Why Read Sebald?

He is utterly despairing, particularly in The Rings of Saturn. It’s terrible, beautiful, and there’s no hope.          — Ali Smith I’ve been here before, at my desk, with all the books by W.G Sebald (which unfortunately isn’t that many) in front of me. My plan is to (re)read The Rings of Saturn. Did I read it…

Ruins of Nostalgia

Browsing David Orr’s list of “Best Poetry of 2018” I came across the poet Donna Stonecipher, whom I had never heard of. And naturally I decided to check her up — this is what I found (or at least some of it…). Happy reading! The Ruins of Nostalgia 1 In the fall we were nostalgic…

The Call to Create

Spending my Sunday morning in the company of James Hollis — ON HEARING (AND ANSWERING) THE CALL TO CREATE According to Hollis: So much of the self-help genre prattles on about “happiness.” “Thirty Days to this or That…”. “Five Easy Steps to…”. You fill in the blanks. But this Pablum does not feed the soul,…

Between a Wolf and a Dog

(TIDYING BY READING, PART 2) There must have been someone here – in this interconnected world of ours – recommending me this book, but now I no longer remember who. I probably started reading «Between a Wolf and a Dog» more than a year ago, but then it slipped away, surfacing again in the big move.   «Between…

Sorting out

– finishing up (tidying by reading, part 1) Moving my library, I became aware of quite a few half-read books laying around. I have started sorting them out — some are too bad, vexatious or tedious to be read, but most of them had just been misplaced or forgotten in the middle of things… And…

An individual human existence should be like a river —

— advice for days to come: The best way to overcome the fear of death—so at least it seems to me—is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should…

Apropos moving –

Lucia Berlin called many different places home during her lifetime. The following is a list she made in the late eighties detailing the pitfalls of some of them. Excerpted from Welcome Home: A Memoir with Selected Photographs and Letters, by Lucia Berlin, 2018.  Juneau, Alaska—Avalanche the day I was born, wiped out a third of town. Deer…