Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

* My "Miss Wilder" papers to go to Yale's Beinecke Rare Book Library

Miss Wilder  chatting with my parents,
at the 1985
 Thornton Wilder Commemorative

LINK to my blog containing most of the papers

Dear Mr. Keane—

Many thanks for your note; I have consulted with my colleagues in Manuscripts and Archives and we are all in agreement that your correspondence from Miss Wilder really does belongs here at the Beinecke, where it will have a rich context of related materials about Miss Wilder, her life and her work. I assure you that we will give the collection its own descriptive record indicating that you are the source of the materials and thus keeping the materials distinct from the other Wilder Family materials in our holdings. We will, also, permanently acknowledge your generous gift in our public collection records. I hope this will be agreeable to you.


Nancy Kuhl

Curator of Poetry, Yale Collection of American Literature
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Yale University
121 Wall Street, P.O. Box 208240

* Manning Up

Faith in Mindless Technology:

Our Unmanning

It is time for our government to man-up and tell us the truth.  And the truth is that it has been lying to us for fifty years, since Eisenhower left office in 1960 warning us about the "military-industrial complex' which originally read in his speech as the "Congressional-military-industrial complex" until it was censored by whoever it is who dares purge presidential prose of potential political problems.

It lied about Viet Nam from the Lyndon Johnson twisitng of the Gulf of Tonkin resoloution to the Henry Kissinger  "declare victory and withdraw." It lied to us about Watergate; about Iran Contra; about weapons of mass destruction; and now about secret surveillance systems.

It is disgraceful to impugn Bradley Manning's character for trying to provide us with documents which reveal the truth with such barbs as:  personal notoriety; confusion over sexual identity; immaturity. 

All these pejoratives have been thrown about to demoralize  and humiliate him  --- in addition to solitary confinement and the underwear ordeal.  

Unlike Macbeth, there was no "I am unmanned" uttered by Bradley Manning.

It hasn't worked. 

Who of us would accept the consequences without a whimper which Manning is about to have imposed upon him by a military judge (a possible 116 years in prison)?

If there is anyone who has proved himself a man here it is this slight young uniformed idealist who has tried to alert us that our faith in the mindless technology which allows Asiana airplane pilots to come into a runway too slowly, or a train engineer in Spain to approach a curve too fast, is the same technology which mindlessly scans (and records !)  every mouse click and very cellphone digit of every American every minute of every day.

Our unquestioned faith in god-the-machine has made  us all Macbeths. 

We are unmanned.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

* Intellectual Property Rites [sic]

Thief  for the Ages

Leopold Mozart told of Wolfgang's accomplishment in a letter to his wife dated April 14, 1770 (Rome):
"…You have often heard of the famous Miserere in Rome, which is so greatly prized that the performers are forbidden on pain of excommunication to take away a single part of it, copy it or to give it to anyone. But we have it already. Wolfgang has written it down and we would have sent it to Salzburg in this letter, if it were not necessary for us to be there to perform it. But the manner of performance contributes more to its effect than the composition itself. Moreover, as it is one of the secrets of Rome, we do not wish to let it fall into other hands…."

* Good men do 'Something' --- even Edward Snowden

" And so begins [with Edmund Burke's apocalyptic rhetorical tendencies] that strange note, found to this day in American conservative magazines, whereby the most privileged caste in the most powerful country in the most prosperous epoch in the whole history of human-kind is always sure that everything is going straight to hell and has mostly already got there." (p. 72)

Adam Gopnik

"The Right Man: 
Who Owns Edmund Burke?"
The New Yorker 
July 29, 2013

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because
he could only do a little.
Edmund Burke

