Wednesday, March 31, 2010

easter egg hunt

Lunchtime on campus today, and the ground was dotted with shiny plastic eggs, some plain colored, some rather fetchingly spotted. Of course, it was impossible to walk more than half a dozen without wondering what really was inside - a very smart marketing ploy.

And what did one find?

A flier, advertising TheCore.FM - a radio station that operates both on FM and on line; a joint project of RU and Piscataway High School (with daily segments of Democracy Now thrown in). Fair enough, even if it currently seems to have been playing some rather dull techno rock for hours.

But "The Core"? Inside an EGG? This seems a cognitive mismatch. Shouldn't it be called The Yolk?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

on the problems of non-existent sunshine

I am very proud of Rutgers' solar energy farm. It covers about seven acres somewhere on the desolate Livingston campus - at least, it looked desolate when I went to do a broadcast at the campus TV studios in the dankness of a pouring wet late March afternoon. It's a 1.4 megawatt farm, supplying, supposedly, about 10% of the Livingston campus needs.

But. The "but" is an obvious "but" - solar energy would like some sun in order that the photovoltaic modules can suck it in, and turn it into electricity. It has been very, very wet. It has been wet for what feels like years, but is probably just a large chunk of March, since it stopped snowing. The ground is so sodden that there's nowhere for water to go apart from, it would seem, our basement, where a small stream has circumnavigated the waiting mounds of newspaper and other absorbent stuff and puddled determinedly in the center, causing bad damage to only one box, though, which in turn indicates my dubious taste in tapes in the 1980s (Phranc, anyone?). Back in Murray Hall, one of the 2nd floor lecture rooms is dripping water; in another, a very large ceiling tile crashed off rather surprisingly, narrowly missing a member of the history department. Supposedly, this weekend is ushering in a heat wave, which should make the mold multiply very happily indeed.

Monday, March 29, 2010

publication day

So we took Hot Stuff out to dinner, to celebrate her publication day. Or rather, I took Alice out, to celebrate the book's formal emergence into the world, and we sat and gazed in loving awe at the book occupying center stage on the table all the way through dinner. Even if badly lit, this manages to capture Alice's happiness in the volume - the more formally staged photo that I took looks suspiciously as though she might be about to eat it, since she has a fierce and hungry expression, and the book is dangerously lodged between some sharp looking forks and knives. I'm sure we should have taken the book dancing, and cavorted under a glitter ball, but one has to settle for what one can find in a rainy night in New Brunswick.

For further celebration, see this coming weekend's NYT book review!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


made of tangled, looped, woven silver wire - and when they are magnified to this size by the lens, one can see quite how careful and intricate they are, and not just wire scrunched up together and rolled into a ball. They are also, quite obviously, detached from ears: I wanted to give them a sense of independent existence. Whilst they are still manifestly pieces of jewelry, I was intending them to approach abstraction in themselves (having just read Matthew Witkovsky's piece on photography and abstraction in the current Artforum), and then pushing them digitally to the point where they are blurred objects, hanging in space, at once weighty and weightless. On the other hand, there's not a whole lot of creativity in fairly speedy photo-manipulation, even if one likes the outcome, and even if it demonstrates the tenuous photographic connection, in the end, between object and image: having made that point, one wants to go back to talking about the quality of the earrings themselves as though there's no image-making involved: Christmas present from A, and like so many small fragile losable things, a constant object - or couple of objects - onto which to project my fears of loss.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

kitchen still life

...and it wasn't even posed (though to be honest, I moved the coffee maker on the right hand side out of the way, because it spoiled the symmetry). Absolute ordinariness: two green glass candlesticks, one white kitchen towel, one red pepper, one speckled black granite counter-top, managing, in their symmetry, to look like towers, or dumb-bells - and the reflection of the paper towels looking like an egg cup.

I'm looking forward to getting to see the American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life 1765-1915 exhibition at LACMA before it closes in mid May: looking at the accompanying book makes me wonder what could be made of the ordinariness here in terms of social history. Relative affluence (that counter-top); the southwestern preferences (the pepper) - but the candlesticks? Not only can I not remember where they came from, I can't remember which of us they belong to. We tend to have dinner by candlelight ( by inclination, not functionality), but no social historian could really tell that from this: what does get obliterated, through aesthetics, is the sheer functionality of the paper towel.

