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Ce n'est pas avec des idées qu'on fait des vers, c'est avec des mots.

— Stéphane Mallarmé

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Friday, March 23rd, 2012

posted evening of March 23rd, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Politics

🦋 Capo 5

I'm pretty thrilled with where I'm headed with this song. (Hope John has the rest of the lyrics!)

Hmm... John does not have the other lyrics. Apparently I only hand-wrote them and now I need to figure out where the paper is, or rewrite...

posted evening of March 23rd, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Guitar

🦋 How To

To make your shadow dance, dance. To make your shadow talk, stand on a streambank.
Learn from your shadow. Broken glass won’t cut it, barbed wire can’t stop it, mud doesn’t stick.
Dave Bonta of Via Negativa today posted How to Cast a Shadow, the 27th and final poem in his series Manual. Go read (and if you likeby all means, listen to his recitations) -- some great stuff is present. Start from the beginning! You have to start from a position of strength. Leave a window open for cat-burglars and cats, either of whom may have a lot to teach you.

posted evening of March 23rd, 2012: 3 responses
➳ More posts about Reading aloud

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

🦋 Bárbula Copies revisited

Today I happened on another story by Zupcic, "Girasoles Funeral Home: The Autobiography of a Hearse" -- here we learn the (rather sordid) story of Bárbula Copies, after Benavides and his friends graduate and sell out to the fat lady who runs the numbers game next door.

posted evening of March 22nd, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Slavko Zupcic

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

🦋 Bárbula Copies, a funeral home

— Death takes us all. — That was all we would say when customers asked us how we had made the decision to go into the funeral home business here next to the medical school, when they asked us how we could have chosen such a name for our business as Bárbula Copies.

My translation of Slavko Zupcic's story, Bárbula Copies, a funeral home, is online now at The Utopian.

posted evening of March 21st, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Translation

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

🦋 Backstory

I had forgotten about the fifth chapter of The Art of Resurrection -- it is an extremely dense, 7-page long paragraph of a sort of context-switching stream of consciousness. Last time I read this book, I'm pretty sure I mostly skipped over it. It is valuable for the way it gets inside Zárate Vega's head, and by switching back and forth between the narrator's voice and the Christ of Elqui's, makes explicit the identification between reader and writer and character -- also we see the use of first-person plural, not used in this book anything like as much in Santa María de las flores negras, to make explicit the identification between the narrator and the workers who live in the salitreras.

posted evening of March 20th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about The Art of Resurrection

🦋 Shame

“War is hell,” said Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration: he said it following the killing of 16 civilians, among them children, by a deranged sergeant in the Afghan province of Kandahar. This massacre unleashed on the world a series of images that one cannot look at without being reminded of similar massacres from the Vietnam War — for instance, My Lai.

-- "Shame", by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

The Utopian's blog publishes my translation of Vásquez' latest column for El Espectador: the original is "Los Avergonzados", from last Thursday.

On the subject of shameful killings: Founderstein's Michael Austin has exactly the right take on the killing of Treyvon Martin in Florida last month. (via Russell Arben Fox)

posted evening of March 20th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Monday, March 19th, 2012

🦋 In Transit

Chapter 3 of The Art of Resurrection is more setting-up of the story, as Zárate Vega makes his way from Los Dones to Sierra Gorda, the closest railway stop to Providencia. There is a lot to like about the writing and the scenery here, but I am aching for the real story to start in Chapter 4.

posted evening of March 19th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Hernán Rivera Letelier

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

🦋 A Jug of Mountain Punch

What happens when Mountain Station tries playing an old Irish drinking song? Liam Clancy says of this song that it's like St. Patrick's Day in the way it starts out beautifully melodic and rapidly deteriorates.

Well I think we have a bit of a head start on the deterioration aspect of it... With a little practice I think this is going to become a core bit of the Mountain Station catalog.

posted evening of March 18th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Mountain Station

🦋 Folk Process

Practice with John this afternoon was composed exclusively of almost-new and brand-new songs.

  • "Chinese Bones" -- we've abortively tried playing this a couple of times before, today was the first time it really came together, through the magical-seeming addition of a short capo on the second fret.
  • "Old Joe Clark" -- we've played this once or twice, how could we not have, but not for a long time. Sounded really nice.
  • "See Emily Play" -- this one will take some work, I'm excited about doing that work.
  • "Jug of Punch" -- we tried playing this (in honor of the Saint's day) a couple of times, it was sounding ok, suddenly John got the idea to speed it way up and completely alter the melody of it; and all of a sudden it was a Mountain Station song! Really fantastic. I will post a video later on.
  • "I've Just Seen a Face" -- what fun. We haven't done any Beatles covers but this one might be a keeper.

posted afternoon of March 18th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

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