Percy Shelley and the Delimitation of the Gothic        
November 2015

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          Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs, #9)        
Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs, #9)
author: Jacqueline Winspear
name: Sara
average rating: 3.99
book published: 2012
rating: 4
read at: 2016/02/20
date added: 2016/02/20
shelves: historical-fiction
review:


          I've got the music in me...        
Oh, wow... hard to tell you all about Saturday, except that it was the most magical experience.

I still will not profess to being much of a singer, have no idea whether I stayed on pitch or not, but I was able to follow all of the instructions from our Choir Director, Vicki King, even when she mucked up at one stage and didn't give us our cue for a verse of a song... a minor glitch that only the choir and soloist noticed.

Was on the verge of tears several times, but managed to keep it together... though all of the soloists coming back onstage to reprise My Island Home at the end had me blinking rapidly and squeezing Miss La De Da's hand tightly.

I struggled a little with my back injury and sore feet from standing up, but the pain disappeared the minute we stood on stage, and started to sing... and then returned with a vengeance once I got off stage... hence this reasonably short blog post and still being a bit tardy in getting around to catch up with everyone else's blogs.

Am home for a couple of days, mostly sleeping and reading and doing some applique while watching TV, with the heatpack applied. OH - and attempting to dye my hair back to the chocolate brown colour that I was 12 months ago has left me an interesting shade of maroon/brown/red! I like it - it matched my t-shirt!

If you want to listen to some of the amazing soloists and musicians who played with us on Saturday, check these out - most have music you can listen to online.

Akasa - made up of Vicki King, Diana Clark, Heidi Bradburn, Andrea Watson - sang Walking Song and Vicki sang lead on Walk with Me with the choir... that's one of my blubber songs!
Kavisha Mazzella - I am such a fan of this woman and her music now... go down to the bottom of the page and listen to a track from her album... hope to see her at Darebin Music Feast
Diana Clark - sang Breathe into Time, and also sang two songs with the choir.
Doug de Vries - brilliant guitarist... played Elegy for Rita
Tali White - wrote a wonderful song called "Wave Building" especially for the choir, as he said, think mix between rock opera and bollywood and you'd have a bit of a feel for it... he is a bit of a whirling dervish... Tali is involved with The Guild League and The Lucksmiths
Valanga Khoza - sang Thula Mama with the choir - another emotional song... gorgeous, gorgeous voice
Paulo Almeida from the Dili Allstars - sang with the choir on O Hele Le
Lou Bennett - oh, wow... she was amazing... sang Lingmarra with us at the start of the concert and then came back to do the most emotional version of My Island Home with us... I'm hoping to see her during the Darebin Music Feast
Liz Frencham - played Double Bass and taught the crowd and the choir a lovely song that we sang along with
Ron Murray - wowed us with his didgeridoo... both in the opening song, Lingmarra and later in the encore of My Island Home

There were others, including a performance by The West Papuan Culture Group that was very moving... and the wonderful Dani Fry belting out a great gospel track with us.

Now, all I need to do is go chasing up albums for all these wonderful people, and prepare for concert two on Friday night... still plenty of tickets available for any Melbourne readers... not so many of us singing this time ... only about 160! Miss La De Da and I have been having a quiet nightmare about her and I being the only Alto 1's in attendance...

Ain't got no troubles in my life, no foolish dreams to make me cry, I'm never frightened or worried, I know I'll always get by... I've got the music in me, I've got the music in me....


Blogindipity strikes again! Found this quiz at Chicken-Scratch... I can live with this one!


You are Schroeder!
Take this quiz!




          Cseresznyelégy ellen sárgalap csapda        
A sárgalapok javában fogják a cseresznyelegyet. A zöldborsó nagyságú gyümölcsöket már károsíthatja. Javaslom, hogy Önök is helyezzenek ki ragacsos sárgalapokat a lombkorona déli oldalára és a felső szintjére.
          Giving & Getting: Poetry Book Recommendations, Part 1        
During this season of giving consider giving poetry books purchased from local book sellers or directly from the presses who published them. 2013 was a banner year for poetry. Here are just a few of my favorite new releases: 



The New York Times recently featured Kasey Jued's poem "To Swim" on their ArtsBeat page, which is how I first found out about Kasey's work, along with her amazing new book, Keeperwinner of the 2012 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize from University of Pittsburgh Press. Kasey's work appears to be autobiographical, that is, it shares images/memories from the speaker's childhood, but her work is also very much NOT about her own personal "abouts" - it's about the abouts of owls, dogs, bees, rain, and blackberries, which under her spell become somehow holy, become something equal to God. Two of my favorite poems in the book, "Race Track, Hialeah, FL" and "Skin," are about racehorses and sharks, respectively. I love how, in "Race Track, Hialeah, FL," we are given the metaphor of the track's green center "like a place on paper / where, years later, I'd set / my compass tip, careful / to make my circles concentric, / meaning they shared a heart." WOW! I also love, in "Skin," this conversation going on between two kids: "My friend / said even the skin of a shark / could cut you: under its silver / a million tiny blades." These are poems exquisitely calm and full of reverence for the natural world, brimming with creatures of the wild worth paying attention to. Puns be damned: this book is a definite keeper.





Stag's Leap: I was told it would be a good read, but I did not know it would be this good. In a long career with many, many excellent poems/accolades to her credit, Olds has written some of her best poems in this volume cataloging the unanticipated breakup from her husband of thirty years. The voice of these poems is by turns elegiac and angry, victorious and downtroddingly wrecked. There isn't a weak poem in the book, but the ones that stand out demand to be read again and again, like the one ("Tiny Siren") where she finds the photo (a year before he tells her he's leaving her) of her husband's future new wife in the Whirlpool, and the one ("Poem of Thanks") where she considers "the touch of the long view" as opposed to the one of someone who is "passing through," lovingly listing the many places where they "did it": "Colleague of sand / by moonlight -- and by the beach noonlight, once, / and of straw, salt bale in a barn, and mulch / inside a garden, between the rows ..." If you want a sneak preview, I highly urge you to listen to Olds read from Stag's Leap plus a few of her earlier books, here.


At long last Seattle poet Rebecca Hoogs has a full-length collection of poetry, Self-Storage! Her poems are smart, sharp,  and sassy, with plenty of pleasing ear candy, as in (from "L'Oeuf"): "Love is a brunch and a racket. / I know it means nothing, / barely worth the oofing / before the offing, but still / I load up my basket / and watch them hatch: / chicklets of zip...".  Who wouldn't want a book with a love song to the word suck and  an accentual syllabic poem in the voice of Ariadne? Give this to someone who feels refreshed by poems that champion sound and rhyme and eschew all order of earnestness in the confessional mode.


In Bob Hicok's Elegy Owed the speaker, as always, seems to be whispering into the reader's ear at a crowded party, sharing the most intimate and sorta creepy details of his past  ("He was made to touch a corpse as a child" - from "Coming to life"), while also uttering the most utterly quirky and unexpected lines in all of contemporary poetry: "If lightning/ loved me, it would be sewn / with tongues, it would open / my mind to the sky / within the sky. " See what I mean? I'd love to meet Hicok's speaker at a holiday party as I'm deciding between the caviar with Triscuit and the guac and chips. Instead of reflecting on our teaching methods and catching each other up on our various athletic endeavors, he would turn to me and say "I've gone up the fire escape / in my brain, where everything / is a mist and a slow wet kiss ... " (from the title poem), and I would love him dearly for it. 

Mary Szybist's Incarnadine won the 2013 National Book Award, and for good reason. Sample some of the poems from this gorgeous book here and here. I love her work - am smitten with it. Nuff said.
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 05-17-2017 with Yukari        
Playlist:

Eguana- We Turn Into Water - We Turn Into Water feat Chronos Lab S Cloud Sir Cond
Graham Nash James Raymond- Almost Gone - Hugs For Chelsea
Jane Siberry- Calling All Angels - When I Was A Boy
Milla- Ruby Lane - Divine Comedy
Lynn Patrick- Mysteriously Drawn - On The Wind
Beach House- Elegy To The Void - Thank Your Lucky Stars
Balligomingo- Purify - Purify Remixes
The Jesus And Mary Chain- War On Peace - Damage And Joy
The Courtneys- Silver Velvet - The Courtneys II
Juana Molina- Los Pies Helados - Halo
Glacier Face- 31 Days Oh Well - I Believe You
Mono- Ashes In The Snow - Hymn To The Immortal Wind
Cemeteries- Luna Moon Of Claiming - Barrow
Moon Duo- White Rose - Occult Architecture Vol 1
- voicebreak -
Rahim Alhaj- Letter 6 Unspoken Word Laila - Letters From Iraq Oud And String Quintet
Emel Mathlouthi- Layem - Ensen
Quetzal- Espejos Vs The Gaze - The Eternal Getdown
- voicebreak -
Prem Joshua- Bolo Hari - Buddha Caf
Eletrique Zamba- Olhos De Fogo - Vol 1
Staff Benda Bilili- Osali Mabe - Osali Mabe Single
Willie Nelson- Little House On The Hill - Gods Problem Child
- voicebreak -
Steve Kilbey Martin Kennedy- Transformation - Every Song From The Real World The Complete Collection
Tindersticks- How He Entered - The Waiting Room
Gil ScottHeron- Me And The Devil - Im New Here Bonus Track Version
Tracy Chapman- Happy - Let It Rain
Hlos- Dust - Full Circle
Enigma- Gravity Of Love - Love Sensuality Devotion The Greatest Hits
Justice- Safe And Sound - Woman


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2017-05-17
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 01-20-2016 with Yukari        
Playlist:

John Trudell- Make A Chant - Madness And The Moremes
John Trudell- ListeningHonor Song - Tribal Voice
Beach House- Elegy To The Void - Thank Your Lucky Stars
Cemeteries- Luna Moon Of Claiming - Barrow
Puscifer- Grand Canyon - Money Shot
- voicebreak -
Arcade Fire And David Bowie- Wake Up - Virtual Live
David Bowie- Lazarus - Blackstar
Godsmack- Changes - Live Inspired
Source- Forgiveness - Source EP
- voicebreak -
Editors- No Harm - In Dream
Ghostpoet- Shedding Skin feat Melanie De Biasio - Shedding Skin
New Order- Stray Dog - Music Complete
Spoon- Inside Out - They Want My Soul
- voicebreak -
Mamak Khadem- A Thousand Strings - The Road
Joi- Amar Kahani - Joi Sound System
Farao- Fragments - Till Its All Forgotten
Tongues In Trees- Move - Parallel
Tongues In Trees- Parallel - Parallel
Papadosio- Epiphany - Extras In A Movie
And So I Watch You From Afar- Heirs - Heirs
- voicebreak -
Wavves- Heavy Metal Detox - V
Givers- Mother Of Love - New Kingdom
Coke Weed- Malocchio - Mary Weaver
- voicebreak -
Silversun Pickups- Cradle Better Nature - Better Nature
Zella Day- Sweet Ophelia - Zella Day
Oberhofer- Ballroom Floor - Chronovision
Wild Child- Fools - Fools
- voicebreak -
Buckethead- Door 2 - Pikes 217


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2016-01-20
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 08-05-2014 with Wally        
Playlist:

Neil Young- Guitar Solo No 1 - Dead Man Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture
Jimi Hendrix- Earth Blues - People Hell And Angels
Temples- A Question Isnt Answered - Sun Structures
Herbie Hancock Quintet- Elegy - A Tribute To Miles
The Black Angels- Sunday Evening - Clear Lake Forest
Sly Robbie- War Zone - Underwater Dub
Dave Rawlings Machine- Monkey And The Engineer - A Friend Of A Friend
- So Much To Say - Small Faces Friends
The War On Drugs- Under The Pressure - Lost In The Dream
Clarendonians- You Wont See Me - Ska Sounds Vol 1
The Head And The Heart- Summertime - Lets Be Still
The Budos Band- River Serpentine - The Budos Band III
The Budos Band- Unbroken Unshaven - The Budos Band III
The Black Keys- Little Black Submarines - El Camino
The Plates- Boom Boom Rockers - Punky Reggae
Trampled By Turtles- Alone - Stars Satellites
CocoRosie- Lemonade - Grey Oceans
- Product Efficiency - Inner City Beat Detective Themes Spy Music And Imaginary Thrillers
Jolie Holland- On And On - Wine Dark Sea
Cody ChesnuTT- What Kind Of Cool Will We Think Of Next - Landing On A Hundred
LCD Soundsystem- Dance Yrself Clean - This Is Happening
The Kinx Tribute Band- Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks Kronology 30 Top Hits
Kings Of Leon- The Bucket - Aha Shake Heartbreak
Dick Dale- Ring Of Fire - Unknown Territory
Sonny Knight The Lakers- When Youre Gone - Im Still Here Bonus Track Version
Courtney Barnett- Anonymous Club - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
Marc Ribot- Old Man River feat Henry Grimes Chad Taylor - Live At The Village Vanguard feat Henry Grimes Chad Taylor
The Devil Makes Three- Hallelu - Im A Stranger Here
Damien Jurado- Metallic Cloud - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
Various Artists- Lee Fields The Explorers Soul Dynamite - Grazing In The Trash Vol 2
Cut Chemist- Spat - The Audiences Listening
TuneYards- Time Of Dark - Nikki Nack
Iron Wine- The Sea And The Rhythm - The Sea And The Rhythm
Broken Social Scene- Looks Just Like The Sun - You Forgot It In People
Black Lips- Dandelion Dust - Underneath The Rainbow
- Stutterbeat - Patrick Dethlefs Eye The Arrow Split EP
Esme Patterson- Never Chase A Man - Woman To Woman


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2014-08-05
          'Elegy' from The Little Organ Book        
Contributor: amateurorg, organ: Haverhill OIC
          Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and C...        
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and C...
          Ivory Tower        
Band Name: 
Ivory Tower
Section: 
Wiki

Ivory Tower is a Power Progressive Metal band from Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, formed in 1996.

Current Members: 
Sven Bge - Guitars
Bjrn Bombach - Bass
Florian Tabbert - Drums
Former Members: 
Stephan Laschetzki
Stefan Ikert - Bass
Studio Albums: 
Ivory Tower - 1998
Beyond the Stars - 2000
IT - 2006
Subjective Enemy - 2008
Similar Artists: 
Lanfear, Shadowkeep, Eldritch, Platitude, Elegy, Vanishing Point, Eyefear

          Review: Elegy by Amanda Hocking        


Elegy (Watersong, #4) 
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: 8/6/2013
Received from: Publisher for Review 

Goodreads: "Here"
Summary:

Readers won't want to miss the explosive final book in the Watersong series by New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking

Now that Gemma holds the key to breaking the siren curse, the stakes have never been higher. At last, a future with those she loves—and a romance with Alex—is close enough to touch...but not if Penn has anything to say about it. Penn is more determined than ever to have Daniel for her own and to destroy Gemma and Harper along the way, and Penn always gets what she wants. Now a final explosive battle is about to begin, and the winner will take everything Gemma holds dear



 My Thoughts:



               Elegy is an epic ending to the fantastic Watersong series. I’m sad to see the characters and their story go. Even though I’m sad to see the series go, I’m extremely happy with how it ended. I highly recommend Elegy and the rest of the Watersong series.

I loved reading about all the characters; good or bad, I enjoyed reading about each and every one of them. I have especially enjoyed reading about them in this book. Gemma was at her best in this book, through out the series there has been many times where Gemma infuriated me. She was extremely selfish and she didn't care about what the things she was doing affected other people through most of the series. In Elegy she is not like that anymore, she changed into a part version of herself, and I really enjoy that. Throughout the series Harper and Daniel have been my favorite characters to read about, and I highly enjoyed reading about their happy ending. 


The end to the Watersong series was great. I was super happy to see more of the mythology in this one. I also loved how quick and fast paced it was for a book with over 500 pages. I also loved that unlike some of the other books in this series, was action packed. But, the end was a bitty cheesy and wrap into a to perfect of a bow. I overall enjoyed how the series ended; I just wished a couple things were done differently. 


I loved Elegy as much as I have loved the other books. I’m sad to say goodbye to the characters and this highly entertaining storyline, but I’m happy it went out with a bang. Overall the end was great; just not want I was wishing for. I highly recommend Elegy and the rest of the Watersong series.
My Rating:

4.5 Stars, I loved it!
 



          Waiting On Wednesday (4): Elegy        

Waiting On Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where you spotlight upcoming books that you are waiting for.


My WoW Of The Week Is:
Elegy (Watersong, #4)
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: 8/6/2013 
Goodreads: "Here" 
Summary:                                                                       
Readers won't want to miss the explosive final book in the Watersong series by New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking

Now that Gemma holds the key to breaking the siren curse, the stakes have never been higher. At last, a future with those she loves—and a romance with Alex—is close enough to touch...but not if Penn has anything to say about it. Penn is more determined than ever to have Daniel for her own and to destroy Gemma and Harper along the way, and Penn always gets what she wants. Now a final explosive battle is about to begin, and the winner will take everything Gemma holds dear.


Why It's My WoW of The Week:

I've been eagerly waiting this one since right after I finished Tidal. I loved everything about Tidal, and it left me so pump for this one. I can't to wait to get my hands on this hopefully epic ending to the series. I also can't wait to read more of Amanda Hocking's breathe taking writing style. 


If you want to know more about how I feel about this series you can go here:
My review of Wake: "Here"
My review of Lullaby: "Here" 
My review of Tidal: "Here" 
What Are You Waiting On This Wednesday?
Leave me the link to your post in the comments.  

          Review: Tidal by Amanda Hocking        

Tidal (Watersong, #3)Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: 6/4/2013
Received from: Publisher for Review 

Goodreads: "Here"
Summary:

With Penn and Lexi determined to kill Gemma and replace her with another siren, Gemma's life is in grave danger...unless she can break the curse before it's too late. With the help of Harper and Daniel, she'll delve deep into her enemies' mythical past--and their darkest secrets. It's her only hope of saving everything she holds dear: her family, her life, and her relationship with Alex--the only guy she's ever loved.









 

My Thoughts:


Tidal packs a punch. It's everything and more I've been waiting for this series to be. The character development in this book is the best so far in the series. Like all of Amanda Hocking's book other books I have read, I loved the writing. I highly recommend this author, series, and book.

 Tidal is the best book in this series so far. There a lot of questions that we have had since the first book answered in this book. We learn more about the sirens, and also about past sirens. There flash backs in Thea's point of view, which I loved a lot. There is Penn chapters, and seeing in to her is such a great addition to this book. I loved how unpredictable this book was, and also how unpredictable Penn still is even with chapters focusing on her. The development of the storyline was superb. I loved what happened in the story. I also loved how it setup for a great ending for the series in Elegy without taking away from what was happening in Tidal.

 The character development was also superb. Gemma changed a lot in this book. She really grew up, matured, realized her mistakes and her selfishness, and she stop relying on Harper as much as she did in the previous books. With Gemma not relying on Harper as much, we really get to see more of Harper than just seeing Harper taking care of Gemma and her problems; and I really liked that. I loved that with more chapters focusing on the sirens and the flash back chapters that it showed more of the sirens characteristics and behaviors.

 Like with every book I have read by Amanda Hocking I loved the writing. I love how she writes and how she brings these creatures to life in such a realistic and believable way. She also writes third person so beautifully and enjoyable even for me someone who personally doesn't like third person. Amanda Hocking's writing style is one of my favorites, and I highly recommend her books. 

 I loved Tidal. It is my favorite book of the series so far. I loved the character development. I loved reading about the sirens past and learning more about them. I loved the writing. I highly recommend Tidal, and The Watersong Series.



My Rating:

5 hearts, I loved it! 

 




          Happy Fall! Halloween Events and Playlists        


Happy Autumn, everybody!

Once I loved all 4 seasons equally.  For the decade since I got fibromyalgia, I prefer the warmer months simply because I feel better during warmer weather. Cold weather makes my muscles seize up.  HOWEVER, I still love wrapping up in blankets with hot tea or cocoa and a good book.  I love watching the leaves changing to all the beautiful shades of green, orange, red, and yellow.  I even love pumpkin spice candles like some basic white girl. :D  I might feel better physically during the warmer months, but I still mentally and emotionally love so many things about the autumn.

This year I have decided to take part in some spooky reading events, too.

Hosted by Michelle of True Book Addict/Seasons of Reading/Castle Macabre:


 

Gothic September and Season of the Witch Events

FrightFall Readathon


R.I.P. hosted by Carl @ Stainless Steel Droppings
If you don't know, Carl includes several different options for this event (which I am TOTALLY late joining in for because it is all of September and October).  Since I am reading for Michelle's events, I am going to do the Peril the Screen option for RIP and make myself watch some creepy movies!




Right now I have been reading Dracula by Bram Stoker since Gothic September started.  I am not sure what else I am going to add on.  Dracula is pretty long.  I am reading Lamp Black, Grey Wolf by Paula Brackston, too, but it is more of a paranormal ghost/magic and Merlin re-telling than it is horror or gothic, but I do think there is a witch aspect to it. I need to read further and make sure for Michelle's October event.

For the screen challenge, I know I want to watch The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, re-watch Sleepy Hollow the Johnny Depp version, and maybe a re-watch of a couple of the films I watched last year for this challenge like Stonehearst Asylum or Lost Boys or The Awakening. I usually watch The Others around this time of year, as well.  It's my favorite movie of this type, it really is.

And as you may or may not know, my seriously terrible A.D.D. has led me to create playlists on Spotify of instrumental music to help me concentrate on reading (counterproductive it may seem, but it totally works) and now I have created a Halloween Background Music playlist to listen to whilst reading Dracula and any other books I pick up for these events.  Then I created a Halloween-ish playlist with words, too, to listen to in the car or while cleaning the house. I have not always dived into Halloween without reluctance - I was once very, embarrassingly easily scared. Last year (or maybe year before?) I slowly got back into it. Now as long as I avoid hard core gore I can handle most things. It has opened up a lot more movies, tv shows, and books for me. Huzzah!  That is always to be celebrated!

ANYway, I thought I'd share the playlists with you in case you wanted to pilfer the songs you like for your own playlists or follow it or maybe it will give you the idea to create your own on your own music platform you enjoy.  So here are the links to each and I included a sampling of songs included in case you can't see the lists because you don't have Spotify (you should totally get it, it is awesome, but I digress) because I am not sure if you can still see them or not.


Halloween Instrumental Background Music

Over 6 hours of music. Some songs include:

Music to be Murdered By by Alfred Hitchcock and Jeff Alexander
Whale & Wasp by Alice in Chains
Tubular Bells by Mary Ayers (from "The Exorcist")
Bad Things (from "True Blood")
Room 1408 by Gabriel Yared (from "1408")
Ghost Song by Max Ablitzer
Creepy Crawl by Necro
Psycho - Suite for Strings by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Night of the Vampire by The Moontrekkers
Theme from Friday the 13th
White Walkers by Ramin Djawadi (from "Game of Thrones") 
Bad Moon Rising (instrumental version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
Sympathy for the Devil (inst. version of the Rolling Stones song)
Hungry Face by Mogwai (you might recognize this as theme song from France's The Returned tv show)



Psycho Killer - Halloween-ish Playlist

3 hours of music. Some songs included:

Psycho Killer by Talking Heads
Sweet Transvestite from Rocky Horror Picture Show
Nightmare by Avenge Sevenfold
Elegy by Carina Round
If I Had a Heart by Fever Ray (you may remember this song from Vikings or The Following)
Hotel California by The Eagles
The Devil in Miss Jones by Mike Ness
Horror Hotel by The Misfits
Gods & Monsters by Lana Del Rey
The Watcher by Midnight Syndicate
Voodoo by Godsmack
Down in a Hole by Alice in Chains
Trigger Happy Jack by Poe
Black Magic by Magic Wands
Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann (Theme from Lost Boys)
Devil in Me by 22-20s
Thriller by Michael Jackson  


What are you reading this fall/autumn/Halloween?  Gothic stories?  Horror?  Psychological scary or gory scary?  Are you participating in any of the above events?  Share in the comments!!


          SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: KAIBAB ELEGY        

Millions of visitors a year come to Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the most visited national park in the western United States. However, on extremely rare days when cold air is trapped in the canyon and topped by a layer of warm air, which in combination with moisture and condensation, form the phenomenon referred to as the full cloud inversion. In what resembles something between ocean waves and fast clouds, Grand Canyon is completely obscured by fog, making the visitors feel as if they are walking on clouds.

This video was filmed as part of SKYGLOW (skyglowproject.com), an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible dark sky areas in North America. This project is being produced in collaboration with International Dark-Sky Association (darksky.org), a non-profit fighting for the preservation of night skies around the globe.

The film was shot on Canon 5DSR & 5DIII cameras & lenses sponsored by Canon USA, aided by Alpine Labs' Michron & Pulse, powered by Paul C. Buff Vagabond Mini. LRTimelapse was used to process some of the shots.

Original video premiered on BBC Earth: bbc.com/earth/story/20170502-on-rare-occasions-the-grand-canyon-fills-with-thick-cloud

High resolution stills can be found here: dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/24210546/JPEG/KAIBAB%20ELEGY%20-%20HARUN%20MEHMEDINOVIC%20-%20SKYGLOWPROJECT.zip

Credits:
Producer/Editor/Shooter: Harun Mehmedinovic, Music: Pete Davis & James Banbury

Special Thanks:
Gavin Heffernan and Aida Bogunic, Semezdin & Sanja Mehmedinovic, Matt Walker & Pierangelo Pirak, Aaron McNally & Canon USA, Kevin Noble & Paul C. Buff Inc., Greg Horvath & Alpine Labs, International Dark-Sky Association, Northern Arizona University, State of Arizona & National Park Service

Locations:
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Follow/Contact:
Facebook facebook.com/skyglowproject
Instagram: instagram.com/skyglowproject
Email: info@skyglowproject.com

We appreciate all your shares, comments and likes, thanks for checking out this video! For more videos please visit: vimeo.com/harun

This video is COPYRIGHT 2017 Harun Mehmedinovic / SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM. Any use beyond embedding this video in it's unaltered form and properly credited to SKYGLOW PROJECT/SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM on another website requires permission from the creator. Any use of the entirety or portion(s) of this video to drive advertising traffic, sales or any other profit-driven venture on a third party website without express permission from the content creator will result in prosecution to the full extent of the law.

-------

Timelapse artists and filmmakers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović are proud to introduce WWW.SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM, a 192-page hardcover photobook and timelapse video series exploring North America’s remaining magnificent night skies and the increasing impact of light pollution on our highly fragile environment.

A blend of images, stories, essays, and anecdotal captions, SKYGLOW explores the history and mythology of celestial observation and the proliferation of electrical outdoor lighting that spurred the rise of the phenomena known as “light pollution,” a grave threat not only to our incredible starscapes but also to the very ecosystem itself.

After a highly publicized Kickstarter campaign that ended as the fourth-most earning Photobook campaign ever, Harun and Gavin traveled over 150,000 miles and logged more than 3,000,000 photos on their grueling three-year quest. From incredible locations like the active Kīlauea volcano in Hawaii to Alberta’s majestic Northern Lights, SKYGLOW takes viewers on a visual journey through time, exploring our civilization’s evolving relationship with light and the night sky through the ages.

See how the ancient Puebloan archaeoastronomy sites of our native elders have now been replaced with the blinding “artificial day” of over-lit modern metropolises, and learn about the “Dark Sky Movement” fighting to reclaim the pristine darkness the Earth had enjoyed for billions of years. The importance of America’s threatened National Parks is also highlighted in a section of stunning landscapes from numerous parks, including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Acadia, Death Valley, Yellowstone and many more.

Completed in collaboration with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), SKYGLOW also explores the numerous towns and sites that IDA has identified as official “Dark-Sky” Communities, Cities, Parks, Reserves and Sanctuaries.

Cast: Harun Mehmedinovic, Canon Pro and Alpine Labs

Tags: grand canyon, arizona, national park, cloud inversion, dark sky, stars, milky way, fog, clouds, timelapse, astrophotography and astro


          Sütik egy kaptafára- liszt és cukor nélkül        
 kókuszos muffin

 kókuszos, meggyes lepény


 almás, mákos lepény


epres, kókuszos muffin

Az alaprecept egy hirtelen ötletből jött, mert kellett gyorsan valami süti (ezt az érzést gondolom ismeritek). Ami otthon volt pakoltam bele, az első a kókuszos muffin volt, a többi tulajdonképpen ugyanannak a variációja.
Alaprecept:
3 tojás
3 ek. (púpos) krémsajt (tejföl is jó lehet)
2 ek. 1:4 cukorhelyettesítő (Dia-Wellness)
50 g kókuszreszelék, vagy mák, vagy dió
mk. sütőpor
3 ek. útifűmaghéj
A tojásfehérjét külön habbá vertem, a többi alapanyagot egy másik tálban kevertem össze, az útifűmaghéjat tettem utoljára bele, majd a két elegyet finoman összekevertem.
A gyümölcsöket rá, vagy beletettem a tésztába. Ebből az adagból 6 db muffin lesz, vagy egy kis méretű tepsibe tehető. Légkeveréses sütőben 160 C°, kb. fél óra alatt sül meg.
A tészta elég levegős, szépen feljön, nem túl édes, de a gyümölcsök édessége megbolondítja. Az epres ízlett a legjobban, vagy, mert eper, vagy mert azt belekevertem a tésztába, legközelebb a többi gyümölcsből is teszek a tésztába.

Ezt a receptet még biztos fogom ragozni, ha haraphatnékom lesz :)
Csók!
Kata 



          Túrót túróval, liszt nélküli piskóta        
Én csak azt nem tudom erről miért nem hallottam eddig.
Könnyen vagyok, mert nem vagyok túlzottan édesszájú, 
de néha én is rákívánok valami harapnivaló süteményre.
Ez a piskóta tökéletes alternatíva, 0 szénhidrát,
finom, könnyű, de mégis kiadós.


Piskóta hozzávalói:
25 dkg túró
5 db tojás
cukor/méz/édesítő vérmérséklet szerint
1 mokkásk. sütőpor

A tojást szétválasztod, a sárgáját a túróval, az édeseddel, elkevered, egy másik tálban habbá vered a tojásfehérjét a sütőporral, majd a két elegyet finoman összeforgatod, akárcsak a hagyományos piskótánál. Sütőpapírra teríted, légkeveréses sütőben 160 C° sütöd kb. 20 percig.
Amikor megsült, még melegen feltekered, és úgy hagyod kihűlni.
Akárcsak a hagyományos piskótát, megtöltheted cukormentes lekvárral, vagy bármilyen az elveidbe beleillő krémmel. Én a túró mellett döntöttem, mert imádom, s mert amúgy is ott figyelt a zacsiba a kél kilós csomag másik fele.
Túrókrém
25 dkg túró
1 Aktivia (bármilyen más joghurt is jó)
1 marék mazsola
vanília eszencia
cukor/méz/édesítő vérmérséklet szerint
1 ek. útifűmaghéj (a töltelék masszívabb lesz tőle)

Boldog Anyák napját!
Kata

          Vigyázat csalok, lángos illúzió        
Vasárnap ha csak tehetem kimegyek a piacra, ez egy olyan kiscicabajszától a nagypapa csizmájáig jellegű kirakodó vásár. A határozott cél ma kis virág-pozsgások beszerzése volt, na meg tátogás, kincsvadászat. Már a virágokkal a karomon, és egy szép népművészeti kerámiatállal büszkélkedve, egyszer csak, hogy hogy nem, odaértem a kajaellátó szakaszhoz, naná, hogy persze rákívántam a lángosra. Nemes jellem révén, és problémamegoldó képességem csúcspontján, nem azon gondolkodtam hogyan álljak be a sorba és tömjek magamba egyet gyorsan, elrontva eddigi eredményeimet, hanem mire hazasétáltam kész is volt a fejemben a varázslat.


Hozzávalók:
3 db tojás
3 ek. sajtkrém
2 ek. útifűmaghéj 
1 mokkáskanál sütőpor
tetejére:
foghagymás tejföl
reszelt sajt

A tojást szétválasztod, a fehérjét habbá vered, a sárgájához hozzáadod a sajtkrémet, sütőport, az útifűmaghéjat, majd a két elegyet szépen összekevered. Bekapcsolod a sütőt 175 C° (alsó- felső légkeverés), mire a sütő felmelegedik a tészta is jó lesz (mert az útifűmaghéj miatt egy kicsit pihentetni kell, hogy megszívhassa magát). A tepsibe négy részre osztva megsütöd (kb. 15 perc)
(Tulajdonképp majdnem ugyanaz, mint a felhőkenyér, de az útifűmaghéj miatt tartalmasabb és vastagabb a tészta)


 A tetejére foghagymás tejföl és reszelt sajt, s már lehet is betolni.
Két darabbal délben teljesen jóllaktam, és csak délután 5 körül éheztem meg újra.
Fontos tudni, hogy ha útifűmaghéjat eszel több folyadékot kell inni,
legalább + 2 pohár víz.


 Persze a férfiember megszólalt, ez azért nem olyan, hát igen, de aki szentül elhatározza, hogy fogyni akar / életmódot vált, s nem akar zsíros, lisztes cuccokat enni, amitől utána 2 óráig kajakómában van, aztán megint megenne fél kenyeret, annak ez maga a kánaán.
Én legalábbis elégedetten dőltem hátra :)


 Aztán a virágokat is elrendeztem.
Egyenlőre bent lesznek a lakásba, tudom kinti növénykék, de egy kicsit nézegetni szeretném őket, aztán majd mehetnek ki az udvarra.
Nagyon önző vagyok.


Szép vasárnapot nektek!
Kata

          Felhőkenyér, a fellegekbe repít        
Egy hónapja nem ettem semmilyen kenyérfélét, nemhogy szendvicset,
igen most lehet vállon veregetni.
Ez mostantól változni fog, na nehogy azt hidd feladtam,
találtam egy szuper alternatívát, 
ezúton is jelzem imáimban megfogok emlékezni a kitalálójáról.
Felhőkenyér, még a neve is jól hangzik,
és ami fontos zéró szénhidrát!

hozzávalók:
3 db tojás
3 ek. natúr krémsajt
1/4 teáskanál sütőpor
só, bors, fűszerek ízlés szerint
.
Ami alatt a sütőt bemelegíted, kb 175 C°-ra, azalatt összekevered a hozzávalókat: a tojást szétválasztod, a sárgájához hozzákevered a krémsajtot, fűszereket, a fehérjéhez hozzáteszed a sütőport, majd habbá vered, a két elegyet finoman összekevered. Ezzel a tészta kész. Sütőpapírra almozod, (ne ijedj meg ha elég folyós az elegy), egy lepénykét nekem két evőkanálnyi massza adott ki. így 16 db felhőkenyér született.

Csodaszép volt amikor sült.
 Aranybarnára sütöd.
(légkeveréssel 15 perc)
 Kicsit összenőttek a drágák, de kit zavar ez, szépen szétlehetett vágni.

 Ãme a remek szendvicsalap.
Most nem tettem bele só és borson kívül más fűszert, mert kíváncsi voltam milyen az alap íze (nagyon finom), de majd fogok kísérletezni pl. foghagyma, rozmaring, medvehagyma...
 A szendvicsélményen, és a nem hízom tőle gondolattól felbuzdulva, meg is ettem három remeket, így utóbb gondolva elég lett volna kettő is, de nem tudtam leállni :)
Szeretettel ajánlom nektek is!
.
Szépséges kenyér nélküli napot!
Kata

          Photo Flash: OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES Opens at Gloucester Stage for Limited Run        

Gloucester Stage Company continues its 38th season of professional theater on Cape Ann with Israel Horovitz's latest comedy, Out of the Mouths of Babes from August 11 through September 2 at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Four women arrive in Paris for the funeral of the 100-year-old man who loved each of them---at times variously, at times simultaneously. For 24 hours they share his apartment, delicious secrets and a dead cat in this Horovitz New England premiere. Directed by the author, the GSC production features GSC favorite, Lynn native Paula Plum as Evvie, and three actresses in their GSC debut: Debra Wise as Evelyn; Sarah Hickler as Janice and Obehi Janice as Marie-Belle. Out of the Mouths of Babes comes to Gloucester Stage after a sell-out run in NYC last summer, and is currently en route to its premiere in London's West End.

Out of the Mouths of Babes author and director Israel Horovitz's plays have been translated and performed in more than 30 languages, worldwide. During the run of Out of the Mouths of Babes, as part of GSC'sNeverDark series Horovitz will direct New Shorts, an evening of staged readings of his newest short plays. Horovitz's New Shorts are Tuesday, August 22 at 7:30 pm. Last season Horovitz brought Gloucester Stage audiences the world premiere of Man in Snow prior to the play's New York premiere. Man in Snow received an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award for Best Play. Horovitz's 70+ plays include Line(now in 39th year of continuous performance, off-Broadway, at 13th St. Repertory Theatre), The Indian Wants The Bronx, Rats, Morning, The Primary English Class, The Wakefield Plays, The Widow's Blind Date,Today I Am A Fountain Pen, Park Your Car In Harvard Yard, North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, Lebensraum, My Old Lady, Free Gift, Cat-Lady, Stations of the Cross, One Under, 50 Years of Caddieing,Speaking Well of the Dead, Unexpected Tenderness, Fast Hands, Security, A Mother's Love, Sins of the Mother, 6 Hotels (including The Audition Play, Fiddleheads and Lovers, Speaking of Tushy, 2nd Violin,Beirut Rocks, and The Hotel Play), Compromise, The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath, The Vote in Orange, The P Word, The Bump, Virtual Alex, and Gloucester Blue. Horovitz's play My Old Lady is in the repertory of The Moscow Art Theatre. Horovitz's screenplays include Author! Author!, The Strawberry Statement (Prix du Jury, Cannes Film Festival), Sunshine (European Academy Award - Best Screenplay),New York, I Love You, and EMMY and Golden Globe-nominated James Dean. Horovitz wrote, directed and performed the award-winning documentary 3 Weeks After Paradise. Awards include the OBIE (twice), the Prix de Plaisir du Théâtre, The Prix Italia (for radio plays), The Sony Radio Academy Award (for Man In Snow), The Writers Guild of Canada Best Screenwriter Award, The Christopher Award, The Drama Desk Award, an Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Elliot Norton Prize, a Lifetime Achievement Award from B'Nai Brith, The Literature Prize of Washington College, an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Salem (Massachusetts) State College, Boston Public Library's Literary Lights Award, The Walker Hancock Prize, and many others.

Horovitz is Founding Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage Company, and is active Artistic Director of The New York Playwrights Lab. He teaches a master class in screenwriting at Columbia University and La Fèmis, France's national film school, and a playwriting master class at University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Horovitz visits France, frequently, where he often directs French-language productions of his plays. He is the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history, and has recently been decorated asCommandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest honor for foreign artists. His memoires Un New-Yorkais a Paris have recently been published in France by Grasset. He also works frequently in Italy, where he is co-Artistic Director of Compagnia Horovitz-Paciotto. The 70/70 Horovitz Project, created by NYC's Barefoot Theatre, began on Horovitz's 70th birthday. During the year between 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010, 70 of Horovitz's plays were given productions and/or readings by theatres in more than 20 countries around the globe.

Lynn native award winning actress Paula Plum was last seen on the GSC stage in 2014's Auld Lang Syne opposite her husband Richard Snee. For the past two season Ms. Plum has been directing at GSC: 2015's Out ofSterno and 2016's The Last Schwartz. Ms. Plum is the recipient of five IRNE awards, the 2007 Eliot Norton Award for Best Actress, the 2004 Eliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. In 2009 she was one of five actors nation-wide to receive the Fox Actor Fellowship in association with SpeakEasy Stage. As a founding member of The Actors' Shakespeare Project she has played Cleopatra, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, Touchstone, and Phedre. At the Lyric Stage she has appeared in Dial M For Murder, 33 Variations, Private Lives, The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, Miss Witherspoon, Death of A Salesman, Three Tall Women and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was Artist in Residence at SpeakEasy Stage from 2010 through 2013 and conducted workshops in Mask and "Handling The Hot Moments, How Actors Negotiate Intimacy Onstage" and authored the biographical play What Lips My Lips Have Kissed based on the life of poetess Edna St. Vincent Millay. She has appeared regionally at the Gloucester Stage Company, The American Repertory Theatre, the New Repertory Theatre, the Huntington Theatre, and Elm Shakespeare. Her film credits include: Mermaids, Malice, Next Stop Wonderland, and Irrational Man directed by Woody Allen. On television her credits include: three seasons of Science Court on ABC; co-creator and star of FX's The Dick & Paula Celebrity Special and three feature films for the Lifetime Channel. Ms. Plum is a cum laude graduate of Boston University and has studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, the Dell'Arte Institute, and Ecole Phillipe Gaulier, Paris. She has been published in American Theatre magazine.

Debra Wise is the Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater, in-residence at Central Square Theater, Cambridge. During URT's decades as a touring company (1979-2008), she helped create over 30 new works, and toured them nationally and internationally to venues ranging from Lincoln Center to public schools; titles included Sanctuary - The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, Home is Where, InTOXICating and The Christopher Columbus Follies. She led URT collaborations with Boston Symphony Orchestra (Firebird, Creation of the World, Tempest), Boston's Museum of Science: Aging Puzzle, New Center for Arts and Culture: Jewish Women and Their Salons, the Mary Baker Eddy Library, the MFA and the ICA (Art InterACTions), and the Cambridge Arts Council (theater in dialogue with public art). Since creating Central Square Theater with The Nora Theatre Company, she co-founded Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT (CST's unique science theater partnership with MIT), and led partnerships with Mount Auburn Cemetery (Our Town) and the National Park Service (Roots of Liberty - The Haitian Revolution and the American Civil War, performed with over 50 performers and guest artists Danny Glover and Edwidge Danticat). URT has won two Elliott Norton awards under Wise's leadership; The Convert (Outstanding Production) and Bedlam's St. Joan (Best Visiting Production). Recent acting projects included Homebody (a monologue by Tony Kushner) and The Midvale High School Fiftieth Reunion (by Alan Brody). Other appearances on the CST stage include Copenhagen, Mr g, Brundibar, The Other Place, Distracted, The How and the Why, Einstein's Dreams, From Orchids to Octopi: An Evolutionary Love Story,?Yesterday Happened: Remembering H.M., Breaking the Code, Arabian Nights and A Christmas Memory. Acting on other Boston stages has included Mistero Buffo (Boston Poet's Theatre); A Boston Marriage and Orson's Shadow (New Rep), Brooklyn Boy (Speakeasy), and Chosen Child (Boston Playwrights Theatre); in NYC, The Haggadah (The Public, with Julie Taymor). Ms. Wise has been nominated for outstanding performances by both the Elliot Norton Awards and the Independent Reviewers of NE. Her work as a playwright includes States of Grace, inspired by the stories, poems and essays of Grace Paley; and Alice's Adventures Underground, based on the works of Lewis Carroll. She collaborates each summer with Harvard's Project Zero, training educators on using theater to help students think more deeply across the curriculum.

