Archive for December, 2006

“Sentence first — verdict afterwards,” says the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland; and the trial of the Knave of Hearts has justly remained the literary standard for injustice, since the book’s publication in 1869. Being an idiot, I thought the expression originated with Lewis Carroll, until last night. I was reading Macaulay’s 1830 essay […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 30, 2006 @ 1:13 PM | Language

Albert Hirschman has many fans at the arbiter of all things serious, Crooked Timber. Tyler Cowen, in one of his fitful attempts to shore up his left-wing cred, praised Hirschman as deserving of the Nobel Prize in Economics and The Rhetoric of Reaction as “a brilliant study in intellectual self-deception.” Good enough! I ordered up […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 23, 2006 @ 2:45 PM | Philosophy

Periodically I shall adjudicate blog disputes. There is no appeal. First on the docket we have Gawain, of Heaven Tree, vs. Conrad Roth, of Varieties of Unreligious Experience. Gawain, upset with the Uffizi museum for neither allowing photographs nor selling reproductions of its collection, is driven to guerrilla tactics. He photographs, presumably illicitly, a bust […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 14, 2006 @ 12:19 AM | Culture

The first piece of advice in Strunk and White’s Elements of Style concerns punctuation — the proper use of the apostrophe. I learn that I must write “Charles’s execution,” but “Jesus’ crucifixion.” Already my prose is improving, though not at the rate I would like. Items 2 through 8 also concern punctuation. I learn to […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 8, 2006 @ 2:28 PM | Language,Literature