Added a few links on the sidebar: Good Country People, Labora/Editions, Signposts in a Strange Land. No, seriously, check them out.
And can we all please give a round of applause to sitemistress extraordinaire Dorian Speed of Up to Speed, who took time out of her ridiculously busy schedule to embiggen our Mitsui avatars? Thanks.
More soon! How are everybody’s projects? Gaga Confidential slouches toward publication. The sketches should be good.
Speaking of Korrektiv/Gerasene amigo Bishop Daniel Flores, see what he hath wrought from the heights of Parnassus down in the depths of Texas:
justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.
Dear Korrektiv Konsumers, I humbly ask that you go forth and buy or steal this book…
And then write all kinds of nice things about it in the reviews… A beer in it for you! OK, fine! The cocktail of your choice and grilled steak!
(But you have to come to Wisconsin to claim them!)
Alice McDermott quotes O’Connor on the dangers of glibness when treating religion, then goes on to say some very fine things. Her remarks begin at around the 9:30 mark.
On an unrelated note, another of the participants in that panel had a piece in the Times the other day.
Kompare & kontrast:
‘Advice from the Muse’
for T. W. W.
How credible, the room which you evoke:
At the far end, a lamplit writing-desk.
Nearer, the late sun swamps an arabesque
Carpet askew upon a floor of oak,
And makes a cherry table-surface glow,
Upon which lies an open magazine.
Beyond are shelves and pictures, as we know,
Which cannot in the present light be seen.
Bid now a woman enter in a mood
That we, because she brings a bowl of roses
Which, touch by delicate touch, she redisposes,
May think to catch with some exactitude.
And let her, in complacent silence, hear
A squirrel chittering like an unoiled joint
To tell us that a grove of beech lies near.
Have all be plain, but only to a point.
Not that the bearded man who in a rage
Arises ranting from a shadowy chair,
And of whose presence she was unaware,
Should not be fathomed by the final page,
And all his tale, and hers, be measured out
With facts enough, good ground for inference,
No gross unlikelihood of major doubt,
And, at the end, an end to all suspense.
Still, something should escape us, something like
A question one had meant to ask the dead,
The day’s heat come and gone in infra-red,
The deep-down jolting nibble of a pike,
Remembered strangers who in picnic dress
Traverse a field and under mottling trees
Enter a midnight of forgetfulness
Rich as our ignorance of the Celebes.
Of motives for some act, propose a few,
Confessing that you can’t yourself decide;
Or interpose a witness to provide,
Despite his inclination to be true,
Some fadings of the signal, as it were,
A breath which, drawing closer, may obscure
Mirror or window with a token blur—
That slight uncertainty which makes us sure.
Wilbur, Richard. Collected Poems, 1943-2004: 104-105. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2004.
‘Fiction and the Reading Public’
Give me a thrill, says the reader,
Give me a kick;
I don’t care how you succeed, or
What subject you pick.
Choose something you know all about
That’ll sound like real life:
Your childhood, Dad pegging out,
How you sleep with your wife.
But that’s not sufficient, unless
You make me feel good –
Whatever you’re ‘trying to express’
Let it be understood
That ‘somehow’ God plaits up the threads,
Makes ‘all for the best’,
That we may lie quiet in our beds
And not be ‘depressed’.
For I call the tune in this racket:
I pay your screw,
Write reviews and the bull on the jacket –
So stop looking blue
And start serving up your sensations
Before it’s too late;
Just please me for two generations –
You’ll be ‘truly great’.
Larkin, Philip. Collected Poems: 170. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.