"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

About

Showing posts with label Introduction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Introduction. Show all posts

Saturday, December 29, 2012


The First Blog: Introduction








Ash on an old man's sleeve
Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where a story ended.
Dust inbreathed was a house-
The walls, the wainscot and the mouse,
The death of hope and despair,
This is the death of air.

T.S. Eliot, from "Little Gilding."

This is my literary blog, reflecting my reads and thoughts on literature, novels, short stories, poetry, plays, even literary criticism. I'll also comment on writing style, especially the use of the English language. My name is Manny. I have an advanced degree in English Literature, but that's relatively meaningless. The love of high literature is the only criteria that really matters. Literature is the ultimate art form, abstract yet tangible, rhythmic yet static, didactic yet aesthetic. Literature as art form has had hold on me for over thirty years. Since I talk about it elsewhere, since I read continuously and ponder the artistry behind the works, since I dilly-dally with creative writing myself, and have built up some store of knowledge, I thought it high time to share my thoughts with those that may want to hear them, create a dialogue on shared readings to reach some sort of conclusion, and just kibitz on literary topics in a way that would occur if we dear reader were sitting at a cafe with a coffee or tea and a Limoncello or Sambuca.



I take the name for this blog, "Ashes From Burnt Roses" from T.S. Eliot's poem cited above. Set aside what Eliot might actually mean by the phrase, what the rose symbolizes here for me is the highest artistic perfection from nature. And yet, in our discussion as we dissect and break literature down, it gets burned to ashes, reduced to cinders, dust and dirt. But let us hope that from our examination the rose rises from the ashes into the greater rose, the finer rose, the more complete rose. It is in understanding art, in reaching its central mystery—whether the mystery is revealed or veiled—that great art is fulfilled and reaches it teleologic purpose.



In addition, during the course of the week, I'll throw in a music video or an interesting picture or painting from the fine arts world to keep things moving. I’ll throw in a quote to ponder. They'll reflect my interests and if you wish to comment, please do. I certainly don't claim expertise in music or art, other than my overarching understanding of aesthetics in general. But we all enjoy great music and art. You'll see I have a particular love of the Blues, and so I think I'll have a regular video clip of a Blues work on Tuesdays. Why Tuesdays? Why not?



About me, the raw facts: I'm Italian-American in ethnicity, lived in the outer boroughs of New York City all my life, just turned fifty-one years old, married to the same woman for over twenty years, and until recently childless. Two years ago we were blessed to have adopted a little boy from Kazakhstan, Matthew, my dearest of dears. As you can imagine, my travails as a first time father at this age can make a good story. I will use the blog to post a picture or relate a tale about my little joy from a doting parent. I'll call that Matthew Monday.



To fill out my background, my real career is in mechanical engineering. The literature degree was achieved as a side hobby after I doubled majored in college in engineering and English lit, and worked as an engineer for a number of years. Yes, that coupling might seem odd, and I guess it is. As to how this blog will reflect my engineering discipline, it is not entirely clear to me at the moment. I definitely will never mention my specific work, but engineering is a craft, and craft is a subset of art. There may be occasion to bring it up.



Also I am a Roman Catholic by faith, and I would consider myself somewhat devout. This is not a religious blog, and I don't intend to ever talk about theology, except if it might pertain to a work under discussion. But my religion will at times reflect my reading choices and perhaps my readings of various works. That is who I am. I will also post an entry on Fridays--an image, or a poem or a music video--that reflects my faith. It will be my form of virtual prayer. Feel free to ignore it if it does nothing for you.



Finally, I am a political animal as Aristotle says we all are. This blog will have absolutely no politics or issues of the day associated with it. I do comment on politics elsewhere, and you may notice my avatar in the comments section of various blogs and news sites. I am also a guest blogger on J's Cafe Nette where I express an occasional opinion. Those that know me know I can be passionate on the issues. Feel free to reply to my opinions at their source sites. Please do not bring up politics here. I want nothing controversial on this blog. I want no one to feel alienated or aggrieved. It will be a failing on my part if this blog does not live up to the first line of the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, "Lord make me an instrument of your peace."

 
With that I wish you peace.


UPDATED, 2 February 2013:
I'm going to change the recurring Blues Tuesday blog to just Music Tuesday. Limiting a music entry to just blues doesn't do justice to my wide musical interests.

