Uncategorized

Jennifer Scappettone | | Amelia Rosselli

May 31, 2012
By
Jennifer Scappettone | | Amelia Rosselli

(Image copyright: Dino Ignani) From Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli, A Bilingual Edition Edited and Translated by Jennifer Scappettone _________________________________________________________________________________________ Da Palermo ’63 (1963) Poesia dedicata a Spatola Il mare ha delle punte bianche ch’io non conosco e il tempo, che bravo si dimena bravo nelle mie braccia, corrompo docilmente— e sottile si lamenta per i dolori al ginocchio a me toccàti. Senza livore io ti ricordo un immenso giorno di gioia ma tu dimentichi la vera sapienza. Se la notte è una veraconda scematura io rivorrei giocare con le belle dolci signore che t’insegnavano che il dare o il vero, non è vero. Sentendo morire la dolce tirannia io ti richiamo sirena volenterosa—ma il viso disfatto di un chiaro prevedere altre colpe e docili obbedienze mi promuove cretine speranze. Gravi disgrazie sollecitano. Il vero è una morte intera.                    *** From Palermo ’63 (1963) Poem dedicated to Spatola The sea has white points that I don’t know and tempo, so good it wags good in my embrace, I corrupt sweetly— and slight it laments the aches at the knee touched to me. Without spite I remind you of an immense day of joy but you forget . . .

Read more »

Marjorie Perloff, American Philosopher

May 3, 2012
By
Marjorie Perloff, American Philosopher

The University of Chicago Press extends its congratulations to our own Unoriginal Genius Marjorie Perloff—whose astute exploits in literary theory, criticism of twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetics, and consideration of the visual arts we’ve blogged about before, now and again. Why raise another glass to Marjorie? Well, the American Philosophical Society—the nation’s oldest and most esteemed scholarly organization (founded in 1743)—whose mission is to “promote useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach,” just called her a member. Among her cohort of those inducted with distinction in the humanities? Mary Beard, Marjorie Graber, Wu Hung, Rosalind Krauss, Brent D. Shaw, and Salvatore Settis, in a class of 2012 inductees that extended its reach through the arts and public affairs (along with the physical, natural, and social sciences) to include such luminaries as Jill Abramson, William Kentridge, Cormac McCarthy, Gerhard Richter, and Richard Serra. We’ve been lucky enough to shepherd several of Perloff’s books into publication, and though the list only reflects a portion of her overwhelming scholarship, it’s nothing to shake a stick at. Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the Age of Media, John Cage: Composed in America, Frank . . .

Read more »

April’s free ebook: Alice Kaplan’s French Lessons

April 2, 2012
By
April’s free ebook: Alice Kaplan’s French Lessons

In 2009, writer and former freelance journalist Ben Yagoda published Memoir: A History. Amid praise for the book is this tidy distillation of its reach by New York Times critic Judith Shulevitz: begins with Julius Caesar’s descriptions of the Gallic Wars and proceeds book by book to the present. He gives us the greats—St. Augustine and Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglass and Helen Keller—but also a 17th-century spiritualizing grifter named Clarkson who preached and seduced his way through England’s radical sects; Mary Jemison of Pennsylvania, whose wildly popular “as told to” reconfigured the classic Indian-captivity narrative into an early-19th-century “Dances With Wolves” (she chose to stay with the Indians); and other figures from what Preston Sturges once called the “cockeyed caravan” of life. —————————- The Sturges quotation is from the movie Sullivan’s Travels, a 1941 Hollywood satire that later served as the inspiration for Joel and Ethan Coen’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? (the Coen Brothers film takes its name from Sturges’s picture-within-a-picture). In it, Sullivan bemoans the (often comic) failures of the would-be socially conscious film he aspires to make, before acknowledging that comedy is really what opens the common man’s heart: “There’s a lot . . .

Read more »

Roman numeral C, reinforced by (the) Latin centum: Part I

March 16, 2012
By
Roman numeral C, reinforced by (the) Latin centum: Part I

PART I 1. “I’ve written a lot on Susan Stewart’s work, which takes as a starting point Marx’s notion that even the five senses are the product of historical forces—they have a history, and for Stewart poetry is a record of that history.”—Ange Mlinko, in conversation with Jordan Davis 2. Bill Berkson remembering John Ashbery in white denim (at the Poetry Foundation’s Alternative Press Original Multiples opening 22 September 2011) 3. The 1979 portrait of Walter Hopps that hung over Ashbery’s bar— 4. That Ashbery and Hopps must have passed each other at the opening of a show, somewhere (East Coast–West Coast; Ashbery writing for Art International and Art and Literature; Hopps curating at the Pasadena Art Museum and then the Washington Gallery of Modern Art and then the Corcoran; all of this, in time, between 1960 and 1972) 5. That Ashbery appears in an epigraph— 6. Students respond favorably to Levertov’s conviction that the poet writes more than “ knows.” 7. The Letters of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov (Edited by Robert J. Bertholf and Albert Gelpi) 8. Duncan to Levertov: “I draw back from commanding conscience, as I would avoid whatever tyranny of the will . . .  . . .

