Friday, April 24, 2009

Waiting for Galeano

Eduardo Galeano, the Uruguayan master writer, has a new book '"Mirrors" coming out soon from Nation Books. As soon as we locate a galley we will review. We have read Galeano for many years, including his Memory of Fire Trilogy,wherein he in capsule size segments gives the reader dose after dose of exquisitely written pieces on colonial oppression and resistance throughout Latin America from antiquity to now. The Book of Embraces, a series of short lyrical pieces with imaginative graphics by Galeano is an equally inventive set on art, poliitcs, and psyche, and a critique of modern capitalism. Days and Nights of Love and War is a terrific memoir and the earliest English-language (in translation) version of his anecdotal style. And of course it was his early "Open Veins of Latin America",a more traditional written history of colonial exploitation that was a gift from Hugo Chavez to Pres. Obama at the recent Trinidad Summit- and the book rocketed from somewhere in the 50000's on Amazon to No 2 as a result.Galeano is one of the most profound voices we have and we look forward with great excitement to his new work.

Robert Gardner

Gardner is one of the great independent cinematographers of our time with an empahsis on anthropolgical films and aesthetics. A review of his work, including his eloquent film diaries captured in Impulse to Preserve, is forthcoming here soon.

J G Ballard passed away last week. His incredible oeuvre of semi-dystopian science fiction/parables will stand with the works of both science fiction and surrealist writers for ages.More on his world soon.

The New York Times reports that the Taliban are moving closer to Islamabad and one sign of the crisis is that Richard Holbrooke is now writing several memos a day to Hillary Clinton ...Hmmmmmm....


Monday, April 13, 2009

We Need Snipers

We Need Snipers
C 2009 all rights reserved

We need snipers
We need snipers
to get rid of all the vermin and the vipers
Clear the windows of the world’s dirt with those wipers
Protect our democracy—

We need snipers
we’re still in diapers
shooting killing using suicide bombs
our best snipers take out pied pipers
and restore to us a deadly numbing calm

when you’re taken on a subway
or held hostage on a bus
we’ve an army now of snipers
who can make this scum eat dust

We need snipers
Our side swipers
To defend against the pirates of the sea
Long-Range shooters-roto-rooters
Who’ll extirpate filth from our society

Just remember
By November
Lips may threaten
If they speak too free

And with scopes that work at night
Even miles away they’ll bite
As they turn their sights on you and me

Thursday, April 2, 2009

OULIPO adventures in New York

Various outposts of French culture are hosting a series of workshops with members of the O.U.L.I.P.O. in New York this week. The OULIPO is an acronym for Ouvroir(Workplace) of Potential Literature, Its members include the deceased Raymond Queneau, and George Perec, the multitalented essayist, anagrammist, novelist (Life- A User's Manual, and A Void, a lipogrammatic novel written entirely without the letter e, the novelist/poet essayist Harry Mathews , Marcel Benabou, Jacques Roubaud, Ian Monk, and others, all of whom write under the constraint of one or another rule or yardstick, often mathematical. It's a heady mind exercise and for those who enjoy right-brain thinking and word play, one of the great pleasures in life.

In tribute to OULIPO, here is a short exercise I penned this am--(more to report later this week)--

An Interlude with Professor Spooner(ism)(i.e. a transposition of sounds of two or more words-let me sew you to your sheet-let me show you to your seat)
C 2009

When I met her on the commuter train in Greenwich she spoke of her great love for literature, and her incandescent beauty and seductive intellectual openness immediately sent fires through my cortical cells.As she recounted stories of her athletic prowess, and skiing skills, I dreamed that I counded my wock into her het pole as she lead her shell-spraped wegs just perfectly in the exercise. ”Would you like to be apping my whiped striss” she purred –although at the moment I would have preferred to have roseed the rimmering puckbud .And as for clicking that lorged engit, that went without saying, at least heuristically.
But just when I was sure she had genished her flapowering overtalia, the illusions disappeared and I awoke as if from an opium daze-
I felt somehow cheated , defrauded and I called upon Inspector Onamandias Ozynism, the leading ontological detective to put her to the test. ‘Madam”, he abruptly addressed her”, I am afraid that your disappy is pussearing faster than my 401k account” ‘In fact, your punt is nothing but a Schonzi ceme through and through”.
“I ‘m afraid I have a warrant to protest your arruberance,”, he continued ,’unless you can put up a collin as merkateral.”
‘Wait’ she replied- hold off on that warrant and I might just bruck your fexed oversains out right now.”

And, I am sadly informed, the temptation was too overwhelming for justice to carry the day