Monday, February 19, 2007

Culture Time

Okay, I admit right off that I've been involved in lepedoptery again.. Huh? Come agiain? In plain English? Making more butterflies. But I'm not going to write about that and they are far from ready for photos. So this will be a culture break.

BOOK/AUTHOR: THE ROAD HOME, Jim Harrison. This is not Harrison's latest. His just-out book was the cover story of the NY Times Sunday Book Review a couple weeks ago and it was pure adulation. I knew I had this in my to-read bookcase. A fat book, over 400 pages, it turns out to be a per-quel to DALVA which was a wonderful surprise when I read it several years ago. Jim Harrison is from Nebraska, he is a story teller and a wise man. THE ROAD HOME is told by Dalva's grandfather, half Lakota, a failed artist, rich through no doing of his own. Scene after sence is richly human.

THEATRE: Wally Shawn, writer and actor, has been a familiar figure for many years. He is not a favorite but he is always interesting, he has a porcine look that is off putting and a family story that is equally off putting. I saw his THE FEVER Fridayn night. It is the sort of thing, like MY DINNER WITH ANDRE which he did at least 20 years ago, that one is glad to have seen even if it was not a positive experience. Shawn's dramatic device of a fever experienced in a foreign hotel was not strong enough to hold atention. His narcissistic ramblings about life, society, politics and the inequailty which he cannot actualy FEEL (even if it makes him vomit) was meant to make complacent NYC liberals question their assumptions. Perhaps it does. Liberal though I think myself, I am not in Shawn's class -- and I do mean class for New York is even more class divided than the deep South. The applause at the end of the evening was merely polite. Not one person jumped up for a standing ovation -- but that is only de rigour in the Broadway houses [this was off-B'way on Theatre Row] -- in big theatres people work themselves into some kind of ecstasy at the end of the evening to jsutify the exorbitant amount of money spent for the tickets.

POETRY: Belatedly, because it was a thrift store purchase, I'm reading the antholody Best American Poetry 2001. Few poems are moving me very much. The first in the book -- these anthologies are always published in alphabetical order -- is the one that is going to stick with me. It is Nin Andrews' "Notes for a Sermon on the Mount." I will quote only a few of the 13 numbered segments:
1. Pussies are not gods. They are created beings.
2. Unlike god, they do not always exits.
3. Dignified, majestic, intelligent, we must attend to them nonetheless.
4. Like all spiritual beings, pussies cannot be seen with the human eye at just any time of day.

If I go on you will become more and more shocked. Yes. she's talking about what you think she's talking about. She has printed books of poetry and won prizes and, as of 2001, lived in Ohio. A brave woman and fascianting poet. As you might have observed, my tastes are definitely ecclectic.

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