Friday, March 26, 2010

stray lizard

I was on the prowl, after yesterday, for more examples of signifiers that had become completely unmoored from their signifieds - but was completely stymied by finding that magic little expression, "memory card full," come up on my camera. Nonetheless, I had my iPhone, mock polaroid function and all, and even if this isn't an example of straying print, it's nonetheless sufficiently surreal. Here on Hamilton is a front porch with a sun-bleached tin lizard, exactly the kind of object one might expect to find on a New Mexico mailbox, waiting to stick its tail in the air to show the mailperson that there's something to collect - but in this case, tail decorously curled, it's making its way most unfunctionally down some ironwork.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lil' Tony

This is a very factual photograph: taken straight on, an expression of its own illegible blankness. Is the restaurant being painted inside? Fumigated? (either is possible; neither would make me any more inclined to eat there as it stands - it's the kind of Highland Park eatery that's given to sticking a signboard on the nearby lamppost reading "pizzas and kebabs.") Yet it's also paradoxically full of reading material: blow the picture up, and one may read all kinds of decontextualized headlines: "She Saved Pal;" "Killer Whale;" " No, We Said Go." However, reading the printed text makes no sense of the situation: it's superfluous writing. And yet - like the material in, say, a Walker Evans photograph of a store window - will it, and even the typeface, end up dating the image, making it not just an image of urban decline or regeneration (depends on whether the store front stays empty, or re-emerges as a 99c hamburger joint, or turns into a tasty Vietnamese eatery promising lots of things with lemongrass and sticky rice [some hope...]). but of a recognizable time and near-but-not-quite New York area?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

signs of spring

There are, indeed, faint signs of spring outside Murray Hall. It would have helped our graduate Open House if it had looked like this yesterday (I spent some time trying to persuade an admit from a state considerably to the west of here that NJ had its charms; that the Shore was 47 minutes from the back parking lot; that there were walks by the river; that Voorhees Mall was about to erupt in an excess of blossom, but she gazed downwards, apparently unconvinced, at the mid-March mud). Yet even if it is muddy, very soon it will be covered in the annual spectacle of little blue fertilizer-and-seed pellets, prior to sprouting a thick green lawn just in time for commencement. I'm trying to find some kind of upbeat allegory for the new sabout the university's budget measures in all of this, but that may prove to be a Pollyanna move-too-far.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

at last (and about time, too)

I can't expect anyone else to be as excited, and as relieved, about this 1,100 page manuscript as I am: the Victorian volume of the New Cambridge History of English Literature, composed of thirty-three contributors' chapters (that being said, there may be one or two readers of this blog who are, at this very moment, breathing a deep, deep sigh of relief that their labors have not been in vain. Rest assured, dear readers - none of the remarks that follow pertain to you...). Here it is - all printed out, from title page to "Notes on Contributors" - ready to be xeroxed and mailed tomorrow. Unbelievable.

The task of editing this nearly drove me crazy - never again will I take it upon myself to herd such a large and unruly number of literary cats. Even once all the chapters were in - and that took a long, long while - there were other problems: the non-arriving bibliographies; the apparent inability of certain people to be internally consistent in the style of their own footnotes or citations - let alone to follow any recognized style manual (and it's only at the last minute that one realizes that certain people never put a period at the end of their footnotes, say). Then there was the bibliography sent in an email that crashed Word every time I tried to cut and paste any or all of it. The chapters which were mysteriously formatted - and again, which sometimes disappeared on the screen. The fact (I cottoned onto this early on, though) that some submissions turned up on standard English A4 shaped pages, and others on American letter size. Then there was the senior scholar - who will go unmentioned - who simply did not provide any citation other than - say - "Dickens" or "Tennyson." Then there are the English people with no understanding of American geography when it comes to citing the place names for publishers - and vice versa. And then I started to double check the accuracy of people's quotations. And and and. Clearly, I was never meant to be a copy editor, or indeed, possibly, any kind of editor at all, given the length of time this has taken to see the light of day - around six and a half years from when I first submitted a proposal. But it's done, and I am so very, very happy to be sending it off.

