Saturday, September 30, 2006


I turn 33 today.

I have decided to write down at least one thought, idea, or image a day for a year.

My blog is called Scrivener, because this is the year of Bartleby. As a model of quiet but absolutely resolute resistance, he is an important figure to me. He is immovable and inexplicable; in fact, it is his refusal to explain himself that I find most interesting. Not feeling the need to explain himself is a facet of his "doctrine of preferences," that is, his refusal to live according to assumptions about social behavior.

Also, he is the creation of Herman Melville, one of the greatest Americans, and author of this poem:

The Portent (1859)

Hanging from the beam,
Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on your green,
The cut is on the crown
(Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.

Hidden in the cap
Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
But the streaming beard is shown
(Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.