William T. Vollmann – “Nothing is true; all is permissible.”

photos: PHILIPPE MERLE/AFP/GETTYIMAGES The Atlantic Magazine Interview Writers Can Do Anything William T. Vollmann, author of Last Stories and Other Stories, explains why he works by an assassin's credo: "Nothing is true; all is permissible." 1.0k 225 JOE FASSLER JUL 16, 2014 By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite …

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 …

Grammars of Creation – George Steiner

"Beyond good and evil, beyond reason and social-ethical accountability, rages the drive to create, to engender form." Grammars of Creations George Steiner   Jackson Pollock - Untitled (Figure Composition), 1938-41. Colored pencils and graphite on paper  

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 …

A Brit Blows America’s Horn – “America The Marvelous”

 LETTER FROM LONDON July 2013 America the Marvelous At any liberal-establishment dinner table in London, say, or Paris, the U.S. will figure as a big, fat, dumb child. Enough, says the author, in an adaptation from his new book: America is Europe’s finest invention—and ultimate aspiration. By A. A. GillIllustration by Barry Blitt KING OF THE WORLD The …

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 …

Thinking Out Loud

Only citizens through their responsive government can monitor and guide the behaviour of corporations and their interaction with people and the natural, fragile earth. We need more people who are intelligent, informed, and unbiased and who articulate the truths that media won't.-rlw

Scattered

Scattered an ability to go with the natural flow of life and interests of the moment. the feeling of moments flowing in time - it is the feeling of time - it is what time is. it is interactive, time engaging and the mind responding and showing and then the reverse takes hold. it is …

…nature’s laws … are the only measures that count…

Capitalism, for all its merits and failings as a 500-year practice, may be better than the alternatives, but may not be able to meet the stringent conditions imposed by nature's laws. These, ultimately, are the only measures that count.From "The Common Sense Canadian" Ray Grigg on anthropologist Ronald Wright. http://thecanadian.org/item/2056-anthropologys-capitalism http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_myth_of_human_progress_20130113/

Wind In Sun

heavy wind in sun in the trees wind moving living trees each against the other in their reach upwards just at the end of their tolerance swaying with the form they had built, not yet crafted by the wind but the sun.

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, …

An Island Neighbor – Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis

"The Haida believed both animals and people had souls, which were essentially the same. The bodies of different animals were merely their "canoes" and all were capable of assuming other forms at will; "or better, they possessed a human form, and assumed their other forms when consorting with men." The killer whales were believed to …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.

THE VEXING SIMPLICITY OF NEIL YOUNG – Alec Wilkinson

OCTOBER 17, 2012 THE VEXING SIMPLICITY OF NEIL YOUNG POSTED BY ALEC WILKINSON I was a little surprised when Neil Young published his memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” because he is the only artist I have ever encountered who is proud of not reading. Reading would distract him from writing songs, he once told me, meaning interfere …

Seattle and Its Mayor, Mike McGinn – Were We Ever a Civilized Part of the World?

  Seattle and Its Mayor - Were We Ever a Civilized Part of the World? Seattle, like the rest of the nation, has decided that cordiality - respect of opinion and differences - is yesterday's practice. Several months ago a local journalist said this: "I honestly believe that Mayor Mike McGinn is the worst office …

Carmel Point – Robinson Jeffers Tor House

Carmel Point 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 the outcrop …

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Passion For Looking, Not Thinking

The following article shows the west meeting the east, particularly Jung and Frued meeting zen. Although the article does not mention Jung and especially Hillman they both demonstrated thoughout their writings that the image was dominant in our minds when it came to thinking, before the word. It is interesting that the internet is following …

Lincoln – Poetics, Character, Precipice of War and Human Design.

Lincoln - Poetics, Character, Precipice of War and Human Design. Upon reading Edmund Wilson's profile of Lincoln in "Patriotic Gore - Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War," I am taken by the literary and poetic drama of the account. Lincoln is shown to be chiefly literary in character — it is what …

The American – Henry James – A Critical Review

The American - Henry James

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, begun by his father, Henry James, Sr., a Swedenborgian lecturer and writer. Henry James, Sr. was made independently wealthy by his father who worked real estate deals in upstate New York and was involved in the development of the Erie Canal project.

James was thirty-four when he wrote this novel and had been out of school for fifteen years. He lived in London at the time of its publication. He left America in 1875 to remain in Europe for the rest of his life.

It is a story of an American who travels to France to expand his life apart from business and finds and loses the woman that he sought with much effort and romance. The book is a character study, one that James holds up as representative of sturdy American stock.

Christopher Newman is a successful American business man in 1868, shortly after the end of the American Civil War. He conducts manufacturing and banking businesses in the United States ( at the time there are still several territories in the Rocky Mountain West) and presumably amasses his own wealth. He is in his mid-thirties when he departs for France.

Newman's travels lead him to Paris and he meets the French woman that fulfills his idea of a suitable mate: cultured, intelligent and beautiful. Newman sets out, therefore, to acquire her through marriage as James makes the relationship feel like a business transaction, albeit a very personal one.

Newman is the quintessential American - self-made, driven, polite, respectful and follows his own path. James shows in the closing pages that he is good too, not one to act out revenge such that the effects will destroy his opposer.

We are shown how an American behaves in a social setting giving value to personal desires and circumstances, contrasted with the French bluebloods, who ultimately respect heritage above all else, even money.

The novel's drama is developed in Newman's struggle and drive to woo Madame de Cintre and to overcome her domineering family. When he is very close to consummation, the plug is pulled and the family retracts its approval, sending Newman into a set of actions fraught with obstacles and French deceptions. The final obstacle is that Madame de Cintre elects to enter the monastic life to resolve the dual circumstances that her culture will not resolve: her desire to be Newman's wife and her desire to obey her mother.

Along the way we are shown the formality of French old world nobility including a dramatic pistol dual between two men to resolve an insult that appears trivial in its nature.

We are given the final impression that Newman is at peace with his personal resolutions to leave the family stew in its own juices only to be stirred to second thoughts by a friend who points out the notion that he has been beat at his own game and that is ultimately, very un-American in that the relationship is brought back into the realm of business and in business it is the deal that rocks.

While the James's rigid stylistic control over language is dated, the story line and characters are well developed.