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Adamastor, by Júlio Vaz Júnior

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A willingness to let things wash over you can be the difference between sublimity and seasickness.

Garth Risk Hallberg


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Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Stone Age Comix Page

Jan Magne Gjerde of the Tromsø University Museum has discovered some fascinating Stone Age art, at Lake Kanozero in northern Russia. Read about his findings at Science Nordic, with pictures of the etchings and of Gjerde's tracings.

via Orbis Quintus, where badger has been linking some great stories lately.

posted morning of March 24th, 2012: Respond
➳ More posts about Pretty Pictures

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

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