Monday, March 22, 2010


As if on cue. Barry opined last night that one really, perhaps, couldn't tire of cute kitty pictures, and although I have my doubts (for the purpose of public blog postings, at any rate), LucyFur appears to have been listening. I went to throw some scrumpled up paper in a wastepaper basket, and found it already occupied.

At this weekend's conference, we all had to choose a "luminous sentence" of advice to bestow on younger members of the profession (when I asked my grad students if they had any ideas, one said "don't become departmental chair," which is probably as sane as anyone's maxim). A number of participants opted for some version of Find Your Own Voice, or Follow Your Own Passion, which is certainly something that I didn't really take to heart young enough - at least, only in some slightly compromised ways. I chose "only connect" - not out of some sudden rush of enthusiasm for E. M. Forster, but because I thought that it encompassed everything from the internet (and backing up all one's files...) to networking, interdisciplinarity, and talking to sceptical administrators about the value of the humanities. Jonathan Culler, most pragmatically, advised young scholars to write (at least) a paragraph every day - of anything - to keep one's hand in, and that did cause me to reflect (though not aloud) quite how useful writing here is to push words out on a regular basis.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

men's health

It's the copy of Men's Health that provides the quiet commentary to this study of a sleeper in Raleigh-Durham airport, blissfully unaware that I was stealing his likeness. My Nikon has a peculiarly useful feature: a screen that tilts and swivels to act as an image-composer even if one's nowhere near the viewfinder. So with the camera on my knee, I could - at least to the more or less casual observer - just be looking through old shots, say, whilst in fact I was lining this victim up in my sights.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

concentrating at conferences

Concentrating at conferences is rarely as easy as one thinks it is - even when one's much enjoying presentations (of course, the sort in which one's mind wanders, and one makes shopping lists, or maps out one's to-do program for the next six weeks, or drafts one's own comments for the summing up session is another thing entirely). But even when my mind is pretty much in gear, my eyes keep wandering, associations keep sparking off...

Take the National Humanities Center, for instance: an environment I know well, having spent a year here two and a half years ago, and having returned a couple of times since. That means that I reacquaint myself with the glass and the white frame of the building, and look at how the light shifts as it shines through it, and also note the changes: the water damage, the intricate tapestry-sculptures hanging on the walls, and, here the banner-like art work suspended from the central light shaft. I'm convinced that it's possible to take in academic content and cogitation at the same time that I'm assimilating visual information, and this might even aid memory, in a synaesthetic way. But even though we talked about the practicalities of the classroom, to some extent - especially the graduate seminar - we didn't really touch on the self-referential question of the value of association, as opposed to hard mental work, within academic learning. It's definitely there.

Friday, March 19, 2010


My breakfast was served most elegantly: one French press full of coffee, and one plate, neatly covered with its shiny domed lid, containing an omelette that, in its turn, was stuffed with avocado, cheese, and cumin scented - scented! - sour cream.

The irony is that I was eating this with a fork in one hand, whilst with the other trying to revise my thoughts for a fifteen minute presentation on "How has the profession changed since you entered it? And what is your view of these changes?" - "presentation," or, as Marjorie Garber, on the same panel, put it, getting it absolutely right, something poised between the autobiographical and the hortatory. I was trying to draw the parallels and differences between the cuts of the early 80s, when I entered the profession (I even had an image of us all demonstrating against the closure of the Bristol architecture department in 1982), and the cuts in university funding, in both the US and Britain, now. There are, of course, huge differences (not least the fact that in 1980, a conference on this topic wouldn't have opened with a panel on this topic featuring three women) - I talked about remaking canons, about diversity, interdisciplinarity, technology, professionalization... and about underfunding, underfunding, underfunding, especially within the public system (before I came to the US, I didn't really understand that there was any kind of major difference between the public and the private systems here, something that I can now only attribute, going pink as I do so, to extraordinary naivete. I guess I've learned a lot in nine years).

