Monday, October 28, 2019

We had a good weekend, and the salmon was worth toiling up the hill for. I feel as if I am cutting adrift from life, somewhat, and floating out to sea, or downstream, or wherever. But still, it was good.

Such knitting as I have done has been on the new Dathan. I’d better face up to its status as a WIP and add it to the sidebar. Thank you for reminding me about the stitch markers to separate off batches of 50 stitches. The first set are now in place. The stitch count increases briskly, on this one.

The big news is that C’s daughter Christina – my husband’s great-niece – and her husband Manaba are expecting their first child next May. (Just as C. and I leave on our small-boat cruise of northwest Scotland – could be awkward.) (You may remember their wedding a year ago – I was there.) I’m planning a plain-vanilla jumper-weight hap with the feather-and-fan stripes in the colours of the South African flag, of which there are a surprising number. I am undecided, so far, as to whether or not to do the central square corner-to-corner. It certainly looks better that way when worn – but does it matter to a baby?


I have gone on to “The Small House at Allington”. The great thing about Trollope is that there are so many that when I have finished them all, I will have forgotten the first ones. I didn’t care for this one at all, at first, but it’s hotting up.

There was a substantial review of “Olive, Again” in the Financial Times at the weekend – and it’s clearly going to be dark, again. I don’t see how it could be otherwise. I used to get pretty irritated when I read a review of something that turned out not to have been published yet (as must be the case here, because I have pre-ordered it).

Here’s a question for you: Archie was here today and mentioned, over lunch, Lingotti’s “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race”. I immediately bought the kindle version. Never mind what it’s about (=consciousness) nor how far I will get into it – what do you make of this half-sentence: “Should your truth run counter to that of individuals who devise or applaud paradoxes that stiff up the status quo…”

I’m hopeless with double negatives, and that sentence is already overloaded with them. But the question is, what does “stiff up” mean? or imply? Archie thinks it means,  to support. I felt sure, at lunchtime, that it means the opposite, although I am not so sure now. Am I confusing "stiff up" with "stuff up"? Comments very gratefully received.


  1. So you’re on Archie’s side? I’m not complaining.

  2. I used Google, and found this, although it leaves me no closer to understanding it.
    "Ligotti here refers to the tendency of human optimists, in this case a Christian apologist, to treat logic as secondary, irrelevant, or as a liability, and once Truth is reached via paradox, metaphor, faith, intuition, or a myriad other contrivances, the conversation is at a close. Through inference, Ligotti may also suggest that logic followed without sentimentalism or irrational thought-structures would lead one to a pessimistic conclusion. Ligotti, while claiming a Pessimistic Position One (no Revealed Truth) in fact exposes himself as a Position Four seeker (Truth exists but is not Revealed except through experience) who has lapsed in the face of Revelation into a Position Two believer (Revealed Truth exists.)"

  3. =Tamar2:01 PM

    I agree with Archie: "stiff up" means "stiffen". Ligotti seems to be saying that truth will differ according to the individual. That perfectly matches what John Horne Tooke wrote in The Diversions of Purley, that the word "truth" is merely a past tense of "to trow", "to believe", and since truth is simply what someone believes, it can and must vary from person to person. That alone doesn't necessarily lead to pessimism.

  4. I'm of two minds on "to stiff up". I think of someone either stiffening up in defense or stiffening up in indignation.