Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy birthday …

… to Ned Rorem, another of the symphonists I keep going on about. Note in particular the ravishing melody toward the end of the final movement.

An American hero …

War and remembrance …

… A Science-Fiction Classic Still Smolders - The New Yorker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Beyond being a repository for his fears about the bomb, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” was a means for Miller to work through the trauma and guilt that haunted him from his wartime experiences, especially the bombing of the abbey at Monte Cassino. By his own admission, the Miller did not become fully aware of the driving force behind his novel until he was working on its third part. “I was writing the first version of the scene where Zerchi lies half buried in the rubble,” Miller recalled. “Then a light bulb came on over my head: ‘Good God, is this the abbey at Monte Cassino? . . . What have I been writing?’”

Until now …

… Unapologetic • Can't Stop. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Actually, I think one can know God as a presence. That, of course, is not the same as proving that He exists.



The way things used to be …

… Mining newspapers for poetry —  Book Patrol: A Haven for Book Culture. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A thought for today …

Art means to dare — and to have been right.
— Ned Rorem, born on this date in 1923

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hmm …

… How can we make the subject matter of philosophy of religion more diverse? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Theism, in a generic, omni-property sort of way, is one position that philosophers of religion commonly defend. The other is scientific naturalism. These seem to be the only games in town ….
Well, what other games would there be? Polytheism? That always has a supreme God. The world and life are understood as either mechanical or personal, random or purposeful.

Fiction, mystery, and magic …

… When Falls the Coliseum � Lisa reads The Wicked by Douglas Nicholas.

Telling ourselves stories...

Forgotten no more …

… Joseph Lee Scotland's Forgotten Poet remembered in new book | STV Dundee | Dundee. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Look and listen …

… BBC News - Clive James: 'I'd be lost without poetry'. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Thinking of Poe …

… PHILADELPHIA POETRY: BY LEONARD GONTAREK (October).

RIP …

Paul Craft, Witty Country Music Songwriter, Dies at 76 - NYTimes.com. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A thought for today …

There was a time when young people respected learning and literature and now they don't.
— Doris Lessing, born on this date in 1919

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FYI …

… The Accidental Cootchie Mama.

Anniversary …

Malcolm Arnold, one of the great 20th -century symphonists I mentioned recently, was born on this date in 1921. This is the first movement of his second symphony. The other movements can be linked to easily.

One man's quest to beat the blues...

"...maker of all things visible and invisible..."


I fell over, as I walked the dogs this morning, while saying the Nicene Creed, fell over right over off the path in the picture, because I realized I was in the middle of this creation, of the all things visible and invisible, the trees and sun and clouds and grasses, the birds that were now beginning to wake and chirp, and the noise of the wind too, that blew through the trees and branches and leaves, making them move and dance, and the dogs and the dirt, the things in the dirt and holding the dirt together, and every other thing too, and me, and I just fell over, my legs wouldn’t hold me up, because they had gotten too weak to hold me up in the face of this overwhelming Power.

“Yes I did,” I heard the affirmation, and I sat a bit, took this picture and gathered myself and got up, for I had been knocked flat by the Glory of the Lord.

I then walked more, down the path and realized the bigger part of this, the hard part, is that I was created too for this moment and now to spread the Good News to you.


Lightness is all …

on Collection of Sand, essays by Italo Calvino, tr. by Martin McLaughlin (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) | On the Seawall: A Literary Website by Ron Slate (GD). (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The difficulties of life-writing …

… The TLS blog: The once and future biographer. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Q&A …

… My Very End of the Universe: The Absent Father | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

No mere invisible hand …

… Book Review: ‘How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life’ by Russ Roberts - WSJ - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Q&A…

… 10 Questions for Robert Milby | Fox Chase Review.

A thought for today …

Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born on this date in 1772

Devotional wondering …

… Marilynne Robinson's Lila Review | New Republic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Upgrade …

… The Elegant Variation: TEV 2.0 - Launch of the newsletter edition. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I just subscribed.