Sarah Hickler's credits include The Gift (Mercury Theater, U.K.), The Mysteries (Shakespeare & Co./Revels), The Tempest (Boston Theater Works), Café Corvido (Boston Playwright's Theater), Harmonious Proportions (Women OnTop Theater Festival), Elegy (Institute of Contemporary Art), and as a principle performer in DibbleDance Theater in ten seasons at Shakespeare & Co. She performs regularly with the International Action Theater Ensemble, and has collaborated and performed original work presented throughout New England, and at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival and Theaterlab in NYC. Ms. Hickler has been choreographer/movement director on productions for Huntington Theater, Nora Theater, Gloucester Stage, Merrimack Rep, Theater Offensive, Boston Theater Works, Southwest Shakespeare Co., and was a resident artist for three seasons with the Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company, and one season with Actor's Shakespeare Project. She has directed productions for Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival, Sedona Shakespeare, MIT Shakespeare Ensemble and Emerson Stage. She has trained actors and theatre educators in graduate and undergraduate programs at such institutions as Brandeis University, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, and Shakespeare & Co., and is currently the Head of Acting and an Associate Professor at Emerson College in Boston.

Obehi Janice is an award-winning actress, writer and comedian. A graduate of Georgetown University, she was named "Boston's Best Actress" by The Improper Bostonian in 2014. Her comedic short, BLACK GIRL YOGA, won the Reel 13/AfroPunk Film Competition (WNET/New York Public Media). A leader in the millennial renaissance of socio-political arts and culture, Ms. Janice works extensively on stage, screen and as a voice actress in video games, radio, and commercials. Recent stage credits include The Gift Horse (New Repertory Theatre), Love's Labour's Lost (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), We're Gonna Die(Company One Theatre/American Repertory Theater; IRNE Award, Best Solo Performance), An Octoroon (Company One Theatre/ArtsEmerson), Mr g (Underground Railway Theater) and her solo show FUFU & OREOS (Bridge Repertory Theater). As a comedian and storyteller, she has been featured on You're the Expert, Story Collider and The Moth. Her potent writing has been featured in Kinfolks: a journal of Black expression. Ms. Janice also works as a director and producer. A gifted public speaker, she enjoys sharing her thoughts on faith, identity, creativity and mental health. She has garnered esteem and recognition fromAmerican Theatre Magazine, Bustle, WBUR, DigBoston, For Harriet, and The Boston Globe. She is a Luminary Artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the recipient of a TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship. Most recently, her full-length play, Ole White Sugah Daddy, received a developmental workshop and staged reading at Speakeasy Stage Company.

Israel Horovitz's Out of the Mouths of Babes, runs from August 11 through September 2 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm with a special Tuesday evening performance on Tuesday, August 29 at 7:30 pm. Following the 2 pm performances on Sunday, August 20 and Sunday, August 27 audiences are invited to free post-show discussions with the artists from Out of the Mouths of Babes. Single ticket prices are $32 to $42 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Cape Ann Residents, Senior Citizens and Patrons 25 years old and under. In addition to regular reserved tickets, Pay What You Wish tickets are available for the Saturday, August 12 matinee at 2 pm. Pay What You Wish tickets can only be purchased day of show at the door. All performances are held at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. For more information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com.

Photo credit: Gary Ng

high res photos


Paula Plum and Debra Wise


Cast


Obehi Janice; Standing: Debra Wise, Paula Plum, and Sarah Hickler


Sarah Hickler


Debra Wise, Paula Plum, and Obehi Janice


Obehi Janice


Paula Plum, Debra Wise, Author and Director Israel Horovitz; Obehi Janice & Sarah Hickler


          Saturday Poetry Blogging        

Meditation at Lagunitas
~Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.


Picture found here.
          Becoming The Archetype         
País: Estados Unidos
Estilo: Metalcore / Progressive / Melodic Death Metal
Formação atual: Chris McCane (vocal); Daniel Gailey (guitarra); Seth Hecox (guitarra e teclado); Cody Watkins (baixo) e Chris Heaton (bateria)
Site Oficial: www.iambecomingthearchetype.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/becomingthearchetypemusic

THE REMNANT (2004)
01 - Intro
02 - Oath To Order
03 - Two
04 - 54 Is 44
05 - Restoration
06 - The Regular Battle
07 - In Loving Memory
08 - The Longest Instant
09 - For The Sake Of Moving On

DOWNLOAD

TERMINATE DAMNATION (2005)
01 - March Of The Dead
02 - Into Oblivion
03 - One Man Parade
04 - Elegy
05 - Night's Sorrow
06 - The Epigone
07 - Beyond Adaption
08 - No Fall Too Far
09 - Ex Nihilo
10 - Denouement
11 - The Trivial Paroxysm

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THE PHYSICS OF FIRE (2007)
01 - Epoch Of War (The Physics Of Fire Pt. 3)
02 - Immolation
03 - Autopsy
04 - The Great Fall (The Physics Of Fire Pt. 1)
05 - Nocturne
06 - The Monolith
07 - Construct And Collapse
08 - Endure
09 - Fire Made Flesh (The Physics Of Fire Pt. 2)
10 - Second Death
11 - The Balance Of Eternity (The Physics Of Fire Pt. 4)

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DICHOTOMY (2008)
01 - Mountain Of Souls
02 - Dichotomy
03 - Artificial Immortality
04 - Self Existent
05 - St. Anne's Lullaby
06 - Ransom
07 - Evil Unseen
08 - How Great Thou Art
09 - Deep Heaven
10 - End Of The Age

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CELESTIAL PROGRESSION [EP] (2012)
01 - Breathing Liquid [Born Of Water Remix]
02 - We Ride [Giant Robot Remix]
03 - Invisible Sitar [Giant Robot Remix]
04 - Elemental Bond [Giant Robot Remix]
05 - Space Refraction [Giant Robot Remix]
06 - Magnetic World [Giant Robot Remix]

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I AM (2012)
01 - The Ocean Walker
02 - The Time Bender
03 - The Eyes Of The Storm
04 - The Sky Breaker
05 - The Machine Killer
06 - The War Ender
07 - The Weapon Breaker
08 - The Planet Maker
09 - The Sun Eater
10 - I AM

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          Blues Legacy 03-24-2017 with Brother Louie        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
Paul Butterfield- In My Own Dream - An Anthology Elektra Years
Albert Collins- If Trouble Was Money - Deluxe Edition Albert Collins
- voicebreak -
Pee Wee Crayton- The Things I Used To Do - The Johnny Otis Show Live At Monterey
AC Reed- Shes Fine feat Bonnie Raitt - Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Collection
Ina Forsman Layla Zoe Tasha Taylor- Rock Me Baby - Ina Forsman Layla Zoe Tasha Taylor
Koko Taylor- Voodoo Woman - I Got What It Takes
Big Mama Thornton- Walking Blues - Hound Dog The Peacock Recordings
- voicebreak -
Chuck Berry- Confessin The Blues - Blues
Jerry Lee Lewis- Deep Elem Blues - Drifters Escape The Music That Inspired Bob Dylan
Pinetop Perkins Willie Big Eyes Smith- Youd Better Slow Down - Joined At The Hip Pinetop Perkins Willie Big Eyes Smith
Johnnie Johnson- Blues 572 - Johnnie B Bad
Marcia Ball- The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man - The Tattooed Lady And The Alligator Man
- voicebreak -
Floyd Dixon- Dont Send Me No Flowers In The Graveyard - Wake Up And Live
Peter Green Splinter Group- Honest I Do - Blues Dont Change
Joe Louis Walker- Blues Of The Month Club - Blues Of The Month Club
John Mayall The Bluesbreakers- Its Over - A Hard Road
Johnny Guitar Watson- Gangster Of Love - Gangster Of Love
- voicebreak -
James Cotton- Play With Your Poodle - Deep In The Blues
Fred McDowell- Freds Rambling Blues - The Best Of Mississippi Fred McDowell
Willie Poor Boy Lofton- Dirty Mistreater - Rough Guide To Delta Blues
Taj Mahal- Country Blues 1 - Giant Step
- voicebreak -
Eddie Burns- Nine Below Zero - Classic Harmonica Blues From Smithsonian Folkways
Little Sammy Savis- I Aint Lyin - I Aint Lyin
Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band- Yonder Wall - Hoodoo Man Blues
Elvin Bishop- 100 Years Of Blues - Elvin Bishops Big Fun Trio
Warner Williams Jay Summerour- I Feel So Good - Classic Harmonica Blues From Smithsonian Folkways
- voicebreak -
Marc Ford The Neptune Blues Club- Locked Down Tight Live - Live At The Belly Up
Mike Bloomfield- Moon Tune - Live At Bill Grahams Fillmore West 196
Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters- Elegy For A Bluesman - Maxwell Street
Ann Rabson- Gonna Stop You From Giving Me The Blues - Music Makin Mama
Pinetop Perkins- Going Down Slow - Pinetops Boogie Woogie
Guy Davis- Come Back Baby - Legacy
- voicebreak -
Little Feat- Hamburger Midnight - Little Feat
TBone Walker- Papa Aint Salty - Very Best Of
Johnny Otis- Jonella And Jack - The New Johnny Otis Show With Shuggie Otis
Black Dub- Surely - Black Dub


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/67/playlistDate/2017-03-24
          Blues Legacy 01-27-2017 with Brother Louie        
Playlist:

Joe Henry- The Man I Keep Hid - Blood From Stars
Big Nick The Gila Monsters- Juicehead Blues - Out From Under The Roc
Dan Hicks His Hot Licks- Long Come A Viper - Last Train To HicksvilleThe Home Of Happy Feet
- voicebreak -
Great Caesars Ghost- Mr Charlie Live feat Butch Trucks - Live At The Stephen Talkhouse
Adventures In Bluesland- Creepy In The Woods - The American Dream
Sugar Ray The Bluetones- I Like What You Got - Evening
Al Kooper Shuggie Otis- Shuggies Shuffle - Kooper Session Al Kooper Introduces Shuggie Otis
Sonny Boy Williamson The Yardbirds- Mister Downchild - Sonny Boy Williamson The Yardbirds Live
- voicebreak -
TBone Walker Shuggie Otis- Mistreatin Blues Live - Johnny Otis Show Live In Los Angeles 1970
Etta James- Light My Fire - The Chess Box Etta James
Champion Jack Dupree- Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer Live - Bourbon Street Jive
Hot Tuna- Uncle Sam Blues - Hot Tuna Live
John Heneghan His Henpecked Husbands- Cocaine - Ever Felt The Pain
- voicebreak -
NRBQ- Heartbreaker - High Noon 50 Year Retrspecti
NRBQ- 12 Bar Blues - High Noon Highlights Rarities From 50 Years
Curtis Salgado- I Know A Good Thing - The Beautiful Lowdown
Johnny Dowd- Union Of Idiots - A Drunkards Masterpiece
Steve Miller Band- Fanny Mae - Children Of The Future
- voicebreak -
Ronnie Earl And The Broadcasters- Elegy For A Bluesman - Maxwell Street
Mavis Staples- Step Into The Light - Have A Little Faith
Danny Barnes- Big Girl Blues - Got Myself Together Ten Years Later
North Mississippi Allstars- Mississippi Boll Weevil - Electric Blue Watermelon
Cody Dickinson- Boomers Story feat Luther Dickinson - Leeway For The Freeway
- voicebreak -
Johnny Winter- Highway 61 Revisited - Live At The Fillmore East 1037
Bob Dylan- From A Buick 6 - The Bootleg Series Vol 12 The Cutting Edge 19651966 Deluxe Edition
William Clarke- Daddy Pinnochio - Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection
TBone Walker- Papa Aint Salty - Very Best Of
Various Artists- There Must Be A Better Home Somewhere - Till The Night Is Gone A Tribute To Doc Pomus
Bobby Rush- Porcupine Meat feat Vasti Jackson - Porcupine Meat
Ry Cooder- Vigilante Man - INTO THE PURPLE VALLEY
- voicebreak -
Michael Burks- Strange Feeling - Iron Man
Leon Redbone- Mother Queen Of My Heart - Long Way From Home


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/67/playlistDate/2017-01-27
          Pankaj Mishra : The 'People's War'        
[from London Review of Books: Vol. 27 No. 12 dated 23 June 2005 ]

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n12/mish01_.html

In Kathmandu this March, I met a Nepalese businessman who said he knew what had provoked Crown Prince Dipendra, supposed incarnation of Vishnu and former pupil at Eton, to mass murder. On the night of 1 June 2001, Dipendra appeared in the drawing-room of the royal palace in Kathmandu, dressed in combat fatigues, apparently out of it on Famous Grouse and hashish, and armed with assault rifles and pistols. In a few frenzied minutes, he killed his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, a brother, a sister and five other relatives before putting a pistol to his head. Anointed king as he lay unconscious in hospital, he died two days later, passing his title to his uncle Gyanendra.

Dipendra’s obsession with guns at Eton, where he was admired by Lord Camoys as a ‘damn good shot’, his heavy drinking, which attracted the malice of the Sun, his addiction to hashish and his fondness for the films of Arnold Schwarzenegger – all this outlines a philistinism, and a potential for violence, commonplace among scions of Third World dynasties (Suharto, Nehru-Gandhi, Bhutto). And it is not so hard to believe the semi-official explanation for his actions: that his parents disapproved of his fiancée. However, the businessman, who claimed to know the royal family, had a more elaborate and intriguing theory.

We sat in a rooftop café in Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist centre, a few hundred feet from the royal palace. March, the businessman said, was a good season for tourists in Nepal. ‘But look,’ he continued, pointing to the alleys below us, where the bookshops, trekking agencies, cybercafés, bakeries, malls and restaurants were empty. In recent years, the tourist industry has been damaged by news in the international press about the Maoist guerrillas, who model themselves on the Shining Path in Peru, and whose ‘people’s war’ has claimed more than 11,000 lives since 1996. Even fewer tourists have ventured to Nepal since 1 February this year, when King Gyanendra, citing the threat presented by the Maoists, grounded all flights, cut off phone and internet lines, arrested opposition politicians and imposed censorship on the media.

A portly man wearing a cotton tunic, tight trousers and a cloth cap, the businessman had the prejudices of his class, the tiny minority of affluent Nepalese whose wealth comes largely from tourism and foreign aid; and that morning – the spring sun growing warm and burning off the smog over the Kathmandu Valley; the vendors of carpets, Gurkha knives, pirate DVDs and Tibetan prayer flags sullenly eyeing a stray tourist in tie-dye clothes – he aired them freely.

He said that Maoists had bombed the private school he sent his children to; he worried that his servants might join the guerrillas, who controlled 80 per cent of the countryside and were growing strong in the Kathmandu Valley. He said that he was all for democracy – he had been among the protesters demanding a new constitution in the spring of 1990 – but peace and stability were more important. What the country needed now, he declared, was a strong and principled ruler, someone who could crush the Maoists. He said that he missed Dipendra: he was the man Nepal needed at this hour of crisis.

According to him, Dipendra’s three years as a schoolboy in Britain had radicalised him. Just as Pandit Nehru had discovered the poverty of India after his stints at Harrow and Cambridge, so Dipendra had developed a new political awareness in England. He had begun to look, with mounting horror and concern, at his homeland. Returning to Nepal, he had realised that it would take more than tourism to create a strong middle class, accelerate economic growth, build democratic institutions and lift the ninth poorest country in the world to the ranks of modern democratic nations. As it turned out, he had been thwarted at every step by conservative elements in the royal palace. He had watched multi-party democracy, introduced in 1991, grow corrupt and feeble while enriching an elite of politicians and bureaucrats; equally helplessly, he had watched the new rulers of Nepal fail to tackle the Maoists. Frustration in politics rather than love, the businessman claimed, had driven Dipendra to alcohol, drugs, guns and, finally, to regicide.

It’s often hard to know what to believe in Nepal, the only Hindu kingdom in the world, where conspiracy and rumour have long fuelled a particularly secretive kind of court politics. Independent newspapers and magazines have been widely available only since 1990, and though intellectually lively, the press has little influence over a largely illiterate population easily swayed by rumour. In December 2000, news that a Bollywood actor had insulted Nepal incited riots and attacks on Indians and Indian-owned shops across the country. Little is known about Dipendra, apart from his time at Eton, where his fellow pupils nicknamed him ‘Dippy’. There is even greater mystery surrounding Pushpa Kamal Dahal, or Prachanda, the middle-aged, articulate leader of the Maoists, who has been in hiding for the last two decades.

King Gyanendra appeared on national television to blame the palace massacre on a ‘sudden discharge by an automatic weapon’. A popular conspiracy theory, in turn, blamed it on the new king himself, who was allegedly involved in smuggling artefacts out of Nepal, and on his son, Paras, much disliked in Nepal for his habit of brandishing guns in public and dangerous driving – he has run over at least three people in recent years, killing one. More confusingly, the Maoists claimed that they had an ‘undeclared working unity’ with King Birendra, and accused Gyanendra, and Indian and American imperialists, of his murder.

This atmosphere of secrecy and intrigue seems to have grown murkier since February, when Gyanendra adopted the Bush administration’s rhetoric about ‘terrorism’ and assumed supreme power. Flights to Nepal were resumed after only a few days, and the king claimed to have lifted the emergency on 30 April, but most civil rights are still suspended today. When I arrived in Kathmandu, fear hung heavy over the street crossings, where soldiers peeped out from behind machine-gun emplacements. Men in ill-fitting Western suits, with the furtive manner of inept spies, lurked in the lobby of my hotel. Journalists spoke of threatening phone calls from senior army officers who tended to finger as Maoists anyone who didn’t support the king. Many of the people I wanted to meet turned out to be in prison or in exile. Appointments with underground activists, arduously made, were cancelled at the last minute, or people simply didn’t turn up.

Sitting in her gloomy office, a human rights activist described the routine torture and extra-judicial killing of suspected Maoists, which had risen to a startling average of eight a day. Nothing was known about the more than 1200 people the army had taken from their homes since the beginning of the ‘people’s war’ – the highest number of unexplained disappearances in the world. She spoke of the ‘massive impunity’ enjoyed by the army, which was accountable only to the king. She claimed that the governments of India, the US and the UK had failed to understand the root causes of the Maoist phenomenon and had decided, out of fear and ignorance, to supply weapons to the Royal National Army: 20,000 M-16 rifles from the US, 20,000 rifles from India, helicopters from the UK.

She said that the ‘international community’ had chosen the wrong side in a conflict that in any case was not likely to be resolved by violence. Though recently expanded, and mobilised against the Maoists in 2001, the army was no more than 85,000 strong, and could not hold the countryside, where, among the high mountains, ravines and rivers – almost perfect terrain for guerrillas – it faced a formidable enemy.

She spoke with something close to despair. Much of her work – particularly risky at present – depended on international support. But few people outside Nepal cared or knew enough about its human rights record, and the proof lay in her office, which was austerely furnished, with none of the emblems of Western philanthropy – new computers, armed guards, shiny four-wheel drives in the parking lot – that I had seen in December in Afghanistan.

‘People are passing their days here,’ she said as I left her office, and the remark, puzzling at first, became clearer as I spent more time in Kathmandu. In the streets where all demonstrations were banned, and any protest was quickly quashed by the police, a bizarre feeling of normality prevailed, best symbolised by the vibrant billboards advertising mobile phones (banned since 1 February). Adverts in which companies affirmed faith in King Gyanendra appeared daily in the heavily censored newspapers, alongside news of Maoist bombings of police stations, unverified reports of rifts between Maoist leaders, promotional articles about Mercedes Benz cars and Tag Heuer watches, and reports of parties and fashion shows and concerts in Kathmandu.

Thamel opened for business every day, but its alleys remained empty of tourists. Months of Maoist-enforced blockades and strikes were also beginning to scare away the few foreign investors who had been deceived by the affluence of Kathmandu into thinking that Nepal was a big market for luxury consumer goods. Interviewed in a local newspaper, a Dutch investor described the Nepalese as an ‘extremely corrupt, greedy, triple-faced, myopic, slow, inexperienced and uneducated people’, and declared that he was taking his hair-replacement business to Latvia. Western diplomats and United Nations officials – darting in their SUVs from one walled compound to another – speculated about a possible assault on the capital by guerrillas.

But it is the middle-class Nepalese, denounced by the Maoists as ‘comprador capitalists’, who appear to live most precariously, their hopes and anxieties echoed in the newspapers by royalist journalists who affirm daily that Nepal needs a strong ruler and Gyanendra is best placed to defend the country, by means of a spell of autocratic rule, from both Maoist ‘terrorists’ and corrupt politicians.

Often while listening to them, I would remember the businessman I had met in Thamel and what he had told me about Dipendra; and I would wonder how the crown prince, if he had indeed been sensitised to social and economic distress during his three years in Thatcher’s England, had seen his strange inheritance, a country where almost half of the 26 million people earned less than $100 a year and had no access to electricity, running water or sanitation; a country whose small economy, parasitic on foreign aid and tourism, had to be boosted by the remittances of Nepalese workers abroad, and where political forces seen as anachronisms elsewhere – monarchy and Communism – fought for supremacy.

Histories of South Asia rarely describe Nepal, except as a recipient of religions and ideologies – Buddhism, Hinduism, Communism – from India; even today, the country’s 60 ethnic and caste communities are regarded as little more than a picturesque backdrop to some of the world’s highest mountains. This is partly because Western imperialists overlooked Nepal when they radically remade Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries.*

While a British-educated middle class emerged in India and began to aspire to self-rule, Nepal remained a country of peasants, nomads and traders, controlled by a few clans and families. Previously dependent on China, its high-caste Hindu ruling class courted the British as they expanded across India in the 19th century. As in the so-called princely states of India, the British were keen to support despotic regimes in Nepal, and even reward them with territory; it was one way of staving off potentially destabilising change in a strategically important buffer state to Tibet and China. The country was also a source of cheap mercenaries. Tens of thousands of soldiers recruited by the British from the western hills of Nepal fought during the Indian Mutiny, the Boxer Rebellion in China, and in the two world wars. The Gurkhas also helped the British suppress political dissenters in India, and then, more violently, Communist anti-colonialists in Malaya in the 1950s.

As the movement for political independence grew in India, Nepal came to be even more strongly controlled by Hindu kings and the elites they created by giving land grants to members of the high castes, Bahun and Chhetri, which make up less than 30 per cent of the population. The end of the British Empire in Asia didn’t lead to rapid change in Nepal, or end its status as a client state. Indian-made goods flooded Nepalese markets, stifling local industry and deepening the country’s dependence on India. In the 1950s and 1960s, as the Cold War intensified, Nepal was the forward base of the CIA’s operations against China.

American economists and advisers trying to make the world safe for capitalism came to Nepal with plans for ‘modernisation’ and ‘development’ – then seen as strong defences against the growth of Communism in poor countries. In the Rapti valley, west of Kathmandu, where, ironically, the Maoists found their first loyal supporters in the 1990s, the US government spent about $50 million ‘improving household food production and consumption, improving income-generating opportunities for poor farmers, landless labourers, occupational castes and women’.

Modernisation and development, as defined by Western experts during the Cold War, were always compatible with, and often best expedited by, despotic rule. Few among the so-called international community protested when, after a brief experiment with parliamentary democracy in the 1950s, King Mahendra, Dipendra’s grandfather, banned all political parties. A new constitution in 1962 instituted a partyless ‘Panchayat’ system of ‘guided democracy’ in which advisers chosen or controlled by the king rubber-stamped his decisions. The representatives of the Panchayat, largely from the upper castes, helped themselves to the foreign aid that made up most of the state budget, and did little to alleviate poverty in rural areas. The king also declared Nepal a Hindu state and sought to impose on its ethnic and linguistic communities a new national identity by promoting the Nepali language.

Such hectic nation-building could have lulled Nepal’s many ethnic and linguistic communities into a patriotic daze had the project of modernisation and development not failed, or benefited so exclusively and egregiously an already privileged elite. During the years of autocratic rule (1962-90), a few roads were built in the countryside, infant mortality was halved, and the literacy rate went up from 5 per cent in 1952 to 40 per cent in 1991. But Nepal’s population also grew rapidly, further increasing pressure on the country’s scarce arable land; and the gap between the city and the countryside widened fast.

What leads the sensitive prince to drugs and alcohol often forces the pauper to migrate. Millions of Nepalese have swelled the armies of cheap mobile labour that drive the global economy, serving in Indian brothels, Thai and Malaysian sweatshops, the mansions of oil sheikhs in the Gulf and, most recently, the war zones of Iraq. Many more have migrated internally, often from the hills to the subtropical Tarai region on the long border with India. The Tarai produces most of the country’s food and cash crops, and accommodates half of its population. On its flat alluvial land, where malaria was only recently eradicated, the Buddha was born 2500 years ago; it is also where a generation of displaced Nepalese began to dream of revolution.

In Chitwan, one of the more densely populated districts in the Tarai, I met Mukti Raj Dahal, the father of the underground Maoist leader, Prachanda. Dahal was one of the millions of Nepalese to migrate to the Tarai in the 1950s. His son was then eight years old. He had travelled on to India, doing menial jobs in many cities, before returning to Chitwan, which American advisers and the Nepalese government were then developing as a ‘model district’ with education and health facilities. In Chitwan, Dalal bought some land and managed to give his eight children an education of sorts. Though he is tormented by stomach and spinal ailments, he exuded calm as he sat on the verandah of his two-roomed brick house, wearing a blue T-shirt and shorts under a black cap, a Brahminical caste mark on his forehead.

He had the serenity of a man at the end of his life. And, given the circumstances, he had not done too badly. I had spent much of that day on the road from Kathmandu to the Tarai, shuffling past long queues of Tata trucks from India, through a fog of dust and thick diesel smoke, ragged settlements occasionally appearing beside the road: shops made of wooden planks, selling food fried in peanut oil and tea in sticky clouded glasses, mud houses with thatched roofs – a pre-industrial bareness in which only the gleaming automatic guns of young soldiers and the tangle of barbed wire behind which they sat spoke of the world beyond Nepal.

The jittery soldiers who approached the car with fingers on their triggers were very young, hard to associate with stories I had heard in Kathmandu – stories no newspaper would touch – of the army marching men out of overcrowded prisons and executing them. My companion, a Nepalese journalist, was nervous. He knew that the soldiers in the countryside attacked anyone they suspected of being a Maoist, and journalists were no exception. Many of the soldiers barely knew what a journalist was.

There are few places in Nepal untouched by violence – murder, torture, arbitrary arrest – and most people live perpetually in fear of both the army and the Maoists, without expectation of justice or recompense. Dahal, however, appeared to have made a private peace with his surroundings. He told me that he spent much of his day at the local temple, listening to recitals of the Ramayana. He said that he still believed the king had good intentions. He appeared both bemused by, and admiring of, his famous son, whom he had last seen at the funeral of his wife in 1996. The ideas of equality and justice, he thought, had always appealed to Prachanda, who was a sensitive man, someone who shared his food with poor people in the village. He couldn’t tell me how his son had got interested in Mao or Marx in such a place as Chitwan, which had no bookshop or library. But he did know that Prachanda had got involved with Communists when he couldn’t find a good job with the government and had to teach at a primary school in his native hills of Pokhara.

In his speeches, which claim inspiration from Mao and seek to mobilise the peasants in the countryside against the urban elite, Prachanda comes across as an ideologue of another era: he’s an embarrassment to the Chinese regime, which is engaged in the un-Maoist task of enriching Chinese coastal cities at the expense of the hinterland, and feels compelled to accuse Nepalese Maoists of besmirching the Chairman’s good name.

In the few interviews he has given, Prachanda avoids answering questions about his background and motivation, which have to be divined from details given by Dahal: the haphazard schooling, the useless degree, the ill-paid teaching job in a village school, all of which seem to lead inexorably to a conflict with, and resentment of, unjust authority.

The ‘modernisation’ and ‘development’ of Nepal during the 1950s and 1960s created millions of men like Prachanda, lured away from their subsistence economies and abandoned on the threshold of a world in which they found they had, and could have, no place. Nepal’s agricultural economy offered few of them the jobs or the dignity they felt was their due, and they were too aware of the possibilities thwarted by an unequal, stratified society to reconcile themselves to a life of menial labour in unknown lands, and an old age spent in religious stupor. Educated, but with no prospects, many young men like Prachanda must have been more than ready to embrace radical ideas about the ways that an entrenched urban elite could be challenged and even overthrown if peasants in the countryside were organised.

Growing up in Nepal in the 1960s, Prachanda watched these ideas grow in the Naxalbari movement in India. Communist activists lived and worked secretly in parts of Nepal during the Panchayat era – in the 1950s, a famous Communist leader called M.B. Singh travelled in the midwestern hills and acquired followers among the Magars, one of Nepal’s more prominent ethnic groups now supporting the Maoists. But Prachanda says that the ‘historic Naxalbari movement’ of India was the ‘greatest influence’ on the Communists of Nepal.

In the late 1960s, thousands of students, many of them middle-class and upper-caste, joined an armed peasant uprising led by an extremist faction of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in West Bengal and Bihar. Known as Naxalites, after the Naxalbari district where the revolt first erupted in 1967, they attacked ‘class enemies’ – big landlords, policemen, bureaucrats – and ‘liberated’ territories which they hoped would form bases for an eventual assault on the cities, as had happened in China. The Indian government responded brutally, killing and torturing thousands. Driven underground, the Naxalite movement splintered, and remained dormant for many years.

In the 1990s, when India began to move towards a free market, the Naxalite movement revived in some of the poorest and most populous Indian states. Part of the reason for this is that successive Indian governments have steadily reduced subsidies for agriculture, public health, education and poverty-eradication, exposing large sections of the population to disease, debt, hunger and starvation. Almost three thousand farmers committed suicide in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh after the government, advised by McKinsey, cut agricultural subsidies in an attempt to initiate farmers into the world of unregulated markets. In recent years, Naxalite movements, which have long organised landless, low-caste peasants in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, have grown quickly in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh – where an enfeebled Indian state is increasingly absent – to the extent that police and intelligence officials in India now speak anxiously of an unbroken belt of Communist-dominated territory from Nepal to South India.

The Naxalite uprising in the late 1960s invigorated the few Communists in Nepal, who, like the members of the Nepali Congress, the main underground political organisation, sought guidance and encouragement from India. In 1971, some Nepalese Communists living across the border from Naxalbari declared a ‘people’s war’ against the monarchy. They killed seven ‘class enemies’ before being suppressed by the king. As fractious as their Indian counterparts, the Nepalese Communist parties split and split again over petty doctrinal or personality issues. In 1991, after the restoration of multi-party democracy, several of them contested elections, and even did well: a Communist coalition became the biggest opposition party, and briefly held power in 1994. In the early 1990s, however, few people in Nepal could have predicted the swift rise of Prachanda and the obscure faction he led.

The Maoists under Prachanda resolved as early as 1986 to follow Mao’s strategy of capturing state power through a ‘people’s war’. They did not start the war until the mid-1990s, however, when disillusionment with parliamentary democracy created for them a potentially wide popular base in the countryside. Still, hardly anyone noticed when on 4 February 1996 the Maoists presented the government with a list of 40 demands, which included abrogating existing treaties with India, stripping the monarchy of all power and privileges, drafting a new constitution by means of a constituent assembly, nationalising private property, declaring Nepal a secular nation and ending all foreign aid. These demands were not likely to be met; and as though aware of this, the Maoists began their ‘people’s war’ by attacking police stations in six districts four days before the deadline.

For the next five years, the Maoists forced their way into the national consciousness with their increasingly bold tactics. They financed themselves by collecting ‘taxes’ from farmers, and they exacted ‘donations’ from many businessmen in the Kathmandu Valley. They indoctrinated schoolchildren; they formed people’s governments in the areas they controlled and dispensed rough justice to criminals and ‘class enemies’. But much of the new power and charisma of the Maoists came from their ability to launch audacious attacks on the police and the army.

The military wing of the Maoists initially consisted of a few ill-trained men armed with antique rifles and homemade weapons. But they chose their first target cannily: the police, almost the only representatives of the central government in much of Nepal. Poorly armed, often with little more than sticks and .303 Lee Enfield rifles, the police retreated swiftly before the Maoists, who also attacked roads, bridges, dams, administrative offices, bridges, power plants – anything they felt might aid the counter-insurgency efforts of the government.

In recent years, the Maoists have grown militarily strong, mostly through conscription in the countryside, and regular training – allegedly provided by Indian Naxalites. They have acquired better weapons by looting police stations and buying from the arms bazaars of India; they have also learned how to make roadside explosives, pipe and ‘pressure cooker’ bombs. In November 2001, the Maoists launched 48 attacks on the army and the police in a single day, forcing the Nepalese government to impose a state of emergency. More than 5000 people died in the next 15 months, the bloodiest period in Nepal’s modern history.

But violence is only a part of the Maoists’ overall strategy. In an interview in 2000, Prachanda criticised Indian Communist groups for their lack of vision and spoke of the importance of developing ‘base areas’. Since 1996, the Maoists have spread out from their traditional home in the midwestern hills of Rolpa and Rukum districts. Their cadres – estimated to number as many as 100,000 – travel to deprived areas, addressing, and often recruiting from, the large and growing mass of people deeply unhappy with Nepal’s new democratic dispensation.

Some measure of democracy was inevitable in Nepal by the 1980s. In previous decades, the state’s half-hearted efforts at development had produced many low-level bureaucrats, small businessmen, teachers, students and unemployed graduates. This new class resented the continuing dominance of upper-caste clans and families. The conflict between the old elite and its challengers was aggravated by a series of economic crises in the late 1980s. In 1985-86, Nepal had negotiated a loan with the IMF and World Bank. The bank’s euphemistically named (and free-market oriented) ‘structural adjustment programme’, which was then causing havoc in Latin American economies, forced the Nepalese government to cut farm subsidies and jobs in the public sector. GDP grew as a result but the gains were cancelled out by inflation of up to 10 per cent and a trade and transit embargo imposed by India in 1989, which caused severe fuel shortages and price rises.

The protesters who filled the streets of Kathmandu in the spring of 1990 were convinced that the decaying Panchayat system could not deal with the shocks of the new world and needed to be reformed. In acceding to demands for multi-party democracy, the king appeared to acknowledge the strength of the new educated class and to recognise that the old political system needed a degree of popular legitimacy if it was to survive. It’s clear now that what happened in 1990 was less a revolution than a reconfiguration of power, sanctified by elections, among the old royalist oligarchy and an emerging urban middle class. Many courtiers and sycophants of the king managed to reinvent themselves as parliamentary politicians, often joining the Nepali Congress, the political party that ruled Nepal for all but one of the next 13 years. There were few ideological differences between the Nepali Congress and the main opposition party, the radical-sounding Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), both of which continued to be led by upper-caste men motivated largely by a desire for money and power. Elections were held frequently, and a procession of governments – 13 in as many years – made Nepalese democracy appear vibrant. But the majority of the population, especially its ethnic communities, went largely unrepresented.

In 1992, when democracy still promised much, and Maoism was no more than another rumour in the streets of Kathmandu, Andrew Nickson, a British expert on Latin America, wrote prophetically:

The future prospects of Maoism in Nepal will . . . depend largely on the extent to which the newly elected Nepali Congress government addresses the historic neglect and discrimination of the small rural communities which still make up the overwhelming bulk of the population of the country. As in the case of Peru, this would require a radical reallocation of government expenditures towards rural areas in the form of agricultural extension services and primary healthcare provision.

Needless to say, this didn’t happen. In 2002, Dalits, low-caste Hindus, had an annual per capita income of only $40, compared to a national average of $210; fewer than 10 per cent of Dalits were literate. The upper-caste men who dominated the new democratic regime were competing among themselves to siphon off the money pouring into Nepal from foreign donors. A fresh convert to the ideology of the free market, the Nepalese government dedicated itself to creating wealth in urban areas. Trying to boost private investment in Kathmandu, it neglected agriculture, on which more than 80 per cent of the population depend for a living. Not surprisingly, absolute poverty continued to increase in the late 1990s, even as Kathmandu Valley benefited from the growth in the tourist, garment and carpet industries, and filled up with new hotels, resorts and villas.

In such circumstances, many people are likely to be attracted to violent, extra-parliamentary groups. The Maoists in Nepal had their first ready constituency among rural youths, more than 100,000 of whom fail their high school examination every year. Unemployed and adrift, many of these young men worked for other political parties in the countryside before becoming disillusioned and joining the Maoists.

Mohan was one of the young men who joined a newly legitimate political party after 1990 and then found himself remote from the spoils of power. He then worked with the Maoists for almost five years, living in jungles, once travelling to the easternmost corner of Nepal, before deciding to leave them. He couldn’t return to his village, which lay in the Maoist-dominated region of Rolpa, and had gone to India for a while. He was now trying to lie low in Kathmandu, and although he didn’t say so, he seemed to be ‘passing his days’ and making a living through odd jobs, like so many other people in the city.

We had arranged to meet in Boudhanath, Kathmandu’s major Buddhist site. Sitting in the square around the white stupa, among monks in swirling crimson robes and often with white faces, Mohan spoke of ‘feudal forces’ and the ‘bourgeoisie’: their corruption had paved the way for the Maoists, whom he described as ‘anarchists’. He used the foreign words with a Nepalese inflection. He said that he had picked them up while accompanying a Maoist propagandist on tour; and it occurred to me, as he described his background, that he still used them despite having left the Maoists because he had no other vocabulary with which to describe his experience of deprivation and disappointment.

He was born and brought up in a family of Magar shepherds in a corner of Rolpa district that had no proper roads, schools or hospitals. Educated at a school in Palpa, a walk of several miles from his village, he had joined the Nepali Congress in 1992, when still in his late teens, and become a personal aide to a prominent local politician. There were many such young men. They received no money for their services, but slept in the politician’s house, ate the food prepared for his family, and travelled with him to Kathmandu. Mohan said that it was a good time, the early years of democracy. He liked being in Kathmandu, especially with someone who had a bit of power. But he couldn’t fail to notice that the politician returned less and less often to his constituency in the hills and often refused to meet people who came to his door asking for jobs, money and medical help. He was surprised to hear that the politician was building a new house for himself in Kathmandu. Soon, he felt he was not needed, and one day the politician’s wife told him to eat elsewhere.

Clashes between Nepali Congress activists and the Maoists were common in his area; he felt that he could be useful to the Maoists with his knowledge of politics. He was also attracted to the idea of ethnic autonomy that the Maoists espoused. He had seen in his time with the politician how the upper-caste-dominated government in Kathmandu possessed an unjust share of the country’s wealth and resources. Many people he knew had already joined the Maoists, and in 1995, one of his friends introduced him to the Maoist ‘squad commander’ in the region.

As he spoke, I wondered if this was the whole truth, if he hadn’t joined the Maoists for the same reason he had joined the Nepali Congress, the reason many young men like him in India joined political parties: for food and shelter. In any case, he joined the Maoists at a bad time: it was in 1995 that the Nepalese government launched Operation Romeo.

This scorched-earth campaign is described as an instance of ‘state terror’ in a report by INSEC (Informal Sector Service Centre), Nepal’s most reliable human rights group. The police, according to the report, invaded villages in the Rolpa and Rukum districts, killing and torturing young men and raping women. When I mentioned this to Mohan, he said that things weren’t as bad as they were made out to be by the ‘bourgeois’ intelligentsia in Kathmandu, who, he thought, were soft on the Maoists. He said the Maoists were simply another opportunistic political group; this was why he had left them. They were interested in mobilising ethnic communities only to the extent that this would help them capture ‘state power’; they weren’t really interested in giving them autonomy. He had also been repelled by their cruelty. He had heard about – if not actually seen – instances of Maoists punishing people who refused to pay taxes, defied their alcohol ban or were suspected of being police informers. Using rocks and hammers, they often broke all the bones in their victims’ bodies before skinning them alive and cutting off their tongues, ears, lips and noses.

Many of these stories appear in reports by Nepalese and international human rights groups. The Maoist leaders were, I often heard in Kathmandu, riding a tiger, unable to prevent their angry and frustrated cadres from committing torture and murder. Criminals had infiltrated their movement, and some Maoists now made a living from extortion and kidnapping. When confronted with these excesses, Maoist leaders deny or deplore them. They probably realise that that they are losing many of their original supporters, who are as tired of the organisation’s growing extremism as of the years of indecisive fighting. Nevertheless, these leaders can often seem constrained in their political thinking by revolutionary methods and rhetoric created in another time and place. Prachanda, for instance, is convinced that ‘a new wave of revolution, world revolution is beginning, because imperialism is facing a great crisis.’

When the subject is not world revolution but the specific situation of Nepal, he can be shrewdly perceptive. A police officer in India told me that many of the Indian Communists he interviewed confessed to learning much from the Maoists in Nepal, who were not as rigidly doctrinal as Communists in India and Afghanistan. As Prachanda put it:

The situation in Nepal is not classical, not traditional. In the Terai region we find landlords with some lands, and we have to seize the lands and distribute them among the poor peasants. But in the whole mountainous regions, that is not the case. There are smallholdings, and no big landlords . . . How to develop production, how to raise production is the main problem here. The small pieces of land mean the peasants have low productivity. With collective farming it will be more scientific and things can be done to raise production.

It is not clear how much collective farming exists, or what non-military use the Maoists make of the taxes they collect. In fact, there is little reliable information about what goes on in the countryside. Few journalists venture out of their urban bases, and the Maoists aren’t the only obstacle. Most of the very few roads outside Kathmandu are a series of large potholes, and then there are the nervous soldiers at checkpoints. And once you move away from the highway, no soldiers or policemen appear for miles on end. In Shakti Khor, a village in the Tarai region populated by one of the poorest communities in Nepal, a few men quietly informed us that Maoist guerrillas were hiding in the nearby forest, where no security forces ever ventured and from where the Maoists often escaped to India. At a small co-operative shop selling honey, mustard oil, turmeric and herbal medicines, two men in their mid-twenties appeared very keen to put in a good word for the Maoists – who the previous night had painted red anti-monarchy slogans on the clean walls.

