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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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The Letter

The Letter

Response to a Letter Recently Received Fiction by Donal Mahoney   Dear Margaret, Your life as explained in your letter recently received is very difficult to read. It’s been 40 years since we last saw each other or talked. Most of your problems I knew nothing about. Bits and pieces I somehow became aware of over the years. One of your brothers or sisters may have mentioned something they had heard at Christmas or on Father’s Day, but they were…

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Purity

Purity

I’m about 300 pages into Franzen’s new novel, Purity, and it’s truly hit its stride. It started out a little slowly for me, and I think he did too much telling, rather than showing, but readerly patience has paid off. At this point, and especially after his brilliant, almost ecstatic description of Pip’s sojourn in Bolivia, it’s more than clear that Franzen can build a compelling case for his world, its multiplicity of emotions, motives, betrayals and jealousies, and especially…

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Foundations

Foundations

We have new poetry, fiction and a screenplay this month at Spinozablue. Donal Mahoney brings us the first two, while Charles Tarlton brings us the last. *     *     * Speaking of film, Martin Scorcese pens a wonderful essay in the latest New York Review of Books, entitled The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema.” A short excerpt: “Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A Space Odyssey. Narrative, abstraction, speed, movement, stillness, life, death—they’re all…

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Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville

Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville

Patsy Foley Was Roly-Poly in 1947   It may have been the devil himself who prompted the kids in my schoolyard back in 1947 to chant “Patsy Foley’s roly-poly from eating too much ravioli.” At first, no one could remember who started the chant. Patsy, a sweet and ample child, was in the third grade. As happenstance would have it, I was in that same third grade, infamous already as the only boy wearing spectacles in our class. After I…

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The Artist’s Choice

The Artist’s Choice

  For July, we have new flash fiction from Rebecca Lee, and new poetry from Joseph Robert. *     *     * Having finished And the Show Went On, by Alan Riding, I was struck by several things. First of all, the obvious. When your nation is overrun by a foreign power, and you’ve lost control of your own country, do you continue to try to publish your work, paint your paintings, make movies, put on plays, give concerts, etc. etc.? Or…

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Summer’s Eve

Summer’s Eve

June brings us poetry by Neil Ellman and a short story by Donal Mahoney. Summer is around the corner. Will there be dancing in the streets?   *     *     *     *     * Reading a fascinating book about Occupied Paris. Alan Riding’s And the Show Went On. About 110 pages into it. He tells the story of heroism and collaboration in France, the Resistance, the complicit Vichy government, the attempt to flee the horrors of the Third Reich. For me, World…

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Donal Mahoney: Paddy Murphy’s Wake

Donal Mahoney: Paddy Murphy’s Wake

Paddy Murphy’s Wake   The priest had been there earlier and the rosary was said and relatives and friends in single file were offering condolences. “Sorry for your troubles,” one by one they said, bending over Maggie Murphy, the widow silent in her rocker, a foot or so from Paddy, resplendent in his casket, the two of them much closer now than they had ever been. A silent guest of honor, Paddy now had nothing more to say, waked in…

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