(Note: In 2009 I was happily blogging about textual changes in The Book of Mormon–something I hope to resume soon–when my brother-in-law had a stroke. We all headed to northern Idaho (just down the Clearwater river from BoGritzland). We enjoyed seeing my wife’s family, and when we got back the new computer my son had ordered was waiting for us, and as he set it up he displaced the one I had been blogging from. Before I could get everything set up down in my study I fetched a temp assignment processing Cash for Clunkers payments — 14 days without a break, which taught me the value of a Sabbath. While I was still trying to get my blogging rhythm back I got busy. While I’m considering textual criticism, I also want to post some reviews I’ve been writing.
The title for my review segments is from one of my favorite quotes: “I have committed sundry moldy solecisms; yet I was not born to desecrate literature.” It’s the first sentence from Edward Dahlberg’s preface to his collection Bottom Dogs, From Flushing to Calvary, Those Who Perish: And hitherto unpublished and uncollected works. I tried reading the preface several times, but it was slow going till I realized it wasn’t an essay moving logically from one proposition to another, but a collection of epigrams. One of these days I hope to finish the rest of the book. I realized recently that while Dahlberg’s emphasis is clearly on the word desecrate, when I say it out loud I emphasize the word literature, as if I’m searching for what I was born to desecrate, or maybe what I was born to consecrate, or celebrate.
This first book I’m reviewing is one that I wish librarians throughout Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, California (southern, at least) and a lot of their patrons would buy, both to preserve and make widely available a unique part of western American culture, and for a reason mentioned at the end of the review. Continue reading “Sundry Moldy Solecisms”