Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Annals, Book 4, Chapter 32 -- Tacitus


"Much what I have related and shall have to relate, may perhaps, I am aware, seem petty trifles to record. But no one must compare my annals with the writings of those who have described Rome in old days. They told of great wars, of the storming of cities, of the defeat and capture of kings, or whenever they turned by preference to home affairs, they related, with a free scope for digression, the strifes of consuls with tribunes, land and corn-laws, and the struggles between the commons and the aristocracy. My labours are circumscribed and inglorious; peace wholly unbroken or but slightly disturbed, dismal misery in the capital, an emperor careless about the enlargement of the empire, such is my theme. Still it will not be useless to study those at first sight trifling events out of which the movements of vast changes often take their rise.
All nations and cities are ruled by the people, the nobility, or by one man. A constitution, formed by selection out of these elements, it is easy to commend but not to produce; or, if it is produced, it cannot be lasting. Formerly, when the people had power or when the patricians were in the ascendant, the popular temper and the methods of controlling it, had to be studied, and those who knew most accurately the spirit of the Senate and aristocracy, had the credit of understanding the age and of being wise men. So now, after a revolution, when Rome is nothing but the realm of a single despot, there must be good in carefully noting and recording this period, for it is but few who have the foresight to distinguish right from wrong or what is sound from what is hurtful, while most men learn wisdom from the fortunes of others. Still, though this is instructive, it gives very little pleasure. Descriptions of countries, the various incidents of battles, glorious deaths of great generals, enchant and refresh a reader's mind. I have to present in succession the merciless biddings of a tyrant, incessant prosecutions, faithless friendships, the ruin of innocence, the same causes issuing in the same results, and I am everywhere confronted by a wearisome monotony in my subject matter. Then, again, an ancient historian has but few disparagers, and no one cares whether you praise more heartily the armies of Carthage or Rome. But of many who endured punishment or disgrace under Tiberius, the descendants yet survive; or even though the families themselves may be now extinct, you will find those who, from a resemblance of character, imagine that the evil deeds of others are a reproach to themselves. Again, even honour and virtue make enemies, condemning, as they do, their opposites by too close a contrast. But I return to my work."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nietzsche: Education is for the few

In my view, one of the primary problems with education is that no one tells students anymore that "This is excellent...and that is crap." One thing I agree with Howard Gardner about is the wisdom of teaching Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro in elementary school, as an exemplar of the Beautiful. Once you are attuned to Mozart, most pop music is repulsive.

Paris Review
"Nietzsche imagines the school system itself proclaiming to its students:
Take your language seriously! If you cannot feel a sacred duty here, then you have not even the seed of higher culture within you. How you handle your mother tongue reveals how much you respect art, or how little; how close an affinity you have for it. If certain words and turns of phrase habitual today do not inspire physical disgust, then abandon your pursuit of culture.”
So learning to write means learning to be physically repulsed by those less talented, or less fortunate in their teachers. The educated loathe the uneducated, the better educated loathe the less well educated, and the Truly Educated are subjected to a constant barrage of nausea from everybody else. Taste is concentrated in ever smaller, if “higher,” circles, and only a tiny few are Educated in the fullest sense. This dirty little secret is “the cardinal principle of education”:
No one would strive for education if they knew how unbelievably small the number of truly educated people actually was, or ever could be. But it is impossible to achieve even this small quota of truly educated people unless a great mass of people is tricked, seduced, into going against their nature and pursuing an education. As a result, we must never publicly betray the ridiculous disproportion between the number of truly educated people and the size of our monstrously overgrown educational system. That is the real secret of education: Countless people fight for it, and think they are fighting for themselves, but at bottom it is only to make education possible for a very few.
Just as capitalism produces increasingly concentrated wealth, education necessarily leads to a widening inequality of culture."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nietzsche: Education is not about economic gain

Paris Review
"[T]he true value of education is not calculable in monetary terms. Education is moral, philosophical: a process of creating and becoming better people. You can make the argument that a liberal-arts education is “valuable” in the narrow sense, since it is, but even if that argument wins some battles—and it rarely does—it will lose the war. Once you concede that economic striving takes priority over artistic or humanistic goals, then arts funding and English degrees and even pure science are never going to withstand the juggernaut of business and technology. You have to fight under a higher standard.
I agree with this line of thought and am happy enough to see the point made half a dozen times over. I’ve read it recently in Friedrich Nietzsche, too, whose little-known 1872 lectures On the Future of Our Educational Institutions are appearing this fall in my new translation under the snappier title Anti-Education. Even in Nietzsche’s day, the state and the masses were apparently clamoring for
as much knowledge and education as possible—leading to the greatest possible production and demand—leading to the greatest happiness: that’s the formula. Here we have Utility as the goal and purpose of education, or more precisely Gain: the highest possible income … Culture is tolerated only insofar as it serves the cause of earning money. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Versicles -- Lord Byron (1817)

I read the Christabel;
Very well:

I read the Missionary;
Pretty – very;

I tried at Ilderim;

I read a sheet of Marg’ret of Anjou;
Can you?;
I turned a page of Webster’s Waterloo;
Pooh! Pooh!

I looked at Wordsworth’s milk-white Rylstone Doe;

I read Glenarvon, too, by Caro. Lamb;
God damn!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Something Good -- The Sound of Music (1965)

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth
For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good
Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should

So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Maria and the Captain:
Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could

So somewhere in my youth

Or childhood

I must have done something . . .

Maria and the Captain:
Something good

Friday, September 25, 2015

What we talk about when we talk about assisted suicide

RealClear Religion
"It was revealed this week that, for the first time in its history, Harvard University, which had been founded for religious purposes and named for a minister of the Gospel, has admitted a freshman class in which atheists and agnostics outnumber professed Christians and Jews.
Also this week, the House and the Senate of California passed a provision that allows for physician assisted suicide in the Golden State. As I write these words, the governor of California is deliberating whether to sign the bill into law. Though it might seem strange to suggest as much, I believe that the make-up of the Harvard freshman class and the passing of the suicide law are related.
I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised that non-believers have come to outnumber believers among the rising cohort of the American aristocracy. For the whole of their lives, these young people have been immersed in the corrosive acids of relativism, scientism, and materialism. Though they have benefitted from every advantage that money can afford, they have been largely denied what the human heart most longs for: contact with the transcendent, with the good, true, and beautiful in their properly unconditioned form....
.... The denial of God -- or the blithe bracketing of the question of God -- is not a harmless parlor game. Rather, it carries with it the gravest implications. If there is no God, then our lives do indeed belong to us, and we can do with them what we want. If there is no God, our lives have no ultimate meaning or transcendent purpose, and they become simply artifacts of our own designing. Accordingly, when they become too painful or too shallow or just too boring, we ought to have the prerogative to end them. We can argue the legalities and even the morality of assisted suicide until the cows come home, but the real issue that has to be engaged is that of God's existence.
The incoming freshman class at Harvard is a disturbing omen indeed, for the more our society drifts into atheism, the more human life is under threat. The less we are willing even to wrestle with God, the more de-humanized we become."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Procrastination, by a writer manqué