Ambition can creep as well as soar.
Edmund Burke (Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796)
It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason,
and justice tell me I ought to do.
Edmund Burke (Speech on Concillation with the American Colonies, 1775)
We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most
powerful law of nature.
Edmund Burke (Letter to Sir Hercules Langrishe, 1792)
If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free;
 if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.
Edmund Burke (Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796)
Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
Edmund Burke (Speech to the Electors of Bristol, 1774)
People will not look forward to posterity, who never
look backward to their ancestors.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely. 
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
Edmund Burke (Speech on the Bill for the Relief of Protestant Dissenters, 1773)
In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of
exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
When any work seems to have required immense force
and labor to effect it, the idea is grand.
Edmund Burke 
(A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757)
To drive men from independence to live on alms, is itself great cruelty.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
Edmund Burke (Speech on the Middlesex Elections, 1771)
Make the Revolution a parent of settlement, and not a
nursery of future revolutions.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to good. 
Edmund Burke (Speech on the Impeachment of Warren Hastings, 1788)
It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact. 
Edmund Burke (First Speech on Conciliation with America, 1775)
Gentlemen, the melancholy event of yesterday reads to us an awful
lesson against being too much troubled about any of the objects of
ordinary ambition. The worthy gentleman, who has been snatched
 from us at the moment of the election, and in the middle of contest,
whilst his desires were as warm, and his hopes as eager as ours,
 has feelingly told us, what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue.
Edmund Burke (Speech at Bristol, 1780)
I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.
Edmund Burke (Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796)
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. 
Edmund Burke (Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796)
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither,
 in my opinion, is safe.
Edmund Burke (Letter to Monsieur Dupont, 1789)
By hating vices too much, they come to love men too little.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings;
but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
Edmund Burke (Appeal From the New to the Old Whigs, 1791)
Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows, and of lending
existence to nothing.
Edmund Burke (Quoted in Correspondence of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, 1826)
Depend upon it, that the lovers of freedom will be free.
Edmund Burke (Speech at Bristol Previous to the Election, 1780)
The most important of all revolutions, a revolution
 in sentiments, manners and moral opinions.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws
 are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those
who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.
Edmund Burke (Letter to Charles James Fox, 1777)
Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.
Edmund Burke
Custom reconciles us to everything.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757)
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their
disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society
cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be
 placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more
 there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of
things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions
forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke (Letter to a Member of the National Assembly, 1791)
It is, generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real
temper, principles, and designs.
Edmund Burke (Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796)
There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases
to be a virtue.
Edmund Burke (Observations on a Late Publication on the Present State of the Nation, 1769)
He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens
our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
A great profusion of things, which are splendid or valuable in
themselves, is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs
 so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of
grandeur. This cannot be owing to the stars themselves,
separately considered. The number is certainly the cause.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757)
Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.
Edmund Burke (Quoted Correspondence of Edmund Burke and William Windham, 1910)
Falsehood is a perennial spring.
Edmund Burke (Speech on American Taxation, 1774)
There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible
evil of evil men.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
Beauty in distress is much the most affecting beauty.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757)
A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together,
 would be my standard of a statesman.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
People never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Edmund Burke (Speech at County Meeting of Buckinghamshire, 1784)
The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for the moment;
 but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation
is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.
Edmund Burke (Second Speech on Concillation with America, 1775)
And having looked to Government for bread, on the very first
 scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them.
Edmund Burke (Thoughts and Details on Scarcity, 1795)
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.
Edmund Burke (Letters to the Sherrifs of Bristol, 1777)
Laws, like houses, lean on one another.
Edmund Burke (Tracts Relative to the Laws Against Popery in Ireland, 1766)
But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest
of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human
mind, is curiosity.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757)
Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.
Edmund Burke
If the people are happy, united, wealthy, and powerful, we presume
the rest. We conclude that to be good from whence good is derived. 
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation. 
Edmund Burke
If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue.
Edmund Burke
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings;
but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
Edmund Burke (Appeal From the New to the Old Whigs, 1791)
You can never plan the future by the past.
Edmund Burke (Letter to a Member of the National Assembly, 1791)
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good
men do nothing.
Variant: All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world
 is for enough good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
Good order is the foundation of all things.
Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)
The march of the human mind is slow.
Edmund Burke (Second Speech on Concillation with America, 1775)
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate
 minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke (Letter to a Member of the National Assembly, 1791)
Facts are to the mind what food is to the body. 
Edmund Burke
Tyrants seldom want pretexts.
Edmund Burke (Letter to a Member of the National Assembly, 1791)
Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition,
men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical
aid to their moral consolations - wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.
Edmund Burke (Thoughts and Details on Scarcity, 1795)
No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting
and reasoning as fear.
Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757)
To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
Edmund Burke
Never, no, never did Nature say one thing and Wisdom say another.
Edmund Burke (Letters on a Regicide Peace, 1796)
Our patience will achieve more than our force.

Edmund Burke (Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790)

* Mayor's Limousine, New York, New York ?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

* The Man----Mr. Charlie, Capt'n Mr. Bossman

The man doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Has it ever occurred to President Obama , who wants us to have a national conversation about the cynicism and pessimism of “our African American boys,” that maybe the boys are right?

Look around .

What would make a young person think that the world is run by people who know what they are doing? The planet is despoiled; politics is corrupt or paralyzed,  public education is under-funded and yanked around my “experts” who change it every ten years; platitudes masquerade as thinking; priesthood has been poisoned by lust; manhood rituals (the Boy Scouts) are manipulated by adult bigotry.

It isn’t just young African American boys who are cynical and pessimistic.

It’s thinking children everywhere.

 Mr. Charlie, Capt’n Mr. Bosssman  (as Walter Lee Younger calls “the Man” who hold power in A Raisin in the Sun) doesn’t know what he’s doing ---       either to our children (and therefore our future)  or to the world.