In the other Maoist-dominated regions I visited, people seemed too afraid to talk. At Deurali Bazaar, a village at the end of a long and treacherous drive in the hills near Pokhara, a newly constructed bamboo gate was wrapped with a red cloth painted with a hammer and sickle and the names of Maoists either dead or in prison. The scene in the square appeared normal at first – women scrubbing children at a municipal tap, young men drinking tea, an old tailor hunched over an antique sewing-machine, his walking stick leaning against his chair – but the presence of the Maoists, if unacknowledged, was unmistakable. When I tried to talk to the men at the teashop, they walked away fast, one of them knocking over the tailor’s stick. The shopkeeper said that he knew nothing about Maoists. He didn’t know who had built the bamboo gate; it had simply appeared one morning.

When I got back to Pokhara that evening, the news was of three teenage students killed as they tried to stop an army car on the highway. The previous day I had seen newspaper reports in which the army described the students as ‘terrorists’ and claimed to have found documents linking them to the Maoists. But it now seemed clear that they were just collecting donations for Holi, the Hindu festival of colours. There were eyewitnesses to the shooting. The parents of the victims had exhumed their corpses from the shallow graves in which the army had quickly buried them and discovered that two of them had been wearing their school uniforms. Like much else in Nepal, this would not appear in the newspapers.

The bloody stalemate in Nepal may last for a long time. The army is too small and poorly equipped at present decisively to defeat the Maoists. In some areas it has recently tried arming upper-caste villagers and inciting them to take action against the Maoists. In the southern district of Kapilavastu, vigilante groups organised by a local landlord and armed by the government claim to have killed more than fifty Maoists in February. Such tactics are not only likely to lead to a civil war but also to increase support for the Maoists in areas where the government is either absent or disliked.

Though unlikely at present, talks may offer a way forward. The Maoists have shown themselves willing to negotiate and even to compromise: in July 2001 they dropped their demand that Nepal cease to be a monarchy. More recently, Prachanda hinted at a flexible stance when he called for a united front of mainstream political parties against the monarch. He probably fears that the guerrilla force might self-destruct if its leaders fail to lead their more extreme cadres in the direction of moderate politics. But any Maoist concessions to bourgeois democracy are unlikely to please Gyanendra, who clearly wants to use the current chaos to help him hold on to his power.

If he periodically evokes the prospect of terrorists taking over Nepal, Gyanendra can count on the support of India, the US and the UK. In late 2001, the US ambassador to Nepal, Michael Malinowski, a veteran of the CIA-sponsored anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan, said that ‘these terrorists, under the guise of Maoism or the so-called “people’s war”, are fundamentally the same as terrorists elsewhere – be they members of the Shining Path, Abu Sayaf, the Khmer Rouge or al-Qaida.’ The then Hindu nationalist government in Delhi, just as eager to name new enemies, also described the Maoists as ‘terrorists’.

The present Indian government has a more nuanced view of Nepal. But it is worried about India’s own Communist rebels and their links with the Nepalese Maoists, and it believes that, as Malinowski put it, ‘all kinds of bad guys could use Nepal as a base, like in Afghanistan.’ Responding to fears that the army in Nepal was running out of ammunition, India resumed its arms supply this year, partly hoping to contain the Maoists and wanting too to maintain its influence over Nepal in the face of growing competition from the US.

There is no evidence that bad guys, as defined by the Bush administration, have flocked to Nepal; the Maoists are far from achieving a military victory; and the Communists in India are unlikely to extend their influence beyond the poverty-stricken districts they presently control. The rise of an armed Communist movement in a strategically important country nevertheless disturbs many political elites, who believe that Communism died in 1989 and that history has arrived at the terminus of liberal-capitalist democracy.

A European diplomat in Kathmandu told me that although Western countries hoped the political parties and the king would put up a joint front against the Maoists, they knew they might at some point have to support the king and his army if he alone was left to protect the country from the Maoists and keep alive the prospects for democracy. I did not feel that I could ask him about the nature of a democracy that is protected by an autocrat. Perhaps he meant nothing more by the word ‘democracy’ than regular elections: the kind of democracy whose failure to contain violence or to limit systemic poverty and inequality does not matter so long as elections are held, even if, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, under a form of martial law, and in which the turnout of voters does nothing but empower and legitimise a native elite willing to push the priorities of its Western patrons.

Such a form of democracy, which is slowly coming into being in Pakistan, could be revived again in Nepal, as the king repairs his relationship with the mainstream political parties. It is possible, too, that the excesses of the Maoists will cause them to self-destruct. Certainly the international revolution Prachanda speaks of will prove a fantasy. Yet it’s hard to wish away the rage and despair of people who, arriving late in the modern world, have known its primary ideology, democracy, only as another delusion – the disenchanted millions who will increasingly seek, through other means than elections, the dignity and justice that they feel is owed to them.

Footnotes

* For an accessible account of the beginnings of modern Nepal, see John Whelpton's A History of Nepal, Cambridge, 2005. Some recent scholarship on the Maoists is collected in Himalayan 'People's War': Nepal's Maoist Rebellion, ed. Michael Hutt, Hurst and Co, 2004. The Nepalese novelist Manjushree Thapa provides an engaging personal account of Nepal's recent turbulent years in Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy, Penguin India, Delhi, 2005'
          Comment on Jerusalem, Post 3 by Robbie Eginton        
SPOILERS FOR "THE BREEZE THAT PLUCKS HER APRON" and "DO AS YOU DARN WELL PLEASEY" AND MINOR ONES FOR "ATLANTIS" So, thank you for your bringing focus to JERUSALEM's concerns about the decline of the Boroughs and Northampton in general. I tend to read literature as more optimistic than it is and hadn't given them as much credence as genuine authorial concerns (as opposed to the depressive musings of the characters). But perhaps I should. To some extent, the book does function as a kind of leftist elegy for British working class life, and it would be a mistake to overlook that in favor of the visionary elements I'm about to discuss. Here are a couple of William Blake poems that seem relevant here, although I imagine you and most people reading this may be familiar with some/all of them: And did those feet in ancient time, Walk upon Englands mountains green: And was the holy Lamb of God, On Englands pleasant pastures seen! And did the Countenance Divine, Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here, Among these dark Satanic Mills? Bring me my Bow of burning gold; Bring me my Arrows of desire: Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! Bring me my Chariot of fire! I will not cease from Mental Fight, Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand: Till we have built Jerusalem, In Englands green & pleasant Land. The basic connection here should be obvious; the theme, throughout the novel, that something great is being built in England. Something perhaps less obvious: the temporal aspect. Jerusalem was builded here AMONG these dark Satanic mills. (Or was it, since it's in the form of a question.) In other words, even when England, or Northampton, or the Boroughs, is really in trouble, in industrialization and in post-industrialized decay, THERE Jerusalem is being built. And yet not with any inevitability, necessarily. With surety, perhaps, but not without ceaseless mental fight. Hence my reading of optimism, I think. Another: When my mother died I was very young, And my father sold me while yet my tongue Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep. There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said, "Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare, You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair." And so he was quiet, & that very night, As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight! That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack, Were all of them locked up in coffins of black; And by came an Angel who had a bright key, And he opened the coffins & set them all free; Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run, And wash in a river and shine in the Sun. Then naked & white, all their bags left behind, They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind. And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God for his father & never want joy. And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark And got with our bags & our brushes to work. Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm; So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm. How many connections can you spot here? I see: white hair (Snowy Vernall, and Ern Vernall, who at one point is described as "bleached" by his encounter with the Angel, chimney-pots, the relationship of the pastoral to the industrialized, the Angel who comes in a vision to the common workman, the vision in the night. And the last line, "So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm" reminds me of the following paragraph, a speech by Mrs. Gibbs the deathmonger to May Warren on (my) page 300: "Well, I don't know, my dear. You're very young. Young shoulders, though you might have an old head. You will have after this, at any rate. What you must understand, though, is that you're wrong. There isn't any place away from life where you can go and not be touched by it. There's no place where you can't be hurt, my dear. I'm sorry, but that's just the way things are. All you can do is find yourself a spot that you can look at life's turmoil from, the babies born and old men passed away. Take a position close to death and birth, but far enough away to have a view, so you can better understand them both. By understanding, you can lose your fear, and without fear the hurt's not half so bad. That's all deathmongers do. That's what we are." Moore seems, here as elsewhere, to be complicating Blake's visionary writing even as he affirms its core thrust. If you do your duty (here, as a deathmonger), you need never FEAR harm. But you will still FEEL harm. Similarly, the catastrophic, deranging effects of the visionary on everyday life are emphasized again and again, throughout the Vernall family tree. The danger of the transits of angels. Not that this is a reproach missing in Blake himself, the writer not only of Songs of Innocence but also of Songs of Experience. See his other Chimney Sweeper poem from the latter volume: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/43653. I feel certain that there is sooo much more I'm missing here because of my basically limited knowledge of English poetry. Obviously the repeated references to John Clare, the low-class frequently-pastoral poet who ended up in a madhouse, in "Atlantis" -- with that chapter's rather Blakean adoration and critique of the pastoral. In thinking about, say, Alma's reaction to Mick's vision, I was also reminded of Moore's interest in ritual magic and the works of Alistair Crowley. I don't have a whole lot to say on this subject, because I've only read a very little bit, but the idea of opening oneself to vision and to prophecy seems straight out of Crowley. Compare the chapter title "Do As You Darn Well Pleasey," in which a visionary madman attends the birth of his child while standing on a rooftop, and uses two doorknobs to arguably cast a ritual spell on them, with the Crowleyan dictum that "Do What Thou Wilt shall be the whole of the law." [Source for wording: Wikipedia.] (And the later Wiccan adaptation of this, the so-called Wiccan Rede: "Do as thou wilt, __an it harm none.__" [Emphasis added.]) What does vision offer, and whom does vision harm? So many of the men, especially Vernalls, are narcissistic visionaries, or narcissistic would-be visionaries, in this book. And yet the dutiful women seem to love them anyway. (Gender note: Alma, the one truly visionary woman I've noticed [not counting Thursa, who is limited to weird music], is continuously described as being not-quite-a-woman. Sexism, certainly, and also shades of the gender distinctions outlined in, say, Ursula Le Guin's TEHANU, the belated fourth book in the Earthsea Quartet. Which book I have always found somewhat hard to parse from a feminist perspective. Or, indeed, in Pratchett, with his witches and wizards. Except that he is more skeptical than Moore of the male/visionary side of that binary.) I was particularly upset reading "ATLANTIS," about the would-be-visionary/poetical, narcissistic man who has totally fucked up my life. I think I'm very afraid of ending up like that -- not as a failed poet, that's just life, but as a failure to the people in my life (AND a non-practicing poet, if I'm being honest). I have a decent streak, and a very egotistical streak. It's one of the reasons I don't ever intend to touch alcohol, because if I did I don't think I could keep the latter in check. Snowy has a decent streak, too. Benedict's is mighty atrophied. I wonder whether Moore is afraid of ending up like these men. Or whether he embraces vision as equal in importance to duty.
          Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis        
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
author: J.D. Vance
name: Lawyer
average rating: 4.21
book published: 2016
rating: 3
read at: 2016/12/11
date added: 2016/12/11
shelves:
review:


          Federations        
Federations
author: John Joseph Adams
name: Mark
average rating: 3.61
book published: 2009
rating: 4
read at: 2015/06/04
date added: 2015/06/04
shelves:
review:
Federations
Author: Bujold, Card, Martin, McCaffrey, Reynolds, Silverberg, Valentine, Modesitt Jr, Turtledove, Anderson, Beason, Bradford, Wright, Guthridge, Lee, Foster, Silverberg, Rosenblum, Sawyer, Tolbert, Steele, Li, Hergenrader, Gardner, Valente,
Publisher: Prime Books
Date: 2009
Pgs: 379

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
Vast interstellar societies and the challenges facing them. Federations stories mix new fiction alongside reprints that represent what interstellar SF is capable of. Space is big.

Genre:
Adventure
Alternate History
Apocalypse
Cyberpunk
Disaster
Fiction
Military
Multiverse
Science fiction
Short stories
Space
Space opera
War

Why this book:
The cover. And the Wil Wheaton blurb on the back.
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Mazer in Prison by Orson Scott Card
Favorite Character:
Mazer Rackham, war hero and deep space traveller, and Rip Van Winkle on a long trip through time on his roundtrip way to Earth and command a fleet that is on its way to enemy territory. The idea of his being launched on a trip like this so that he ages in conjunction with his crews as they race toward the enemy and will be of an age with his crew despite everyone else on Earth aging multiple decades in the interim.

The Feel:
The feel is claustrophobic through the early stages opening into infinity as Mazer and Graff make their play.

Favorite Scene:
When Mazer realizes the subtext in the previously omitted letters from home beamed to him on his relativistic trip as decades pass on Earth while a bare year has passed on his ship and the ship observing his upset tries to sedate him and reports his condition back to the panel of shrinks on Earth. Reminded me of the scene in Apollo 13 when Tom Hank’s Lovell ripped the sensors out of his space suit because he was tired of people knowing everything that was going on with him.

Pacing:
The pace of the short was great.

Hmm Moments:
Sending the commander into space at relativistic speeds on a trip to nowhere so that he maintains time with the fleets outbound from Earth for the Formic worlds.

Mazer’s take-it-or-leave-it was incredibly awesome.
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Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine
The Feel:
Sort of a United Nations of space at the behest of an advanced civilization that drops into the local group and broadcast for all to hear, come join us. And then, leaves the locals hanging between contacts. The Carthaginian is on its way, but hasn’t arrived yet.

Hmm Moments:
The cloning ambassadors thing instead of having to send new ones out from Earth is odd. Cool...just odd. And just that quick, I’m confused, are the Yemenis clones or are they androids? Guess that will become clearer deeper into the text. They are clones. One of the aliens did send an AI instead of a flesh and blood being.

Clone ambassadors in deep space with other alien ships close at hand waiting on an “all powerful” alien to show up while keeping the peace between all those waiting for the arrival. What could possibly go wrong?

Casting call:
Reese Witherspoon as a young clone of Yemeni just awakened. And Helen Mirren as an older clone just before her expiration.
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Life-Suspension by L. E. Modesitt Jr
The Feel:
The text lends itself to a Godzilla movie cadence. Imagine the text in the narrative voice of the male lead from one of the Godzilla movies and the text flows better, for me anyway. I know how odd that seems. But just straight reading it, the flow is choppy. Employing this device makes the text more palatable. Not sure if this was the intention of the author or if this is the author’s normal style.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Flight Captain Ghenji Yamato’s physical description of the new officer entering the mess, which is presented as an inner monologue, doesn’t read like anyone would talk to themselves. The description is stilted.

Maybe I’m just being thick today, but I couldn’t figure out what Captain Rokujo Yukionna is/was. I looked up Yukionna and discovered that she is a snow ghost in Japanese folklore. She drains the life, vampire like, and takes away the heat of the body in cold weather. She is a winter spirit. This needed to be clearer within the text.
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Terra-Exulta by S L Gilbow
The Feel:
This is like a Reverse Earth Day diatribe hidden inside a discussion of language wrapped in a sci fi template. It’s grim. Very grim when viewed through that lens.
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Aftermaths by Lois McMaster Bujold
Favorite Character:
A wet behind the ears Pilot Officer on his first real mission and he’s doing recovery trips across dead battlefields recovering the bodies of troops from both sides. It would have to be a demoralizing bit of work for the newly minted officer, would be tough enough for the old hand who had been in the service for a long while.

The Feel:
Creepy. Wandering around a battlefield with the dead and the scavengers.

Hmm Moments:
The idea of carrion wagons crisscrossing interstellar battlefields to recover the bodies of soldiers and sailors. That’s not a concept that I recall running across in sci fi before. I’ve seen it used in Civil War and Revolutionary War stories.
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Prisons by Kevin J Anderson and Doug Beason
Favorite Character:
The Warden

Amu, the revolutionary.

Character I Most Identified With:
The Warden, the AI who while he did oversee the prison also was overseeing the terraforming of the Planet Bastille...and the production and process of ubermindist, a galactic drug that is very well received on the black market across the Federation.

The Feel:
One of the villains was an actual villain. The others were just people caught in the whirlwind of history.

Favorite Scene:
The climax and the aftermath. There are all kinds of prisons.

Pacing:
Well paced.

Hmm Moments:
I wonder if the the Federation’s Prasidentarix is a ubermindist addict and what that and her consort’s death all have to do with the uprising on Bastille. Excellent climax and denouement clear this up. Well done.
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Different Day by K Tempest Bradford
The Feel:
Too short. Reads more like the idea for a story than the actual story. I like the concept, just needed more.
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Twilight of the Gods by John C Wright
Favorite Character:
The last Watchman, his duty is to be carried through even if all is lost.

Least Favorite Character:
Acting Captain Weston II, he is every privileged silver spoon who thought that by virtue of birth he was chosen to lead that you’ve ever encountered in your life.

The Feel:
I like the idea of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in space.

Favorite Scene:
When the traitor Captain returns to the throne room and faced down the Acting Captain and went all Jedi on him and his knights in the darkness.

Pacing:
Great pace. Lots of action. This could have been much longer and still been awesome.

Hmm Moments:
How have we become so ignorant so soon?

My master said once that the Computer spoke to all the children, and instructed them. When the Computer fell silent, there were no written things aboard with which to teach the children. Much was lost; more was lost in the confusion of the wars and darkenings. What we know, we know by spoken lore; but in the past, all men knew the priestly arts, and could read the signs

That’s poignant in juxtaposition with what the future could hold IRL.
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Warship by George R R Martin and George Guthridge
Pacing:
Good pace, but what happened next. The ship did what the ship did and then...a bit of unsatisfying.

Hmm Moments:
Creepy when he uncovered the body of his dead lover and kissed her kneecap. I was worried where this part of the story was going.
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Spirey and the Queen by Alastair Reynolds
Favorite Character:
Spirey is us caught up in the flux of duty, honor, and what is right when all three don’t equal out.

Character I Most Identified With:
Spirey. He doesn’t want to surrender his humanity...perceived humanity for comfort in the ship’s aquatic interior atmosphere. He’s stuck in his job. He’s doing his duty. And he’s being challenged by the evidence before his eyes about what his duty truly is. And is he really seeing what he’s seeing or did the nanospores insides his suit survive the purge and infect him.

The Feel:
Love the concept. Two warring forces fighting over a nascent solar system filled with mineral riches. Winner is going to mine it. But the war has been going on forever, generation on generation. Intentional mutations and augmentations. Cyborgs. A.I.s taking control.

Favorite Scene:
Spirey’s surprise when he encounters the defector after crash-jumping to the splinter. And his ship having been taken over by the nanospores is trying to cook him from orbit with its particle beams.

Hmm Moments:
Posthuman men falling into barbarism while machines fight their wars. And across the Spiral, posthuman women who have evolved out of their need for men and bioengineered them out of existence, while they think they fight their war, but the machines fight for them too. And a wasp machine queen intelligence throwing out Noah’s arks into the depth of the Spiral’s oort cloud on long orbits to return them to the Spiral when the planets are fully formed and they can be settled. Wow! Just wow!

That’s a great twist on the evolution of the A.I.s.
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Pardon Our Conquest by Alan Dean Foster
Favorite Character:
Admiral Gorekii for that last line if nothing else, but he’s excellent throughout.

The Feel:
Love the “what the heck is going on here” feeling that the representatives of the Commonwealth engender in the Admiral.

Hmm Moments:
“...this war. We lost-didn’t we?” That made me laugh.
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Symbiont by Robert Silverberg
The Feel:
It’s a decent story about duty and honor.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
But did he get it or not at the end?
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The Ship Who Returned by Anne McCaffrey
Favorite Character:
The ship is an excellent character.

Favorite Scene:
The rise of the flora

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
So much of the Ship books is internal dialogue against the backdrop of action happening off-screen or near screen that I’m not sure that it would translate.
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The Shoulders of Giants by Robert J Sawyer
Character I Most Identified With:
Toby MacGregor. He’s the narrator and the voice that leads us through the story. He’s our in to the world of giants.

The Feel:
This has that classic sci fi flavor.

Favorite Scene:
The moment when MacGregor and Woo realize that it isn’t vulcanism causing those lights on their target planet’s dark side.

Hmm Moments:
Love the Rip Van Winkle / Vance Astrovik / tortoise and the hare aspect of this story.
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The Culture Archivist by Jeremiah Tolbert
Favorite Character:
Bertie, the archivist, moving around the galaxy ahead of the swarm of the UP.

The Feel:
Join or be assimilated, no one has a body of uniqueness. If you aren’t conformed, you don’t belong and you are absorbed. Even when you conform, you are absorbed. Helluva concept. I disagree with the author on the concept of capitalism being about conformity. When it works best, it is absorbing culture and making it part of itself. The conformity here is more how I picture Soviet communism.

Favorite Scene:
When Captain Morgana recognizes Bertie and cries out his name and his non-human form attempts to respond as his human body would if aroused.

Pacing:
The pace is great.

Hmm Moments:
Love the idea that there are nodes out there with the “real” identiies of all these absorbed cultures, just waiting for their rediscovery by the drones who may escape the UP and rebegin again. The archivist’s job sounds very pyrrhic. The rebeginnings/regenesis may only last until the UP catches up with them again, but then, those nodes still exist out there waiting to be discovered again and causing another revolution.

The mindless Redshirts, basically flesh golem cannon fodder. Greatness.
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The Other Side of Jordan by Allen Steele
Favorite Character:
The narrator is great. His adventure and love story is very well told.

The Feel:
There is a great sense of wonder at the universe that the narrator is moving through.

Favorite Scene:
The climax scene, though I did see the storytelling part coming.

Pacing:
Greatness.

Hmm Moments:
The way that the danaii deal with warfare on The Hex.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Would make an awesome movie, Message in the Bottle in space.

Casting call:
Would love to see Brad Pitt as the Narrator and Angelina Jolie as Jordan. Would make a beautiful movie. The love story would work for all genders. Great story.
______________________________________________________________________________
Like They Always Been Free by Gerogina Li
Favorite Character:
Kinger and Boy are great characters. Kinger’s voice is so well communicated I can almost hear it.

The Feel:
This feels like Shawshank.

Pacing:
The story is very short. But the pace is incredible. It flows so fast that the short pages fly passed.

Hmm Moments:
I’m so happy that there wasn’t a final twist that undid the happiness of the ending. I was afraid there was going to be one. That feeling of impending doom was upon me as I read the final pages.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Eskhara by Trent Hergenrader
Favorite Character:
Xenologist Kiernan. He’s what you’d hope a diplomat would be in space.

Least Favorite Character:
Rauder comes across as every hard ass, ever. Blow it up. Kill ‘em all. A stereotype.

Character I Most Identified With:
Kiernan.

The Feel:
Feels real. Could be a story about a representative of the Crown in a foreign land trying to keep a militant regular Army officer from burning everything down before he has a chance to find out what it is.

And it’s a tragedy.

Hmm Moments:
The planet naming conventions.
______________________________________________________________________________
The One with the Interstellar Group Consciousness by James Alan Gardner
Favorite Character:
Both the Union and the Didge are great characters in possibly the weirdest romantic comedy of all time.

Least Favorite Character:
The Abundance reminds me of my ex.

The Feel:
A Douglas Adams rom com.

Favorite Scene:
When the Union realizes that the Abundance isn’t all she’s cracked up to be.

Pacing:
The pace is great. I flew through the shortness of it.

Hmm Moments:
I kept wanting to read the line “and this was regarded as being a really bad idea” or some variation of that.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
This couldn’t translate to the screen.
______________________________________________________________________________
Golubash, or Wine-Blood War-Elegy by Catherynne M Valente
Favorite Character:
Our narrator and winetaster in chief

The Feel:
The illicit, illegal wine tasting history lesson is an awesome way to do world building for the background.

Favorite Scene:
Love the end. Love it.

Hmm Moments:
Possibly one of the oddest sci fi stories I’ve ever read. Interstellar wine wars...really? And now I’m thinking about writing a story about cheese smuggling...in space. It’s a cool concept and wrapped up in the power of corporations in the sci fi environ.

The Hyphens of Golubash could be elementals or parts of the Hyperion Cantos. Excellent stuff.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Considering how much of the story happens to Uncle Such-n-such so many years ago or Grandma This or Cousin That, the focus of the movie would skip around. Wouldn’t be impossible on the big screen, but the audience desire to be lead by the nose in too many films and studios wanting to make things as simple as possible would fight against anyone wanting to sink into the escapism of it. Would anyone really want to watch an outer space travelogue and history lesson with aliens using wine as its underpinnings? I wouldn’t have thought so either, but the story is good and well written.
______________________________________________________________________________
Last Page Sound:
This was a great collection of sci fi.

Author Assessment:
There are some incredible authors involved in this collection. Some I’ll no doubt read again. And some I might not. By and large, this has been a well written collection.

Editorial Assessment:
I give full marks to the editors.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
real genre classic

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library
South Campus
Irving, TX

Dewey Decimal System:
F FED

Would recommend to:
everyone
______________________________________________________________________________



          Ez az állat megcsinálta        

Niki soha nem bír magával. Bárhol és bármikor képes pattanásig feszíteni a húrt. Olyanokat csinál, hogy toljuk a kosarat az áruházban, hátulról nekem dörgölőzik és rákezd mennyire kúrhatnékja van, mennyire kívánja a kemény faszt, legszívesebben mindenki előtt leszopna persze hogy csak én halljam. Azt élvezi hogy álló farokkal sétálgatok a boltban. Jó érzés meg minden, de egyrészt ezt mégse vállalhatom fel mindenki előtt, másrészt meg teljesen begőzölök és keresem az alkalmat ahol tényleg megkefélhetem.

Ilyenkor hirtelen igen fontos lesz ruhákat próbálnunk vagy negyed órán át. Legalábbis külső szemlélő ennyit lát belőle, viszont a próbafülkében nem fogjuk vissza magunkat. Szinte hihetetlen, hogy egy csomó áruházban pontosan tudom hogyan, hol vannak elhelyezve a kabinok, melyiknek a bejáratára hogy lehet rálátni, hol van külön kis paraván város kialakítva. Ezt szeretjük a legjobban, mert így nem látják hogy együtt megyünk be, nem feltűnő meddig maradunk. Kb. mint az áruházi szarkák, csak mi soha nem viszünk el semmit. Legfeljebb kicsit össze maszatoljuk, de a világért se vinnénk el.

Ez alkalommal késő délután tájban szerencsénkre egészen kihalt volt az áruház ruha osztálya. Egy hordó hasú kopaszodó ürge nézelődött csak, nem kicsit unhatta magát. Niki teljesen rágyógyult, hogy most le fog szopni én meg félszegen tologattam a kocsit addigra a farmeremből szabadulni vágyó ácsingózó farokkal. Kipirult arccal rángatott le pár felsőt a kamu próbához, valószínűleg nem is a saját mérete volt, csak belegyűrte a bevásárlókocsiba én meg sietve toltam a fülkék irányába. Út közben rámarkolt a seggemre úgy a maga módján diszkréten, mit mondjak nekem is sietős volt.

Szinte beestünk a próbafülkébe. Ahogy behajtotta maga mögött az ajtót még láttam ahogy hordóhas elvtárs is próbálni igyekszik, talán valami öltöny lehetett nála. Legkevésbé sem érdekelt, az járt az eszembe, hogy másodperceken belül Niki szájában élvezkedhetek. Nem kellett sokat várnom, hamarosan a padon ültem, a párom meg guggolva igyekszik kihámozni meredező szerszámom. Meg kell hagyni Niki nem a szavak embere, viszont amit mond azt komolyan is gondolja, így aztán kisvártatva lelkesen ölelte körül forró szájával szerszámom. Kezei a combjaimon, fejét előre hátra mozgatva csak az ajkait éreztem ahogy mozogtak fel-alá kemény farkamon, hogy aztán szájából kihúzva nyelvével körözzön a makkom peremén. Alig bírtam megállni, hogy másodperceken belül ne élvezzek az arcára.

Felnézett és rám mosolygott, tudtam hogy itt a vég. Résnyire kinyílott az ajtó, de nem érdekelt mert Niki nedves ajkait újra a farkamra cuppantotta és bekapta amennyire csak tudta. Igen, tele fogom élvezni a száját a fejem hátra hajtottam, a szemeim becsuktam és így vártam a pillanatot amikor elönt a kéjes érzés. Éreztem ahogy a dákóm összerándul egyszer, aztán még egyszer. Kinyitottam a szemem mert látni akartam az arcát. Egymás után lőttem a nedveim Niki édes pofijába amikor képes voltam realizálni, hogy nem csak én élvezem a pillanatot. Nem tudom mióta állhatott Niki mögött az áruházban látott pasas, de ebben a pillanatban elhomályosodott tekintetemmel annyit láttam hogy a csajom mögött áll, veri a sliccén kilógatott farkát és velem együtt élvez halk elnyúló hörgés közepette. Nem voltam elragadtatva a látványtól, de mozdulni nem tudtam csajom a combjaimba mélyesztette a körmeit, farkam épp okádja  a spermát a szájába, a kövér pasas meg épp hátulról az előttem guggoló Niki hajára spriccel. Hirtelen jöttek és letaglóztak az események.

Most már barátnőm is hátra fordult és összerakta magában az eseményeket, bár arról fogalma se volt - ahogy valójában nekem sem - hogyan történt minden. Nyelt egy párat, a kézfejével megtörölte az ajkait és valami extrém ribancos mosollyal nézte a pasast. Adott neki pár papírzsepit amivel az megtörölhette magát. Azt mondta neki - Remélem élvezted?. Uhh fergetegesek voltatok, köszönöm. - hebegte a pasi.

Mindhárman tilosban jártunk, túl nagy botrány nem rendezhettünk a történtek miatt, meg ki is voltam facsarva rendesen, így aztán az a fura helyzet állt elő, hogy rendbe szedtük magunk, visszaakasztgattuk a ruhákat és mint minden másik vásárló megindultunk a pénztárak fele. Ahogy lépkedtünk kifele a parkoló felé arra gondoltam csak képzelődöm. Mindez nem történt meg, csak a képzelet szüleménye. Agyamra ment a hőség, meg Nikinek is. Pff micsoda hülyeség. Elindultunk a kocsinkhoz a parkolóban, átkarolom a vállát. Micsoda képzelgés. Nevetve beletúrok a hajába. Megéreztem a nyúlós hideg ragacsot Niki hajában és ez visszarántott a valóságba. Egy idegen ráverte a faszát a csajomra.

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          Szüzességem elvesztése        

Nem voltam éppen nagyon fiatal amikor sor került a tűzkeresztségemre, de az élmény amit leírni készülök minden elvesztegetett időért kárpótolt. Sportoltam, jól meg a suli, de valahogy mégsem jöttem ki a korombeli lányokkal. Sose voltam az a felületes macsó típus, talán ezért is nem ment a flört.

Egy osztálytársammal iskolából hazafele menet betértünk egy ajándékboltba, ahol két jó karban lévő harmincas hölgy volt az eladó, közülük Mariann volt a tulajdonos. Magam sem tudom hogyan, de szóba elegyedtünk velük, már az első nap több mint két órát a boltban töltöttünk, egy idő után már úgy jártunk oda suli után, mintha a világ legtermészetesebb dolga lett volna. Felváltva voltak a boltban, néha egy-egy vevő jött, közben dumáltunk mindenről, iskoláról sportról, meséltek a férjeikről, még a gyerekeikről is, de gyakran áttértünk pikánsabb témákra is, mi elpirultunk, ők nevettek, aztán együtt nevettünk ilyenkor.

Egy szerdai napon Mariann, a vékonyabb barnás-vörös dolgozott, aznap úgy alakult egyedül térek be hozzá. Akkor szimplán csinosnak tűnt, ma már tudom mennyi tudatosság van az ilyen megjelenésben. Hosszú vállig érő haja mindig rendezett, egy picit tépettre igazítva, testhez simuló ruhák, enyhén áttetsző igényesen megválasztott melltartó tűnt ki alóla. Kellemes társaság volt, ez a legenyhébb kifejezés, nem is nagyon tudtam rászánni magam aznap a hazamenetelre, pedig már igencsak közelgett a délután 5 -kor esedékes záróra.

Ahogy ott álltam a pult körül egyre jobban belemerültünk a pikánsabb témákba, akkor éppen abba hogy nőnken mennyi gondja van a szőrtelenítéssel. Bejött egy vevő elnémultunk, én a sorok között tébláboltam, amikor elment kitört belőlünk a nevetés. Viccesen azt mondta jó neked, mert nem is szőrösödsz. Persze tudta, hogy ez nem így van, ahogy álltam az üvegpult előtt viccesen megzúzta a rövidnacim szárát, hogy az pár centivel lejjebb csúszott, láthatóvá téve az ágyékom felső részét. Ott még tényleg nem volt szőrzet.

Annyira meglepődtem ezen a mozdulatán, szinte földbe gyökerezett a lábam. Irultam pirultam valószínűleg, de a hiúság munkált bennem, azt mondtam lentebb megtalálja amit keres. Ő nevetett egyet és abszolút természetességgel becsúsztatta a kezét egyenesen a boxerembe, ahol megérezte a selymes és dús bozontot.

Az utcáról az üvegajtón át csak annyit lehetett látni, hogy egymással szemben állunk és beszélgetünk, de a kezét most már nem húzta ki, inkább közelebb húzódott és lejjebb csúsztatta a farkamra. Ahogy éreztem az illatát, megéreztem a bicepszemnek nyomódott melleit a dákómon éreztem, hogy duzzad. Eltelt még így pár perc amíg felfedezte a férfiasságom, ami már kőkeményen meredt előre, most már elrejteni se tudtam volna még nadrágon keresztül sem, de én még mindig nem mertem Mariann testét megérinteni. Őt meg úgy éreztem teljesen magával ragadta az érzés, hogy ennek a fiatal fiúnak a kőkemény farkát simogatja.

Ekkor már teljesen megszűnt számomra a külvilág és átkaroltam és magamhoz húztam ezt a vörös démont és lecsúsztattam  a kezem a fenekére. Király érzés volt, hogy egy begerjedt 30 -as nő fenekét markolászom, miközben ő már a golyóim morzsolgatta.

Kis idő után ráébredtünk, hogy ezt már nem csinálhatjuk fényes nappal az eladótérben, Mariann odaszaladt az ajtóhoz kitette a zárva táblácskát, ráfordította a kulcsot, megfogta a kezem és behúzott a számukra fenntartott piciny öltözőbe.

Ledobálta a ruháit és ott állt egy szál fehér melltartóban és pici tangában, rám mosolygott és megkérdezte bejön-e nekem. Azt hiszem mondanom sem kell mennyire bejött. A farkam majd szétrobbant olyan keményen állt. Közösen lecibáltuk a ruháim, közben csókolóztunk, ő is kibújt a melltartójából, eszméletlenül jó mellei voltak. Látszott a bikini felsőjének a vonala ahol nem barnult le. Letolta a kis fehér tangát és felült egy kis asztalkára.

- Magamban akarom érezni ezt a keménységet! - lihegte a fülembe. Másra nem is tudtam gondolni ahogy rápillantottam a nedvességtől csillogó teljesen csupasz pinácskájára. Eszméletlenül felizgult, szinte maguktól nyíltak szét a szeméremajkai ahogy beigazította kemény dákóm.

Finoman mozgattam a csípőm előre hátra - eddig csak a filmekben láttam ilyet - nem mertem túlzottan gyorsítani, mert éreztem bármikor elélvezhetek, de Mariann szinte remegett a gyönyörtől, közben megmarkolva a fenekem szinte magába húzott. 2-3 perc után a fülembe súgta - Akarom érezni ahogy élvezel nagyfiú!

Több se kellett nekem, most már önfeledtem tömködtem a punciját és pár lökés után telepumpáltam a már azelőtt is nedves lyukacskát.

Percekig álltunk még így mielőtt kihúztam az ernyedőfélben lévő csatakos falloszom. Nem töröltük meg magunk, úgy öltöztünk fel ahogy voltunk. Amikor felhúzta a kis bugyiját azonnal elázott. Nem zavarta.

Pár puszival elbúcsúztunk, nem egyeztünk meg semmiben, vagy ilyesmi, de attól a naptól fogva még másfél évig felkerestem azt a boltot, Mariannal sok örömteli percet szereztünk még egymásnak. A boltba betérőknek szerintem fogalma se volt róla miket művelünk mielőtt és miután betértek abba az ajándékboltba. Lesznek még érdekes történetek, ha tetszett a sztori.

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          Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis        
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
author: J.D. Vance
name: Maggie
average rating: 3.91
book published: 2016
rating: 4
read at: 2017/06/01
date added: 2017/07/02
shelves: adult, bio-memoir-autobio, audio
review:
An interesting mix of cultural sociology and personal memoir, this book left me thinking.

          Vaughan Recital Series presents Janet Ahlquist, piano        
44578 thumb Sun, Sep 24 04:00 PM until 05:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
The program will include works by Liszt, Chopin, Gershwin, Schubert, and two compositions by Ahlquist - 'Elegy', and 'Ode to Native Americans'.
Location: Faulkner Recital Hall, Hopkins Center

          Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus        
Duino Elegies and The Sonnets to Orpheus
author: Rainer Maria Rilke
name: Joe
average rating: 4.42
book published: 1923
rating: 5
read at: 2009/11/01
date added: 2013/10/22
shelves: poetry, 2009
review:
The ninth elegy is my favorite poem of all time.

