Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mary Snyder Behrens | Shroud and Shadow

Assemblage (2003) © Mary Snyder Behrens
Above Mixed media assemblage, large scale, titled Drawn Conclusions No 12: Shroud and Shadow, made by Iowa artist Mary Snyder Behrens, c2003. Copyright © the artist.


Carl Van Doren Three Worlds. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1936, p. 27—

When he [his grandfather] ran for Coroner on the county ticket, he announced that if elected he would bury Republicans and Democrats with equal pleasure.


An autobiographer never knows quite which account he is giving of himself. Historian of acts of which he was the actor, he is still inside the self which remembers. No man, with the help of whatever mirrors, can know how he really looks to other men. Nor can he be sure how he sounds to them. Let him tell the plainest truth in the plainest way, he cannot know what else he may imply without suspecting it. Often he must wonder what the plain truth is. His memory has been quietly working his past over, and when he goes back to such unchanged evidence as letters and diaries he finds the story different from that he can come to remember. The man who remembers is not the man who did what the record shows. The man who was is now as strange to the man who is as the man who is would be to the man who was.…[pp. 105-106].


I had a head for liquor, when I took it, but I was always bored by drinking. Drinkers rarely say amusing things. What they say seems amusing only to other drinkers. The fun of alcohol is less on the tongue than in the ear [p. 256].

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Hummingbird in Cat's Mouth

Hummingbird surveillance drone
Above Hummingbird-based aerial surveillance drone. Public domain.


Dorothy Van Doren, The Professor and I. New York: Appleton , 1959, p. 128 [spouse of Mark Van Doren, mother of Charles Van Doren; her brother-in-law was Carl Van Doren]—

When Blackie [the family cat] was a half-grown kitten, I found him with something in his mouth—something that didn't look like a mouse. He is very good about giving up his prey if I insist and this time I insisted; I pried his jaws apart, there was a rush, and a hummingbird flew off at breakneck speed. How Blackie ever caught a hummingbird, I don't know; how he could hold the delicate body in his jaws without hurting it, I don't know either. But it happened; there was no mistaking the tiny size, the pointed bill, the emerald flash; and there was no doubt that it was unhurt.