Amerikan Rambler: Seeing Writers in Their Houses

From Jan. 2015: “Hemingway was a citizen of the world, while Faulkner seemed unable to get away from his ‘postage stamp’ in Mississippi. Hemingway is accessible. Faulkner is inscrutable.”

Faulkner and Hemingway have been seen as a classic example of literary opposites. Both modernists. Both hard drinkers. And yet, Hemingway was a citizen of the world, while Faulkner seemed unable to get away from his “postage stamp” in Mississippi. Hemingway is accessible. Faulkner is inscrutable.

via Hemingway and Faulkner: Seeing Writers in Their Houses — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Solar-powered White House / Interactive Afghan wars / 10 overlooked novels / Political apologies / The new Army

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This week: Solar-powered White House / Interactive Afghan wars / 10 overlooked novels / Political apologies / The new Army

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Solar panels return to the W.H.
By Alex Guillen | Politico | May 9
“Three decades after Ronald Reagan had Jimmy Carter’s solar panels tossed into the energy dustbin, the White House has finished putting sun-powered electricity back on top of the executive mansion in a small but symbolic gesture.”

2. Portait of the Army as a Work in Progress
By Rosa Brooks | Foreign Policy | May 2014
“The service’s plan to revamp itself for the post-post-9/11 world is ambiguous and rife with contradiction. That’s what makes it brilliant.”

3. How Russia arms America’s southern neighbors
By Ioan Grillo | GlobalPost | May 9
“Russia is now the largest weapons dealer to governments in Latin America”

4. 10 overlooked novels: how many have you read?
By John Sutherland | The Guardian | May 6
“A hilarious romance by a precocious nine-year-old. The fantasies of a septuagenarian foot fetishist. An aristocrat’s life spent doing nothing on a sofa. Just some of the riches contained in 10 little-known books that deserve to be treasured”

5. Interactive Timeline: War in Afghanistan
By Zack Stanton | The Wilson Quarterly | May 2014
“If you want to understand the U.S. War in Afghanistan, place it in a larger historical context: Afghanistan’s 35-year civil war.”

6. The Art of the Political Apology
By Edwin Battistella | Politico Magazine | May 7
“From Bill to Monica and everyone in between, a guide to saying sorry.”

7. America’s Purpose and Role in a Changed World
By Carl Gershman | World Affairs | May/June 2014
“One important question we face today, however, more than five years into the Obama presidency, is whether the current policy of retrenchment is a standard correction after a period of maximalism, or something else.”

8. John Oliver, Charming Schold
By Ian Crouch | Culture Desk :: The New Yorker | May 8
“Regarding the death penalty — which was in the news last week, after a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma — Oliver reached for simile: ‘The death penalty is like the McRib. When you can’t have it, it’s so tantalizing. But when they bring it back, you think, This is ethically wrong.’ ”

9. Onward to Europa
By Lee Billings | Aeon Magazine | May 2013
“The oceans of Jupiter’s ice worlds might be swimming with life — so why do we keep sending robots to Mars?”

10. All the World’s Glaciers, Mapped
By Megan Garber | The Atlantic | May 7
“The first statistical analysis of the world’s glacier distribution offers insight into melting ice. ”

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Rumsfeld’s no McNamara / Search for the black box / Second novels / American dynasties / No more Turkish miracle

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This week: Rumsfeld’s no McNamara / The race to find the black box / Second novels / American dynasties / No more Turkish miracle

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Donald Rumsfeld Hasn’t Learned a Damn Thing
By James G. Blight and Janet M. Lang | Politico Magazine | April 4
“Bush’s unrepentant defense secretary and the dark art of B.S.”

2. Clock ticking on search to find Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s black box
By Swati Pandey | Thomseon Reuters | April 4
“On Monday, it will be 30 days since the jetliner lost communications and disappeared from civilian radar.”

3. Letterman Wasn’t That Funny, Which Is Exactly Why He Matters
By Isaac Chotiner | The New Republic | April 4
“I can’t think of a mass cultural figure of such large importance who was so committed to his own idea of artistic integrity.”

4. Are We Entering a Golden Age of the Second Novel?
By Bill Morris | The Millions | April 4
“Writers get only one shot at becoming The Next Big Thing, which, to too many publishers, is The Only Thing. Failure to do so can carry a wicked and long-lasting sting.”

5. The Work Hitler Despised and the One from Above His Fireplace
By R.C. Baker | The Village Voice | April 2
“The art of hate.”

6. Allegheny Arsenal Explosion
By Maggie MacLean | Civil War Women | April 3
“On September 17, 1862, seventy-eight girls and young women were killed in an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — the worst civilian disaster of the Civil War.”

7. Bush 41 Reunion Looks to Burnish His Legacy
By Peter Baker | The New York Times | April 3
“This seems to be a season for presidential rehabilitation, if not for the incumbent then for his predecessors.”

8. Karzai Is Trying to Keep His Sway After Term Ends
By Matthew Rosenberg | The New York Times | April 3
“American officials have ignored him, and Afghanistan’s presidential contenders have tried to persuade voters that they will be different from him. But those hoping to see President Hamid Karzai slip into a quiet retirement may be disappointed in the months to come.”

9. Dynasty Isn’t Just for Monarchies Anymore
By Larry J. Sabato | Politico Magazine | March 31
“A Bush-Clinton matchup in 2016 would hardly be unusual. American politics is more of a family affair than you think.”

10. Turkey Goes Out of Control
By Christopher de Bellaigue | The New York Review of Books | April 3
“Large parts of the civil service have been eviscerated, much of the media has been reduced to unthinking carriers of politically motivated revelation and innuendo, and the economy has slowed down after a decade of strong growth. The Turkish miracle is over.”