London Review of Books (LRB)
"When I hear other people talking about procrastination, I find myself getting proprietorial: surely their fleeting pauses are as nothing to mine. Procrastination is the main way I express anxiety and depression, if I can use these medicalised, dignifying terms. It’s franker to say that I put things off because much of the time I’m frightened and sad ...[A]s I eased into middle age it got worse. Every task took longer than it should have, and felt less finished. Other things got pushed back; I failed to make phone calls, send letters and emails, do household chores, repair things, turn up for things, fulfil promises. The career drifted away around 2009. ...
Job gone, I sat around trying to write, managing bits and pieces, but earning very little. And then my marriage drifted away too.... While this was going on the LRB commissioned me to write about Richard Hughes, who wrote A High Wind in Jamaica. ... I cheerfully settled to the research, reading the novels I hadn’t read, rereading the ones I had. Then I started writing, or that’s what I told myself: some paragraphs, some sentences, a sketch of a plan, then some rewriting, rearranging, scrubbing, more rewriting, more scrubbing, pauses to reconsider. Then I did some more research: the short stories, the children’s stories, the poems and plays, the journalism, Richard Perceval Graves’s biography, then back to the rewriting …
Hughes himself was notoriously unproductive – four novels of variously uneven brilliance over 45 years or so. ... It seems to me that Hughes wanted to be a writer more than he wanted to write; the difference isn’t always obvious, even to the person doing the wanting, and talent, which you feel ought to be a clue, may be a red herring. During the war, he became an effective civil servant at the Admiralty, and turned down an offer to stay on – how dreadful to admit that bureaucracy is your true vocation. I’m tempted by the idea that Hughes set me a bad example, but it’s not as if I needed one. At any rate, I wasn’t writing anything else; and after a while I wasn’t writing this. I began to wonder whether it made any sense to think of myself as a writer at all, though I didn’t have anything else to offer people who asked me what I did. The Hughes piece became a rather uneasy joke between me and the LRB, eventually giving way to an admission of defeat."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This House of Grief -- Helen Garner

Possible required reading for Forensic Psychology, Spring 2016.

Text Publishing
"On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father’s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.
In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience – all gathered to bear witness to the truth – players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Are academic researchers headless chickens?

Phineas Gage is probably the most famous patient in neuroscience: Too bad most of what we say about him is false.

Inside Higher Ed
"Jean-François Gariépy, a former postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at Duke University, said in a Facebook post this week that he is leaving higher education behind because it doesn’t support the purer aims of science.
“By creating a highly competitive environment that relies on the selection of researchers based on their ‘scientific productivity,’ as it is referred to, we have populated the scientific community with what I like to call ‘chickens with no head,’ that is, researchers who can produce multiple scientific articles per year, none of which [have] any significant impact on our understanding of the world,” Gariépy wrote. “Because of this, science is moving forward similarly to how a headless chicken walks, with no perceivable goal.”
Gariépy says he’s not “bitter,” as some friends have wondered. Rather, he said, “The reality is that throughout the years, my attention has drifted away from research academia, because I found other ways to satisfy my scientific curiosity that seemed more appealing and more genuine to me.” 
He added, “Academia is a weird thing; it is populated with very intelligent, motivated and brilliant people, who are operating in a system that is simply defective to the point of impeding on the very ability of these individuals to engage in a true search for knowledge. In this sense, I am leaving research academia for the same reason that I joined it 12 years ago: in search for a better way to satisfy my hunger for a scientific understanding of the world.”"

Monday, September 21, 2015

Causal explanation or humanistic description/clarification?

Frank Cioffi

"In the preface to “Varieties of Religious Experience,” William James said that it was his belief that “a large acquaintance with particulars makes us wiser than the possession of abstract formulas, however deep.” This was [philosophy professor Frank Cioffi]’s pedagogical credo and his teaching moved from particular to particular, often working from the quotations written on small slips of paper and stuck into his pockets, to be pulled out with great dramatic effect. He hated big theories and any kind of metaphysical pretention and he would use little quotations to pick away relentlessly at grand explanations. He used the particular to scratch away at the general, like picking at a scab.

Frank’s special loathing was reserved for Freud, whom he thought a writer of great perceptiveness and expressive power but completely deluded about the theoretical consequences of his views. “Imagine a world in which, like ours,” Frank wrote in “Wittgenstein on Freud and Frazer,” “people laughed at jokes, but unlike ours did not know what they were laughing at until they discovered the unconscious energic processes hypothesized by Freud.” For Frank, such was the world that Freud beguiled himself and us into believing he was living in. He compared the 20th-century fascination with psychoanalysis to the 19th-century fascination with phrenology, the “science” of bumps on the head. I think he would have come to very similar conclusions about the early 21st-century fad for neuroscience and our insatiable obsession with the brain.
Despite the astonishing breadth of his interests, Frank’s core obsession in teaching turned on the relation between science and the humanities. More particularly, his concern was with the relation between the causal explanations offered by science and the kinds of humanistic description we find, say, in the novels of Dickens or Dostoevsky, or in the sociological writings of Erving Goffman and David Riesman. His quest was to try and clarify the occasions when a scientific explanation was appropriate and when it was not, and we need instead a humanistic remark. His conviction was that our confusions about science and the humanities had wide-ranging and malign societal consequences.
Let me give an example. Imagine that you depressed, because of the death of a loved one, heartbreak or just too much hard and seemingly pointless work. You go to see a doctor. After trying to explain what ails you, with the doctor fidgeting and looking at his watch, he exclaims: “Ah, I see the problem. Take this blue pill and you will be cured.” However efficacious the blue pill might be, in this instance the doctor’s causal diagnosis is the wrong one. What is required is for you to be able to talk, to feel that someone understands your problems and perhaps can offer some insight or even suggestions on how you might move forward in your life. This, one imagines, is why people go into therapy.
But let’s flip it around. Let’s imagine that you are on a ferry crossing the English Channel during a terrible winter storm. Your nausea is uncontrollable and you run out onto the deck to vomit the contents of your lunch, breakfast and the remains of the previous evening’s dinner. You feel so wretched that you no longer fear death — you wish you were dead. Suddenly, on the storm-tossed deck, appears R.D. Laing, the most skilled, charismatic and rhetorically gifted existential psychiatrist of his generation, in a blue velvet suit. He proceeds to give you an intense phenomenological description of how your guts feel, the sense of disorientation, the corpselike coldness of your flesh, the sudden loss of the will to live. This is also an error. On a ferry you want a blue pill that is going to alleviate the symptoms of seasickness and make you feel better.
Frank’s point is that our society is deeply confused by the occasions when a blue pill is required and not required, or when we need a causal explanation and when we need a further description, clarification or elucidation. We tend to get muddled and imagine that one kind of explanation (usually the causal one) is appropriate in all occasions when it is not.
What is in play here is the classical distinction made by Max Weber between explanation and clarification, between causal or causal-sounding hypotheses and interpretation. Weber’s idea is that natural phenomena require causal explanation, of the kind given by physics, say, whereas social phenomena require elucidation — richer, more expressive descriptions. In Frank’s view, one major task of philosophy is help us get clear on this distinction and to provide the right response at the right time. This, of course, requires judgment, which is no easy thing to teach."