Or maybe he does---and he doesn’t  care.

Laying it on "the man"  isn't a sexist observation.  If women ran the world competition might be tempered with compassion and things might be different.

 But with few exceptions (Andrea Merkel, Christine Lagarde) the world is run by Capt'n. Charlie, Mr. Bossman.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

* Glorifying gangsta: Obama's "national conversation" topic

Going to the College of the Poor

President Obama's heartfelt talk about race yesterday raised the need for us to have a "national conversation about race" and to consider what "we are doing to African American  boys" in this society.

I refuse to be part of that "we". I have never listened to or purchased anything to do with "gangsta" anything.

The idea that both white and African American youth glorify the abusive macho criminal pose is a sad irony.  .

It is a form of self enslavement.

The motivated kids escape its flypaper snare, recognizing that it is just satire

Oh yeah,  you say, and btw,  the gangsta rappers laugh all the way to the bank while we buy their clothes and wear their bling. 

But what about the unmotivated teenagers who idolize them and their arrogant, contemptuous pose?  Or who imitate their misogyny?

Bill Cosby and Michael Jordan have tried to redress that idol worship: both with an emphasis on youth education.

Their efforts amount to a spit in the ocean.  

And as the drug infested world of cheap heroin invades even idyllic Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, I can't say that education is winning out against criminality.

Criminality is  becoming the college of the poor.

Get your B.A. (Bad Ass) degree on the streets.  

It comes with a tat and a nose ring.

* Only on Sunday (at 4 PM) will the Maestro play

Vladimir Horowitz, Titanof the Piano, Dies

At another time Mr. Horowitz said: "I am a 19th-century Romantic. I am the last. I take terrible risks. Because my playing is very clear, when I make a mistake, you hear it. But the score is not a bible, and I am never afraid to dare. The music is behind those dots. You search for it, and that is what I mean by the grand manner. I play, so to speak, from the other side of the score, looking back."
The Evolution of a Myth
Into Mr. Horowitz's late 70's and early 80's--when he made a heavily publicized and carefully orchestrated comeback in the concert world--he retained the ability to extract colors of either extraordinary brilliance or extraordinary delicacy. In his concert appearances during the 1920's and 30's, Mr. Horowitz's ability to create excitement in whatever he did on stage made him an almost mythical figure--a status only enlarged by his personal eccentricities and flair for attracting public attention.
Even his frequent retirements from performing had a romantic appeal to mass audiences. A man known for the frailty of his nerves, Mr. Horowitz quit playing in public four times--between 1936 and 1938, from 1953 to 1965, from 1968 to 1974 and from 1983 to 1985. This seemed only to sharpen his public's appetite. When Mr. Horowitz did play, he drove a hard bargain: his personal piano from his Manhattan living room accompanied him; concerts were at 4 P.M. and only on Sunday. Advance teams redecorated his hotel rooms to make him feel less estranged from the comfort of home; his own food was cooked to his taste.

Mr. Horowitz's last withdrawal from concert life came after a series of uneven performances in the early 1980's--ones which he subsequently blamed on overmedication. But in the last four years of his life, he became virtually a one-man industry in the concert business--with a much-publicized tour of the Soviet Union, performances in Europe and America, all linked with compact disk recordings, videotapes, television programs and films. His return to Moscow and Leningrad in 1986, after a 61-year absence, became a major media event reported around the world.

Friday, July 19, 2013

* Beauty and the Beast

Outing the Unacknowledged 
Aristocracy of Good Looks 
in American Democracy

It is ironic that this  Los Angeles Times video about the controversy surrounding  The Rolling Stone magzine's  Tsarnaev cover, begins with an advertisement when it is opened on YouTube, an advertisement  for a Hollywood movie called Wolverine.

Apparently the  movie company has no compunctions about associating itself with the controversy.

If the photo of Tsarnaev had been unflattering, or if he himself had been homely, this controversy would not exist.  

What is happening here is that the unacknowledged aristocracy of good looks in our egalitarian society  is being outed by The Rolling Stone article and  its cover.

We want to believe ever so earnestly in the illusion of beauty as character, the mercantile assumption that the packaging is more important than, and actually revelatory of,  the quality of its contents.

At  the left, the alleged
craigslist killer,
   a Boston med student

What The Rolling Stone article and cover confront us with is our own false worship of beauty, whether it be male rock-star beauty or female movie-star beauty.  

We consider attaining the mercantile status of a cover photo on that magazine as analogous to being anointed as a knight or dame by the Queen of England.

We want ever so desperately to reward beauty and ever so subtly to ignore or even punish its absence.

We are idolators.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

* Filling a Gap

Link to 
Churchill Archives Centre 

"No Cigar?"

