Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome to Purgatory …

… When Freud Met God — Philosophy and Life. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



It has long been my settled view that the world and life offer glimpses of Paradise, may slip into Hell from time to time, but are mostly a setting for Purgatory.  Our lot is prayer and penitence.

Haiku …



Strolling down the street,
A side street, sunlight, red leaves:
Great being alive.

An outstanding article …

… I Did Not Lose My Mind (May 2014) — Lion's Roar.



This is very well observed, beautifully written, and soundly reasoned. I think it will be of help to many.

A dark time was had by all …

… Detectives Beyond Borders: Noir at the Bar @Noircon.




The done-to...

Finding the truth...

FYI …

MAKING POEMS THAT LAST – Winter 2014


A POETRY WORKSHOP WITH LEONARD GONTAREK



While there’s no guarantee you’ll become the next Robert Frost, with the guidance of award-winning, prolific poet Leonard Gontarek, it’s at least a possibility. Encouraging students to explore as many avenues as possible and remove themselves from their work, he’ll help you find—then strengthen—your style and voice.

                                Philadelphia Weekly, Nicole Finkbiner




Reserve a place in the class via: gontarek9@earthlink.net


The workshop will include discussions of contemporary and international
poetry, translation, the students’ poetry, and the realities of publishing poetry.

Narrative, persona, political, homage, and confessional poetry will be
covered with a focus on what makes a poet’s voice original and their own.

Specific direction and assignments will be given, with attention
to the basic elements and forms of poetry.

Through invention students will build more accurate and textured work.


The workshop will be presented in seven 2-hour sessions,
Saturdays, 11 – 1:00 PM: November 1, 8, 15, 22, (no class Thanksgiving weekend),
December 6, 13, 20.

Location: 4221 Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia.
The cost is 161 dollars for 7 sessions.
Please contact Leonard Gontarek with interest: gontarek9@earthlink.net,
215.808.9507 – Independent workshops and manuscript editing available.

Attention, collectors …

… Fine Books & Manuscripts | Sale 2764B | Skinner Auctioneers.

Original intent …

… The Ending Sylvia Plath Wanted - The Atlantic. (Rus Bowden.)

Moments in and moments out …

… In Praise of Spacing Out -- Science of Us. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I am very adept at blocking out distractions and focusing on what I'm doing. Ask my wife. But I am equally good at letting my mind wander where it will. I think of this as a kind of alternating current of consciousness.

The baby and the bath water …

… Serendipity in the Stacks: A Case against Bookless Libraries. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Brotherly love …

… A tale of two New York Cities: I was rich, my brother was down and out | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A thought for today …

Serious-minded people have few ideas. People with ideas are never serious.
— Paul Valery, born on this date in 1871

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Music and life …

… Anecdotal Evidence: `Memory Cedes Its Place to Analogy'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I remember with disturbing clarity the soundtrack of my first weeks as a college freshman in the fall of 1970. My roommate and I listened to Blonde on Blonde, Miles Davis’ Greatest Hits and Bitch’s Brew, Joe Cocker’s cover of “Cry Me a River,” George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, The Band’s Music from Big Pink and The Band, Jefferson Starship’s Blows Against the Empire, Smetana’s Má Vlast, Leoš Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata,” Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and the inevitable Beatles, Stones, Cream, Hendrix, among other things. By being eclectic, we were being conventional for the time.
I think that sort of eclecticism is not encountered much these days.

Good God …

… TRENDING: More college students support post-birth abortion.



We're talking infanticide here. Talk about a culture of death.

R.I.P. …

… Galway Kinnell, Poet Who Followed His Own Path, Dies at 87 — NYTimes.com. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Laudator Temporis Acti: Degrees of Comparison …

… Laudator Temporis Acti: Degrees of Comparison. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I don't know if there are any scholars like Kittredge anymore. His chapter on "The Pardoner's Tale" in Chaucer and His Poetry is interpretive magic.

Birth-week brothers …

… John Berryman Joins Dylan Thomas in Life and Death: A Double Centenary | Town Topics. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)

My thoughts on these two October poets might have taken me somewhere more cheerful than St. Vincent’s had I not been preoccupied with the large building on Witherspoon Street currently being relieved of its outer layer prior to death by demolition. 
Beautiful sentence, that.

Be very scared …

… FBI created fake Seattle Times Web page to nab bomb-threat suspect | Local News | The Seattle Times.

Diamond jubilee …

… 75 Years Of 'Colossal Poets' And Live Literature At NYC's 92nd Street Y : NPR. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Start reading …

… The Adorations — Home. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Listen in …

… Virtual Memories Show: Sam Gross – Look Day.

Birthday



The universe weighs me down 

Opens before me

O Father what hath you wrought

A thought for today …

There is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law. No poet ever interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interprets the truth.
— Jean Giraudoux, born on this date in1882

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hear, hear …

… Richard Dawkins is wrong: Religion is not inherently violent - Salon.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



A very nice review.

Mark thy calendar …

… this Friday: Live Webcast of NEA National Council on the Arts Meeting | NEA.

Listen in …

… crusading against ageism:  Podcast – Much Abides | Virtual Memories.

A shameless plug …

… for a friend's book: Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed: Dava Guerin, Kevin Ferris, George H. W. Bush, Connie Morella: 9781629146980: Amazon.com: Books.

Haiku …


Forget about war.
Do consider the meanness
Daily in your heart.

Note: I changed the opening line because it did not convey what I wanted it to. I had been thinking of news reports of murders in the city. As I read it later, it seemed to suggest that I was thinking about murder, something that is never on my mind except when I read about it.

Risking it all...

Yes, indeed …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Happy Birthday To British Novelist Evelyn Waugh.

In case you wondered …

… The University Bookman: Why the Exorcist Endures. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



 Exorcist author William Peter Blatty based his 1971 book on a real case of demonic possession that occurred in Maryland in the 1940s. Yet the most important part of the novel was left out of the film. This section was so important to the story that it caused a rift between Blatty and director William Friedkin. Near the end of the book version, Father Lankester Merrin, an older priest, is explaining evil to Father Damien Karras, a young Georgetown Jesuit. The demon’s target, Fr. Merrin says, is not the innocent girl he takes over. The target “is us.” He continues: “I think the point is to make us despair, to reject our own humanity, Damien, to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; unworthy.” Fr. Merrin then explains that the devil is not so much in wars or on great geopolitical dramas, but in the small, quotidian cruelties: “in the senseless, petty snipes; the misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends, between lovers.” Enough of these, he says, and “we don’t need Satan to manage our wars.”

Cause for concern …

… USA Today’s Susan Page: Obama administration most ‘dangerous’ to media in history - The Washington Post.



… Sharyl Attkisson’s computer intrusions: ‘Worse than anything Nixon ever did’.

Comparison and contrast …

… About Last Night | Answer came there none. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… My own feeling, for what it’s worth, is that Crimes and Misdemeanors is too reductively explicit to support the weight of its parable-like moralizing, whereas Foote is content to let the viewer come to his own conclusions about the ambiguous last scene of Tender Mercies, which makes no assertions of any kind. Not so Allen’s film, whose last scene leaves us in no possible doubt (save in the minds of interpretation-happy academics) of what he takes to be its precise meaning, which he has since spelled out to interviewers on numerous occasions.

Q&A …

… The Man Who Read Too Much | The Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A thought for today …

There are no poetic ideas; only poetic utterances.
— Evelyn Waugh, born on this date in 1903