Reading lists: The Civil War of 1812,
(mostly) Russian literature

2020.05.07, by Akihiko
Filed under Books, History, Journal, Personal

…Well, Tolly’s been fronting more than anyone. Lots of reading. He drew a list[1] of 19 significant authors praised by Voronsky and their major works available in English [for free]. Well, most of them. Bernhard Kellerman’s Der Tunnel is still in German, and Ivan Shmelyov’s The Man from the Restaurant is in Spanish. And Alexander Serafimovich’s The Iron Flood, we had to order. But all the other authors have major works in English freely accessible on the Internet.

We’ve been reading about the War of 1812. Well, listening. The audiobook of Alan Taylor’s book on it, focusing on the Americas. Err, North America. It’s really interesting. The United States was on the verge of a civil war, the British monarchy was waging its own war against the Americans in Canada. (British Canada.) The Royal Navy was the world’s strongest, the Federalists were sympathetic to British interests and the English class (caste) system, the Irish immigrants who had lost their own war of independence from Brain in their native Ireland were almost all radical Republicans and the most American of Americans. I wish they had taught us this in school. I remember one reference to impressment [the act of forcibly conscripting into the navy civilian sailors who were most often not even British citizens, but Americans]… that’s it.

The D-Man [Ansel] has been keeping himself busy with website design, studying CSS and HTML. He’s really excited about iframes. Gonna assume he’s gonna use them responsibly… I guess we need some sort of creative outlet.

Been putting stuff in the bullet journal too, our notes on pain and pain management which we’ve had lying around for months. Back when we were █████ employees we got free video lectures on all sorts of health topics. I miss that.


…Today we went to Lemon Park for some fresh air. At 1850. We woke up early, a lot earlier than usual, probably because of the heat, and overall sleep disruption from lack of gym. The water park wasn’t on, but there were a lot of people at the park. Roller skaters in the basketball court, lots of people walking their dogs. Couples lying in the grass. It was still light out and the sun was barely setting. That park has a big, mottled, badass Muscovy duck that was chasing mallards off its feeding grounds. A very fluffy dog came up to us for pets, she smelled very happy.

There’s a memorial at the park dedicated to all the major wars waged by the US. Plaques with the name of the war, year, US deaths, and a quotation from a public figure of that era. One of them is Stephen’s Decatur’s “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but my Country, right or wrong!” The later wars have what Tolly called “such patriotic drivel” for their quotations… And obelisks with long lists of donors, including Wells Fargo Bank,

“But it was lovely seeing the evening light melt in the grass,” Tolly said.

[1] Tolly’s (largely Russian) reading list