For Jonathan Lethem’s Masterclass about the essay:
1. Joan Didion’s “The White Album”
2. David Antin’s “The Theory And Practice of Postmodernism: A Manifesto”
3. Annie Dillard’s “Total Eclipse”
4. John D’Agata’s running commentary in between the various entries.
(All of these can be found in The Next American Essay, edited by John D’Agata)
Also, it was your turn to hand-in an essay yesterday, so I hope you did it. And I should probably remind you that that psychology book isn’t going to read itself by 10 AM this Friday.
All sorts of magic people will be at AWP Chicago Feb 11th-14th: you, some guy with a surgical mask, sixteen blind elves, and Tony Danza. You know, as in “Hold me closer, Tony Danza” and “Tony Danza in the sand.”
In our spirit of selfless community service we here at HTMLGIANT have decided to help the needy, the dispossessed, the charlatans, the men and women whose haircuts remain anxiously unaware of where they’ll end up mussed: that’s right, some of usall of usmost of useveryone in the worldat one point or another HTMLGIANT’s readers might need a place to crash in Chicago.
So why not see if we can have one GIANT <A> TAG help another? If you need a couch, post in the comments. If you have a couch free, post in the comments. If you’re a couch, buy a sweater.
GOOD LUCK! GODSPEED! CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 09!
This week we are quite lucky to have the badass, recent Giant object-of-affection, Tony O’Neill. Tony is the author of several books including most recently DOWN AND OUT ON MURDER MILE, who took some time to share with us not only the place where his books get made, but also how he was led by Buddha to meet another, perhaps even larger, holy man.
That’s right friends. You wished and you waited and now it’s true. Octopus #11 is here, and features new work from Dan Beachy-Quick, Cole Swenson, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Tina Celona, and many more; also reviews: Dan Hoy takes on Hit Wave, Jon Leon’s awesome Kitchen Press chapbook; Forklift,Ohio’s own Brett Price reviews 19 Names for Our Band by Jibade-Khalil Huffman; Steven Karl reviews That Gorgeous Feeling by Sueyeun Juliette Lee, and–again, yes–many more. Do yourself a sweet, sweet favor and go check this thing out. Here’s one from the issue, picked more or less at random: “POEM” by Michael Earl Craig-
The nitwit danced with the congresswoman
at the spring picnic.
I went down to the river to take a good look at it.
I stood on the bank and said “God, if you do exist—”
A handsome puppet passed, dragging its puppeteer by the hand.
Also a Pekingese wearing a University of Mobile sweatshirt.
To those people who are always talking about “surrealism”
can I suggest opening your fucking eyes?
If you do this, you will see mothballs. And a green nightgown.
January 28th, 2009 / 10:35 am
“Under the Jaguar Sun” is a story in a small eponymous collection, a collection which Calvino had slowly been putting together before he died in 1985. He was writing a book that would discuss each of the human senses and completed taste, hearing and smell. “Under the Jaguar Sun” uses the concept of, and focus on, taste, and more specifically, cannibalism, to illuminate the primal, the mundane, the sensual, our obsession with death and all consuming love.
Calvino and Olivia are traveling through Mexico, and their love, while strong for each other, has become chaste. The story begins with a description of a painting:
that portrayed a young nun and an old priest standing side by side; their hands, slightly apart from their sides, almost touched…The painting had the somewhat crude grace of colonial art, but it conveyed a distressing sensation, like an ache of contained suffering.The lower part of the painting was filled by a long caption…The words devoutly celebrated the life and death of the two characters, who had been chaplain and abbess of the convent…The reason for them being painted together was the extraordinary love (this word in the pious, Spanish prose, appeared charged with ultra-terrestrial yearning- that had bound the abbess and her confessor for thirty years, a love so great (the word in its spiritual sense sublimated but did not erase physical emotion) that when the priest came to die, the abbess, twenty years younger, in the space of a single day fell ill and literally expired of love…”
January 27th, 2009 / 5:42 pm
Apt is a beautiful journal which I will never submit to because they – like a good handful (hugful?) of journals – destroy any inspired feeling of goodwill or camaraderie upon reading their somewhat self-obsessed guidelines. What follows after the break are their submission guidelines with light commentary from me.
School is in session! I got an email saying to go get “The Next American Essay” edited by John D’Agata and read a bunch of essays in it by Feb 2, when the Lethem masterclass starts. Hoorah. First classes for The First Book, Inheritance and Non/Fiction are after the jump….