Tag Archives: purim

Edith Wharton shipped Esther/Haman

That theory, now, that Odysseus never really forgot Circe; and that Esther was in love with Haman, and decoyed him to the banquet with Ahasuerus just for the sake of once having him near her and hearing him speak; and that Dante, perhaps, if he could have been brought to book, would have had to confess to caring a good deal more for the pietosa donna of the window than for a long-dead Beatrice — well, you know, it tallies wonderfully with the inconsequences and surprises that one is always discovering under the superficial fitnesses of life.

(Edith Wharton, “That Good May Come,” 1894.)

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In which my friends write things

  • We’re already on to the next Jewish holiday, but Jay Michaelson’s piece on the financial crisis as Purimspiel is still well worth reading.
  • Opening Day has come at last, and the Orioles rang it in by drubbing the Yankees 10-5, in a weird-all-over kind of game.  I can’t describe it better than Tom does.
  • Alison Buckholtz, a year ahead of me in high school, has a book out. Alison’s husband is a Navy pilot, and Standing By is about the world of military spouses, who occupy a funny boundary space:  of the military but not officially in it.  Alison’s little brother Charlie was a year below me — his essay about surving a car accident, “Catheterized!” has stayed with me for twenty years. He has a book too, about the mysterious death of the guy who wrote the “Lady in the Radiator” song.  I think he should write a novelization of “Catheterized!”
  • And yet another book, from Cary Chugh, a.k.a. What Went Wrong‘s husband:  Don’t Swear With Your Mouth Full!, which offers an approach to parental discipline based on behavioral science.  Endorsed by Dr. Mrs. Q!   CJ, of course, is always instantly and cheerfully compliant, and would never, for example, insist to the point of hysteria that “getting dressed for school” requires putting his underwear on his head, his sweatshirt over his legs, and one sock on his genitals; so I have no need for this book, but maybe it will be useful for some of you.
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