          Episode 53 — Sarah Manguso        
Sarah Manguso is today’s guest.  She’s the author of the new book The Guardians: An Elegy, now available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux. Megan O’Grady, writing for Vogue, says: Shortly after returning home from a fellowship year in Rome, poet and memoirist Sarah Manguso received word that her old college friend Harris had fled a […]
          A Classic Monday 08-03-2015 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

Maria Kliegel Ulster Orchestra Takuo Yuasa- The Protecting Veil - The Essential John Tavener
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Robert King Kings Consort- Hail Bright Cecilia - Purcell Hail Bright Cecilia
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Benjamin Frith David Haslam Northern Sinfonia- Piano Concerto 5 2 Adagio - Field Piano Concertos No 5 And 6
Benjamin Firth David Haslam Northern Sinfonia- Piano Concerto 5 3 Rondo Allegro - Field Piano Concertos No 5 And 6
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London Philharmonic Orchestra Matthias Bamert- Symphony No 4 In E Minor II Molto Adagio - Parry Complete Symphonies
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Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sir Georg Solti- Variations On An Original Theme Op36 Enigma 9 Nimrod Adagio - The World Of Classical Favourites
Janet Baker Sir John Barbirolli London Symphony Orchestra- Sea Pictures Op 37 I Sea SlumberSong - Elgar Cello Concerto Sea Pictures
London Philharmonic Orchestra Sir Georg Solti- Pomp And Circumstance Op39 March No4 In G - 40 Famous Marches
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Jacques Orchestra Sir David Willcocks- Five Variants Of Dives And Lazarus - The Lark Ascending Collection
David LloydJones Ian Tracey Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra- Toward The Unknown Region - Vaughan Williams WillowWood The Sons Of Light Toward The Unknown Region Five Variants Of Dives And Lazarus
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English Northern Philharmonia Paul Daniel- Partita I Toccata Brioso - Walton Symphony No 1 Partita
DongSuk Kang Paul Daniel English Northern Philharmonia- Violin Concerto 2 Presto Capriccioso - Walton Violin Concerto Cello Concerto
English Northern Philharmonia Paul Daniel- March For A History Of The English Speaking Peoples - Walton Spitfire Prelude And Fugue Sinfonia Concertante
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Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version Prologue horn Solo - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version 1 Pastoral The Days Grown Old Charles Cotton - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version 2 Nocturne The Splendour Falls On Castle Walls Alfred Lord Tennyson - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version 3 Elegy O Rose Thou Art Sick William Blake - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version 4 Dirge This Ae Nighte anon 15th Century - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version 5 Hymn Queen And Huntress Ben Jonson - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version 6 Sonnet O Soft Embalmer Of The Still Midnight John Keats horn Tacet - The Very Best Of English Song
Alan Civil Northern Sinfonia Orchestra Robert Tear Sir Neville Marriner- Serenade For Tenor Horn And Strings Op 31 1971 Remastered Version Epilogue horn Solo - The Very Best Of English Song
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Choir Of St Johns College Cambridge Christopher Robinson- Song For Athene - English Choral Music


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/8/playlistDate/2015-08-03
          Sleepless Nights 01-20-2015 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

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Christopher Hinterhuber Uwe Grodd Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra- Piano Concerto No 7 Op 132 Farewell To London III Allegro - Ries Piano Concerto Op 132
Salvador Brotons Orquestra Simfonica De Les Illes Balears Ciutat De Palma- 4 Pieces Op 14 No 1 Elegy revised Version 2010 - Brotons Symphony No 5 Mundus Noster
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Lance Friedel Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra- Symphony No 4 In C Minor Op 54 Easter Eve Symphony No 4 In C Minor Op 54 Easter Eve III Andante Sostenuto - Foerster Symphony No 4 Easter Eve Festive Overture Meine Jugend
Claudio Arrau- Piano Sonata No 29 In BFlat Op 106 Hammerklavier III Adagio Sostenuto - The Liszt Legacy
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Sharon Bezaly- Syrinx - Bezaly Solo Flute From A To Z Vol 3
Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal Charles Dutoit- Une Barque Sur Locan - Ravel Bolero Alborada Del Gracioso Daphnis Chlo La Valse Pavane Rapsodie Espagnole
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London Soloists Ensemble- Piano Quintet 2 Andante - Vaughan Williams Quintets
Harold Parfitt Sir Adrian Boult London Philharmonic Orchestra- Symphony No8 In D Minor III Cavatina per Stromenti Ad Arco - Vaughan Williams Complete Symphonies
Berlin Philharmonic Herbert Von Karajan- Symphony No 1 In C Minor Op 68 II Andante Sostenuto - Brahms The Complete Symphonies
Alexandra Hawley Jeffrey McFadden- Snow Dreams - Riley Cantos Desiertos
Leonard Slatkin Detroit Symphony Orchestra- 14 Songs Op 34 No 14 Vocalise arr For Orchestra - Rachmaninov S Symphony No 2 Vocalise
Vlado Perlemuter- Nocturne No 1 In E Flat Minor - Faure Nocturnes Barcarolles
James Judd New Zealand Symphony Orchestra- The Wand Of Youth Suite No 1 Op 1a VI Slumber Scene - Elgar The Wand Of Youth Nursery Suite
James Judd New Zealand Symphony Orchestra- Nursery Suite VII Dreaming - Elgar The Wand Of Youth Nursery Suite
Peter Frankl Gyorgy Pauk Ralph Kishbaum- Piano Trio 4 3 Andante - Dvorak Dumky Trio
James Ehnes Philharmonia Orchestra Sir Andrew Davis- Violin Concerto In B Minor Op 61 II Andante - Elgar Violin Concerto Serenade For Strings
Ingrid Haebler Eduard Melkus Capella Academica Wien- Piano Concerto No 1 In F K 37 II Andante - The Complete Mozart Edition The Piano Concertos Vol 1
Philharmonia Hungarica Antal Dorti- Symphony In FSharp Minor H I No 45 Farewell II Adagio - Haydn Symphonies Nos45 47 48
Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra Misha Keylin Takuo Yuasa- Violin Concerto No 4 In D Minor Op 31 Andante Religioso - Vieuxtemps Violin Concertos Nos 1 And 4
Otmar Suitner Helmut Oertel Staatskapelle Berlin- Palestrina Prelude - Pfitzner Palestrina
Samuel Wong Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra- Turandot Suite Op 41 Scene 5 Turandots Chamber - Busoni Turandot Suite 2 Studies For Doktor Faust
Anthony Camden City Of London Sinfonia Nicholas Ward- Oboe Concerto No 3 In G Minor HWV 287 III Sarabande Largo - Handel Oboe Concertos Nos 1 3


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/16/playlistDate/2015-01-20
          A Classic Monday 11-03-2014 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

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Compilation- 4 Pieces Op 4 No 4 Navazhdeniye Suggestion Diabolique - A To Z Of Pianists
Sergei Prokofiev- Three Pieces For Piano Op 59 II Paysage Landscape - Prokofiev By Himself Vol 1
Alan Hovhaness North Jersey Wind Symphony- Requiem And Resurrection Op 224 For Brass Choir And Percussion - Alan Hovhaness Vol 5
Tobias Picker Lukas Foss Brooklyn Philharmonic- Keys To The City - Picker Blitzstein Works For Piano And Orchestra
Howard Blake Madeleine Mitchell- Jazz Dances Op 520a No 4 Medium Rock Tempo Giusto - Blake Violin Sonata Piano Quartet Etc
Howard Blake Madeleine Mitchell- Jazz Dances Op 520a No 5 Folk Ballad Lento - Blake Violin Sonata Piano Quartet Etc
Howard Blake Madeleine Mitchell- Jazz Dances Op 520a No 6 Boogie Presto - Blake Violin Sonata Piano Quartet Etc
Howard Blake Madeleine Mitchell- Jazz Dances Op 520a No 7 Jazz Waltz Allegretto Triste - Blake Violin Sonata Piano Quartet Etc
Howard Blake Madeleine Mitchell- Jazz Dances Op 520a No 8 Chacha Moderato - Blake Violin Sonata Piano Quartet Etc
Howard Blake Madeleine Mitchell- Jazz Dances Op 520a No 9 Galop Presto - Blake Violin Sonata Piano Quartet Etc
BBC Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- Symphony No 2 I Allegro Vigoroso - Tippett Symphonies 2 4
BBC Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- Symphony No 2 II Adagio Molto E Tranquillo - Tippett Symphonies 2 4
BBC Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- Symphony No 2 III Presto Veloce - Tippett Symphonies 2 4
BBC Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- Symphony No 2 IV Allegro Moderato - Tippett Symphonies 2 4
Salvador Brotons Orquestra Simfonica De Les Illes Balears Ciutat De Palma- 4 Pieces Op 14 No 1 Elegy revised Version 2010 - Brotons Symphony No 5 Mundus Noster
Salvador Brotons Orquestra Simfonica De Les Illes Balears Ciutat De Palma- 4 Pieces Op 14 No 2 Humoresque revised Version 2010 - Brotons Symphony No 5 Mundus Noster
Salvador Brotons Orquestra Simfonica De Les Illes Balears Ciutat De Palma- 4 Pieces Op 14 No 3 Nocturn revised Version 2010 - Brotons Symphony No 5 Mundus Noster
Salvador Brotons Orquestra Simfonica De Les Illes Balears Ciutat De Palma- 4 Pieces Op 14 No 4 Dance revised Version 2010 - Brotons Symphony No 5 Mundus Noster
Dmitri Shostakovich- Prelude Fugue 1 - Shostakovich A Portrait


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/8/playlistDate/2014-11-03
          Sleepless Nights 10-07-2014 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
Eric Whitacre Eric Whitacre Singers- The Seal Lullaby - Light Gold
Martyn BrabbinsBBC National Orchestra Of Wales- The Sea 3 Moonlight - Bridge The Sea
Academy Of St Martin In The Fields Alfred Brendel Sir Neville Marriner- Piano Concerto No 21 In C Major K 467 II Andante - Mozart The Great Piano Concertos Vol 1
- voicebreak -
Choir Of St Johns College Cambridge George Guest Stephen Cleobury- Cantique De Jean Racine Chorus And Organ Op 11 1865 - Faur Requiem Durufl Requiem Poulenc Motets
Berlin Philharmonic Herbert Von Karajan- Symphony No2 In B Flat Op52 Hymn Of Praise 1c Sinfonia Adagio Religioso - Mendelssohn Symphony No2 Lobgesang
Daniel Barenboim Jacqueline Du Pr English Chamber Orchestra- Cello Concerto No 1 In C Major Hob VIIb1 II Adagio Cadenza - Haydn Boccherini Cello Concertos
- voicebreak -
Cecile Licad- The Dying Poet Meditation - Gottschalk Piano Music
Marat BisengalievBenjamin FrithAndrew PennyNorthern Sinfonia- Concerto For Violin Piano Strings 2 Andante - Mendelssohn Concertos For Violin Piano And Strings
- voicebreak -
Xiayin Wang- Preludes Book 2 The Enchanted Garden No 3 Elegy - Danielpour The Enchanted Garden
Xiayin Wang- Preludes Book 2 The Enchanted Garden No 1 Persepolis - Danielpour The Enchanted Garden
Maurice AndreNeville MarinerAcademy Of St Martin In The Fields- Tartini Trumpet Concerto In D 2 Andante - Maurice Andre Plays Trumpet Concerti
Emil Gilels- Piano Sonata No 14 In C Sharp Minor Op 27 No 2 Moonlight I Adagio Sostenuto - Beethoven Pathtique Moonlight Sonatas
- voicebreak -
Ernst Ottensamer Johannes Wildner Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra Kosice- Clarinet Concerto No 1 In F Minor Op 73 J 114 II Adagio Ma Non Troppo - Weber Clarinet Concertos Nos 1 And 2
Michael Tilson Thomas San Francisco Symphony- Rodeo Corral Nocturne - Classic Library Series Copland Appalachian Spring Billy The Kid Rodeo
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli- Prludes Book II 5 Bruyres - Debussy Prludes Vol2 Book II


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/16/playlistDate/2014-10-07
          A Classic Monday 05-05-2014 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

Tan Dun Imperial Bells Ensemble Of China Yips Childrens Choir Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra YoYo Ma- Symphony 1997 Heaven Earth Mankind For Cello Solo Bianzhong Childrens Chorus And Orchestra Song Of Peace - Tan Dun Symphony 1997 Heaven Earth Mankind
- voicebreak -
Leontyne Price And Samuel Barber- Quatre Poemes De Paul Elaard - Historic Performances
- voicebreak -
Richard Strauss Vienna Philharmonic- Til Eulenspiegel - Strauss Conducts Strauss
- voicebreak -
Gustav Mahler- Mahler Songs - WelteMignon 1905
Gustav Mahler- Symphony No 5 I Trauermarsch Funeral March - Mahler Plays Mahler The WelteMignon Piano Rolls
- voicebreak -
Leonard Bernstein New York Philharmonic- Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Andante with Dignity Presto Barbaro - Bernstein Candide Overture Symphonic Dances From West Side Story Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Fancy Free Ballet Expanded Edition
Leonard Bernstein New York Philharmonic- Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Adagio Allegro Molto Agitato Alla Breve Poco Pi Mosso Presto Come Prima - Bernstein Candide Overture Symphonic Dances From West Side Story Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Fancy Free Ballet Expanded Edition
Leonard Bernstein New York Philharmonic- Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Andante Largamente More Flowing Still More Flowing Poco Meno Mosso Lento - Bernstein Candide Overture Symphonic Dances From West Side Story Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Fancy Free Ballet Expanded Edition
Leonard Bernstein New York Philharmonic- Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Moving Forward With Warmth Largamente A Tempo Calmato Andante Come Prima Sempre Avanti With Intensity Ancora Pi Mosso - Bernstein Candide Overture Symphonic Dances From West Side Story Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Fancy Free Ballet Expanded Edition
Leonard Bernstein New York Philharmonic- Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Allegro Non Troppo Molto Marcato Poco Pi Sostenuto Moving Forward Meno Mosso - Bernstein Candide Overture Symphonic Dances From West Side Story Symphonic Suite From The Film On The Waterfront Fancy Free Ballet Expanded Edition
- voicebreak -
Dennis Brain- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 I Prologue - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Benjamin Britten Dennis Brain Sir Peter Pears The Boyd Neel String Orchestra- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 II Pastoral - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Benjamin Britten Dennis Brain Sir Peter Pears The Boyd Neel String Orchestra- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 III Nocturne - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Benjamin Britten Dennis Brain Sir Peter Pears The Boyd Neel String Orchestra- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 IV Elegy - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Benjamin Britten Dennis Brain Sir Peter Pears The Boyd Neel String Orchestra- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 V Dirge - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Benjamin Britten Dennis Brain Sir Peter Pears The Boyd Neel String Orchestra- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 VI Hymn - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Benjamin Britten Dennis Brain Sir Peter Pears The Boyd Neel String Orchestra- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 VII Sonnet - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
Dennis Brain- Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Op 31 VIII Epilogue - Britten Serenade For Tenor Horn Strings Walton Faade
- voicebreak -


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/8/playlistDate/2014-05-05
          A Classic Monday 02-24-2014 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

- Elgar Elegy - Bbc Great Recordings
- voicebreak -
Sergei Rachmaninoff The Philadelphia Orchestra Leopold Stokowski- Piano Concerto No 2 In C Minor Op 18 I Moderato - The Best Of Rachmaninov
Sergei Rachmaninoff The Philadelphia Orchestra Leopold Stokowski- Piano Concerto No 2 In C Minor Op 18 II Adagio Sostenuto - The Best Of Rachmaninov
Sergei Rachmaninoff The Philadelphia Orchestra Leopold Stokowski- Piano Concerto No 2 In C Minor Op 18 III Allegro Scherzando - The Best Of Rachmaninov
- voicebreak -
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 1 At Saint Patricks Purgatory - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 2 Church Bells At Night - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 3 Saint Itas Vision - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 4 The Heavenly Banquet - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 5 The Crucifixion - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 6 Seasnatch - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 7 Promiscuity - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 8 The Monk And His Cat - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 9 The Praises Of God - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
Dietrich FischerDieskau Eleanor Steber Leontyne Price Martina Arroyo- Hermit Songs Op 29 No 10 The Desire For Hermitage - Barber Knoxville Summer Of 1915 Dover Beach Hermit Songs
- voicebreak -
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 I The World Turns - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 II The Argument - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time III Interludum - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 IV The Narrator - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 V Chorus Of The Oppressed - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 VI I Have No Money - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 VII How Can I Cherish - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Michael Tippett- A Child Of Our Time Part 1 VIII A Spiritual - Tippett A Child Of Our Time
- voicebreak -
EastmanRochester Orchestra Howard Hanson- Symphony No 2 Op 30 Romantic I Adagio Allegro Moderato - Hanson Symphony Nos 1 2 Song Of Democracy
EastmanRochester Orchestra Howard Hanson- Symphony No 2 Op 30 Romantic II Andante Con Tenerezza - Hanson Symphony Nos 1 2 Song Of Democracy
EastmanRochester Orchestra Howard Hanson- Symphony No 2 Op 30 Romantic III Allegro Con Brio - Hanson Symphony Nos 1 2 Song Of Democracy


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/8/playlistDate/2014-02-24
          Sleepless Nights 10-01-2013 with Ron Nadel        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
Andre AnichanovSt Petersberg State Symphony- Gayane Suite 3 Gayanes Adagio - Khachaturian Gayane Suites 13
Henry Parkes Matthew Berry Commotio- Eternal Rest - Whitbourn J Luminosity
Academy Of St Martin In The Fields Alfred Brendel Sir Neville Marriner- Piano Concerto No25 In C K503 2 Andante - Mozart The Great Piano Concertos Nos 9 15 22 25 27
- voicebreak -
Rome Symphony Orchestra Francesco La Vecchia- Canzonetta Op 65 No 2 Arr For Orchestra - Martucci Symphony No 1
Robert MossVoces Novae Et Antiquae- The Lord Is My Shepherd - Thompson Choral Works
National Symphony Orchestra Of Ukraine Theodore Kuchar- Symphony No 7 In C Sharp Minor Op 131 III Andante Espressivo - Prokofiev Symphonies Nos 3 7
- voicebreak -
Dmitry Yablonsky Russian Philharmonic Orchestra- Vainberg Violin Concerto 2 Adagio - Myaskovsky Vainberg Violin Concertos
Wandsworth School Boys Choir London Symphony Chorus Nicolas Kynaston London Symphony Orchestra Sir Colin Davis- Te Deum Op 22 Dignare - Berlioz Sacred Music Symphonic Dramas Orchestral Songs
- Elegy - Elgar Cello Concerto Introduction Allegro
- voicebreak -
Isabelle Faust Alexander Melnikov- Sonata For Piano Violin No 6 Op 30 No 1 II Adagio Molto Espressivo - Beethoven Complete Sonatas For Piano Violin
Gundula Janowitz Berliner Philharmoniker Herbert Von Karajan- Vier Letzte Lieder II September - Strauss R Four Last Songs Metamorphoses Oboe Concerto
Leonard Bernstein New York Philharmonic- Music For The Theatre Suite In Five Parts For Small Orchestra III Interlude - The Copland Collection Early Orchestral Works
- voicebreak -
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra Herbert Blomstedt- Violin Concerto Op33 II Intermezzo Poco Adagio - Nielsen Concertos
- Luminosity 7 Julian Of Norwich - Whitbourn Luminosity
Vladimir Ziva Andrei Korobeinikov Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra- Elegy - Pavlova Symphony No 5 Elegy
- voicebreak -
Adrian Leaper Capella Istropolitana- Larghetto From Serenade For Strings In E Minor Op 20 - The Best Of Elgar
Sharon Isbin- La Catedral Ii Allegro Solemne - Latin Romances For Guitar


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/16/playlistDate/2013-10-01
          Best of 2015        
1. Terakaft - Alone (Mali)
Tishoumaren













2. Susanne Sundfor - Ten Love Songs (Norway) - no link
art pop / synthpop


3. Fedorov & Kruzenshtern - Взрыв цветов  (Russia)
experimental rock / avant-folk / avant-prog












4. Ibeyi - Ibeyi (Cuba/France) - no link
art pop / alternative r&b / yoruba

4. Nozinja - Nozinja Lodge (South Africa)
Shangaan Electro / Kwaito / ambient dub













5. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - Ba Power (Mali)
Mande music / afro-funk













6. Seval Eroglu - Iki Cihan (Turkey)
turkish folk













7. Insanlar - Kime Ne (Turkey)
turkish folk / minimal techno













8. Ghost Bath - Moonlover (USA) - no link
blackgaze / black metal 


9. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly (USA) - no link
hip-hop


10. Senyawa - Menjadi (Indonesia)
indonesian folk / psych folk








  




11. Tal National - Zoy Zoy (Niger)
afro-funk













12. Fedorov, Martynov, Volkov, Grindenko, Opus Posth - Элегия  (Russia)
 avant-folk / modern classical












13. Samba Toure - Gandadiko (Mali)
mande music







  




14. Beglomeg - Eurokrjem (Norway)
experimental rock














15. Locrian - Infinite Dissolution
post rock / atmospheric black metal / drone / dark ambient













bonus song: Rundek Cargo Trio - Ima ih (Croatia) - youtube






          BCPL Top Titles of 2016         

Finish out this year's BCPL Reading Challenge with Collection Development's Top Titles for 2016. Stay tuned for our upcoming blogger favorites of 2016!

 

Fiction 

Cover art for Before the Fall  Cover art for A Great Reckoning Cover art for Homegoing Cover art for Lily and the Octopus Cover art for Sweetbitter Cover art for Swing Time Cover art for The Trespasser Cover art for The Underground Railroad  Cover art for The Wangs vs. The World Cover art for The Whole Town's Talking

 

Nonfiction 

Cover art for Eight Flavors Cover art for Evicted Cover art for Hero of the Empire Cover art for Hillbilly Elegy Cover art for How to Be Here Cover art for Hungry Heart Cover art for The Mathews Men Cover art for Sing for Your Life Cover art for Truevine Cover art for Victoria the Queen

 

Romance 

Cover art for Because of Miss Bridgerton Cover art for Forbidden Cover art for The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire Cover art for Haunted Destiny Cover art for Her Darkest Nightmare Cover art for In Bed With the Billionaire Cover art for Jordan's Return Cover art for Lady Bridget's Diary Cover art for Magnate Cover art for The Trouble With Mistletoe

 

Kids 

Cover art for The Best Man Cover art for Ghost Cover art for Juana & Lucas Cover art for PAX Cover art for The Plot to Kill Hitler Cover art for Raymie Nightingale Cover art for Snow White Cover art for Vietnam: A History of WarCover art for When the Sea Turned to Silver Cover art for The Wild Robot  

 

Teen 

Cover art for Burn Baby Burn Cover art for Haikyu! Cover art for Lucy and Linh Cover art for Outrun the Moon Cover art for The Passion of Dolssa Cover art for The Serpent King Cover art for The Sun Is Also a Star Cover art for Unbecoming Cover art for We Are Still Tornadoes Cover art for We Are the Ants  

 

Picture Book 

Cover art for Before Morning Cover art for Best in Snow Cover art for Grumpy Pants Cover art for Ideas are All Around Cover art for Jazz Day Cover art for The Journey Cover art for School's First Day of SchoolCover art for Skunk on a String Cover art for We Found a Hat Cover art for When Green Becomes Tomatoes

 

Music CD 

Cover art for American Band Cover art for Blackstar Cover art for Cleopatra Cover art for Here Cover art for Joanne Cover art for Lemonade Cover art for Love you to Death Cover art for Malibu Cover art for Untitled Unmastered

 


          What Will Become of the Paper Book?        

Slate

How their design will evolve in the age of the Kindle.

Benjamin paperback
Book designed by Sara De Bondt Studio/Visual Editions.
The change has come more slowly to books than it came to music or to business correspondence, but by now it feels inevitable. The digital era is upon us. The Twilights and Freedoms of 2025 will be consumed primarily as e-books. In many ways, this is good news. Books will become cheaper and more easily accessible. Hypertext, embedded video, and other undreamt-of technologies will give rise to new poetic, rhetorical, and narrative possibilities. But a literary culture that has defined itself through paper books for centuries will surely feel the loss as they pass away.
In the past several years, we’ve all heard readers mourn the passing of the printed word. The elegy is familiar: I crave the smell of a well-worn book, the weight of it in my hands; all of my favorite books I discovered through loans from a friend, that minor but still-significant ritual of trust; I need to see it on my shelf after I’ve read it (and I don’t mind if others see it too); and what is a classic if not a book where I’m forced to rediscover my own embarrassing college-age marginalia?
Luddites can take comfort in the persistence of vinyl records, postcards, and photographic film. The paper book will likewise survive, but its place in the culture will change significantly. As it loses its traditional value as an efficient vessel for text, the paper book’s other qualities—from its role in literary history to its inimitable design possibilities to its potential for physical beauty—will take on more importance. The future is yet to be written, but a few possibilities for the fate of the paper book are already on display on bookshelves near you.

We’re warned from an early age not to be taken in by the sensuous aspects of a paper book’s design, such as its cover. Yet the visual effect of a well-made book, even an inexpensive paperback, unquestionably shapes our interpretation and appreciation of the text.
Benjamin paperback
Book designed and photographed by David Pearson.
Consider this Penguin UK collection of essays by the German critic Walter Benjamin. The front cover comments on the book’s status as a manufactured object. This is in harmony with Benjamin’s text: “[T]hat which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence.”

For more

          PopFilter Podcast Episode 174        

This week on the PopFilter Podcast, the friends discuss the new Smashing Pumpkins album “Monument to an Elegy” as well as Lisa Kudrow’s “Comeback”. They also build an incredible mountain to the four most iconic pop culture comebacks of all time. For the first time, they also let the world know what they need to…

The post PopFilter Podcast Episode 174 appeared first on PopFilter.


          Say hello to Jeremy Mangan        
Early this Spring, artist Jeremy Mangan and I did this interview. It was going to be published elsewhere but since Jeremy has an exciting show of new work opening this Thursday, I figured it would be the perfect chance to share this.

Visitation, 2012
16 x 12 inches, oil & acrylic on canvas
Joey Veltkamp: Your art seems to celebrate the spirit of the West but without localizing it. Or is that because it's not about a physical place but rather an attitude?

Jeremy Mangan: I was born in Seattle, grew up in Kent, WA. I get that a lot, questions about the West in my work, particularly the Midwest, and if I ever lived there. To me those plains, open spaces and vast horizons are more of an idea of "The West" in general than anything else. But they're also local—if not Western Washington then at least Eastern, like Ellensburg and beyond. And I have spent a good amount of time east of the Cascades—I lived in Ellensburg for a few years, and travel that way whenever I can to fly-fish. I've been through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming a few times, drove through South Dakota once... It's beautiful country and certainly left—continues to leave—an impression on me. Also, they're simply "landscape" in a basic, austere sense and create a wonderfully gorgeous yet melancholy/lonely setting for these characters that are the buildings. So it's not that I avoid localizing it. It's just been playing out as, like you say, more of a spirit, an idea. But I can see it jumping around in the future: becoming specific for awhile, then more general again. It's more about disposition.

Moon Lantern, 2012
9 x 12 inches, acrylic on panel
JV: Your work feels similarly out of time. Are you referencing a specific moment? Or are they intentionally fluid? 

JM: I like "out of time." I like that a lot. In my artist statement I mention "anachronism.". Ideally, they can't be placed. Yes, they reference the past—that's the easy one. But they could also be something you could go and see now, and I think, I hope, that they could also suggest something we might see later. I'm not sure why we might see them—they could be the result of some post-catastrophe necessity, or they could come about voluntarily and joyfully out of a spirit of curiosity and creativity.

Chicken Coop, 2012
12 x 16 inches, oil & acrylic on panel
JV: There seems to be an undercurrent of architecture running through the work. Where does that come from? 

JM: I'm not interested much in architecture, per se. I'm simply drawn to these types of wooden structures that are so prevalent in the rural American West, whether barns, mining compounds, grain elevators, etc. I love the idea that they're built purely for function, yet they're beautiful as a by-product, and maybe grow more beautiful as they slowly deteriorate. I love how they imply some sort of expansive, varied space within. So then when I exaggerate them and "overbuild" them as I like to say, that function comes into question? Why so many rooms? What are they all for? What is in them? There's some nice mystery there, a story of motivations and activities, which I find at once inviting and slightly haunting. Essentially, I feel that these particular types of structures are rich as formal images and rich with implications of content (if such a distinction can be made), and I'm able to push that and play with that as I build them myself on the 2-D surface. And they're really fun to build!

On a more personal level, I grew up around, and in, some barns like these, so I have experience with those spaces. They're incredible. Also, my dad is a home builder so I think that seeps in a little, too.

Good a place as any, 2012
12 x 24 inches, acrylic & oil on panel
JV: Some of the work has whispers of nostalgia (in a good way). Do you see it that way or am I just projecting? 

JM: Yes, I do see it that way. what I'm interested in is how the past seems to try to remain present, how it informs our present, and even how it informs us that we're not always (or even usually!) so clever and innovative and enlightened as we think. Plus, old stuff is cool. It's strange, haunting, beautiful. Haunting is a big one—I love the tension of beautiful yet haunting. 

Its Not Romantic if No Ones Watching, 2012
24 x 30 inches, oil on canvas

JV: The only time we see actual people, they're in the form of mustachioed men that you might find on historical wanted posters. I'm curious about them... 

JM: So far, those guys have always been real "Badmen" of the West, actual historical figures. To me those badmen symbolize the overlap of legend and fact of the American West. Most of the accounts of those guys have been wildly embellished, BUT in that hyperbole is a kernel of truth, and even that small kernel is amazing and compelling. Just like the reputation of the West as a whole: vast, beautiful, bountiful, unforgiving, extreme geographically, full of possibility, mystery, resources, danger, inhabited by individualistic, tough, courageous, industrious do-it-yourself types... It's a cliche, but again there's a kernel of truth. The West is actually like that, just not to that degree and not so simple... But it does have a personality. It IS different than other regions, the people here are here for a reason.

But, clearly, these guys are dead! So is the West dead? No, but some of it is, some of it's gone. Some of it we've obviously outright stripped or over-exploited, and some we've actually loved to death. And some we've recovered or are recovering! But mostly I think those guys represent a longing in ME personally for the West, both legend and actual. So they can be read as an elegy, a remembrance- not just for what may be lost or ruined, but for what is there now that is actively missed and longed for.

Every Effort Made to Preserve the Original Structure, 2011
30 x 40 inches, acrylic on panel

JV: The wry impracticality of your structures in paintings like Every Effort Made to Preserve the Original Structure are borderline absurd. Do you think of them as having a sense of humor?

JM: Yes. And "sense of humor" is what I'm going for, as opposed to "funny." So, again, tension: a hint of humor or whimsy against precariousness, vertigo, even outright danger.

I find that, in life, humor and poignancy often overlap, and I hope that some of my images contain that overlap. 

Congratulations, Canyon, 2012
52.5 x 69.5 inches, oil & acrylic on canvas
JV: I think that definitely comes through. In fact, it seems like many of your paintings read as petit celebrations about the little moments in life. A roaring camp fire, colorful pennants against a menacing sky, fireworks—they all feel very optimistic.

JM: I'm with you 100% on petit celebrations. Absolutely. As for optimism, yes, but very often a "deliberate" optimism- genuine and robust to be sure, but also partially as an act of the will to ward off the melancholy or isolation. The optimism "vies."

Dancefloor, 2011
18 x 24 inches, acrylic on panel
JV: Speaking of isolation, your work frequently depicts people coming together (in the form of multiple boats anchored around one pole, tents in a circle for protection, and your clusters of buildings). How community fit into your work?

JM: I think this goes back to optimism. That optimism is achieved, is realized in part by the dynamic of community. What better way to combat isolation? And how about community for rich, poignant tensions! It can be so light, wonderful, energizing, and effortless, and it can be...the opposite. But in a way it's almost unavoidable, almost a default for me to deal with community on some level--that's just how we live, how we interact with our world. We're all in this together.

Bird Kite, 2012
11 x 14 inches, acrylic on panel
JV: We did this interview several months ago...what has changed since then?

JM: I think the main thing that's changing is that I'm opening up my subject matter. I still have a fondness for the buildings and structures and they certainly still appear, but I'm happily admitting most anything I find interesting. I think of it as "introducing new characters" in a way. The foundations haven't changed, though. I feel the disposition of the work is the same, as is my interest in the West, broadly or narrowly defined. I feel the whimsy and humor remain, as do the different tensions I like to explore and incite. The work still has a lot of exaggeration but I think in a different way: now it's couched a little more in specific, actual or seemingly actual, landscapes. The result, I think, is that the exaggerations become more subtle and more evocative at the same time.

Eagle Kites, 2012
42 x 54 inches, oil on canvas
JV: What's been driving this approach in your latest work?

JM: The changes are all happening very organically, which is best, but also deliberately to a degree in order to keep things open and fresh, and to avoid cornering myself or being redundant. I find myself drawing more directly from personal experience these days, too. I can't say for sure why that is, but I think it has to do with a desire to see how our individual, particular worlds so often overlap and are shared, common, collective. As if to ask "do you feel this way, too? Is this true for you, too?" Mostly I feel myself "along for the ride" more than ever, letting go and being carried along, which is absolutely wonderful and a great place to be.

# # #

Congratulations, Canyon by Jeremy Mangan
November 1 - December 1, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, Nov 1, 6-8pm
Linda Hodges Gallery

all images courtesy of Linda Hodges Gallery and the artist. 


          Hajimete no Aku Vol 05 Ch 048        
An Elegy for a Single Bodied Duplicity by Hyena-Scans
          Elegy2 Realistic GTR35 Mod for GTA 5        
none
          Read in 2016        

(2016=29; 2015=30; 2014=33)



This is the third year I’ve kept track of my reading for the year and it’s the third year coming in right around 30 books. I think it would be great to read 52 in 2017. Let’s see if that can happen. What do I notice? This was a year of reading white women, for sure. Only 5 men and only 2 people of color in the whole list. That’s not great range, though since this accounting began in part out of the #readonlywomen movement of 2014, the preponderance of women in itself is neither surprising nor entirely bad.

Other observations: eight audiobooks (audiobook listening dwindling sharply between the conventions and that horrifying election and then rose again), only three books on the Kindle. A play. More experimental writing than in past years (11, 16, 23, & 25), so that’s good. And, with Mina Loy’s collection, even a bit of poetry. Also: some genre fiction this year in the form of three thrillers. Lee Child came to Fordham to honor alum Mary Higgins Clark and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I loved them and they certainly are a great way to finish a book quickly when just getting a complete narrative into your head feels like what needs to happen next. 


My least favorite books of the year were the Brittain biography (ponderous and too impatient to get to her pacifist work to see the rest of her life as interesting or worth documenting) and Eileen Myles (I know she’s a darling, but I found this memoirish novel almost unbearably self-indulgent. It’s really really hard for me to read about being drunk and on fellowship, dealing drugs and cheating on girlfriends who cheat on you. I just felt the weight of all the time she was wasting. I kept reading—at a snail’s pace—because every few pages there would be a sentence that was absolutely dazzling and because I am a stubborn cuss.

My favorite book, by far, was H is for Hawk. Although I think about that handsome lug of a husband from Fates and Furies from time to time with a sigh.

1.     To Bed With Grand Music, Marghanita Laski (fiction)

2.    Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff (fiction, audiobook)

3.    The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, Shani Boianjiu (fiction)

4.    Plum Bun, Jessie Fauset (fiction)

5.     Unspeakable, Meghan Daum (nonfiction)

6.    Negroland, Margo Jefferson (nonfiction)

7.     Give and Take, Adam Grant (nonfiction, audiobook)

8.    Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, Hilary Mantel (fiction, Kindle)

9.    Richard III, William Shakespeare (drama, audiobook)

10.  Bossypants, Tina Fey (nonfiction, Kindle)

11.   The Argonuats, Maggie Nelson (nonfiction)

12.  H is for Hawk, Helen MacDonald (nonfiction, audiobook)

13.  Excellent Women, Barbara Pym (fiction)

14.  Bloomsbury Pie, Regina Marler (nonfiction)

15.  Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin (nonfiction, audiobook)

16.  Artful, Ali Smith (nonfiction)

17.  The Torso, Helene Thursen (fiction)

18.  Vera Brittain: A Life, Mark Bostridge (nonfiction)

19.  Killing Floor, Lee Child (fiction)

20. The Story of an African Farm, Olive Schreiner (fiction)

21.  A House Full of Daughters, Juliet Nicolson (memoir)

22. The Lost Lunar Baedeker, Mina Loy (poetry)

23. Where are the Children, Mary Higgins Clark (fiction)

24. Chelsea Girls, Eileen Myles (fiction)

25. Pretend You Don’t See Her, Mary Higgins Clark (fiction)

26. Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton (memoir, audiobook)

27. This Republic of Suffering, Drew Gilpin Faust (nonfiction, audiobook)

28. Hope in the Dark, Rebecca Solnit (nonfiction, Kindle)

29. Hillbilly Elegy, JD Vance (nonfiction, audiobook)


          Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis        
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
author: J.D. Vance
name: Bj
average rating: 3.92
book published: 2016
rating: 5
read at: 2017/06/17
date added: 2017/06/17
shelves: library-check-out, nook-e-reader, 5-stars
review:
Quite an amazing book. After a slow start I couldn't put it down.

          Nichols and Nora        

My favorite story about acting happened minutes before the filming of a crucial scene in Marathon Man in Central Park. Dustin Hoffman had to appear physically exhausted, so half an hour before the shoot, he jogged rapidly three, four, five times around the reservoir, then staggered up to his co-star, Laurence Olivier, and gasped that he was ready. Baffled by Olivier's nonchalance, Hoffman, still breathing hard, asked him how he prepared for a scene. "Prepare?" Olivier replied, carefully setting down his cup of tea and languidly rising from his chair. "I don't prepare. I pretend."

One reason I love the story is that it so symmetrically counters the usual assumptions about the difference between American and English acting--the spill-your-guts Americans and the technically polished English, the American search for "emotional truth" and the English displays of mere skill. Hoffman, for all his straining after naturalistic verisimilitude, remained dependent on acting-class exercises, while Olivier, for all his years of training, had so deeply integrated technique into his being that, like a classical pianist, he could stop thinking about it the moment he began performing. In short, it's the difference between talent and genius--between Glenn Close proficiently performing her character's attributes one by one ("Look at me, I'm acting!") and Marlon Brando intuitively discovering his character's essence ("Look at me, I'm alive!") and conveying all his ambiguities and contradictions simultaneously.

These thoughts were occasioned by what I regard as without question the two most enthralling performances of the decade--and I hasten to temper such a superlative with a dose of irony. Mike Nichols' performance in Wallace Shawn's The Designated Mourner (the filmed version of the London production of the play) has been universally praised but, by the time the Oscars roll around next March, will surely be overlooked. Janet McTeer's Broadway performance in Ibsen's A Doll's House, on the other hand, has been both widely honored and roundly reviled--she won the Tony for best actress last Sunday, but among the reviews were several sputtering fulminations.

Jack, Nichols' character in The Designated Mourner, is a former graduate student of English literature who, in his own description, "went downhill from there." His wife, Judy, and her father, Howard, are members of the intelligentsia in an unnamed country in the near future, and the story--told by the three characters seated at a table in direct address to the camera--involves the gradual destruction of their lives by an oppressive regime, and the moral disintegration of Jack, the eponymous survivor. A man characterized by envy and cynicism, superficial wit and subterranean rage, ceaseless introspection and emotional detachment, insufferable smugness and barely concealed self-loathing, Jack is a bundle of apparent contradictions.

In describing Nichols' interpretation, the problem of technique immediately arises, because to give examples of specific line readings suggests that he's merely made a sequence of acting choices, when what makes his performance so engrossing is his ability to embody all these aspects of his character at once. Now cynicism comes to the fore, now rage, now a brief interlude of tenderness, but their opposites also are always present--for Nichols is embodying the character, not the character's characteristics. Watch Nichols in his most typical gesture. He ducks his chin onto his chest, bobs his head back and forth, gulps as if stifling a burp, then suddenly lifts his head and expresses a thought that not only seems to have just occurred to him, but which also seems to have struggled with conflicting emotions before emerging. A technique, certainly, but one so expressive of character that it never occurs to us that he's reciting a text. At times he speaks in short, halting phrases, pausing between the most unlikely words, and then he'll rush through a series of phrases so quickly that he'll nearly run out of breath and almost gasp out the last words--rhythm as characterization, his cadences revealing the contours of his troubled spirit as concisely as his words.

It's tempting to go on for paragraphs. How can one overlook the abruptly truncated laugh, for instance, that conveys a perplexed intellect? Or the voice suddenly shifting from silky to raspy when derision erupts from his muddled emotions? But each moment remains significant only as it traces the trajectory of his spiritual deterioration. Finally, when he learns that Judy has been murdered, he can barely breathe, his anguish seems nearly unendurable, but it's only a momentary spasm, he regains his soulless equanimity, and as he quietly intones his last lines--"The greatest pleasure in life [is] the sweet, ever-changing caress of an early evening breeze"--we realize we've witnessed the exquisitely ironic fusion of elegy and despair, the inseparable linking of a brilliant text and a superb performance.

E very actress would like to play the most legendary Nora but, for much of the first act, Janet McTeer seems to want to play the most irritating. She's an unusually sexy Nora, but in an annoyingly kittenish way: flighty and fluttery, as the role calls for, but with a whimpering and giggling nervousness. This Nora, we begin to think, isn't so much a woman as a collection of manic mannerisms. But we gradually realize that this Nora, in fact, is playing the role that's expected of her--merely "playing tricks," as she says in the last act--and that there's another Nora beneath the childlike silliness that will astonish even her. There is so much she's not allowed to experience, much less express--her native intelligence, her creative energy, her increasing unhappiness--so much that can emerge only in distortion.

McTeer's bold choice to play Nora as far more fraught than usual at the beginning of the play--with a hyperanimation that, in her increasing frustration, becomes nervous exhaustion and eventually a kind of hysterical dementia--allows her to make Nora's transformation at the end at once more plausible and more powerful. Some critics have suggested that her performance--like most performances of the role--turns Nora into two different and irreconcilable characters, the domestic doll and the feminist icon. But, on the contrary, she subtly provides the psychological continuity between these two aspects of her character.

In the opening scenes, for instance, even as McTeer enacts Nora's dependence on her husband, she shows the cunning that is the only outlet for the character's acute and sensitive mind--submission as manipulation. This is no ninny--this is a woman forbidden to use her intelligence. And even as she proclaims her happiness, McTeer's Nora reaches compulsively for her macaroons with a hint of voracity that hints at her dissatisfaction.

Nora's jittery, skittery behavior is charming in a way. It's certainly the kind of self-abasing flirtatiousness her husband finds seductive. (McTeer's decision to play Nora's marriage as erotically electric makes Nora's decision to leave all the more difficult, and all the more shattering.) But when her web of lies begins to unravel and he calls her "pretty bird," she rolls her eyes in a gesture at once accepting of his flattery, aware of her deceit, and resentful of his condescension. She knows nothing of this consciously but, in dozens of such gestures, McTeer reveals the unconscious conflation of Nora's conflicts--the way her wildly unfocused energy is the consequence of her inner turmoil, of both social oppression and emotional repression. Over and over, McTeer portrays a Nora with a capacity for feeling she herself refuses to recognize and a capacity for insight frustrated by her familial role. When she hears herself saying that being with her husband is "like being with papa," she pauses for a second, then flashes her eyes with something close to a recognition of primal sin, utters a sound somewhere between a hysterical giggle and a shriek of horror, and rushes across the room as if in flight from her own words.

By the final confrontation with her husband, McTeer has so skillfully foreshadowed Nora's transformation that, though it seems bewilderingly abrupt to her, it seems emotionally inevitable to us. Gone are her neurotic mannerisms. Nora now sits in an ominous stillness. "I'm saved," her husband says after the arrival of the forgiving letter. "What about me?" Nora responds, with a touch of meekness but at last with a sense of her separable self. Out of her stillness she suddenly shrieks, not as an appeal but as a demand, "I'm a human being!" Most astonishingly--for the first time in my experience of half a dozen Noras--McTeer even manages to make Nora's single most famous line ring true. When her husband says that no man would sacrifice his integrity for another person, Nora has to reply, "Hundreds of thousands of women have"--an impossible line for the character, a line in which it is not Nora speaking but Ibsen himself. McTeer's solution? She lowers her voice a full octave and intones the words in a constrained fury--the voice not of Nora but of wronged women forever.

The trouble with this kind of detailed analysis is it implies that any competent craftsman could carefully study the performer's techniques and replicate them--Hoffman's "preparation." We can only be grateful that they can't, that Nichols and McTeer become rather than enact their characters--Olivier's "pretending." Perhaps all we can say of great acting is that it involves assimilation rather than accumulation, that the performer isn't so much a surrogate as a vessel. There's paradox in artifice. The supreme tragedies leave us not devastated but exhilarated, and the sublime actors, the moment their performances begin, stop acting.


          Mountain Soul        
(Photo: mid-1960s-home on Cow Pen Creek, Pike County, Kentucky--visiting my family from college)

This past weekend the new season at Actor's Theater opened with Fire on the Mountain, a musical about the joys, struggles, and sorrows of coal mining families in the Appalachians. With each familiar tune--Dark as a Dungeon, Single Girl, Where the Soul of Man Never Dies, Which Side are You On?, Bright Morning Stars--I returned to my childhood. It was a childhood shaped, like many others, by growing up in the coal camps of eastern Kentucky.

(Photo 1958: Keyser Holler, Pike County - one of my childhood homes)

The grainy photographs of the miners, their families, and the coal camps that served as backdrops for the play were quite familiar to me--Joe's Creek, Big Shoal, Little Shoal, Keyser, Coal Run. In the late '40s and '50s, these camps were home. Coal companies cut narrow roads up the hollows along the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, hardly more than walking paths since very few people living there owned cars. Next, they threw up small three-room--for the most part--houses to rent to mining families. We moved around often in these camps, always looking for a bigger house or one with a barn and some land to farm on the side. And, finding a house with a roof that didn't leak was also a big plus!

(Photo 1950s: my dad, Dennie Lowe - by this time he had to leave the coal mines because of black lung disease)

Daily life was all about coal. My earliest memory was around four years old. It was seeing my dad leave the house before daylight wearing his miner's hat with its carbide light turned on in order to see to walk out of the hollow to meet up with other miners. He carried dinner and water in an aluminum pail. At four years old, I worried that he wouldn't come home, especially when he and my mother had been arguing at breakfast. In mining families, the arguments were often about earning enough money to support a family and the dangers of going into the mines. However, in the evening my dad did return--after dark. He'd wash his face, eat supper, and go to bed only to start all over the next day.

Saturdays and Sundays were special for mining families. On Saturday my dad got off work early and got paid. He'd wash all the coal dust off and put on clean clothes. Then, we kids were allowed to walk with him and my mom to a little general store--there were always these stores near the mining camps--to buy staples for the week. Oh, it was exciting because we'd each get pop and a candy bar and that one night we'd have bologna sandwiches for supper. Each week my dad paid on the running account we kept with the store, never quite coming out ahead.

After electricity came to the camps in the early '50s, music was an even greater joy to all of us. After supper on Saturday night the whole family gathered around a big upright radio, sometimes neighbors who didn't have a radio would join us. We always listened to the Grand Ole Oprey, singing along with our favorite performers. And, we stayed up late because there was no working in the mines on Sunday.
(Photo: early 1960s- my parents Dennie and Bonnie Lowe leaving their church)

On Sunday, the music continued. After breakfast, straightening the house, and starting Sunday dinner we could relax--Sunday was the only day of rest. We listened to Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadian Band on the radio, walked to a nearby church, and then in the evening sat on the porch or by the fireplace singing together out of old hymnals we always had around. Sometimes we sang the old mountain ballads like Barbara Allen or Knoxville Girl. These tunes were handed down from our Scots-Irish ancestors.

