The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

Inappropriate

March 28, 2014 | by

Concert_singer

Every funeral is unhappy in its own way. In the case of a second cousin of mine, this way was unexpected. There was grief, yes, and remembering, and laughing, and subterranean tensions, and tearful reunions, and the occasional old score to be settled. None of this is what I mean.

The funeral had proceeded along the normal lines. She had lived a long and full life. Children and old friends had spoken. There had been a brief, ecumenical homily, as suited her unreligious nature. The master of ceremonies, an old friend who happened to be a rabbi, gave instructions as to the next steps in the proceedings—a trip to the cemetery, for those who were going, and later an open house at a son’s apartment. There was the general rustling that accompanies imminent departure.

And then, a woman rushed in from the back of the room. Read More »

Comments Off

Disgusting Lives

March 11, 2014 | by

Goops and how to Be Them

From the cover of Goops and How to Be Them, 1900.

The other day I visited with a four-year-old friend; we read a book called Manners. As the title implies, this is a guide to basic children’s etiquette, with an emphasis on consideration for others, and it was cute and instructive. But I couldn’t help thinking that it didn’t have quite the élan of The Goops.

Created by the humorist Gelett Burgess (also inventor of “the blurb”) in the late nineteenth century, the Goops were humanoid characters with enormous round heads who behaved disgracefully—children could profit from their example and get an illicit thrill from their antics. “The Goops” comic strip was a recurring feature in the children’s magazine St. Nicholas. The book, Goops and How to Be Them: A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants Inculcating Many Juvenile Virtues Both by Precept and Example, with Ninety Drawings, came out in 1900 to instant acclaim. I can still remember the opening lines:

The Goops, they lick their fingers,
and the Goops, they lick their knives;
They spill their broth on the tablecloth,
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

Read More »

Comments Off

Philosophy of Teenagers

May 30, 2013 | by

advice for teens

Keeping Up With Teen-Agers, by Evelyn Millis Duvall, 1947. Via Questionable Advice.

 

NO COMMENTS

How to Talk to Lady Writers, and Other News

May 20, 2013 | by

May or may not be competent needlewoman.

May or may not be competent needle-woman.

  • “A large number of literary females are excellent needle-women, and good housewives.” Etiquette for dealing with the authoress, from 1854.
  • You might see the headline “5 Books with Awful Original Titles” and think, Oh, how bad can they be? And then you read the list.
  • George R. R. Martin enjoyed the new Gatsby. In case you were wondering.
  • Meanwhile, Joyce Carol Oates takes to Twitter to discuss the experience of media. “If you are a writer, only writing really engages your concentration & excitement—even reading is a relatively passive activity.”
  •  

    NO COMMENTS

    On the Shelf

    January 18, 2012 | by

    Evelyn Waugh.

    A cultural news roundup.

  • R.I.P. Reginald Hill.
  • Bad news for bookstores.
  • But they fight back!
  • The Edgar Allen Poe Graveside Society and Cognac-Drinker’s Club.
  • “Spare a thought for the authors who pass from celebrity to oblivion within their own lifetimes.”
  • Is it acceptable to answer a phone call with an e-mail? And other modern conundrums.
  • To republish Hitler? And other eternal conundrums.
  • Cormac McCarthy, screenwriter.
  • Everyman’s library?
  • #FactsWithoutWikipedia
  • A comic take on the blackout.
  • Downton vs. Brideshead.

  • 2 COMMENTS

    Which Translation of Proust Should I Read?

    January 7, 2011 | by

    I am preparing to tackle Marcel Proust’s mammoth, his tomb of involuntary memories and I cannot decide on a translation. Should it be the original English translation by Moncrieff? Or the revision of Moncrieff by Kilmartin? Or the revision of the revision by Enright? Or the new translation that begins with Davis and continuous with six different translators? I prefer a translation that is as close to the original as possible, without the translator attempting to “update” the language for modern readers, without inserting words that the writer would have never originally used. Which translation should be trusted when it comes time to read the mammoth? —Manuel Garcia

    For Swann’s Way, you can’t really go wrong. All of those translations are wonderful. My favorite is Lydia Davis’s. It sticks very close to the French, which I think you will like. And I think you will like Davis’s sensibility: she is no vulgar updater. On the other hand, the Scott Moncrieff translation may appeal to you because it’s contemporary with the original. In fact, Proust’s French is often more modern then Scott Moncrieff’s English. The anachronisms are all in the other direction.

    I can’t vouch for the new translations of the later volumes. My advice is to read Swann’s Way in the Davis translation, then switch over to Enright. It will also be fun for you to compare Davis to Enright every once in a while. You’ll hear the difference right away.

    Read More »

    20 COMMENTS