I do not recall if Abbey studied zen. It appears to me that inherent in his craft is the idea that what he does not say is as important as what he does. Each sentence zigs and zags around, over and under so many norms of American society, and he does so with nary a …
In Putin’s Nationalist Russia, a Tolstoy as Cultural Diplomat
It is not a surprise that literature aids all countries in showing a human face in the midst of hard-edge politics and ideology.This piece is from The New York Times. Follwing the NYT piece is aninterview with Putin and Tolstoy concerning the culture policy document. RLW CreditJames Hill for The New York Times By RACHEL …
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Garry Wills – American Thinker & Iconoclast
Photograph by Gasper Tringale. (photo - Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune) Mr. Wills is the foremost literary journalist and thinker of our time. This article is a tribute to this iconoclast, one who has followed his own path to understanding America with intelligence, tenacity and grace. The American Mind The historian Garry Wills has written …
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Carol Blue on Christopher Hitchens
This is a short interview of Christopher Hitchen's wife, Carol Blue, shortly after he passed away in 2011. She is a very gracious and talented woman who shows what a muse she must have been. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3619164.htm
Robert Bringhurst – Language, Myth and Poetry
I find that Robert Bringhurst brings to the world a unique perspective of humans and their role in nature. He argues the idea that humans are merely part of nature and the idea that we are here to rule nature and to separate it from our lives will not only remove us from reality but …
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New Yorker Article – MARCEL REICH-RANICKI (1920-2013) – German Literary Critic – by Sally McGrane
On the cover of this weekend’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s feuilleton, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Germany’s “Literary Pope,” gazes out from the center of the page. The table at which he sits, alone, is set for a formal dinner; his silk tie is rakishly askew. His expression is sovereign but kind, thoughtful, knowing. Below the photo—taken three years ago, …
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Zen Master – Gary Snyder and the Art of Life.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Artist & Advocate
Louise Gluck – Poems 1962-2012
The Underside of Silicon Valley – Rebecca Solnit
Solnit is a San Francisco native and has written about the town from many perspectives including art, photography and geography. This article appears in "Tom Dispatch" and is part of a dark take on the current explosion of revelations on government spying and recently the FBI's admission that it is using drones domestically. From both …
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Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies – Paul E Nelson
Saul Bellow: Letters
Excellent writing about a master of fiction and American life. Saul Bellow: Letters In the newly published collected correspondence of Saul Bellow... BY LEO ROBSON PUBLISHED 11 NOVEMBER 2010 Letters Saul Bellow, edited by Benjamin Taylor Penguin, 571pp, £30 "Of course I am not a Freudian," Saul Bellow wrote to Philip Roth in 1974. "For one fierce …
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Zarathustra – My Time Has Come
" Have you learned my song? Have you guessed its intent ? Well then, you higher men, sing me now my round. Now you yourselves sing me the song whose name is “Once More” and whose meaning is ” into all eternity” - sing, you higher men, Zarathustra’s round! O man, take care! What does the …
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Going To The Sun
The Stranger by Albert Camus - Impressions 1942 Prose that is crisp and spare and precise. Fragments of humanity that are turned this way and that to develop a character in time and place. Meursault is detached and self-sufficient. His social needs are minimal. He is authentic and sure of his senses and is comfortable …
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Bill Moyers Interviews Oregon’s Barry Lopez
Barry Lopez has lived in the foothills of the Oregon Cascade mountains for 40 years. As a younger man he was a landscape photographer. He is unsurpassed as a western naturalist, scientist and philosopher. He is of course a journalist. His grasp of humanity is deep and highly spiritual. He sees the human situation as …
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Theodore Roethke In Seattle
_____________________________________________ From The Univesity of Washington Archives ____________________________________________________ From - The Stranger - Seattle Weekly Publication TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2012 BOOKS Heather McHugh Is Giving the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading at UW on Thursday posted by CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE on TUE, MAY 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM DAVID BELISLE Heather McHugh, the certified genius—by The Stranger and then, a few months later, …
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Poetics of Imagination – Northrop Frye
Frye stumbles on the idea of archetypal structure in literature. It resonates with Jungian thought, Gaston Bachelard, James Hillman and others in that poetics comes before philosophy or psychology. It seems to me that there is biological, deep structure, integration of the image and poetics, a structure that cannot be deconstructed but is elemental to human …
Kenneth Rexroth on Morris Graves – 1955
It is rare that a towering intellect will let an artist have the last words on the judgement of his own work and worth. But Rexroth has done just that here in this 1955 piece. This essay is a wide-ranging contemplation of Graves when he was in his prime. Rexroth was in his prime as …
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Czeslaw Milosz – A Treatise On Poetry
From the Preface - A Treatise On Poetry, 2001, HarperCollins, NY, translated by Robert Haas: First, plain speech in the mother tongue. Hearing it you should be able to see, as if in a flash of summer lightning, Apple trees, a river, a bend of a road. And it should contain more than images. Singsong …
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San Francisco Poet – FERLINGHETTI: A REBIRTH OF WONDER – Theatrical Trailer
The Absence – Paul Eluard
The Absence I speak to you across cities I speak to you across plains My mouth is upon your pillow Both faces of the walls come meeting My voice discovering you I speak to you of eternity O cities memories of cities Cities wrapped in our desires Cities come early cities come lately Cities strong …
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Italo Calvino – Mr Palomar’s Philosophical Book of Mental Illustrations, Or Poets, Take Back The World.