(Photo 1960s - left my brothers Thurman and Truman and sister Margaret; right my brother Thurman and me and our white charger!)

(My brothers worked in the coal mines, but like many other men left eastern Kentucky to find better jobs in the industrial north.  Here they, along with some of my uncles and cousins, would travel to Michigan and New York and work as migrant fruit pickers--cherries in Michigan and apples in New York.  Most came back home to Kentucky by Christmas.) 

We lived this way, with only minor changes, until I graduated from high school in the mid-60s. Like the stories told of other mining families in Fire on the Mountain, our lives were molded by coal mining. My dad left the mines in the late '50s with black lung disease. My older brothers took his place until they were old enough to find other work in Ohio, Michigan, and New York. I was the lucky one, escaping to a better life though education. However, I always remember that I have, and will always have, a mountain soul.

(Note:  this is an updated post from 2007.  I have just read Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance about his growing up poor in eastern Kentucky and the "Rust Belt" of Middletown, Ohio.  I wanted to write my own hillbilly elegy.)
          Kitleler, Hayat ve Çocuklar        

Anneler hasta olmasın nolur..

Bu hayat dediğimiz şey ne zaman yaşanacak ; bilen varsa bana söyleyebilir mi? Ne zaman kendimi gevşemiş, akışa teslim olmuş hissedeceğim? İşte günler geçip gidiyor, temmuz ortası oldu, 2016 nın ve yaşamımın en iyi ihtimalle yarısı geçti gitti. Rastlantısal olarak iyi bir şeyler (?) olsun diye bekliyoruz. Ne kadar manasız ve acıklı.

Sonra bir sabah uyanıyorsun, bir yerinde bir kitle geliyor eline. Belki afişlerini koyduğum filmlerdeki aktris gibi en kötüsünden bir kanserle yola devam ediyorsun belki de kıl payı kurtulup derin bir nefes alıyorsun.

Resim yazısı ekle
Elegy'yi aylar önce izlemiştim. Yazmıştım da bloga. Mama'yı tesadüfen gördüm, ucundan yakalayıp büyülenmişçesine izledim sonuna kadar.  Ä°ki filmin ortak noktası kadının meme kanserine yakalanmış olması fakat Mama'da ki Penelope bir anne.10 yaşında Dani adında bir oğlu var. Üstelik kanser tedavisi sürerken gebe kalıyor .

Çocuğu seyretsin diye video çekmeden önce kulağına gül iliştirmek...
Bu filmler nerden çıktı peki?

Bayramdan önceki pazar sabahı kolumda bir kitle fark ettim. Baya ceviz gibi elime geldi, ağrı hissi ile beraber. 10 gün süren (araya bayram tatili girdiği için) kaygı-endişe halleri sonrasında muayene oldum, ultrason-MR yaptırdım ve kitle kendiliğinden küçüldü. Takip edilecek bir hafta sonra. Kötü huylu bir şey olması olası görünmüyor. Fakat buna karar verilene kadar geçen 10 gün boyunca sık sık doktorun odasında ''Dani annesiz kalamaz'' diye ağlayan Magda aklıma geldi.

Drama yatkın bir yapım var ve aldığım tıp eğitimi benim her zaman en kötü seçeneği bilmeme yarıyor. Günümüz tıbbının agresif ve kötüye odaklı bakış açısı da cabası. Dolayısıyla aklımdan damar ve yumuşak doku tümörleri gibi pek çok insan evladının var olduğunu bile bilmediği bir sürü felaket olasılık geçti. ''Emre ve Eren annesiz kalamaz'' diyerek ağladığım anlar oldu. (Bunu buraya yazmayacağım da nereye yazacağım ?)

Bu sahne çok güzeldi. Bir türlü kontrole gelmeye ikna edemediği   Magda'yı muayene etmek için doktor da denize giriyor ve bu güzel fotoğraf ortaya çıkıyor
Bir de şu var tabi: Her şey pamuk ipliğine mi bağlı sahiden? Akşam ne pişirsem , çocuuğumu hangi okula yazdırsam diye dertlenirken bir anda gündeliğin dışına atılıp, kan vermek-doktor peşinde koşmak- acı çekmekten ibaret hastane yaşamına mı geçiyor insanlar? Elbette bunu biliyor ama inanamıyor benim aklım. Üstelik çocuklarına, eşine teselli vermek, senden sonra olabilecekleri düşünüp korkmak, her kafadan çıkan seslerden etkilenmemeye çalışmak gibi şeyler de var. Off off..

İşte böyle garip hallerdeyim bu aralar..Ne desem boş sanki. Bilemiyorum.




          Comment on Thunder’s Mouth by Scott Ainslie        
<h3>Ainslie merges musicianship and meaning on new CD with a little help from some talented friends</h3> From the first chord -- struck like a call to worship -- Scott Ainslie's new CD, Thunder's Mouth, pulls you forward in your seat and commands your attention. In his first release since The Feral Crow in 2004, Ainslie manages both to return to his roots as a bluesman and to continue to push his art forward. Ably abetted by a dream team of musicians -- cellist Eugene Friesen, guitarist Sam Broussard and musical Renaissance man T-Bone Wolk -- Ainslie has assembled 10 songs which walk some fine lines -- between darkness and light, mud-caked grit and polished lyricism, tears of sorrow and tears of anger -- and do so with great artistry. Fans of Ainslie's will see Thunder's Mouth as a synthesis of his blues roots, the meaningful new directions he explored on The Feral Crow and recent collaborations with other musicians, most notably a concert in Brattleboro last December when he and Friesen joined forces for what turned out to be a singularly beautiful event. Newcomers to Ainslie will appreciate Thunder's Mouth for what it is -- the work of a soulful, seasoned musician working with a full and ever-expanding palate of expressive tools. More simply put, Thunder's Mouth is a well-crafted and engaging album that will appeal to you on many levels. Although the blues are always present in Ainslie's work, they were not emphasized in The Feral Crow. By contrast, Thunder's Mouth opens with three songs brought up from the mud of the Mississippi Delta. "This is a rootsy record, and this is the first record to follow The Feral Crow. The darkness territory of some of 'Feral Crow' is here. ... It's just 150 years old," said Ainslie as we chatted about the new CD in his Brattleboro home. Thus, the album opens with J.B. Lenoir's Down in Mississippi, a straight-up blues with fine guitar work by Ainslie. Next up is an interesting cut, Grinnin' In Your Face, a Son House tune that features only Ainslie's voice and asymmetrical foot percussion -- a pared down sound that delivers its message of resilience in the face of oppression with a preacher's power. The third tune, Oil in my Vessel, stays in the blues pocket and features a slide guitar solo by Broussard that prompted Ainslie to exclaim seemingly involuntarily, "God bless Sam," as we listened. Thunder's Mouth stays in blues territory throughout with Robert Johnson's Dust My Broom and Another Man Done Gone, a chilling song which positively hisses with darkness. Those blues songs are all well and good, certainly food for the soul, but what stands out on "Thunder's Mouth" are the four Ainslie originals. Beautiful in their own right, those songs seem to have brought out the best in all the musicians -- they're the ones that span genres and offer the best hope for radio play and some well-deserved wider recognition for Ainslie. Case in point, It's Gonna Rain, a song of love and loss written in June 2005, which was transformed by Hurricane Katrina into an elegy for New Orleans, its imagery of falling water taking on new poignancy. This is, simply, a beautiful ballad set against a loping, sighing pulse. All the musicians shine -- Friesen's lovely, understated cello weaves gently around the sad lyrics; Broussard's guitar supplies the raindrops; Wolk does a turn on the accordion which sets the whole thing simmering in an authentic Cajun roux. This is the song that you will play over and over again; it's the one with, perhaps, the best hope of wider airplay. But it's not my favorite. I keep coming back to track 8, I Should Get Over This. Here, Ainslie ventures perhaps as far as he's ever been from blues country, with a song that opens with a bouncy, upbeat pulse played on muted guitar. It sounds reggae-ish or Caribbean -- not far off -- but its roots are really with West African guitarists (which links it back to the blues). Whatever it is, the pulse and the tune are completely infectious -- and in delightful contrast with the bittersweet nature of the lyrics. Friesen's cello, by turns playful and funky and then thoughtful and lyrical, just adds to it all. I can't get enough of it. If Anybody Asks Me is more bluesy, but shares with I Should Get Over This its direct sonic link to Africa, notably due to Ainslie's gourd banjo-playing. The title track wraps up the CD and ventures into the darkest territory on it. With lyrics that reach across a century or two, from the falling tears of slaves to the falling twin towers, Thunder's Mouth pulls no punches in its dramatic reach. Again, the musicians are in fine form, with Broussard's expressive, plaintiff, wailing guitar a particularly effective addition. The one incongruous song on the album is a tender tune from Tom Waits, Little Trip to Heaven. A favorite of Ainslie's, it's there because, as he put it, "every record needs something sweet." In addition to the musicians, credit must go to Grammy Award-winner Corin Nelson who mixed and mastered the CD at Imaginary Road Studios. When the last, low cello note of the last song fades away, you're left with a feeling you rarely get from listening to CDs these days. An artist has labored long and hard to make something to give us meaning to our days. It's there in what the songs say, and it's there in how the musicians say it. "So much of this record is just about surviving ... about making it through with some portion of your heart intact. We've all got scars. We've all got scar tissue on our hearts," Ainslie said. Thunder's Mouth is what that sounds like. <em>– Jon Potter, The Brattleboro Reformer</em>
          CBABIH 0.7 - Show Notes        
Being a belated and somewhat smaller-than-usual series of comments -- owing to my present tenancy at the historic Overlook Hotel -- on Episode 0.7 of Comic Books Are Burning In Hell, a podcast by Matt Seneca, Tucker Stone, Chris Mautner and myself.

00:00: A hearty "welcome back" to our beloved Satan running joke, and [ASSIDUOUSLY NEUTRAL NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS v. SEBELIUS JOKE]! I hereby pledge not to allow my present circumstances to detract whatsoever from the quality of these notes!

00:14: This particular session was recorded on Sunday, June 24, with the crew again divided into teams of two, again split between a basement in Elizabethtown, PA, and a dangerous sweat box in Brooklyn, NY. Seriously, Tucker and Matt forgo even the distraction of air conditioning to better focus on top-notch comic book discussion content, much like the ascetics of old breaking down the Battle of Hastings action choreography on the Bayeux tapestry while podcasting into thin air (which is basically what Chris and I do anyway - no mics for these E-Town cats).

01:16: Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths and NonNonBa, by Shigeru Mizuki. Both published in English by Drawn and Quarterly, the former well over a year ago, hence my joke about everyone getting there before me. I get into the differing stories/narrative stances of each in the show, so I won't summarize them here.

01:33: The Bart Beaty review to which I refer is here. It actually took him eight days to choke down the book. Critical passage:

"Ultimately the problem here is that the book is simply its concept: an autobiographical work combining an element of the fantastic, a book that says 'hey, youth is a magical time of imagination'. Thanks, got it. NonNonBa really exists on a very shallow level where nothing further is made of that simplistic observation. Once you get past the obvious moral of the story, you realize that this big book is really paper thin."

This is the crux of my disagreement with Beaty; with all due respect, I think it's his reading that's shallow, insofar as he misidentifies the work's engine as a 'magic' inherent to childhood rather than a learned means of processing the often-mortal peril of same.

That said, I'm probably misstating Beaty's relative unfamiliarity with manga, in that he does specifically cite two other Japanese comics from the '07 Angoulême competition as superior: Kazuichi Hanawa's Doing Time (released in English by Fanfare/Ponent Mon) and Hideki Arai's Ki-itchi!! (not officially in English, although I recall his violent '90s seinen series The World is Mine becoming a minor thing on the scanlation circuit a few years back). I'd actually agree on the superiority of Doing Time, a dryly obsessive chronicle of three years the artist spent in prison on weapons possession charges.

(Also, the specific prize NonNonBa won was the Fauve d'Or, awarded to the year's best album.)

03:28: Beaty's review of Christophe Blain's Gus and His Gang is here (not as harsh as my crap memory made it out to be); I've linked to Matthias Wivel's opening salvo before, but here it is again.

04:06: I should have said I mostly know of Thomas Thorhauge's English-language criticism via the Metabunker, where he recently authored a scathing take on Kramers Ergot 8. Xavier Guilbert springs to mind through his work at du9. Bart Croonenborghs has done a lot of online work for The Comics Journal, although he mainly writes online now at Broken Frontier. Had I known Chris was going to bring up comments sections -- and were I equipped to react to things without prompting akin to the laserdisc playback on an arcade gunfighting game coming to full pause on 'easy' mode -- I'd have thrown out some mention of "Tony" from my own column at the Journal, who just recently dusted off an April thing I did on mangaka Kazumasa Takayama (of quintessential Studio Proteus/Dark Horse obscurity Chronowar) with some great new info

I also beg the forgiveness of Pedro Bouça for getting his familial name completely wrong. UGH.

05:16: It's always worthwhile to return to the source texts, such as François Truffaut's A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema, known as the traditional birthplace of auteur theory, but also significantly a political reaction to the anti-clericalism Truffaut noted in the so-called Tradition of Quality.

06:36: Full title - Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s. From the University of Toronto Press.

10:31: Onwards Toward Our Noble Deaths was 1973; NonNonBa was 1977. If you want to compare & contrast the art styles involved, sample images are here and here.

11:00: The Drawn and Quarterly release of GeGeGe no Kitarō (serialized 1959-69) will simply be titled Kitaro, once again revealing the New Age musical tastes of our neighbors to the north. I'm really glad the Mizuki books have done well for them. 

13:56: For more on the history of kamishibai -- which I appear to have confused with kamibashi string dolls, not that I even pronounced that right -- I'll recommend Abrams' profusely illustrated 2009 release of Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater, by Eric P. Nash. "The Lone Wolf and Cub guy" Tucker mentions is artist Goseki Kojima, whom we might also call an accidental godfather of the '80s superhero upheavals, owing to his influence on Frank Miller.

18:37: Not only did Mizuki indeed employ art assistants, one of them was none other than art manga legend Yoshiharu Tsuge, whose own visual approach in works like Screw-Style was directly influenced by Mizuki's example.

20:57: In Scott McCloud's limited defense, I've always read Understanding Comics as less an attempt at a definitive statement on the makeup the form than a necessary effort at collating various theories and suppositions into book form, perhaps as a means of bypassing the usual turnover in comics crit/theory - while comic book readers don't always flip themselves to some other area of interest to make way for the next reading generation every five years, as went the received wisdom, comics critics often do, forcing each new crew of obsessives to study up on the past and learn the same damn lessons over and over. That Understanding Comics is even still widely read is a major victory in that regard.

22:06: Tucker wrote a bit more about Onwards Toward Our Noble Deaths here. For a more abashed take, I'll recommend Sean T. Collins' review, which raises an interesting potential problem with the book: that Mizuki's emphasis on the humanity-as-lived of his soldier cast renders the whole ethos of the honorable death somewhat inexplicable, and seemingly the province of a diseased few, a perspective that does not hold up to history. In response, I'd note that Mizuki's primary audience, however, was a Japanese readership a little over one quarter of a century removed from the events depicted, which would benefit more, perhaps, from a display of shared burden than any explication of an attitude most readers would be familiar with anyway - in this way, depicting the attitude as aberrational might be a deliberate artistic (or even political) goal, though query, of course, whether this doesn't stand as an elaborate excuse for the very real, prolific atrocities committed by the Japanese imperial machine in the time period.

29:34: Matt's mention of Kōbō Abe suggests the writer's (also 1973!) novel The Box Man, which brings to mind artist Imiri Sakabashira, who did a surreal manga also titled The Box Man, which Drawn and Quarterly released to booming silence in 2010. Like when a mangaka throws in a gigantic sound effect to indicate SILENCE in a cave or something? Such was the reaction to that book. I don't know how well Seiichi Hayashi's Red Colored Elegy did, but it's probably the single best thing in D&Q's entire manga line; here's an appreciation by Eddie Campbell.

34:48: I had a different Mizuki-to-Wolverine segue in mind, which I'm 99% sure involved some man/beast yōkai comparison, but I actually couldn't get it out when the time came, it was so ridiculous. As the philosopher put it: "You can write this shit, George, but you can't say it."

35:29: I really do find this shit interesting! The Comic@ mailing list was a private electronic thingy Comics Journal contributors (and others, I suppose) used in the '90s to chat casually and gossip, much like EVERYONE is doing RIGHT NOW about ME on SECRET FORUMS where they say I SUCK from behind PASSWORD LOCKS and their SMILES are all FAKE and

35:55: Weapon X, by Barry Windsor-Smith (serialized in Marvel Comics Presents #72-84). SYNOPSIS: The doctor was a disgrace, looking for a way out. The technician was pleased at first to find well-paying work. The professor spoke, sometimes, to voices nobody else could hear. The other men would prove expendable, though they surely would not have considered themselves as such over their idle chatter in the laboratory. Nobody knew Logan, the drunk who could heal himself. But they'd all learn something soon, down in that deep complex, far out in the snow.

(Uh, it's not the most plot-heavy superhero comic.)

38:33: Specifically, that was Wolverine #166, released in the unfortunate month of September, 2011, which is maybe why nobody seems to remember this brief BWS appearance. The colorist on the flashback was Raymund Lee. Frank Tieri's Weapon X ongoing lasted from 2002-04, with a short revival in 2005; truthfully, it was just another Wolverine comic, branded to match the switchover of Deadpool to Agent X and Cable to Soldier X as an attention-grabbing scheme (new #1s!) - those first eight Darko Macan/Igor Kordey Soldier X issues are terrific, btw.

42:47: At this point I'm hoping our frequent references to Wolverine as a religious character have already escaped their original context and just read like some weird belief we cherish.

46:19: Abhay Khosla initially directed me to Michael Peterson's Comics Column back in 2008; Peterson is presently writer of the webcomic Project: Ballad.

49:11: En Español, due to copyright claims.

49:30: Monsters is the title of Windsor-Smith's (perpetually?) forthcoming project; official site.

53:28: The Mark Millar reassessment was definitely going to redefine superhero criticism forever and make us into immortal kings, possibly blasting our readership well into the upper triple digits, but it unfortunately had to be cut short because, in Tucker's words, "I didn't expect you to go balls-deep in Weapon X." The extended Enemy of the State storyline ran from Wolverine #20-31 (obviously not the same Wolverine as the Frank Tieri run, this is the 2003 iteration). Also of note is Millar's issue #32, which is... let's say exactly the sort of X-Men Holocaust metaphor that Weapon X is not. 

01:01:00: I'd like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to Bart Beaty, as well as the nations of Canada and Japan. I hereby pledge we will never so much as mention a foreign land again. NEXT WEEK: Dutch comics - weird?
          Chris Cornell: The Muses Choose Broken Vessels        

Jesus Christ Pose

The Alternative Rock explosion of the early 90s was fueled by a wave of great singers. After a lost decade of metallic shriekers and New Wave gurglers-- which some call the 80s-- there was suddenly an embarrassment of strong voices revitalizing rock music, especially hard rock music. 

Most of these had cut their teeth on punk and hardcore and subsequently learned to trim back the fat and excess that torpedoed their 70s forebears. They also learned to step around the wretched excesses that ran the 80s metal explosion into the ground; cookie-cutter sameness, image over substance, half-written songs, cliche piled on cliche.

Alternative rock would itself get watered down and xeroxed into oblivion, especially as careerists figured out a way to counterfeit the formula (I'm looking at you, Candlebox and Seven Mary Three) and record companies signed up every pseudo-grunge band they could find (and strong-armed other acts to hop on the bandwagon). 

By the end of the 90s it all devolved into an obnoxious fratboy rock (I'm looking at you, Limp Bizkit and Creed) that reached its inevitable apotheosis at the disastrous Woodstock '99 (held on a decommissioned military base). 

But before that all went down some of the most vital and exciting rock music of all time was produced.

Alternative Rock, or more accurately GenX Rock, has taken its place in the classic rock canon. Tracks by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are snuggled in tightly between all the Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Pink Floyd cuts overplayed on FM radio. But five of the most remarkable vocalists of that era- Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Jeff Buckley, Scott Weiland and now Chris Cornell--- are lost to us.

And the 9-ton Tyrannosaurus lurking in the back of the concert hall is that modern plague, clinical depression. It's a subject I'm all too familiar with. It's the witches' curse on Generation X.

Chris Cornell was an enigmatic figure among the Grunge pantheon. If Kurt Cobain was the snotty punk, Eddie Vedder the self-serious poet, Layne Staley the tortured howler and Scott Weiland the Joker in the pack, Cornell was an entirely unique presence, as was Soundgarden. Tall, lean but ripped, possessing an odd, androgynous beauty and an enviable black mane, he came across as aloof, Olympian. His piercing, multi-octave voice felt like a weapon,  more like an incarnation of Apollo the Destroyer than Ozzy Osbourne.

Similarly, Soundgarden was perhaps the most effective translator of the power of early Black Sabbath yet, but were brainy, difficult, challenging. 

They were unmistakably Heavy Metal-- in the original, Blue Cheer definition of the term --but didn't shriek the usual ditties about dick size and date rape. It was pretty clear they had no time for that kind of nonsense (See "Big Dumb Sex"). It was clear they took as much inspiration from King Crimson and Black Flag as from Zeppelin and Sabbath. 

Their first major single was an epic environmentalist jeremiad that goofed on Metal's "kill-your-mother-music" reputation by screaming "you're going to kill your mother" in the refrain. The mother here being Mother Earth, of course.

Predictably, Chris Cornell's corpse was literally not cold yet before the modern ambulance chasers of the Internet were declaring it was obviously an Illuminati sacrifice. One hilarious YouTard video went on about how there was no other explanation for Cornell's death, that he'd have no reason to kill himself. 

Obviously someone who never actually listened to a single stitch of Soundgarden.

Like Ian Curtis-- who hung himself 37 years almost to the day before-- many of Cornell's lyrics read like suicide notes. After all, this is a man who kicked off one of his biggest hits with the couplet "Nothing seems to kill me/ No matter how hard I try." Two of his other big hits "Black Hole Sun" and "Fell on Black Days" are practically master classes in the art of expressing the utter hopelessness ("'Neath the black the sky looks dead") that can overtake you when a depressive episode strikes. 

The same goes for Soundgarden's breakout hit, "Outshined," practically a hymn about searching for a crack of sunlight while waiting a dire episode out. "The Day I Tried to Live" is even more astonishing, a documentary retelling of those mornings when depression- aggression turned inwards- becomes aggression turned on the world outside.

Cornell was very candid about his struggles with depression. In an interview with Rolling Stone he discussed the inspiration for "Fell on Black Days":
This reissue includes several versions of "Fell on Black Days," which is pretty dark. What inspired it? 

Well, I had this idea, and I had it for a long time. I'd noticed already in my life where there would be periods where I would feel suddenly, "Things aren't going so well, and I don't feel that great about my life." Not based on any particular thing. I'd sort of noticed that people have this tendency to look up one day and realize that things have changed. There wasn't a catastrophe. There wasn't a relationship split up. Nobody got in a car wreck. Nobody's parents died or anything. The outlook had changed, while everything appears circumstantially the same. That was the song I wanted to write about. 
No matter how happy you are, you can wake up one day without any specific thing occurring to bring you into a darker place, and you'll just be in a darker place anyway. To me, that was always a terrifying thought, because that's something that – as far as I know – we don't necessarily have control over. So that was the song I wanted to write. 
It wasn't just for the gloom-metal gimmick of Soundgarden that Cornell laid bare his struggles. They crept into tracks he recorded with Audioslave- the supergroup made up of Cornell and the musicians of Rage Against the Machine, including their biggest hit "Like a Stone."

Cornell was also candid about his history with clinical depression, which he traced back to a somewhat hardscrabble upbringing. 
Cornell abstained from drug use for a time following an adverse reaction to the hallucinogenic PCP, but the frightening, dissociative experience, coupled with the trauma of his parent’s divorce, plunged him into a severe depression. “I went from being a daily drug user at 13 to having bad drug experiences and quitting drugs by the time I was 14 and then not having any friends until the time I was 16. There was about two years where I was more or less agoraphobic and didn’t deal with anybody, didn’t talk to anybody, didn’t have any friends at all.”
And clearly showing that he also struggled with suicidal ideation, Cornell foreshadowed his own end in an interview with Guitar.com, saying, “You’ll think somebody has run-of-the-mill depression, and then the next thing you know, they’re hanging from a rope." 

Writer Kate Paulk wrote about the black dog of depression recently and offered up an apt metaphor lifted from pop culture:
Let’s start by clearing up one thing. Sadness, grieving in response to a loss… that is not depression. It’s sadness. Grief. It passes with time, and even at its worst there are moments of joy and hope. Depression is not like that. Everything is poisoned. 
J. K. Rowling is describing depression when she describes the Dementors and their impact. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. 
This is precisely what depression does. There is an absence of hope, an inability to believe that there can ever be anything positive in your life again. That isn’t sadness or grief, and it isn’t necessarily expressed by tears.
Cornell was also a substance abuser and dove headlong into an opioid addiction after Soundgarden split in 1997. It may well have come from a chronic pain issue, closely related to chronic depression: 
People with depression show abnormalities in the body’s release of its own, endogenous, opioid chemicals. Depression tends to exacerbate pain—it makes chronic pain last longer and hurts the recovery process after surgery. 
“Depressed people are in a state of alarm,” said Mark Sullivan, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington. “They’re fearful, or frozen in place. There’s a heightened sense of threat.” That increased threat sensitivity might also be what heightens sensations of pain. 
Opioids certainly aren't very effective painkillers in the long term but they are very effective anesthetics when you're struggling with chronic depression. 
Opioids treat pain, but depression and pain are often comorbid, and some antidepressants relieve neuropathic pain even in the absence of depression. Depression involves dysfunction in monoamine systems, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and hippocampal neurogenesis, but could it also be rooted in a deficit of endorphins, or even an endopharmacological withdrawal state? 
Before the modern antidepressant era, depression was often treated with opiates—with a sometimes heavy price of addiction.  
The real hell of opioids is that they rewire your brain, causing the natural processes that regulate depression and euphoria to atrophy. Depression can skyrocket when you stop taking them, since your brain basically forgot how to produce sufficient amounts of the neurotransmitters that manage your moods.
u-agonists relieve depression-like behavior acutely, but tolerance develops, and depression is worse on withdrawal from long-term administration. Delta-agonists appear to improve mood, while kappa-agonists worsen it. There is evidence that opioid dysfunction accounts for lack of pleasure in depression, while problems with dopamine impair motivation. Opioid systems, then, participate in many mood-related functions. They are examples of evolutionary repurposing of neurotransmitters that originally evolved for one purpose to meet a variety of other needs.


Cornell's family is understandably shocked by his death. His widow blames an elevated dose of the tranquilizer Ativan for the somewhat disturbing performance he put on in Detroit and his resulting suicide. 
Cornell died on the evening May 17th, 2017, shortly after performing a concert with Soundgarden in Detroit, MI. His death was met with shock by many; his representative described it as "sudden and unexpected," adding that the singer's family will be "working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause." 
Hours after his death was reported, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office ruled Chris' death a suicide by hanging. According to Us Weekly, a family friend had found Cornell on the bathroom floor of his MGM Grand hotel room. ABC News also reported that two Detroit papers claimed that Cornell was found with "a band around his neck," though Detroit Police spokesman Michael Woody could not confirm that information. 
Cornell's wife, Vicky, released a statement on his death on Friday, May 19th, 2017, in which she cast doubts that his suicide was intentional. In fact, on the day of his death, Vicky claimed they had "discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do." "When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him," she said. 
"What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," she continued. "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."
I think the fact that Cornell ad-libbed verses from "In My Time of Dying" over a rendition of "Slaves and Bulldozers" during the closing encore in Detroit  gives a fairly compelling signal that he had resolved himself to a course of action that night. Despite an incredibly shaky performance he seemed in good spirits to some, all too common with depressives resolved to suicide. But others noticed he seemed irritable and unfocused, forgetting the lyrics. He complimented the Detroit audience and then said, "I feel sorry for the next city."

An extra Ativan or two is unlikely to induce suicide. But long-term use of it (it's recommended that lorezepam-- a member of the highly-problematic benzodiazepene family-- be used only a short term basis) might. And it's very possible he took an extra dose of the drug to gird his loins for a decision he had already made:
Suicidality: Benzodiazepines may sometimes unmask suicidal ideation in depressed patients, possibly through disinhibition or fear reduction. The concern is that benzodiazepines may inadvertently become facilitators of suicidal behavior. Therefore, lorazepam should not be prescribed in high doses or as the sole treatment in depression, but only with an appropriate antidepressant.
Depression and suicidal ideation go hand in glove. And there are all kinds of psychiatric drugs that tell you upfront that suicidal ideation is a major side effect. How that doesn't keep them off the market is a mystery to me. 

The other problem is that people who obsess on suicide usually don't talk about it with people close to them since they realize that confessing to it will very likely act to derail what they have been planning. And again, professionals will tell you that very often when a depressive has resolved themselves to suicide they can often seem very cheerful and upbeat, since they believe that their suffering will soon end. 

So the question becomes if a rich, celebrated and handsome rock star can't find a reason to stay alive, what hope is there for the rest of us? Well, it's a lot more complicated than that. Aside from his struggles with clinical depression, Cornell was also beset by tragedy, losing people closest to him to early death. 

The first of these was his roommate Andrew Wood, the flamboyant singer for legendary Seattle band Mother Love Bone who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. Cornell was so shaken by Wood's death that he formed a defacto supergroup with members of MLB and recorded the now-legendary Temple of the Dog album as a tribute, which produced the grunge anthem "Hunger Strike" (featuring a duet between Cornell and future Pearl Jam star Eddie Vedder).

Temple of the Dog in fact led to the formation of Pearl Jam, facilitated by the introduction of Vedder to the Seattle scenesters by drummer Jack Irons, a member of the original Red Hot Chili Peppers who also played with Pearl Jam and Joe Strummer, among an army of others. Strangely enough, Irons has his own struggles with depression. As did Joe Strummer, for that matter. 

The Muses choose broken vessels. It's a Secret Sun truism. 

Cornell was so shaken by Wood's death that it would haunt Soundgarden songs as well.
The song you workshopped the most was "Like Suicide." In the liner notes, you say it kind of became a metaphor for how you were feeling at the time about late Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood. 
Yeah, the lyrics were actually this simple moment that happened to me. I don't know that I ever directly related it to Andy, though there are a lot of songs that people probably don't know where there were references to him or how I was feeling about what happened with him. I just think that that was something that happened to me that was a traumatic thing and that I had a difficult time resolving it. I still never really have. I still live with it, and that's one of the moments where maybe in some ways it could have shown up, but I'm not really sure specifically where.
Another body blow was the 1994 death of Kurt Cobain, another friend who died in time to cast a pall of existential darkness over Soundgarden's epochal Superunknown album, released a month before Cobain's death. So even as Soundgarden were enjoying their moment, death and tragedy revisited Cornell. (Cobain had his own issues, exacerbated by years of opioid abuse, but there are those of us who don't buy the suicide angle in this particular case).

It had to hurt, especially since Cobain had told Cornell that Soundgarden has inspired him to form Nirvana in the first place. 

Superunknown was an instant classic, easily one of the top 10 Hard Rock albums ever recorded, hammering you with one killer track after another. Along with Stone Temple Pilots' Purple album, Pearl Jam's Vitalogy and several others it established 1994 as the watershed for Alernative Rock, despite Cobain's death and Nirvana's dissolution. 

Soundgarden's 1996 follow-up Down on the Upside, failed to capitalize on its predecessor's momentum, and seem to showcase a band uncertain of direction and sense of purpose. No one was really surprised when Soundgarden broke up the following year. Oddly enough the breakup seemed to go down almost exactly three years after Kurt Cobain's death. 



But Tragedy wasn't finished with Cornell yet. Shortly after Soundgarden broke up Cornell would lose another soulmate.
He lost two friends within the space of a few years. Cobain died in 1994 and, three years later, singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, practically a brother to Cornell, drowned while swimming in a tributary of the Mississippi in Tennessee.

"Kurt was fairly quiet and introverted most of the time. Jeff was the opposite. He was very much full of life and had a lot to say. He was somebody in love with experiencing everything. Within a very short time, he had all these famous old rock stars coming to his shows. Which put a a lot of pressure on him. People talked about his concerts the way they used to talk about Hendrix: they'd sit there, wide-eyed, telling you stories about him. He definitely had an aura. It's impossible to say what it is exactly a guy like that has, that is so attractive to other people. But he had more of it than anyone I had ever met."
Of course, this brings all this squarely into the Secret Sun wheelhouse. Cornell would be haunted by Buckley's death, writing the aching "Wave Goodbye" (in which he seems to channel Buckley's ghost) for his first solo album and acting as a de facto executor-slash-curator for Buckley's posthumous releases.



This tells us a lot, since the 20th anniversary of Jeff Buckley's death is coming up fast and furious. Cornell showed he was clearly still haunted by Buckley's passing when he brought the late singer's old landline phone onstage with him during his 2011 acoustic solo tour.
KALAMAZOO — I've had several people ask about the red phone that was on stage during Chris Cornell's 130-minute set at the Kalamazoo State Theatre last week. Cornell never addressed it during the show and it never rang, so I didn't think much of it. After another reader asked Monday, I looked into it. 
According to a representative with the New York-based Press Here Publicity, which handled promotion for Cornell's solo tour, the phone belonged to singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley.
As Secret Sun readers will remember, the last song Jeff Buckley sang before his death was "Whole Lotta Love", a blues standard that Led Zeppelin turned into what one critic called "a themonuclear rape."

And it would be "In My Time of Dying," another old blues standard that Led Zeppelin turned into a jackhammering stomper that acted as Cornell's own self-elegy. This, along with the timing of Ian Curtis's own death by hanging in 1980 seems a bit too synchronized for Cornell's death to be some kind of mad whim because he took too much Ativan.  As painful as it might be to admit, it seems as if this was probably a very long time coming. After all, this is the man who wrote "Pretty Noose."

So it seems apparent that it wasn't the Illuminati but in fact the demon possession of depression that took Chris Cornell away from his family. With many of his closest friends gone and the glory days of the 90s more and more a fading memory in a world itself gripped by chronic depression, I can't say I'm surprised by the suicide ruling.  

The life of the rock star in 2017 is a galaxy away from the golden age of the rock star in 1977. It's become a grueling job in the age of streaming and piracy, since you need to make all your money on the road now. Spending your life traveling from one brutalist concrete box to another when you're fifty-two is surely a lot less appealing than when you're twenty-two.

If there's any good to come of this tragedy it's to understand that depression isn't some kind of scarlet letter, it's an inevitable result of what one scientist called "the greatest blind experiment in history," the bombardment of our brains and bodies with every manner of stimulus and stress imaginable, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and then some.

Having spend my teenage years in the white-hot cauldron of hardcore punk I can tell you that that kind of hyperstimulation had -- how do I put this? --less than a salutary effect on a lot of people I knew. Seeing that same formula translated into the mainstream culture goes a long way in explaining why depression has become the great mass epidemic of our time. Now it's claimed another trophy and we're all the poorer for it.

But as the Greeks and Romans once said, vita brevis ars longa

French philosophers once said that the invention of motion pictures had conquered death, that people would now live on forever once they were recorded. I guess the same goes for recorded music as well. So I think it's safe to say that after three decades of music, Chris Cornell has earned his place among the immortals. Let's hope someone learns something from his story.


          And Then There Were None        

Cover art for A Feathered River Across the SkyHow did it happen? How did humans, in about 30 years, entirely kill off a bird species that once numbered in the millions, if not billions? In A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction, researcher Joel Greenberg covers the incredibly fast decline and disappearance of this iconic bird. One of the best-known examples of the end of a species, Greenberg delves deep into the various theories and causes of its extinction.

 

The mass slaughter of these birds in the years 1850-1880 has been well-documented, and Greenberg describes in great detail the methods (nets, guns, traps, etc.) that were used to capture or kill them. Due to the pigeons’ tendency to flock in the thousands or more, they made for easy targets no matter what method used. While the pigeons were initially found in large numbers from the Eastern seaboard west to the Rockies, their last huge flocks were found mostly in the area of the Great Lakes. Greenberg posits that the pigeons could live only as members of these large flocks; without the protection and community that this provided the birds, they were unable to survive.

 

After the decades of the late 1800s, only a few were found here and there over their once large range. Finally, in 1914, the last of the Passenger Pigeons, Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Greenberg’s book is an elegy marking the centennial of her death and that of her entire species. The national conservation movement, spearheaded by Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir and others, came too late to save the Passenger Pigeon, but changed the mentality of the limits of human encroachment on nature. Though even with the scholarship and understanding that Greenberg and others have provided, we are left asking ourselves: how did it happen?


          Comic Book Shopping List for the Second Half of 2010        
Back in February, I posted a shopping list for the first half of the year.  Now, here's your shopping list for the rest of 2010.  Many of these books are prime candidates for membership in the Best Comics of 2010 Meta-List.

June

July

August

September

October
  • 7 Billion Needles vol. 2, by Nobuaki Tadano, Viz
  • 20th Century Boys vol. 11, by Naoki Urasawa, Viz
  • A Single Match (Red Kimono),by Oji Suzuki, Drawn & Quarterly
  • Acme Novelty Library #20, by Chris Ware, Drawn & Quarterly 
  • Ayako, by Osamu Tezuka, Vertical
  • Dawn LandBest Comics of 2009 Meta-List, right? It combined 145 different "best comics of the year" lists, written by reviewers and critics across the internet, into a single list of the top comic books of the year. I've been wanting to reveal more about the data that I collected, so let's return to the Meta-List one more time.

    Previously, I assigned points to each book based on the rankings that each individual "best of" list gave to the book.  Thus, a book that was listed as the third best book by one reviewer would get more points than a book listed as the fourth best book by that reviewer.  After adding up all of the points for each book from each individual list, I compiled them into the Meta-List.

    Below, I've now listed the number of times each book showed up on one of the 145 individual lists.  I've kept the books in the same order that they were in after applying the weighting methodology, so that you can see how the methodology affected the rankings.  For example, Ken Dahl's Monsters appeared on 19 lists, while Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III's Detective Comics appeared on 24 lists, but Monsters was ranked ahead of Detective Comics because it was ranked in higher positions on the lists that it did appear, and thus received more points.

    Note that I only looked at the 100 comics that had already made it onto the meta-list, so if comic #101 actually appeared on more individual lists than comic #100, comic #101 still wouldn't show up here.

    Hopefully people will find this interesting, if only because: (1) it reaffirms that Asterios Polyp utterly dominated the year; and (2) it reveals that if a book appears on only a couple of individual lists, but those lists are short and rank the book in their number 1 slots, the book has a shot at making the meta-list.

    Here is the list:
    RankTitleLists
    1Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli65
    2Parker: The Hunter, by Darwyn Cooke32
    3Pluto, by Naoki Urasawa27
    4George Sprott: 1894-1975, by Seth24
    5Monsters, by Ken Dahl19
    6Detective Comics, by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III24
    7A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi24
    8The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by Robert Crumb17
    9Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe, by Bryan Lee O'Malley21
    10Stitches, by David Small19
    11Scalped, by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera16
    12The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefevre15
    13Batman and Robin, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely20
    14You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man, by Carol Tyler15
    15Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory16
    16A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, by Josh Neufeld11
    17Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days, by Al Columbia10
    18The Mourning Star vol. 2, by Kazmir Strzepek7
    19Footnotes in Gaza, by Joe Sacco11
    20Johnny Hiro, by Fred Chao8
    2120th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa10
    22Tales Designed to Thrizzle, by Michael Kupperman10
    23Driven by Lemons, by Joshua Cotter10
    24The Complete Jack Survives, by Jerry Moriarty7
    253 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man, by Matt Kindt8
    26Masterpiece Comics, by R. Sikoryak9
    27Far Arden, by Kevin Cannon7
    28Wednesday Comics, by various14
    29I Kill Giants, by Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura8
    30All Star Superman vol. 2, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely6
    31The Muppet Show, by Roger Langridge11
    32The Squirrel Machine, by Hans Rickheit7
    33Incredible Hercules, by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and others11
    34Daredevil, by various7
    35Prison Pit, by Johnny Ryan7
    36The Complete Essex County, by Jeff Lemire8
    37Cecil and Jordan in New York: Stories, by Gabrielle Bell6
    38King City, by Brandon Graham6
    39The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross     

    EDITORS: KIRSTEN IRVING AND JON STONE | PUBLISHER: SIDEKICK BOOKS | RELEASE: PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL COPIEScoinOpera2banner

    A few years ago, a friend and I were discussing poetry when he defined a poem in the most succinct way possible. “A poem,” he told me, quite matter-of-factly, “is just the perfect words in the perfect order.” It’s a direct definition, but not a simple one. “Perfection” invites an incredible degree of practiced calculation and execution, keeping in mind rhythm, stanza and line length, timing, narrative, punctuation, negative space, and a host of other elements. Great poetry is a product of precision and calculation as much as it is emotion. The pursuit of perfection in verse is not an endeavor for the faint-hearted.

    After I spoke to Sidekick Books’ editor Jon Stone about Coin Opera 2: Fulminare’s Revenge, a volume of computer game poems, I reflected on the idea of poetic perfection and how it could be configured to reflect the aesthetics of game design. Could the definition of a game be so distilled to the perfect algorithms in perfect sequence, or something similar? Coin Opera 2: Fulminare’s Revenge navigates such interpretive straits with an overall approach that falls somewhere between careful trepidation and reckless abandon. At times it is brilliantly insightful while at others its indulgence obscures its central prospect, as is often the case with collaborative efforts. The book is, nevertheless, an absolute treat and an ambitious work, and the poems contained therein as varied as the games that inspired them.

    Edited by Jon Stone and Kristen Irving (both poets whose work features in the book), Coin Opera 2 begins with a forward by prominent video game journalist and comic book author Kieron Gillen. This brief primer is followed by a proper introduction, a manifesto of sorts by Jon Stone that outlines four major thematic links between poetry and video games: resistance, formal restriction, speed of change, and, of course, play. Stone’s introduction provides a solid foundation before proceeding to the books proper, but I found myself wanting more elaboration. Aside from “play,” Stone’s discussion of these formal commonalities moves too quickly, and, while I understand the impetus to get to the poems, the points raised in the introduction warrant more exposition.

    coinOpera2Head

    The major draws, of course, are the poems themselves, and these are split into three “Stages,” each complete with a “Multiplayer” section and an “End of Level Boss” poem. This format gives the book an implied structure as reading the book from cover to cover reflects the linear progression of a game. But like most games, we can play it or play with it, and an anthology affords readers multiple avenues to engage with the poetry within. It’s a clever bit of bibliographic coding befitting of its subject, even if skipping to the boss fight may forfeit some experience points.