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Animals are Passing from our Lives -- Philip Levine (1972)

"That poem celebrates the quality of digging in your heels. Even the little pig will not do things the way people expect him to. He's going to die his own way. There's a lot of abuse being heaped on the culture that's taking him to his death. Even though he knows he's dying for an appalling society, he's not going to beg for his life. They're not going to make a pig out of him. They call him a pig, they treat him like a pig, they'll kill him like a pig, but he's going to act with more dignity than a human being." -- Philip Levine, from an interview with David Remnick (Michigan Quarterly Review, 1980).

It's wonderful how I jog
on four honed-down ivory toes
my massive buttocks slipping
like oiled parts with each light step.

I'm to market. I can smell
the sour, grooved block, I can smell
the blade that opens the hole
and the pudgy white fingers

that shake out the intestines
like a hankie. In my dreams
the snouts drool on the marble,
suffering children, suffering flies,

suffering the consumers
who won't meet their steady eyes
for fear they could see. The boy
who drives me along believes

that any moment I'll fall
on my side and drum my toes
like a typewriter or squeal
and shit like a new housewife

discovering television,
or that I'll turn like a beast
cleverly to hook his teeth
with my teeth. No. Not this pig.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I Just Don't Understand -- Ann-Margret (1961)

Well you call me your baby
When you're holdin' my hand
Mm, how you can hurt me
I just don't understand
Well you say that you need me
Like the ocean needs sand
But the way you mistreat me
I just don't understand
Well you know that I love you
More than anyone can
But a one-sided love
I just don't understand (don't understand)
------ harmonica ------
Well you know that I love you
More than anyone can
But a one-sided love
I just don't understand (don't understand)
Well you call me your baby
And you hold my hand
Ah, honey, you hurt me
And I just don't understand (don't understand)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dostoyevsky, The Great Psychologist

Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

"Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind."

"The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half."
  • As quoted in Peter's Quotations : Ideas for Our Time (1979) by Laurence J. Peter, p. 299.

"A great many people were put down as mad among us last year. And in such language! "With such original talent" ... "and yet, after all, it appears" ... "however, one ought to have foreseen it long ago." That is rather artful; so that from the point of view of pure art one may really commend it. Well, but after all, these so-called madmen have turned out cleverer than ever. So it seems the critics can call them mad, but they cannot produce any one better.

The wisest of all, in my opinion, is he who can, if only once a month, call himself a fool — a faculty unheard of nowadays. In old days, once a year at any rate a fool would recognise that he was a fool, but nowadays not a bit of it. And they have so muddled things up that there is no telling a fool from a wise man. They have done that on purpose.

I remember a witty Spaniard saying when, two hundred and fifty years ago, the French built their first madhouses: "They have shut up all their fools in a house apart, to make sure that they are wise men themselves." Just so: you don't show your own wisdom by shutting some one else in a madhouse. "K. has gone out of his mind, means that we are sane now." No, it doesn't mean that yet."

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons."
  • The House of the Dead (1862) as translated by Constance Garnett; as cited in The Yale Book of Quotations (2006) by Fred R. Shapiro, p. 210

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Oh wait, Paxil is no better than placebo in teens, and it increases suicide risk

More generally, you know what stinks about these clinical drug trials for antidepressants? Their use of the terribly lame HAM-D as the primary outcome measure. I suspect that they don't use the MMPI-2 because the scores would be too stable from Time 1 to Time 2.

"Fourteen years ago, a leading drug maker published a study showing that the antidepressant Paxil was safe and effective for teenagers. On Wednesday, a major medical journal posted a new analysis of the same data concluding that the opposite is true.
That study — featured prominently by the journal BMJ — is a clear break from scientific custom and reflects a new era in scientific publishing, some experts said, opening the way for journals to post multiple interpretations of the same experiment. It comes at a time of self-examination across science — retractions are at an all-time high; recent cases of fraud have shaken fields as diverse as anesthesia and political science; and earlier this month researchers reported that less than half of a sample of psychology papers held up....
...The dispute itself is a long-running one: Questions surrounding the 2001 study played a central role in the so-called antidepressant wars of the early 2000s, which led to strong warnings on the labels of Paxil and similar drugs citing the potential suicide risk for children, adolescents and young adults. The drugs are considered beneficial and less risky for many adults over 25 with depression.
Over the years, thousands of people taking or withdrawing from Paxil or other psychiatric drugs have committed violent acts, including suicide, experts said, though no firm statistics are available. Because many factors could have contributed to that behavior, it is still far from clear who is at risk — and for whom the drugs are protective....

...The original study began in the late 1990s, when antidepressant makers started testing the drugs in young people. Antidepressant trials are an extremely tricky enterprise, in part because anywhere from a third to more than half of subjects typically improve on placebo. Choices about how to measure improvement — and how to label side effects — can make all the difference in how good a drug looks.
And so it was in the Paxil study. The original research, led by Dr. Martin Keller of Brown University, tracked depression scores over eight weeks in three groups of about 90 adolescents each, one taking Paxil, one on placebo pills and one taking imipramine, an older generic drug for depression. The Paxil group did no better than the other two groups on the study’s main measure — a standard depression questionnaire — but did rate higher on other, “secondary” measures, like another scale of mood problems, the authors reported.
Researchers consider secondary measures like these as akin to circumstantial evidence, potentially meaningful but not as strong as the primary ones....
...Prescriptions of antidepressants to young people surged in the wake of the study, increasing by 36 percent between 2002 and 2003, according to one analysis. The growth slowed after regulators ordered the black-box warnings on labels.
...The reanalysis delivers the same critique as before — no clear effectiveness, and mislabeling of serious side effects — only from the inside, using voluminous data from the study itself. ...
...In an interview, Dr. Healy said that five of six adverse events labeled “emotional lability” in the original study involved suicidal thinking or behavior but were not presented as such. The patient-level files provided detail on what, exactly, happened in those cases: One teenager was hospitalized after taking 80 Tylenol tablets. Another overdosed on Paxil and other medications after a “disagreement with her mother.” Others suffered “severe suicidal ideation,” and one was “admitted due to severe suicidal and homicidal ideation, towards his parents.” No completed suicides occurred."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Elon Musk and Wilbur Wright, set upon by bullies

"There are a number of suggestive parallels between [Elon] Musk and the Wrights, beyond the obvious ones to do with an interest in flight. The bishop had very high standards and set no limits on the intellectual curiosity he encouraged in his children; Musk’s father had the same standards and the same insistence on no limits, but was (is) a tortured and difficult presence, ‘good at making life miserable’, in Musk’s words: ‘He can take any situation no matter how good it is and make it bad.’ The Wrights were poorish, the Musks affluentish, but both grew up with an emphasis on learning things first-hand. ‘It is remarkable how many different things you can get to explode,’ Musk says about his childhood experiments. ‘I’m lucky I have all my fingers.’ One very odd thing is a parallel to do with bullies: Musk was set on and beaten half to death by a gang of thugs at his school in Johannesburg; Wilbur Wright was attacked so badly at the age of 18 – beaten with a hockey stick – that he took years to recover from his injuries and missed a college education as a result. His assailant, Oliver Crook Haugh, went on to become a notorious serial killer. Something about these very bright young men set off the bullies’ hatred for difference."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Are we living in a dystopia in which paranoia is justified?

