remembering the overlooked and underrated

Archive for the ‘Letters’ Category

Remembering Places That Have Never Existed

In Art, Items of Singular Interest, Letters, Places on August 17, 2012 at 2:05 am

It’s settled: I need to visit the island of Menorca. Located in the Mediterranean Sea and belonging to Spain, this gorgeous island is home to about 94,000 people, three ancient megalithic monuments, one of my favorite wines, and the always delicious cow’s milk cheese called Mahon. All of which is more than reason enough to visit. But what has cemented it for me is that I just discovered there’s a hotel there inspired by — gasp! — one of my most beloved books, Italo Calvino’s Invisible CitiesRead the rest of this entry »

When Dice Die

In Art, Nonfiction on July 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

Dice: Deception, Fate, & Rotten Luck
by Ricky Jay and Rosamond Purcell
Quantuck Lane Press, 2003

I should hate this book. A 63-page quasi-history book with chapters averaging all of three paragraphs, a total of 21 photographs, and no bibliography whatsoever? Please; it’s not even oversized, and my coffee table demands oversized books. (Note: my coffee table is currently an empty printer box held aloft by a sneering Sin City Marv action figure, an empty IPA bottle, a stack of matchbooks held together by blue rubber bands, and an empty mason jar. Should you ever be in close physical proximity of my coffee table, please please please refrain from setting certain objects on it, i.e. objects with, y’know, mass.) Read the rest of this entry »

Portable Catharsis: Robert Bly’s 22 Poets

In Letters, Nonfiction on June 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm
The Winged Energy of Delight: Selected Translations

by Robert Bly

2004, Harper Collins

405 pages

I first discovered Robert Bly in Grand Rapids, MI, about six years ago. I was scanning the poetry shelves at Argos Book Shop and saw the title Morning Poems. Silver letters on a black spine. I guess I just liked the title. Whatever it was, it was enough for me to pull the thin volume off the shelf and leaf through it. Immediately the spare verse spoke to me. There was something both mythical and down-to-earth about the words. Not long after, I came across The Winged Energy of Delight, a collection of Bly’s translations of other poets from around the world. Little did I know it would become one of my favorite books. Little did I know it would change my entire outlook on poetry. Read the rest of this entry »

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey of “We3”

In Comics on June 14, 2012 at 12:25 am

WE3

written by Grant Morrison
art by Frank Quitely
hardcover deluxe edition, 144 pages
published by Vertigo Comics (August 2011)
 

It is gruesome. It is drenched in blood. It is, as one of its creators puts it, a story of meat and motion. It is startling, cute, horrifying, vibrant, humorous, absurd, logical, disturbing. And it is heartbreaking.

It is We3. A comic mini-series about three domesticated animals transformed into war machines. Grant Morrison wrote it, Frank Quitely illustrated it. I could call it a masterpiece, but that word seems too small. Read the rest of this entry »

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