Friday, January 18, 2013

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying....

The Keep, by Jennifer Egan. One of the best books I have read in years. Somehow, the tone of the book is completely unselfconscious and natural. A completely immersive reading experience. After reading this, I was inspired to play with a syllabus for a new class...we’ll see if it ever flies. Highly recommended, friends...

I know I linked to this article in yesterday’s poem, but I keep returning to artist Rebecca Campbell’s piece “Art After Death” on Huffington Post (about the loss of a child, and art as grieving/healing). (Side note: I wrote this poem inspired by one of her images back in March of 2010.) Here’s one small gem from her piece:
"It's a simple act to look and paint. There is no cutting edge in sight. It's what flickers between the edges, burning and warming us both, that the practice has managed to gather."
This article, “Some Notes on Attunement,” by Zadie Smith in The New Yorker (sadly, this article can’t be read online), on her initial distrust and eventual love of Joni Mitchell. Full of beautiful bits like this:
 “This is the effect that listening to Joni Mitchell has on me these days: uncontrollable tears...It’s not a very civilized emotion. I can’t listen to Joni Mitchell in a room with other people, or on an iPod, walking the streets. Too risky. I can never guarantee that I’m going to be able to get through the song without being made transparent--to anybody and everything, to the whole world. A mortifying sense of porousness.”

This article, “The Poetics of Painting: Part Four” on Image Journal’s blog, by Daniel Siedell. Siedell discusses how painters find their voices by reinterpreting tradition (this view of inspiration/influence really resonates with me).

And you? What have you been reading this week? Hope you have an inspiring weekend!


  1. I'm dying to read "The Keep". Wow, didn't it just come out? You're fast! I'm getting my copy today

  2. I have the new chapbook from Kelly Cherry, formerly Virginia's Poet Laureate. Looking forward to reading it.

  3. I can relate to Smith's feelings:

    "I'm porous with travel fever
    but I'm so glad to be on my own
    still the slightest touch of a stranger
    can set a trembling in my bones..."

    - from "Hejira"

    Michael Fried was a Professor of mine in college. He taught a course with the great title "The Idea of Modernism in the Arts." He has a great eye, is a decent poet, and his Stella theory as usual provokes thought as the best pendants do. Still, I'm not sure even someone as clever as he can withstand the view of tradition expressed in Borges' classic story "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote."

    I'm always fascinated in this context with jazz, because it is such a parasitic art form that there is so much pressure to do things differently (or at least there was when it had commercial viability). It's easy to see in the hyper-fast steam cooker of jazz tradition how each rebellion goes further back into the tradition for the new. I think it has always been that way.

    Nice links as always, Hannah. You are amazingly engaged in what you do.

  4. I'm reading "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Mesmerizing.


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