A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[META] A Bit More Detail is up on Facebook!

A Bit More Detail is now Facebook page! Please like and follow if you want to see this content there.

Alex Colville, To Prince Edward Island

Today is actually the first day that A Bit More Detail, the Facebook portal for my blogging, is in operation. I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s taken so long to do this, to separate this activity from my personal profile, but I’m glad that I did so. It’s time, I think, that I should formalize this activity; well past time, I think, that I should carve out a niche.

I took the name “A Bit More Detail”–more precisely, the idea for that name–from a wonderful passage in Harold Nicolson’s Peacemaking 1919, pages 275 to 276. On those pages, that diplomat and modernist shared a wonderful anecdote of a conversation he shared with Proust.

Proust is white, unshaven, grubby, slip-faced. He puts his fur coat on afterwards and sits hunched there in white kid gloves. Two cups of black coffee he has, with chunks of sugar. Yet in his talk there is no affectation. He asks me questions. Will I please tell him how the Committees work? I say, ‘Well, we generally meet at 10.0, there are secretaries behind. . . . ‘ ‘Mais non, amis non, vous allez trop vite. Recommencez. Vous prenez la voiture de la Délégation. Vous descendez au Quai d’Orsay. Vous montez l’escalier. Vous entrez dans la Salle. Et alors? Précisez, mon cher, précisez.’ So I tell him everything. The sham cordiality of it all: the handshakes: the maps: the rustle of papers: the tea in the next room: the macaroons. He listens enthralled, interrupting from time to time–‘Mais précisez, mon cher monsieur, n’allez pas trop vite.’

That provision of detail about things that are overlooked, the subtle things that can determine the flavour of much larger things, is something I have been trying to do for all these years. I did blunder into this after I got started on Livejournal in 2002, if not before; Usenet and Yahoo Groups was not blogging, but they were something. Toronto and cities, Prince Edward Island and islands, trends in economics and demographics and pop culture–these are some of my areas of expertise.

In exchange, I hope you’ll come and visit: The comments are open, and I’m always interested in talking and learning more from others. I want to provide a good space here for discussion and exploration. I would also like to use this space as a platform for doing more, for long-form writing and for action: 2018 has done a very good job of convincing me that simply watching is an activity that is not longer justifiable.

I sincerely hope that you’ll follow me at A Bit More Detail, joining the dozens of people who have already signed up. Let’s look together at some of the interesting corners of our world.

Dividing line

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