With his wife, Janice, in Tennessee in 2014.

Men's Journal
"John McAfee surveys the woods surrounding his Tennessee home while his 100-pound komondor, Marley, shits on his neighbor's property. The computer-security guru and sometime murder suspect believes he has discovered proof that the Sinaloa cartel is tracking his movements.
It has something to do with a schmear. The 70-year-old McAfee resembles an ocelot, with his striped and streaked hair. He is probably still a multimillionaire, but he chain-smokes generic cigarettes the way a toddler eats Goldfish crackers. He exhales, as a hawk circles above.
"All they eat is cream cheese," McAfee says between phlegmy hacks. "Must be for the protein. I find cream cheese packets everywhere. Some of them are out-of-date."
Inside, somebody named Bob writes down the license plate of every car that drives by the property. McAfee believes Bob's brother is working for the cartel, but that's really neither here nor there. McAfee scans the dirt for plastic.
"If there's cream cheese, I know the cartel has been here."
Say what you will about John McAfee — and people say a lot of nasty things — but he was one of the first nerds to warn the world of an impending computer-security crisis, a pioneer whose paranoia served a legitimate purpose.
"I can guarantee you, there are thousands of teenage girls taking showers right now with waterproof phones, texting, who are being watched by somebody," says McAfee.
Maybe five years ago, McAfee would have been dismissed as a giant nut bag, but too many holes have been punched into our computer systems to dismiss him now. Last spring, thousands of emails detailing the petty personal thoughts of Hollywood's dream makers were laid bare when Sony had its email system pried open for the world to see. The email lists of Adult FriendFinder and Ashley Madison, naughty services for men and women seeking extracurricular sexual shenanigans, were released on the Web. There are now rumors that China has wormed into the mainframes of Pentagon subcontractors.
We no longer have the tools to judge the sanity of people saying paranoid things about privacy and security because so many things we would have written off as dystopian delusions have come true. Now we have to judge our nut bags on a case-by-case basis. Reality has caught up to McAfee's paranoia.
McAfee believes it was his discovery of Belizean corruption that eventually forced him to leave the country. Well, that and the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull, another American expatriate sunning his life away in Belize. McAfee admits that Faull was pissed about McAfee's dogs roaming on the beach but says that he held no rancor toward the man. Faull was found dead of a single bullet wound on November 11, 2012. While the local police insisted they wanted McAfee only for questioning — 300 yards separated their properties — he hightailed it into the bush, eventually hooking up with Vice News and publishing online pieces proclaiming his innocence.
The Belizean government's response was succinct: "John McAfee is extremely paranoid, even bonkers," said Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Is Donald Trump the Ubermensch?

 "I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?
     All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment..." -- Thus Spake Zarathrusta

"Mr. Trump is a veritable factory of boorish put-downs, laugh-out-loud exaggerations and self-aggrandizing declarations. But “Never Enough” unearths decades-old gems that might otherwise be lost to history.
On his publicity seeking: “The show is ‘Trump,’ and it is sold-out performances everywhere,” he told Playboy.
On his feelings of superiority: “For the most part, you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect,” he told Mr. D’Antonio.
Perhaps his most revealing statement applies to the time-honored virtue of self-reflection. Mr. Trump is not in favor of it.
When you start studying yourself too deeply, you start seeing things that maybe you don’t want to see,” Mr. Trump once told Time. “And if there’s a rhyme and reason,” he continued, “people can figure you out, and once they can figure you out, you’re in big trouble.”"

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Afterwards: Recollected in Tranquility -- Robert Conquest (2009)

Is it so necessary
For a wild memory
To fade and blur
Before the full charge
Of an old love or rage
Can really register?

With a life’s long perspectives
The changed picture gives
More depth and scope
As twisted faces shrink
To little more than pink
Blobs on its landscape . . .

A passion, sharp and hot,
Might once have seized the heart
To rip or scald.
So far as this can be
Recalled in tranquility
It’s not recalled.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Violin Concerto No. 1 -- Philip Glass

From Wikipedia:

The work was composed with Glass's father, Ben, in mind, despite the latter's death some sixteen years earlier: "I wrote the piece in 1987 thinking, let me write a piece that my father would have liked [...] A very smart nice man who had no education in music whatsoever, but the kind of person who fills up concert halls. [...] It's popular, it's supposed to be — it's for my Dad."

Friday, September 11, 2015

Who benefits from the continued prohibition of sports betting?

It's good to re-read Mill's On Liberty every once in a while, if only to remind yourself that the United States is not actually a free country. Where does the government get off treating its citizens as criminals if they place a bet on a sporting event? How is that different from the Taliban beating men who don't wear beards?

Los Angeles (AFP) - The National Football League season kicking off Thursday will unleash a flood of wagering in which $95 billion will be bet, most of it illegally, the American Gaming Association said Wednesday.
"Illegal sports betting is reaching new heights of popularity in America," Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the Washington-based trade group said in a press release. "It's clear that a federal ban on traditional sports betting outside of Nevada is failing."
The AGA reckons that nearly $93 billon in illegal bets will be taken on NFL and college gridiron games this season, with slightly less than $2 billion wagered at legal sports books in Nevada.
According to the AGA, Americans made $3.8 billion worth of illicit bets on the Super Bowl alone last season.
"It's clear that it's a very popular activity that's only growing in popularity," Chris Moyer of the AGA told AFP. "It's become an American pastime in many regards.
The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB have all opposed New Jersey's efforts, telling the court the proposed legislation threatens the integrity of their games and violates a 1992 federal ban on sports betting in most states."

Hey commissioners, it is in the best interests of those taking the bets that the games be perceived as honest. They stand to make more money taking bets on honest games than on rigging games. Individual gamblers might try to rig games, but chances are that their efforts will be counterbalanced by individual gamblers trying to rig the same game for the other team.

But they know this.

So why are they (and Congress) opposed to legalized sports betting?

Might organized crime have an interest in securing opposition to legalized sports betting? Could the people who take in the $93 billion in illegal bets be funneling some of their profits to the sports commissioners and legislators who influence these decisions? Heaven forfend!

Who benefits from the continued prohibition of sports betting?