Mr Palomar is an accomplished practitioner of zen buddhism. He is astute at seeing what is before him as it is. Where he gets into trouble is when seeing, or being, is not enough and he needs to develop his strategies and plans together with his angst at trying to do the right thing in …
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David Remnick – Art of The Profile – The New Yorker
“The Practice of the Wild” – Gary Snyder
George Steiner – Paris Review
It is a very peculiar climate, summed up by that man of undoubted genius, Monsieur Derrida, when he says that every text is a “pretext.” This is one of the most formidably erroneous, destructive, brilliantly trivial wordplays ever launched. Meaning what? That whatever the stature of the poem, it waits for the deconstructive commentator; it …
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The Quiet American – Graham Greene
photo credit: Clay Enos Graham Greene has a very European take on life that is artfully described in this book. The setting is Vietnam, Saigon, in the mid-fifties and while there is an ongoing stream of events that take place in his time there as a journalist, it is his relationship with his Vietnamese woman, …
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Gary Synder – A Curse
Volcano Woman - Wayne Young - Northwest Coast (Nisga’a / Haida) acrylic on paper 30" x 23" 2005 ----------------------------------------- He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village The Dimensions of a Haida Myth Gary Synder The Curse From the Foreward: "A curse on monocultural industrial civilization and its almost deified economic and political systems that compete, exploit, an …
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David Ferry’s Beautiful Theft – Dan Chiasson
Poetry is innately related to theft. The lyre was invented, the Greeks tell us, by Hermes, who then gave the instrument to Apollo as compensation for stealing cattle. One reason people’s aversion to poetry sometimes passes over into strong annoyance, or even resentment, is that poems steal our very language out from under us and …
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Sensing a Path
If genius is profuse, never ending - stuck in the middle of a work is - the wrong track, Genius is the track seen. Once seen it is impossible to keep from it. The superficial definitions, such as "genius is industry, genius is hard work, etc. " are nonsense. It is to see the track, …
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N + 1: The Intellectual Situation
N + 1 has published an essay in their November, 2012 issue titled, "The Intellectual Situation". It is a frolic through the current "serious" national commercial literary front, with assorted, some frontal others just a hip bump, attacks on The Atlantic, Harpers, The New Yorker and finally the Paris Review. The subtext is how each …
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Impressions of “Dispatches” by Michael Herr
Leading Image: The Desire and the Satisfaction, 1893 (pastel on card), by Jan Theodore Toorop (1858–1928) Impressions of "Dispatches" by Michael Herr I am a long way into Dispatches and I remember the experience like I do my own dreams. Herr's book is poetic in force: showing the inside of Herr's brain more than most authors …
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Janus, in Ovid’s Poem “Fasti”
From Ovid's Poem "Fasti" (8 AD) "See how Janus appears first in my song To announce a happy year for you, Germanicus. Two-headed Janus, source of the silently gliding year, The only god who is able to see behind him, Be favourable to the leaders, whose labours win Peace for the fertile earth, peace for the seas: Be …
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The First Time On The Pacific
The First Time On The Pacific just eighteen. my nerves were adjusted. not only the speed but the direction. the pattern of rush lifted from stars and space, the place between planets and each other. is it black? what does it hold? the place we can't see, cannot understand. but we feel it. it shoots …
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Nikky Finney – Poet
2011 National Book Award in Poetry - Head Off & Split Background http://nikkyfinney.net/index.html Lead photo by Forrest Clonts
Jack Gilbert – A wonderful American Poet – Visions of California, Greece and Linda.
Literary Estimations – Gore Vidal on Italo Calvino
Gore Vidal has always been highly intelligent, disciplined and cranky, and as this video shows, has left himself open to being dismantled due to his use of crude attacks on literary colleagues - not only attacks, but outright belittlement. No one can relish the idea of going up against his sharp tongue. However, by doing …
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William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) – America Breaking Away To Find Its Voice.
The San Francisco Renaissance – Kenneth Rexroth
Czeslaw Milosz – Biography – The Wilno Poet Under California Skies
Czeslaw Milosz - The Wilno Poet Under California Skies November 2012 It is not an anomaly to be transformed by the breadth and scope of the Northern California landscape. To stand on a mountain and look over the rocky shore and the expanse of the blue Pacific is a powerful sensation. While one's awe eventually …
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Poem – Now It Is
Now It Is motions today are real, and yet they house potentialities that are full. They are not present and yet the scent of them is. it is the mystery of their unfolding that draws me in.
Gary Snyder – Thoreau Prize
Carmel Point – Robinson Jeffers Tor House
Lead Illustration: Tom Killion BY ROBINSON JEFFERS The extraordinary patience of things! This beautiful place defaced with a crop of suburban houses— How beautiful when we first beheld it, Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs; No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing, Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on …
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Zen & Thomas Merton
I have been reading Thomas Merton in the last few weeks in his book, "Zen and the Birds of Appetite". It was written in the late 60s and his point of reference in learning is D.T. Suzuki, who was then the most popular translator of Zen to the western world. When I started the book …
The American – Henry James – A Critical Review
The American - Henry James This novel is one of James's early works. We are reminded that he was educated in both Europe and America by tutors and private schools and then attended Harvard Law School briefly. He was a member of the American James dynasty, along with his brother William James the preeminent psychologist, …
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