For the past 700 years, banking and art have shaped our understanding of value, speculation, and profiteering... For the Love of God
It is a positive joy to put out the fires of hell Gold, Golden, Gilded, Glittering
Of course poetry teaches us how to live, lifts the veil from our eyes.
• But there’s something else: Poetry makes you weird [2012 was the year of 50 SHADES OF GREY. So, what does that mean? 'Fifty Shades' dominates publishing in 2012 ; Michael Schaub recaps his reading of the year over at I’m barely living proof ]
Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. Imagine what it's like to be what you perceive. To accomplish that connection requires "a going out of our nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own." I take that to mean that the more distinctly we imagine the plight of another, the more empathy we feel, and the more beauty we appreciate. As Shelley put it, "The great instrument of moral good is the imagination; and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause."
• · The staff at The Atlantic talks about what they read in 2012. Writing books is a great thing for a musician to do. It’s a way to make money without having to play and sing all the time. If, like Mr. Young, the musician has broken a toe, given up marijuana, had trouble writing songs or otherwise begun needing a change of pace, the rock book answers prayers. Mostly publishers’ prayers. Since sales of Keith Richards’s “Life” went through the roof two years ago, these bios and memoirs have begun turning up everywhere. The Best Book I Read This Year ; NetGalley posts its favorites from 2012 An unforgettable debut that stole the hearts
• · · Janet Maslin reminds us of some notables’ notable books from 2012. The Stars’ Year to Rock ’n’ Write ; On this day in 1976 Saul Bellow delivered his speech in acceptance of the Nobel Prize. At this point, Bellow had written only fifteen of his twenty-nine books, but among these are his major prize-winners — The Adventures of Augie March (1953), Henderson the Rain King (1959), Herzog (1964), Mr. Sammler’s Planet (1970), and Humboldt’s Gift (1975). These were proof enough, said the Academy, of Bellow’s’ exuberant ideas, flashing irony, hilarious comedy and burning compassion.’ …Bellow's Human Comedy
• · · · The Guardian explores darkness in literature During the long days of summer, it's easy to forget the dark. Darkness in literature: Kathleen Jamie's Darkness and Light ; Here’s a sneak peek at Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir, MY BELOVED WORLD, She includes an especially painful encounter with illegal drugs in her description of her beloved first cousin Nelson smoking three-and-a-half packs of cigarettes a day
• · · · · Joseph Conrad would be 155 years old now. The Atlantic ruminates on that. Art Is Long, Life Is Short ; David Evans on Padgett Powell’s Edisto: “Offbeat, playful and very, very funny…” Striving for The Great American Novel, to comic effect
• · · · · · Scott Martelle on Scott Berg’s 38 Nooses: “Berg does a remarkable job with the story and its aftermath, drawing on memoirs, contemporary reports and presidential papers to re-create — and offer an easy road map through — a complicated narrative.” The story of the Dakota tribe rebellion and the largest government-sanctioned execution in American history is told in remarkable detail ; Thornton McCamish on Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams: “This unforgettable novel simply asks us to witness a fully imagined life as real as our own, and one as sad and mysterious to the man who lived it as it is to us Minimalist but magical tale of a life stripped bare; Howard Goldblatt, premier English translator of Chinese fiction, was a late bloomer. “I was amazingly stupid for the first 30 years of my life” Interpreter