July 27th, 2017 — Revisiting Magical Realism for the bloghop — why the unreal matters more than ever

Friends -- I am participating in the annual Magical Realism Bloghop, organized by writer and foremost electronic impresario of the MR scene, Zoe Brooks. For this bloghop, I usually post craft tips, but today I'd just like to say a few words about why MR and other forms of non-realist word art matter to me … Continue reading July 27th, 2017 — Revisiting Magical Realism for the bloghop — why the unreal matters more than ever

July 4th Special — TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER — a senate sonnet project

Friends -- one might argue that we are living in surrealistic times here in the United States. One has only to open one's laptop or peruse the local paper to see magically real headlines and stories which make one wonder what dimension one is actually living in. In honor of this spectacularly unreal-feeling historical moment, … Continue reading July 4th Special — TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER — a senate sonnet project

Reading the 18th Century, 04/17/17: Nathan the Wise 2 or Lessing and his Muslim Characters

Friends – I spent some time talking about Lessing’s plea for interfaith tolerance and understanding in a previous post about Nathan the Wise, a play written in German in the late 18th Century. You can read my thoughts about it here, and I recommend doing so before continuing with this post. Today, I’d like to … Continue reading Reading the 18th Century, 04/17/17: Nathan the Wise 2 or Lessing and his Muslim Characters

Reading the 18th Century (and the 19th and the 21st), 01/23/17: From Schiller to Hugo to Rogue One and back again

Friends – In my last post I talked about the important work done by playwright/poet/historian Friedrich Schiller. As I mentioned last time, Schiller wrote frequently about rebels. Almost all his plays feature protagonists (sometimes a man, and sometimes a woman) who are frustrated with the status quo and who revolt against their society, for both … Continue reading Reading the 18th Century (and the 19th and the 21st), 01/23/17: From Schiller to Hugo to Rogue One and back again

Reading the 18th Century, 12/29/16 — rehearsing the revolution: Friedrich Schiller’s The Robbers

Friends – I talked last time about one of my favorite German Enlightenment writers, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and his play about religious tolerance, Nathan the Wise. I mentioned that when we talk about German Enlightenment writing we see less of an immediate influence on American thinkers, because – as John Quincy Adams points out – … Continue reading Reading the 18th Century, 12/29/16 — rehearsing the revolution: Friedrich Schiller’s The Robbers

Fantastical, fabulist, fantasmatic, magical, magical realist, surrealist, science fictional, speculative, just plain weird, or what? — the agenda for 2016

Dear friends – There’s a lot of talk about literary borders these days: what is and is not something or something else. My friend R, who is a poet and performer and video artist says he’s HAD it with those boundaries and those arguments. "Who cares?" he says "whether it’s gothic or haiku or a … Continue reading Fantastical, fabulist, fantasmatic, magical, magical realist, surrealist, science fictional, speculative, just plain weird, or what? — the agenda for 2016

a quick, somewhat silly mini-tour of some recent Chinese movies and tv — coloring books

Friends -- I am going to the PRC in a little less than a month, and as I scramble to acquire enough Mandarin phrases to amuse my hosts, I thought I would take a look at some recent tv and cinema coming out of China. I have watched the following: Empresses in the Palace -- … Continue reading a quick, somewhat silly mini-tour of some recent Chinese movies and tv — coloring books