Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Never underestimate the role of the will in the artistic life. Some writers are all will. Talent you can dispense with, but not will. Will is paramount. Not joy, not delight, but grim application.
-Alan Bennett, The Habit of Art - There you have your title. I believe that’s why Americans always want to tell the story of the world. They believe that when you master the story or the tale, it is as if, if something were to happen, they would be the first ones informed The Narrator Never

Party scenes. Not big ones, balls or weddings, but more intimate gatherings, friends gathering over dinner, drinking themselves senseless, arguing about profound nonsense. Sometimes the party is a regular event, not really a party at all but just a routine social activity. A little piano playing, some snacks, some cards. The Crime of Father Amaro and Cousin Basilio both structure the entire book around this kind of scene. Sometimes the party is a rarer bird, a chance to indulge. The Maias has some superb scenes of this type. Chapter 2 of The Illustrious House of Ramires has a good one, too ...
Father Soeiro, his sunshade under his arm, made his way slowly back to the Tower, in the silence and softness of the evening, reciting his Hail Maries and praying for the peace of God for Gonçalo, for all men, for the fields and the sleeping farms, and for the beautiful land of Portugal, so full of endearing charm, that it might be for ever blessed among lands

This is the fantastical tale of Dan Dong, an unemployed factory worker whose life takes a series of unexpected twists upon his discovery that simply by posing as a journalist he can eat exquisite gourmet meals free of charge at state-sponsored banquets. But the secrets Dan overhears at these events eventually lead him down a twisted, intrigue-laden path, and his true and false identities become increasingly harder to separate. When he becomes privy to a scandal that runs from the depths of society up to its highest rungs, Dan must find a way to lay bare the corruption - without revealing the dangerous truth about himself. Like Buz Luhrman, Dan Dong, has konektions to the NSW Parliamentary Library

CODA: If they're worried, then it's working:

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.” The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association. CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead. According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.” Undermining the Occupation: Memo to Media Dragon