Friday, March 21, 2014

What's So Special About Literature?



177 pounds

Over at The Writer's Almanac a few days ago I read about the novelist Philip Roth, who was born on that day. I hope they won't mind if I copy and paste one of Roth's remarks concerning literature talk:

Philip Roth said: "I would be wonderful with a 100-year moratorium on literature talk, if you shut down all literature departments, close the book reviews, ban the critics. The readers should be alone with the books, and if anyone dared to say anything about them, they would be shot or imprisoned right on the spot. Yes, shot. A 100-year moratorium on insufferable literary talk. You should let people fight with the books on their own and rediscover what they are and what they are not. Anything other than this talk. Fairytale talk. As soon as you generalize, you are in a completely different universe than that of literature, and there's no bridge between the two."

While browsing blindly through a list of literary journal entries I (somehow) happened upon a review written by Tanya Andrious of a poem (Shelley Wagner’s "The Boxes") I had never read and this description sent me searching for it. The only place I found it available (cheaply enough) was through Amazon's listing of its used books for one cent. I'm not sure if I will buy one of those inexpensive copies or not. The shipping charge is $3.99.

I am providing a link to the quite detailed (but questionable) review below.

Boxed With Grief

My son brought over a DVD of the movie Gravity. I viewed it and liked it a lot. Of course, with Sandra Bullock performing in it how could anyone not like it? And the high-tech special effects were terrific. Plenty of suspense. The only drawback, in my opinion, was the lack of complexity in the story. I watched it... but then what? Now I know what happened. There is no way I would want to see it again. And I have a great devotion for movies (and books) that I can enjoy once, and then a few months later I can thrill to again. Not this one.

I really enjoyed watching it, though.


Random Images

The Wash Alongside Camino Seco Avenue At Speedway Blvd.

Tucson, Arizona March 20, 2014

For those who may not know, a wash is either a natural or man-made channel through which water from heavy rainfalls or melting snows in the mountains is transported to valleys and other areas below.


Did You Know . . .?

Ken Kersey, author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest faked his own death and fled to Mexico because he was caught in possession of marijuana.



On this day in 1963 Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed down and transferred its last prisoners. At it's peak period of use in 1950s, "The Rock," or "America's Devil Island" housed over 200 inmates at the maximum-security facility. The twelve-acre rocky island, one and a half miles from San Francisco, featured the most advanced security of the time. Some of the first metal detectors were used at Alcatraz. Strict rules were enforced against the unfortunate inmates who had to do time at Alcatraz. Nearly complete silence was mandated at all times.

Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its harsh conditions and record for being inescapable. In 1972 Alcatraz was added to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It is now open for tourism.



1. Swollen; congested.
2. Pompous; high-flown.



(born March 21, 1962)
Matthew Broderick is an American film, stage and voice actor who, among other roles, played the title character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, voiced Simba in The Lion King, and portrayed Leo Bloom in the Hollywood and Broadway productions of The Producers.

(born March 21, 1962)
Rosie O'Donnell is an American comedian, actress, author and television personality. O'Donnell started her comedy career while still a teenager and her big break was on the talent show Star Search in 1984. A TV sitcom and a series of movies introduced her to a larger national audience and from 1996 to 2002, she hosted The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

O'Donnell came out, stating "I'm a dyke!" two months before finishing her talk show run, saying that her primary reason was to bring attention to gay adoption issues. In May 2003, she became a regular contributor to the magazine. She continues to do charity work and remains involved with LGBT and family-related issues.

(born 21 March 1958)
Gary Oldman is an English screen and stage actor, filmmaker and musician. As an actor, he has collaborated with many of Hollywood's biggest filmmakers, including Francis Ford Coppola, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Zemeckis. Some of his best-known roles are Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy, Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears, Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Drexl Spivey in True Romance, Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional, Ludwig van Beethoven in Immortal Beloved, Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series, James Gordon in Nolan's Batman trilogy, and George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Oldman is also known for his role in the films Meantime, The Firm, State of Grace, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Basquiat, The Fifth Element, Air Force One, The Contender, Hannibal, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Lawless.

(born March 21, 1965)
Cynthia Geary is an American actress best known for her role as Shelly Tambo in the television series Northern Exposure. In her Emmy-nominated role, she played a former Miss Northwest Passage beauty queen living with a decades-older lover, Holling Vincoeur (played by John Cullum). Together they ran Cicely, Alaska's tavern and restaurant, The Brick.


People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
--Isaac Asimov



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