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Archives for January 2016

There must be more than this provincial life…

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All the Light We Cannot See

I’m about halfway through this book and decided to read a bit more about the author, Anthony Doerr. Have any of you read this yet? I’m quite enjoying it so far. And look what I came across in this interview:

My goal might be only to shine a feeble light on some neglected corner of the world, or history, but ultimately my goal is to help us all appreciate the grandeur of this incredibly old and marvelous situation we’ve lucked into it, and that’s a political motivation. It’s the hope that through art we can be awakened; we can be shown the world with new eyes. I’m more interested in what Percy Walker called “the search” in The Moviegoer, that quest for authenticity that his protagonist Binx goes on.“The search,” Binx says, “is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life… To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is despair.” That’s what fiction writing does for me; it helps me feel like I’m onto something, even if I’m fumbling after it, even if I know I can never really grab hold of it.
I’m fumbling with ideas here that I can’t fully articulate, but that, I think, is the real responsibility for a literary writer; to strive toward complexity, toward questions, and away from certainty, away from stereotype.

I’m going to assume “Percy Walker” was a transcription error…

Three Short Poems About Winter

Winter Mornings in Transylvania
Mrs Dracula loved to hear
Mr (while he was enjoying his bowl
of fiber) Dracula hum
lullabies to their dear
vambini. Who then slept the whole
day in their hibernaculum.

The Ghost of New Year’s Eve Past
For winter, it was damn hot
in the middle of the shemozzle. Dead
it was most certainly not—
the crowd was loud, and totally sozzled.

Diana’s Rum Coffee
A better drink in winter you will not find:
along with fresh coffee, she gives you rum,
sugar, cinnamon, cloves, an orange rind,
and more sugar … ends in a tasty residuum.

Kevin Drum on Assisted Suicide

It would be unfair to call this “banging on”, but Kevin Drum of Mother Jones has written a very sad story backed up with all sorts of facts and figures, as well as charts to help marshal those facts and figures as a buttress for his argument in favor of assisted suicide.

Daniel Payne (I presume that last name is pronounced just like the word “pain”, with whatever association you’d care to make) has written a reply without as many facts or figures, let alone as much emotional punch, but with a whole lot of sound reasoning. Here’s a bolus:

It is a ghastly future in which people take their own lives to the gentle and smiling encouragement of their loved ones.
It is a ghastly future in which people take their own lives to the gentle and smiling encouragement of their loved ones who would rather just get the whole thing over with and move on.

I will pray for Drum, and you should, too. Pray his cancer disappears and he lives to be a grumpy, curmudgeonly old liberal geezer still talking nonsense about gun control and other progressive ballyhoos.

If his cancer should return, however, I pray he does not take the easier way out. I pray he gives his wife and his loved ones a final, priceless, and irreplaceable gift, a gift of himself that only he can give: the gift of needing their love, their attention, and their full and unconditional care in the twilight moments of his precious life.