exaggeration, I’d best make no sudden moves, or I might topple the tall stacks of books everywhere around me, as the room is in a state of turmoil brought on by my decision to add two more tall bookcases, despite the fact that there’s no obvious […]

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