But what I didn't talk about is the fact that it would have been impossible, in 1980, to project myself forward 30 years to a conference like this. I don't mean in terms of its subject matter - it is, indeed, exactly 30 years since I attended the first "Literature Teaching Politics" conference at the Polytechnic of South Wales at Treforest, and we were talking, albeit with a lot more radical fervor, about pretty much the same issues - what and how should we be teaching? But then, there were sheep grazing on the near vertical damp hillsides outside the window, and old slagheaps round the corner from the coal mines. Here, outside the hotel, there's a lavishly manicured golf course. We had instant coffee and plates of cookies in the seminars (the usual fight for Bourbon biscuits). I can't remember the breakfasts, but that's probably because we spent a good deal of time getting drunk in the bar and dancing at the conference disco. One of my themes today was the prevalence of Professionalization: it has its cumin-scented rewards, but being Unprofessional was, so far as I remember, a great deal of fun, too.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I am a complete sucker for the little bottled samples that sit on the sides of baths in comfortable hotels (the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club, in Durham, NC, for the record, though I don't imagine I'll be seeing if I can hit a golf ball in the right direction - it's conference season). These are particularly tastefully arranged on neatly folded towels. I'm sure that I should put them to good charitable use (I was so struck, during the Obama campaign, that he told his entourage to gather up their bottled shampoos from hotel rooms and donate them to shelters - possibly his last radical gesture) - but in fact, I have come to rely on them as a means of lightening my luggage. And since today has been the kind of day when I had to get up at 5.30 to catch a plane, was delayed on one flight by "the wrong kind of oil" - the sort of explanation that sounds like too much information: did they get all the nasty bits out? - and managed to drop my best reading glasses in a carpark and tread - fatally - on them, I am also very glad to encounter them in my accommodation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Silhouetted against the early morning light, our drooping hyacinths. These were a foolishly expensive purchase in town yesterday, that took one sniff of our warm house and refused all forms of aid (changes of water, pinches of sugar, being moved somewhere cooler, and so on). But they express very well indeed how we feel: desolate at leaving sometime just before dawn tomorrow for Albuquerque airport.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


One can never quite tell what one's going to find in the deep recesses of a cupboard. That's a comment that could be taken at many a metaphorical level, and I'm happy to have it related to any number of Stygian stables. Nonetheless, in the most literal way, this was a monstrous item to find in the kitchen pantry - a bag of organic fingerling potatoes, happily sprouting in many different directions (as things left in the dark tend to do).

There is now a note on the front door, saying Plant Potatoes! For I have hopes for these, if I can dig them down where the gophers and ground squirrels and rabbits won't find them (one of my more Pollyanna-ish hopes, given the non-emergence of almost all the $70 or so worth of bulbs that we put in last spring). I once brought back a supermarket bag of particularly sweet and delicious Roseval potatoes from the French Alps and planted them in Oxford, with reasonably successful results (though not as spectacular as the rocket - arugula - that grew like a determined weed). So... wait until late May, and see what I dig up then...

Monday, March 15, 2010

desert snow

It's hard walking around on days of extravagant snowfall, like today, without taking cliched picture after cliched picture of prettiness.   This manages, at least, to have a touch of the surreal to it.   I'm fond of this cactus - it often has birds perched in it - but today it truly came into its own as installation art.   All the little lumps, like white sand dunes, are low growing tufts of tough grass.   Needless to say, it being mid March, a good deal has melted by now, but it was a treat to wake up to.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

spring snow

Yesterday, the tree branches in the sunlight; today - well, this wasn't entirely anticipated, and the forecast says that there might be another 5 inches or so on its way. If one looks at the radar map of the whole US, one sees just one, concentrated spot of bad weather - apparently settled gently above our house in New Mexico. But it does look spectacularly pretty.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


One of the mysteries about the back yard of our house in Eldorado is why the previous owner tied a couple of stones (with holes bored through them) to strings, and then suspended them from one of the trees. Since he worked for BNSF - the railroad company - down in Albuquerque, it seems unlikely that this was some kind of flowering of experimental art, especially as there was no other hint of aesthetic adventure anywhere else in the house. He was a keen gardener: could they have operated as some kind of bird scarer? I can think of more effective ones (it nearly being spring time, various neighborhood houses are starting to sprout tufts of silver foil on their branches, to keep the finches away from the fruit blossoms).

The builders who put up the portale and the wall in the fall removed the branch from which one of the stones hung, but the other one has been tied up out of their way, and is now poised like a large baked potato, waiting for me to fetch some steps and release it. Perhaps, once the clocks have sprung forward in the morning, I could measure its shadow on the ground, and use it as some kind of sundial?