Organized criminals and those they pay off.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Injustice Collectors -- Dave Cullen (author of "Columbine")

"For most of us, revenge is highly personal, and tit-for-tat: He did this to me, I'll pay him back with that. Collectors who kill get overwhelmed by their enemies list. Everyone is on it. Chance encounters, people he doesn't even know: That bus driver who braked too abruptly three summers ago; the woman at Starbucks who coughed too much in 1983; the dirty look from the girl in high school Spanish class, sophomore year. They ruminate over petty slights, often imaginary, and spit them back in specific detail years later.
Triviality is the collector's hallmark, coupled with the absurdly disproportionate fury it inspires. As he hatches his plan, the collector ponders how to punish his hate list, which is really everyone. A year before Columbine, Eric Harris began his journal with "I hate the fucking world..."—a sentiment backed up on every page. ...
We can't be certain who Flanagan was lashing out at, but the pattern suggests it was all of us. That's why it was so irresponsible for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to label him "a disgruntled employee" within hours, and for the press to describe the murders as a "workplace shooting." Flanagan was disgruntled with humanity, and while he surely enjoyed wreaking vengeance on his employer, he was clearly maximizing exposure. This was an act of theater, and Flanagan chose his stage thoughtfully. If a primary aim were punishing the managers who had wronged him—and his cats—wouldn't he have gone straight to their offices, or their homes and shot them? He passed them over for live television, and targeted a woman he'd never met, who was a darling of the audience who felt they knew her."

See also:

Seven Myths of Mass Murder

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"An educated man must have a certain minimum of general knowledge" -- Robert Conquest

"It's true, old boy, I know all that ballyhoo."

"An educated man must have a certain minimum of general knowledge. Even if he knows very little about science and cannot add or subtract, he must have heard of Mendel and Kepler. Even if he is tone deaf he must know something about Debussy and Verdi; even if he is a pure sociologist he must be aware of Circe and the Minotaur, of Kent and Montaigne, of "Titus" Oates and Tiberius Gracchus. It will be seen that I am not being very demanding. But I have come across cases in which these names, or their equivalents, have been unknown to undergraduates, or on occasions, graduates of the present-day universities. It is not a question of useless or obsolete knowledge learned by rote but of, at lowest, reference points without which it is impossible to navigate the seas of our culture. It is the sort of information which in any ordinary society the educated have observed without special effort. It would have been taken for granted with the stupid rich who cluttered up the universities in the pre-war Dark Ages [i.e., in the 1920s and 1930s]. Now there are supposedly educated men who are by this very simple and basic test virtually illiterate. A wide diversity of ideas, many merely voguish and picked up from television, replace a proper training in the thought and history of the western world."
-- Robert Conquest, 1969

"I am just going outside and may be some time."

See also:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Robert Conquest, RIP

New Criterion
"The opening line in most obituaries of Robert Conquest, who died on August the third, described him as a “historian and poet.” That would be a capacious enough description for most men of letters. In Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love, Charon keeps A. E. Housman waiting on the banks of the River Styx for a second arrival since he is expecting two people, “a poet and a scholar,” until Housman says shyly: “I think that must be me.” In Bob’s case Charon would have been waiting for a historian, a poet, a novelist, a satirist, a critic, a diplomat, a strategist, a soldier, a social and political theorist, a limerickist, and of course a scholar—and I have almost certainly left out some of Bob’s other professional identities. Charon probably brought along a second boat."


Monday, September 7, 2015

Marilyn Monroe's book collection

Marilyn Monroe on Norman Mailer: "He’s too impressed by power, in my opinion."

If she read even half of the books on this list, well...that's impressive. She did marry playwright Arthur Miller -- if she wasn't an avid reader, I can't imagine why would she be attracted to him.

Book Tryst

 Below, a list of books owned by Marilyn Monroe, auctioned at Christies-NY, October 28-29, 1999, in individual lots or grouped:

1) Let's Make Love by Matthew Andrews (novelisation of the movie)
2) How To Travel Incognito by Ludwig Bemelmans
3) To The One I Love Best by Ludwig Bemelmans
4) Thurber Country by James Thurber
5) The Fall by Albert Camus
6) Marilyn Monroe by George Carpozi
7) Camille by Alexander Dumas
8) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
9) The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt-Farmer
10) The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
11) From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming
12) The Art Of Loving by Erich Fromm
13) The Prophet by Kahlil Gilbran
14) Ulysses by James Joyce
15) Stoned Like A Statue: A Complete Survey Of Drinking Cliches, Primitive, Classical & Modern by Howard Kandel & Don Safran, with an intro by Dean Martin (a man who knew how to drink!)
16) The Last Temptation Of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
17) On The Road by Jack Kerouac
18) Selected Poems by DH Lawrence
19 and 20) Sons And Lovers by DH Lawrence (2 editions)
21) The Portable DH Lawrence
22) Etruscan Places (DH Lawrence?)
23) DH Lawrence: A Basic Study Of His Ideas by Mary Freeman
24) The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
25) The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud
26) Death In Venice & Seven Other Stories by Thomas Mann
27) Last Essays by Thomas Mann
28) The Thomas Mann Reader
29) Hawaii by James Michener
30) Red Roses For Me by Sean O'Casey
31) I Knock At The Door by Sean O'Casey
32) Selected Plays by Sean O'Casey
33) The Green Crow by Sean O'Casey
34) Golden Boy by Clifford Odets
35) Clash By Night by Clifford Odets
36) The Country Girl by Clifford Odets
37) 6 Plays Of Clifford Odets
38) The Cat With 2 Faces by Gordon Young
39) Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill
40) Part Of A Long Story: Eugene O'Neill As A Young Man In Love by Agnes Boulton
41) The Little Engine That Could by Piper Watty (with childish pencil scrawls at end, possibly MM's)
42) The New Joy Of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer & Marion Rombauer-Becker (with some cut recipes, page markers, a typed diet sheet and manuscript shopping list, apparently in MM's hand, laid in)
43) Selected Plays Of George Bernard Shaw
44) Ellen Terry And Bernard Shaw - A Correspondence
45) Bernard Shaw & Mrs Patrick Campbell - Their Correspondence
46) The Short Reigh Of Pippin IV by John Steinbeck
47) Once There Was A War by John Steinbeck
48) Set This House On Fire by William Styron
49) Lie Down In Darkness (William Styron?)
50) The Roman Spring Of Mrs Stone by Tennessee Williams
51) Camino Real by Tennessee Williams
52) A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (with notes by MM)
53) The Flower In Drama And Glamour by Stark Young (inscribed to MM by Lee Strasberg, Christmas 1955)

