Up at 5, but felt pretty caught up on sleep. 50 p. Levine (he’s getting into secular/popular music, and so into material I already have knowledgable opinions about; view of “vaudeville” v. “country”/solo blues is standard; he’s already make the mistake of thinking that Ervin Drake’s “No Segregation in Heaven” was in any sense a genuine gospel song.); 2 ½ ch. GHA (up through Benjamin’s artwork essay and Adorno on jazz, into Nazism.) Should record a couple of striking passages:
“Thomas Mann’s schema of German bourgeois familiar development in Buddenbrooks—the first generation makes the money, the second cements the family’s social position, and the third withdraws into something like aesthetic malaise—was unwittingly subverted by these Frankfurt scholars. (ch. 2 – the e-book pagination isn’t useful; I identify w/ this vis-à-vis my own [Italian-American] family.)
“Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built and a textile one when it is woven.” (Quoted from Benjamin, One-Way Street; but what about work on good music?)
“Before his untimely death aged sixty-three in 1945, [logical positivist Otto] Neurath would establish the Isotype Institute in Oxford, devoted to his symbolic way of representing quantitative information which he was to deploy to help with slum clearance planning the West Midlands. That was one of the rare moments, with all due respect to the philosophical discipline, in which a logician’s skills have helped improve the living conditions of those suffering under capitalism” (ch. 9; this relates to my Quine/”On What There Is”/slum metaphor project, if I ever get to it. The second sentence is just annoying; compared to whose skills, Adorno’s?)
Went out for a coffee at Rad in downtown Upland, sent regrets for Chris & Cleaver’s holiday party (neither mom’s condition nor my own makes me feel like driving to Fullerton). Groceries. Home at 11, napped, knocked off some very mundane tasks, on the order of putting new insurance cards in both cards (and, just as importantly, informing Dad I did so). Read a little ahead in Levine, watched Camperforce, a 15-min doc on RV owners who work seasonally for Amazon (related to acquaintance Jessica Bruder’s book Nomadland).
Went back out and worked 3-6 at the Spot. Went pretty damn well – worked up my comments on the “race” of the bridge, and some polemic against Middleton. 3-4 substantial grafs, about 1000 words. Dinner at home, nothing worth remaking after. Read ahead a bit in Levine, in case I can’t tomorrow. Cold symptoms on and off through day, sent me to bed early, maybe 10, w/ a Whistler movie on.