Reading Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky. Here's NY Times review.

Listened to fascinating interview on NPR with Christopher Hitchens, about his recent book God is Not Great. He is a very witty guy. Valuable sacred cow-punching.

Yet for me there are these 2 basic possibilities : either there is "higher consciousness" or not. I go with the former. Even without such things as the "argument for design" etc. You don't need to be a philosopher to recognize the beauty of the universe and the poignancy of life.

It's a profound intellectual (or spiritual) step, to accept the notion of the (granted, mysterious) "personal" quality of the universe : that life is ordered - somehow - around consciousness.

I call it the Byzantium waltz. (An icon represents the divine, and the divine imago, as one.)

This is at the root of my own (somewhat eccentric, I suppose) concept of the normative, the classic, the Acmeist, the Pushkinian, the human, the Hellenic-Hebraic, the Joycean, the Mandelshtam-Celanian, the Dantean-Montalean...

& at the root of my particular distinction between the synthetic song-imagination of poetry, and every other kind of discourse.

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