American Literature

54) Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
55) The Story Of A Novel by Thomas Wolfe
56) Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
57) A Stone, A Leaf, A Door (Thomas Wolfe?)
58) Thomas Wolfe's Letters To His Mother, ed. John Skally Terry
59) A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
60) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
61) Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
62) Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
63) Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
64) The American Claimant & Other Stories & Sketches by Mark Twain
65) In Defense of Harriet Shelley & Other Essays (Mark Twain?)
66) The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
67) Roughing It (Mark Twain?)
68) The Magic Christian by Terry Southern
69) A Death In The Family by James Agee
70) The War Lover by John Hersey
71) Don't Call Me By My Right Name & Other Stories by James Purdy
72) Malcolm by James Purdy


73) The Portable Irish Reader (pub. Viking)
74) The Portable Poe - Edgar Allen Poe
75) The Portable Walt Whitman
76) This Week's Short Stories (New York, 1953)
77) Bedside Book Of Famous Short Stories
78) Short Novels Of Colette
79) Short Story Masterpieces (New York, 1960)
80) The Passionate Playgoer by George Oppenheimer
81) Fancies And Goodnights by John Collier
82) Evergreen Review, Vol 2, No. 6
83) The Medal & Other Stories by Luigi Pirandello


84) Max Weber (art book - inscribed to MM by 'Sam' - Shaw?)
85) Renoir by Albert Skira
86) Max by Giovannetti Pericle
87) The Family Of Man by Carl Sandburg
88-90) Horizon, A Magazine Of The Arts (Nov 1959, Jan 1960, Mar 1960.)
91) Jean Dubuffet by Daniel Cordier


92) The Summing Up by W. Somerset Maugham
93) Close To Colette by Maurice Goudeket
94) This Demi-Paradise by Margaret Halsey
95) God Protect Me From My Friends by Gavin Maxwell
96) Minister Of Death: The Adolf Eichmann Story by Quentin Reynolds, Ephraim Katz and Zwy Aldouby
97) Dance To The Piper by Agnes DeMille
98) Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It by Mae West
99) Act One by Moss Hart

Christian Science

100) Science And Health With Key To The Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
101) Poems, Including Christ And Christmas by Mary Baker Eddy

Classical Works

102) 2 Plays: Peace And Lysistrata by Aristophanes
103) Of The Nature Of Things by Lucretius
104) The Philosophy Of Plato
105) Mythology by Edith Hamilton
106) Theory Of Poetry And Fine Art by Aristotle
107) Metaphysics by Aristotle
108-111) Plutarch's Lives, Vols 3-6 only (of 6) by William and John Langhorne


112) Bound For Glory by Woody Guthrie
113) The Support Of The Mysteries by Paul Breslow
114) Paris Blues by Harold Flender
115) The Shook-Up Generation by Harrison E. Salisbury

Foreign-Language Texts And Translations

116) An Mands Ansigt by Arthur Miller
117) Independent People by Halldor Laxness
118) Mujer by Lina Rolan (inscribed to MM by author)
119) The Havamal, ed. D.E. Martin Clarke
120) Yuan Mei: 18th Century Chinese Poet by Arthur Waley
121) Almanach: Das 73 Jahr by S. Fischer Verlag

French Literature

122) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
123) The Works Of Rabelais
124) The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust
125) Cities Of The Plain by Marcel Proust
126) Within A Budding Grove by Marcel Proust
127) The Sweet Cheat Gone by Marcel Proust
128) The Captive by Marcel Proust
129) Nana by Emile Zola
130) Plays by Moliere


131) The Life And Work of Sigmund Freud by Ernest Jones
132) Letters Of Sigmund Freud, ed. Ernest L. Freud
133) Glory Reflected by Martin Freud
134) Moses And Monotheism by Sigmund Freud
135) Conditioned Reflex Therapy by Andrew Salter

Gardening & Pets

136-137) The Wise Garden Encyclopedia, ed. E.L.D. Seymour (2 editions)
138) Landscaping Your Own Home by Alice Dustan
139) Outpost Nurseries - publicity brochure
140) The Forest And The Sea by Marston Bates
141) Pet Turtles by Julien Bronson
142) A Book About Bees by Edwin Way Teale
143) Codfish, Cats & Civilisation by Gary Webster


144) How To Do It, Or, The Art Of Lively Entertaining by Elsa Maxwell
145) Wake Up, Stupid by Mark Harris
146) Merry Christmas, Happy New Year by Phyllis McGinley
147) The Hero Maker by Akbar Del Piombo & Norman Rubington
148) How To Talk At Gin by Ernie Kovacs
149) VIP Tosses A Party, by Virgil Partch
150) Who Blowed Up The House & Other Ozark Folk Tales, ed. Randolph Vance
151) Snobs by Russell Lynes

Judaica (MM officially converted to Judaism upon her marriage to Miller).

152) The Form of Daily Prayers
153) Sephath Emeth (Speech Of Truth): Order Of Prayers For The Wholes Year In Jewish and English
154) The Holy Scriptures According To The Masoretic Text (inscribed to MM by Paula Strasberg, July 1, 1956)


155) The Law by Roger Vailland
156) The Building by Peter Martin
157) The Mermaids by Boros
158) They Came To Cordura by Glendon Swarthout
159) The 7th Cross by Anna Seghers
160) A European Education by Romain Gary
161) Strike For A Kingdom by Menna Gallie
162) The Slide Area by Gavin Lambert
163) The Woman Who Was Poor by Leon Bloy
164) Green Mansions by W.H. Hudson
165) The Contenders by John Wain
166) The Best Of All Worlds, Or, What Voltaire Never Knew by Hans Jorgen Lembourn (is this the same guy who later wrote '40 Days With Marilyn'?)
167) The Story Of Esther Costello by Nicholas Montsarrat
168) Oh Careless Love by Maurice Zolotow (MM biographer)
169) Add A Dash Of Pity by Peter Ustinov
170) An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser (filmed as A Place In The Sun - MM admired Elizabeth Taylor's performance)
171) The Mark Of The Warrior by Paul Scott
172) The Dancing Bear by Edzard Schaper
173) Miracle In The Rain by Ben Hecht (co-author of MM's autobiography)
174) The Guide by R.K. Narayan
175) Blow Up A Storm by Garson Kanin (later wrote screenplay 'Moviola', featurning an MM-based character)
176) Jonathan by Russell O'Neill
177) Fowlers End by Gerald Kersh
178) Hurricane Season by Ralph Winnett
179) The un-Americans by Alvah Bessie (later wrote The Symbol, a novel loosely based on MM's life)
180) The Devil's Advocate by Morris L. West
181) On Such A Night by Anthony Quayle
182) Say You Never Saw Me by Arthur Nesbitt
183) All The Naked Heroes by Alan Kapener
184) Jeremy Todd by Hamilton Maule
185) Miss America by Daniel Stren
186) Fever In The Blood by William Pearson
187) Spartacus by Howard Fast
188) Venetian Red by L.M. Pasinetti
189) A Cup Of Tea For Mr Thorgill by Storm Jameson
190) Six O'Clock Casual by Henry W. Cune
191) Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong (the movie 'Don't Bother To Knock' was based on this novel)
192) The Gingko Tree by Sheelagh Burns
193) The Mountain Road by Theodore H. White
194) Three Circles Of Light by Pietro Di Donato
195) The Day The Money Stopped by Brendan Gill
196) The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins (Hollywood-set bestseller, featuring a Jean Harlow-based character, Rina Marlowe. Marilyn's secretary, Margerie Stengel, recalls that Marilyn was reading a Robbins novel in her New York apartment in 1961.)
197-198) Justine by Lawrence Durrell (2 editions, possibly read during filming of The Misfits)
199) Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell
200) Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
201) The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
202) The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett
203) Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog by Dylan Thomas (Marilyn met Thomas in Shelley Winters' apartment circa 1951)
204) Hear Us O Lord From Heaven Thy Dwelling Place, by Malcolm Lowry

