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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Big Print

* Kevin Haworth * These are big stories from low culture, and at a time when my children have begun to retreat into their own personal reading worlds, I’m grateful to have these books to bring them back to me. Anybody who reads to their own children knows the value of a big, beautiful book, spread out on your lap, with a child on each side, gazing at the illustrations.

Willful Shapes

* Gina Balibrera *

What I desired, and what I continue to desire, is the willful shape. I desire not those words that do the work of building, of containing, of safeguarding, but those which Ukrainian-Brazilian bad girl writer Clarice Lispector desires when she writes “I want to grab hold of the ‘is’ of the thing,” in Água Viva. I began to feel Lispector’s “perfect animal” of Near to the Wild Heart inside of me; I became a bad, bad girl.

“Lost in Translation,” by Beth Aviv

She misspells “beautiful” as “beatiful” when she is referring to a rose of Sharon in the backyard. Is that a subliminal slip? She was speaking of not being able to get focused after moving into her boyfriend’s house, and then she writes about his “beautiful garden”—or is it “beatified garden”? Something that moves her to the sublime and saintly?

Homage to the Romantic Ballet: The Poetics of Joseph Cornell

* Mary Camille Beckman *
Even if Joseph Cornell’s artworks—his signature “shadow box” constructions, his montages (what he termed his two-dimensional collages), and his films—are visual, not literary, Robert Motherwell, abstract expressionist and friend and pen pal of Cornell, claimed that “his true parallels are not to be found among the painters and sculptors, but among our best poets.”