Monday, July 15, 2013

* Spanking the Beinecke

The Marble Armadillo:
Beinecke Rare Book Library
at Yale

Miss Wilder with my parents
 at the dedication of Miller Library's
restoration of
Thornton Wilder's study and memorabilia,

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Keane
Date: Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: Miss Isabel Wilder's notes and cards
To: tappan wilder
Cc: Harry Adams , "Sterling, Greg E", Craig Henrici , Christine Weideman, Larry Dowler

Tappan Wilder, Literary Executor

Thornton Wilder Estate

Dear Tappy,

Since you think  Beinecke  best, I will defer to your  opinion, if you ask the proper  Beinecke person to get in touch with me.

I will not try to persuade him/her --- or anyone else --- that my small folder has literary significance. Nor will I beseech. 

A request will however be honored.

 What I offer  is the record of a twenty-year association between a 31-year-old divinity student and a 76- year-old neighbor which  blossomed into friendship.  It is deeply sentimental and I want it to remain intact.

Your aunt was an intellectual godmother to me.

Your image of me spanking Beinecke --- that great marble armadillo --- is a hoot.

 It would bloody only  the spanker's hand.

Best to you,


On Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 1:49 PM, tappan wilder <> wrote:
Dear Paul-

I am very sorry that you did not feel you needed to consult me or, for that matter Penelope Niven, before spanking the Beinecke.  Had you done so  I  would have told you that  the Beinecke is  THE place for your Isabel Wilder material to —and I believe Penny would have done the same.

Institutions evolve over time. What  they are one minute is not what they are the next, etc., etc. Thru it all, the Beinecke has stood tall for being the single most important place  where Thornton  Wilder and Wilder FAMILY materials are centered,  and thus most conveniently found for  students of the subject(s).

Let us now  forget and remember no more.

Best wishes,


From: Paul Keane []
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 12:23 PM
To: Christine Weideman
Cc: Sterling, Greg E; Craig Henrici; Harry Adams; Larry Dowler; Tappy; Allen Packwood
Subject: Miss Isabel Wilder's notes and cards

Christine Weideman, Head
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Sterling Memorial Library
Yale University

Dear Christine:

    I want to thank you for referring me to the Churchill Archives Centre. They were enthusiastic and respectful in accepting my donation. I was delighted to interact with them. Link

    Over the last five years I have donated  all items I felt had historical value to various organizations; Thornton Wilder's desk; the Macintosh Chalice; D. Hoyt's painting; and now the Churchill Cigar and scrapbook. 

     Now that Dean Sterling and former Hamden Mayor Craig Henrici have agreed to find suitable recipients for my Mt. Carmel Burying ground plots,
I have one  item  left  which needs to be rescued from the capriciousness of history and of heirs: 
  •  About fifty handwritten notes and cards from Miss Isabel Wilder to me, beginning in 1976 and spanning  last  20 years of her long and fulfilling life.(1900 -1995).NOTE  I studiously avoided asking Miss Wilder about her brother during our entire 20 year friendship, so these notes reflect the generosity of HER heart and the  energy of her graciousness, not literary history.

     I read yesterday  in Penelope Niven's Thornton Wilder, a Life  that Miss Wilder "withheld" (until after her death)  from  the Thornton Wilder archive at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book Library about "90 banker's boxes"  (p. xiv) worth of  documents, as she  continued to write her own book about her brother.

     I do not want my tiny but very sentimental folder to go to Beinecke.  It would be lost in a tsunami of documents.  Miss Wilder deserves better than that.

      Will you accept it in my own papers even though those papers are in your "Kent State Collection" which I helped establish with Larry Dowler 37 years ago in 1977? 

    I will be happy to have them cross-referenced to the Beinecke Collection, but I do not want them physically located there.

   I am courtesy copying  Tappy Wilder here since he is literary executor of his uncle's estate and involved  therefore with the Beinecke collection. I can assure him that my interest is the preservation of these items written by his aunt in a way which ennobles her enormous contribution to her brother's creativity and legacy.

   You can see some of my other exchanges with Miss Wilder about her donation of her brother's  desk and study memorabilia to the Hamden Mayor's Bicentennial Commission at this link

    Again, my thanks for your wonderful suggestion that I donate to the Churchill Centre.

   I hope you will embrace my offer of  this small donation.



Paul D.Keane
M.A., M.Div., M.Ed.

 Tappan Wilder, Literary Executor, Thornton Wilder estate
 Harry B. Adams, Chaplain Emeritus, Yale University
 Gregory E. Sterling, Dean, Yale Divinity School
 The Hon. Craig Henrici, ESQ., former Mayor, Town of Hamden
 Lawrence Dowler, Archivist Emeritus, Harvard University
 Allen Packwood, Director, Churchill Archives Centre