Recent Additions & Musings . . .

Spinozablue welcomes the fine Haiku of Virginie Colline, and the poetic works of Dan Corjescu and Neil Ellmann.


The Cemetery of Humility

As long as we are alive, nothing is complete. We define this or that aspect of art, music, religion, life itself, and we kill it. In some way, small to great. Yes, poetry can lift art; art poetry. But neither can define or limit or stifle the other. There is always more. Much more. And the best critics know this. The most attentive, aware, tuned-in admirers of all the arts know this.

Nothing is written in stone, literally and metaphorically.…


I am not a reader of graphic novels and know next to nothing about them. But I heard good things about this movie version of one such series (Persepolis and Persepolis2, by Marjane Satrapi) and thought it would be worth a look. More than a pleasant surprise, the film actually knocked me out.

Persepolis movie trailor

It’s the largely autobiographical story of Marjane Satrapi, her time in Iran before and after the revolution of 1979, her family, and her flight to France. I did not think that a cartoon would be moving in this way, nor as thought provoking.…

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

 It’s not often that a great writer’s life is more interesting in some ways than his books. But that’s the case with Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Born on the island of Java in 1925, Toer lived through several revolutions and national rebellions, participated in a few himself, and was imprisoned both by the Dutch colonial government and then later by the Suharto regime.

While in jail during his first imprisonment in 1947-49, he wrote his first novel, The Fugitive. During his second imprisonment, this time by the Suharto regime in 1965, he accomplished something even more amazing. Denied pen and paper, he managed to construct a tetralogy, recite it to his fellow prisoners, and eventually get it down on paper and published after his release in 1979.…

Timeless Beauty, Changing Times

Frederic Edwin Church’s Twilight in the Wilderness. 1860. Cleveland Museum of Art.

There are things that should be protected and preserved. Nature. Lakes, rivers, oceans, mountain tops, valleys, blue skies. Protect and defend, preserve. Things that evolve in ways that preserve their timeless beauty, even in the midst of natural, organic change. Things to build foundations upon. Colors, shapes, organic, natural drama. We rest our minds there, within the natural change, seeking the core we can never find, joyfully.

These are things to conserve. But ideologies? Systems? Political schools, artistic schools? If these things do not grow, expand their base, remain open to natural and organic change–and they almost never, ever do–they die inside and they kill the souls of others.…

The Philosophy of Expectations

Harold Bloom talks about the importance of the reading life in the formation of character. For him, this is done through a lifetime of internal dialogue with oneself, with the characters, ideas, situations and conflicts in novels, plays, poems, short stories and so on. This lifetime of dialogue builds character, broadens horizons, exercises the mind, expands it. It is a key in the formation of our ability to listen to ourselves, listening to others, analyzing that data, looping it back into the ongoing conversation of a lifetime. For him, it is not the slant of the work that does this. It’s the quality.…

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