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Author: Spinozablue

Wallace Stevens and the Mandolins of Spring

Wallace Stevens and the Mandolins of Spring

Rod Stewart’s Mandolin Wind   So, I’m up in the mountains again, and I’m reading Wallace Stevens — reading about him, reading his poems. I take music with me, listen to it before and after the readings. It’s very windy on the top of the mountain. Actually, the winds are ferocious at times. Merciless. And because I heard the Rod Stewart song in the car before I went to my place, my perfect spot, near the beautiful jagged rocks and…

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Donal Mahoney: New Short Fiction

Donal Mahoney: New Short Fiction

Doing Laundry on a Farm in the Fifties   Grandma Gretchen’s in her rocker and she has something to say. She tells a visitor, a young man from the city, if he plans to write a book about life on a farm in the Fifties, he likely has a lot to learn. She knows about that life because she was there. She says he needs to know about the little things as well as the big things if the book…

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MUNA: Lay Down Your Weapon

MUNA: Lay Down Your Weapon

The young are lucky in so many ways. They haven’t seen too many expressions of youth. They haven’t passed through the labyrinth yet, looked back on their younger years, looked back on it again and again. If they try — better yet, if they don’t — they can be who they are, who they really are inside, without being crushed by the world and the idea that it’s all be done before. It has. Kinda. But not really. It hasn’t…

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More From the Grand Hotel Abyss

More From the Grand Hotel Abyss

Some quick comments upon further reading . . . The author brings in Kafka’s own battle with his father, as I thought he would, discussing both his famous letter to his father and his short story, The Judgment. And he makes the connection work well between this and the family dramas of the rest of the Frankfurt school. But he adds a fascinating twist. Jeffries talks about Eric Fromm’s interest in Bachofen: “As an adult, Fromm became steeped in the…

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Grand Hotel Abyss: by Stuart Jeffries

Grand Hotel Abyss: by Stuart Jeffries

Just beginning this already fascinating group biography of the Frankfurt School. The author, Stuart Jeffries, is sketching out the foundation for this group portrait, primarily through a concentration on one generation’s battle with the previous generation — mostly set in Berlin. I imagine that further reading will see this expand greatly, and that he won’t remain there, in “anxiety of influence” territory. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it would be reductive to base the amazing work of…

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Classic Contrapuntal: Panic at the Disco

Classic Contrapuntal: Panic at the Disco

Some songs follow a course that makes sense, mathematically. As if someone raises a hand, lowers it, raises it higher again, and forms a pattern you can count on, anticipicate. You basically can hear the next movement in your head before it happens, but that’s not a bad thing, or a boring thing, if the music can match emotion with the math. Panic at the Disco, a Vegas band I had not bumped into until this year, does that with…

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Rick Garni: New Poems

Rick Garni: New Poems

  THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE ORCHESTRA, PT. 1   The bassoon is almost as red as it is brown. It is a complicated color that was invented by the orchestra way back when. It lives life richly. It can be a dying bear when it sings, a smiling hippo when it is at rest. It is not the same. It is different. Anything that is different, is easy to make fun of. Go on, make fun of it. It’s…

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Jaded Poems

Jaded Poems

Jaded Aesthetic Hand-Wringing too Soon     The difference between Nature and nature I think is like Woods and woods Rivers and rivers Rocks and rocks It’s like the sun shining down on the green      And making it more green not less Or the river looking back at you in sorrow or joy As if it’s given up and the day has not Begun yet Or it seems proud of its depth and its clarity Of thought and…

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