July 29, 2011

Clippings: Sprezzatura

The Courtier is having a great contest for his blog-anniversary.  Taking inspiration from his muse, the renaissance writer Castiglione, Mr. Newton is requesting submissions about an individual who embodies sprezzatura--that is a graciousness and ease of gentle behavior without effort or artfulness. Or something like that.  This week he profiled a bunch of different individuals from the past who displayed said virtue (M/T/W/Th), and now he's asking for your suggestions for those in the modern world who really embody this particular courtly virtue.  You have till midnight, Sunday, July 31st to enter.

I'm not sure if these clippings can really be described as possessing sprezzatura, but they certainly display a level of ease and grace.  Besides, I just like saying (and typing) sprezzatura. Sprezzatura! Sprezzatura!

+ I could sit at this window for hours and hours and hours and hours (above).  (Remodelista)

+ Two discoveries in Catholic-land: the tomb of St. Philip was unearthed.  And a miracle was approved for Pius XII.  

+ I love the Kinfolk blog almost as much as the magazine itself. A little touch of peace in my daily feeds. 

+ Gorgeous brass sculptures of sailboats.

+ I love this poster (via Anthology).  And this photo (via National Geographic).

+ Natasha shows us what $375/month can get you in Hong Kong.  I hoped all along it was a joke.  Also, congrats, Natasha, on being featured in Rue #6 (which is by far their best yet).

+ The Canal House series of cookbooks really are fantastic, but I am most inspired by their daily lunch posts on their blog, Canal House Cooks Lunch.  What glorious simplicity and inventiveness.  This is how I want to eat, almost always.

+ Myrna and I might go see Midnight in Paris again tonight.  Of all the legends in the film, I thought Hemingway was most masterfully done--he talks like he writes!  And speaking of Hemingway, here is the equally masterful recording of legendary newsman Harry Reasoner's radio announcement of the death of Earnest Hemingway.  How radio has changed (via Terry Teachout). (Link fixed!)

+ Newspapers have changed a lot too. (More on newspapers: here and here.)

+ Umberto Echo, whose books of essays has perhaps the best title ever, How to Travel with a Salmon, is weighing in on the conversation about the end of books.  Here's a excerpt from the National Post review:
Eco lays out his argument very early in this “conversation.” (Don’t ask me what “curated” means.) “There is actually very little to say on the subject,” Eco states. “The Internet has returned us to the alphabet … From now on, everyone has to read. In order to read, you need a medium. This medium cannot simply be a computer screen.” The implication of Eco’s logic is clear. E-books have their place in the world of letters, but not necessarily one of total dominance. “One of two things will happen,” Eco continues in his march of logic. “Either the book will continue to be the medium for reading, or its replacement will resemble what the book has always been, even before the invention of the printing press. Alterations to the book-as-object have modified neither its function nor its grammar for more than 500 years. The book is like the spoon, scissors, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved.”
Read the whole review here. Order the book here. Definitely buying this one.

+ How big is your vocabulary?  (Mine is estimated at 37,900, which is 10,000 words more than the average American my age. But then, I read.)  The logic behind this test is fascinating, too. (via Renidemus)  Awesome words I learned from this test: adumbrate (16 years of school and I never learned this word?!), inveigle (which is not on the i-before-e list of exceptions, but clearly should be), sparge, and nostrum (any number of figurative uses there).  Take the test!

+ Have I told you lately that I want to be a shepherd?  I do. (Ancient Industries)

+ And a beekeeper.  Madame Fromage writes about urban beekeeping in the Philly Inquirer.


  1. You can come and live on our farm somewhere in the PNW, then, and be a shepherd(ess) and keep bees.. I like both those things :)

    always love your clippings posts!

  2. Thanks for the link/post!

  3. Your links are always awesome. I have to click on almost every one, which is so rare! The process of proving miracles on the way to Sainthood is fascinating... I do wonder if we'll see Pope Pius confirmed in our lifetime. And canal house has the best pictures. And thank you for linking to me--that is so sweet of you!