I recently started re-reading Catch-22. (The only other time I read it was something like four years ago, and I’m not sure I really understood it at the time.) In chapter two, there’s a reference to Raskolnikov (and his killing an old lady with an ax). I was sort of familiar with Raskolnikov but only as a name in the Mountain Goats’ “Love Love Love” from The Sunset Tree:
Raskolnikov felt sick, but he couldn’t say why
When he saw his face reflected in his victim’s twinkling eye
So I decided to actually look up this Raskolnikov guy, and I’ve discovered that he’s a character in Crime and Punishment (which I was a bit suspicious of, what with the reference to killing an old lady). And now Crime and Punishment is a little bit higher on my list of books to read.
"Don’t you realize, scoundrel, that if they were to squeeze you from head to toe, there wouldn’t be enough juice to make a sauce?"
From Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron (Ninth Day, Sixth Story), translated by G.H. McWilliam
I ran across this again last night. I’d forgotten about it, and I can’t imagine how because it’s a great insult (so far as insults can be deemed great).
So, on 10 August, I started learning Dutch through Duolingo. Between German cognates and English cognates, it’s actually pretty easy so far (although I’ve done only four lessons).
But to-day I learned that the word for or is of. Which is bound to be confusing because I already get or and of confused just when I’m typing in English. So either I’ll have a lot of problems because of that or consciously distinguishing between the two will lessen the frequency of my confusing those while typing in English.
"Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value."
— Arthur Miller (via wordsnquotes)
I really wish there were an online university program designed for autodidacts. Because I want certification I actually believe in, but the social aspect of education - even if it’s not in person - does nothing for me (except make me feel anxious).
"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
— Robin Williams as John Keating in “Dead Poets Society” (via usatoday)