Friday, October 24, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Wrestling with the dissertation these days. This quote, from Joshua Rothman's New Yorker profile of Alain de Botton's "art as therapy" project, is helping energize me by reminding me of why I'm doing all this work. Just replace "art" with "literature" in my case.
“What are you supposed to do if you love art?” he asked. “Do you become a scholar of art? Do you become an art critic? Do you write about art? Our answer is that one should try to take the values that one admires in works of art and enact them, and make them more vivid in the world. It’s too easy to ‘love art,’ and to not love the things that art actually loves. But the point is to try and love the things that the artists we love loved. Don’t just love the artist,” he said. “Don’t just love the work they produced. Love what they loved.” Inside the museum, these ideas had seemed contentious. Outside, on Seventieth Street—where trees waved in the breeze, and clouds glowed behind them—they seemed less so.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Texas Monthly/ The NY Times has an oral history up of the 1996 collaboration between Waylon Jennings and the Old 97's:
In 1996, five Texans met in Nashville to record two songs together. At the time, the four members of the Dallas band Old 97’s were awaiting the release of their major-label debut for Elektra Records, “Too Far To Care.” But already they were considered too loud for country, too country for rock. It was a struggle that the fifth Texan in the room, Waylon Jennings, knew all too well.
The fruits of that meeting, versions of "The Other Shoe"* and "The Iron Road", are being released today by Ominvore Recordings, along with four Old 97's demos. Get to a record store!
Previous posts on the Old 97's here and here.
*"The Other Shoe" is my all-time favorite Old 97's song. Except maybe for "Salome". Or "Big Brown Eyes". Anyway, Waylon had good taste.
Monday, September 16, 2013
I just want to highlight some super-cool scholarly and texan and scholarly-texan-type things going on around the web:
First, if you're reading James Joyce or planning a trip to Dublin, you have to visit Jasmine Mulliken's meticulously-researched Mapping Dubliners Project, which features online maps of every place referenced in Dubliners and mapped routes of all of the collection's characters. Jasmine also writes a blog, spotlighting a new place from the book each week, with notes on its history and its role in the text.
Second, the Harry Ransom Center has a blog! How did I not know about this until now? It's full of fascinating commentary on the center's holdings--I learned about it the day Michael Gilmore wrote about the famous scuffle between Ernest Hemingway and Max Eastman, which took place in the office of Hemingway's editor after Eastman challenged Hemingway's manhood. The story is unbelievable, and Gilmore's posts reminds me of exactly why I love archival work.
Finally, I knew Hannah Gamble in Houston, and now she's blowing up on the national poetry scene. She'll be featured in next month's Poetry and she's doing a reading at the KGB Bar in New York tonight. Her 2012 collection "Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast" garnered this great review from Anna Journey at the Kenyon Review. And you can see her at the top of this post, reading a poem and being interviewed by her former professor Richard Jackson.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Texas has produced a lot of great bluesmen (and blueswomen). Happy birthday to one of the best: the Texas Cannonball, Freddie King, seen above with Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. King would have been 79 today.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
(Penelope Casas, 1943 - 2013)