A Mississippi Slave Emancipation Story from 1821 that Caught My Attention

This is from the public and private acts section of Turner’s Mississippi Code of 1823.

Of Lucinda Jcfferson.

By An act to emancipate Lucinda Jefferson, passed November 24, 1821, the said girl Lucinda Jefferson is emancipated, set free from slavery and is invested with all the rights, privileges and immunities of any other free white […]

Notes on Re-reading from an unexpected source

Near the end of Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust, one of the characters, on an expedition into parts of the Amazon, becomes sick and lost and gets rescued by a guy raising cattle. The rescuer is part native and part English, and grew up with his father reading to him, but never learned to […]

Notes on re-reading: Decoding the April 7th section of The Sound and the Fury

The final events of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury take place over Easter weekend of 1928. The first section, “April Seventh, 1928,” is from Benjy Compson’s point of view and takes place on Saturday, although with Benjy free-associating across time from the 1890s to 1928. The last two sections, April 6th and April […]

Notes on re-reading: “all time and injustice and sorrow become vocal for an instant…”

Then Ben wailed again, hopeless and prolonged. It was nothing. Just sound. It might have been all time and injustice and sorrow become vocal for an instant by a conjunction of planets.

Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

Notes on re-reading: Blue jays go to Hell on Fridays and The Sound and the Fury

One of the Southern sayings of my childhood was that “blue jays go to Hell on Fridays” (my father’s punch-line was to always, having raised this on any day but Friday, ask if any listener could specifically recall seeing a bluejay on Friday). Apparently, the part of the folk-tale I never heard was that they […]

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Some covers of “That Lucky Old Sun” in anticipation of the new Dylan album

The new Dylan album is all versions of songs previously recorded by Frank Sinatra.

It ends with a version of “That Lucky Old Sun.” It’s kinda been done. You’ve got versions by Jerry Lee, Aretha, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, LaVern Baker, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, Willie Nelson, etc…. They’ve pretty much got it covered. And […]

An Evelyn Waugh character explains how to read the newspaper (or other media)

I read the newspapers with lively interest. It is seldom that they are absolutely, point-blank wrong. That is the popular belief, but those who are in the know can usually discern an embryo truth, a little grit of fact, like the core of a pearl, round which has been deposited the delicate layers of ornament.


Floyd Abrams rebukes his old client the NY Times for failing to publish the cartoons

Floyd Abrams, as one will recall, represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, and is probably the leading First Amendment lawyer of his generation. As the headline suggests, he rebuked his former client in a letter to the editor that the New York Times published on Friday.

The last sentence is […]

In today’s unauthorized practice of law

Folks came into my office today because they where having trouble filing out the divorce papers they’d bought over the internet.

It seems it was a cash-only website that sends out the papers COD. At a glance, the papers were surprisingly good but lacking in several respects. I won’t say how because I don’t want […]

Instant Karma Is Going To Get Him

Apparently, Stephan Pastis has a taste for music puns requiring elaborate set-ups.

Highly recommend the Pearls before Swine cartoon.