Harvard Law Record — Profile

Harvard Law Record -- Profile

The Harvard Law Record recently did a profile piece on me, “From Law School to Novelist and Art Critic.”

Alexander Boldizar ’99 became recognized by Slovakia’s president as the “first Slovak citizen to graduate from Harvard Law School” when, as he puts it, “small country nepotism” got him back the citizenship he’d abandoned in 1989 (he thought it would be unsafe to keep it during a visit to the crumbling Berlin Wall). Since then, he has managed an art gallery in Bali, established a flourishing career in editing and freelance writing, and has continued to seek publication of his magnum opus, The Ugly, a satirical novel about a dispossessed Siberian tribe that sends one of its members, Muzhduk, to learn the ways of lawyers from HLS, a plotline which helps express Boldizar’s frustrations with law and legal reasoning. Below, Boldizar writes on his path from the law to novelist and art critic, followed by an excerpt from The Ugly.

Read more on their site.

My Forgotten Memory Training

I had a great idea for today’s piece, but I forgot it. That annoyed me, because over the course of the last twenty years I’ve read a dozen memory books, from one of the earliest by the Yoda of memory training, Harry Lorayne — I forget its name, but it was from 1986 — to a bunch of recent ones for which I don’t even remember the authors’ names.  I do remember where the books are…in a thousand-pound stack of other books in storage in my ex-wife’s family law firm in Tennessee. Which doesn’t help. Online would help, since I could look it up anywhere, anytime. Then I remembered I have a website. Much better storage than the basement of a southern law firm that I’ll never see again. So here goes, my collected reservoir of forgotten memory aids.

Continue reading My Forgotten Memory Training

Bucket o’ Quotes

I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.
–Dorothy Parker

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Bucket of Venary

Collective Nouns

Reading through the inconsistent collective-noun entries in Wikipedia and Wiktionary I was dismayed that we use the same venery term for a group of sharks when they’re at 30 meters as we do when they’re at 18 or even at the surface.

Also, the English language — and every other language — is desperately lacking palindrome-like collectives that swing both ways. For example, we should have “a shiver of sharks” if you swim with sharks at 30 meters, but “a shark of shivers” if you are wracked by a shivering spell while descending from the frenzy of sharks at the surface to the shiver of sharks at 30 meters.

At any rate, here’s my in-progress compiled collection of collectives. Blame them on PADI.

* actors: A troupe of actors
* actors: A cast of actors
* actors: A company of actors
* actors: A pride of actors
* admirals: A bridge of admirals
* academics: A faculty of academics
* alcoholics: A bevy of alcoholics
* alpacas: An inflation of alpacas
* angels: A flight of angels
* angels: A host of angels
* angels: A chorus of angels ?
* angels: A choir of angels
* ants: A colony of ants (standard)
* ants: A bike of ants ?
* ants: A nest of ants
* ants: An army of ants
* antelope: A herd of antelope
* apes: A shrewdness of apes + ?
* apes: A troop of apes (standard).
* asses: A herd of asses (standard)
* asses: A pace of asses ?
* authors: A chapter of authors

Continue reading Bucket of Venary

The Bucket

Collective Nouns

A collection of collectives, an extravagance of venary terms, ranging from an abomination of clergy to a stench of zombies, via an ex cathedra of professors emeriti, a singularity of boar, and a neverthriving of jugglers, all brought about by swimming amongst a shiver of sharks.

Favourite quotes

From Groucho Marx to the US Marine Corps Manual, some people have said some things. Yup.