I’m about 50 pages into a new history of WWI. New for me, at least. It came out last year, and is by Peter Englund, a Swedish historian and journalist.
So far, what is most striking is the quality of the writing, its vividness and power, and not just the author’s. He’s selected twenty people from several different countries to tell the story of the Great War, in their own words, from their own point of view, as they lived it day to day.
In a sense, it’s like a good novel, shaped into a symphony of voices, democratic, diverse. In another, it’s like a cubist painting, simultaneous, flaunting its omnihood. . . . Read more. “The First World War”
For December, welcome aboard new poetry, fiction and art from Uzodinma Okehi, Maurice Devitt, Eric Muller, and Dr. Ernest Williamson III.
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So, I was thinking. Or the Not-I was positing. Or the far-be-it-from-me was asking . . . just who are we trying to reach when we make art? Who are we avoiding? Is it cut and dried, black and white and obviously obvious? Or is it all just a complex web of interdependent actors caught up in a systemic communication loop not of our own making? Do we own the dialogue at some point, or never? Or do we just rent this space? . . . Read more. “Conversations With the No-Self”
Maybe I’d told Teena so many times that I convinced myself! Over and over on the phone, or as we strolled the East Village, I depicted myself to her as a kind of great civil rights hero. She could laugh, but the way I chose to combat the evils of the world was by being just sincere and deliberate about everything I did. Maybe the clarity of this was easy to overlook, given that I spent most of my time sleeping, and of course it was a ploy to get her into the sack. On the other hand, I thought: what if, what kind of world could it really be if in fact the ideal was to live to relax? . . . Read more. “Uzodinma Okehi: Buck Rogers Ring Tone”
Her ring finger moves back and forth along the lip of the Burgundy wine glass. Slowly. Her tongue touches her chapped upper lip, mirroring the movement. She sits in a leather wingback armchair, covered with three alpaca wool blankets that have lost their color. Her eyes peer through horn-rimmed glasses and are fixed on a crack in the velvet curtain. A slit of light steals through. Motes of dust swim in and out of the guillotine shaft that cuts across the solid mahogany table with upturned spindle legs. But no banquets have entertained any guests here for years. The stone fireplace, library and baby grand are in darkness.
My unconscious mind frequently transfers experiences or snippets of information or images to my conscious mind and I feed off of that and create art. I work best when I have extended periods of time to work on my paintings, usually during the weekends.
Politics, nature, good and bad experiences, and the possibilities of creating something truly novel all inspire me. The works of Picasso and Dali still inspire me today and my creative efforts inspire me as well.