Chandler Town …

… A Map of Raymond Chandler’s Fictional LA in Real-Life LA | Electric Literature. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

And the winners are …

… 2014 September : IBPC.



… The Judge's Page.



(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Anniversay …

… Paul Davis On Crime: Happy 83rd Birthday To John le Carre.

Sounds good …

… Skeptical About Skeptics. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Fight to the finish …

… The Tomatoes Could Be Terrible. Write Anyway. | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

There's writing, and then there's writing …

… Are Writers Born or Made? Jack Kerouac on the Crucial Difference Between Talent and Genius | Brain Pickings. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Back to basics …

Conference speakers say the liberal arts must return to a purer form to survive @insidehighered.



Once you grasp the distinction between training, which is instrumental — how to do something — and education, which is formative — how to become someone — the problem becomes much clearer.

What is your reason for reading …,

… beyond eastrod: Get off your ass! Either burn those books or read those books. What a choice!



A friend of mine, a psychiatrist, once told me it was a bad idea to ask a patient why he had done something or said something. Much better to ask what his reason was for doing or saying something. 
Asking why gave him an opening to explain matters in terms of factors outside his control. His reason could only be his own.
I've been reading for so long that the practice has simply become second nature. But I got into it because I enjoyed it and because I enjoyed it I became good at it. It is, after all, a co-creative act. The reader actualizes the potency of the text (to put it Thomistically). This is called fun. It can also be enlightening, because it forces you to look at and think about life in a more focused and intense manner than ordinarily. This, in turn, over time enriches one's being. The knower and the known are one, as St. Thomas noted. The more you know, the more you are. Reading is one of the principal ways of enriching the soul. If you have not read, say, The Magic Mountain, your life is to that extent impoverished. The same is true if you have never really looked at a Botticelli or listened to Bach's B-minor Mass. Living is not the same as making one.

A thought for today …

Only divine love bestows the keys of knowledge.
— Arthur Rimbaud, born on this date in 1854

FYI...

Old man and river …

… Bryan Appleyard — Hearing the Underground River. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I have heard Glass's music live only once, a performance of one of his piano concertos, presumably the first. It was entertaining, but not terribly memorable. Arvo Pärt and John Tavener I rather like. Morten Lauridsen is quite good.

Professor of law-breaking …

Paul Davis On Crime: The Napoleon Of Crime: Sherlock Holmes And Professor James Moriarty Are Perfect Foes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Worth attending …

… Brigadoon at Tomilinson Theater – Temple Musical Theater | Fox Chase Review.

A reminder …

THE GREEN LINE CAFE
READING & INTERVIEW SERIES
PRESENTS:

CHARLOTTE BOULAY
author of Foxes on the Trampoline

&

YOLANDA WISHER
author of Monk Eats an Afro

Reading & Interview

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 7 PM

HOSTED BY
LEONARD GONTAREK & LILLIAN DUNN

THE GREEN LINE CAFE IS LOCATED
AT 45TH & LOCUST STREETS

(Please note the address, there are
  other Green Line Café locations.)
        greenlinecafe.com

     This Event Is Free


Yolanda Wisher was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where she was named the first poet laureate at age 23. A Cave Canem graduate, she received an M.A. in Creative Writing/English from Temple University. Wisher co-edited the international anthology Peace is a Haiku Song with Sonia Sanchez in 2013. In 2014, she was named a Founding Cultural Agent for the US Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC). Her first book of poems, Monk Eats an Afro , was published this year by Hanging Loose Press. She lives in Germantown with her husband Mark Palacio, a doublebassist, and her son Thelonious.





Charlotte Boulay grew up in the Boston area and attended St. Lawrence University. She earned her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she taught composition and creative writing for five years. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Slate, The Boston Review, and Crazyhorse, among other journals. Foxes on the Trampoline is her first book, and was published in April 2014 by Ecco Press/HarperCollins. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia.