and yet

“And yet as someone will say, did not Rome progress and advance thanks to war? This is a question which would require a long response for some people who reckon progress in terms of money, luxury, and in supremacy rather than in security, kindness, independence from others and justice towards others.”

(Plutarch’s life of Numa, seemingly rather freely quoted by Corrado Augias in The Secrets of Rome, p. 4, trans. A. Lawrence Jenkens.)

the man who lies asleep

“Up on your feet! This is no time to tire!”

my Master cried. “ The man who lies asleep

will never waken fame, and his desire

and all his life drift past him like a dream,

and the traces of his memory fade from time

like smoke in air, or ripples on a stream.

Now, therefore, rise. Control your breath, and call

upon the strength of soul that wins all battles

unless it sink in the gross body’s fall.

There is a longer ladder yet to climb:

this much is not enough. If you understand me,

show that you mean to profit from your time.”

(Dante, Inferno, canto XXIV, trans. John Ciardi.)

november 1–15, 2015

Books

  • Giorgio Bassani, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, translated by Isabel Quigley
  • Umberto Eco, Numero Zero, trans. Richard Dixon
  • Chester Himes, All Shot Up
  • Chester Himes, A Rage in Harlem
  • Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk
  • Elena Ferrante, The Days of Abandonment, trans. Ann Goldstein

Films

  • Red Dust, directed by Victor Fleming
  • 悲情城市 (A City of Sadness), dir. Hou Hisao-Hsien
  • Medea, dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Le Mépris (Contempt), dir. Jean-Luc Godard
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One, dir. Miguel Gomes
  • Duck Soup, dir. Leo McCarey
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 2 – The Desolate One, dir. Miguel Gomes

Exhibits

  • National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Astrological Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Beitou Hot Springs Museum, Taipei, Taiwan