J. Martin

October 3, 2021

Life Goes On (And Nothing Much Has Changed)

There’s this old adage that if you want to spot any errors in what you just wrote, press “send.” For manuscripts, my personal version of this is the idea that I’m done editing, that I can wrap it up now and call it a day—but let’s read that thing one last time fully relaxed without editing/nitpicking as it’s supposed to be read before I send it in. And boy do I suddenly spot a ton of weaknesses that had slipped through the cracks! The exact same thing happened before, I remember it now, with my first novel, my doctoral thesis, my textbook, you name it. But I completely forgot about this phenomenon until it hit me last week. So instead of done I’m still at it—while lectures begin tomorrow for the new term and my calendar looks like a dense tactical map.

Thus, I kept being busy, too much for almost everything else, except for two freshly uploaded albums on Flickr: Singapore VIII: Botanic Gardens (10 images) and Xi’an III: Drum Tower (10 images), plus a few more crossposts from Glass.

Then, a reading recommendation. I have featured Bret Devereaux before, a historian and prolific blog writer who focuses on economic and military matters in antiquity. If the Sparta of your imagination has been created by 300, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and so forth, you should read his blog post collection on “This. Isn’t. Sparta.” It’s not pretty, but it will give you a much better idea about what we know and what we don’t know about the ancient Sparta that actually existed.

Another reading recommendation is about music: “An Unknown Beethoven Cadenza by Joseph Joachim: ‘Dublin 1852’” by Katharina Uhde, published in Musical Quarterly earlier this year, which has just been made available for free. It’s about Joseph Joachim’s cadenze for Beethoven’s violin concerto, especially the 1852 cadenza rediscovered in 1989. If you’re into historical musicology in general and romantic solo concertos from the nineteenth century in particular, this article is for you.

No new game recommendation today, but an amendment to an earlier one, If On a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers, which I have written about at some length. At the link to the game, you’ll find an updated version with some DLC goodies, and it’s a great opportunity to support the developers with a few bucks (minimum price is just $1)!

Finally, the two things that cracked me up most last week is this one from the “Is there a doctor on board?” meme thread on Twitter and this one (h/t Michael) about your well-written email.