COVID World, Day Thirty

This makes a full month of quarantine. My low-level anxiety and distraction remain — I don’t expect that to change any time soon — but apart from that, each day resembles an ordinary home-based reading/writing day out of term time. We were urged to keep journals through the plague lockdown, but honestly, life hasn’t offered remarkable events or feelings to record. Posterity: if you’re reading this, I apologise for letting you down.

Morning broke at 8°, though it felt cooler than that. My legs were a bit achey and reluctant, but the mile came in at a satisfactory 9:54.

Hot breakfast, then to work reading and perhaps some writing. Along with reading about Newman, I’m looking backward at biblical hermeneutics in the Church of England, for which I’ll consider first Augustine’s de Doctrina just because it’s always worth re-reading, then something from pre-Reformation England, I think, then Cranmer’s Homily and Preface, some Hooker, [gap of several hundred years that wants bridging], Coleridge, the Colenso controversy, Newman (Tract 85 and more). I’ll be preparing digital editions of such works as are in the public domain as a way of reading closely, and will be writing all this up in an article, and inwardly digesting it for the monograph.

I’ve also taken a look at Mark Forsyth’s The Elements of Eloquence, upon which I don’t remember how I stumbled. It’s a readable, if annoyingly self-satisfied, introduction to rhetorical tropes, one of those disposable books that attracts attention for one buying season and then drops out of circulation. It’s conveniently and cheaply available for Kindle and in paperback from Iconbooks (US/UK). My attention to it arises from my interest in having a painless manual of rhetoric for preaching students, and this may do the job.

Reading through Newman, and then for the late morning and afternoon finishing up and checking a PDF of his essay ‘On the Inspiration of Scripture’ with the pamphlet ‘What is of Obligation for a Catholic to Believe concerning the Inspiration of the Canonical Scriptures’that he wrote as a reply to a hostile response by Prof. Healy of Maynooth.

Battered broad beans, corn and broccoli for dinner, and Spooks for entertainment — in which, this time, they actually did confront and fend off a pandemic caused by a secret bioweapon. In this case, of course, there was an even more secret vaccine, so our heroes suffered only one casualty… or so it seems.

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