Why our continuing attraction to Greece? There is something in that small country out there on the edge of Europe that doesn’t feel like the rest of the continent. Part of the attraction is certainly to the very different modern history, and to a landscape shaped by human use yet still oddly wild.
Although there are hints of trouble in my grandmother’s book, I had never seen them. I was glad to own it, but I was overwhelmed by the tedium of her attempt to accent the rosy endurance of this immigrant family she had married into. My grandmother’s truth was the one that forgot or erased pain and remembered only joy.
I feel grateful to Northern Illinois University Press for publishing Something That Feels Like Truth by Donald Lystra. It is a book that deserves an audience, even in a time when we are uncertain who might comprise an audience for well written, passionate fiction.
by Keith Taylor
As for poetry criticism, I am reading a critical book on Jean Follain, but in English the book I’m looking forward to the most is The Embattled Lyric: Essays and Conversations in Poetics and Anthropology by Nathaniel Tarn. Tarn came through Ann Arbor earlier this year and gave a couple of great presentations through the One Pause Poetry Series (you can see what they do and access videos of the readings they sponsor and the conversations they have with poets at www.onepausepoetry.org). Tarn has thought deeply about the intersections of the art with the culture that creates the art, more deeply than some other poets, and more originally than some academics. Plus he is the poet who came up with the idea of the “bird-scape,” the notion that a bird in a landscape changes our perception of the landscape. How can I not love him?
by Keith Taylor
We have all participated in the discussion about the new ways of reading, the end of the book, the new literacy, etc., etc., ad infinitum. And things are certainly changing. I’m not going to fight any rear-guard neo-luddite battles. I’ve read the reports in Publishers Weekly and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The change has happened. So I thought I would pay attention during some holiday traveling this year, and try to see what, if anything, people might be reading on planes and in airports.