Category: personal stuff

An Ascent with Xenophon

I first heard of Xenophon and Anabasis while at college, in Bl. John Henry Newman’s great book The Idea of a University. In this particular essay, Newman gives an illustration of a poor applicant for university studies by giving a dialogue between a student and a tutor. This student does indeed stumble through the interview, able to give a basic summary of events in Anabasis but unable to answer questions about the etymology of the title and its significance, basic Greek grammar, and other such things. What struck me, though, was that Newman assumed that even a poor student will have read Anabasis, among other works from the Classical world, and have some basic knowledge of Greek and Latin. Indeed, in the printed essay, Newman does not even transliterate Greek words; he merely assumes that anyone reading would know the Greek alphabet.

Yet, here I was, a year or two into university studies, and I was clearly far less competent than even this student Newman describes as “below par.” I knew no Greek at all, and the name of “Xenophon” was merely a foreign sound to me, though I was at least aware of the other authors Newman mentions in the passage.

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Mischief Making in Two Wonderful Dimensions

MMboxSo, this past week I got a request to review a video game. It’s a bit outside the “bibliophile’s journal” theme I’ve been doing, but since I have posted about a few games before I thought it would be a nice change of pace. Also, this guy suggested that I’d look like some kind of nerd if I only write about books all the time, and I certainly wouldn’t want that. Anyone interested solely in Serious Business can come back next week, when I’ll have a post on Klemens von Metternich, followed by more from William Shakespeare.

Before we get to the main subject, though, let’s go back to the mid-90’s. The PlayStation and Nintendo 64 were the coolest things around, because now, for the first time on home consoles, games were in three dee! The days of side-scrolling in a mere two dimensions were gone, and now we could walk around awkwardly in three dimensions. Let me say, I was in elementary school at the time and was the first kid in my class to get an N64, and my social standing among my peers has never been higher, before or since.

Looking back, those early 3D games have, for the most part, aged pretty badly. Even in cases where the designers got the controls right, which certainly could not be taken for granted, the graphics were hideous. Very blocky with few textures was the house style for those early N64 games. Frankly, Super NES games were far more aesthetically appealing.…

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2014: It All Comes Tumbling Down, Tumbling Down, Tumbling Do~wn

So, if 2013 was the Agincourt of weblogging, 2014 was The Battle of Little Bighorn.

Not that I feel too sorry for myself – I had thought early in the year that I’d rather spend time on other things than web logging, though I did expect to get up more than ten posts. At least most of them turned out fairly well, including a couple retrospectives, one on serial experiments lain and another on Neon Genesis Evangelion. Speaking of Evangelion, I also wrote about the January theatrical release of Evangelion 3.0, which still hasn’t come out on glorious blu-rei. I also shared my thoughts on the other big anime theatrical release this year, The Wind Rises, which has come out on home video; based on my re-watch of the film on blu-ray, I think these early impressions still stand.

Among the normal review posts, I actually wrote about a few live-action films, which is unusual. The best of these was probably The Chekist; I also came up with a sequel of sorts to the Uncle Walt-a-thon with The Jungle Book, and wrote about the strangest book I read this year, Uzumaki.…

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2013: The Agincourt of Weblogging

That’s Agincourt from the French perspective, as last year’s success turned out to be shorter-lived than I expected.

Well, maybe “Agincourt” is an exaggeration, but it’s been a lousy year for me on all fronts. Leaving aside personal stuff, post quality was less even than I’d like, and update consistency fell apart in the second half of the year. I do seem to have gotten back on track now, though, and there were some good points throughout the year, so here’s the highlight reel for Everything Is Oll Korrect! in 2013.…

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The Anti-Waterworks – My (Not So) Emotional Reactions to Fiction

Last week, Charles over at Beneath the Tangles asked “What scenes from an anime or which series have evoked a powerful (and perhaps unexpected) response within you? Why?” It’s an interesting question, but I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head. So I thought about it some more later in the day, and found that even if I broaden the question’s scope from anime to media in general I still couldn’t come up with much.

I can’t think of any fictional work that’s moved me in the sense of changing the way I think or behave, at least not in any way discernible to me. As for a simply emotional response, I’ve never been an emotional person; I’ve never cried over a novel or film, and never really get worked up over real-life events, either. During an election, for instance, my father commented that he wished he had my stoicism. Even if we broaden the question further still to non-fiction, the only such work to effect an almost-immediately discernible change in me is Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

After some reflection, though, I can name a small handful of works that, even if they didn’t move me to tears, did provoke a fairly strong emotion, whether that be sadness, fear, or just a great sense of satisfaction.…

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A Birthday Reflection on Ezra Pound

As you may have guessed from the length of my last post, I admire Ezra Pound.

I’ve found, though, that I’m one of a relative few. His poetry seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair, and I can certainly understand those who don’t care for him. Much of his poetry is difficult, his references obscure, and his politics generally right-wing but eclectic enough mostly to just throw people off, except that he vocally supported Benito Mussolini, and even those critics who appreciate, say, T.S. Eliot’s conservatism will draw a line at that.

Yet, with the sole exception of Eliot, Pound is the best poet I know of the past 400 years or so since Shakespeare. He’s also the most important, because even if one prefers some other writer of his generation, Pound very likely knew and influenced him to at least some degree. For example, a professor of mine once commented that Pound’s hand in editing Eliot’s The Waste Land is so great that one could almost call it the first Canto.…

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A Few Thoughts About ‘Everything’ and its Future

As I’ve mentioned before, when I first began this blog I intended to take an academic approach and post mainly essays and commentaries on works of literature and religion. Even after I started blogging seriously, the only result are a couple lackluster posts on Mishima Yukio, Confucius, and maybe one or two other things that even I can’t remember anymore. The best idea I’ve had for Everything Is Oll Korrect! was changing focus to sharing my impressions on individual works, essentially a reading or viewing journal.…

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Analects of an Autodidact

Don’t you hate it when a blogger introduces a post by apologising for only being able to write up something short and quick, because he’s been busy with school?


Well, anyway, vocational training aside, it’s been an exciting week for me, because I’m in the home stretch of Sandberg and Tatham’s French for Reading, which I’ve mentioned before. All the main lessons are finished, I just need to get through a final section of reading passages, which I’ll probably finish this week. After that, I’ll start taking my newly-gained ability into the wild, starting off slow with Le Petit Prince, then parallel-text editions of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, all of which I already own. Once I’m reasonably confident, I’ll order Les Miserables.…

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