Friday, March 12, 2010

led astray

Take... three girls, one Harry's Road House, and... yes, this is a large slice of lemon meringue pie.

Once upon a time, chickens were a rare treat. We used to have A Roast for Sunday lunch - beef, or lamb, or pork. Chicken, back in the days before factory farming, were more expensive than this red meat (it is now very hard to conceptualize this fact). So we would have chicken only on special Sundays, like Easter Sunday. And I would always be given the wishbone to pull. And when I was quite small - say five or six - I would always make the same wish (I don't think I lacked imagination - after all, I had a fervent ambition either to be a truck driver or a choir boy - I just liked to think of wishes coming true). I wished that it would be lemon meringue pie for dessert. And yes, very often, it was.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

air travel. Again.

This is not really the kind of sky that looks very propitious when one's about to take off into it (EWR>DFW, where this is > ABQ), but it was curiously unbumpy, despite rising up above dark thunderheads. The sky train provides the flying saucer up on the left, which adds to the futuristic/apocalyptic setting. It is so good - some four or five hours later - to be at home, and in total quiet (apart from the yapping coyote choir) in Eldorado.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

counting the cars

on the New Jersey Turnpike... and one of them was a stretch limo, with me inside it: quite ridiculous. Alice was wonderfully kind and ordered a car to meet me at EWR: neither of us had quite anticipated it being the the kind of thing that one might expect to go to a senior prom (or indeed the Oscars) in. What, quite obviously, it lacked was a tripod: balancing the camera on my knee just wasn't good enough. I wish I'd wriggled around more and put it on the shelf above the rattling (empty) champagne glasses.

But this didn't feel like grandeur: quite scarily, it felt like being inside a hearse: black padded leather and shiny stuff, though I doubt they have little tracks of fluorescent green and blue lights down the ceiling, or even bar tending materials and video consoles. They also sway around (maybe hearses do, too, but probably their occupants aren't too troubled). At the end of the ride, I scuttled away from it fast: not at all the kind of thing one wants one's neighbors to see...


If I didn't have a quite terrible migraine, I would write more about this, which has a very tall, decrepit, but not unalluring Pacific Rim feel to it.

Monday, March 8, 2010


When one blows up this image and looks carefully at the bas relief figures, one can see that they are not - as I'd taken them to be, looking across the street from my hotel room in the early morning light - heroic figures of modern industry. Rather, they seem to be medieval knights, foraging around in some foliage, and their purpose - both symbolic or decorative - is therefore much more obscure. Of course, it would have helped if I'd walked down the street towards them, seen what the building is called, and googled it (it seems in strange disrepair: the bottom part looks to be occupied with offices, but the top vacant and windowless and generally abandoned) - but I've been headed in the opposite direction. I might be wrong about the abandonment, of course - looking out at night, to see whether those things like old fashioned microphones are lights (if they are, they aren't on) - there seems to be illumination almost right to the top. Definitely, however, like the crumbling mock-baroque on the parapet in the foreground, a sense of civic pride and heritage is being sought after: given how many workmen here were of Italian origin, this seems like a clear example of them setting their own historical mark, fourteen floors or so above the street.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


If only I could animate these, they would surely be worthy of winning one of those strange miscellaneous categories which trip everyone up when it comes to Oscar night ballot voting, and ensure that one's making stabs in the dark when in fact one ought to know all about painful documentaries about dolphin slaughter. Or else trying to remember what it was, indeed, that the Trenton Star-Ledger (one might as well have done one's research somewhere more outre than the NY or LA Times) said was going to pull off best sound editing. Two of them seem to be the kind of prehistoric monsters that I could name when I was eight, but the other is more like a Balinese Rangda, one of those strange beasts that sits squatly by the side of bridges on Bali, protecting them against the evil spirits who might be tempted to cross over.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


How might one take a photograph of noise? Noise, that is, of conversations bouncing off concrete walls, and slatted ceilings, and competing with unidentifiably distorted music with an overdeveloped bass. My head felt quite shocked to come out again into a more or less quiet street. So much for trendiness. Though the moroccan squash with popcorn and chestnuts and pumpkin seeds and yogurt was peculiarly good...

