Friday, July 18, 2008

The snippet, a sadly neglected literary form.

From The New Yorker, on the untenability of the lawn and the glory of the meadow:
The Freedom Lawn consists of grass mixed with whatever else happens to seed itself, which, the authors note, might include:
dandelion, violets, bluets, spurrey, chickweed, chrysanthemum, brown-eyed Susan, partridge berry, Canada mayflower, various clovers, plantains, evening primrose, rushes, and wood rush, as well as grasses not usually associated with the well-manicured lawn, such as broomsedge, sweet vernal grass, timothy, quack grass, oat grass, crabgrass, and foxtail grass.
The Freedom Lawn is still mowed—preferably with a push-mower—but it is watered infrequently, if at all, and receives no chemical “inputs.” If a brown spot develops, it is likely soon to be filled by what some might call weeds, but which Bormann, Balmori, and Geballe would rather refer to as “low growing broad-leaved plants.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, July 21, 2008)
From my French police procedural, Have Mercy On Us All, yet another reason I am or should be French:
[Inspector Adamsberg] idled away the whole afternoon on the square, alternating between coffees in the Viking, plodding around and making calls. . . . He was already ceasing to care, inflating his already considerable capacity for indifference so as to resist the rising tide. . . . Adamsberg enjoyed listening to the harmless small ads in pale sunlight. An entire afternoon spent doing bugger all except letting body and mind wind down . . . He had reached the level of animation of a sponge bobbing about on a stormy sea. It was a state he sometimes sought specifically. (Fred Vargas, English translation 2003)
Summer movie update:

Recently, I've seen Kung Fu Panda, Wall-E, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man. I'm planning to go for a grand slam deluxe and see Hellboy II and The Dark Knight. Giving in to summer, I guess. I'm not regretting it. We saw The Duchess of Langeais last week and it was really, really long. Moreover, it felt really long, and the summer movies breeze by like popsicles and radio songs. Which seems utterly appropriate. Cheers!


  1. One of the glories of Seattle. Folks, as a general rule, don't water lawns. Come August and September, they go brown. This is a time-honored custom. It was the case when I lived here in the 70s. Still is. My lawn in the front is now brown. In the back still a bit green. Backyard seems to be a low place. Mint (and morning glory, alas) are trying to take over the world. I am cheering for the mint!

  2. Dark Knight = MUST see!!
    Kung Fu Panda = HILARIOUS!!!
    and i say meadows are more relaxing



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