    It would really be a shame to gloss over any extensive section, though, especially given the volume’s commitment to experimentation. The aforementioned “Multiplayer” poems differ in each stage, either representing competitive or co-operative play. The “Boss” poems are similarly unique in that they’re much longer and structurally different (a prose poem, a cento, and a series of vignettes) than the other poems in their respective stages.

    The boss poems work quite well within this structure. Coin Opera 2 is not the only poetry book that emphasizes the importance of active reading, but positing a sense of accomplishment at “vanquishing” a large body of complicated text is a fun prospect. The multiplayer poems, however, are less elegantly implemented. Reading through each stage builds a momentum that halts when a multiplayer poem pops up and asks the reader to note a set of instructions before proceeding. Though the poems themselves present clever plays on interaction, especially the strategy game-based poems in the final stage, they would fit better into their own separate category rather than within the more “linear” stages of the book.

    wordle

    The multiplayer and boss poems are hardly the only examples of poetic experimentation, and here lies the true value of the book. In his introduction, Stone briefly highlights how poetry constantly tests the structural binds of the old guard by embracing the facets of new media and technologies—an Ezra Poundian “Make it new” dictum for the digital age. This tension between old and new manifests in fascinating ways. Ross Sutherland composes sonnets about Street Fighter characters. Matt Haigh writes a wonderful elegy about killing a giant in “The Thirteenth Colossus.” Chrissy Williams’ “Mirror, Okami Stardust” gives textual life to the beautiful images and exhilarating movement of Okami.

    A handful of poems come with visual flare as well, a few along the lines of George Herbert’s concrete poems mixed with an almost Futurist type of anarchy. The lines of Chelsea Cargill’s “Manic Miner, 48 Kilobytes” form a textual drill. Cliff Hammet’s “Snake” moves like the titular cellphone game until it crashes wonderfully against the boundaries of the page. My favorite of these is Nathan Penlington’s “Tekken Love Poem” composed of DualShock controller inputs. It’s a visual joke, sure, but it’s also one of the clearest examples of what happens when video mechanics are used to inform poetry as more than metaphor.  The talent on display bends, breaks, and celebrates those strange commonalities between poetic form and video game aesthetic, and, though the results are sometimes jarring, they’re always captivating. They move from light-hearted musings to anecdotal epiphanies, all the while toying with what the reader can expect not only what poetry is but also what poetry does.

    In that same conversation I had with my friend about what makes a “good” poem, I compared good poetry to a glass of Scotch. A poem should be complex and elusive, something to be savored and appreciated rather than just consumed. Sometimes it takes a while to appreciate, and it can often knock you right on your ass if you’re not prepared for it. Coin Opera 2 contains all of these qualities, offering much more than just a few poems about video games. The book surprises and challenges and much as it delights and amuses, and, perhaps most importantly, it poses questions about what the intersection where poetry and game design meet can potentially offer if further explored in either medium.

    Anyone interested in picking up this book or in computer game poetry at all? Let me know!

    Cheers,

    --David David is working on his PhD and currently writes for awesomeoutof10.com, where this article was originally published. Follow his hilarious acts of academic vigilantism on twitter and please feel free to ask questions and offer criticism!

     


              Writers and AudioBooks        
    June is AudioBook Month. This area of publishing continues to expand and explode from everything that I read in the trades.

    Check out this article from the recent Book Expo America and mega-bestselling author, James Patterson. “Patterson (Crazy House, Hachette Audio) opened his presentation with a declaration: “Listening to an audio is reading. A lot of gatekeepers don't buy into that, but I do.” Noting the audiobook “is only scratching the surface of its potential importance and its audience,” he offered a pair of recommendations. “The first suggestion is that some audiobook people have to go out to Silicon Valley. We need to redesign audiobooks so they can be sold at a better price.” He also advocated for offering an irresistible audiobook package, which “could include, just for example, a John Grisham, a Patterson, Hillbilly Elegy, a Wimpy Kid novel, Alan's new book,” to automobile makers at close to cost if they would agree to put it in every new car they sell.” I found this idea interesting and will be watching the publishing world to see if someone takes James Patterson up on such an idea.

    If you are wondering about the viability of audiobooks, just look at these recent statistics â€œIn 2016, Audiobook Sales Up 18.2%, Unit Sales Jump 33.9% Audiobook sales in 2016 rose 18.2%, to $2.1 billion, and unit sales jumped 33.9%, according to the Audio Publishers Association's annual sales and consumer studies, conducted respectively by Management Practice and Edison Research. This marks the third year in a row that audiobooks sales have grown by nearly 20%. The APA attributed audio growth to an expanding listening audience: 24% of Americans (more than 67 million people) have completed at least one audiobook in the last year, a 22% increase over the 2015.”

    “Among other findings:
    • More listeners use smartphones most often to listen to audiobooks than ever before (29% in 2017 vs. 22% in 2015).
    • Nearly half (48%) of frequent audiobook listeners are under 35.
    • Audiobook listeners read or listened to an average of 15 books in the last year.
    • More than a quarter (27% of respondents) said borrowing from a library/library website was very important for discovering new audiobooks.
    • A majority of audiobook listening is done at home (57%), followed by in the car (32%).
    • 68% of frequent listeners do housework while listening to audiobooks, followed by baking (65%), exercise (56%) and crafting (36%).
    • The top three reasons people enjoy listening to audiobooks are: 1) they can do other things while listening; 2) audiobooks are portable so people can listen wherever they are; and 3) they enjoy being read to.
    • The most popular genres last year were mysteries/thrillers/suspense, science fiction/fantasy and romance.
    • 19% of all listeners used voice-enabled wireless speakers (such as Amazon Echo or Google Home) to listen to an audiobook in the last year, and for frequent listeners, that rises to 30%.”
    I hope some of these statistics caught your attention about the importance of audiobooks. Here's several ways you can get involved with audiobooks:

    1. Listen to audiobooks on a regular basis. The first way for any of us to get active in an area is as a participant. I have written about audio books in past articles.

    2. Use your activity to promote and encourage others to listen to audiobooks. As you complete an audio, book, write a review. If you look at my Goodreads book list, you will see many of these books are audio books.


    3. Get active creating audiobooks. If you have no idea where to begin, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Richard Rieman's book, The Author's Guide to AudioBook Creation. This little book will help you learn more about the audio book industry and give you resources for launching your own audio products. If you live in the Denver area, I encourage you to come to the South Denver Chapter meeting of the Nonfiction Authors Association on Wednesday, June 21st. Richard is speaking about audio books. The first meeting is free and you can hear Richard and ask questions.

    Are you using and creating audio books? Let me know in the comment section.

    Tweetable:

    Is your book available in audio? Read this article to take action.  (ClickToTweet)
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              masayuki_nitta        
    . summer elegy.
              INTERNAZIONALE ‎– Wreaths Of Life LP - €20.00        
    LAST TWO COPIES! Black Vinyl edition Wreaths Of Life is an essential and magnificent release in Internazionale's vast discography, a mature full-length album of infinite beauty. The ultimate vinyl version is finally available after an impeccable remastering work that results in a truly significant improvement on the quality of the out-of-print cassette edition. The sound of this record is created by a sublime combination of countless immersive textures which embody sonic landscapes of dreamlike ambient music. The classic Elegy For The Victors is gorgeously melancholic, whereas Wreaths Of Life is a spiritual journey towards a happier, more joyful existence: the sensation of spring after winter, sunshine after rain, harmony after conflict.
    PLEASE NOTE! We suggest you to choose the registered / trackable shipping option by adding THIS to your cart. We won't be held accountable for unregistered packages going lost. The shipping rate calculated by the BigCartel system refers to orders up til 3 x 12”/LP. For more items, a specific surcharge on shipping will be applied by us.
              Telephony Elegy for Rural America        
    By Martha Buyer
    AT&T, Verizon looking to change rules for copper infrastructure retirement.
              Southern Book Prize winners announced        
    The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance have chosen the best in southern literature with the 2017 Southern Book Prize. Formerly the "SIBA Book Award," the Southern Book Prize “features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers,” according to the association’s website. The books are nominated by booksellers and their customers, narrowed down to a few by bookstores and selected for the award by a jury of Southern booksellers.

    According to the website, “…these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most "you've got to read this" moments and "hand sell" moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.”

    2017 Southern Book Prize Winners
    Coming of Age
    Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (Harper, 9780062491794)

    Family Life: A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe (Gallery Books, 9781501125539)

    Historical
    Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan (Algonquin Books, 9781565126275)


    Literary
    Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks (Hub City Press, 9781938235214)

    Mystery & Detective
    The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow & Company, 9780062430212)

    Southern Stories & Stories by Southerners
    The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg (Random House, 9781400065950)

    Thriller
    Redemption Road by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books, 9780312380366). Read Louisiana Book News' review of this book here.

    Juvenile
    Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart (Delacorte Press, 9780553536744)  

    Biography, Autobiography, & Memoir
    The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J Drew Lanham (Milkweed, 9781571313157)

    Cooking
    Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard (Little Brown and Company, 9780316381109)

    Creative Nonfiction
    Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J D Vance (Harper, 9780062300546)

    For more information about the Southern Book Prize, visit
    http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards


    Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

              'One More' For Sinatra, Who Took A Stand In Gary, Indiana        
    Frank Sinatra was born a hundred years ago today. Even if you think his music just isn't your music, it's hard to get through life without uttering what I'll call a "Frank Phrase" from one of his songs at telling times in our lives. "So set 'em up, Joe ... Fly me to the moon ... I've got you under my skin ... My kind of town ... I did it my way ... I want to wake up in a city that doesn't sleep ..." And that wry elegy for lost loves and lonely nights: "So make it one for my baby, and one more for the road." Sinatra called himself a saloon singer. He ran with mobsters and could be a bully; he coveted other men's wives and could be brutish to his own, and other women and men. But today, I'd like to recall a moment when Frank Sinatra was truly magnificent. Not in Las Vegas or New York, New York, but Gary, Indiana. November, 1945. A lot of white students had walked out of Gary's Froebel High School when it opened up to black students. A citizens' group asked Frank Sinatra to come to their
              Vans Warped Tour 2013 - ISKB:156 / IBMX:06        

    Als je net als ons al wat langer in de skateboard en BMX scene rond loopt dan heb je vast wel een gehoord van de Vans Warped Tour. Een rond reizend muziek en actions sports festival. Na lange tijd was er weer een stop in Nederland. In het Klokgebouw in Eindhoven stonden 20 hardcore bands op het podium, was er een mega mini ramp en konden fans hun inkopen doen op een echte merchandise markt.
    Check de video en zie hoe het dak er af geknald werd. Off the wall!

    Original music: Devolution by Wasted Bullet. Stream hun nieuwe album Elegy exclusively on Spotify now.
    Direct video download: ISKB:156
    Video podcast: Johnny Dertien -- @johnnydertien -- johnny13.nl


              Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance        
    Hillbilly Elegy offers a fascinating look into the lives of white rural Americans. Author J.D. Vance uses his own personal experiences to describe and illuminate current social issues among working-class Americans. It is a quick, engrossing read, especially in light of the current … Continue reading
              An Elegy for 'Not Exactly Rocket Science'        
    none
              'The Bookshop' es la nueva película de Isabel Coixet        

    Isabel Coixet dirigirá 'The Bookshop', adaptación de la novela homónima de la ganadora del Premio Booker en 1979 Penelope Fitzgerald, y que en España ha editado Impedimenta bajo el título de 'La Librería'. Narra la historia de una mujer que en 1959, en un pequeño pueblo de Inglaterra, decide abrir una librería, enfrentándose a una implacable oposición local, lo que convertirá el asunto en un campo de minas político.

    Emily Mortimer ('La invención de Hugo'), Bill Nighy ('Love Actually') y Patricia Clarkson (que ya ha colaborado anteriormente con Coixet en 'Elegy' y 'Aprendiendo a conducir') encabezarán el reparto de un film que empezará a rodarse en agosto, y que producen A Contracorriente y Diagonal TV. El proyecto está buscando compradores internacionales estos días en el mercado del Festival de Cannes.

    El último film de Coixet, 'Nadie quiere la noche', con Juliette Binoche de protagonista, fue la película inaugural del Festival de Berlín y ganó cuatro Goya. 'The Bookshop' será la primera novela de Fitzgerald que es llevada al cine.


              Grachtenfestival live        
    A link to a recording made in August 2014 for the Grachtenfestival. Bottesini Elegy starts at 13.25 mins and Schubert’s ‘Trout’ quintet to follow with the Sequenza trio and Olga Pashchenko.      
              Criss-cross        
    From Anthony Ervin, Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian, a very good recommendation from Jessica S. (I have followed his career with interest because of his connection to my beloved first adult swim teacher Doug Stern, and it is a very interesting book):
    Distance freestylers use a hip-driven stroke, arms gliding long in front and legs acting like an engine in the rear.  You can swim far like that.  But a shoulder-driven stroke is better suited in the 50, the shoulders driving down and the legs almost rising up behind you.  I still use my legs for propulsion but additionally employ them as a leveraging tool to rotate my body.  Instead of just trying to move the water as fast as I can, I try to anchor it with my leg to slip around and over it.  That way, I don't need to generate and expend as much power to get into my catch. 
    The center for all of my strength is an X axis that crisscrosses my core, from opposite shoulders to opposite hips.  A line of tension runs through me from my fingertip to my opposite toe.  The hardest part in training is to maintain the flexibility and strength through that X axis, through the core from the shoulder to the opposite hip. If I don't have that deep interconnection and unity, gears start flying and my swim breaks down.  In sprinting, the entirety of the body needs to be solid and connected, from fingertip to toe.  It's almost like reverting to the state before you l earn how to swim, when you're tense in the water.
    Bonus links: five books for the swim-obsessedtwo of my favorite books about swimming.
              So Far: The Catalog of the Wordplay Archive        
    Wordplay in in the midst of its seventh season. The program airs at AshevilleFM at 5:00 PM on Sundays. 

    A few new shows are now up, others will be going up shortly - especially if I can recruit an intern who'd like to learn a little something about audio editing and using an FTP client. 

    I'll also be uploading some older shows that never found their way through the clouds to ibiblio, home of the Wordplay Archive. Most of 2008's and 2009's shows are now up, and many of 2007's, but there are raw recordings of many from 2006 as well, and a few from 2005, so I'll edit those into podcasts as time allows.

    As of now, the shows below are available in the Archive; the shows' dates
    serve as the links to the recordings.




     

    (Note: Before 2008, shows were thirty minutes long; shows broadcast in 2008 and after are an hour long. Clicking on the date will take you to the .mp3 file for the specified show, clicking on "(production note)", where that's an option, will take you to the original Natures note about the show, where you'll often find information about the music used and other bits of incidental intelligence. The note, though, will also contain the original link to the program on the station's server; shows stayed on that server for only two weeks, so those links have long since been broken.)


    Enjoy, and thanks for listening.

    2005:


    November 13, 2005 Stephanie Biziewski, one of the original Wordplay team, invited Cathy Smith Bowers in for a show in the very first season of Wordplay; Gillian Coats and Lori Horvitz engineered and produced, respectively (production note).

    2006:
     

    September 3, 2006, featured Laura Hope-Gill and Sebastian Matthews
     

    2007:

    January 28, 2007 Sebastian Matthews, Laura Hope-Gill and I were co-hosting the show, and we invited Cathy Smith Bowers back a little over a year after her first appearance.

    February 11,2007 featured John Crutchfield.

    March 18, 2007 featured Laura Hope-Gill discussing her work with alchemy.

     

    April 29, 2007 Laura Hope-Gill and I read and discussed the work of poet Robert Bly.

     May 27, 2007 featured Samuel Adams.

    June 10, 2007 featured Robert Bly reading at UNCA (production note).

     

    June 17, 2007 featured Keith Flynn.
     

    July 1, 2007 featured Allan Wolf.

    September 2, 2007 featured Thomas Rain Crowe, and includes recordings of Crowe with his band, The Boatrockers.

    September 9, 2007 featured poet Joanna Cooper.

    September 16, 2007 featured a reading by Glenis Redmond at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.

    September 23, 2007 brought Steve Godwin into the studio, and Steve, Sebastian and I talked over poems we enjoyed, from recent work by Van Jordan (Sebastian) to an HD piece from 1921 (me). Music included tracks from Neil Young and Steve Kimock.

    September 30, 2007 highlighted the work of poet Audrey Hope Rinehart.

    October 14, 2007 featured Gary Hawkins.


    October 21, 2007 found then-Marshall poet Rose McLarney in the studio for her annual near-birthday reading of new work.

    October 28, 2007 featured archival recordings of Walt Whitman, Alfred Tennyson, and other old masters.
     


    November 4, 2007 featured Buffalo poet Jessica Smith (production note).

    November 11, 2007 featured recordings of William Matthews.

     

    November 18, 2007 featured Robert Morgan (production note), author of Gap Creek, Boone, and Terroir, among many other prose and poetry titles.
     

    December 2, 2007 featured Laura Hope-Gill.

    December 9, 2007 featured Nan Watkins presenting her translations of Yvan Goll (production note).

     

    December 16, 2007 featured Mara Simmons.
     

    December 23, 2007 featured Laura Hope-Gill reading "A Child's Christmas in Wales".
     

    2008:


    January 13, 2008 featured Ed Dorn (production note), another Black Mountain College poet, author of the classic Gunslinger and Recollections of Gran Apacheria, among other titles.

    January 20, 2008 featured Katherine Min, author of Secondhand World.

    January 27, 2008 featured Gary Hawkins and Landon Godfrey.

    February 3, 2008 featured Sebastian Matthews and Dick Barnes.

     

    February 17, 2008, featured my April, 2006 reading for the publication of Natures. 

    February 24, 2008 featured the very literate singer-songwriter Angela Faye Martin. 

    March 2, 2008 featured Thomas Rain Crowe reading from Radiogenesis, and young poet Blaise Ellery.
     

    March 9, 2008 featured Chattanooga poet Chad Prevost (production note).
     

    March 23, 2008 featured the great Jonathan Williams reading at Sylva's City Lights Books in May of 2005 (production note).

    April 7, 2008 featured Galway Kinnell reading at Breadloaf in 2002.
     


    April 13, 2008 featured Laura Hope-Gill reading new work and pitching on the pledge drive show.
     

    May 25, 2008 featured Ross Gay in an interview with Joanna Cooper, and reading at Asheville's Malaprops Books (production note).

    June 1, 2008 featured Coleman Barks performing at the Fine Arts Theater in April, 2008 (production note).

    June 8, 2008 featured Wayne Caldwell, author of Cataloochee  - and, now, 2012, also Requiem by Fire.

    June 15, 2008 featured archival recordings of poet Robert Creeley, including some recorded at Black Mountain College, where he taught with Charles Olson. 


    June 29, 2008 featured Nan Watkins presenting her translations of Yvan Goll - the extended edition (production note).

    July 6, 2008 featured Landon Godfrey (production note).

    July 13, 2008 featured writer Chall Gray, now proprietor of the Magnetic Field performance space.

    July 20, 2008 featured Jeffery Beam (production note).

    August 3, 2008 featured Ken Rumble (production note).


    August 10, 2008 Columbia, S.C., novelist Janna McMahan visited Wordplay to discuss and read from her fun, insightful coming-of-age novel Calling Home . The show featured tunes by Van Halen and even Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" - probably the only time that song has ever been played at WPVM (now MAIN-FM) or AshevilleFM . What can I say? Are there any coming-of-age stories set after 1960 in which sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll don't play a major part? They certainly do in this one.

    August 17, 2008 Long-time co-host Sebastian Matthews returned to host a show that featured recent work and recent reading.

    August 24, 2008, featured Laura Hope-Gill (production note).

    August 31, 2008, featured Glenis Redmond (production note).

    September 7, 2008, featured poet Thomas Meyer (production note).

    September 14, 2008 Asheville "investigative poet" Pat Riviere-Seel dropped by to share recent work and read from her  book The Serial Killer's Daughter. A Little-Known Fact: Pat was on the original humongous Wordplay production team.

    September 28, 2008 Sebastian Matthews again hosted.

    October 5, 2008 Wordplay regular Rose McLarney returned to share recent work and discuss her adventures in and out of creative writing programs.

    October 12, 2008 Poet Lee Ann Brown returned to Wordplay to give us a look at her recent work. Another Little-Known Fact: Lee Ann was the "guest" on the demo of Wordplay submitted to WPVM's Programming Committee way back when (production note).

    November 2, 2008 Lee Ann Brown returned with British Columbia poet Peter Culley, who was completing a residency at Marshall's French Broad Institute of Time and the River.

    November 9, 2008 This show featured a reading Peter Culley gave in Marshall a few days before, and some archival recordings of the modernist great, Ezra Pound (production note).

    November 16, 2008 Sebastian Matthews, Landon Godfrey, Laura Hope-Gill, Glenis Redmond and I celebrated the women of Black Mountain College, including poet Denise Levertov.

    November 23, 2008 Robert and Arlene Winkler dropped by to discuss their RiverSculpture project, and to introduce the Asheville reading by poet Mark Strand that they'd sponsored (production note).

    December 14, 2008 North Carolina Poet Laureate Kay Byer, featured in a reading from early 2008 at the Asheville Art Museum (production note).

    December 21, 2008 The extraordinary Robert Bly reading -... er, performing would be more accurate - at the Diana Wortham Theater with the Asheville world-music trio Free Planet Radio, and discussing his translations of Hafez, his trip to Iran with Coleman Barks, and other wonders. (production note).

    December 28, 2008 Laura Hope-Gill, Sebastian Matthews, and Glenis Redmond dropped in for a lively show featuring their own work, the upcoming WordFest, and Sebastian's new plan for his magazine Rivendell (production note).

    2009:

    January 11, 2009 Tim Peeler surprised me by bringing the one-of-a-kind mythogeographer Ted Pope along, and we had a hoot talking about ancient Egypt, Antarctica, and baseball (production note).

    February 15, 2009 featured Jargonaut Thomas Meyer reading his elegy for Jonathan Williams, part of which has now been published as Kintsugi (production note).

    March 1, 2009 Asheville novelist Wayne Caldwell returned to share parts of Cataloochee and his then unpublished new novel, Requiem By Fire, which Random House brought out in February, 2010.

    March 8, 2009 Hendersonville storyteller Karen Eve Bayne graced the show with her stories and stories about her stories, and made a pitch, too, for the Do Tell Festival of poetry and stories held on July 11th, 2009, in Hendersonville.

    March 22, 2009 featured Hickory poet Scott Owens.

    March 29, 2009 New Hampshire poet Mimi White, down south to fly-fish in the Davidson River, dropped by the studio to share her work, and to talk about poets, dogs, and other complex life forms.

    April 5, 2009 Landon Godfrey, Gary Hawkins, Steve Samuels and I all weighed into a discussion of "nature" and what that term might mean for poetry, and read some "nature" poems by poets from Wordsworth to Frank O'Hara.

    April 19, 2009, our Easter show, featured a reading by the late Sage of Scaly Mountain, Jonathan Williams, from 1981 (production note).

    April 26, 2009 Performance poet Patricia Smith visited the studio to discuss her work with Glenis Redmond, Sebastian Matthews, and me, just a few hours before her reading at Wordfest 2008 (production note).

    May 17, 2009 The last show for Wordplay at its old home featured great Canadian/New American poet Robin Blaser reading in 1965 and 2004, and discussing his work in a BBC interview from 1994 (production note).

    September 27, 2009 brought the very literate (she cringes a bit when so described, but only a very literate chanteuse could title a song "Mary Shelly's Hair") singer-songwriter Angela Faye Martin to the studio at AshevilleFM, Wordplay's new home, to debut her new CD, Pictures From Home, produced by Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, who died this past March. We listened to some of the CD, and Angela also sang live in the studio.

    October 18, 2009 A few weeks later poet/microfictionalsit/playwright John Crutchfield visited the studio, and brought his banjo to boot. His Songs of Robert had just been selected as "Outstanding Solo Show" at the New York Fringe Festival, and he was in high spirits.

    He's since had several new productions  open at the new Magnetic Field performance space in Asheville's River Arts District, including Ruth and The Labyrinth. A new play, Solstice, opens this month (January, 2012).

    (Here's his previous Wordplay appearance from February, 2007. )

    November 15, 2009 brought Tryon poet Cathy Smith Bowers, long-time Poet-in-Residence at Queens University in Charlotte, into the studio to celebrate her birthday. We listened to George Jones, Nina Simone, and Leonard Cohen, and she read from her most recent volume, The Candle I Hold Up to See You.

    A few months later, of course, she became North Carolina's Poet Laureate, and then co-hosted Wordplay once a month from February, 2010, through February, 2011.

    2010:

    January 10, 2010 featured Lucy Tobin, who explores a middle ground between lyric and narrative in her very interesting work. Music by Allison Kraus, the Mountain Goats, and Heretic Pride.

    January 3, 2010 celebrated the publication of Thomas Rain Crowe's Blue Rose of Venice. The archiving system dropped part of the show, but what survived is worth a listen. Caleb Beissert sat in, and shared his translations of Neruda. An earlier note on the show is below, here.

    January 17, 2010 brought Graham Hackett, director of Catalyst Poetix, into the studios for an interview and extraordinary performance. Really, if he was reading from anything, it must have been glued to the back of his eyelids. After serving as Acting Director of the Asheville Area Arts Council in 2011, Graham is now back with Catalyst Poetics.

    February 21, 2010 Cathy Smith Bowers launched the Laureate's Radio Hour series by talking about the impact the laureateship had already had on her life, and discussing her intentions and hopes for the duration of her tenure - including featuring poets once a month on Wordplay. Musical cuts by Nina Simone and her daughter, Lisa Simone.

    March 21, 2010, Cathy Smith Bowers, co-hosting once again for the Laureate's Radio Hour, welcomed her former student Stephanie Biziewski to the show, and work-shopped a poem Stephanie had underway with her.

    April 18, 2010 Cathy welcomed the very versatile Michael Beadle to the show, and he read texts that ranged in voice from the personal/lyrical, through the historical, to the performative.

    May 29, 2010 This time around the laureate turned the tables on the host, and wrangled me into reading some of my own work, poems from Natures and some mostly unpublished pieces (so far) I plan to include in a second book. In a fit of what must have been borderline insanity, I even threw in a few very recent pieces that prove conclusively that a sixty-five year old man can still write idiotic, jejune love poetry. Music from Pierre Bensusan, the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and the Steve Kimock Band.

    July 18, 2010 For this Laureate's Radio Hour, Cathy hosted poet Katherine Soniat, author of Alluvial, A Shared Life, Notes of Departure, and other titles, including the The Swing Girl, published in 2011 by the LSU Press.

    July 25, 2010 The summer brought poet Landon Godfrey to the microphone to share some of her work, including some of the poems which would be gathered in her first book, Second-Skin Rhinestone-Spangled Nude Soufflé Chiffon Gown, published early 2011. It was selected by David St. John for the Cider Press book award.

    Listeners may remember that Landon's been on Wordplay several times before, back on July 6, 2008, and, with Gary Hawkins, her husband and fellow poet, on January 27, 2008, and April 5, 2009. Here's the original program note for the July '08 appearance (remember the link to the program in that note has long since expired). And she can come back any time!

    August 22, 2010 Sebastian Matthews joined Cathy and me to share some of the work of his father, the poet William Matthews, and to treat us to some of his own new poems. Musical breaks by Charlie Mingus, Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner. Another Laureate's Radio Hour.

    September 19, 2010 brought a couple of Wordplay veterans, Thomas Rain Crowe and Nan Watkins, back to AshevilleFM as guests of Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers, for another of her Laureate's Radio Hours. Cathy particularly wanted to celebrate their translation of Yvan and Claire Goll's 10,000 Dawns on this outing, and Crowe and Watkins were happy to oblige. Music included tracks by Paris' Swing-Era guitar masters Oscar Aleman and Django Rinehardt, and composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy

    Crowe, an old friend, has been a frequent character here at Natures. Program Notes for two of his appearances on Wordplay can be found here (noting his show this January) and here (celebrating his Rare Birds).

    Notes on Watkins' previous appearances, both featuring her work translating the poetry of Yvan Goll, can be found here and here.

    September 26, 2010 This summer brought novelist Sujatha Hampton to the mountains for readings at Marshall's French Broad Institute and Asheville's Malaprops Bookstore from her As It Was Written. The day after her Malaprops reading, Sujatha visited AshevilleFM for an interview that featured not only discussion of the book, but how she came to write it, and much more.

    October 17, 2010 featured Western North Carolina poet Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin on a Laureate's Radio Hour.

    November 21, 2010 had Cathy interviewing Charlotte writer Jim McGavran about his lovely deeply-felt memoir In the Shadow of the Bear for one of her Laureate's Radio Hours.

    December 19, 2010 brought poet Susan Lefler to the studio for a preview of her upcoming book, Rendering the Bones, since published by Wind Publications. Another Laureate's Radio Hour.

    January 16, 2011 - Eastern NC poet/musician Jim Clark made the trek to the mountains to join Cathy and me in the studio for a celebration of his CD "The Service of Song." This lovely CD provides Clark's musical settings of poems by Appalachian poet Byron Herbert Reece, "the bard of the North Georgia mountains," who died in 1958 at age 40. We listened to several cuts from the disc, and some tracks, as well, from one of Jim's other CDs, "The Buried Land." You'll find links to some mp3s from both over at Clark's website. A Laureate's Radio Hour.

    February 13, 2011 - Our scheduled guest came down with the flu, so this Sunday found Cathy and me alone in the studio for what would prove to be our last show together. Since it was the day before Valentines Day, we talked, not about love poetry, but about poetry that we loved, poetry that had made us want to join the ranks of poets ourselves. You'll hear us read from the work of, and discuss, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Creeley, Sylvia Plath, and Gary Snyder, with musical interludes by The Beatles. John Coltrane, Leonard Cohen, and the Grateful Dead. It's quite the mix! The final Laureate's Radio Hour.


    And, as always, more to come ...
              What if … Jonathan Drouin's Tampa time wasn’t so chaotic? (NHL Alternate History)        

    (Ed. Note: It’s the NHL Alternate History project! We’ve asked fans and bloggers from 31 teams to pick one turning point in their franchise’s history and ask ‘what if things had gone differently?’ Trades, hirings, firings, wins, losses, injuries … all of it. How would one different outcome change the course of history for an NHL team? Today: Achariya Tanya Rezak of Raw Charge on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Enjoy!)

    By Achariya Tanya Rezak

    Like many of the denizens of Florida, I love watching telenovelas.

    That’s also why I love hockey — in any given season there’s enough drama, intrigue, good, evil, heroes and villains to fill the plot of the longest-running subtitled serial dramas. The Tampa Bay Lightning have had their fill of cinematic moments (the fanbase will never forget the abrupt departure of beloved character Martin St. Louis, as he flounced off, stage left), but no character has been more fascinating in recent years than another Quebecois lad: Jonathan Drouin.

    Drouin was the fanbase’s hope for the future, the rising young playmaker that would set up Steven Stamkos’s one-timers after Martin St. Louis departed. But despite getting drafted at third overall in 2013, everyone in Tampa had to hold our collective breath for another year because this telenovela’s director, Steve Yzerman, sent Drouin back to acting school. Drouin went into camp determined to impress — and after camp, got busted back to Halifax, much to our sorrow and Mooseheads’ fans delight.

    Yzerman said to Yahoo:

    “Well, we think he’s an incredible talent, a very intelligent hockey player, great hockey sense, great vision. We just feel he’s better served by playing another year of junior hockey. I don’t want him being in and out of the lineup. I don’t want him playing limited minutes. Our assessment was he’s better off playing another year of junior hockey, hopefully playing for Canada at the world junior championships and developing there.”

    At the time, Yzerman spoke of his commitment to Drouin’s growth and development, but in his words you could faintly detect the diesel odor of Detroit and shadow of the winged wheel. Was Yzerman going to overcook Drouin as his years in Detroit had taught him?

    Which brings me to the first what-if of many in this telenovela’s alternate universe: What if Drouin had not been sent back in 2013-14?

    Tales of Drouin’s deeds in Halifax were legendary, and we all watched as he worked on his defensive skills as a center. He played 46 games with Halifax in 2013-14, garnering 29 goals and 79 assists, 108 points in all. Was this going to be enough to get him some time in the NHL?

    It was, and we fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning were excited about seeing Drouin, finally, in the lineup for the 2014-15 season. But then he broke his thumb in a wacky fall during training camp and didn’t see the ice until near the end of October. He briefly went to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint after the injury, but debuted with the NHL team when injuries to other forwards on a Western Canada trip made it necessary. Incidentally, this is when the Triplets were born, but that’s a different telenovela plotline.

    The 2014-15 season was remarkable in franchise history. Steven Stamkos took the ice as captain for the first time. The black third jerseys debuted, and we could finally defend ourselves against Leafs fans’ accusations of jersey theft by wearing an LA Kings-lookalike instead. (Just kidding. TBL jerseys are perfect.) But perhaps it was this season and not 2013-14 that was the seed of Drouin’s demise as a franchise player for the Lightning.

    By the end of October 2014, coach Jon Cooper saw fit to bust Drouin down the lineup. Drouin was not on the first line with Stamkos. Sometimes he wasn’t even on the second line, and barely broke the third. Why? There was a lot of speculation, but it boiled down to a phrase that Lightning fans would learn like a mantra: He needed to learn to play away from the puck. In 70 games played, Drouin scored four goals and 28 assists, while yet remaining the analytics geeks’ darling by managing a CF% of 53.8 despite dragging the fourth line down the ice.

    Which brings me to the second what-if: What if Drouin had different deployment in 2014-15?

    Raw Charge writer GeoFitz mentions that during this season, Drouin’s most common linemates by time on ice were fourth-liner Cedric Paquette, Stamkos, Brian Boyle, Alex Killorn, Valtteri Filppula, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ryan Callahan, and Brendan Morrow. Some of these names are not like the others. If consistently better linemates had skated with him, would Drouin have won more of Cooper’s faith?

    Cooper’s opinion of Drouin got even worse in that season’s playoffs. Cooper’s Lightning kept winning, round after round, so people hesitated to criticise his deployment of Drouin as fifth-line popcorn server. No, I’m lying. Even in “not a what-if” reality, Cooper generated many thought pieces (especially from the Montreal press) about whether he was doing the right thing by letting Morrow play in game after game while letting Drouin sit.

    Here’s the third what-if: What if Cooper had played Drouin in more than six playoff games in 2014-15? Would Drouin have thrived under the trust of the coach and found his game?

    The telenovela episode that ended Drouin’s first season with the Tampa Bay Lightning was a heart-breaking one. The elegy to the year was beautifully written by Craig Custance, as was Drouin’s final moment of the season:

    “Jonathan Drouin cries in a stall, by himself along a far wall. You can’t tell at first because there’s a towel draped over his head. When he peels it off, wiping his face, his eyes give it away.”

    My fourth what if is this: What if the Tampa Bay Lightning had won the 2015 Stanley Cup?

    Perhaps Drouin would have felt his bitterness at lack of ice time ease by having his name on the side of the Cup, and being welcomed back to Tampa as a young but growing hero. Perhaps winning would have been the best balm for all of the fanbase — and would have spared us a whole summer of listening to pundits debate whether or not the word “dynasty” applied to the Chicago Blackhawks, or the LA Kings, or both.

    Things went from bad to worse for Drouin in 2015-16. After a scant few games finally playing alongside Stamkos with Ryan Callahan on the other wing, the team’s Cup-run hangover kicked in hardcore. Among other misfortunes, Andrei Vasilevskiy had a blood clot near his collarbone, Victor Hedman probably had a concussion, and Tyler Johnson’s wrist injury from the playoffs still impacted his play. Somewhere in this span, Alex Killorn missed a game, Palat missed some games, and Nikita Nesterov was suspended for boarding. Then Drouin had two lengthy injuries in a row, and when he returned from injury, he was back on the bottom line. When Palat returned from injury and the other Jonathan, Jonathan Marchessault, was playing so well that Cooper couldn’t justify sending him down — Drouin fell out of the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup completely.

    On January 20th, the Lightning telenovela jumped the shark when, after playing a few games in the minors, Drouin decided not to report to the Syracuse Crunch for a game against the Toronto Marlies. This was not the first time in franchise history that a player had failed to report to the AHL — the last one before that was from a guy you might have heard of, a forward named Sheldon Keefe, in 2000-01.

    This was, however, the most dramatic huff about demotion in well over a decade. Not only that, Drouin’s agent, Allan Walsh, made it clear when Drouin was demoted that he had requested a trade away from the team back in November, and his failure to report was to save his body for whatever team might pick him up.

    Here’s the fifth what-if: What if Drouin had reported? If this telenovela were sticking to the usual heroic plot, Drouin would’ve learned some life lessons and earned the trust of former AHL coach Cooper by being knocked around in the minors some, and then returned to Tampa to rise to glory. I can hear that coach’s presser script in my head. “He needed some seasoning in the AHL, and he got it, which is why he can play so well away from the puck now.”

    Instead, there was radio silence from Drouin and the organization until the trade deadline passed at the end of February, and when Drouin was not traded anywhere (because although he tried, Yzerman could not find a trade partner that gave equal value in return), Drouin went back to the AHL.

    But here’s where the plot gets riveting. Drouin’s time off from hockey had apparently changed his mental game, something beyond what playing in the AHL could have. In ten games with the Crunch after his return, Drouin garnered nine goals and an assist. This kind of fierce energy earned him a call-up for the last two games of the season after Stamkos went down with a blood clot, and he finished the NHL season with four goals and six assists in 21 games. This was somehow the best possible timeline, and there are no what-ifs here — after his return, Drouin got serious about the game he loved and finally showed fans what he could do, every night on the ice.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning made the playoffs in 2016 despite the troubling news that Stamkos would sit out the first and second rounds, at least, due to surgery for the blood clot. Sixth what-if: What if the team had folded and not made the playoffs? This became 2017’s plot, but in 2016, in part due to exemplary and record-setting play from Ben Bishop, the team did. Drouin, once Cooper’s popcorn server, took on a stronger role on the ice — especially after it was announced that Stamkos would not be playing.

    Drouin’s 2016 playoff was succinctly summarized by Bleacher Report:

    “In the first round of the playoffs, [Drouin] failed to score but did contribute four assists in a five-game series win over the Detroit Red Wings. He picked up the pace against the New York Islanders, scoring his first goal of the playoffs and putting up five points in five second-round games. Then he scored in each of the first two games against Pittsburgh.”

    He ended playoffs with five goals and nine assists in 17 games.

    We’ve finally come to the penultimate what-if, the saddest what-if of all. The Tampa Bay Lightning were up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Final, and could have clinched a berth to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in two years by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins at home. And the hero of this tale could have been none other than prodigal son Jonathan Drouin, returned from the wilderness to put the team up 1-0 in the opening goal of the game…

    Except for one small thing.

    Jonathan Drouin’s trailing skate was behind the blue line but off the ice (by a scant inch perhaps) when Hedman carried in the puck. If you’re a masochist (or a Penguins fan interested in reliving the moment), you can read the situation room’s judgement over here.

    Sometime back in 2004, a Flames fan is smiling.

    Here’s the last what-if: So, what if there was no [expletive] off-side rule?

    The headline of the NHL game recap is “Drouin’s disallowed goal leaves Lightning flat.” Is there a case that if this goal was an actual goal, the team would have rallied to end the Penguins’ hopes? Given that the Bolts lost 5-2, the team likely needed much more than Drouin to win it. Having Stamkos back to contend against two of the best forwards in hockey would’ve been nice, but his health issues are the plot of a whole different story.

    Let’s just say that the Lightning took heart from Drouin’s goal and went on to win it, somehow. Then, perhaps, would the Drouin story arc in this telenovela have ended entirely differently? Hailed as a hero, perhaps he would have gone on to cement his place in the Lightning lineup as the playoff scorer the team desperately needed. Perhaps he would not have seemed so replaceable that in the summer of 2017, Yzerman decided that he was the expendable forward that could be traded for a defenseman.

    But after a mediocre 2016-17 season for the team as a whole, Jonathan Drouin’s time in our Tampa Bay telenovela was officially over — and he was traded, to a team who could both pronounce his name correctly and deploy him on their top line.

    Don’t get me wrong, Tampa Bay Lightning fans are now mostly at peace with it  — the fanbase understands the need for what Mikhail Sergachev can bring to the lineup. But after all that time and investment of emotion into a character, it seems like a hard, “Game-of-Thrones”-esque, ending to swallow.

    There’s one more what if, a P.S. if you will: What if the Lightning had gone on to another Cup final in 2016?

    Would Drouin still be with us?

    With thanks to Fulemin, GeoFitz4, and KatyaKnappe for their editing assistance.

    PREVIOUSLY ON NHL ALTERNATE HISTORY

    What if … the Islanders never hired Mike Milbury?

    What if … Dallas drafted the other Lundqvist brother?

    MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



              My End-of-Year Mix 2010        
    Since I just posted the 2011 Year-End mix that I shared with my besties, I thought I'd do the same for the mix I made for them the previous year. Mostly 60's garage/psych/beat with a wee bit o'soul. Enjoy.

    Captain Normie
    Norman Wilkinson, who passed at age 81 on December 23rd, was one of my theatre professors at UMaine. In addition to making me read (well, okay, skim) dozens of plays for his Masterpieces of World Drama and Theatre History classes, thereby expanding my theatrical vocabulary and introducing me to the works of Pinter, he also cast me in every show he directed in my four years there. Of Mice And Men was the first show I did in college, and when I saw my name on the cast list on his office door it was a profound moment of validation for me. I was so very insecure at the time, coming from a high school program that - except for my Freshman year, about which I've blogged extensively - was entirely unfulfilling, and I wasn't sure that I'd made the right decision in majoring in theatre. I knew I loved doing this, but wasn't confident that I could. This was a sign that I could indeed.

