catull.us

Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnesse

 

By Patrick Leigh Fermor

Kindle edition, 379 pp. New York Review of Books Classics. $9.99

I found myself awake at 3:30 on a Wednesday morning, two days before the Anatomy Division 2 exam, and could not go back to sleep: my circadian rhythm, shaky at best, had given up entirely after days of intensive studying. Rather than work on reducing the foreboding pile of unfinished books and periodicals laying open in my apartment, I reached for my Kindle, remembering that as it was now October 12, my preordered copy of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s travel memoir “Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnesse” would be ready for download.

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Women at Townhall Meeting

“What is to be done for those of us who need help right now?”

At a crowded townhall meeting in 1959, an elderly woman stepped up to the microphone and spoke to a panel of senators. “I am not worried for my son’s time,” she began. “He is 35, and I am sure he will face a better future when his time comes to retire. But what is to be done for those of us who need help right now?”

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“Catullus Revealed: New Approaches to the Novi Poetae”. Jonathan Feigenbaum, Classical Review, Jan 2014, Vol 3(2)45-47

Subscription access only. Excerpt retrieved on 3/16/2014 by A–, D—–.

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Though mere papyrus can hardly claim to be aere perennius - pace Horace – and regrettably little of the once-great Latin corpus has come down to us intact, we are fortunate to be in possession of the extant works, a slim catalog that nonetheless reflects sea change and seismic scandal in the Roman polity. Time has been especially kind to Gaius Valerius Catullus, that well-loved vanguard of the Novi Poetae movement whose poems are just as vital and shocking to us as they must have been to the Augustan elite. But even among the works of Catullus, there remain a number of fragments that have defied analysis.

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I agree that we ought to let data guide policy on duty hours, but by my reading the data are nowhere near as clear cut as they have been made out to be by opponents of duty hour restrictions. The 2013 papers from both Desai and Sen suffer from such deep methodological flaws that they are of little use, if any, in determining the real impacts of duty hour restrictions. Both studies rely primarily on subjective, rather than objective measures of quality of care – in fact, Sen et al do not have a single objective measure – and are, by necessity, unblinded. This opens the analysis to a crippling bias that neither team addresses.

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Excerpted from “Life Among the Bukai”, New York: FSG, 2013

October 6, 2012

The day begins tensely. The security forces are erecting barricades throughout the area, blocking and taking positions at strategic intersections. Now they stand silently at attention, though there is no telling against what threat they have been dispatched. Perhaps they are preparing to move against an insurrection by the Bukai masses, who restlessly wander the streets, alone or in groups, clothed in warlike red tunics.

An evening walk to the library finds the usually thronging streets quite deserted. It is a scene reminiscent of a besieged city, and a hush hangs eerily on the brisk autumn breeze. Suddenly, there is a massive roar, and I understand at once the cause of today’s strange happenings.

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Arthur Grumiaux

Arthur Grumiaux

My room is dim and still, and I have sent my computer reaching into the labyrinth of the internet to break the silence with Mozart. I am looking for Grumiaux’s recordings of the string duos and trios. When I was younger, I once heard these pieces issuing tinnily from my cassette player; I had discovered a trove of dusty tapes, relics of the marriage of my parents who were musicians. I callously recorded over them, and it would be years before I knew the value of what I had destroyed. One of the tapes was not completely erased, and the exuberant strains of the G major duo still dwelt in the interstices between my puerile ditties. Frequent listening had ground those few bars indelibly into my mind, in the same space occupied by my childlike understandings of the mysterious Mozart piano sonatas that used to put me to sleep. I will soon hear them again, for the first time in years.

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