19 comments:

  1. Good day to you my brother in Christ and of all the Saints. I am an artist and come across your blog whilst collecting quotes to put on my website, theartispgkimble.com so I hope you dont mind me copying some by St Catherine. I also am inspired by the desert fathers and even holy men from different parts of the world. Being an artist I try to keep my spiritual sharings to a `fish on friday,` blog, but my love for God and in God is so great this is often not possible.
    Anyway I am talking too much about myself and want to bo and read, your blog, Divine Mercy Flood My Soul. May God bless you and keep you and your family always in His care. Your bro Peter.

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  2. No problem Peter. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. This blog is intriguing, completely unique right from the title and header. I absolutely love the black and white scribbler. It is late, a daughter's wedding tomrrow but I will delve into your posts on Sunday. Thank-you for the introduction

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    1. Thank you Melanie. Please stop by when you can and God bless everyone involved with the wedding. I'm surprised you're even on the internet the night before. :)

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  4. Wow! Love your blog! I just came across your place from a comment you left on Assoc Of Women Bloggers. I will be back...God Bless.

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  5. I'm so pleased that you commented on my blog and I was able to find yours. It sounds intriguing, as I am an avid reader as well.
    Thank you for your comment on my post about prayer.

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    1. My pleasure Amy. Thank you for stopping back. :)

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  6. Manny,

    Thank you for your kind words on my recent post. I love what your blog is about and I look forward to meandering through it. You mentioned being Italian American and my husband is as well. I ran across this poem on a wonderful poetry blog written by an Italian American man awhile ago. I thought you might appreciate it. It is titled Sunday Dinner in An Italian American Household. It is worth reading.

    http://poesypluspolemics.com/2013/05/05/sunday-dinner/

    Mrs. C.

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    1. Thank you, and I hope you stop by. I read the poem and enjoyed. It does sound like the home I grew up in. We Italians are a strange breed. ;)

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  7. It was the rose images in Eliot that first got me thinking about the connections between him, Yeats, and subsequently Dante. Wait until you get to the Rose in the Paradiso - you'll never think of roses the same way after that beautiful canto. Seriously, I would learn Italian - Medieval Italian! - to be able to read it in the original :) Love your connection to teleology with the image of the rose too - fits right in with how Dante pictured it too :)

    I'm not particularly technologically savvy, but I'm not finding an option to follow your blog so I get notified whenever you update it. Is there one? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Mary Sue. I know I have followers. In Blogger you just have to add the URL. I know you use Wordpress, I'll ask a friend who has Wordpress how to follow and I'll email it to you.

      I have read Dante many, many years ago, but hardly close readings. It was just to read it to say I read it, unfortunately. But I'll get there. :)

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  8. Here via the link in your profile at Ricochet with an invitation to review my explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Second, ulterior motive: The invitation extends to your colleagues at Ricochet, including and especially Tommy De Seno.

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    1. Eric, that was excellent. Anyone who wants to remember the events that led us to the invasion, and why they were justified should go there and read it. Very thorough, and there were parts you mentioned that I didn't know.

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    2. Thank you. The OIF FAQ explanation is essentially a cheat sheet that flags and synthesizes the primary sources of the mission - the situation, the controlling law, policy, and precedent that defined the operative enforcement procedure for the Gulf War ceasefire, and in accordance, the determinative fact findings that governed the decision for OIF.

      I'm not a Ricochet member - can you help me share the OIF FAQ with Tommy De Seno? His 28FEB16 article is on track setting the record straight that the Iraq intervention enforced Iraq's compliance with the Gulf War ceasefire. However, as commenter "Zafar" points out, Mr. De Seno is vague on the operative procedure that established casus belli for OIF. I hope to discuss that piece with him and our shared interest in setting the record straight on the why of OIF.

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    3. OK, done. I provided your link to Tommy's post.

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  9. Thank you. I look forward to Mr. De Seno's response.

    The OIF FAQ doesn't tell the whole story, of course. Like Mr. De Seno's article, it uses the primary sources of the mission to cut through conjecture and misinformation and re-lay the foundation of the issue on the bedrock needed to tell the rest of the story truthfully. Much of the pervasive misconception of the Iraq intervention is corrected at the premise level.

    Point being, if you recommend my work to someone who's invested in the demonstrably false but popular narrative of OIF, he might ask you why a semi-anonymous blog should change his mind. The answer is, I'm not the authority - the sources are the authority. I'm not giving an inside scoop. Rather, the actual why of OIF is straightforward explained by sources that are easily found on-line - once you know what to look for. For readers who want to see for themselves, the OIF FAQ helps them review the basic essentials linked in the further reading section and, if they want to learn more, the more-comprehensive table of predominantly primary sources linked in the 'Perspective' post.

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  10. No doubt just a slip, but the singular of criteria is criterion.

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    1. You are absolutely correct. That's one of my habitual usage faux pas.

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