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June 30, 2010


How confused I was to see Edmund de Waal as the author of this book for I have only known him as a potter, it sounds fascinating.

Delighted to hear you are free from Tetanus.

I adored that book; when I was finishing my PhD and it became clear I wasn't going to get an academic position anywhere, I was absolutely grieving. I read that book, and the Nietzsche chapter of all things (if I'm remembering correctly) just turned it around for me. I was not to go sour grapes; instead, I was to mourn, for it was a loss. I was not to say "oh, I decided I wanted to get the hell out of academia" I was to mourn. It really did console me. :)

How about the Consolations of Cake for after all the crochet?

Beautiful hollyhocks. I wish mine would stop being eaten by bugs and grow.

Good luck with your foot! (and the crochet)

I've been enjoying your blog, and ordering many books based on your recommendations, so I suppose it's time to stop lurking and comment! Hope your foot is better soon. Keep reading, I feel I'm a direct beneficiary of your literary explorations!

Crochet! yes, it is the best companion, quiet, engaging, and can bring so much beauty into your world. Hope you continue to heal well.

Glad to hear that your foot is healing though I disagree with your consolations being low-brow. I think the 'Consolations of Crochet, Cherry Cake, Chocolate and Cary Grant' would make a wonderful self-help book. I could see it being a best-seller.

Hobbling on one foot certainly has no effect on your eye for beauty. Continue to heal, love your consolation arsenal.

Such a relief to not have to have worries about tetanus.
I have not read this book, but the consolation idea reminds me of a phrase a friend of mine uses: "compensatory blessings" - she urges me to look for those moments of serendipity sent my way when other things are lacking. It is a good practice and has helped me to be more content.

I love de Botton's work too, but the idea of finding consolations in other life-giving pursuits -- cake, tea, crochet -- is not inimicable to the philosophical way of thinking that that book supports; one gets a lot of thinking done playing around with yarn, after all, and we are embodied beings who need more than just abstract thought to be happy: y'know, touch, taste, smell, warmth!

I love how you find patterns in "real" life and enclose them in your photos. It's so comforting, isn't it? Especially when life can seem so chaotic.

I would absolutely read a book titled The Consolations of Crochet.

would you please post a photo of more of this embroidery? i am looking for inspiration for a summer tablecloth. what stitch are the hollyhocks?

I love this book and all his other works too. I met De Botton at a book signing and stood in line with 'Status Anxiety' to have it signed. I tried to think of something to say to him, something intelligent, witty perhaps, but not trying too hard. What to say to a modern day philosopher?
I went with simplicity.
He signed my book, I smiled and said "Thank you".

Then thought of a million things to say in the aftermath.

Perhaps you could have mentioned the consolations of crochet?


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