1. Japanese search parties have found the remains of poet and volcano enthusiast Craig Arnold, who had been running a blog called The Volcano Pilgrim
. Jacket Copy's piece on Craig's death
is the best of many I've read.
Nobody needs to wonder why a poet would love volcanoes; the metaphorical appeal is obvious. The word "volcano" is itself literary, evoking the Roman god Vulcan
(the Greek god Hephaestus). Then there's Malcolm Lowry
, and Susan Sontag
, and let's not forget that the San Francisco beatniks hung out in a North Beach bar called Vesuvio
Some might disagree with me, but I don't think it's exactly tragic when a poet who passionately loves volcanoes dies exploring a volcano. It's tragic if a poet who loves volcanoes dies of cancer, or catches a stray bullet during a liquor store robbery, or kills himself in a moment of desperate depression. For a poet to die in courageous pursuit of his greatest dream and fascination does not seem tragic in the same way.
(The homemade volcano photo above was found here
2. Las Vegas Sun maps the Seven Deadly Sins
to the states and counties of USA.
3. Keith Gessen gets himself into trouble
reporting on an election in Russia.
4. "While the publishing industry chases the new, the young, the instantly commercial, readers are often looking for something else -- for a kind of enduring quality." Agreed. Reissed jazz-age classics from Bloomsbury
5. Wyatt Mason invokes Emerson
6. Bill Gates's father is writing a book
called Showing Up For Life
7. 25 Microchips that shook the world
8. To embarrass
is to block, to em-bar
9. How George Orwell was feeling
(hint: not good) while he wrote 1984
10. Literature and classic rock
(I used to try to maintain a list something like this
, but haven't kept it up to date).
11. Why does everything
Bret Easton Ellis writes get turned into a movie?
12. Anne Waldman on why chapbooks matter
13. Carly Kocurek, a smart young writer from Texas who used to contribute to LitKicks as "violet9ish", is one of the authors
represented in Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket
by Elizabeth Englehardt.
14. I get interviewed
by Mike Palecek at New American Dream
. I like it that Mike asks questions like "Are UFO's real?" instead of the usual stuff about e-books and blogs.