Happy Birthday, Louise Erdrich

Read the full article here | The Paris Review

…. So he was able at last to remove the child from its wrappings and bathe it, a girl, and to hold her. He’d never done such a thing before.

First he tried to feed her a tiny piece of the rabbit. She was too young to manage. He dripped water into her mouth, made sure it trickled down, but was perplexed at what to feed her, then alarmed when, after a night of deprivation, her tiny face crumpled in need. She peered at him in expectation and, at last, violently squalled. Her cries filled a vastness that nothing else could. They resounded, took over everything, and brought his heart clean to the surface. Scranton Roy cradled the baby, sang lewd camp tunes, then stalwart hymns, and at last remembered his own mother’s lullabies. Nothing helped.

It seemed, when he held her close upon his heart as women did, that the child grew angry with longing and desperately clung, rooted with its mouth, roared in frustration, until at last, moved to near insanity, Roy opened his shirt and put her to his nipple.

She seized him. Inhaled him. Her suck was fierce. His whole body was astonished, most of all the inoffensive nipple he’d never noticed or appreciated until, in spite of the pain, it served to gain him peace. As he sat there, the child holding part of him in its mouth, he looked around just in case there should be any witness to this act which seemed to him strange as anything that had happened in this skyfilled land. Of course, there was only the dog. Contented, freed, it lolled appreciatively near. So the evening passed and then the night.

Scranton Roy was obliged to change nipples, the first one hurt so, and he fell asleep with the baby tucked beside him on his useless teat.

She was still there in the morning, stuck, though he pulled her off to slingshot a partridge, roasted that too, and smeared its grease on his two sore spots. That made her wild for him….

— excerpt from The Antelope Wife

________________________________________________________________________________________________

[I figured I was all washed-up when I learned I was going to have another baby at forty-six. I thought, Oh, the hell with it. I’m never going to get out of this. But before she was born, I had all of this pent-up desperation and I wrote The Master Butchers Singing Club.

I’d always wanted to write that book….]

ERDRICH

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Eduardo Galeano’s Book: Mirrors | History of Humanity

[Riddles, Lies and Lives from Fidel Castro to Muhammad Ali]

The twentieth century, which was born proclaiming peace and justice, died bathed in blood. It passed on a world much more unjust than the one it inherited.

The twenty-first century, which also arrived heralding peace and justice, is following in its predecessor’s footsteps.

In my childhood, I was convinced that everything that went astray on earth ended up on the moon.

But the astronauts found no sign of dangerous dreams or broken promises or hopes betrayed.

If not on the moon, where might they be? Perhaps they were never misplaced.
Perhaps they are in hiding here on earth. Waiting.

Read the full article here | TruthOut

EEE

Native American Language Revitalization Legislation in the 113th Congress

Read the full article here | LSA

The LSA is currently engaged in a campaign to educate and inform members of the U.S. Congress about the benefits of Native American language revitalization. There are two bills currently pending in both houses of Congress which seek to enhance efforts to revitalize Native American languages:

900 Writers Battle Amazon

Douglas Preston is a best-selling writer — or was, until Amazon decided to discourage readers from buying books from his publisher, Hachette, as a way of pressuring it into giving Amazon a better deal on e-books. So he wrote an open letter to his readers asking them to contact Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, demanding that Amazon stop using writers as hostages in its negotiations.

The letter, composed in the shack, spread through the literary community. As of earlier this week 909 writers had signed on, including household names like John Grisham and Stephen King. It is scheduled to run as a full-page ad in The New York Times this Sunday, 10 August.

Read the full article | New York Times

Easter with Flannery O’Connor | “Passover” |… and Apologists

George Geigel | First Things

[This coming August 3 will mark the golden anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s “Passover,” to adopt the biblical image John Paul II used to describe the Christian journey through death to eternal life. In the fifty years since lupus erythematosus claimed her at age thirty-nine, O’Connor’s literary genius has been widely celebrated. Then, with the 1979 publication of The Habit of Being, her collected letters, another facet of O’Connor’s genius came into focus: Mary Flannery O’Connor was an exceptionally gifted apologist, an explicator of Catholic faith who combined remarkable insight into the mysteries of the Creed with deep and unsentimental piety, unblinking realism about the Church in its human aspect, puckish humor—and a mordant appreciation of the soul-withering acids of modern secularism.]

Read more… Article from First Things

Jack Kerouac on Kindness, and Golden Eternity

The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks dont see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
making pancakes.

I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect.

WE WERE NEVER BORN from Dosnoventa on Vimeo.

10 Books Shortlisted for the Global Dublin Literary Award 2014

Dublin Literary Award 2014
Ten novels have been shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, managed by Dublin City Libraries.
The list includes five novels in translation from Argentina, Colombia, France, Norway, and The Netherlands and novels from Australia, Ireland, Malaysia, the UK and the USA.
The shortlisted titles, announced by The Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Henry Upton, in Dublin are:

1. The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker, (Dutch) translated by David Colmer. Published by Harvill Secker.
2. Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser (Sri Lankan / Australian) Published by Allen & Unwin.
3. Absolution by Patrick Flanery (American) (First novel) Published by Atlantic Books.
4. A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Norwegian) Translated by Don Bartlett. Published by Harvill Secker.
5. Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye (French) Translated by John Fletcher. Published by MacLehose / Quercus and by Alfred A. Knopf.
6. Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman (Argentinian) Translated from the original Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia. Published by Pushkin Press and by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
7. The Light of Amsterdam by David Park (Northern Irish) Published by Bloomsbury.
8. The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (Irish) (First novel) Published by Doubleday Ireland / Lilliput Press.
9. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Malaysian) Published by Myrmidon.
10. The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombian) Translated from the original Spanish by Anne McLean. Published by Bloomsbury.