urban literary-knot

Post Holiday-New Year Detox… January 3, 2009

The Book of Disquiet


It’s been one hell of a year, and right about now I’m desiring some good ‘heteronym’.  Mr Pessoa still remains relatively obscure here in the states, all the more reason to rekindle this genius work…

‘Like Kafka, Pessoa left his work in disarray, much of it to be published posthumously. And throughout Europe, Pessoa has already become a literary icon of postmodernism, as Kafka was of modernism. He is portrayed on postcards and bookmarks, and in Portugal he is even on the 100 escudo bill.

Much of Pessoa’s mystique comes from his unique practice of writing under different “heteronyms”. These heteronyms generated radically different texts, and Pessoa supplied them with distinct biographies, life spans, and even horoscopes. In The Book of Disquiet, Pessoa came as close as he would to autobiography. But the book is, like everything about Pessoa, an object of mystery. Left on disordered scraps of paper in a trunk discovered after the author’s death, the fragments that make up The Book of Disquiet have no fixed sequence, and therefore every reader must make out of it a different text. It is the ultimate postmodern novel: hypertext perfected long before the advent of the internet.’   -Exact Change


Summer Fades – Harvest Begins September 16, 2008




And so, we begin again, next month after schedules have settled, studio hours and pieces have been completed and the showing goes forward…. I love fall!

Summer was busy and bountiful and we were even lucky enough to squeeze a pretty decent “far-away” vacation that did all of the family good- yeah!

Now that the baby pumpkins are turning a beautiful deep orange, though I’m a bit frustrated that my French variety look to have bitten the dust or have been bitten and digested by my animal neighbors, and the sunflowers are drooping and being nibbled to my annoyance by those urban squirrels, I’m thinking of some good October reads and will weigh the possibilities in the next couple of weeks.

So what have you been reading this past summer my ULK comrads?

See you all soon!


Let May be ‘Wild’ May 3, 2008

I can’t think of a better book to read this month than Griffiths’  Wild: An Elemental Journey  … and no there won’t be any ayahuasca to enhance the reading!

Contact for details- etc.

                          “As dreams are essential to the psyche, wilderness is to Life.”

                                                      -Jay Griffiths


Complicated Geniuses March 15, 2008

Her Husband

This month I’d like to delve deeper into two incredibly talented writers that seemed to have brushed popularity with novices simply due to tragedy- and Plath’s death was truly that. 

Middlebrook’s biography really keeps both Hughes and Plath simultaneously entwined yet distinctly apart, and she is refreshing in her detail, wit and compassion towards these two literary artists- blame and sensationalism is not the focus.  And for Plath especially, this is what seemed to overshadow so much of her less studied writings.

Smith College is also hosting a 75year Symposium next month in Ms Plaths honor- indeed well earned and timely.



‘Atheists with Attitude’ February 18, 2008

God Is Not Great

I know- I know… I’ve been aloof and inconsistent, neglectful and unreliable; I have a life that pulls me in too many directions, with little spare time- but I try. *sigh*

I’ve been mentally engaged by the commentary surrounding God Is Not Great  (and unfortunately I’ve been a year behind- and only now resuming the on again/off again re-reading of the book) and some critique is obviously much better than others.  But at this time of year, until the spring begins to thaw out the unyielding winter wonderland we’ve been enveloped in here in the Midwest, I’m quite intrigued, but not surprised to find the brilliance of Hitchens to evoke such passionate debate– as religion usually does.

If you’re inspired to keep the dialogue going drop an email for gathering together to discuss and deconstruct further.


‘Food Leviticus’ November 10, 2007

boots  Yes, I’m still slowly reading through AVMAnd I have been slow to post with further inspiring thoughts, but I’m loving Kingsolver’s journery, however pathetically I trudge through at the moment- my time is seriously divided upon other things- apologies.

I’m finding many have “heard” of the book, on NPR, or through someone else, and this is inspiring, to me anyway.  I also feel many of us want to continue to implement conscious food choices and practices, but with the endless bounty in the US, it’s all too easy to stay “comfortable” with the local super-mega food chains, isn’t it?

I’m also intrigued by some thoughts:

   “The main barrier standing between ourselves and a

   local-food culture is not price, but attitude.  The most

   difficult requirements are patience and a pinch of re-

   straint- virtues that are hardly the property of the

   wealthy.  These virtures seem to find precious little

   shelter, in fact, in any modern quarter of this nation

   founded by Puritans.  Furthermore, we apply them

   selectively…”    pg31

The way many of us have been raised, where we live, how much money we have at our disposal for going all “organic” or local to feed not only oursleves, but perhaps, if we have a family, one, two extra yearning mouths.

I’m pleased to sense Ms Kingsolver’s lack of piousness when directing her reading audience, even with such a personal story, which could make that leaning much easier.  This is a family journey that is ultimately genunine and sincere, and welcomes all.