Aristotle’s Masterpiece, also known as The Works of Aristotle, the Famous Philosopher, is a sex manual and a midwifery book that was popular in England from the early modern period through to the 19th century. It was first published in 1684 and written by an unknown author who falsely claimed to be Aristotle.
i think my schooling is starting to get in the way of my education.
or maybe i’m just a lazy asshole.
yeah, that’s probably it.
On Jorge Luis Borges’ creative process during his later years:
"María Kodama described for me how, later in life, the blind Borges composed. After a light breakfast, he would sit in a comfortable armchair, in his front room, at about nine in the morning. He would lean his head back. Sometimes, one of his cats would sit in his lap, and he would stroke it, very slowly, very rhythmically. Though he was blind and presumably had little need to, Borges would still close his eyes. A serene expression settled on his face, as if he was sleeping, but he wasn’t asleep. With his eyes closed, he would start nodding his head, inducing in himself a kind of trance, feeling the pulse of language he could hear somewhere in the depths, in his voice, his ‘other’ voice, the voice of the famous ‘other Borges.’
Sometimes, he would mutter to himself, repeating a line aloud, in a whisper. Mostly, he dreamed away quietly. He would do this for about two hours, and then call for María Kodama—his secretary and platonic companion (only many years later would he marry her and make her the keeper of his estate, and his secrets). La Kodama would come into his study, the main room of his apartment, lined floor to ceiling, with easily two thousand books. Borges would begin dictating to her a whole stanza of seven, eight, or ten lines as if he were writing a poem, or it might be a complete paragraph, long or short, of an essay or rare new story Borges had spent those morning hours dreaming up, imagining, revising, and editing in his head. He dictated everything whole—finished—to María Kodama. The two of them would go to the dining room to eat lunch. After lunch and a short nap, Borges would work for about another two hours, dictate another stanza or paragraph, then knock off at about 3:30, when he would prepare himself to entertain visitors.
After some time had gone by—usually months, sometimes years—Borges would make changes when lines were read back to him from these drafts. He seasoned his work, cut and revised, and applied writerly craft through multiple revisions. Borges knew that impatience is the enemy of art. Still, the first drafts were all mainly there, born out of his trance, those ‘dream tigers’ the writer could pad around with through his surreal and mythic landscapes. His works were drawn forth as if at will from sources directly related to his capacity to enter into dreams.”
—Douglas Unger, from his essay “On Inspiration: Thomas Wolfe, Jorge Luis Borges, & Raymond Carver,” in The Writer’s Chronicle (Vol. 42, No. 2, October/November 2009)
Photograph: Jorge Luis Borges and María Kodama, n.d.
Somewhere between the green bean casserole and third Obama joke of the evening, our Thanksgiving dinner conversation turned into a spontaneous family crash course on Bitcoin.
My stepfather cut right to the case. Peppered with questions about the best mining strategies and equipment, I was relieved to deliver him the bad news in time to protect my poor mother from coming home to a sweltering living room packed with whirring ASIC miners. Thanks to the pretty good Bitcoin coverage in the Journal, said mother–a proud daily reader–had already gleaned an impressive understanding of the fringe-to-riches cryptocurrency. We recommended Litecoin instead. We talked about Bitcoin’s attractive properties as a payment system and a platform for financial innovation. My sharp Gen Selfie sisters got the picture faster than the network verifies new blocks. When I was drawn into another conversation, my little brother ably tackled my grandparents’ lingering questions. It was a little surreal.
Others had similar experiences during their pilgrimages home. My boyfriend learned that his badass 14-year-old cousin had been mining for some time. My friend’s parents jazzedly talked Bitcoin Black Friday between canine categories of the National Dog Show. They weren’t the only ones; while the post-turkey buying bonanza of the paleoeconomy sinks to new lows in revenues and taste, Bitcoin’s first coordinated sales day set a new record for commercial transactions. The hot gets hotter. A successful rainbow tour, coy Chinese intrigue, and even techno-futurist space glamour have helped push Bitcoin’s value to impressive peaks. And boy, do people want to talk about it.