Modern Library

205) The Sound And The Fury/As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
206) God's Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell
207) Anna Christie/The Emperor Jones/The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill (Marilyn played Anna in a scene performed at the Actor's Studio in 1956)
208) The Philosophy Of Schopenhauer by Irwin Edman
209) The Philosophy Of Spinoza by Joseph Ratner
210) The Dubliners by James Joyce
211) Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson
212) The Collected Short Stories by Dorothy Parker (Friend of Marilyn's, lived nearby her Doheny Drive apartment in 1961)
213) Selected Works by Alexander Pope
214) The Red And The Black by Stendhal
215) The Life Of Michelangelo by John Addington
216) Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (Niagara director Henry Hathaway wanted to film this with MM and James Dean. It was eventually made with Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey.)
217) Three Famous French Romances (W. Somerset Maugham?)
218) Napoleon by Emil Ludwig
219) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (a second copy?)
220) The Poems And Fairy-Tales by Oscar Wilde
221) Alice's Adventures In Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass/The Hunting Of The Snark, by Lewis Carroll
222) A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes
223) An Anthology Of American Negro Literature, ed. Sylvestre C. Watkins


224) Beethoven: His Spiritual Development by J.W.N. Sullivan
225) Music For The Millions by David Ewen
226) Schubert by Ralph Bates
227) Men Of Music by Wallace Brockaway and Herbert Weinstock


228) The Potting Shed by Graham Greene
229) Politics In The American Drama by Caspar Nannes
230) Sons Of Men by Herschel Steinhardt
231) Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin (MM auditioned for the movie, but Judy Holliday got the part)
232) Untitled & Other Radio Drams by Norman Corwin
233) Thirteen By Corwin, by Norman Corwin
234) More By Corwin, by Norman Corwin
235) Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill (a second copy)
236) Best American Plays: Third Series, 1945-1951
237) Theatre '52 by John Chapman
238) 16 Famous European Plays, by Bennett Cerf and Van H. Cartmell
239) The Complete Plays Of Henry James
240) 20 Best Plays Of The Modern American Theatre, by John Glassner
241) Elizabethan Plays by Hazelton Spencer
242) Critics' Choice by Jack Gaver
243) Modern American Dramas by Harlan Hatcher
244) The Album Of The Cambridge Garrick Club

European Poetry

245) A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Houseman
246) The Poetry & Prose Of Heinrich Heine by Frederich Ewen
247) The Poetical works Of John Milton, by H.C. Beeching
248) The Poetical Works Of Robert Browning (H.C. Beeching?)
249) Wordsworth by Richard Wilbur
250) The Poetical Works Of Shelley (Richard Wilbur?)
251) The Portable Blake, by William Blake
252) William Shakespeare: Sonnets, ed. Mary Jane Gorton
253) Poems Of Robert Burns, ed. Henry Meikle & William Beattie
254) The Penguin Book Of English Verse, ed. John Hayward
255) Aragon: Poet Of The French Resistance, by Hannah Josephson & Malcolm Cowley
256) Star Crossed by Margaret Tilden

American Poetry

257 and 258) Collected Sonnets by Edna St Vincent Millay (2 editions)
259) Robert Frost's Poems by Louis Untermeyer (Marilyn befriended Untermeyer during her marriage to Arthur)
260) Poe: Complete Poems by Richard Wilbur (a 2nd copy?)
261) The Life And Times Of Archy And Mehitabel by Don Marquis
262) The Pocketbook Of Modern Verse by Oscar Williams
263) Poems by John Tagliabue
264) Selected Poems by Rafael Alberti
265) Selected Poetry by Robinson Jeffers
266) The American Puritans: Their Prose & Poetry, by Perry Miller
267) Selected Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
268) Poet In New York by Federico Garcia Lorca
269) The Vapor Trail by Ivan Lawrence Becker (inscribed to Arthur by the author, there is also a note to MM)
270) Love Poems & Love Letters For All The Year
271) 100 Modern Poems, ed. Selden Rodman
272) The Sweeniad, by Myra Buttle
273) Poetry: A Magazine Of Verse, Vol.70, no. 6


274) The Wall Between by Anne Braden
275) The Roots Of American Communism by Theodore Draper
276) A View Of The Nation - An Anthology : 1955-1959, ed. Henry Christian
277) A Socialist's Faith by Norman Thomas
278-279) Rededication To Freedom by Benjamin Ginzburg (2 copies)
280) The Ignorant Armies by E.M. Halliday
281) Commonwealth Vs Sacco & Vanzetti, by Robert P. Weeks
282) Journey To The Beginning by Edgar Snow
283) Das Kapital by Karl Marx
284) Lidice by Eleanor Wheeler
285) The Study Of History by Arnold Toynbee
286) America The Invincible by Emmet John Hughes
287) The Unfinished Country by Max Lerner
288) Red Mirage by John O'Kearney
289) Background & Foreground - The New York Times Magazine: An Anthology, ed. Lester Markel (a friend of MM)
290) The Failure Of Success by Esther Milner
291) A Piece Of My Mind by Edmund Wilson
292) The Truth About The Munich Crisis by Viscount Maugham
293) The Alienation Of Modern Man by Fritz Pappenheim
294) A Train Of Powder by Rebecca West
295) Report From Palermo by Danilo Dolci
296) The Devil In Massachusetts by Marion Starkey
297) American Rights: The Constitution In Action, by Walter Gellhorn
298) Night by Francis Pollini
299) The Right Of The People by William Douglas
300) The Jury Is Still Out by Irwin Davidson and Richard Gehman
301) First Degree by William Kunstler
302) Democracy In America by Alexis De Tocqueville
303) World Underworld by Andrew Varna


304) Catechism For Young Children (1936, so may be from Norma Jeane's childhood)
305) Prayer Changes Things (1952, inscribed to MM - perhaps from Jane Russell?)
306) The Prophet by Kahlil Bibran (a second copy?)
307) The Magic Word L.I.D.G.T.T.F.T.A.T.I.M. by Robert Collier
308) The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (a third copy?)
309) His Brother's Keeper by Milton Gross (3-page extract from Readers' Digest, Dec 1961)
310) Christliches ergissmeinnicht by K. Ehmann
311) And It Was Told Of A Certain Potter by Walter C. Lanyon (1922, so may be from childhood. Several newspaper poems and prayers tipped in.)
312) Bahai Prayers (inscribed to MM, 'Marilyn Monroe Maybeline. A gift for my darling Maybeline, with all my love, Charlzetta' - dated 1961.)


