Hello world!

WordPress has such an optimistic-sounding automated first blog post. This seems a bit overexcited, especially in the instant case, since this is just an import of my Tumblr posts up to now into a subdomain of my own site. The import into WordPress doesn’t seem to have been entirely pretty, and I’m not sure yet just how much time I’ll spend cleaning up old posts, but it is yours to enjoy as you will.

This Sophie Wilder lady has some good taste in books.

“Who do you like?” I asked.



“Sure,” she said. “But I like Pale Fire better. And Ada. Some of the early Russian ones, too, like The Defense.”

—Christopher Beha, What Happened to Sophie Wilder?

Man and boy,” said honest Jarl, “I have lived ever since I can remember.” And truly, who may call to mind when he was not? To ourselves, we all seem coeval with creation. Whence it comes, that it is so hard to die, ere the world itself is departed.

Herman Melville, Mardi

[T]the Phoenicians, if hearsay is believed,
were the first to dare to mark words in clumsy figures
to make the voice endure; Memphis had yet to learn
to bind her river’s reeds together, and only birds
and wild beasts inscribed on stones preserved
their magic utterances.

Lucan, Civil War, trans. Matthew Fox



The Parade’s End read-along!  

This will be a fandom-friendly* read-along of the Ford Madox Ford tetralogy, spanning several months, in anticipation of the (as-yet-undated) airing of Parade’s End, written by Tom Stoppard, directed by Susanna White, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.

When: The read-along will begin on February 1, 2012.  Check the schedule guide here for a week-to-week breakdown of reading.

Why: Because of ~reasons~ obviously.  For instance, we love early twentieth-century literature; we’re excited for the upcoming BBC/HBO television adaptation; we love Downton Abbey and want more things like it in our lives.

Where: All over the internet!  This read-along will primarily be hosted through nonmodernist and on Twitter (using #ParadesEnd), but we love all the corners of the internet and we want them all to join us!  Look for discussion posts on Dreamwidth and Livejournal, and links to content all over the place.  Feel free to blog your responses at your own site or the service of your choice — as long as you send them to us, we’ll put the links in our round-ups.

How: Read the books!  Post about them!  Join our discussions and submit your posts to our linkspams!  Livetweet your reading sessions!  There’s no right or wrong way to participate.

Get started: First, spread the word!  This only works if you all get involved (and corral your friends, enemies, neighbors, and family members to do the same).  Follow nonmodernist for more updates as we approach the start date.  Then acquire a copy of the book and get ready to start reading!


* “fandom-friendly”: we mean that this read-along will be a safe space for fandom-style participation.  We recognize and defend your right to create fanworks of any and all kinds, flail over anything and everything, and use as much fandom slang as you desire.  While some discussions may get a little academic, others will be shallow and all about the pretty.

Not only wine but its oblivion I pour
In my cup, and I will be happy, because happiness
Is ignorant. Who, remembering
Or foreseeing, ever smiled?

Ricardo Reis (trans. Richard Zenith)

Lovely series (yes, want)

Wow, I sure never knew about this. My Archie is so much less…sleazy than this.



William Shatner as Archie Goodwin and Kurt Kasznar as Nero Wolfe in the aborted 1959 CBS-TV series.

Shatner would have been a good Archie, I think; just the right amount of transparent, nigh-joking self-regard. Latter-day Shatner, at least; could early Shatner have charmed us enough? 


If you’re a fan of PBS’s “Downton Abbey,” check out Vintage’s re-issue of Ford Madox Ford’s PARADE END, which covers the same ground of Edwardian England, WWI, and the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of war…

Ford Madox Ford’s masterpiece, a tetralogy set in England during World War I, is widely considered one of the best novels of the twentieth century.

First published as four separate novels (Some Do Not . . ., No More Parades, A Man Could Stand Up—, and The Last Post) between 1924 and 1928, Parade’s End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of war. Christopher Tietjens is an officer from a wealthy family who finds himself torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. A profound portrait of one man’s internal struggles during a time of brutal world conflict, Parade’s End bears out Graham Greene’s prediction that “There is no novelist of this century more likely to live than Ford Madox Ford.”