Getting down to brass tacks . . . and brass knuckles.
‘Both belong to a cycle of nine, mostly written during my stay in the rural Connecticut countryside to escape the Covid-19 pandemic during the Spring and Summer of 2020. Both are addressed to writers I admire. “Last Breath” begins the cycle. It was written while remembering my late friend Carl Weissner, before the pandemic began. “The Way the Lines Break” ends the cycle. It was written toward the end of my stay and is addressed to Théophile Gautier, whose poems and stories I was reading thanks to the suggestion of my friend Gerard Bellaart.’ — JH
Here’s a first-class illustraton of blasé consumerism. It appeared as I read through a NYT story online about the genocidal campaign against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. The last time I noted this kind of blatant obscenity was an ad for high-end designer clothing placed next to a print story about children victimized by Hurricane Katrina. You can see similar examples any day of the week.Today, for instance.
THE STONE CENTER ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: ‘In these tumultuous times, new forms of activism and political engagement are needed more than ever.Movements to expand the social safety net in response to the devastation of the coronavirus, along with the Black Lives Matter protests, are working both inside and outside of electoral politics, with on-the-ground activists often taking the lead. These new developments join long-standing efforts to reduce inequalities of all forms. In this urgent context, what kinds of coalitions are needed for broad-based change to occur, given the economic, political and social divides in the country? What are effective models—past and present—for pushing beyond traditional approaches? Spend a day learning from thinkers, scholars, politicians, and activists about ways to build coalitions across issues and lines of race, gender, class, and sexuality in order to create a more equal and democratic society.’
[Alexander’s father] Philip’s training for power was proceeding along useful if unorthodox lines. His experience as a member of the Macedonian royal household had given him an understandably cynical view of human nature: in this world murder, adultery and usurpation were commonplace. … Philip took it as axiomatic that all diplomacy was based on self-interest, and every man had his price: events seldom proved him wrong.
‘This is Burroughs the self-styled revolutionary at his most historically explicit, the courageous whistle-blower in 1960 denouncing and exposing media magnates, business moguls, bankers, political leaders and scientists as part of a larger, deeper conspiracy at work behind the scenes of the mid-twentieth century.’ By Oliver Harris BATTLE INSTRUCTIONS addresses particular individuals, which marks a […]
As I continue to read “All the Sonnets of Shakespeare,” edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells, I’m more than ever impressed by the remarkable clarity of the presentation. An added bonus is the intimacy of the scholarship, especially for a non-specialist like me. “The year 1591 saw the beginning of a sudden vogue,” they write, “for the composition and publication of sequences of interrelated sonnets initiated by the posthumous publication in that year of Sir Philip Sidney’s ‘Astrophil and Stella’.” Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets are “on the whole, a collection of often highly personally inflected poems written over at least twenty-seven years, rather than a sequence aimed at catching the mood and developing the taste for a literary fashion. His sonnets are not public poems written and published for money; . . . they were published a decade after the vogue for sonnets had passed, printed only once, and were ‘clearly a flop on their first appearance.’ He seems interested primarily in using the sonnet form to work out his intimate thoughts and feelings.”
Instead of reading the sonnets in the numbered sequence of the 1609 folio, which is the usual way, the editors of ‘All the Sonnets of Shakespeare’ examine them in what they believe was their order of composition. This puts a special focus on the considerable tinkering that went into them. Their method yields lovely insights that bring us closer to the man himself and his development as a writer.
A summer package for the avant garde:
‘BRION GYSIN LET THE MICE IN’ edited and with a foreword by Jan Herman and with an introduction by Douglas Field.
“MINUTES TO GO Redux’ edited and with an introduction by Oliver Harris.
‘THE EXTERMINATOR Redux’ edited and with an introduction by Oliver Harris.
‘BATTLE INSTRUCTIONS’ edited and with an introduction by Oliver Harris.
Ed Ruscha‘s latest poster “EE-NUF! VOTE!” offers this commentary: “Get Richer” / “Bye-Bye Roe Vs. Wade” / “Highway to Hell” / “Fast Track to Facism” / “Gobble More Gas” / “Kids in Cages” / “EE-NUF EE-NUF” / “You’ve Got the Most to Lose” / “Green Light Pollution” / “Gateway to White Supremacy”
Van Dyek Parks tweeted the poster today with this comment: “We will weave civility into the torn fabric of our flag—-with illuminations from the arts—by the likes of So-Cal’s adopted son Ed Ruscha.”