313) Man Against Himself by Karl A. Menninger
314) The Tower And The Abyss by Erich Kahler
315) Something To Live By, by Dorothea S. Kopplin
316) Man's Supreme Inheritance by Alexander F. Matthias
317) The Miracles Of Your Mind by Joseph Murphy
318) The Wisdom Of The Sands by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
319) A Prison, A Paradise by Loran Hurnscot
320) The Magic Of Believing by Claude M. Bristol
321) Peace Of Mind by Joshua Loth Liebman
322) The Use Of The Self by Alexander F. Matthias
323) The Power Within You by Claude M. Bristol
324) The Call Girl by Harold Greenwald
325) Troubled Women by Lucy Freeman (who later wrote 'Why Norma Jean Killed Marilyn Monroe')
326) Relax And Live by Joseph A. Kennedy
327) Forever Young, Forever Healthy by Indra Devi
328) The Open Self by Charles Morris
329) Hypnotism Today by Leslie Lecron & Jean Bordeaux
330) The Masks Of God: Primitive Mythology, by Joseph Campbell
331) Some Characteristics Of Today by Rudolph Steiner


332) Baby & Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (pub. 1958)
333) Flower Arranging For Fun by Hazel Peckinpaugh Dunlop
334) Hugo's Pocket Dictionary: French-English And English-French
335) Spoken French For Travellers And Tourists, by Charles Kany & Mathurin Dondo
336) Roget's Pocket Thesaurus, by C.O. Mawson & K.A. Whiting


337) What Is A Jew? by Morris Kertzer
338) A Partisan Guide To The Jewish Problem, by Milton Steinberg
339) The Tales Of Rabbi Nachman, by Martin Buber
340) The Saviours Of God: Spiritual Exercises, by Nikos Kazantzakis
341) The Prophet by Kahlil Gilbran (4th copy?)
342) The Dead Sea Scrolls by Millar Burrows
343) The Secret Books Of The Egyptian Gnostics, by Jean Doresse
344) Jesus by Kahlil Gilbran
345) Memories Of A Catholic Girlhood, by Mary McCarthy
346) Why I Am Not A Christian, by Bertrand Russell

Russian Literature

347) Redemption & Other Plays by Leo Tolstoy
348) The Viking Library Portable Anton Chekhov
349) The House Of The Dead, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
350) Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
351) Best Russian Stories: An Anthology, ed. Thomas Seltzer
352) The Plays Of Anton Chekhov
353) Smoke by Ivan Turgenev
354) The Poems, Prose & Plays Of Alexander Pushkin
355) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (not in the Christies' catalogue. But friends of MM recall her reading it as a young actress, and she had hopes of playing Grushenka. Her own remarks in interviews make it clear that she had read the novel.)


356) Our Knowledge Of The External World, by Bertrand Russell
357) Common Sense And Nuclear Warfare, by Bertrand Russell
358) Out Of My Later Years by Albert Einstein
359) Men And Atoms by William Laurence
360) Man Alive by Daniel Colin Munro (inscribed to Renna Campbell from Lorraine?)
361) Doctor Pygmalion by Maxwell Maltz
362) Panorama: A New Review, ed. R.F. Tannenbaum
363) Everyman's Search by Rebecca Beard
364) Of Stars And Men by Harlow Shapley
365) From Hiroshima To The Moon, by Daniel Lang
366) The Open Mind by J. Robert Oppenheimer
367) Sexual Impotence In The Male, by Leonard Paul Wershub

Scripts And Readings

368) Medea by Jeffers Robinson
369) Antigone by Jean Anouilh
370) Bell, Book And Candle by John Van Druten
371) The Women by Clare Boothe
372) Jean Of Lorraine by Maxwell Anderson


373) The Sawbwa And His Secretary by C.Y. Lee
374) The Twain Shall Meet by Christopher Rand
375) Kingdom Of The Rocks by Consuelo De Saint-Exupery
376) The Heart Of India by Alexander Campbell
377) Man-Eaters Of India by Jim Corbett
378) Jungle Lore by Jim Corbett
379) My India by Jim Corbett
380) A Time In Rome by Elizabeth Bowen
381) London by Jacques Boussard
382) New York State Vacationlands
383) Russian Journey by William O. Douglas
384) The Golden Bough by James G. Frazer

Women Authors

385) The Portable Dorothy Parker
386) My Antonia by Willa Cather
387) Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather
388) The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers (befriended Marilyn when she first moved to New York)
389) The Short Novels Of Colette (A second copy?)
390) The Little Disturbances Of Man by Grace Paley

Here are a few other books which weren't included, but Monroe was reported either to have read or owned them. Most on the list are cited in the Unabridged Marilyn.

391) The Autobiography Of Lincoln Steffens (read during The Fireball)
392-403) Carl Sandburg's 12-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln
404) The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery (Marilyn gave a copy to Joe after their wedding)
405) Poems Of W.B. Yeats (Marilyn read his poems aloud at Norman Rosten's house)
406) Mr Roberts by Joyce Cary
407) The Thinking Body by Mabel Elsworth Todd
408) The Actor Prepares by Konstantin Stanislavsky
409) The Bible
410) The Biography Of Eleanora Duse, by William Weaver
411) De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Study Of Human Bone Structure) by Andreas Vesalius
412) Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
413) Gertrude Lawrence As Mrs A, by Richard Aldrich
414) Goodnight Sweet Prince by Gene Fowler
415) Greek Mythology by Edith Hamilton
416) How Stanislavsky Directs by Mikhail Gorchakov (posted earlier by Felicia)
417) I Married Adventure by Olso Johnson
418) The Importance Of Living by Lin Yutang
419) Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (read during All About Eve)
420) Psychology Of Everyday Life by Sigmund Freud
421) The Rains Came by Louis Broomfield
422) The Rights Of Man by Thomas Paine (read during some Like It Hot)
423) Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
424) To The Actor by Michael Chekhov (Marilyn's acting teacher from 1950-1955)
425) Captain Newman, M.D. (Novel based on Dr Ralph Greenson’s as an army doctor in Korea. Marilyn was said to be reading this on the week of her death.A film based on the book was released in 1963.)
426) Songs For Patricia by Norman Rosten (posted by Paju)
427) A Lost Lady by Willa Cather (Marilyn hoped to film this with her production company. But an earlier adaptation was so disappointing to the author, that she withdrew the film rights.)
428) Lust For Life by Irving Stone
429) The Deer Park by Norman Mailer (Hollywood-based novel. Marilyn commented on the book, ‘He’s too impressed by power, in my opinion.’ Mailer tried unsuccessfully to meet Marilyn, and after her death wrote several books on her.)
430) The Rebel by Albert Camus