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Tag: Literature

The Sibyl, Bound, by S.R. Brown

The Sibyl, Bound, by S.R. Brown

THE SIBYL (Lagerkvist, P. The Sibyl. Translated by Walford, N. Vol. V-240. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1958) I – P 1 (pinioned within the (ancient (sibyl (god’s (her son’s unchanging (smile)) touched)) rocks) heights) Sun: II – P 3-5 gazes ((below, (maelstrom (of rocks. (serene (white (the bridal)): temple)) above) the city) son). III – P 7-10 Threading the path (mirrored, mazed,( (the sibylline focus) raveling unfocused intent,) reflecting an intricate silence) uncreating prophecy: IV – P 10-14 thorn…

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New poetry, paintings, Coda, and Camus

New poetry, paintings, Coda, and Camus

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry by John Grey, Nanette Avery, and D.R. James. Rereading some good books about Camus and his times, which strike me as highly relevant again. Robert Zaretsky’s Elements of a Life, and Alice Kaplan’s Looking for the Stranger, with more on my To Be Read shelf, including The Plague. His refusal to follow the prevailing winds, his courage under direct and indirect fire, his impassioned moral compass — we could use all of that right now. Perhaps it…

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New Year Paintings and Poetry

New Year Paintings and Poetry

So, another year, another variant, and we trudge on across the tundra. Courage, creativity, and, yes, peace, love, and understanding are needed now more than . . . Well, they’re needed. In that spirit of hopeful trudging, Spinozablue offers new literature, literary criticism, and home-brewed paintings. Robert Mueller brings us his unique take on Petrarch, and David Groulx gets obliquely iambic. It looks like we’re off to a solid start. I had a stretch there with at least two kinds…

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Lauren Groff’s wondrous Matrix

Lauren Groff’s wondrous Matrix

Mother, womb, mater, matrix. An environment for growing, developing, thriving. A special place, an original story, a lasting vision in which evolution is still possible, even likely. In this case, an abbey in medieval England, or an abbess in that ancient home, or the mind that creates the character with surreal visions of new worlds. Lauren Groff’s Matrix is all these things and more. Her heroine, Marie de France, was real, but we know little about her beyond her poetry…

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Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor

Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor

Aphasia. The Antarctic. The mystery of speech and the mind and the white noise between us, and how we recover from trauma, and how we never do. The hit and miss essence of working together to recover, or not. The small family dramas, the miscommunications between those with and without aphasia. The white noise and shattered ice thousands of miles away that never leaves us. Sudden storms. Unbridgeable distances. The worst possible moment for things to go terribly wrong, and…

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New Poetry and Recent Reads

New Poetry and Recent Reads

Spinozablue welcomes new poetry from John Grey and Alessio Zanelli.   Michael Gorra’s The Saddest Words (2021) is an intellectual griffin of sorts: a serious literary biography, a thoroughly researched history of an era, and a thought-provoking, fearless, and moral accounting of our past. Departing from most biographies of Faulkner, Gorra focuses primarily on how the Civil War, slavery, and its aftermath influenced his major novels and best short stories. In close readings of his work and life, he demonstrates…

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The Passenger, by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz

The Passenger, by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz

The Passenger is a prophecy come true. It’s that rare novel that speaks of its time (1938), to its time (Germany, under the Nazis), and a host of possible futures. It’s a novelistic expression of Rilke’s You must change your life, laced with Kafkaesque anxiety and rational paranoia, with a Hamlet of sorts at the helm. The author, Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, was all of 23 when he wrote it, and just 27 when he died. Written in the wake of…

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Happy Bloomsday 2021!

Happy Bloomsday 2021!

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when we celebrate James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, and Leopold Bloom’s long day’s journey home to Molly Bloom. An excellent source for the above, from the James Joyce Center: here Kate Bush based the title tract of The Sensual World (1989) on Molly Bloom’s “Yes” soliloquy. The video adds dance to this. Kate as Molly, as herself, as every woman, as every human “touched” by the luminous, the unrepressed, the truly free. Watch this…

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Richard Wright: Prometheus in Hell

Richard Wright: Prometheus in Hell

A “lost novel” rises from the ashes, after an inexplicable delay of nearly 80 years. Irony rises too from the American underbelly, given the subject matter and historical context. Blues, Jazz, and Surrealism combine in ways we haven’t seen before. Throw in Crime Noir and we get the Quad. Brutal cops meet Invisible Man by way of “LA Confidential.” Born already guilty, and on permanent trial in the eyes of the dominant class, an innocent man meets Kafka’s nightmare, sees…

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Maxwell’s Demon and More New Poetry

Maxwell’s Demon and More New Poetry

We’ve added three new poems by Robert Mueller this month. Please feel free to leave comments on the Contact Us page. I’m almost finished reading a good novel by Steven Hall, Maxwell’s Demon (2021). Postmodern, and very Meta. Some fun facts about Entropy, angels, oxen, bees, Jewish gods and mysticism, and the Apocrypha along the way, which Hall integrates well throughout the narrative. I can hear echoes from Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, and Flann O’Brien’s…

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