    It might be a stretch to say that Norman was universally adored by the student body. His tastes were usually toward early 20th-century chestnuts (in addition to Mice, he also did Our Town - my first of five, The Little Foxes, and the year after I left, The Man Who Came To Dinner) that nearly always had far more roles for men in a department with far more female theatre majors. He was also a very old-school director: he came in on the first day and dictated the blocking. The self-styled 'elite' acting students shied away from his shows in favor of the more method-flavored approach of Sandra Hardy or the avant-garde flourishes of Tom Mikotowicz. As a teacher, I doubt he varied his approach significantly in 35 years, and probably used the same mimeographed material from the early '70s. There were even rumors of inappropriate suggestions toward some female students - this didn't seem to jive with the Norman I knew. Maybe he had a different side that I never experienced, or it's conceivable that an innocently flirty but chauvinistic remark had been misinterpreted. In any case, when the female drama students organized a protest against sexism in the theatre department, Norman was one of their principal targets.

    Even granted his faults - real, alleged, or otherwise - I knew Norman as a kindhearted, learned, soft-spoken man. When we corresponded a few years after his retirement in the mid-90's he seemed touched and grateful to be remembered by a former student; I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. His obituary hinted that in his final years he suffered from Alzheimers, which struck me as a cruel, bitter irony. (As it turns out, it's his wife that suffers from Alzheimers, not him.)

    My favorite theatre experience at UMaine was also the most mold-breaking production Norman had attempted. We did Terra Nova, the story of Captain Scott's tragic Antarctic expedition - a startlingly visual and theatrical piece that worked against Norman's tendency toward hidebound tradition. Only one female character, alas, but nonetheless it was one of the most cohesive pieces he did. He also gave me my best role at UMaine, Evans the doomed Welshman. My death scene is still a conversation piece at my grandparents' house two decades later. It was also one of the tightest ensemble I'd experienced; we were all working together in one of the most positive experiences I've had as an actor, and we dubbed our director "Captain Normie." It was also a treat to see Norman with his hair down, so to speak, at the cast party at his home. After a few drinks, he was seated at the piano belting out some old songs and laughing loudly and joyfully.  That's how I'll choose to remember him.

    Philip Larkin is best read as a corrective to socially mandated lapses into optimism. Convention tells us to anticipate in our sixties, seventies and beyond a Golden Age of contentment, with rewards for a life well lived. I turn sixty-five in October and have been flooded with mail from Medicare, the Social Security Administration and current and former employers, yammering on about pensions and 401(k) plans and other things I don’t understand. I resent the assumed linkage between money and happiness. This is where Larkin’s common sense comes in handy. He is the funniest major poet of the twentieth-century, and writes like a cant-free hybrid of Dr. Johnson and Thomas Hardy. Here is “The View,” written around the time of his fiftieth (!) birthday, in 1972:

    “The view is fine from fifty,
    Experienced climbers say;
    So, overweight and shifty,
    I turn to face the way
    That led me to this day.

    “Instead of fields and snowcaps
    And flowered lanes that twist,
    The track breaks at my toe-caps
    And drops away in mist.
    The view does not exist.

    “Where has it gone, the lifetime?
    Search me. What’s left is drear.
    Unchilded and unwifed, I’m
    Able to view that clear:
    So final. And so near.”

    In Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love(2014), James Booth rightly describes the poem as dramatizing the poet’s feelings “with the zestful gusto of a stand-up comedian.” The rhymes (“fifty”/”shifty” is priceless) subvert any potential bleakness or self-pity. Booth writes: “With an elliptical virtuosity characteristic of Larkin’s late style the poem modulates at the last minute into pensive self-elegy. Puzzlingly he did not publish it. Eight years later in 1980 he sent it to his friend Anthony Thwaite on his fiftieth birthday with the compliment `But it would have been far worse without you.’”Larkin was born on this date, Aug. 9, in 1922.

              `The Fate of Other Pretty Things'        
    Dr. Johnson’s most readable and rereadable book for those still reading in the twenty-first century is probably Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–81), containing fifty-two portraits mingling biography and criticism. Some of his renderings and judgments remain indelible. Despite the efforts of modern biographers, Swift will always have “a kind of muddy complexion, which, though he washed himself with Oriental scrupulosity, did not look clear.” I first read that in 1971 and it never leaves me. The same goes for his assessment of Dryden’s work habits: His “performances were always hasty, either excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic necessity.” Any honest writer will understand. For Friday’s post I read Johnson’s “Life of Prior” again. Hooked, I reread his “Life of Waller” and found this field of gems:

    “Genius now and then produces a lucky trifle. We still read the Dove of Anacreon, and Sparrow of Catullus; and a writer naturally pleases himself with a performance, which owes nothing to the subject. But compositions merely pretty have the fate of other pretty things, and are quitted in time for something useful: they are flowers fragrant and fair, but of short duration; or they are blossoms to be valued only as they foretell fruits.”

    Johnson goes on to commend Waller’s “On Love,” which begins: “Anger, in hasty words or blows, / Itself discharges on our foes.” Rereading Johnson on Weller loosens a dozen memories and associations. As a young man he translated Anacreon’s Ode IX, and here is C.H. Sisson’s translation of Catullus II (The Poetry of Catullus, Viking, 1966):

    “Sparrow my Lesbia likes to play with,
    The one she likes to hold in her lap
    To whom she gives her finger tip
    To make him bite, as she likes, more sharply,
    When, shining because of my desire
    She finds it a precious thing to play with
    (I think, when her grave fire acquiesces
    She finds it a solace for her pain).
    If I could play with you just as she does
    I’d have a way of lightening my cares.”

    Johnson’s “merely pretty” sounds an alarm. None of the writers thus far cited in this post is “merely pretty.” All, to varying degrees, are rough-hewn, plain-spoken (though eloquent) and “useful,” to use Johnson’s corrective. As to Waller, any mention of him recalls Anthony Hecht’s elegy for his friend and fellow poet, “To L.E. Sissman, 1928-1976” (The Transparent Man, 1990):

    “Dear friend, whose poetry of Brooklyn flats
    And poker sharps broadcasts the tin pan truths
    Of all our yesterdays, speaks to our youths
    In praise of both Wallers, Edmund and Fats . . .”

              The Stanzaic Architecture of Early Greek Elegy        
    The Stanzaic Architecture of Early Greek Elegy

    Product Description
    In this study of poetic form in early Greek elegy, Christopher A. Faraone argues against the prevailing assumption that it was a genre of stichic poetry derived from or dependent on epic verse. Faraone emphasizes the fact that early elegiac poets composed their songs to the tune of an aulos (a kind of oboe) and used a five-couplet stanza as a basic unit of composition.

    He points out how knowledge of the elegiac stanza can give us insight into how these poets alternated between stanzas of exhortation and meditation, used co-ordinated pairs of stanzas to construct lengthy arguments about excellence or proper human government, and created generic set pieces that they could deploy in longer compositions. Faraone’s close analysis of nearly all the important elegiac fragments will greatly enhance understanding and appreciation of this poetic genre.

    About the Author
    Christopher A. Faraone is The Springer Professor of Classics and the Humanities, University of Chicago.


    Download


              Introduction: Tim Fulford        
    July 2012
    TEI

    Introduction: Tim Fulford

    1.        Robert Bloomfield’s poem, tour journal and sketch book The Banks of Wye (1807-11) represents a visually and verbally rich response to the fashionable tour of the Wye that the poets Thomas Gray and William Wordsworth, the artists Paul Sandby and J. M. W. Turner, and the picturesque theorists William Gilpin and Uvedale Price, made popular. Entering the valley later than these tourists, Bloomfield took an already well-travelled and much-described route. His Wye texts reveal the cultural significance the tour had already acquired but also show the way that tourism redefined existing genres. It put the topographical and Georgic poem in motion: views were now observed from a boat or carriage rather than from hilltops. It encouraged appreciation of native, rather than Italian, scenes and antiquities, identifying the tourist patriotically with British, rather than classical, landscape and history. And it promoted a tradition of amateur enquiry: Bloomfield's manuscript sketch- and scrap-book is an example of the newly popular fashion for on-the-spot sketching. Full of self-penned images of views and ruins, it is a fine example of the visual culture that the English gentry began to produce and to value, a homemade book to pass around in drawing rooms before turning either to the latest set of engravings published by Mr Westall or Mr Turner or to the poetic tour —The Banks of Wye — that Bloomfield himself issued in print. Bloomfield, indeed, hoped to issue not just the poetic tour but also the 'whole triple-page'd Journal, Drawings, prose, and rhime'. [1]  Cost prohibited such a publication at the time: only now, with this composite edition of poem, prose, scrap- and sketch-book, can we, the public, see the multimedia response to the Wye that was then accessible only to the intimate friends among whom the manuscript circulated.

    2.        If this edition reveals much about the picturesque tour and the visual and manuscript culture of the Romantic era, it also tells us much about Bloomfield himself. Although hardly a household name or canonical author now, he was, when he took his tour of the Wye valley and the Welsh borders in 1807, already established as the best-selling 'pastoral poet' of the age—far better known than Wordsworth and Coleridge, whose Lyrical Ballads his own Farmer's Boy (1800) outsold by twenty to one. Indeed, in the eyes of contemporaries, it was Bloomfield, rather than the two West Country and Lakeland poets we now call 'Romantics', who had revived both landscape verse (the dominant poetic genre in the 1700s) and Rural Tales (the title of his second, 1802, collection) for the new century. But he had not done so by harvesting the already-poetic landscape of the Wye valley. For although Bloomfield admired the work of John Dyer, who had imagined the Welsh Marches as Siluria—a culturally unique zone in which, since Roman times, British history had been rooted into the landscape [2]  — it was nevertheless, the flatter area of Suffolk that inspired his poetry. Suffolk because it was there, in a small village, that Bloomfield had spent his boyhood and there, in that same small village, that his family still lived. Bloomfield himself, however, did not: his rural poetry detailed his Suffolk youth from a distance; it was a new kind of Georgic not just because it spoke of rural work from the perspective of a labourer rather than a landowner but also because it spoke from the city. Bloomfield's were poems for the new urbanising Britain because they remembered the country from the position of a villager who had, as so many thousands did in the early nineteenth century, emigrated to London. And they did so from a world of sweated labour: Bloomfield's boyhood was an emotion recollected not in tranquillity but in the workshop; he composed verse in his head whilst labouring for hours a day as a shoemaker in an East End garret.

    3.        If Bloomfield's poetry gives the lie to Wordsworth's fear (expressed in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads) that mechanical labour corrupts, by its very repetitiveness, the taste of the labourer, it nevertheless displays many of the same characteristics as Wordsworth's own verse—a matter not of mutual influence but of similar responses to times in which an industrialising culture left many people deracinated and yearning for a half-remembered place of origin—a childhood land in which the power of capital had not yet disturbed the culture or the consciousness. These similar responses included the organisation of verse according to the work-rhythms of shepherds and labourers, the penning of rural tales based on popular ballads and songs, and the addressing of poems to favourite landscapes. Not surprisingly, Bloomfield was an early supporter of Wordsworth's poetry: he had read 'Tintern Abbey' by 1802; he was, by 1807 a poet steeped in the latest developments in the loco-descriptive poetry that James Thomson and William Cowper had perfected a few generations earlier.

    4.        Bloomfield took to the hills. When he climbed Box Hill, Surrey, in 1803, during a solitary walking tour, it was the first time he had been in upland country, having previously, like most of the labouring classes, been confined to the fields and the shop where he worked:

    Having been harrassd by too much thinking and too many trivial engagements, and an employment that I shall never like, I determined that I would respire one mouthfull of real country air if possible and I know at the same time that pollution of smoke reaches ten miles round the Metropolis. I had heard much of Leithe Hills and of Box Hill in the neighbourhood of Dorking. . . . Remember that I am no Welshman, therefore to me these Hills are Cader Idris's and Snowdens.— (letter 106 of The Letters of Robert Bloomfield: to George Bloomfield, 17 April 1803)
    The tour put Bloomfield in the position of a Romantic for the first time: a solitary walker travelling as a social, aesthetic and moral antidote to the effects of modern, urban life upon him. It led to no published writing, only to private correspondence, but it made him all the more eager to go west in 1807 when a tour of Wales was suggested by his friend Mary Lloyd Baker of Uley in Gloucestershire.

    5.        Lloyd Baker, née Sharp, had written a fan-letter to Bloomfield in 1803. This led to a correspondence and to Bloomfield's warm reception in Lloyd Baker's extended family-circle of sisters, aunts and uncles, based near London and in Northamptonshire. The Sharps were radical Whig gentry (Granville Sharp, the anti-slavery and anti-cruelty campaigner, was Lloyd Baker's uncle) who neither wished to interfere in his publications nor make him recite verses in public. They had no designs upon him, though he remained conscious of their difference in class, power and education and knew that he could never reciprocate their invitations to their houses. But Bloomfield enjoyed their attention and readily made his way in August 1807 to Uley, to take the tour in the company of Lloyd Baker, her husband the local landowner, and their friends Robert Bransby Cooper and his son and daughter (relatives of the radical surgeon Astley Cooper). Together, the party then embarked on an elongated version of the already-popular tourist route: they went by road from Uley to Ross, then by boat along the Wye, alighting at Tintern.

    6.        This route was already established, featuring in the prose of picturesque tours, and in numerous watercolours and engravings. Of the former, Bloomfield became familiar with work of the poet Thomas Gray, who toured the Wye and Wales in summer 1770, and whose enthusiastic notes about the scenery and antiquities were published after his death as A Catalogue of the Antiquities, Houses, Parks, Plantations, Scenes, and Situations, in England and Wales (1773). He also refers to the aesthetic discussions of William Gilpin as revealed in the seminal work of the picturesque, Observations on the River Wye and several parts of South Wales, etc. relative chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the summer of the year 1770 (1782). Gilpin's book was illustrated with plates based on Gilpin's sketches, etched by his nephew William Sawrey Gilpin using the aquatint process. Sketching as they went, Bloomfield and his companions continued a fashion for sketching tours that Gilpin had helped popularise. Sir Joseph Banks had come down the river in 1771, bringing the artist Paul Sandby with him, and aquatints after Sandby's pictures circulated widely. In 1794 Sir George Beaumont, a keen amateur artist, later to be Wordsworth's friend and patron, went to Tintern with the painter Thomas Hearne. Hearne's pictures were engraved and published in his Antiquities of Great-Britain, Illustrated in Views of Monasteries, Castles, and Churches... (1786-1807). Other artists followed, recognising a growing market for topographical and historical views: by the time Bloomfield embarked, sites on the Wye such as Goodrich Castle, Tintern Abbey, and Chepstow Castle had been drawn, engraved and published many times over. [3]  To service the growing numbers of tourists, a local trade grew up: the Monmouth printer Charles Heath began to specialise in guidebooks. In rapid succession he published A Descriptive Account of Raglan Castle (1792), a Descriptive Account of Tintern Abbey (1793), an Account of the Scenery of the Wye (1795), The Excursion down the Wye (1796), and Accounts of … Monmouth (1804). Bloomfield used the Excursion down the Wye in preparing his own Wye texts and also relied upon the recently-published work of the antiquarian and traveller William Coxe, A Historical Tour in Monmouthshire (1801).

    7.        It was not only in print that the Wye tourist received assistance. An infrastructure grew up to service travellers' needs, as Suzanne Matheson describes:

    A water journey to Tintern Abbey was less taxing for passengers than land-travel, although not free entirely from danger or discomfort. Recreational excursions on the Wye were taking place by the 1740s, instituted by the hospitable Rev. Dr. John Egerton of Ross (later Bishop of Durham), the so-called 'father of the Wye voyage'. In 1745 Egerton 'caused a pleasure boat to be built to enable his guests to enjoy excursions by water amid scenery which could not fail to delight and surprise.' [4]  The rental and provisioning of manned boats effectively became one of the earliest organized tourist industries in the area. William Gilpin travelled in this manner during the fortnight-long 1770 tour that resulted in his influential Observations on the River Wye. Thomas Gray ranked his descent of the Wye from Ross to Chepstow as the 'very principal light, and capital feature of my journey.' [5]  By the end of the century, tourist directories advise that these boats, 'lightly constructed, which are used with or without sail, and navigated by three men' were kept in 'constant readiness' for tourists at Ross-on-Wye. [6]  In 1796 the charge for a trip from Ross-on-Wye down to Chepstow at the mouth of the Severn was three guineas, plus provisioning for the boatmen; from Ross to Monmouth the fee was one and a half guineas. . . . Until the end of the eighteenth century the boats appear to have been quite simple — 'small, but filled up with no less convenience than neatness', or 'a good covered boat, well stored with provisions' are typical descriptions. [7]  By the late 1830s, however, the vessels had become like 'a small floating parlour', made commodious with sunshades, cushioned seats, and a table. At Ross 'the Wye is a good little river, without vices or virtues', as one traveler described. [8]  After engaging a boat, tourists would descend past Goodrich Castle situated on the English or Herefordshire side. Later, in the gorge near Coldwell Rocks, it was common to halt for a climb to take in the view from Symonds Yat, while the rowers brought the boat the long way round. Afterwards, the current moving more quickly now, travelers would pass Raglan Castle, destroyed in the Civil War, and land at the substantial market town of Monmouth. . . . Roughly ten miles further down-river from Monmouth is Tintern, where the Wye is tidal and its character more capricious. Charles Heath warns in his guide that 'the Boat being obliged to descend with the Tide to Chepstow, two hours is the utmost time possible that can be allowed the company for visiting the Abbey'. [9]  . . . Between Tintern and Chepstow the river widens and quickens again in its run towards the Severn. The rich farmland of the Lancaut peninsula, with its little dreaming ruined chapel, contrasts the precipitous rocks and hanging forests at Wyndcliff. The Upper and Lower Wyndcliff viewpoints were once part of the grounds of the Piercefield estate, owned by Valentine Morris. Past Wyndcliff, the sterner limestone cliffs foreshadow the fortifications of Chepstow Castle. [10] 
    Bloomfield's party followed in the wake of earlier travellers, but also added to the Wye itinerary a further land trip out of the Wye valley into mountainous Wales: Abergavenny, Crickhowell and Brecon, before returning to the Wye at Hay and proceeding to Hereford, Malvern, Cheltenham and home.

    8.        But it was the boat trip along the river that initially fascinated Bloomfield and that led him into the spots celebrated by picturesque writers, not least Tintern Abbey. Bloomfield's response to the famous ruin was a little different from Gilpin's and Wordsworth's: he neither wished for a mallet to break some of the gables to make the abbey more picturesque nor averted his gaze from the beggars and ironworks that clustered around. Instead, moved too deeply to sit and sketch the arches as his companions did, he 'gave vent to my feelings by singing for their amusement and my own the 104th Psalm'. The 104th Psalm thanks the Lord for creating the earth. In the King James' version Bloomfield knew, it evokes pastoral valleys such as that in which Tintern stands:

    He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
    They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
    By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
    He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
    He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.
    5

    (Psalm 104:10-14)
    Bloomfield declared of his performance 'though no "fretted vault" remains to harmonize the sound, it soothed me into that state of mind which is most to be desired'. 'Fretted vault' is a quotation from Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard': 'Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault / The pealing anthem swells the note of praise' (lines 39-40). For Bloomfield, then, the pastoral valley and ruined church call forth a poetic act of worship, poetry being the mode which he feels to be profound enough to express his love of nature and its creator. This act, he knows, is over-determined: he sees the abbey and imagines his Psalm-singing in relation to Gray's portrait of the country church as a place where the act of commemoration acquires value. He is self-consciously following in Gray's verse-steps, quietly claiming poetry as a deeper, more pious, response to Tintern than the picturesque sketches that tourists were expected to make.

    9.        Visiting the Wye as a labourer-poet taken-up by well-meaning patrons, and as a tourist expected to sing for his tour, Bloomfield found himself in a new and precarious position. Mostly, he enjoyed it, since, precisely because he had been tied to his trade in a way gentlemen poets never were (even poor and radical ones like Wordsworth and Coleridge), he had never before travelled west of London. Nonetheless, his new and, to him, anomalous position, a visitor rather than rather a Londoner recollecting his native Suffolk, led him to commence an innovative kind of work—a conventional tour poem (The Banks of Wye (1811)) that was to accompany a prose guide with accompanying sketches made at picturesque spots. As such, the project, like Wordsworth's Description of the Scenery of the Lakes (1811) was a new, hybrid, genre, the tour guidebook as rewritten by the poet to feature his own verse and illustrations. The effect was to represent the region as a place of aesthetic value and antiquarian interest: footnotes gave historical information about ruined castles and Roman forts. Bloomfield hoped to take advantage of his popularity as a topographical poet and of the Wye's renown as a picturesque location, building on the success of The Farmer's Boy, which featured many engravings of rural scenes, by feeding the public's ever-increasing desire for lavishly illustrated books.

    10.        Bloomfield began the making of his Wye-book while still basking in the warmth of the new experience and the attention paid him by the gentlewomen of the party. His letters show him taking his new roles as artist and tour guide very seriously, seeking sketches and verse from Mary Lloyd Baker and promising her a private view of his work:

    But of all this I will write more in due time. And you will here probably ask yourself, what does he mean by due time? Why I mean that when you have fulfilld your promise, and sent me your Wye Scetches to copy, and the said copying is done. I mean to have the pleasure of exhibiting to you and them my whole triple-page'd Journal, Drawings, prose, and rhime.
    Since my return I have spent an evening at Fulham, very delightfully. Mr and Mrs Owen, and a Sweedish Gentleman, the Baron De Gear... The Sweed talkd of the scenery of the Baltic, Mr O talk'd of the Alps, and of the passage of mount St Gotherd &c, —and I—What could I talk about?—The Wye, to be sure! (letter 216 of The Letters of Robert Bloomfield: to Mary Lloyd Baker, 2-5 October 1807)
    Once he received the sketches, Bloomfield set about recreating the tour on paper:

    I have succeeded beyond the former estimate of my own self approving vanity, and the proof that I posess that latter article, is my telling you so. They are all done by Candle light! These long winter evenings are all in my favour, and you may figure to yourself the solid oak of my old Table bearing on his back half the Castles in Wales, besides my two elbows, and all the paraphernalia of drawing! Remember that though I am in general pleased with my own performances I percieve that some of my trees are amazingly like a pile of Cheshire Cheeses. And one in particular, I was hamper'd with, it seem'd to have a determination to resemble a large Oil Jar with a handle, but I cut the handle off, and, it became as good a tree as the rest, aye and as good as some that I have seen at Sadler's Wells. (letter 217 of The Letters of Robert Bloomfield: to T. J. Lloyd Baker, 18 November 1807)
    Mildly flirtatious letters of this kind were Bloomfield's way of prolonging a relationship that was valuable to him: Lloyd Baker's admiration, and that of her sisters and aunt, gave him confidence without intimidating him (as the patronage of noblemen tended to do). He flourished in a feminine circle, enjoying being humorous for their benefit, unbuttoning as he could not to others outside his class, but knowing, all the same, that his value to these gentlewomen depended upon his amusing them. He was, nonetheless, careful to show the ladies' powerful husbands that he needed their help too, consulting Thomas Lloyd Baker and his friend Robert Bransby Cooper about histories of Monmouthshire in preparation of the prose section of the book. As a result, he made frequent use of Coxe's An Historical Tour in Monmouthshire, adding to both prose journal and verse tour historical notes that affiliated his work to the antiquarian texts consulted by learned gentlemen.

    11.         Despite Bloomfield's diligent effort, his Wye-book never appeared in the intended tripartite prose/poetry/picture format. Back in London, away from the Lloyd Baker/Sharp circle, afflicted by financial difficulties and sinking into depression, he found work slowing-up. It was not until February 1811, after many months' practice at turning his rough sketches into finished drawings and much research into local history, that he sent the Wye-book to his publishers, Vernor and Hood, only to hear that that they were now 'averse to the costly and fashionable stile of publishing' and would produce only a smaller-scale volume with no more than four illustrations (letter 256 of The Letters of Robert Bloomfield: to Mary Lloyd Baker, 16 January-2 February 1811). Their decision may have been an early indication of the financial difficulties that would bankrupt the firm after Hood's death in 1811. At all events, it made the book they did publish in that year a far less appealing production, containing only Bloomfield's Georgic verse and a few engravings after his fellow-tourist Bransby Cooper's sketches. Nevertheless, The Banks of Wye, now more straightforwardly a poetry publication, was a substantial work, albeit not one for which the public was looking from a poet they liked for his tales of village life. Two centuries later, however, we can finally reconstitute the Wye-book that Bloomfield originally prepared, by accompanying the 1811 poem with the prose journal (transcribed from the manuscript), exhibiting the sketch- and scrap-book, restoring deleted passages of the poem from manuscript, and investigating hitherto unpublished letters.

    12.        Reconstituted here, Bloomfield's Wye-book can be seen to have made a distinctive response to the tour that was, at the same time, a departure in his own oeuvre—despite its affiliation to the conventional genre of the tourist poem and guidebook. In part this was, as Tim Burke has noted, [11]  a matter of Bloomfield's sympathetic understanding of the work of the rural labourers that he now witnessed, in passing, as a leisured tourist—an understanding that subverts the unthinking aestheticisation of labour that often characterises the picturesque. The informal prose journal shows Bloomfield chatting long with a shoemaker friend in Ross; discussing the price of cider with their Welsh guide; noting that the Welsh girl who served their meal at Tintern was glad to see them go. Everywhere, he is immediately interested in the people who work the landscape, regarding them as authorities on it as important as the guide books, aesthetic treatises and county histories. His viewpoint comprehends not just the viewing stations built by local landowners such as Valentine Morris but also the cracks of the floorboards in his inn-chamber, through which he peeps at the ostlers and maids breakfasting together below. It also sees the burgeoning and smoky forges, smelters and mills that made the sylvan Wye an important industrial centre. And there is a passage of social and moral criticism of the Prince of Wales, which Bloomfield's literary executor Joseph Weston excised from the version of the journal he published in The Remains of Robert Bloomfield (1824):

    The prince was at Cheltenham, and though the votaries of fashion follow him as gnats do a horse, to sting him, or to be lashd to death, I found all moralists, and all thinkers, through the whole xxxxx <town> speak of him with a shake of the head, and a humbled, and negative kind of exultation—I hope the feeling will last as long as truth and history.
    Although Bloomfield was not a political writer, there are acerbic comments about the excess and hypocrisy of the wealthy in his letters and he maintained radical and reformist sympathies. These, however, are not apparent in Weston's timorous and conventional version of the journal, which was posthumously produced and had no authorial sanction (it appeared with spelling and punctuation regularised and with occasional slang and accompanying sketches and maps removed). Accordingly, it is not represented in this edition of Bloomfield's Wye texts.

    13.         The journal, as the facsimiles presented here show, was never simply a verbal document. Bloomfield carefully interspersed his prose descriptions with a wealth of visual material, surrounding it on the page and facing it too, so that writing is but one element of a representation of the tour to which pictures and maps were also fundamental. In this respect Bloomfield's Wye-book offers a glimpse of the practice, common especially among gentlewomen, of compiling sketch- and scrap-books that included verse, drawings and letters, reconstituting a place, an experience or a relationship on paper. It is not, that is to say, the sketchbook of a professional artist who intended to work his on-the-spot sketches into finished oils at a later date. Rather, it is a record of the tour produced with an audience in mind – compiled to be shared after the event with his fellow tourists, to aid them in recreating the tour, and the companionship the tour offered, in memory. Even the sketches are social: Bloomfield includes his own designs, in and around his prose, with his copies of original drawings made by Robert Bransby Cooper and Mary Lloyd Baker and loaned to him after the party's return. They represent his incorporation in a gentleman- (and woman-)ly tradition of amateur art: Cooper and Lloyd Baker had received tuition in drawing—mastering perspective, composition and shading—and Bloomfield's sketches showed them that he in turn had learned from them.

    14.         By including maps in his Wye-book, Bloomfield showed he was keen to anchor the sketches and the prose to places on a route. Like the published guidebooks, which began to feature maps from the 1790s, he sought to locate the views in a graduated space that, by virtue of its cartographic representation, he and others could reaccess virtually (moreover, he included in the prose journal specific timings of arrival and departure from each place visited: the tour would be relivable in memory because it was calibrated spatially and temporally on paper). He pasted in small-scale engraved county maps of Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, but these offered little local detail. And so he made his own map, a fold-out sheet he entitled 'Sketch of the River Wye, from Ross to Chepstow'. Delineating the river in a strip-map, this marked the principal stopping point and views: it was, in effect, a new kind of sketch map aimed at serving the tourist rather than at giving an overall survey of an estate or county (it would have been of no use to a land surveyor, a landowner or an army). As such it reflected a change in mapping conventions produced by a change in the social use (and users) of maps: in that other area of tourism, the Lake District, Peter Crosthwaite began in 1783 to sell linear maps of the main lakes to tourists who wanted to follow the shorelines in search of picturesque views. The lake, like Bloomfield's river, was abstracted from the country that surrounded it, its banks becoming the object of largescale (three inches to the mile) cartographic focus. And the map now had for the first time an openly aesthetic, rather than economic, aim — to record beauty spots rather than landholdings or political boundaries.

    15.         Bloomfield's map remained in manuscript, part of the tripartite Wye-book that never achieved publication. What he did publish. however, the verse Banks of Wye, defines more directly and forcefully than ever before the new purpose of touring: not the education of taste in rules of aesthetic judgement (as in Gilpin) but the mental restorative that holiday-escape into natural beauty offered an urban middle-class otherwise chained to the account-book and the office.

    Wait not, (for reason's sake attend,)
    Wait not in chains till times shall mend;
    Till the clear voice, grown hoarse and gruff,
    Cries, 'Now I'll go, I'm rich enough.'
    Youth, and the prime of manhood, seize;
    5
    Steal ten days absence, ten days ease;
    Bid ledgers from your minds depart;
    Let mem'ry's treasures cheer the heart;
    And when your children round you grow,
    With opening charms and manly brow,
    10
    Talk of the Wye as some old dream,
    Call it the wild, the wizard stream;
    Sink in your broad arm-chair to rest,
    And youth shall smile to see you bless'd.

    (The Banks of Wye, book IV, lines 407-20)
    Here the Wye is a consolation of age: taking a longer view than Wordsworth at Tintern, Bloomfield sees the river, recreated virtually in memory and talk, as reviving, in an otherwise sedentary figure, a younger and livelier self. It confers a blessed experience of wildness that is also a token of masculinity: the father, defined by domesticity, is cheered in himself and admired by his children because recollecting his experiences of 'the wizard stream' conjures into being the 'manly brow' of his 'prime of manhood'.

    16.         Bloomfield is ambivalent about the picturesque. His Wye-book was to feature engravings after his and his friends' sketches. His prose journal records them sketching at every castle they visited. At Tintern, however, sketching was not a deep enough response and, as he concludes his verse tour, he offers only faint praise of Gilpin. Artists may learn from the Wye, he declares, but by encountering nature's forms and rhythms rather than by applying artificial criteria and apparatus:

    Artists, betimes your powers employ,
    And take the pilgrimage of joy;
    The eye of genius may behold
    A thousand beauties here untold;
    Rock, that defies the winter's storm;
    5
    Wood, in its most imposing form,
    That climbs the mountain, bows below,
    Where deep th'unsullied waters flow.
    Here Gilpin's eye, transported, scann'd
    Views by no tricks of fancy plann'd;
    10
    Gray here, upon the stream reclined,
    Stored with delight his ardent mind.

    (The Banks of Wye, book IV, lines 421-32)

    17.        Gilpin is 'transported' when he looks at nature unguided by fancy or predetermined ideas. Bloomfield's role model is, instead, the poet Gray, who absorbs delight by letting his ardent mind repose on the water, as if in meditation.

    18.         How to recline upon the stream was a question for Bloomfield's own representation of the tour. His poetic endorsement of natural form led to a problem that was not resolved in the published Banks of Wye, a problem to which the tripartite Wye-book would have presented a novel solution. The problem concerns his own medium: whether nature's forms and rhythms are always so neatly harnessable within the polite diction and conventional rhyming couplets of the tour poem. Had the poem been combined with the colloquial first-person prose journal and the amateur sketches as it is here, then its obtrusion of formality upon the reader would have been seen to be only one version of the journey, in dialogue with more informal responses which, without it, might themselves have seemed too slight and private for publication. Standing alone, the published poem seemed too mixed, veering from the colloquial to the stilted, lacking the animation of The Farmer's Boy because Bloomfield did not speak for the Wye landscape as his own—known as a place marked on his body and mind by work in its fields. The original verse-manuscript, deleted passages from which are presented in this edition, shows that Bloomfield recognised this difficulty and found an original way to overcome it, for it begins more in a comic-heroic than a polite manner with a prelude about a giant called Scoop, who had fashioned the hills and dales of the Gloucestershire country in which the Lloyd Bakers lived:

    When Time's young curls embower'd his brow
    And infant streams began to flow,
    Huge giant Scoop with spade in hand,
    And all the Island at command,
    With puffing breath and monstrous stride
    5
    Came thundering on by Severn's side.
    Fancy still hears his foot rebound,
    When Stinchcombe trembled at the sound.
    Here Cambrian mountains caught his eye
    Towring to meet the distant sky
    10
    Jealous he mark'd them one by one
    And dreading much to be sore the work out-done
    'Out-done' he cried, 'Tis true I'm warm'
    But this bright prospect nerves my arm
    I too the mountain pile can rear
    15
    Outdone, there shall be just such here.'
    Then stript at once to set about it,
    (Look at the spot and who can doubt it,)
    But, at the moment he was speaking
    His limbs were stiff, his back was aching,
    20
    For Mendip, and the western shore,
    The marks of recent labours bore:
    Weary he rested, full of pain,
    By Nympsfield, on the upland plain,
    And with a gnashing envious smile
    25
    There stuck his spade upright the while,
    And chang'd his mind.—Then sprewing first,
    O'er Severn's Vale a cloud of dust,
    Again he pluck'd it from the ground,
    The crumbling earth flew wizzing round;
    30
    Then dashing sternly to and fro,
    He cut a casual hole or two;
    In one of which (a sweet one truly)
    Some modern pigmies built up Uley
    And Owlpen, by the dark wood side,
    35
    Which none can find without a guide.
    And here, the happy natives stroll
    Around their green illshapen Bowl,
    A Bowl all zigzagg'd round about
    With one large gap to let them out.
    40

    (British Library Add. MS 28265 ff. 48-49)
    With their deliberately clunky rhymes ('truly/Uley'), slangy diction ('wizzed' 'zigzagg'd') and undignified account of the country's origin as a giant's casual whim of imitating the hill country of Wales, these opening lines undercut their own pretensions to the heroic. They also present a compliment to Bloomfield's gentlemanly (and womanly) patrons, in which deference is pre-empted by humour. That humour is derived from local folklore: Scoop was a Gloucestershire descendant of the giant of Shropshire legend, Gwendol Wrekin ap Shenkin ap Mynyddmawr, who intended to flood the town of Shrewsbury by dumping a shovelful of earth into the river Severn. He was discouraged by a local shoemaker who told him 'It's a very long way to Shrewsbury . . . look at all these shoes I've worn out walking back from there!' The giant then dropped the spadeful of earth on the ground next to him, where it became the Wrekin hill. [12]  It was probably the comic heroism of a fellow shoemaker, and the humorous opposition of Wales and England, that made the story appeal to Bloomfield: he mentioned the giants sleeping in the Welsh mountains later in the poem. It was typical of him to assert and mock his own role as poet creator, and also typical of him to draw on local lore as well as learned books.

    19.        As a beginning to a four-book landscape poem, the lines on Giant Scoop are highly unorthodox, a versification of the tongue-in-cheek humour of Bloomfield's correspondence with Lloyd Baker. They are playful, revealing the poet's enjoyment of his own ability to fictionalise, to tell it like it's not—and in this they reflect the West Country's status as a charming holiday place, an escape from Bloomfield's London cares and from his branding as a Suffolk labourer poet. Yet for all that, they do concern themselves with labour, as Bloomfield so often did: funny though they are, they show the giant working up a sweat digging. Polished, knowing and displaying a flexible deployment of Samuel Butler's Hudibrastic cocktail of octosyllabic couplets, phrasal verbs and casual diction, Bloomfield's light verses still suggest, however jokily, that the country depends on backbreaking toil—a point quietly made later in the poem when the tourists in their pleasure-boat glide effortlessly past bent-backed gleaners in the fields. Bloomfield's West Country was not a holiday-land for everyone.

    20.         As different from Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abbey' as they are from Gilpin's Observations, Bloomfield's lines on Scoop reveal a cultivated, accomplished, well-read poet entertaining his patrons; they also suggest that he was worldly enough to know that the Cotswolds were not, after all, the Alps and that, therefore, describing them in pious and solemn terms would only lead to bathos. Nevertheless, getting the tone right was a vexing matter for him, and as the tour became a more and more distant memory, and the flirtatious feminine circle receded from his grasp, he worried about whether the opening was appropriate for a piece intended for public consumption. Revealingly, it was when Mary Lloyd Baker wrote to him during the course of another West Country tour she was making (of Cheddar Gorge) that, in the light of her intimate attention, he again became enthusiastic about the lines, writing in reply

    [t]he Cheddar Cliffs have taken up a nook in my heart, and imagination scratches a picture of her own, like an old Hen in a garden.
    I had taken a momentary dislike to Old Scoop, but you strengthen my original feeling and I begin to think that He may be a personage not altogether to be ridiculed. I have a great mind to keep him alive. (letter 245 of The Letters of Robert Bloomfield: to Mary Lloyd Baker, 31 October-1 November 1809)
    In the end, The Banks of Wye, to its detriment, appeared without Scoop: the lines fell prey to Bloomfield's anxiety (evident in the more sober main body of the poem) about his qualifications to write in the style of a leisured gentleman—a position in which the trip put him for the first time. He internalised the perceived doubts of his patrons, Capel Lofft and Thomas Park, literary gentlemen who edited poetry for magazines, and consulted other friends too: it seems none of these men, arbiters of conventional taste, saw the opening as serious enough. Effectively, as another letter to Mary reveals, Bloomfield's was too playful a discourse to meet male expectations about the proper language for topographical poetry:

    Since you saw or heard any part of my Journal, and I think I remember how far I had then proceeded in my amusement, much alteration has taken place in the plan and divisions &c. As I advanced I began to conceive that it might even eventualy be renderd fit for publication, and this perswasion set me about a thorough examination and revision. I concieved that it was, owing to the careless and hasty manner of its early composition, much too hudibrastic, and containd a vast deal of useless matter which might give way to the superior graces of nature, or to unbridled fancy. I had finished it, as I thought, according to this plan, last summer; and I had the joint opinion of my then companions, Inskip, himself a poet, and a man of strong mind, and my host, Mr. Weston of Shefford, Beds, and as he has read and thought more than any man I ever found in his station of life, and his age, and is an enthusiast in poetry, with a memory truly astonishing considering his multifarious reading, I consider him highly capable of detecting what were blemishes in a harum scarum story like mine,—We read it for the purpose of criticizing closely, We all doubted the propriety of Giant Scoop in the outset of the piece, yet all agreed that the ridiculous thought was not without merit, only perhaps out of place. Previous to this I had shown it to Mr Rogers, author of 'The pleasures of memory', and he, even then, in its ruder state, said that it would probably be well recieved if published, but that it was evident that I had not taken the pains with it which might be taken. I then wrote the whole out again with great emendations, in which state Mr. Lofft gave the opinion which I very barely stated to you. I took his hints and the others in conjunction, and wrote the whole out again, still in the mending way with additions and curtailments, and in this new dress, without the personage above mentioned, Scoop, I submited the piece to the calm, judicious, and candid Mr Park of Hampstead (He had seen the giant long ago and said nothing in his praise, which I know how to understand) He was decidedly of opinion that the thing would do me credit, and at the same time pencil'd his doubts and remarks. With this encouragement I once more wrote out the whole; gave the brat a name; and offer'd it to My Bookseller. I know of nothing which can now retard its ultimate appearance before the world. (letter 256 of The Letters of Robert Bloomfield: to Mary Lloyd Baker, 16 January 1811)
    Being new to the tour-poem and of inferior class to his readers, Bloomfield did not dare to be facetious and mock the public's cultural expectations of such a book and of the place it described. Abandoning his hudibrastic lines, he left out the most characteristic and individual of his poetic voices, submitting to male critics rather than reproduce in public the verse inspired by his chatty, female correspondents. What was lost in this new excision from The Banks of Wye, however, was an idiosyncratic response to the West Country that remade the poetic traditions in which that region had previously been compassed and that questioned the conventional pieties of the gentlemanly tour. Without this response, and lacking the prose journal and extensive illustrations intended for the tripartite publication, The Banks of Wye was a slighter and less original book than first planned.

    21.        The abandonment of the tripartite Wye-book and the excision of Old Scoop revealed that Bloomfield was unable to continue in a direction in which his writing took comic flight away from his homeground. He was not helped by those arbiters of politeness and propriety, the reviewers: 'the author's humour is generally very poor; and the language of it too coarse even for his honesty of style' declared the Eclectic Review, while the Critical Review spoke of 'bathos' and 'vulgarity' and singled-out offending phrases. In the second edition of the poem of 1813, perhaps in response to the reviewers' sniffiness about the colloquialisms, Bloomfield revised in favour of more formal, serious and socially conservative diction: thus he omitted a whimsical passage imagining a war between earth and gods:

    Celestial power with earthly mix'd;
    Gods by the arrow's point transfix'd!

    (III, 247-48)
    He also added initial capitals to 'king' and 'heaven'. Elsewhere he redrafted to clarify meaning but, in the process, made the verse more Latinate and Thomsonian, as a topographical poem was expected to be (as a youth Bloomfield had been inspired to write by reading The Seasons). Thus the lines 'When a dark thunder-storm had spread / Its terrors round the guilty head' (II, 71-72 in the 1811 text) became, in 1813, 'A summer flood's resistless pow'r / Raised the grim ruin in an hour! /
              Listen, Liberal: or, what ever happened to the party of the people?        
    Listen, Liberal: or, what ever happened to the party of the people?
    author: Thomas Frank
    name: Tanja
    average rating: 3.87
    book published: 2016
    rating: 4
    read at: 2017/01/22
    date added: 2017/01/22
    shelves: non-fiction
    review:
    My last birthday was the saddest ever. It coincided with Trump being elected president. Now he has entered office. How could this happen? True to myself, I've been trying to find the answer in books. First "Hillbilly Elegy", then "Just Mercy" and now this one, "Listen Liberal". Just the name and the cover with the pointing finger would have put me off really, but I got this recommended. Plus, in order to find answers to an unpleasant question, I must delve into issues my virtuous liberal self would rather avoid.