Read more »

Beware the Ides, beware the Eagles

March 15, 2012
By
Beware the Ides, beware the Eagles

As an expression, the “Ides of March” entered our vernacular right around the rise of the modern. In ancient Roman daily life, the ides approximated mid-month—in particular, the ides of March heralded a feast day for Mars, god of war, often accompanied by a military parade. We associate it with the death of Julius Caesar, and with Shakespeare’s soothsayer, who intones near the opening of that eponymous play (Act I, Scene II): “Beware the ides of March.” Caesar, the Shakespearean character, of course dismisses the speculative fervor with a certain ease: “He is a dreamer; let us leave him.” We know how that story ends. The dream-life was a bit more Technicolored for medieval poets and bards, who took on the classical story of Caesar-the-superhuman’s death, and imbued it with portends better suited to middle times: Caesar’s horses stopped grazing and wept openly; a bull he recently sacrificed had no heart; a bird was torn asunder by birds of the same feather, while the Senate watched with eyes aghast; and flames lit forth from the palms of otherwise unharmed men. Soon, in epic poems, Caesar would mate with Morgan le Fay and produce the fairy king Oberon, while Chaucer would chronicle . . .

Read more »

Take a ride

October 5, 2011
By
Take a ride

Wednesday . . . the Slough of Despond of the week. Couldn’t we all use a pick-me-up? Could you make do with a pick-up instead? The taxi type, that is. This week, Dmitry Samarov’s Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab rolls out of the garage and flips on its ON DUTY light. Presenting tales originally written for Samarov’s ongoing blog, the book offers a cabbie’s-eye tour of Chicago, traveling its late-night streets fare by fare, revealing the city and its people at their most vulnerable, open, and unguarded. In his introduction, Samarov writes “Cabdrivers catch people at the most revealing moments—not when they have their game faces on, but with their guard down, unable to pretend,” and in his brief sketches of passengers, unusual conversations, and strange events, he gives us a privileged glimpse into those fleeting interactions that reveal so much about our fellow citizens’ hopes, dreams, and secret pains. Happy, clueless tourists on their way in from O’Hare; Clark Street drunks staggering out of Friday night and into Saturday morning; Cubs fans spilling from Wrigley after a win (or, more likely, a loss); the deserted streets of a lonely Christmas behind the wheel—Samarov brings his gentle, humane appreciation . . .

Read more »

What you can do for Haiti

January 15, 2010
By
What you can do for Haiti

What you can do right now: Donate $10 to the American Red Cross—charged to your cell phone bill—by texting “HAITI” to “90999.” . . .

Read more »

Organizing Schools for Improvement Webinar

January 13, 2010
By
Organizing Schools for Improvement Webinar

Concerned about the current state of the American educational system? Then you won’t want to miss this webinar hosted by the authors of Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:00 am. The authors’—researchers from the Consortium on Chicago School Research—will present the findings contained in their book which provides a detailed analysis of why 100 of Chicago’s elementary schools showed extraordinary progress in attendance and test scores over a seven-year period and why 100 others did not. The webinar will also feature an audience discussion and Q&A after the talk. For more information about the webinar navigate to the website for the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute. For more about the book read an excerpt. . . .

Read more »

A politics of fear

September 1, 2009
By
A politics of fear

Yesterday on Good Morning America, former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge tried to quell the storm of reaction to his recent claim that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General John Ashcroft pressured him to raise the terror alert level before the 2004 presidential election. “Ashcroft strongly urged an increase in the threat level, and was supported by Rumsfeld,” Ridge writes in his new book, an excerpt of which was published yesterday at ABC.com. “There was absolutely no support for that position within our department. None. I wondered, ‘Is this about security or politics?’ Post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president’s approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level.” But how, exactly, do threats of terrorism affect the opinions of citizens? Speculation abounds, but until now no one had marshaled hard evidence to explain the complexities of this relationship. Drawing on data from surveys and original experiments they conducted in the United States and Mexico, Jennifer Merolla and Elizabeth Zechmeister demonstrate how our strategies for coping with terrorist threats significantly influence our attitudes toward fellow citizens, political leaders, and foreign nations. In their forthcoming Democracy at Risk, the authors reveal, for example, . . .

Read more »

Cartography and the Mastery of Empire

April 9, 2009
By
Cartography and the Mastery of Empire

The Times Higher Education recently published quite a positive review of The Imperial Map: Cartography and the Mastery of Empire. Drawn from the prestigious Nebenzahl Lectures at the Newberry Library’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and edited by the center’s director, James R. Ackerman, the book examines the maps of a range of cultures during the 17th to 20th centuries to illustrate the ubiquitous use of cartography by ruling bodies to claim their entitlement to lands and peoples. From Valerie Kivelson’s piece on the early imperial Russian mapping of Siberia, to Neil Safier‘s exposition on Portuguese mapping of its South American territories, as THE contributor Sarah Bendall notes: choices are excellent and his list of contributors impressive…. The essays all describe instances in which unequal power relationships between communities produced maps that represented imperial subjects for the exclusive benefit of the rulers. Together, the authors show that the picture of imperial mapping is complex, with religious doctrine, scientific exploration, commerce, ethnography, propaganda and administrative practice operating in different ways depending upon the context.… These are complex stories, but Akerman is to be congratulated on his editing. He has ensured that the reader is guided through . . .

Read more »

Search for books and authors