Can’t Be 12 Inches

Because then it would be a foot.

hqdefaultWell, here I am at the Library. Theresa renewed that I Ching book I couldn’t find. Rediscovering the I Ching was the title. I really do need to rediscover where I left it. I also “picked up” a book, Half a Life, by a Nobel Prize winning author: V.S. Naipaul (whose name reminds me of Napalm, plus his name also reminds me of another author with initials and a foreign name that begins with N?) and Webster’s Dictionary:

“You’re much too much,
And just too very, very, to ever be —
In Webster’s Dictionary,
And so I’m borrowing
A love song from the birds
To tell you that you’re marvelous
To tell you that you’re marvelous
To tell you that you’re marvelous —
Too Marv-el-ous
For Words!”

As Sinatra sang, but didn’t write.

Anyway, as I was frantically looking for this book,
In a Titanic panic,
Adrift in the Atlantic,
Fighting vainly the old ennui
I suddenly turn and see:

In Defense of Paradise: A Vindication of Lord Byron
By Michael Foot.

The title had caught my eye because I thought it would be about John Milton, who sided with Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads (Puritans) in the English Civil War and then managed to make amends with the monarchy when it was restored. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. But it was not about Milton (the monster, or the poet) but about Lord Byron, who was also of interest to me. The blurb described Michael Foot in such glowing terms that it verged on hagiography. But wait! I started getting that old numinous feeling. Michael Foot. Michael Foot. Where had I heard that name before?

Eureka! It was because Michael Foot’s nephew John Foot had tweeted about him just the other day, about how he was smeared by Rupert Murdoch’s London Times, and how he had successfully sued the Times for libel. Murdoch was pulling the same tactics on Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party. The Times has also reprinted the libelous story about Michael Foot. Anyway, Michael Foot has popped up on my Synchronicity Radar. I will look into the matter further. His nephew, John Foot [@footymac on Twitter] said that Michael Foot was a friend of Orwell, Koestler and Silone.

My great-uncle Michael Foot was a lifelong anti-Stalinist. Friend of Orwell, Koestler and Silone. Ludicrous to claim he was a Soviet spy. Sued successfully for libel around this when he was alive. No evidence. Shameful and cowardly.

I had also read an article recently that mentioned disturbing parallels between Koestler’s dystopian novel, Darkness at Noon, and our current situation in the U.S. It was by Mike Huguenor and appeared in Empty Mirror dot com [on Twitter @mikehuguenor and @EmptyMirror]

George Orwell is another name that keeps cropping up — Animal Farm and 1984 being mentioned numerous times for obvious reasons. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, another fictional work that is getting fresh looks.

Hadn’t heard of Silone.
Sylvester Stallone? What? Like Rocky?
No, Ignazio Silone.

Ignazio Silone was the pseudonym of Secondino Tranquilli, a political leader, Italian novelist, and short-story writer, world-famous during World War II for his powerful anti-Fascist novels. He was nominated for the Nobel prize for literature ten times.
Born: May 1, 1900, Pescina, Italy
Died: August 22, 1978, Geneva, Switzerland


I will have to look into the work of Ignazio Silone next time I have a  tranquil second, along with my deep dive into Orwell, Koestler, and Sinclair Lewis. And I will get to them all, as soon as I have measured the works of Michael Foot, who I am picturing as Nowhere Man in Yellow Submarine writing the footnotes to his latest book —

With his feet!


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