This Is My 2016 Focus Word — What’s Yours?

Well, guys, back in January, I wrote this journal entry on deviantART sketching out a vision for 2016.* A lot of people would call it a New Year’s resolution, but they would be wrong. Well, mostly wrong. I never really got into the traditional resolution business. This journal was more about organizing my mind and setting a focus, and less about forcing myself into a … Read more…

An Unpronounceable Legacy, or: A Brief Essay on Why I’m Learning Swedish

“Ett…två…tre…” I sat at the dinner table with a sheet of paper, jotting down Swedish numbers as my grandpa taught me what little he remembered from childhood. On command, I repeated after him, though as a born writer I was more interested in getting it on paper. “Fyra…fem…sex…sju.” He stopped on seven and made me … Read more…

“A Case of General Hypnotism” and More Problems with the Love of Comfort, via Chekhov

A while ago I posted a reflection on “problems with the love of comfort,” as inspired by a scene in Crime in Punishment in which Razumikhin ridicules Zossimov for letting himself get slack in the desire for comforts. Chekhov’s “Gooseberries” seems to go in the same direction — though it doesn’t name the problem as love of … Read more…

“As snug as though you were dead, and yet you’re alive.”

I’ve been reading Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and — to say the least — really enjoying it. As with The Brothers Karamazov, I’m always resisting the urge to post certain brilliant passages to Facebook, to people who probably don’t share my enthusiasm and some of whom must wonder who Dostoevsky is. This is the latest in … Read more…