More Winter Reading

TH70-SK-1.jpgThe most recent Winter Reading edition of Tin House magazine is out and for many it will provide welcome relief from all those big fat books calling us from our bucket lists.

I find literary journals such as Tin House and Conjunctions both introduce me to new and often exciting authors, but they also provide a less demanding effort on my part, if only in that such journals generally contain shorter pieces and excerpts. This allows the little gray cells to rejuvenate while still being jiggled around a bit.

I find this especially important in the winter months when I might not be able to run around in the sun to restore my batteries (actually, I don’t run around anywhere nowadays … my best exercise comes from a rousing coughing binge).

Here is what the editor says about the #70 issue of Tin House:

Continue reading “More Winter Reading”

Thalia Menninger … sigh

images-2.jpgIt was the early ’60s. I was in High School and two things were my top fantasies, the 1957 Chevrolet Nomad and girls’ breasts. Television was black and white and I was beginning to lose interest in the lure of an evening in the vast wasteland. There was so many things to do outside of television: girls, homework, folk music, girls, surfing, onion rings, girls, art movies, the Beach Boys, and of course, girls.

It was a time when I started to develop my television watching habits that I still practice today: pick out a show or two and enjoy them but don’t worry about all the crap you ignored while doing your homework or holding hands with girls.

Continue reading “Thalia Menninger … sigh”

The Tale of Two Atlantis’s

images-1.jpgSearching through lists of unread texts I have squirreled away in my little library, I came across several unread pieces by an author I once loved greatly but hadn’t read in years and years: Ursula K. Le Guin. I actually discover Le Guin because she was the daughter of the anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber of Ishi fame (what, you don’t know all about Ishi, the last of his tribe  who single-handedly waged war on the United States and later lived out his life in a San Francisco museum?).

Back in the sixties when Le Guin started being published, there was a youthful movement directed at getting closer to mankind’s roots and living in a more direct relationship with the earth and its bounty. It was a time of Diggers and Hippies and Communes and an emphasis on accepting responsibility for the whole earth. Le Guin’s imaginative fiction reflected these themes and became very popular.

Continue reading “The Tale of Two Atlantis’s”