Miro’s ladders, madness and…

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“The only thing I had left in those days was poetry… The artist does not live in bliss.” – Joan Miro A brilliant painter seeks refuge somewhere – anywhere – during the rollercoaster of horrors that became the 20th Century. The ladders he paints seem to be wishes for absolute creative freedom, even amid totalitarian […]

Life, friends, is boring.

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Really, John Berryman was haunted by his own damned self. I’d love to hear a psychoanalytic work-up of his mind, which apparently had at least three personages arguing, joking, picking up each other’s bar tabs — and ultimately goading each other over the edge of a frozen Minneapolis bridge on Jan. 7, 1972 (ten years […]

A snake and a mongoose.

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A long time ago in an America far far away, smart people engaged in popular wrangling matches that were more entertaining than any Wrestlemania to date. As an aside, I miss Americans like Buckley who speak British and New Yorkers like Mailer who celebrate their megalomania.

The power of American ignorance.

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I read the best American novel of this century earlier this year: Europe Central by William T. Vollmann. It’s a tour-de-force that’s admittedly flawed and spackled, pitted and teetering page by page, as the author confides in the notes. However, the interview (in Germany, no less!) brings one of the more interesting philosophical aspects of […]

History: An End

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Anyone that believes that mankind has the potential to reach a perfect and harmonious rationality is obviously blissfully unaware of the Internet’s awesome potential giving way to nothing more than “Two Girls, One Cup” and a bunch of college plagiarism.  

Are we all going to save Russia?

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I suppose that could happen. But as I write my novel – the fifth, with far and beyond the most indignation and unified sense of purpose – I realize we ain’t got that kind of power, yo. The most can be hoped it we justify our own ravings to our own souls. (?)  

Celebrated Summer.

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Something about the pungent fresh-cut grass – the play of sunlight on the porch here, and the rumbling highway at the bottom of my ridge leading to the east and south and, eventually, down to the seaside. The life teems through the yard into the shade of the copse along the stone wall – with […]