******************

TUNES

Tonight I’m spending some time with the blues, specifically with the Texas Blues Café. Check out the line-up and then listen here.

1. ZZ Top — Whats Up With That
2. Eddie Turner — I’m A Man
3. Carolyn Wonderland — Ain’t Nobody’s Business
4. Guitar Shorty — A Little Less Conversation
5. Jimi Hendrix — Electric Church Red House
6. Paul Rodgers — Walk In My Shadow
7. North Mississippi Allstars — Shake (Yo Mama)
8. Too Slim And The Taildraggers — Mexico
9. Walter Trout — May Be A Fool
10. The Black Keys — Hurt Like Mine
11. R.L Burnside — Goin Down South
12. Janiva Magness — Slipped,Tripped And Fell
13. Steve Miller — Driven Wheel
14. Bo Cox — Gone

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

Today’s intellectuals … Herman Cain fallout … Hating while bored … The new YouTube … Latin America’s new alliance.

Most of these great items come from my Twitter feed or Facebook news feed. Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook for more fascinating videos, articles, essays and criticism. Read past recommendations from this series here.

1. The Literary Cubs
By Alex Williams | The New York Times | Nov. 30
“Fueled by B.Y.O.B. bourbon, impressive degrees and the angst that comes with being young and unmoored, members spend their hours filling the air with talk of Edmund Wilson and poststructuralism.”

2. Grudge Lust
By Elizabeth Greenwood | The New Inquiry | Nov. 23
“Sometimes, especially in arduous and boring times, like a long flight or a dull class, I will pick someone out of a crowd to be my nemesis. My nemeses need not have harmed me, per se, but she or he will be selected for some ghastly, unforgivable trait.”

3. 10 political lessons from Herman Cain’s campaign
Naked Politics :: The Miami Herald | Dec. 3
“Herman Cain’s campaign is gone, but the political takeaways live on”

4. YouTube Gets Its Biggest Makeover Ever, Becomes More Google-Like
By Chris Taylor | Mashable Tech | Dec. 1
“So what’s the change all about? One word: channels. The world’s most popular online video service now sees itself as a descendent of cable TV, with millions of channels rather than hundreds — and it’s doing its darndest to encourage you to use it that way.”

5. Dear Important Novelists: Be Less Like Moses and More Like Howard Cosell
By Dwight Garner | The New York Times Magazine | Sept. 16
“It’s worth suggesting, though, that something more meaningful may be going on here; these long spans between books may indicate a desalinating tidal change in the place novelists occupy in our culture.”

6. Herman Cain Exits
By Amy Davidson | Close Read :: The New Yorker | Dec. 3
“Really, we promise — we’ll manage. Cain suspending his campaign means that we will no longer have to suspend our disbelief about the seriousness of his candidacy, or about what’s become of our political culture.”

7. Understanding the Battle Over Texas Redistricting
By Justin Dehn and Thanh Tan | The Texas Tribune | Dec. 2
“Months after the Legislature established its maps, it’s still not clear who Texans will be voting for in next year’s congressional and state House and Senate races. The Trib’s Thanh Tan and Ross Ramsey explain why.”

8. How Herman Cain benefits from dropping out: Money and political power
By Brad Knickerbocker | The Christian Science Monitor | Dec. 3
“Herman Cain may no longer be a presidential candidate, but he doesn’t need to sulk. His promise to endorse one of the other candidates means political power, and his books and other endeavors will bring him more money.”

9. Chavez lauds new Latin American alliance
Al Jazeera | Dec. 3
“Venezuelan president, battling cancer, appears energetic at founding of 33-member bloc meant to counter United States.”

10. Susan Wallace
Civil War Women Blog | Nov. 28
“Susan Arnold Elston Wallace was an American author and poet and wife of Civil War soldier and author Lew Wallace.”

**************

TUNES

My soundtrack for today included:
1. OH SWEET NUTHIN’ The Velvet Underground
2. THE TRUTH Handsome Boy Modeling School
3. I’LL TAKE YOU THERE The Staple Singers
4. WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE Domaje
5. WHIPPING POST The Allman Brothers Band
6. THIS NIGHT Black Lab
7. GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE Elbow
8. I’LL FLY AWAY Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch
9. ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD Paul Simon
10. ELECTRIC CITY Black Eyed Peas

‘To be ready to die’

Part 4 of this series focuses on Paul Horgan, a middle-aged novelist who in the summer of 1968 shared Aspen, Colo., with hippies, rich tourists, and others from whom he felt wearily disconnected.

This special Stillness of Heart series explores the Morgan Library & Museum’s fascinating exhibit, “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives.”

Part 4 focuses on Paul Horgan, a middle-aged novelist who in the summer of 1968 shared Aspen, Colo., with hippies, rich tourists, and others from whom he felt wearily disconnected. Nevertheless, he took comfort and inspiration from his perch as a keen observer of the details that define and enrich daily life.

“I remember once being sent to bed physically ill because I could not be a part of the off-hand dinner conversation of a couple — young, beautiful, articulate — at the next table, in a hotel restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas. To be ready to die because a beautiful young man and a beautiful girl were not known to me, or did not want me with them!”

Examine images of Horgan’s fascinating diary and learn more about him here.

Entries in this series:
Part 1: Introduction to the exhibit and Charlotte Brontë
Part 2: Frances Eliza Grenfell
Part 3: Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne
Part 4: Paul Horgan
Part 5: John Newton
Part 6: Mary Ann and Septimus Palairet
Part 7: Walter Scott
Part 8: Bartholomew Sharpe
Part 9: Tennessee Williams
Part 10: John Ruskin

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