What worries me is how much - in thinking this, in writing this - I start to sound like my father. In a year or two I'll be complaining - as he did when he still went to restaurants -that the kitchen is too noisy, that the floors reverberate too much with footsteps, that there's any music at all...

Friday, March 5, 2010


Somewhere in the heap of siding there's a metaphor for what one tries not to spend one's day doing in the Chair's office - siding with, siding against - maybe the pile of torn and jagged edges points in that direction, too. But on the other hand, it's yet more evidence of both work progressing on the house (we now have our own little tower!) and of the the way abstract lines and curves lie around waiting to be noticed. The light was better on this from the stairs window than at ground level, but it still, once one was up close, looked like a version of Futurist lines of force, suggesting energy that's somehow innate in inanimate, artificial, mechanically produced objects.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nailing it

though not yet nailed: these are nails waiting in great swirls and coils to be banged into our attic roof, holding sheetrock and goodness knows what else into place. I don't know if they always come in bulk like this: at Lowes or Home Depot they always seem to be to be packaged up already. But these have a live, if rather hard, charm of their own, like hunks of rather cold and slithery snakes. I'm truly not entering into a nail sequence, but I might be tempted to try a more close up view tomorrow of these objects, simultaneously everyday workman's tools, and lethal implements, almost with the sheen and hardness of bullets.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

pictures of lily

Lily, oh Lily. A quotation that will mean nothing to anyone who doesn't know The Who's 1967 song... about a boy who can't sleep at night, and is given pictures of Lily - presumably some kind of soft porn - by his father to help him find a way to relax. Oh, we were so thrilled with ourselves at school, figuring out that this is what the lyrics really had to mean, and then getting the sense of listening to something truly illicit. Or so we thought. Roger Daltry apparently said that the horn in it was meant to sound like a WWI siren, and that Lily was a pin up from that time - hard to tell from the pictures that I think must have been on the single's sleeve - which I don't think I possess, though somewhere, warped and damp-damged and generally sad and ancient, I may still have a bad reel-to-reel tape of it, stolen from the radio.

I think I may have had enough of my Liliad now, but five days of floral documentation has certainly documented its rapid springing into energetic bloom.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

lily 4

Now that the lily is out, she seems disconcertingly brazen: I thought that she might manage more subtlety than this. But I did encounter a literary lily - or, indeed, a whole, extravagant bunch of literary lilies tonight while reading Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes for class on Thursday. Laura - Lolly - keeps going out and buying flowers for herself before she leaves London for the witch-infested countryside, the oddness of it all downplayed by Warner's dry enjoyment of the absurd. Her brother and sister in law can't help but notice the floral abundance:

"On one occasion even Henry had noticed the splendor of the lilies: red lilies, angular, authoritative in form and color like cardinals' hats" [Whole Foods didn't have too many of these pre-Christmas, but a few lucky people ended up with them].
"'Where do these come from?' Caroline had asked, knowing well that nothing so costly in appearance could have come from her florist.
'From Africa,' Laura had answered, pressing the firm, wet stalks into her hand.
'Oh well, I daresay they are quite common flowers there,' said Caroline to herself, trying to gloss over the slight awkwardness of accepting a trifle so needlessly splendid."

But that is, of course, the glory of these lilies: they are quite unashamedly over the top.

Monday, March 1, 2010

lily 3

Getting there. But taking a Daily Lily seems to be peculiarly unproductive for writing, even if it's a slowly unfurling piece of documentary. Or maybe that's because I've had little time today to read anything other than spreadsheets, which don't so much unfurl as spin out of control, like boomerang tumbleweeds. What I have discovered, though, is that this may not be the Amaryllis that I thought it to be (and that it was labeled): rather, I think it's a Hippeastrum - a relative - that is, the Knight's Star, so called by the Rev. William Herbert, Dean of Manchester, in 1837. The Rev. Herbert was not just a clergyman, and a botanist, but an expert in early Icelandic literature, publishing a collection of Icelandic poetry in 1804-6. So! I feel like flourishing a banner - I have, in the end, learned something new today. I have a great fondness for accumulating apparently useless facts.