“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
— Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Early in this astonishing autobiography, Gabriel Garcia Marquez makes a comment about the problems the he has experienced when writing about the past. He notes: nostalgia colors the way we recall the past because frequently, it has “erased the bad memories and magnified the good ones.”
Books brought home from the library: The Art of Grace; Keep It Fake; The Churchill Factor; The Fellowship; South Toward Home; The Conservative Heart; The Road To Character.
Hurricane Katrina spawned an awesome number of literary works, and it may be that, given sufficient time to determine the full merits of Jesmyn Ward’s novel, Salvage the Bones, her work may be the most worthy.
In Withering Slights: The Bent Pin Collection (National Review Books, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9847650-3-4, 186 pages, $24.95), the recently deceased (she died in January) Florence King demonstrates once again why she was one of America’s most biting and genuinely funny social and political critics.
I have always been an Art Bell fan, and judging from the extensive archives on YouTube, I am not the only one. For the past 20 years, Bell has been acknowledged as the “King of nighttime radio” and usually holds forth around midnight from some remote site in Australia or the Mohave. His program is always a call-in show with names like “Coast to Coast,” or “Dreamland” or currently, “Midnight in the Desert.”
During a recent discussion in the AP Literature class I teach, I mentioned that the actor Alan Rickman had died the previous day. The young lady seated directly in front of me said, “You’re kidding.”
In Reclaiming Conversation, author Sherry Turkle notes that significant changes sometimes come to our daily lives without our noticing, until someone like Rachael Carson publishes an astonishing work like Silent Spring, telling us that our advances in technology have brought a permanent change to our environment.
With the new year now upon us, it strikes me that “something old” and “something new” is appropriate for this column.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founder of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She defines herself as “a sarcastic, heavily tortured, angry person who swears.” She is also heavily tattooed. She often hears herself referred to as “that scandalous and dangerous woman.”
My name is Joe Ecclesia. On a recent December Saturday, when I interviewed Jeff Minick about his new novel, Dust On Their Wings, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the sixties. We sat creek-side behind the Panacea Coffeehouse in Waynesville’s Frog Level district.