Palmer reflects on his unconventional career path in these pages, as well as in previous classics such as Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, and The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (which had a 20th anniversary edition published in 2017).
“The fact is that each writer creates his precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.” – Jorge Luis Borges, Kafka and His Precursors, 1951, in Selected Non-Fictions, page 365; 2000, translated by Eliot Weinberger
August 24 will mark the 119th anniversary of the birth of the Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges. As with last year and in some previous years, I like to honor his life with a post that ideally captures his spirit in some way. This year I call attention to 19 books, all published long after his 1986 death; many containing new translations, added introductions by important writers, or new artwork:
Everyone is looking for an edge in today’s uncertain economy. Perhaps a somewhat counterintuitive guide to thriving in this era is Michael Nesmith, who has been a part of pop culture for more than 50 years, since his mid-1960s days as a member of The Monkees. These thoughts are prompted by his book Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff, released last year in hardback and recently in paperback.
The book (only partly about his experience in The Monkees) is a candid look at a varied life, one in which he owns up to often being his own worst enemy. His honesty about his personal and professional shortcomings and what he has attempted to learn from them is admirable and not something many authors would easily admit.
Most people take for granted the wonders surrounding us, including the accumulated inventions of many centuries that make our lives safer, easier, more productive and more satisfying. We rarely stop to think of who invented things that are indispensable to daily life. If you want to open your eyes to a richer appreciation of the world of invention and inventors, and the psychology and thought processes that underpin this discipline, turn to Pagan Kennedy and her 2016 book Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World.
Kennedy has written a number of books and countless freelance articles in a variety of publications.
Jorge Luis Borges was born 118 years ago today, on August 24, 1899. The Borges Boom shows no signs of decline: his literary influence remains strong, he is quoted and referenced in a variety of contexts, and books by and about him continue to be published. Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the Argentine author’s death. On December 7, 2016, the Library of Congress presented a fascinating conversation, now available on video, with Borges’ widow María Kodama and University of Maryland professor and longtime Borges scholar Saúl Sosnowski. (I wrote about my connection to Saúl, author of Borges y La Cábala: En búsqueda del verbo, in the 2010 post 111 Years of Jorge Luis Borges.)
In the spirit of my 2013 post 7 Self-Management Secrets of Jorge Luis Borges, consider these strategies, which I contend were crucial to Borges’ success (during his life and beyond); even if he may not have considered them to be strategies!
One of my favorite activities of the year is reading summer book lists. As I did last year and earlier, this year I have compiled some of the best reading lists of the summer, from a wide variety of sources:
Last week I wrote about initial impressions of my time in Claremont built around Drucker Day 2013, especially about the book signing that day for Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way, and my informal book discussion at Hagelbarger’s the day before. This year’s Drucker Day had a slightly different format from last year. In the afternoon after lunch, rather than have breakout sessions in various classrooms at the Drucker School, there was one main panel discussion, from 2:15-4:00. Both the morning keynote and afternoon panel were held in the large Garrison Theater on the Scripps College campus, across the street from the Drucker School.