Thomas Mann's "Joseph and His Brothers": "Alas, we know too well how once a dream is wrapped in words it is only just a mummy, the gaunt swaddled image of what it was as we dreamt." ... ... The city is beginning a brush pick-up tomorrow, and Pop and I spent some quality time together out back trying out that pole-saw he got a little while back, cutting down tree limbs. No body parts were lopped off. No blood spilled whatsoever. I also tightened up our fence, which took a good beating from the strong winds overnight. ... ... Wash Post: "We’ve gone full Orwell." After officially taking office, Trump has shown he has no scruple about continuing with his constant rain of lies, or as his campaign manager, now counselor, Kellyanne Conway calls them, "alternative facts." But Republicans have long been big on creating their own reality. This is just the first time that we have seen it brought to its fullest logical, or illogical, conclusion. ... ... Mark Anderson characterizes Mann's oeuvre, particularly his early work, thus: "It reveals him rather as the passionate stage director of a single, unchanging human drama: the truth of desire and its struggle for liberation and expression within the confines of bourgeois life." [Cambridge Companion to Thomas Mann] ... ... Oslo lowered the boom on Ms. Shapo: "Fuck you, seriously. Your jig is up. We see you. You're a liar, a fascist, and a racist. You're not here to do anything but pollute and poison this community." I said, "I wonder if part of it is that Russians are so used to thoroughly deceptive government that they are enjoying some schadenfreude over seeing the United States government becoming more like the Russian government now." ... ... I've taken back up Scott Saul's biography "Becoming Richard Pryor". I don't count Pryor in the same circle with Orwell, Hitchens, and Lincoln, but I remembered that I never did finish this book, and it's not as though it is a bad book. Here is an incident from Pryor's schoolboy days. He had a little fight, got the worst of it, and ran to his teacher. "Those kids out there called me a nigger." 'Miss Dempsey answered loud enough so others could hear her, in a tone that was perfectly matter-of-fact: "Well, Richard, that's what you are. Why are you so upset?"'