About

Writing gives the mind a disciplined means of expression.

― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

This blog’s name is inspired by Csikszentmihalyi’s ideas on flow. Anyone fortunate enough to experience those moments when time’s flow is stemmed knows the profound enjoyment it provides and the equal degree of concentration required.

With the demise of what was once called the blogosphere, this blog now serves primarily as a reading journal and commonplace book. Blogging changed that way I read, mostly for the better. I am ever grateful that during ten years of blogging I made many literary-minded friends that continue outside of an online world that is now entirely subsumed into a corporate marketing machine.

Reading is for me a social activity. If you have a yearning for conversation about literature and what makes a human, please feel free to send me an email. I’m ambivalent about social media, but sometimes use Twitter and have a presence on LibraryThing.

There is no explicit information about the writer of this blog except the great deal implied by what I read and write. No mystery intended, but I am far, far less interesting than the books I read.

Anthony

58 thoughts on “About

  1. Ah, you’re the first book blogger I’ve seen to share your temperament. I’m an INFP. 🙂

    Good to meet you!

  2. Wow, I just discovered your blog after being on wordpress myself for over a year. Love the ideas and content here. Can’t wait to read more!

  3. Wow is that really a photo of your personal library?! It is gorgeous! I’m intrigued by how you described this blog and will be perusing more of it 🙂

    • Thank you. I added your blog’s feed to my watch list today. It appears we have uncannily similar film tastes, judging by your recent post. Yes, that is my library.

  4. I am not a blogger so far; yet I love your ideas and let us hopefully communicate more on what we read. Not just naming books and authors
    Krishnan Unni.P

  5. Thanks. Love the amateur ethic and the list of favourite writers … Big Beckett fan myself. Lots of reading for me here! Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

  6. Szymborska’s quoted manifesto is exactly right—there’s something deadening about reviewing. For me, at least, the felt need to review takes over and inhibits actually lingering with the work (whatever the medium). It seems like you’re the same. Much better to follow out the thoughts brought to the surface by reading than to try to find the exact balance of praise and blame to dole. (And I find that reading such responses is much better advertisement, anyway—I’d rather find the stimulus of new thoughts than the stimulus of praise.)

    I’ve written one review proper on my blog. It’s a failure. I wrote it only because I had come up with what I thought (and think) is a pretty clever bit of wordplay—the only redeeming quality it has.

    I’ve read some of your posts, and enjoyed them. I’ll be stopping by more often.

    • Thank you, pleased that you enjoyed some posts here.

      Aside from a few of the bloggers I include in my blog roll. I don’t read reviews much either. Reading is so subjective, so personal, that straight book reviews are dead as soon as the words hit the page. I’ve come to trust some readers as having a taste broadly similar to my own, but sufficiently different to introduce me to new writers frequently.

  7. I’m delighted to have discovered your blog! I can’t wait to read it more fully when I have a chance. I think I’m going to learn a lot here!

    • Thank you, Sarrah, for the comment. Feel free to ask any questions, or talk about anything you find here that interests you.

  8. What a delightful library! I myself aspire to have something remotely close to this some day. But for the time being it seems rather improbable.
    By the by, this blog is a constant source of learning for me, Anthony.
    Also, it inspires me to read more!

  9. Dear Anthony, I note – with a touch of sadness – your recent absence from the howling desert of Twitter, but would like to wish you a very happy New Year in any case. I have had email issues of late, so may have missed a few updates to your blog, but continue to visit and enjoy same… Anastasia

  10. Hi,
    I’m a german blogger and discovered your fantastic and visionary blog while taking a walk through english literature blogs.
    I’ll visit you once more and learn much !
    Regards from Herbert Steib

  11. Well, hello, I’m an INTP too. We are rare, you know:)
    I came here via Twitter re your post about modernism… and I wonder, do you distinguish it from postmodernism?

    • Yes, very rare, the 5% I think. I once signed up to an email discussion list at intp.org but it soon drove me a bit nuts, reading messages with all that intensity!

      Modernism is a house with many rooms and I think literary postmodernism falls into Bradbury’s category of those second generation modernists who were optimistic about its freedoms.

      • LOL I think INTPs by definition are resistant to joining such groups!
        A broad church, yes. I have just finished reading Kenzaburo Oe’s Death by Water, a book which resists labels of all kinds, I think….

        • Yes, agree fully. The old Groucho Marx comment definitely applies.

          I’ve not read his work yet but have Seventeen and J, which I plan to read this year,

  12. I found your blog earlier this month. It is a exhilarating blog, and excellently written. I was struggling to find inspiration in regards to what to read next, but reading your blog has given me much to think upon, for which I am very glad.

  13. 100% agree that if a book doesn’t move you, stop reading it! Of course some do take some time to get into, but I have wasted too many hours on stories that have never gone anywhere!

    Your blog is inspiring. Thanks for keeping at it!

  14. Reading wildly. I love it. Kind of breathless and timeless, or maybe time-haunted…? And from you, so many suggestions, directions. Thank you.

  15. Hi Anthony, you are invited to participate in my Bookish Time Travel Tag, if you so choose. Check my blog post for more details. Thanks, EnglishLitGeek

  16. Anthony, I just discovered your site and I am so glad to have found it. It is wonderful. Thank you so much. As it happens, I have recently been thinking that I must somehow find a way to make peace with the passage of time. I will be 73 next month – “Time’s winged chariot,” etc. Your site has already helped me in this quest.

  17. Regarding your list of the Bowes & Bowes series ‘Studies in Modern European Literature and Thought’. I’ve been collecting them for about 10 years. I have 25, with the latest found yesterday (Malraux). You may have already seen my covers on Flickr.

    A couple of things:

    ‘Romanov’ should be ‘Rozanov’ (no doubt a pesky auto-spell-corrector).
    Charles Peguy and 49. Samuel Beckett should be 1965 not 1956 (numbers transposed).

    In addition to the Fernando Pessoa, Nietzsche, Robert Musil, and Leopardi which you reference, there are 4 other titles listed as in preparation on the back flap of various titles in my collection, all of which then disappear in later back flap lists, presumably abandoned:

    Karl Barth by D. M. McKinnon
    Berdyaev by Morris Philipson
    Karl Jaspers by Werner Brock
    Remy de Gourmont by Garnet Rees

    Cheers,
    Ben

    • If you want to check out my blog as well it is: atasteofliterature.com
      🙂

  18. Anthony, I have a random question. I’m torn between purchasing Quignard’s Abysses and Villa Amalia. I know one’s a novel and one isn’t. Which one would you suggest?

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