    Thomas Frank claims that the Democratic Party has lost its appeal among the working class because they have done nothing to stem inequality in the past few decades. Instead the Democrats are enamoured by innovation and the professional class - the people with distinguished degrees. The ones who can't make it only have themselves to blame. That the system is set up in such a way that there is little way of "making it" unless you have money to start with, is completely disregarded. There is no safety net. The middle class has withered away. The poor are working three jobs to make ends meet, but are still considered "lazy" and the Democrats have done nothing to curb this development.

    "Like so many other American scenes, this one is the product of decades of deindustrialization, engineered by Republicans and rationalized by Democrats. Fifty miles away, Boston is a roaring success, but the doctrine of prosperity that you see on every corner in Boston also serves to explain away the failrue you see on every corner in Fall River. This isa place where affluence never returns - not because affluence for Fall River is impossible or unimaginable, but because our country's leaders have blandly accepted a social order that constantly bids down the wages of people like these while bidding up the rewards for innovators, creatives and professionals."

    A few pages later:

    "Those who stil lcare about the war of Rs and Ds, Dion writes, are praciticing 'political rituals that haven't made sense since the 1980s, feathered tribesmen dancing around a god carved out of a tree trunk.'"

    This is toward the end of the book. Thomas Frank has detailed the centrist politics of Bill Clinton first - who made conditions for the country's poorest far worse during his reign - to show how little the Democrats care for the working class and for combating inequality.

    Here in Europe it's very easy to buy into the evil Republican and good Democrat narrative. We don't really see what happens at ground level. I had not idea that the two parties were so alike in the policies they implement and how both parties bow to the god of innovation and technological advances.

    "Economies aren't ecosystems. They aren't naturally occuring phenomena to which we must learn to acclimate. Their rules are made by humans. They are, in a word, political. In a democracy we can set the economic table however we choose."

    In the United States of America, that table has been set so that the rich become richer and poor become vermin. Of course, electing an uneducated bully such as Trump for president, is not going to solve the problem for the poor, not at all. I do see however, how he got the votes from the disgruntled, the people without hope, the people so sorely let down by elitist politicians.

              Mire tudom felhasználni a Wellaton hab állagú festék flakonját?        

    Ha kiürült a Wellaton hab állagú hajfesték dobozunk, célszerű nem kidobni.... Kevés folyékony szappant, plusz két- vagy-háromszoros vízzel elegyítve nagyszerű kézmosónk lesz. Megnyomjuk a flakont, és tenyerünkbe hab állagban érkezik a szappan. Indulhat a kézmosás!!


              Giant Bombcast 04/07/2015        
    We interrupt your regularly scheduled video game podcast for a special report on DMX's latest legal troubles. Now back to way more Bloodborne chat, the latest direct from Nintendo, Drew's trip south of the border, the death of OnLive, and a belated elegy
              Monica Todd Presents at Empire State Legal Writing Conference        
    Professor Monica Todd presented at the Empire State Legal Writing Conference at New York Law School on May 19.  Her presentation, “From Elegy to Euphony:  Helping Students Develop Social Capital to Foster Academic and Personal Success,” prepared in conjunction with Professor Lori Roberts, addressed the opportunity for legal writing professors to help disadvantaged 1L students develop […]
              Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds: "A straight-on jab to the soul" ~Ben Fountain, author of "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"        
    http://bit.ly/1EYsJtZ
    An unforgettable debut of linked stories that follow the members and retinue of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped.

    On an unremarkable night, Jose Victoriano Arteaga--the head of a thriving Mexico City family--vanishes on his way home from work. The Arteagas find few answers; the full truth of what happened to Arteaga is lost to the shadows of Mexico's vast and desperate underworld, a place of rampant violence and kidnappings, and government corruption. But soon packages arrive to the family house, offering horrifying clues.

    Fear, guilt, and the prospect of financial ruination fracture the once-proud family and scatter them across the globe, yet delicate threads still hold them together: in a swimming pool in Palo Alto, Arteaga's young grandson struggles to make sense of the grief that has hobbled his family; in Mexico City, Arteaga's mistress alternates between rage and heartbreak as she waits, in growing panic, for her lover's return; in Austin, the Arteagas' housekeeper tries to piece together a second life in an alienating and demeaning new land; in Madrid, Arteaga's son takes his ailing dog through the hot and unforgiving streets, in search of his father's ghost.

    Multiple award-winning author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers an exquisite and intimate evocation of the loneliness, love, hope, and fear that can bind a family even as unspeakable violence tears it apart. Barefoot Dogs is a heartfelt elegy to the stolen innocence of every family struck by tragedy. This is urgent and vital fiction.


    Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico
    Read the Kirkus Review interview with the author HERE.

    UT alumnus looks forward to release of debut novel

    Keepsakes From Across the Border

    "He would have been ashamed to learn that his own son was this weak, this cowardly, this unpatriotic"

    Praise for the book:  
    “Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's Barefoot Dogs is bravura, brilliant, moving, hilarious—it's both clear-eyed and dreamy, strange and beautiful, stories for our time, and also for all-time.That it's his first book is a wonder, and a wonderful promise.” ~Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Giant's House

    “With deftness and nuance, Ruiz-Camacho…captures the flawed but fascinating humanity of the extended Arteaga family…Readers receive a gift as rare as it is unnerving: a chance to enter imaginatively into a world of personal tragedy through portals other than pathos. Despite their myopia and unreckoned privilege, the wealthy wanderers of Barefoot Dogs never become objects of scorn or pity. And this is perhaps the most powerful testament to Ruiz-Camacho’s powers.” ~Texas Observer

    "Antonio Ruiz-Camacho has written a marvelous and moving story collection: Barefoot Dogs is a brilliant and devastating portrait of a scattered, entitled, and traumatized Mexican upper-class, waking up in horror to the reality of the country they once owned. A tour de force." ~Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

    “In the world of today no calamity stays local, no tragedy private. Someone missing at a street corner leaves unhealed scars in other countries, among different generations. It is with this keen sense of intersection between personal and impersonal history that Antonio Ruiz-Camacho approaches his characters—his scrutiny of them, his empathy for them, and his versatile voice reminding us of Grace Paley, among other masters of the short story.” ~Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants

    “'Are you afraid of a human’s touch? Have you become that American already?' one of Antonio Ruiz-Camacho’s displaced upper-class Mexican characters asks another who is about to become her lover in the Austin, Texas laundromat where they meet. The brilliantly gifted Ruiz-Camacho, writing in English about the members of a Mexican family forced to flee their country, brings the terror, sadness, tenderness and intimacy as well as the class absurdities of contemporary Mexican life into that most traditional of American forms, the realist short story. Ruiz-Camacho’s mastery will impress and astonish, open your eyes, but most of all, each one of these stories will unforgettably touch your heart and move you." ~Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name

    “Mexican-born,Texas-based journalist Ruiz-Camacho shows a wealth of talent in this fiction debut….Outstanding…Funny….A nimble debut that demonstrates not a singular narrative voice but a realistic chorus of them.” ~Kirkus Reviews

    “Antonio Ruiz Camacho springs out of the gate with an assured, beautiful collection of stories. There were several spots that made me stop and go back to them. And not a few others that made me burn with envy. Great stuff.” ~Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway

    "Barefoot Dogs offers readers a relatable experience of dealing with unexpected tragedy, even when framed by a less-than-relatable situation. An extremely promising debut." ~Booklist

     

              Soul of a Nation review – the sorrowful, shattering art of black power        

    Tate Modern, London
    Searing artistic responses to the agony of America’s racial struggle sit alongside powerful abstracts by forgotten artists. This compelling show puts the battle for civil rights in a brutal, brilliant new light

    Sam Gilliam’s 1969 painting April 4 is an epic cascade of purple tears, a huge curtain of sorrow. Agony stains it. Melancholy seeps through its delicate clouds of colour. You don’t need to know what its title means to be moved by it.

    When you know it was painted to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King on 4 April 1968, this abstract painting becomes a funeral elegy for assassinated hopes. It is one of the most powerful things in an exhibition that unconvers an entire lost history of American art.

    Continue reading...
              Gallery Exhibition Artist Reception: Roger Colombik        
    Event image Please join the Sarofim School of Fine Arts' Studio Art Department as we celebrate Roger Colobmik's exhibit with a reception.
              Ouida: The Little Earl, Bimbi, and an elegy for Shanklin        
    The Little Earl is a fable by Ouida (Maria Louise Ramé) telling of a young French earl's 'walkabout' in the Isle of Wight - a kind of 'Prince and the Pauper' experience that teaches him a hard lesson to take on at eight: "I see I am nothing. It is the title they give me, and the money I have got, that make the people so good to me. When I am only me, you see how it is."

    The story appeared in Ouida's 1882 anthology of children's stories, Bimbi, a bit of whose background is that:
    The Royal Family of Italy had shown Ouida much kindness, and she dedicated Bimbi to "S.A.R. Vittorio Emanuele Principe di Napoli." ... "The Little Earl," had been written for a small boy of Ouida's acquaintance, and she sent him the book with this note : —
    ...
    " Dear Bertie, — Here is the book. Like a loyal subject, vous rendez place au Prince in your rights to the Little Earl. Perhaps some day when he is King and you are his grand scudiere you and he will talk of me and tell your children of Ouida."
    ...
    The boy in question was Herbert Danyell, Cavaliere Tassinari's little grandson, to whom Ouida took a great fancy.
    - page 114, Ouida: a Memoir (Elizabeth Lee, London: T Fisher Unwin, 1914, Internet Archive ouidamemoir00leee).
     ("Bertie" - uncoincidentally the nickname of the Little Earl in the story - was the son of Ouida's friend Alice Danyell, and formally Count Berto Danyell Tassinari, a.k.a. Herbert Danyell-Tassinari. He grew up to become a stage actor working under the name Herbert Dansey, 1870-1917, and also illustrated, and wrote a little: articles such as About an Actor in The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness, 1902; At the Academy, ditto, 1904; Roman Candles, London: Henry J Drane, 1910 - "a novel 'written from the inside' dealing largely with the doings of the Roman aristocracy ... Dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. George Alexander").

    The Little Earl had previously appeared in Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Belgravia: an Illustrated London Magazine, Vol. XLIV, 1881. The original London: Chatto and Windus edition had monochrome illustrations by the acclaimed and prolific illustrator Edmund H Garrett (as later reprinted in Bimbi. Stories for children. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott company, 1892 - see Hathitrust 007936682). Further impressions, of which there were many, included A Dog of Flanders, The Nürnberg Sove, and Other Stories (1909 Lippincott, Internet Archive dogofflandersnrnouida / 1913 Lippincott, Internet Archive dogofflandersnrn00ouid) which upgraded these to colour plates by Maria Louise Kirk.

    "Will you be so kind as to let me know what you are eating?"
    - Edmund H Garrett illustration for Bimbi, Lipincott, 1892
    So he ran on through Bonchurch and out of it, leaving its pleasant green shade with a little sigh, half of impatience, half of hunger. He did not go on by the sea, for he knew by hearsay that this way would take him to Ventnor, and he was afraid people in a town would know him and stop him; so he set forth inland, where the deep lanes delve through the grassy downs , and here, sitting on a stile, the little Earl saw the ploughboy eating something white and round and big that he himself had never seen before.
          "It must be something very delicious to make him enjoy it so much," thought the little Earl, and then curiosity entered so into him, and he longed so much to taste this wonderful unknown thing, that he went up to the boy and said to him, —
          "Will you be so kind as to let me know what you are eating ?"
          The ploughboy grinned from ear to ear.
          "For certain, little zurr," he said, with a burr and a drawl in his speech, and he gave the thing to Bertie, which was neither more nor less than a peeled turnip.
          The little Earl looked at it doubtfully, for he did not much fancy what the other had handled with his big brown hands and bitten with his big yellow teeth. But then, to enjoy anything as much as that other had enjoyed it, and to taste something quite unknown ! — this counterbalanced his disgust and over-ruled his delicacy. One side of the great white thing was unbitten; he took an eager tremulous little bite out of that.
          "But, oh !" he cried in dismay as he tasted, "it has no taste at all, and what there is is nasty !"
          "Turnips is main good," said the boy.
          "Oh, no!" said the little Earl, with intense horror; and he threw the turnip down amongst the grass, and went away sorely puzzled.
          "Little master," roared Hodge after him, "I'll bet as you aren't hungry."
    - The Little Earl
    "Little girl, why do you cry?" he said.
     Maria Louise Kirk illustration for 1909 Lipincott

    An illustrated 1884 French translation, Le Petit Comte, is available from the Bibliothèque nationale de France Gallica archive (Le petit comte / par Ouida ; contes traduits de l'anglais... par J. Girardin ; et illustrés de 34 vignettes par Tofani et G. Vuillier. Hachette (Paris), 1884, public domain, ID ark:/12148/bpt6k65677472). The picture style is much more robust, I guess portraying more vividly than the UK/US editions the Little Earl's impression that the real world was full of degenerates.

    C'était un petit lord, bien petit.
    This was a little lord, very small.
    Source: gallica.bnf.fr

    La femme le regarda avec surprise.
    The woman looked at him with surprise.
    Source: gallica.bnf.fr

    Il retira du leu fer chauffé a blanc.
    He drew out the white-hot iron.
    Source: gallica.bnf.fr

    Dick s'empara des souliers.
    Dick grabbed the shoes.
    Source: gallica.bnf.fr

    Il mit rudement la main sur le petite Comte.
    He rudely put his hand on the Little Earl.
    Source: gallica.bnf.fr.

    Je suis lord Avillion.
    I am Lord Avillion.
    Source: gallica.bnf.fr

    I didn't know that Ouida had ever used an Isle of Wight setting, nor if the locations - Shanklin, Bonchurch and the Undercliff - were directly known to her, or just so familiar as to be generic (the southern Island was immensely popular with the literati of the time). But she did have at least one indirect acquaintance with the area via a friend she made in Italy, the Isle of Wight physician Dr Joseph Glenfield Groves (author of The Isle of Wight as a Health-Resort, BMJ 1881;2:663).
    On May 21st Dr. Joseph Groves died at his residence at Carisbrooke in the Isle of Wight ... He was born in the year 1839, being the eldest son of Mr. Joseph Groves of Newport. and was descended by the maternal line from one of the oldest island families. His mother belonged to the Roach family, who for several hundreds of years have farmed the lands of Arreton and Great and Little Standen ...
    ...
    He was living in Paris at the time of the Communist barricades, and witnessed the death of a close friend who was shot down by the soldiery on the top of a barricade whilst attempting to disperse his riotous student friends. This incident was afterwards introduced into a novel [Under Two Flags], the hero of which was Dr. Groves’s friend, by “Ouida," whose acquaintance Dr. Groves made at this time. In these years of foreign travel Dr. Groves made lifelong friendships with many people of note, he laid up a store of ever-fruitful knowledge and pleasant memories, and he developed his unerring taste in works of art. Returning to the Isle of Wight, at first in charge of a single patient who suffered from mental derangement, he sought, on the recovery of his patient, no practice, but for a year or two attended only his friends at their urgent request. In 1883, however, he was appointed Medical Officer of Health to the Isle of Wight Rural Sanitary Authority From that date, twenty-four years ago ... he has discharged his numerous duties ... as Medical Officer of Health and as a highly esteemed medical practitioner, winning the confidence and admiration of all.
    - Obituary, Joseph Groves, B.A, M.B.Lond., M.R.C.S., British Medical Journal, June 1, 1907.
    He shared it willingly.
     Maria Louise Kirk illustration for 1909 Lipincott

    Ouida: 1874 photo by Adolphe Beau
    from Ouida: a Memoir, Elizabeth Lee
    (Internet Archive cu31924013470319).
    Ouida's children's stories attracted pretty well universal acclaim. While her novels were popular, not everybody liked their general flavour - sagas of laidback aesthetes hovering on the edge of amorality. With the children's stories, she dropped into the charming and evocative. These reviews were typical:
    When Ouida has scenery, or art, or animals, or children in her head, there is nothing else there one could wish absent. Her passion for justice, her love of helpless childhood, her reverence for defenceless animals, are so great and rare, that while thinking of them one cease to remember she she has ever written books containing much that is less admirable … Although the stories are written for children, and are such as children of a certain age and some education will thoroughly enjoy, they are excellent reading for “grown-ups.” … “Findelkind” and “The Little Earl” are full of the pathetic aspiration of childhood after serviceableness, and are very beautiful.
    - Recent novels, Daily News (London, England), Thursday, July 6, 1882.
    ...
    Ouida is hardly a name with which the ordinary reader associates children’s stories, and yet we venture to say that one of the most charming works for the young which has appeared for some years is “Bimbi; Stories for Children” (Chatto and Windus). No author probably equals Ouida for word-painting and exquisite pathos. Her descriptions of children and animals have always been striking features of her works; and once get her away from the bad and gloomy side of human nature, there are few writers who can touch the tenderer chords of a reader’s heart more easily. “Moufflon” … and the “Little Earl” are simply idylls of innocent child-life, which will give equal pleasure to parents and to children, and in which the most hypercritical could only find a thoroughly wholesome moral.
    - The Reader, The Graphic, (London, England), Saturday, July 1, 1882
    ...
    It is a thousand pities that “Ouida” will not always write as she has written in “Bimbi.”
    - The Literary News, August 1882.
    ...
    This volume would be worth the money (according to the slang phrase) were it only for the concluding story, ‘The Little Earl,” which, though last, is certainly not the least. It is not only full of interest and well told, but it carries a fine lesson.
    - Contemporary Literature, The British Quarterly Review, July 1882.

    Image from Le Petit Comte
    But even Bimbi got the occasional hostile review. Check out The Month, whose reviewer berates Ouida for having an insufficiently Catholic stance on the issue of animal cruelty and rights ...
    Bimbi strikes us as the attempt of one whose moral sense is perverted, and who is half conscious of the perversion, to throw aside the taint of evil and to be childlike, innocent, simple, at least for once. There is no moralizing in the book, no straining after moral effect, no effort to inculcate religious truths through the medium of the tales—perhaps it is all the better for this. There is a great deal of natural beauty in some of the pictures painted, and of the characters that are drawn. But just as he who is used to a rolling deck cannot walk straight upon the land, so Ouida's perverted moral sense crops out, especially when she attempts to introduce some "improving" incident into the story she is telling. In one only of the stories is there any trace of what we must call the prevalent vice of Ouida's novels. The rest are in this respect harmless enough. But over and over again the little readers of these stories are taught to esteem as a virtue that exaggerated devotion to animal pets which is compatible with, and very commonly found along with, an entire absence of any kind of supernatural charity. Many of the cruel sensualists of Ouida's novels, like the Roman ladies of Pagan times, would shudder at the very idea of the slightest pain inflicted on their lap-dog, and would make considerable personal sacrifices for the health and comfort of their petted darling. The spirit of kindness to the dumb animals, the hatred of any wanton cruelty to them, is a sort of overflow of the spirit of true charity, but it is on a different footing altogether, and to ignore the difference, or to represent the brutes as sharing the "rights" of men, is directly at variance with the spirit of the Catholic Church.
          In "The Little Earl," Ouida goes further still. The hero of the story (and a very pretty story it is), a child of seven years old, wanders away from home, gets lost, and among other adventures comes across a shed where pigs are being branded.
          Bertie saw the man take the red-hot iron and go up to the pig. Bertie's face grew blanched with horror.
          "Stop, stop! what are you doing to the pig?" he screamed, as he ran in to the man, who looked up and stared.
          "I be branding the pig; get out, or I'll brand you," he cried. Bertie held his ground; his eyes were flashing.
          "You wicked, wicked man! Do you not know the poor pig was made by God?"
          "Dunno," said the wretch, with a grin. "She'll be eat by men, come Candlemas! I be marking of her, cos I'll turn her out on the downs with t'other. Git out, youngster; you've no call here."
    Here again the childish mind is trained to exaggerate the consideration due to animals, and to regard it as a sin to inflict on a pig the momentary pain of the hot iron marking his thick skin.
     - Ouida's stories for children, page 294, The Month: A Catholic Magazine and Review, Vol. XLVI, 1882.
    ... though I wonder if the reviewer simply disliked Ouida, and also if there was a bit of politics going on about the dedication to the Royal Family of Italy.

    The Little Earl contains an authorial passage that's a heartfelt elegy for pre-development Shanklin:
    You have never seen Shanklin, for you have never been in England; and if you do go now, you will never see it as it was when Bertie walked there, when it was the prettiest and most primitive little place in England; now, they tell me, it has been made into a watering-place, with a pier and an esplanade.
          Shanklin used to be a little green mossy village covered up in honeysuckle and hawthorn; low long houses, green too with ivy and creepers, hid themselves away in sweet-smelling old-fashioned gardens; yellow roads ran between high banks and hedges out to the green down or downward to the ripple of the sea; and the cool brown sands, glistening and firm, twice a day felt the kiss of the tide. The cliffs were brown too, for the most part; some were white ; the gray sea stretched in front; and the glory of the place was its leafy chine and ravine that severed the rocks and was full of foliage and of the sound of birds. It used to be all so quiet there; now and then there passed in the offing a brig or a yacht or a man-of-war; now and then farmers' carts came in from the downs by Appuldurcombe or the farms beyond the Undercliff; there were some fishing-cabins by the beach, and one old inn with a long grassy garden, where the coaches used to stop that ran through the quiet country from Ryde to Ventnor. It was so green, so still, so friendly, so fresh; when I think of it I hear the swish of its lazy waves, and I smell the smell of its eglantine hedges, and I see the big brown eyes of my gallant dog as he came breathless up from the sea.
          Alas! you will never see it so. The hedges are down, they tell me, and the grand dog is dead, and the hateful engine tears through the fields, and the sands are beaten to make an esplanade, and the beach is noisy and hideous with the bray of bands and the laughter of fools.
          What will the world be like when you are twenty? Very frightful, I fear. This is progress, they say?
          But what of the little Earl? you ask.
          Well, the little Earl knew Shanklin as I knew it, — when the blackbirds and thrushes sang in the quiet chine, and the sense of an infinite peace dwelt on its simple shores. His grandmamma had taken for the summer the house that stands in its woods at the head of the chine and looks straight down that rift of greenery to the gray sea. I know not what that house is now; then it was charming, chalet-like, yet spacious.
    - The Little Earl
    This, I assume is the Ouida reference that "Monopole" mentions in the 1903 Shanklin Spa guide:
    These were the days which "Ouida" once wrote about, and regretted that they had passed away—passed away in Shanklin's progress—many would still say, perhaps without regret.
    -  page 21, Shanklin Spa: A Guide to the Town and the Isle of Wight ("Monopole", Shanklin: Silsbury Brothers, 1903, Internet Archive shanklinspaagui00monogoog).
    - Ray
              Harriet Parr: bibliography, "Tuflongbo", and a dog's life        
    Harriet Parr
    While we're on Shanklin topics: I've expanded the 2014 Harriet Parr in Shanklin post to include a detailed bibliography, and I'm also delighted to say that I've finally found a portrait of her! Parr is another of those low-key writers who've turned out to be astonishingly prolific (in her case mostly as the pseudonymous "Holme Lee"). En route, I encountered her mid-career children's stories such as the odd "Tuflongbo" elf-saga, and the canine tear-jerker The true pathetic history of Poor Match. I'll only inflict the pictures on you.


    The atmosphere of the "Tuflongbo" stories is strange. The text starts off very gently as nursery fantasy with twee botanical names, but once Tuflongbo turns up - I can only describe him as a kind of elf Allan Quatermain - the characters subsequently get into a lot of hard-edged politics, exploration and battles (not to mention an encounter with "Electrical Serpentes"). The costume of W Sharpe's artwork is a weird mix of mediaeval and Highland ghillie (it reminds me of the faux-mediaeval Eglinton Tournament of 1839). It's really hard to tell what readership it's aimed at, with its blend of the highly robust - characters do get killed - and the completely innocent. Some contemporary reviews say it's allegory of some sort, but I don't really see that; it doesn't seem to have the sustained identification of character with concept that goes with allegory.

    Whatever Harriet Parr intended by it all, the Tuflongbo stories certainly made an impression on the Scottish lawyer, criminologist and crime writer William Roughead (1870–1952) who commented on Tuflongbo's world in his 1939 Neck or Nothing:
    Most prized of all, by reason of being my first love, was Holme Lee's Fairy Tales. I have the book still, and unless old affection blinds me, I esteem it one of the best and most original of its kind ever written for the delight of deserving childhood.
          Why such masterpieces should have been suffered to go out of print, and have to be sought for like Elizabethan quartos, I cannot tell. I know not what form of intellectual pabulum is nowadays provided for the sustainment of our young. Doubtless they would find but little savour in these old-fashioned feasts, which I was wont to devour with gusto. For the drone of no aeroplane ever disturbs the silence of the Forbidden Forest; the Granite Castle is innocent alike of sanitation, wireless, and central heating; and there are neither tubes nor escalators in the Underground City. Tuflongbo's journey, while beset by most engaging perils, does not expose him to the common daily risk of being slain or mangled by some ruthless or incomplete motorist. Even more damning than such defects, the heroes and heroines of these tales are, like the angels, refreshingly unconcerned with Sex, whether in its physical, fictional, or filmic aspects.
    - William Roughead, Neck or Nothing (Cassell, 1939).
    Maybe Roughead read an edition without illustrations, because that's far from the impression I get. Tuflongbo and his companion Hawkweed, who go exploring in tweed and collar-and-tie, look more to me like upper-middle-class 19th-century gentlemen transplanted into the world of fairy tale. The Contemporary Review for 1868 spotted this clash of genres.
    Tuflongbo's Life and Adventures. By Holme Lee.
    Tuflongbo and Little Content. By Holme Lee. London: F. Warne & Co.
    Allegory is perhaps the most difficult of all forms of fiction. The temptation to strain points for the sake of completeness is great, and very often the necessity of humanizing, through consciously pressing upward and forward a moral lesson, has the effect of so cutting nature in twain, that neither man nor child could preserve interest through the long detail in which all seems forced save the inner purpose. Now Holme Lee's exquisitely easy, graceful manner of writing, and her minute knowledge of natural history, saves her from too obviously falling into this fault. Yet Tuflongbo, tho offspring of Mulberry and Lupine, will not claim interest from the children so much as even the old pilgrim of Bunyan, because here we have two lines of interest running parallel, and disputing the claim of each other on our notice. The books are a sort of crosses between the "Water Babies" and "Dealings with the Fairies." On the whole, we prefer " Tuflongbo's Life;" there is less straining in it, and some of the touches are very clever. The books are beautifully illustrated, and should meet with favour.
    - Notices of Books, The Contemporary Review, Vol. 7, February 1868).
    Anyway, on to the images:







    • The Wonderful Adventures of Tuflonbo and His Elfin Company in Their Journey with Little Content Through the Enchanted Forest (1861) - (London: Smith, Elder and Co, Internet Archive wonderfuladvent00parrgoog).
    Tuflongbo's adventures continue in the prequel, Tuflongbo's journey in search of ogres, illustrated in very Victorian style by H Sanderson, a regular book and magazine illustrator of the period. It tells of Tuflongbo's school-of-hard-knocks upbringing and education. While the picture style is a little different, there's still far more of the grizzled Victorian gentleman explorer to Tuflongbo than elf.

    The Athenæum liked the Tuflongbo stories a little more than The Contemporary Review did. But the reviewer still mentioned the incongruously sophisticated elements, such as Tuflongbo's trial for high treason, and fairies who act "like the reasonable and rational beings we meet with in the novels of Miss Young and Miss Sewel" [sic - I assume deliberate misspellings of Yonge and Sewell].
    The Wonderful Adventures of Tuflongbo and his Elfin Company in their Journey with Little Content through the Enchanted Forest. By Holme Lee. With Illustrations. (Smith, Elder 8 Co.)
    We may as well make our confession before we begin our criticism. We took up these ‘Adventures of Tuflongbo‘ with a great contempt for parvenu fairies and new settlers in fairyland, where we spent the days of our childhood; indeed, we were honoured with the intimate companionship of all the real old fairies and their god-children. ‘We were brought up amongst the fairies of the ancien régime, and we were not disposed to transfer our But we gradually became interested in the fortunes of the heroic Tuflongbo, though he came of quite a modern family, and was nothing like such a fine gentleman as the beautiful Prince in ‘The White Cat,’ or Prince Riquet with the Tuft, or Prince Fortunatus; indeed, he was quite vulgarly able to take care of himself, and did not need a fairy godmother at all. But his adventures interested us more and more as we went on; and though we are old enough to have known better, we confess that from the moment we began to read we never laid down the book until we came to the last page; and we like Tuflongbo quite as well as any of the ancient old heroes of fairy tales, and we hope he never came to any harm, and we would be very glad to hear more about him, and we hope Holme Lee will make haste and tell us about his further history. Holme Lee may be satisfied with her day's work; for she has written a very charming book, full of fancy and good feeling; and most readers will feel regret when they come to the end of it: nevertheless, we have a little criticism to offer. In the first place, there are too many characters, and the incidents are confused. The story would have been better if it had been broken up into several stories. The journey through the Enchanted Forest of Stone is very good, though it gets too much into allegory; but after the adventurers get back to fairyland the story becomes confused and rather heavy. The trial of Tuflongbo for high treason is not managed according to the precedents of fairy tales; it might be the report of a case in the Central Criminal Court. In the latter part there are too many allusions to incidents and personages of other stories; and readers like to feel that they have a complete story; it is not treating them well to allude to matters which do not enter into the story before them. It is like talking of family affairs before visitors, and making them feel they are strangers. There is no poetical justice executed upon Aunt Spite and Lobelia; and we need not remark that in fairy tales we expect the strictest punishment for the wicked characters. It would be an improvement if Holme Lee would forget that she is writing in the nineteenth century, and make her fairies a little less like the reasonable and rational beings we meet with in the novels of Miss Young and Miss Sewell. Fairies and the dwellers in fairyland have always been a peculiar people; but their morals were of the very simplest, and their chroniclers had a. simplicity and unconsciousness of intention, which is one great point in which the old fairy tales and old nursery rhymes surpass, in grace and attraction, all that have followed in their track. It will be observed that we have not said one word to give an idea of what the story is about. We should consider it a breach of confidence; and no persuasion shall induce us to tell what readers may learn for themselves.
    - The Athenæum: A Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts (No. 1781, December 14, 1861No. 1781, December 14, 1861).
    More pictures:








    • Tuflongbo's journey in search of ogres (1862) - "with six illustrations by H. Sanderson" - Internet Archive tuflongbosjourn00parrgoog). 
    On acquaintance so far, I think I'll leave Legends From Fairy Land: Narrating The History Of Prince Glee and Princess Trill and Holme Lee's Fairy Tales for another time...

    The true pathetic history of Poor Match is a bit mis-sold. It's not at all the relentless tragedy the original title suggests - probably why they changed it for the later Warne edition - but actually a very readable, and frequently amusing, picaresque cradle-to-grave story of a dog's life (with four illustrations by Walter Crane, one of the iconic children's book illustrators of the era). But the feisty dog protagonist does die at the end, and we get an elegy.






    POOR MICK
    Died, April 20, 1853. Greengates,

    Poor Mick is dead! Alas! for poor old Mick,
    The wisest dog, the faithfulest, the best!
    Tramps, you are free to come without a stick,
    Your steadfast foe lies there, for aye at rest.
    Your rags may flutter loosely in the blast,
    They won't disturb his dignity down there;
    His crusty voice has barked its very last;
    You're free to come and go without a care.
    ...
    - Poor Match: his life, adventures and death
    (London: Frederick Warne edition., 1870?
    Google Books Z8IBAAAAQAAJ

    Anyhow, check out the Harriet Parr in Shanklin post for the bibliography update at the end. It came as a surprise to me both in its sheer extent, and, considering that Parr (aka Holme Lee) is now a moderately obscure writer, that the vast majority of her known works turn out to be findable online. Some of her books - notably Against Wind and Tide (1859) and For Richer, for Poorer (1870) - use highly identifiable Shanklin settings, disguised only in name. Fans of Isle of Wight topographical connections in fiction might find the whole corpus worth a skim.

    - Ray
              Kinéztem és megdugott – erotikus történet        
    Már a nyaralásom első napján kiszemeltem magamnak egy srácot. És tudtam, hogyha nekem tetszik valaki, akkor azt meg is szerzem. Hát így is történt. A legvadítóbb ruhát vettem magamra, mély dekoltázs, szexi combok, minden játszott! Azonnal szóba is elegyedtünk, és … Egy kattintás ide a folytatáshoz....
               Elegy for daughters         
    Madden, Nuala (2004) Elegy for daughters. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
              Hot This Week: August 7        
    There are three new movies right at the top of this week's list, led by the latest installment in the ever-popular King Kong franchise. Likewise, three new CDs grace the top of the music chart, while the untimely passing of Chester Bennington pushes two Linkin Park albums back to the forefront as well. The latest thriller from the author of The Woman in Cabin 10 is the week's hottest new title in fiction, while the non-fiction list remains largely the same.

    DVD
    1. Kong: Skull Island
    2. Ghost in the Shell
    3. The Belko Experiment
    4. CHiPs
    5. Smurfs: The Lost Village
    6. The Lost City of Z
    7. Logan
    8. Beauty and the Beast
    9. Fist Fight
    10. Get Out
    CD
    1. Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life
    2. Tyler, the Creator, Flower Boy
    3. Meek Mill, Wins and Losses
    4. Linkin Park, One More Light
    5. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    6. Descendants 2 Soundtrack
    7. Jay-Z, 4:44
    8. Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory
    9. DJ Khaled, Grateful
    10. Romeo Santos, Golden
    Fiction
    1. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
    2. Camino Island, John Grisham
    3. The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
    4. Paradise Valley, C.J. Box
    5. House of Spies, Daniel Silva
    6. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    7. The Painted Queen, Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
    8. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
    9. Murder Games, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
    10. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    Non-Fiction
    1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    4. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin
    5. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    6. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
    7. The Operator, Robert O'Neill
    8. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    9. The Swamp, Eric Bolling
    10. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss

              Hot This Week: July 31        
    As we say goodbye to the month of July, we have a rare week with no new movies on the list, which means a second week at the top for The Lost City of Z. French Montana lands his sophomore album at #3, just behind heavy hitters Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar. The fiction list is bookended by new titles from Michael Connelly and B.A. Paris, while a memoir from writer Sherman Alexie jumps on in non-fiction.

    DVD
    1. The Lost City of Z
    2. CHiPs
    3. Smurfs: The Lost Village
    4. Logan
    5. Beauty and the Beast
    6. Get Out
    7. Fist Fight
    8. John Wick Chapter 2
    9. Power Rangers
    10. The Lego Batman Movie
    CD
    1. Jay-Z, 4:44
    2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    3. French Montana, Jungle Rules
    4. DJ Khaled, Grateful
    5. Ed Sheeran, Divide
    6. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
    7. Moana Soundtrack
    8. Khalid, American Teen
    9. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
    10. Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
    Fiction
    1. The Late Show, Michael Connelly
    2. Camino Island, John Grisham
    3. House of Spies, Daniel Silva
    4. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    5. Murder Games, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
    6. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    7. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
    8. Use of Force, Brad Thor
    9. The Duchess, Danielle Steel
    10. The Breakdown, B.A. Paris
    Non-Fiction
    1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    4. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin
    5. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    6. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    7. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
    8. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, Sherman Alexie
    9. The Swamp, Eric Bolling
    10. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss

              Hot This Week: July 24        
    Three new movies on this week's list are led by The Lost City of Z, based on the book by David Grann. The new release from Jay-Z tops the music chart. A new Gabriel Allon thriller from Daniel Silva bumps John Grisham from the top spot in fiction, while the return of Hamilton and a new book from Bill Nye shake things up in non-fiction.

    DVD
    1. The Lost City of Z
    2. CHiPs
    3. Logan
    4. Get Out
    5. Power Rangers
    6. Beauty and the Beast
    7. John Wick Chapter 2
    8. Fist Fight
    9. Smurfs: The Lost Village
    10. Table 19
    CD
    1. Jay-Z, 4:44
    2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    3. DJ Khaled, Grateful
    4. Ed Sheeran, Divide
    5. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
    6. Haim, Something to Tell You
    7. Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
    8. Moana Soundtrack
    9. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
    10. 2 Chainz, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
    Fiction
    1. House of Spies, Daniel Silva
    2. Camino Island, John Grisham
    3. Murder Games, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
    4. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    5. Use of Force, Brad Thor
    6. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    7. The Duchess, Danielle Steel
    8. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
    9. Two Nights, Kathy Reichs
    10. The Silent Corner, Dean Koontz
    Non-Fiction
    1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    2. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin
    3. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    4. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    5. The Swamp, Eric Bolling
    6. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    7. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    8. Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
    9. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss
    10. Everything All at Once, Bill Nye

              Hot This Week: July 17        
    The big-screen reboot of the popular late-'70s/early-'80s TV show CHiPs wins the week in movies. DJ Khaled holds on for a second week at #1 in music, followed by the new album from Calvin Harris. The audiobook lists remain largely the same from last week, with a new romance from Julie Garwood being the only title to debut.

    DVD
    1. CHiPs
    2. Logan
    3. Power Rangers
    4. John Wick Chapter 2
    5. Get Out
    6. The Lego Batman Movie
    7. Beauty and the Beast
    8. Fist Fight
    9. Life
    10. A Cure for Wellness
    CD
    1. DJ Khaled, Grateful
    2. Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
    3. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    4. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
    5. Ed Sheeran, Divide
    6. 2 Chainz, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
    7. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
    8. Stone Sour, Hydrograd
    9. Moana Soundtrack
    10. Khalid, American Teen
    Fiction
    1. Camino Island, John Grisham
    2. Murder Games, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
    3. Use of Force, Brad Thor
    4. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    5. The Duchess, Danielle Steel
    6. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    7. Wired, Julie Garwood
    8. A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
    9. The Silent Corner, Dean Koontz
    10. The Force, Don Winslow
    Non-Fiction
    1. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin
    2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    4. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    5. The Swamp, Eric Bolling
    6. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    7. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    8. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss
    9. Theft by Finding, David Sedaris
    10. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

              Hot This Week: July 10        
    With summer blockbuster season in full swing, the new Power Rangers movie leaps atop the week's movie listing. DJ Khaled's new album takes over the music chart, while a new Deluxe Edition of Prince's Purple Rain brings that classic back to the forefront as well. New novels by James Patterson, Brad Thor, and Danielle Steel debut behind John Grisham in fiction, while two new political titles make the list in non-fiction.

    DVD
    1. Power Rangers
    2. Life
    3. Logan
    4. The Lego Batman Movie
    5. Beauty and the Beast
    6. Get Out
    7. John Wick Chapter 2
    8. Fist Fight
    9. Before I Fall
    10. A Dog's Purpose
    CD
    1. DJ Khaled, Grateful
    2. Imagine Dragons, Evolve
    3. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    4. Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain
    5. 2 Chainz, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
    6. 311, Mosaic
    7. Ed Sheeran, Divide
    8. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
    9. Moana Soundtrack
    10. Post Malone, Stoney
    Fiction
    1. Camino Island, John Grisham
    2. Murder Games, James Patterson and Howard Roughan
    3. Use of Force, Brad Thor 
    4. The Duchess, Danielle Steel
    5. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    6. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    7. The Silent Corner, Dean Koontz
    8. Tom Clancy: Point of Contact, Mike Maden
    9. Come Sundown, Nora Roberts
    10. Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton
    Non-Fiction
    1. Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin
    2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    4. The Swamp, Eric Bolling
    5. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    6. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    7. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    8. Theft by Finding, David Sedaris
    9. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss
    10. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

              Hot This Week: July 3        
    Two new superhero movies with vastly different tones - Logan and The Lego Batman Movie - top this week's movie list. Half of the music chart is made up of new releases, led by Lorde and 2 Chainz. John Grisham holds on for another week at #1 in fiction, while astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson surges back to the top in non-fiction.

    Have a wonderful Independence Day!

    DVD
    1. Logan
    2. The Lego Batman Movie
    3. John Wick Chapter 2
    4. Get Out
    5. Beauty and the Beast
    6. Fist Fight
    7. A Dog's Purpose
    8. Life
    9. The Shack
    10. Fifty Shades Darker
    CD
    1. Lorde, Melodrama
    2. 2 Chainz, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
    3. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    4. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound
    5. Nickelback, Feed the Machine
    6. Ed Sheeran, Divide
    7. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up
    8. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
    9. SZA, Ctrl
    10. Post Malone, Stoney
    Fiction
    1. Camino Island, John Grisham
    2. The Silent Corner, Dean Koontz
    3. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    4. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    5. Dangerous Minds, Janet Evanovich
    6. Tom Clancy: Point of Contact, Mike Maden
    7. Kiss Carlo, Adriana Trigiani
    8. Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton
    9. Come Sundown, Nora Roberts
    10. The Force, Don Winslow
    Non-Fiction
    1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    2. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    3. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    4. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    5. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss
    6. Theft by Finding, David Sedaris
    7. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    8. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War, David Fisher
    9. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
    10. Hunger, Roxane Gay

              Hot This Week: June 26        
    Keanu Reeves's second turn as hitman John Wick takes over the top spot on this week's movie list. Four hot new CDs are led by the new album from pop diva Katy Perry at #1. John Grisham holds onto his spot in fiction, with the new novel from Elin Hilderbrand coming in as the top newcomer at #2. In non-fiction, a book about the president and a memoir from Roxane Gay join the fray.

    DVD
    1. John Wick Chapter 2
    2. Beauty and the Beast
    3. Fist Fight
    4. A Dog's Purpose
    5. Fifty Shades Darker
    6. The Shack
    7. Split
    8. The Space Between Us
    9. The Great Wall
    10. Sleepless
    CD
    1. Katy Perry, Witness
    2. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
    3. SZA, Ctrl
    4. Lady Antebellum, Heart Break
    5. Ed Sheeran, Divide
    6. Halsey, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
    7. Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
    8. Rise Against, Wolves
    9. Post Malone, Stoney
    10. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Fiction
    1. Camino Island, John Grisham
    2. The Identicals, Elin Hilderbrand
    3. Tom Clancy: Point of Contact, Mike Maden
    4. Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
    5. Dragon Teeth, Michael Crichton
    6. Come Sundown, Nora Roberts
    7. Nighthawk, Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
    8. The Fix, David Baldacci
    9. 16th Seduction, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
    10. The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
    Non-Fiction
    1. Understanding Trump, Newt Gingrich
    2. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
    3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson
    4. I Can't Make This Up, Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss
    5. Theft by Finding, David Sedaris
    6. Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War, David Fisher
    7. Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
    8. Hunger, Roxane Gay
    9. Option B, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
    10. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

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