Dirda in Threes

General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher;
pull everything out of your fellow students. —Sister Corita Kent

Michael Dirda, Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments
Indiana University Press, 2000

Michael Dirda has written about books at the Washington Post for decades.

Commencement Advice
Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to. —Henry James 
Keep an “interior citadel” — Marcus Aurelius
The most effective weapon of any man is to have reduced his share of histrionics to a minimum.  —Andre Malraux

Frances Yates
Marjorie Nicolson
Margaret Schlauch

Flaubert, The Temptation of Saint Anthony
Cowper Powys, Wolf Solent
Sorrentino, Mulligan Stew

Audio Recordings
John Gielgud, Old Testament
Jeremy Irons, Lolita
Ian McKellen, Robert Fagles’s Odyssey

Japanese Words
Aware,  a sensitivity to “the tears in things.” 
Sabi, the desolation and beauty of loneliness; solitude, quiet 
Yugen, a kind of ethereal and profound beauty, one that lurks beneath the surface of things, unnameable to direct expression.

Upcoming Literary Binges?
E. Pound
J. Joyce

La Rochefoucauld

Will Shakespeare
Van Doren, Shakespeare
Fergusson, Shakespeare: The Figure in the Carpet
Schoenbaum, Shakespeare: His Life, His Language, and His Theater

Proust: “Chaque jour j’attache moins de prix à l’intelligence”
Balzac: “Constant work is the law of art as it is of life”
Eliot: “For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

Dirda the Reader
[Guy Davenport’s] method is deep attentiveness engendered by love and a firm faith in simply knowing things. 147
Choose some heroes and imitate them.  76
We tend to learn more from the sudden epiphany than from an elaborate summa.  14


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