Dear Diary:
Linkless Wonder


There isn’t really any snow out there anymore — it’s too cold for snow — but I haven’t had a chance to take any pictures. Outside the apartment, that is. These banner photos of mine are often pretty awful, but they’re no worse than the visual “thought for the day” that they’re intended to be. Meditate upon slush.

Was yesterday the first day of my vacation, or today? Yesterday was spent mostly cleaning up. So it must have been today. I celebrated by working. I read a mountain of feeds, wrote a few letters, read a learned chapter, reviewed the Book Review, wrote up A Single Man — I used to place links to these productions here, but I’m getting sniffy: if you’re not looking at Portico, then Never Mind. I made a ragù bolognese without having to leave the building, and it was delicious, although it might have been a teeny bit better if I’d thought to use olive oil instead of canola oil. I’m out of canola oil, so I used peanut oil. I dislike olive oil. What can I say? I don’t dislike olive oil nearly as much as I dislike Moby-Dick, but if neither existed then that would be two fewer things to complain about other folks’ liking.

I had a fantasy of knocking off Moby-Dick this week. It’s not going to happen. If it doesn’t happen by the end of January, I promise to give my Library of America copy to someone who would like to have it; I’ve no right to it. I have hated almost every line of the book, hated Melville’s writing. I don’t think that he could write a proper thank-you note, much less a novel. His thinking is the worst mish-mash of bad pseudo-science and King James pabulum imaginable. If this is the Great American Novel, then I’m righter than I think I am about the destinies of the American polity. I do promise that, as soon as I have done with Moby-Dick, one way or the other, I shall never mention it again. They talk of the “Scottish Play.” I’ll refer to the “Nantucket Novel.”

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