I recycled my tattered copy of Atala but found in it these yellowed notes, that I will transcribe and decipher later. I see that I have always been interested in the same things.
Atala: le récit.
1. LES CHASSEURS. Chactas and his father are allied with Spaniards against Muscogles (Indians). Chactas is a prisoner of war, saved by the Spaniard López; he leaves to return to his own people but is caught and condemned again by the Muscolges. Here he meets Atala who has cnverted to christianity. She comes to talk to him every night as they march toward where he will be burned.
Atala tries to release Chactas; he wants her to go (with him? — I have to check on this) but she cannot because she is Christian. She has untied him from a tree, and they take a walk and cry. He feels lost in love, and she wants him to flee.
The name Atala means daughter of the palm-tree country.
Autrefois there was a vast empire in “septentrional” America; Louisiana was the new Eden; nature was powerful and wild (and is described at length). Chactas is of the Natchez people and he has “acheté la vertu par línfortune.” He has been taken as a galley-slave to Marseille and presented to Louis XIV; he has seen plays by Racine, and more. Now he is home, but he is blind. He loves France and wants to help the French, so he is happy to receive René, the civilized man who wants to become Indian.
They go hunting. René asks Chactas to tell his story; his story is this book.
I have to talk to a TIAA financial consultant and you can do it weekdays in the evening, and on Saturday. I changed back to the aggressive formula, after years (at their urging) on the “moderately aggressive” formula. I would have spent my entire life on the very aggressive formula if they had not always told me it was unwise.
I always said I would not retire until I was 80 and it would be wisest not to, but given what I am seeing my father go through at 93 I am wondering whether I might think about 75 — although I’ve got an 80 year old colleague who is fine.
I don’t get social security and I am afraid of running out of money in my nineties. Should I set up an annuity? I will soon have about $1M in all. But I have debts as well, and that with no pension or much real estate equity is not a lot of money if you expect a long old age, as I do.
I don’t think I live in the right place to be old. That would be the reason to retire sooner; if I am to move, I must do it when I am still young enough to create current connections and networks in the place.
I used to believe I would inherit more than I will. I thought I would buy an apartment in a place that was better to be old in, or any age in, and visit it when classes weren’t in. So I would live in two places and transition easily when I was truly old and really did retire. I don’t think I will be able to do this.
What will you do — especially if you only live where you live because you work there, and if it is not where you want to be old?
I want to make this. And I need to buy farm eggs this weekend.
Here is more for my article on the language of neoliberalism: for sports teams, one no longer says fans but “fan base.” The marketing department has taken over, and the “fan base” isn’t the fans but the media- and marketing catchment area.
The only clothes I want are a raincoat with a hood, and waterproof boots from Blondo. I want to buy them in person.
Things I need involve the optician, and I have vision insurance now. I have to save for the arborist, the dentist and work on my roof.
I intend to buy the right lamp and finally the right height desk; I really need a home office setup.
I would like to tile the floor in the sunroom. There are many other improvements I would like to make to the house, but I think the floor should come first because I know who I want to do it.
“I think you should sell that [your] house and get out of that town.”
“You cannot know when you will have to leave your [tenured] job. You may not get to be the one who chooses that.”
“You cannot know that you will live to be old. Even if all the members of your family you resemble live to be old, you should not think you need to plan for it, because you could be hit by a bus.”
“If you are considering the possibility of assisted suicide or Dutch-style euthanasia when you are really old, you had better think twice: you are better off standing in front of a bus or shooting yourself.”
This is all so negative, and so patronizing.