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Month: December 2008

House of the Rising Sun

House of the Rising Sun

 Caught an archived addition of On Point today. Fascinating. A discussion of the roots of an American classic, The House of the Rising Sun. Far more to it than I had previously ever thought about. And our old friend, Alan Lomax, plays a major part in the story. It wasn’t just The Animals involved. In fact, far from it. They just made the most famous version in 1964. But so many others covered the tune and it originated, most likely, in the Kentucky hills. Though it’s possible that it goes back even further, well into the 18th century. At least part of the song.… |To be Continued “House of the Rising Sun”

Again With the Yevgeny

Again With the Yevgeny

We have a new essay on Zamyatin, and new poetry on tap as well. Robert Mueller and Tony Jones return with more lyrical and creative writing.

 

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Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman, in Casablanca.
Paul Henreid and Ingrid Bergman, in Casablanca.

 

My own writing and reading has slowed a bit as we move to the end of 2008. The holidays have seen me sinking into movies primarily. Nothing of stunning note, though I did enjoy watching the classic, Casablanca, again. My guess is, however, that my own thoughts would not add anything new to the libraries of critical assessments regarding that great story of Rick and Ilsa and the madness in Morocco.… |To be Continued “Again With the Yevgeny”

Blind Spot: Two Poems by Tony Jones

Blind Spot: Two Poems by Tony Jones


Blind Spot


The scam: the scene in Punch Drunk Love
where the heroine is bleeding and
Adam Sandler takes a tire iron to
the toughs that just wrecked his
car and his life.

What I find disturbing is the concept that
inevitably someone with issues like Sandler’s
must of necessity find true love. I am the age
of his character with neurological issues
of my own, and I haven’t seen its ananke.
A sweet film, but false advertising.

2.
Will the comet shearing a rut through
the heart of the sky, so beautiful
and seeming benificent now on the horizon,
destroy us or is that law of physics
going to be suspended as well?… |To be Continued “Blind Spot: Two Poems by Tony Jones”

Robert Mueller: In the Shadow of Yevgeny

Robert Mueller: In the Shadow of Yevgeny

Scene by Scene


There is this furnace of the pounding,
and then there is this and more
and delicately the surrounding
of white flakes.
There is a brush-up in the waiting
where the birds paly greyed
in slanting pike charge, and lately
the crinkles clasp.
And then there is more, much more
than this, like heaps by the forest
meant to be lumbered o’er, hungered
as if a straight.
And as if the likelihoods of streams
relenting this, that and everywhere,
there is snow and its channels, its lockets,
its tricks and its light.
There is this measurement a-galing
of whole world and its wrongs
and right, swollen in the swales of snow
their very burden
tight and soundly bound, safely
and copiously unfoiled in polters
and in touchturns, the spilled
bathing bright cuff.… |To be Continued “Robert Mueller: In the Shadow of Yevgeny”

Robert Mueller: Zamyatin's Garden

Robert Mueller: Zamyatin's Garden

by Robert Mueller

 

Reading Evgeny Zamyatin’s A Godforsaken Hole (Na kulichkakh, 1914), what is the novel like?

First of all, it is very funny. And familiar. And yet the strange thing is that those other novels and texts that it can remind you of would seem to come after; and it would not be any particular writer or book, but merely the feeling of its being so familiar.

What is funny about this book?  Here we feel in Walker Foard’s translation (Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1988) the full effect of its capricious humor.  The magic of caprice does in fact lead to something different, some indication of Zamyatin’s genius and personality. … |To be Continued “Robert Mueller: Zamyatin's Garden”

The Genuine Article

The Genuine Article

Autumn Woods, by Albert Bierstadt. 1886
Autumn Woods, by Albert Bierstadt. 1886

 Reading a very interesting collection of essays, The Genuine Article, by Edmund S. Morgan. It’s an historical look at early American life, taken primarily from his articles for the New York Review of Books.

Lots of food for thought. He tells us (indirectly) that historians of that early period have spent most of their time with New England, not because of bias, but because of available records. We are blessed with a huge amount and variety of journals, letters, public records, and assorted written indications of life for the early settlers in the north, but very little for those in Virginia and south of that colony.… |To be Continued “The Genuine Article”

Library Cards, by Sean Howard

Library Cards, by Sean Howard


(taken from cape breton university)


i. the technique of oil painting

colors mixing
in the square. straw-

board fields. the buckram
coat. saucepan; stirring

sand to sun. corner-
ed: students pain-

ting…

***

the canvas
leaves. distant verid-

ian. the ochre stage. the
touched sky. (picasso: blue

tumblers.) the
wind, flak-

ing…

ii. testing: its place in education today

marks-
ism. learning

to score. strange fruit; pre-
pared minds. (the Ameri-

cannery…) waste pro-
ducts; fresh out of

school?… |To be Continued “Library Cards, by Sean Howard”

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