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Word of the Week

parvanimity, n.
[‘ Smallness of mind, meanness; an example of this. Also: a small-minded person.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌpɑːvəˈnɪmɪtɪ/, U.S. /ˌpɑrvəˈnɪmᵻdi/
Etymology: < classical Latin parvus small (see parvi- comb. form) + animus mind (see animus n.) + -ity suffix, probably formed as an antonym of magnanimity n. (compare quot. 1829 at main sense).
Now rare. Smallness of mind, meanness; an example of this. Also: a small-minded person.a1691 R. Boyle Free Disc. against Swearing Plea xiii, They will justly esteem your parvanimity so great that you deserve derision.
1829 Edinb. Lit. Gaz. July 131/2 The meanness and parvanimity of Bonaparte. [Note] I coin this word parvanimity as an adequate antithesis to magnanimity.
1840 Tait’s Edinb. Mag. 7 37 Memorably connected with the parvanimities of the English government at one period.
1873 F. Hall Mod. Eng. 33 (note) Persons..of the class of hopeless parvanimities of the true insular stamp.
1950 Social Forces 29 202/2 Shall we prefer parvanimity?

Derivatives
parvˈanimous adj. small-minded.1819 Examiner 14 Nov. 731/2 We mean..any parvanimous great man, who would fain revenge his slavery at home by lording it out of doors.
1855 L. Hunt Let. 26 July (1862) II. 204 What I partly did myself, half for the reasons above mentioned, and half perhaps out of a sort of parvanimous wish not to assist the critics.
1945 Amer. Hist. Rev. 50 286 The conduct of most of the Republicans respecting the Treaty been discouragingly parvanimous.

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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Word of the Week

parvanimity, n.
[‘ Smallness of mind, meanness; an example of this. Also: a small-minded person.’]
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌpɑːvəˈnɪmɪtɪ/, U.S. /ˌpɑrvəˈnɪmᵻdi/
Etymology: < classical Latin parvus small (see parvi- comb. form) + animus mind (see animus n.) + -ity suffix, probably formed as an antonym of magnanimity n. (compare quot. 1829 at main sense).
Now rare. Smallness of mind, meanness; an example of this. Also: a small-minded person.a1691 R. Boyle Free Disc. against Swearing Plea xiii, They will justly esteem your parvanimity so great that you deserve derision.
1829 Edinb. Lit. Gaz. July 131/2 The meanness and parvanimity of Bonaparte. [Note] I coin this word parvanimity as an adequate antithesis to magnanimity.
1840 Tait’s Edinb. Mag. 7 37 Memorably connected with the parvanimities of the English government at one period.
1873 F. Hall Mod. Eng. 33 (note) Persons..of the class of hopeless parvanimities of the true insular stamp.
1950 Social Forces 29 202/2 Shall we prefer parvanimity?

Derivatives
parvˈanimous adj. small-minded.1819 Examiner 14 Nov. 731/2 We mean..any parvanimous great man, who would fain revenge his slavery at home by lording it out of doors.
1855 L. Hunt Let. 26 July (1862) II. 204 What I partly did myself, half for the reasons above mentioned, and half perhaps out of a sort of parvanimous wish not to assist the critics.
1945 Amer. Hist. Rev. 50 286 The conduct of most of the Republicans respecting the Treaty been discouragingly parvanimous.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

From the Writer’s Almanac

(I hope this doesn’t get posted twice.)

Today is the birthday of the man who said, “The business of the poet and the novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things.” English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (books by this author) was born on this day in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, in 1840. He often helped his father with various building projects, and when he was 16, he took a job as an architect’s apprentice. He moved to London when he was 22, to take a job with another architect, and he delighted in the city’s literary and cultural environment. He began writing fiction and poetry; his first published story was “How I Built Myself a House” (1865), and he also wrote a novel, The Poor Man and the Lady (1867), which was never published.

He set many of his novels and poems in “Wessex,” reviving the old Anglo-Saxon name for the counties of southwestern England, where he grew up. The Wessex he wrote of, though, was part real place, part literary conceit; he always insisted, “This is an imaginative Wessex only.”

