Monthly Archives: April 2020

the demise of the sentence (remember that?)




Please see new post of mine on my site:


“the demise of the sentence (remember that?)”


the demise of the sentence (remember that?)



— Roger W. Smith



family separation repost II (psychological damage and medical/health consequences of the trump administration’s family separation policy)



psychological and medical damage



The downloadable Word document posted here (above) focuses on the consequences of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, assessed from a psychological/medical point of view by experts on child development. Such consequences include trauma and impairment of the children’s psychological as well as neurological health and development.

It’s “a critical issue that transcends political ideology and partisanship,” in the words of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

The document posted here, compiled by me, is 280 pages long. It includes statements by experts on child development and welfare as well as press reports addressing the issue.

Since the damage to the migrant children was not transitory or of limited duration, this is an issue which should not get swept under the rug and forgotten about as supposedly being of interest only as long as it was part of the news cycle.



— Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

family separation repost I (comments and statements by politicians, public figures, and ordinary citizens)



statements, comments



See downloadable Word document above.




I realize that my post about the Trump administration’s family separation policy and its impact upon families and the children torn from their parents is not going to get many readers. It consists of several documents covering different aspects of the policy and its tragic — indeed horrible — consequences. Most of the documents are very long and detailed.


What I have done, in essence, is produce a documentary, which is well worth reading. Rather than provide an overview of family separation under the Trump administration, I have provided a daily account of the policy as it was implemented and evolved (with terrible consequences): its implementation (at first in secret) by the Trump administration; developments as opposition to family separation mounted; individual stories of the children torn from their parents; what religious leaders and human rights officials said; the flood of anti-child separation editorials from summer 2018 on. I dug this information out of sundry sources.


Here is my compilation of statements against child separation made by politicians, public figures, religious and community leaders, and ordinary citizens in various publications and venues, ranging from the halls of Congress to student newspapers and Facebook posts.



Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

James Joyce, Defoe lecture (Trieste, 1912)



Joyce, ‘Daniele Defoe’ (Italian)


Joyce, ‘Daniel Defoe’ (English)



The above downloadable Word documents contain the full texts — in the original Italian and English translation — of a lecture on Daniel Defoe that James Joyce delivered at the Univerità Populare, Trieste, Italy in 1912.

A bilingual edition of this lecture is virtually unobtainable — in print or on line. (The Defoe lecture, which was accompanied by one Joyce gave on William Blake, was presumed to be lost or unavailable for a long time.)  I managed to obtain separate texts and have transcribed the entire lecture for posting here.

Defoe and his works have long been an interest of mine, and my appreciation as well as interest in him continues to grow.



Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

James Joyce on Daniel Defoe’s “A Journal of the Plague Year”



The black plague devastated the City of London during the earlier years of the reign of Charles II. The toll of victims cannot be established with any certainty, but it probably exceeded a hundred and fifty thousand. Of this horrible slaughter Defoe [in his A Journal of the Plague Year] provides an account which is all the more terrifying for its sobriety and gloominess. The doors of the infected households were marked with a red cross over which was written: Lord, have mercy on us! Grass was growing in the streets. A dismal, putrid silence overhung the devastated city like a pall. Funeral wagons passed through the streets by night, driven by veiled carters who kept their mouths covered with disinfected cloths. A crier walked before them ringing a bell intermittently and calling out into the night, Bring out your dead! Behind the church in Aldgate an enormous pit was dug. Here the drivers unloaded their carts and threw merciful lime over the blackened corpses. The desperate and the criminal revelled day and night in the taverns. The mortally ill ran to throw themselves in with the dead. Pregnant women cried for help. Large smoky fires were forever burning on the street corners and in the squares. Religious insanity reached its peak. A madman with a brazier of burning coals on his head used to walk stark naked through the streets shouting that he was a prophet and repeating by way of an antiphony: 0 the great and dreadful God!



— James Joyce, “Daniel Defoe” (lecture delivered at the Univerità Populare, Trieste, 1912)


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

new post: “Sorokin on human emotions in a time of plague”


Please see my new post on my Sorokin site (dedicated to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin:


“Sorokin on human emotions in a time of plague”



Sorokin on human emotions in a time of plague


— Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

Pergolisi,”Stabat Mater Dolorosa”






Pergolesi, “Stabat Mater Dolorosa”



the first movement from by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater



I have been seeking music that is right for this moment; that consoles and comforts, that is not too “energetic” for this time and yet that is artistically exquisite and deeply felt



posted by Roger W. Smith

    April 2020