His first commercial and critical success was Far From the Madding Crowd (1874); it did so well that he was able to quit architecture and write full time. He produced six novels in the 1880s, and seven in the 1890s; two of these — Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895) — caused so much scandal that he eventually gave up on novels forever. He wrote a few plays, but in the end he returned to his first love — poetry — which he regarded as a purer art form anyway. He produced eight collections before his death in 1928. He had two funerals simultaneously: His cremated remains were buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, while at the same time, his heart was buried in Dorchester, in his beloved Wessex.
From his poem “Wessex Heights” (1896):

There are some heights in Wessex, shaped as if by a kindly hand
For thinking, dreaming, dying on, and at crises when I stand,
Say, on Ingpen Beacon eastward, or on Wylls-Neck westwardly,
I seem where I was before my birth, and after death may be.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

An Evening of Marshall McLuhan & Bucky Fuller in Rotterdam

Just imagine! The ideas! To have been there . . .

McLuhan Galaxy

Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller 
Two of the greatest minds of the 20th century, and sadly two of the most under-appreciated. 
This is a great article showcasing several letters written by Marshall McLuhan to his contemporaries, from Tom Wolfe to Buckminster Fuller. It is a fantastic read.
http://thisrecording.com/today/2011/10/27/in-which-we-know-nothing-of-his-work.html

Marshall McLuhan & Buckminster Fuller 

Friday 23 May    
20:00 – 22:00 
Arminius, Rotterdam

Buckminster Fuller is hard to classify. He is either engineer or architect or inventor or discoverer or geographer or mathematician or all of these. He was born in another century, and it seems clear that he is working on ideas which relate to the next century. In his own words, one could say he is a ‘Comprehensive Man’.

Television is cool and radio is hot, that’s the message, and the medium is Marshall McLuhan. Like most of McLuhan’s writing, his statements are pithy, apparently simple and provocative to the point of being outrageous. Marshall McLuhan studies the media as a way of understanding what makes us live the way we do. He is concerned with all media but he is best known as the prophet of the electronic revolution. See more at: http://tinyurl.com/l3772wq

Buckminster Fuller and McLuhan

Buckminster Fuller…

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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls

Just beautiful!

Exquisitely Human

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold, rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen, instead. A human with a brain and a heart and a desire to be uplifted, rather than a customer with a credit card and an inchoate “need” for “stuff.” A mall—the shops—are places where your money makes the wealthy wealthier. But a library is where the wealthy’s taxes pay for you to become a little more extraordinary, instead. A satisfying reversal. A balancing of the power.”

–Caitlin Moran from Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls

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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Sunday Links

A fascinating find.

Shelf Love

Welcome to our occasional feature in which we share bookish news and commentary that we’ve come across in recent weeks:

  • How is blogging similar to boiling granite? Tom shares his thoughts at Wuthering Expectations (with help from Emerson).
  • Kathleen Rooney at the New York Times Magazine talks about the way Jack Handey — yes, Jack Handey, of Deep Thoughts — has freed up genuine poetry, and the way she teaches it to undergraduates.
  • Levi at I’ve Been Reading Lately shares some suggestions from Ford Maddox Ford on the uses of books (and bacon).
  • Jenn at The Picky Girl mulls over Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and what it means to be an American.
  • Lisa Leff writes an excellent long-form piece for Tablet Magazine about Zosa Szajkowski’s “salvaged” archival Jewish documents, rescued from the Nazis during the Holocaust in France. Here, she discusses possession, rescue, and the delicate nature of archiving.

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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

More on McLuhan

I’m getting more and more fascinated with McLuhan’s ideas.

Mind Bursts

20130209-180616.jpg

Fig. 1. The Gutenberg Galaxy – Marshall McLuhan (courtesy of Amazon and a US bookseller)

Like visiting a library, having a book as an object in my hand, a singular artifact rather than its substance digitised, feels like a visit to a National Trust property. There’s meaning in it, but that way it’s packaged is all a bit ‘historic’.

Mosaic – kaleidoscope – environment – constellation

These are some of the ways Marshall McLuhan may have written about the changing society he was commenting on in the early 1960s with reference to previous shifts from an oral to a written tradition, with a phonetic alphabetic to the printing press.

We like to visualise the complex – to simplify it.

No less so than in what we perceive as a new era – that of the Internet and ever deeper, faster, more complex and fluid, even intelligent ways to communicate, share…

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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in non-fiction, Uncategorized

 

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